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March 7, 2022 9:19am ET
Applying: Harvard Business School, Northwestern / Kellogg, Stanford GSB, UPenn / Wharton
Intake Year: 2024
Pre-MBA Career: Entrepreneurship/Family Business
Post-MBA Target Industry: Family Business, Entrepreneurship
GMAT: 760
GPA: 3.51
Years of Work Experience: 2
Location: India
Post MBA Location: India

Hi, Have to begin by saying that I really love your podcast. Found it on google about two weeks ago and have been listening to it every time I get the chance. I would really love to be featured on the podcast

I have various questions that I would like your opinion on so please bear with me.

1) My work experience is as second in command (CMO and COO) at my family-run startup (luxury consumer goods startup, estimated revenue just shy of $1 Million at the time of application) with my mother as the CEO. The Startup was established in 2019 and I have been involved part-time in my undergraduate years and full-time post that. As It is an early-stage startup, I can point to a lot of achievements I have had in my role. However, my worry is that I would lose out in competition to people working in more late-stage startups/family businesses and even established luxury brands where they get to handle bigger budgets and have a broader impact. Would it make sense for me to join a bigger consumer goods/ Luxury goods brand before applying? How would not having been through an employer screen affect my chances? My short term goal is to go back to grow the startup and long term is to be a leader in the same industry

2) I am more than a year away from applying and come from a very crowded bucket (Indian Male), should i consider retaking the GMAT (assuming it does not hamper other parts of my application)? I am fairly certain i can get a 780/790. Would it even help my application given my current test score? Would retaking a 760 be a red flag to an Adcom member?

3) Can you please shed some light on how undergraduate pedigree is evaluated at top business schools. I graduated from a highly respected and selective liberal arts college in India but which is fairly new and does not have much alumni in top b-schools. Would Adcoms be aware of my undergraduate college? and if so would it be a plus or a minus in my application? (it was started by HBS, Yale, Upenn grads for what it is worth)

4) My application strategy is to apply to H/S/W and possibly Kellogg with 2 years of experience (3 at matriculation) and if rejected reapply to these schools and cast a wider net next year. Do you think this is a good strategy or should i just wait to apply with 3 years of work experience (4 at matriculation). Do you think i have a shot at the M7 schools given my profile and goals

So sorry for the long note. Love the podcast once again!! Hoping to get your feedback on my candidacy