Thanks so much for your question. I am happy to respond based on my nearly 10 years of MBA Admissions Counseling experience at Stratus Prep
First, you should remain very optimistic about your chances of gaining admission to a top MBA program not withstanding your age and early academic foibles. In the last year, my colleagues at Stratus Prep
and I have helped applicants significantly older than you (and one Canadian in an uncannily similar situation) into leading business schools, such as Wharton, MIT, and Chicago. I really admire your drive and am confident that if you put the same level of determination that you have put into every other aspect of your life into this process and are open to feedback from true admissions experts that you can be VERY successful.
Essays and recommendations are always enormously important in MBA applications, but, in your case in particular, I cannot stress enough how crucial they will be. The clear weaknesses in your profile are your age and your first attempt at an undergraduate program (as you already know). However, I believe that your strengths can outshine those weaknesses. Your GMAT score will back up the argument that you should make to the schools in an optional essay about your grades/first attempt at undergrad. You should leverage your unique musical background to help distinguish yourself from other applicants. View this as an extraordinary asset, especially at open-minded schools like HBS and NYU (where we have helped professional athletes and artists gain admission). Your entrepreneurial spirit should also be something that you emphasize as schools are really looking for those committed to entrepreneurship right now. You can demonstrate your entrepreneurial spirit through your work founding clubs and helping disadvantaged students win entry to the schools of their choice with scholarships.
You have a distinct story, and IF it is pitched correctly to the business schools you choose to apply to, I believe you have a very good chance of being accepted at an excellent institution as your abilities are quite apparent in your GMAT score and successful work at a Big 4 firm as well as your adaptability throughout your life. The MBA applications process contains a lot of potential pitfalls for you, but it is also full of opportunities that you can and should exploit.
There is no need for you to retake the GMAT since a 760 is sufficiently high for every school (even with your lower original GPA).
As for your age, my team and I at Stratus Prep
have worked with many applicants age 30+ who have been accepted at schools like Wharton, Haas, Chicago and MIT, so do not let that deter you.
If you are thinking of working with an admissions counselor on your applications, I would get to work now. At Stratus Prep
, we have already started working with about 40 applicants for Round 1. By starting early, we can address the weaknesses in your profile and develop the kind of full-proof admissions/essay/recommendation strategy that you absolutely will need to be successful in your MBA applications. We are offering a 10% off special through February 26th, just as an FYI.
If you would like to know more about how the team at Stratus Prep
and I can help you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder/CEO, Stratus Prep