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 https://reports.accepted.com/
PROFILE #10: Tushar, Indian start-up refugee seeking fresh start in consulting or entrepreneurship
-BACKGROUND: 27-year-old Indian male who graduated in 2010 from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University with an engineering degree. After eight-month search, hired as technical writer for engineering education firm. Switched to multimedia education start-up in 2012, but lost job after company hit cash crisis in 2014. Big impact was leading a social media marketing initiative before being made redundant. Currently looking to start own business.
You’ve been hit by some unfortunate turns in bad luck. You graduated into a still-recovering economy after the 2008 downturn, and got laid off by no fault of your own despite earning promotions along the way.
Right now is not the best time for you to apply to an MBA program. The story you want to tell is: You’re a comeback kid. But you’re currently at the low point of that narrative–the point when you started building toward a better future. Apply when you’re flying high off the rush of a career success. That’s what your competitors will be doing.
The most important thing for you to do right now is to get a job, both for your financial future and for your MBA chances. That can be with an established firm, or in a company that you start yourself as an entrepreneur.
If you eventually want to get into international-level consulting, see what you can do about getting onboard, at a leadership level, with a national or local consultancy dealing with education. Any interaction you have with the national government would be a plus.
You could take the entrepreneurship route, but that’s riskier. Really anyone can start a business. It’s about how successful you make that business, and what kind of wow factor you elicit in the ad comm for the innovation you bring through the product or service you’re bringing to market and how you made that company grow.
-GOALS: Short-term — Consulting. Long-term: Entrepreneurship
You’ve got your work cut out for you in terms of what you can tell consultants that you bring to the table. You do have some good education development skills. Figure out what you can offer on a technical level, then a policy level. Then do your research to find an MBA program that has a specific focus on the business of education.
Ooh. This score is very low. You’ve got to improve this to have any chance, really, of going to a business school that will be worth your time.
This is a solid, respectable GPA. No worries here.
-EXTRACURRICULAR: Volunteered for Times of India “Teach for India” initiative, teaching English to underprivileged kids. Also served as volunteer in 2012 Delhi half marathon and in the 2010 Commonweath Games. Just started a state-wide social initiative for women and girls’ safety.
You spoke to another consultant who said extracurricular activities are just “icing on the cake.” The ad comm first wants to see a solid track record of achievement and leadership in work activities.
In this, I would have to agree. You need to extracurriculars to show you are a well-rounded individual. But unless your activities are absolutely extraordinary, they can’t make up for a less than stellar work record.
-EXTRAS: Studied “Technology Entrepreneurship Online Course” from Stanford University in September 2013.
This is a great MOOC, but I don’t see it having a major impact to make up for other weaknesses in your profile.
You mentioned Kellogg and Indian School of Business as your target schools. Kellogg has a great education focus that could set you up to enter the type of consultant practice you seek. At IIT you’re sure to get tons of job offers right down your alley. But right now your profile is not competitive enough for either.
Get a job, build your business, increase your GMAT. Orchestrate your comeback, then think about applying.
Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.