How I got into NYU Stern: A Product Manager’s Account
In this post we’ll look at the debrief of a successful tech product manager who got into NYU Stern for an MBA.
Candidate: “I’m a product manager at a well-known social networking tech giant (not Facebook), prior to that I had successfully sold my startup to this tech-giant and was absorbed as a product manager. I have a BS/BTech in computer science from a top Indian tech university.”
Summary: 28 year old Indian male, product manager at a tech-giant in silicon valley. BS in computer science from a top Indian tech school (IIT).
1. GMAT: 770
2. GPA: 8.9/10.0 (Indian Scale).
3. Work Experience: 36 months as a Consultant (1 promotion -> Software Engineer to Product Manager)
4. Employer: Renowned tech-giant.
5. Extra-Curricular: Cultural Clubs/Campus Newsletter Editor/Head of coordinating team organizing college fest.
Objective: “Transition into top management positions at a global tech giant”
Interview: “The interview was very challenging and I was asked a lot about why I wasn’t looking at working on startups and core-tech/engineering since I was successful at it in the past. I had to explain why I now like management more. I was quite prepared since this was a common interview question posed at anyone looking to do an MBA after engineering. But somehow, my answers even as I explained, didn’t seem to come out quite convincing. Though in the end I came out of the interview exhausted and thinking I’ll never hear back from Stern, I was pleasantly surprised to learn later I had been admitted.”
One factor that prominently stands out in your profile is the 770 GMAT – that is very impressive. So is 8.9 GPA in CS from an IIT. I didn’t go to an IIT myself, but because of my Indian engineering undergrad do know quite a lot about the IITs and their selectivity. Nonetheless other factors such as tech giant employer, promotion and alright extra-curriculars make this an overall competitive profile. no wonder you got the admit despite not doing great in your interview, though from your description of the interview I really think you got quite lucky.
There are however, rich lessons to our readers in your interview experience. Adcoms have a tendency to dig deep into aspects of your profile that they find intriguing and not consistent with the rest of your application. It may not necessarily be a bad sign if they corner you on these inconsistencies in your interview. The interview is then a great opportunity for you to go out there and clear any confusion/doubts in the their minds.