Background: I am an Indian Applicant. I grew up in a city called Chandigarh and graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering from Panjab University - that's right, that's how you spell it. I scored in the 99.8th percentile in my CAT exam and 99.92 percentile in my XAT. I successfully converted admissions calls at IIM Lucknow and XLRI, but chose to work instead (indians - I know you may be gasping at this!) Have almost 3 years of work ex now, first in the research captive of a major consulting firm, working across HR, internal strategy and operations. Now with a leading executive search firm, helping clients face complexities in evolving organziational models and also aiding them in inducting new leadership as they grow organically/inorganically.
GMAT history - taken 2 times, and got identical scores - 690 - even split across Math and Verbal. GMAT is a weak point in my profile I think - Indian students always score high on the test, and I would have too. First time, i wasn't well prepared actually but the second time, I came down with a 103 fever for 2 days, right upto the day before the actual test. The gap between the two attempts was 2.5 years.
Applications - reasoning that it would be better to spend $250 on a solid MBA app this year than retake the exam, i am applying to Columbia Business School, Tuck @ Dartmouth, Duke Fuqua and Kellogg - all round 1. I actually applied ED to Columbia and was rejected, wanted to apply EA to Tuck but my recommender had some issues and I am pushing this to Round 1.
Post MBA Goal and reason I need an MBA - Grow into the CHRO role at a major corporation such as P&G or GE. Need to go to business school and learn about management and leadership. The role as I have seen it as a consultant (through exec. search experience) today needs a strong connect to business and strategic foresight, unlike previously when HR was just another support function and getting an MBA for your HR leader wasn't really a big issue. basically, I am preparing for the future. NOW - because the earlier I switch to a line role in HR, the better as it is more to do with learning on the job. however, I do need to equip myself with the business and management intelligence to be effective and ready, which I am seeking to do by becoming a part of the class of 2014
Previous applications: Had applied to 2 masters courses - MILR at Cornell and MSc Management at LSE. Got accepted to both but thought it would make more sense for me to invest in a solid business degree recognized globally, than a selected program, too narrow in focus. Plus wouldn't have been able to go then anyways given financial issues.
Backup Plan - I wont apply anywhere else this year. If I don't make it, I intend to retake the GMAT in the summer of 2012, before the format changes. WilL ENSURE that I don't mess up this time, neither let anything else like health let me down, get a 720+ and apply to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg and Tuck