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removed... isn't relevant now!!


Congratulations to everyone who got an admit from Rotman.

I just wanted to ask a question... Is there any financing option available from Rotman, like a loan not requiring a Canada/US based co-signer and also no collateral/security?

I am a prospective applicant and your answer would certainly help me a lot.


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no doubt about it being the rite course but not sure about the right time for experienced guys like me, najmuddin,other puys to join.

just trying to put things in perspective..

Just to put things in perspective...

First of all, MS&E; is a top notch program and in Stanford University. The university's name alone makes the competition for all its programs extremely fierce, and MS&E; is no exception. Although prior work-ex is not required, but even with work-ex it's pretty difficult to get an admit. Further, the admission committee puts a lot of importance on academics, research work & publications apart from work-ex, like all the other MS programs.
Stanford has quality applicant from around the world, so if an Indian student wants to edge out the competition, he needs to have super quality work-ex combined with extremely high GRE score to compensate for lack of other factors in his profile. Also, you might need an IIT/BITS/NIT stamp on your degree to back up your application.
I know all this because I had applied to MS&E; this year without success. I know a couple of ppl with better GRE scores who didn't make the cut.
Further as an international student in the US job market, it would be really beneficial and almost necessary to have some prior work-ex, although that makes you feel a little bit older in the class.

I'd also like to mention something about the LFM program since on this thread quite a few times baccardisprite has pointed towards it.
LFM is a highly competitive program and if you look at the student profile, all of them are nearly exceptional. The average age of students is even slightly higher than that of Sloan MBA and so is the case with average work-ex. They need prior work-ex in manufacturing or operations. Also, they don't even conduct their interviews in India. The closest location is Singapore.
Obviously I am not discouraging anyone from applying, but just want everyone to be sure about the expectations of the admission committee. Please visit the LFM homepage to get more clarity.

Further, while applying for an MS in top US universities like MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, Michigan etc, one needs to be aware that these universities give a lot of weightage to academics, research, publications, extra-curriculars etc and work-ex simply can't compensate for a lack of these critical components in your profile (there are exceptions of course). Further, the Indian work-ex in IT would rarely help.
I feel that the preparation for application to these universities should start early, preferably in the first or second year of the undergrad degree itself.

I would request baccardisprite to guide us all on this particular issue. Since most of the Puys here have already completed their degrees or are near completion, we can't go back and change anything related to academics or research. So if an average guy like me, who is not the topper of his batch/university, doesn't have significant research experience, has no papers published under his name or has none co-authored, but instead has quality work-ex (maybe for some in R&D;), has leadership experience or possibly something to demonstrate the leadership potential, has good extra-curricular activities etc wants to take a shot and apply, what should he do? What should one show in his profile which can make it attractive despite lacking in other areas like those mentioned above?
I guess a stellar GRE score (eg. >1550) can help only to a certain extent, but not beyond that.

Just to make myself clear, I am talking about this from the perspective of ALL MS programs, including those in industrial engg and operations, also MS&E; to a certain extent.

These are my personal views. Apologies if anywhere in my post I have misrepresented the facts or messed up with available information.

Hi baccardisprite,

Thanks for your explanation. A loooong one is exactly what I wanted to get as much clarity on this topic as possible so thanks for that :)

One more question, since you have been working in Switzerland, just wanted to know what are the kind of opportunities for product management available in Europe? I know that US is the hotbed of PM related activities but just wanted to know what's the scene in Europe? Especially in software, online media and consumer/industrial electronic products.


1. Most commonly and in the world I know (OTC healthcare and FMCG) - product managers are the functional interface between the marketeers / salesmen (guys who face and sell to customers) and and the engineers (the guys who design the stuff to the customers requirement). Depending on the concept-design to market cycle of the product, product managers may be based with the marketeers or with the engineers or designers. Brand managers are heavily marketing focused, customer/consumer oriented and use the insights generated to dream up potential product concepts that they would like product managers to work on having the engineers design, the factories make and supply chain deliver to markets. Good analytical, customer-centric attitude and excellent communication are the 3 major skills.

In certain product / service industry combinations, product managers have a wider P&L; responsibility (meaning they also price the product they sell to customers). But the former description is more common I feel.

2. This is rare! Normally (again, my world) - 6-8 years in marketing or a combination of operational & customer facing roles.

3. No substitute for experience!! I assume you're in IT/Software, so I would always suggest a strong Technology Management / Operations / Strategy program. Go absolutely to the best school you can. Which means Universities with Top engineering schools alongside the schools of business. Starts with MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, Michigan at the very top.

