I'm in the process of selecting B-schools to apply to in the first round (Sep-Oct 2018), but somewhat stuck:
1) European, pretty old (31), live in an ex-USSR country;
2) Have 11y WO, right now working in the top retail/universal bank in my country (universal bank -> we are #1 in retail and online sales, and also #1 in the e-commerce area). Plus, we are very strong in tech: i'd say tech became the bank's priority now;
3) Mid managing position, around 6-7 years of managing experience;
4) My current area is the development of online-products, client journey, "ecosystem", e-commerce, etc. - so non-banking activities, but i was a risk officer in another bank few years ago;
5) GMAT - 740;
6) IELTS/TOEFL - planned for August;
7) GPA - finished my undergrad long ago - does the GPA matter? My college didn't even use 4.0 scale at that time;
8) I have strong recommenders: current CEO/shareholder, who is the HBS alum + my ex-boss, who's now working in the SGCF i believe;
9) Lots of activities: powerlifter (got few medals several years ago), drummer in several bands, etc. Will easily get into the college's rowing team :)
Post MBA short-term goals are: tech and/or tech consulting.
As i am pretty pessismistic, i'm ok to return to my current bank, but this time as a senior manager (up to deputy CEO or CDO or CRO) - in terms of $ that option sounds very sexy, plus my wife has nice local job here, and i doubt we'll be able to find something similar abroad.
Of course i will try to get into the ABROAD tech company first (US > Canada > Nordics > ANZ), but as mentioned above - i'm ok to return back.
So, my expectations of the business schools are, in order of priority:
1) Improve leadership, negotiations, and general management skills;
2) Improve tech skills;
3) Fin/risk management;
Importance of the location and strong OCR are less vital.
Nice weather, hot girls, and nightlife - don't care.
So my current list looks like this:
Dream b-schools: H, S (will try an MBA/MSx application);
Targets: Tuck (personal favorite), MIT+MIT Sloan Fellows;
European backup: LBS, INSEAD, CamJudge;
US backup: Ross, Stern.
The questions are:
1) Can you please adjust the list of the schools taking into account my background and goals?
2) Are H and S application attempts futile? Should i focus on the more realistic options?
3) Can't figure out where's the exact border when you should apply to the 3 Sloan Fellows programs (MIT, LBS, Stanford) over regular MBA? I know all three require 8+ years of WE (14 years for LBS), already mid+ level management position - if i fit both of these criteria, is it better to aim at the Sloan Fellows first?
Thanks in advance!