Case Study #3: Undifferentiated/Technical work history

Applicant Profile for “Sunil” (not his real name)

Academic: Electrical engineering major at a top university in India. Graduated with a 3.8 overall GPA. Then earned a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from a top-20 US university
Professional: 3 years of experience as a software engineer
Non-work activities: Serves as a volunteer in Rotoract community projects. Participates in some activities as a member of undergraduate alumni association
GMAT: 740
Post-MBA goal: Broaden expertise beyond the engineering realm by working as a strategy consultant
Target schools: Wharton, Chicago, Michigan, and Tuck

The MBA Exchange’s Solution

Although Sunil can clearly master the quantitative and analytical rigor required by MBA programs, his professional experience is undifferentiated and highly technical. We reviewed our experience with past clients who had similar profiles and goals, and devised the following four-part strategy to enable Sunil to diversify his candidacy:

– Pursue a leadership role in firm-development initiatives, such as recruiting or community service, at the software company.
– Become more involved in extracurricular activities at a leadership level by serving as a volunteer leader in Rotoract community projects, and organizing events for undergraduate alumni association.
– Delay application until Round 2 to allow more time to cultivate the above roles.
– Refine interviewing skills to convey breadth of knowledge and interpersonal skills not typically associated with a highly technical background.

Applicant’s Outcome/Results

Sunil followed our advice, and secured roles as leader that year of his firm’s Employee Volunteer program and as member of the executive board of his undergraduate alumni association. He also began to lead various Rotoract community projects, which enabled him to source an additional recommendation from the executive director of a community organization. We worked diligently with Sunil to develop powerful essay content that communicated the value of these experiences as well as his professional accomplishments. We helped him align his strengths with the selection criteria at his targeted schools. Sunil was ultimately offered admission to Wharton, NYU and Tuck including a five-figure merit-based fellowship.

In order to capitalize on our experience and advice as Sunil did, The MBA Exchange invites prospective clients to contact us for free, preliminary evaluation up to a year before they apply to business school. Engaging us for a Comprehensive Consultation will allow you time and proven strategies to strengthen your candidacy and then to prepare more compelling applications that maximize your chances for admission.

Client Comments

“Initially, I grappled with how I could possibly differentiate my application from the thousands of other applicants with Indian heritage, high GMAT scores and engineering backgrounds. The MBA Exchange worked with me over the course of almost a year to further develop and enhance my personal and professional background – and stand out from the rest of the application pool. Thanks to their dedicated efforts, I received admission to three leading business schools!”