Mr. Clean Tech
- 670 GMAT (high verbal, low quant)
- 3.4 GPA
- Undergraduate degree in international studies and Chinese from at top 20 public university
- Have also taken online courses in accounting and statistics within the past year
- Work experience will include four years in the clean tech/energy and environmental NGO sectors in San Francisco and Beijing, with lots of market and policy research; have also co-founded a company in the energy efficiency/software sector (“Worth mentioning?)
- “I want to move away from the inefficiency of the NGO space, and focus on developing my business skills leveraging technology to mitigate our impact on the environment.”
- Extracurricular involvement in professional organizations focused on sustainability issues in China and the U.S.
- Goal: To move into consulting in the energy/utility/technology sectors. Longer term, to either work at a startup or PE/VC in this space.
- 25-year-old white/hispanic male
Odds of Success:
Berkeley: 30% to 40%
MIT: 10% to 20%
1. dissing NGO’s.
2. saying you want to go into PE/VC, since that is just a common wet dream, and in your case, it would confirm a skeptic’s view of this narrative, to wit, that you are some confused kid just riding whatever fashionable buzz thermals happen to be heating up this year or that. The picture of an applicant who claims, “I want to move away from the inefficiency of the NGO space” into “developing my business skills leveraging technology to mitigate our impact on the environment . . . ” and beyond that, to someone who then wants to be in “PE/VC,” is not a pretty one.
I would stick with a very tried-and-true path here and just say you want to be a consultant, which 1. might happen, 2. is a good place to figure out what you actually want to do, including maybe, be a consultant. Also a good way to start a business,if that idea still appeals to you, because you gain credibility, learn basics, and make contacts. But for application purposes, just say CONSULTANT. You cannot go wrong. (Although thousands think you need to be, ahem, more ‘original.’)
As to your question about whether it worth mentioning that you have “co-founded a small company in the energy efficiency/software as a service space that is in extremely early development”? My answer is: Dunno. If it amounts to anything with metrics including funding, customers, VC interest in dollars, or even clicks (assuming lots and lots), maybe. If not, well one drawback to your profile is that is scattered, and full of starts and stops (well it seems that way, even if not, because of your confusing spin on each link in your chain) and projected starts and stops –so getting one start, which may not even be a start, out of the picture might be worth it. Make this story as clear and narrow as you can.
We are also baffled a bit about what a clean-tech and Hispanic guy is doing in China, not, to quote Jerry Seinfeld, that there is anything wrong with that, it just does not make for simple clarity. I personally am impressed with anyone who can learn Chinese, I am actually impressed with people who can speak Chinese as a first language, but in your case, whatever kudos you get for learning Chinese are balanced by the head scratches about what your story adds up to, who you are, what is driving you, especially in light of your long-term goals in PE/VC. So again, just say you want to be a consultant. Maybe at the crossroads of energy and developing countries.
Another issue is if you a “legal” minority for adcom purposes, e.g. a U.S. citizen with a Hispanic surname and/or someone who can realistically ID as Hispanic? That is important.
As to your target schools (respectively): INSEAD, Haas, Sloan, IE, Ross, and ESADE.
Hmmmm, don’t think you are getting into Sloan unless you can boost GMAT and convince them YOU ARE REALLY HISPANIC, and even then. They got a lot of guys in clean tech blah, blah with much more strong engineering and Quant cred. They will hold that low-Q GMAT score against you. Haas and Ross? Maybe, with a cleaned-up story, with good grades in those Quant courses, and with being a “legal” URM for application purposes, e.g. whatever they consider to be “Hispanic.”
Here is some tough love: retake the GMAT, as many times as you can. The difference between your 670 and even a 690 is often the biggets pop you ever get for 20 GMAT points. E.g. diff between 710 and 730 is not that great. A 670 is actually concerning to some adcoms, 690 is just an OK person who is very plain-looking but not odd-looking in the GMAT beauty contest. That’s a huge difference.