This blog post is part of a series of MBA profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?” by Michelle Stockman. Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, will provide selected applicants with school recommendation as well as an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.
If you would like Michelle to evaluate your profile at no charge and as part of this series, please provide the information requested at http://reports.accepted.
PROFILE 2: “Simon,” the multicultural LDS Goldman Sachs operations analyst
-Background: 28-year-old male. Half Japanese, half American-Caucasian. Grew up primarily in California, and lived in Japan for about 8 years.
Flag for international! Questions you’ll want to answer: did your multi-cultural heritage play a large part in shaping your identity or give you skills that you’ve used to your advantage in your career thus far?
-GMAT: 710 (47Q /40V/6.0 AWA/8 IR)
Good. Your quant is a little low. You might consider retaking, but it may not be necessary if you can show “quant-ability” from undergrad classes or current work responsibilities.
-GPA: 3.43 GPA from Brigham Young University. BA in Japanese with a minor in business (3.79 major GPA).
An OK GPA from a respected, but non-Ivy private university. It’s a bit low for some top programs. An admissions officer will definitely want to examine your transcripts in more detail to understand the difficulty of your course load. A Japanese major is nothing to sniff at, but you DO come from a Japanese background and you lived there–twice. Did you take any quant heavy courses in undergrad?
Work History: 1+ years at Goldman Sachs as an operations analyst, and will have been promoted twice by matriculation. Prior to Goldman, spent 2.5 years at an HR consulting firm/corporate milestone and recognition award manufacturer and distributor. Worked in international operations managing client and vendor relations for Asia-Pacific countries.
International reach at the consulting firm and steady progress at one of the top feeder firms to b-schools. Seems solid. BUT, I’m still left wondering what you achieved professionally. From this description, it’s hard for me to tell if you led or managed a team or what type of impact you made. Did you identify an unexploited opportunity that led to a new revenue stream, fix an inefficiency that saved time or money, or seal a deal with international clients? When did you have the chance to show executive mettle?
-Founded a non-profit in 2011 to help increase community awareness of childhood sexual abuse. Helped several victims in need of financial assistance and counseling. Awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Volunteer Recognition Award for work in the community.
– Mentor/instructor for Junior Achievement.
– Ambassador for the Trevor Project in my state. Regularly respond to LGBT teen’s questions regarding the struggles they face in everyday life.
– Avid marathon runner
– Served a two-year mission for the LDS church in Japan, appointed regional leader for one year overseeing 20 to 30 missionaries.
Wow. Really interesting extracurricular activities. Your mission adds to the “international” flavor of your background, but 1) it’s difficult to see impact on the greater world outside of your church from this experience, and 2) I don’t see how you have applied your intimate knowledge of Japanese culture and language to greater achievement professionally (although that could be made apparent in an essay or resume).
What does set you apart is that you have gone outside of the oft-perceived “insular” Mormon world to lend support to sexual abuse victims and the LGBT community, with recognized impact. This is especially interesting considering the tricky politics between the LDS church and the gay marriage movement. It shows sensitivity, independence, and risk. You will DEFINITELY want to write about this in your essays!
-Post MBA goals: Short-term – To transition from operations in the financial industry into an operations leadership role in the consumer products industry (Ideally a place like Nike).
Long-term – To become of the COO of a global consumer products company and use the business knowledge and experience I have gained to become an influential leader within the community especially with youth related organizations.
I like these goals as they are specific to function and industry, and make sense with your current position dealing in operations, interest in sports, and youth work. BUT, I wonder how dealing in consumer products connects to your past experience. Perhaps you can show how you led a team through numerous project cycles, and introduced innovations?
Safety: Indiana Kelley
The stretch schools are within range, but the competition will be stiff. You have to tell your story clearly and show professional leadership.
The on-par schools will meet your needs, providing you with a strong general management background and/or global perspective and preparation for a career in operations with the long-term goal of becoming a COO.
Overall, you’ve got an interesting profile that shows me you have the drive to make a difference. I’m left wondering, however, how you would manage teams and negotiate in a client-facing role. Those will be vital in leading operations at a company that drives consumer trends.
Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.