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Admissions Success Stories Profile Evaluation Request and Some Questions

This topic has 1 expert reply and 0 member replies

onwards1305 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
23 Mar 2017
2 messages

Profile Evaluation Request and Some Questions

Post Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:49 am

I would love an evaluation of my profile. In addition to an evaluation, I would love some thoughts on questions at the bottom of my profile.


Target Schools: HBS, GSB and Wharton in round 1 this year

Work Experience
Current: Product Manager - Analytics at top tech company in the bay area (think Google, LinkedIn etc.)
Duration of work-ex: ~5 months
Key points: Not a lot of measurable impact in terms of projects yet (given my recent joining)

Previous: Product Manager at analytics software company (400 person company that got acquired)
Duration of work-ex: 3 years
Key points: Managed product on multiple teams for a $70M product and grew multiple product modules from 0 to 50+ client licenses

Previous: Co-founder of analytics startup
Duration of work-ex: 6 months
Key points: Raised x10k$ money with 2 co-founders from MIT Sloan but ultimately unsuccessful

B.Tech, M.Tech, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)
GPA: 9.6/10 (Ranked first in my class)

S.M, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
GPA: 4.8/5 (2 years of thesis research with prof from the Sloan School of Management)

1. Guest lecturer for MBA class at MIT - Was invited by a Sloan prof to guest lecture an MBA class at MIT Sloan
2. Toastmasters - I was the president of my Toastmasters club (about 20 people and managed a club committee of 5 people) for a year in 2016
3. Play ultimate frisbee - Part of the local frisbee league that came 2nd in a corporate division C league
4. Chief organizer of a 200+ person symposium while I was at MIT

1. International: Award during undergraduate for academics and community service (fairly exclusive, think few hundred people internationally)
2. International: Indo-US collaboration grant awardee to carry out research
3. Multiple awards for academics for top performance during undergrad
4. Hack week/ hackathon styled awards at both my current employer and past employers

Nationality: Indian
Sex: Male
Age: 28
GMAT: 730 (Q50, V38)

Goal of MBA
My passion is to drive organizational change and I have looked to do this by building products that drive decision making in organizations. However, I've found that building products doesn't truly drive change. Instead organizational cultures, management structures and incentives need to influenced and aligned. Applying to business school so that I can be more effective in this personal mission.

Recommendation Letters
1. VP of Product at previous company
2. VP of Engineering at previous company

1. Should I give the GMAT again? 730 isn't a great score given my nationality/age

2. I'm currently thinking of getting both recommendations from my previous employer, partly because I don't know how much of an impact I can make at my current employer (~5 months till round 1 application deadline). Would that be an issue?

3. In the remaining 5 months, how can I best improve my profile? Extracurriculars? Some thing else?

Thanks a ton for your time and feedback!

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Margaret Strother Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
01 May 2015
297 messages
Followed by:
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Post Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:58 am
Hi Onwards!
There are some terrific, differentiating points in your profile. The thesis research at MIT and the startup make a nice balance with big-name experience in the Bay Area, great grades and strong analytics. You’ll probably need one recommender from your current company, since you will have worked there longer than 10 months at submission; I realize this could be awkward, but it’s one of the areas an experienced admissions consultant can help you work through.

Harvard, Stanford, Wharton: for these top programs, my biggest concern is your extracurriculars. High-impact, ongoing community service leadership is what Harvard (and by extension other programs) finds compelling. What have you been doing, particularly since university, to make the world a better place? Again, this might be better discussed one-on-one; you may have some past involvements that you could reconnect with, in order to make a current community service role more credible and impactful.

Goals: kind of fluffy as written here. Top MBA programs such as these will want to know who is going to hire you, in what role, and why you need their MBA for that role/company. So it’s in your interests to go beyond generalities about organizational change and paint a more cinematic picture of where you see yourself post-MBA.

GMAT: other well-informed experts might disagree, but I don’t feel that you’d gain much by retaking it. It’s clear that you’re smart enough for the MBA; my advice would be to focus on expanding your leadership, both at work and in the community.

Overall: Just to propitiate the admissions gods, I’d love to see you balance out these three schools with one or two more imaginative choices. That said, you’re definitely a high-potential applicant, and with focus on the right strategic points, you should do well this year.

Good luck!
Margaret Strother

Margaret Strother
Senior Consultant
Stacy Blackman Consulting

Learn more about me

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