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WP Carey School of Business – Arizona State University

3 December 2008 2 Comments

Hi All,

Its my pleasure to have Vidhyashankar from NIT Trichy 2005 batch to talk to you about life as an MBA student at Arizona State University. Here is what Vidhya Shankar has to say..


Coffee With Vidhya Shankar – Life at ASU

Brief Intro about yourself
I am Vidhyashankar, NIT Trichy 2005 Chemical Engineering. I worked with ABB Bangalore for 2 years as a Project Engineer for refinerry automation and then joined Aspentech as an Associate consultant for refinery process supply chain. Currently I am doing my MBA at WP Carey School of Business (Arizona State University).

* Entry Criteria:
– Approx CGPA range
For MBA, they were not very keen on the CGPA. I had 8.03. However 8+ out of 10 would be recommended. Escpecially if you want to enter into consulting I would say better have a higher cgpa

– Work Experience after undergraduage level.
Almost all universities in the US insist on minimum 3+ years of experience. Does that mean a person with 2 years cannot make it? The person can, however should prove strong credentials. Also B-schools encourage relevant work experience as well. For instance, I was in Refinery process supply chain consulting and I could relate it to my MBA. However lot of people come to an MBA for a job shift or a field shift.

– GMAT -Toefl -If you are applying from India please have atleast 700. I dont have one πŸ™‚ !! This helps in several ways. Firstly Arizona state university grants lot of scholarship for MBAs. This is given mainly based on your GMAT score. I could not get one since I had only a 660. However it was sufficient to get an admit becuase of my diverse background (chemical eng) and non IT indian :)..

– Typical Ranking range of the univeristy (just ranking is not a good idea.. it doesnt convey much)
Ranking here seems to have lot of weightage. WP Carey ranked 22 overall this year. MBA is to certain extent about brand value. However if not in the Top 15-20 then rest schools are equally good. Having said that it is important to choose a school based on your interest. My interest was supply chain and WP Carey has consistently ranked 3rd in the US for supply chain management. Other best schools for SCM, Michigan state, Pennsylvania state, Purdue, MIT. Some really good companies visit Carey e.g AT Kearney, Chevron, Dell, Motorola and lots more especially for supply chain recruit.

* Aid scenario – #number of ppl who come in with aid, chances of aid after coming in, more details on RA/TA/small work around campus.
Aid in MBA means TA. There is no other scholarship in general. When I mean TA, you get 50% waiver on your tuition and $3500 per academic year for living. Belive this is lot of money for AZ.

* how much money should one shell out for the entire course if it completely unfunded..
WPC is the cheapest MBA among the top 50. (ofocurse TAMU is cheaper but it is a 16 month MBA). It costs $60000 for 2 years as tuition if you are unfunded. Lot of people get a TA here. However historically all international students have ended up getting a 50% tuition waiver in their second year even if they dont have an aid in the first year. Next year WPC is planning to increase the fees probably $5000 more.

* What are the living expenses?
Most of the MBAs prefer their own lifestyle. Some choose to share some not to share. I am sharing and the living comes to maximum $400- $450 per month that includes food, house rent electricity.

* Career opportunities after the course?
Seems really fantastic for SCM, lot of companies are coming and recruiting on campus. However whether will this continue should answered by the American congress and Federal reserves. Currenly the economy is taken for a toss. Unless things get really worse SCM will not have big problems.

* Typical Money made during internships?
Average last year was $36 per hour i guess. Assuming you work 12 week during summer and 40 hrs a week it should be $17300. But I would be more focussed on getting the best intern rather than the money.

* How easy it is to switch departments?
you choose ur specilalization in the 3rd trimester and you cant switch after that.

* Any other issues/ inputs which will be helpful.
Few things which people might consider before doing an MBA in US would be,
a) Why should I do an MBA in US? (Money should not be the only reason)
b) Am I open enough to adapt to certain aspects, like culture, interaction etc.
c) Am I ready for interaction?

Something that US MBA currently gives and I am sure Indian MBAs will eventually have is the diverse class. You have people from all background and all the countries. You make lot of contacts. Further in the US there is lot of importance given on ethics, corporate social responsibility which starts right in our class. I am not sure if there is so much emphasis in the Indian schools.

* What is the system there? Is it semester or trimester? specialized MBA or general MBA with electives? How does one choose electives?
It is a trimester system. Supply chain is the whole focus here. Carey is ranked 3 for SCM MBA. The best part of Carey is you get to choose dual specialization and without additional fee. You can do either SCM or do SCMFM (supply chain management finance management). I think this link would give a good idea https://wpcarey.asu.edu/mba/ft/

Choosing electives is purely your choice. However staff , profs and everyone are more than willing to help you. we had a session on electives and what each elective is all about.

* How many people start company on an average? What are the support available for students to start their own venture if they want to?

I dont have the exact statistics. however I have heard the Dean specifically mention about the Entrepreneurship program here and there are quite a few people who start their own firm. The sports business here is highly ranked as well and lot of people doing sports business do start their firm.

* How are the students in terms of diversity? What are the various back grounds from which people come from?

US 60%, India 25%, Others countries 15% would be my batch split. Indians are mostly engineers. there are quite a few people from US army, Fashion industry, sports industry, teaching so yes there is lot of diversity and atleast me personally getting to learn a lot from all of them.

Thanks a lot Vidhya Shankar for sharing this info. Wish you all the best.

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