Who is Ajay?
Let’s learn about our friend Ajay…
1. Ajay has high-tech product ideas and wants to start his own business, if not immediately after his MBA, then within five years after graduating. He is attracted to design thinking.
2. There are many things Ajay looks for in an MBA program: entrepreneurship, application of innovation, technology management, strategic and market planning, leadership, and global enterprise, as well as classmates who share a zeal for questioning and pushing boundaries.
Of course MIT, Stanford, and CMU Tepper are no-brainers for his wish list. They offer all of the above and more. He’s also considering Haas, UT Austin, UCLA, USC Marshall, Duke, Ross, Cornell Johnson, UNC, Babson, Darden, and Rotman.
• GMAT: 700 GMAT (51 quant; struggles with verbal), after scoring 660 and 680 on previous tries. He doesn’t want to retake the exam again.
• CGPA: 7.2/10
• Transcript: Holds a B. Tech from IIT Madras, class of 2011
• Work experience: Has been working for Tata Consulting on software consulting projects for last 3 years in the UK and Europe; previously worked for Infosys as a programmer for two years in India; can show increasing responsibility at work
• Extracurricular activities: Was active in college, but hasn’t done much outside of work since then; likes to play guitar and cricket
• B-school timeline: Wants to apply in 2016, matriculate in 2017, and graduate as the class of 2019
Where should Ajay apply?
Reality hits. His qualifications plus his membership in the highly over-represented Indian-IT demographic make the dream schools unrealistic. And schools that would be on-par for many other applicants with similar stats and career become stretches for Ajay for that reason.
Ajay will apply Round 1 to Darden, UCLA, UT Austin, and Duke – these are all reasonable stretch schools for him. Darden’s case study focus and close-knit environment will give him an immersive and transformative experience while providing ideal curriculum through the Technology specialty area and the Entrepreneurship concentration. UT Austin with its tech excellence, UCLA’s entrepreneurship depth, and Duke’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation concentration plus its renowned collaborative environment all excite him.
If he needs to apply Round 2, then he’ll aim for UNC Kenan-Flagler, USC Marshall, Babson, and Rotman – the appeal of these programs is that they all offer some depth in at least a couple of key learning areas for him, while also each offering a lively, diverse network of classmates with some shared interests.
He’s also considering Ross’ MS in Entrepreneurship for its emphasis on building a business based on scientific/technical innovation.
Ask questions. Get answers. And then map out the route to the best MBA program for you. Grab your copy of Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One for more details.
By Cindy Tokumitsu, author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.
• Overrepresented MBA Applicants and Business School Diversity, Resource Page
• What to Do if You Belong to an Overrepresented Applicant Group
• An Indian MBA Applicant Story: Accepted to Top 3 Choices with $$$