Good luck

Hi baccardisprite,
Thanks for the reply.
I am not in IT/Software. I am in semiconductors industry earlier was in IP design, now in validation.
I want to know more about how an education in operations can help me get closer to breaking into product management.
As far as my understanding goes (which may not be correct), operations or supply-chain management is primarily focused on finding the best possible way of distribution of goods/services/finished products to customers, from the point of origin to point of consumption along with the best possible management of resources. It is mostly concerned about finding the most optimal "path".
Can learning "optimization" help me get closer to my goal?
My long-term goal is to be in product portfolio planning/strategy. Can studying operations help me there or give me any advantage?
I have tried to read about product management on net. I've found that among the management functions, Marketing is closest to product management and is like an almost essential skill for a product manager.
Also, about the schools that you mentioned:
Stanford - MS&E; program - Agreed. It's a wonderful program and looks like the most apt one for me, considering my career goals.
MIT - ESD Master of Science, TPP, LFM - The ESD SM and TPP are not exactly technology management programs. Their course content and objectives are highly specialized (Systems engineering and technology policy respectively).
LFM - is a technology management program but again focusing heavily on manufacturing and operations management. Admission criteria even demands relevant experience in these fields.
UC Berkeley and UMich - they have a industrial engineering program. Again related to mostly operations management.
Although, the Ross School of Business at UMich has a new MS in Supply Chain management in partnership with the college of engineering. Do you suggest doing a supply chain mgmt program from a reputed business school like Ross and having the UMich engg advantage? Can this program help me in eventually moving into product management?
Most of the other top engineering schools in US have only industrial engineering which comes close to operations or tech mgmt. Can these programs help?
I was thinking of another approach if I combine my technical experience with a generalist management education (not focused on technology but on managerial economics/strategy and marketing), can my profile become a little more interesting for employers to consider me for entry level roles which have the potential to carry me into product management.
What do you think about this approach?
Also I've read that product management is that function of marketing management where minimal sales skills are needed and very strong analytical skills and knowledge of strategy and economics (market dynamics).
What's your take on this?

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Hi baccardisprite

I wanted to ask something about Product Management.

1. How much is product management related to marketing? Is a product manager's role entirely based upon marketing or are there other elements like design etc involved? What is the technical differentiation between a "product manager" and a "brand manager"?

2. Do entry level positions in product management exist, for which a person in his twenties with let's say 3-4 yrs of work-ex (technical) can qualify? or is it that all the positions in product management require extensive work experience (technical + sales/marketing)?

3. If I want to move into product management after 3-4 yrs of work-ex as a programmer/designer, what kind of degrees/universities (preferably in USA) would be most appropriate (apart from MBA)?

My short-term career goal is to become a Product Manager for technology related products (in software, semiconductors, automobiles, consumer electronics, telecom, industrial systems/solutions etc).

Thanks in advance.

PS: This thread is super awesome

The London School of Economics (LSE) has a masters' program MSc Management and Strategy. The core course content focuses heavily on strategy, managerial economics and organizational architecture. Finance is covered in the core and also can be taken as an elective (Corporate finance).

Since it's not an MBA, so maybe most people don't consider this program in their lists. Also, the junta in this program would mostly be with less work experience, so consulting firms wouldn't usually offer the same kind of profiles as to MBA grads. (apart from the fact that UK's economy is pretty screwed up right now...)
But course content wise, this program should definitely feature in every list.

Ppl what do you think?

I had specifically asked this question of them, whether it was need or need&merit; and from this year it is only need based, that being said I guess I went with their suggestion of ask only what you really want and got screwed.

7k GBP is good, which brings your tut down to max 8 Lacs I suppose, around the same for living expenses

yeah... but 8 + 8 = 16 lacs is still a lot of money to be spent thru loans...
I'd be going there only if I am able to minimize my loan liabilities...

Do you have any other admits for this year? If you're not going to LSE then what are ur plans? continuing in the same job?

I'm desperate for going to a management program bcoz i don't wanna continue in my present job and industry... wht abt u?
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Yes, declined.

No aid, creeps removed merit based award this year.

The GMA of last year has been replaced by GSS (Graduate support scheme) this year which is based.
I have been awarded 7000 pounds thru GSS.
paradigm8 Says
Yes I had the offer for this year, its everywhere man for all programs and its close to impossible for international students to get a job. I have close to 2 yrs of work ex. Some guy who passed out last year is working as a bartender, another passed out in 2007 was still looking for a job acc to his linkedin.

I too have heard a lot of depressing stories... but haven't decided anything as of now... I have been granted some scholarship and I'll see if I can arrange funds with minimum of loan... then only I'll decide anything...

Have you already declined your offer?

Did you receive any funding along with the offer??