Requesting a profile review

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Requesting a profile review

by sakib.naseef » Fri May 22, 2020 8:52 pm
Hi, can you please review my profile?


I’m looking to bring a strong sense of purpose in my career by transitioning fully to social impact. I’ve always wanted to go into social impact full-time, but I needed to build a niche and valuable skillset before doing so. Regarding marketable skills, I feel ready now, but I need an MBA to help me transition.

Work experience:
I'm currently a Product Manager in Internet Business in a Multinational Telecommunications company. I have 5.5 years of full-time experience, all in Telecommunications product management. The firm I work for is one of the top ones in my country, Bangladesh, and is a part of the 10th largest mobile network operator in the world. I've gotten regular, formal awards (Marketing Award for six quarters out of the twelve quarters of my employment till date + Employee of the month multiple times) at work, and my portfolio has increased with time. I can back my achievements with solid numbers.

Some career highlights
- Product Manager for Facebook's Freebasics program in Bangladesh, which focuses on giving internet connectivity to the bottom of the pyramid, launching it for the first time in my country
- Successful completion of 1-month international assignment & placement in HQ
- Former Management Trainee with fast track progression to Managerial role, within only 2.5 years of my career
- Project Manager for the first telecom merger in Bangladesh

On the side, I'm a director at my family business which focuses on government and non-profit sector consulting. I do business advisory for non-profits, and one of these non-profits was founded by an Oxford Said MBA alum. My area of expertise is "mobile tech & communications for development".

During my undergrad I won multiple international & national awards in social entrepreneurship competitions. One of that was GSEC organized by the University of Washington's Foster School of Business. My team had beat out MIT in that competition. I was also awarded by Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, for winning Yunus Centre's social entrepreneurship idea competition. I've coordinated nationwide charity drives back in my undergrad, 100+ people reporting to me.

Other coursework:
I finished MBA Math and I scored 100% in all of the MBA Math courses.

Nationality: Bangladeshi

GMAT: Male


GRE Score:
My GRE total is 328, with a breakdown of 169 in Verbal, 159 in Quant, 4.5 in AW. I'm also done with my TOEFL with a 113/120.

Undergrad GPA:
I graduated from the best business school in my country. My alma mater has alums in different top business schools, including the business schools that I plan to apply to.

My 3.13/4 CGPA (Major- Finance) is measly though. I dived into ECAs during my first two years, achieving great success at the expense of my academics. Reprioritized and did very well in academics during my third year. During my fourth year I contracted Hepatitis E just before my final exams, and my CGPA took a nosedive. My last year’s GPA was 3/4 versus my third year’s GPA of 3.7/4. I had the choice of postponing my studies for a year or taking a bad hit to my CGPA, & I chose the latter due to financial reasons. Anyways, even after taking my horrible fourth year in account, my last two years' CGPA is 3.35/4, so there is an upward trend there.

*MBA Info*

Goal of MBA:
Working in social impact on the side has actually inspired me to enter social impact full-time post-MBA, perhaps joining my family's business on a full-time basis, and/or starting a sister organization to the family business focused on my area of expertise. My area of expertise, Telecommunications, is very important for social impact in my country, Bangladesh. Our internet connectivity is almost entirely mobile communications dependant.

Working in a large private organization has not given me the training I need to embark on an entrepreneurial venture or engage full-time in expanding a family business. I need an MBA to make me ready.

Target schools:
I plan to apply for the 2021 intake. My top favorites are- Said, Judge, Yale, Haas, Kellogg, Tuck, Johnson (P.S. Regarding Said and Judge, I made sure that I am eligible despite my CGPA, even though their websites give off a different impression)

My next favorites are- Darden, Stern, Fuqua, Ross, UCLA, LBS, INSEAD, Tepper, UNC, Foster

I'll winnow down this list with further research, perhaps to an ultimate list of 8 schools.

However, I want a reality check so that I can focus on the schools which I actually stand a realistic chance at. For example, I don't think I'll be able to make it to Haas or Kellogg. I plan to resit the GRE to raise my Quant, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to make the time for it.

I'll also welcome suggestions on schools that I may be missing out on, which are good fits for me.


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Re: Requesting a profile review

by MargaretStrother » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:38 am
Hi -- my apologies for getting back to you so slowly on your query, and thanks for your patience.
First off, I appreciate your comprehensive post! Makes it much easier to give you a solid assessment.

Your target schools are reasonable, but I think you'll need a slightly higher Q GRE. That said, eight schools would be too many for one round. I recommend four or five schools – eight is too many. You might do UK/European schools in one round, US schools in another, because their application focus and deadline cycles sometimes follow a different structure.

Now, GRE: I'd love to see you take it again. Verbal is spectacular, but we’d prefer to see your Q over 162 or so for the level of schools you’re targeting.

CGPA: I like the overall upward trajectory – sounds like you had a rough start, but the last two years are competitive. To demonstrate academic capability, however, I’d rather see you take graded courses from UCLA or UC Berkeley Business Extension, despite having already completed MBA Math: these courses would not only improve your quant still further but also give you some grades from tougher academic institutions to support your proposition, which is that whatever sank your GPA in your first two years of undergrad is no longer relevant.

Goals – really good, great professional experience, sounds like solid community leadership as well. You’ll want to plan out who you hope to work for post-MBA and in what capacity: rejoining the family business could be a challenging post-MBA goal for two-year, full time MBAs; they will wonder why you need their MBA to do a role that you can probably already start doing. This would be something to discuss in a kickoff – a public forum is too general – but your post-MBA goals are a strategic point as an applicant. MBA admissions is a holistic process, and credible, well-researched goals are right up there with the admissions criteria that schools are looking for.

Overall: you look like a solid applicant! A couple of things you could be working on, but your school vision is very much in line with your profile.

Good luck!
Margaret Strother
Margaret Strother
Senior Consultant
Stacy Blackman Consulting

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