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Feedback on my MBA chances?

 
#1 Feedback on my MBA chances?
18/11/2009 23:03

Rajiv

Hello,

Given that entry for top MBA programmes is so competitive, I would be grateful to get your honest feedback on whether I have the necessary credentials to be strong candidate for top full-time MBA programme e.g. Oxford's Said Business School or LBS.....or if my background is probably more suitable for a less "prestigious" school?

My professional background:

1 year - Graduate Trainee (Unilever)

2 years - Analyst (Big 4 Strategy Consulting practice)....

enjoyed the work, but was made redundant in late 2008; and am now working as a Strategy Analyst within a strategy team for a retailer

Extra curriculars:

a) Currently do a fair amount of voluntary work for a charity in London e.g. organising fund-raising events for them

b) Vice President for a student society at university

c) Journalist for my university's paper

GMAT score:

710

Undergraduate record:

2.1 (Business & Management) from good red-brick university

Thanks in advance for any feedback that you're able to provide.

Rajiv

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#2 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 07:45

Anon to Rajiv (#1)

Hello Mr Rajiv. You have very good experience and very good extra-curriculars. I think you will not have much difficulty in pursuing your MBA.

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#3 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 08:27

Heidrun to Rajiv (#1)

I think you need to insert the work "strategy" a few more times into your CV to make yourself appear more attractive and self-confident.

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#4 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 09:16

Ruth B to Heidrun (#3)

just a pointer but you are at least 3 years out of uni and still cite what you did then.... try to keep such things relevant and recent

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#5 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 09:30

Reality to Rajiv (#1)

- LBS is a tier-1 school. Oxford is tier-2 i.e. much easier to get into.

- You have a good background to get admit, however it depends mainly on two factors: your nationality (passport!), and your essays.

If you are an Indian national, you will have to write extra-ordinary essays. If you have a European nationality (passport not workpermit), getting in will be slightly easier.

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#6 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 09:47

Ruth B fan to Reality (#5)

As always, Ruth B is spot on! I love reading her advice. We want more posts from Ruth B!

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#7 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 10:14

Ruth B to Heidrun (#3)

just a pointer but you are at least 3 years out of uni and still cite what you did then.... try to keep such things relevant and recent

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#8 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 10:38

anon to Ruth B (#7)

So why do large consulting firms still ask for your uni and even a-level grades even as an experienced hire then?

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#9 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 11:25

Evil Consultant to anon (#8)

On the original question posed by Rajiv:

You should have a good shot at Said and the other tier 2 schools. Give LBS and a couple of the other leading schools a try though, as you're not completely out of the running with what you've put down, provided that you can sell your work experience well. It might also be worth retaking GMAT as the schools generally don't care how many times you take it and rely on the highest score.

NB - All of the good business schools receive vast numbers of applications from Indians with engineering backgrounds. Given that business schools like to balance their intakes, this means that you have to stand out.

On the other question posed:

"So why do large consulting firms still ask for your uni and even a-level grades even as an experienced hire then?"

Simply put, because it's a good way of separating the majority of the wheat from the chaff at a very early stage for nearly zero effort expended.

EC

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#10 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 11:52

Rajiv to Evil Consultant (#9)

Thanks for all the feedback so far guys, really appreciate it.

Just to clarify, I am British-Asian with a Business & Management degree, and have a UK passport - so hopefully would not have to compete head to head with engineering grads from India.

So it seems that I will need to put it some more work to improve my chances with a Tier 1 school.

Apart from resitting my GMAT (already booked my next test), and taking on more leadership roles (am hoping to join the Advisory Board for the charity I volunteer for).... is there anything else that I can do to strengthen my application?

Thanks,

Rajiv

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#11 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 12:00

D to Rajiv (#10)

Waste of time re-doing your GMAT. It is a screening tool, in that a low score will keep you out but a high score won't get you in.

If your application, in terms of essays and background, is not good enough with 710, it will also not be good enough with 750.

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#12 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 12:01

DCF to Rajiv (#10)

The only person I know well who went to LBS had - on paper at least - a weaker profile than you. I really don't think it's quite as exclusive as it's made out.

However as has been alluded to, it depends on background as they like a good mix, and it works against you if a lot of people with the same background apply. While you will not be put in the same box as the Indian engineers (why on earth would you), you will not have the same advantage as my friend... female and in a career where females are in the distinct minority.

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#13 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 12:07

Anon to DCF (#12)

Pfft. These MBA places are just shops. You give them £££, they give you some education and a certificate. They'll find a way to let you in. Why else would they turn away a paying customer.

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#14 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 12:43

D to Anon (#13)

They do actually have more potential paying customers than they can accomodate.

While I agree with the above poster in saying that it is not as exclusive as many like to make out, there certainly are standards and it is in the interests of the alumni that conduct interviews to maintain them.

I would say that the OP is borderline for LBS and it will depend how good his essays are. People like him get accepted, many get rejected, but LBS won't be offering scholarships to entice him there

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#15 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 12:48

Bob to Anon (#13)

D, you've missed to whole basis of their business model: exclusivity. The only reason they can charge the £££ they do is the exclusivity (and what that means in terms of employment opportunities after).

Same as a private club (social, night, sports, or other). They always turn away paying customers, sometimes for no other reason than the colour of the customer's socks.

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#16 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 13:47

DCF to Bob (#15)

Quite right, but we can wrap up the above comments by saying, remember you are a paying customer and that the club's not as exclusive as the members pretend, but there's a long queue outside and you have to make sure you're among the better presented.

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#17 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 17:12

not convinced to DCF (#16)

The average salary of someone leaving said is

£60-70k, the average work experience is 6 years, it costs c£50k.

If you are already in consulting - why bother?

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#18 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 18:02

D to not convinced (#17)

Bob, you might have to explain how I have missed the point. It seems to me that we are saying the same thing so I am not sure what you mean.

I said

"They do actually have more potential paying customers than they can accomodate",

maybe I should have said

"They do actually have more potentially suitable customers than they can accomodate"

They turn away what they perceive to be the bottom X%.

I was making the point that there are more good applicants than places but, while they are exclusive, they are not as exclusive as they would like outsiders to believe. I know this as I spent two years at one of these highly expensive top tier business schools.

I went there for the exclusivity and the employment opportunities and, while both were good, there was a very wide range in terms of the calibre of the students.

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#19 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 20:19

Reality to Rajiv (#10)

No need to retake GMAT, unless you are 100% sure that you can get at least 750 or above. If I were you, I would focus on my essays, recommendation letters, and school-specific research (to improve my essays).

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#20 RE: Feedback on my MBA chances?
19/11/2009 22:41

DCF to Reality (#19)

Agree with D. Just remembered a former colleague we had (junior to me, see " whether there is any point in doing an MBA if already established in consulting") who had been to INSEAD and was highly unremarkable. Seemed to have had a complete character bypass - I was amazed he had ever got in as I had assumed you had to be a bit special, and that if you were special enough it wouln't be.... well, quite so... well hidden.

It's not all masters of the universe.

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