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640/3.3/4 years WE/Peace Corps -->Please advise

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640/3.3/4 years WE/Peace Corps -->Please advise [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2010, 19:29
As you can see, this is my first post on the forum, and I'm putting a huge amount of information out there. I am hoping you guys can give me some good feedback here. Basically, I am trying to figure out a game plan, both for the GMAT and for selecting schools. Here's my rundown: I have a 3.3 from a top 25 private university with a hard science major and a business minor. I did a a business consulting program for the Peace Corps for 2 years and 3 months, and have worked in microfinance for the year and a half since. I plan on continuing to work in microfinance. I am not interested in working for a corporation. I am interested in getting a good business education that will help me with my goal of starting my own company, with the aim of incorporating socially-conscious, sustainable elements (see TOMS), and/or working with companies and non-profits that share my focus on sustainable development and environmental stewardship.

OK, nuts and bolts: I took the GMAT and, after getting 680-720 on most of my practice tests, I got a 640. Bummer. What's more is it was incredibly lopsided: an extremely high verbal and an extremely low quantitative. I imagine that doesn't help.

Basically, how high do I need to get my GMAT to be competitive at the following schools, given my background? Are these good schools to be considering given my goals? Are there other schools that would better suit me (focus on entrepreneurship, environmental stuff, sustainable development...)? It should also be noted that I want to live in an interesting city, or at least relatively close, like Charlottesville to DC. Also, I'd like to live in the Pacific Northwest, northern California, or East Coast, but would be open to living and working abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Do foreign MBAs carry back to the US very well? Also, should I wait until next year to apply at this point? Also, I'm from Maryland if that helps at all.

The list: Berkeley (far and away my first choice), Michigan, Virginia, NYU, Texas, Georgetown, UWashington, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Babson, ESADE (in Barcelona, Spain), IESE, Copenhagen Business School, McGill

Thanks so much everyone. I really appreciate it.
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Re: 640/3.3/4 years WE/Peace Corps -->Please advise [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2010, 19:39
Also, I should note that I'm a white male looking for a full-time program.
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Re: 640/3.3/4 years WE/Peace Corps -->Please advise [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2010, 15:40
my only two cents, i would wait until next year. at this point, i am assuming you are around 25 or so and still young if you apply at the ripe old age of 26 (my current age)

I think a 640 is strong for Georgetown, Vandy, Indiana

I had to re-take the GMAT as well (originally I had a 650), and it will be extremely stressful/difficult to knock out visits, essay planning and editing, resume editing, applications, recommendations in short order - since most Rd 2 deadlines are in the 1st week of January.

If I were you, I'd continue gaining great experience, sign up for an Accounting + Statistics Class at a local program, ace them to settle worries about quant, take your time and take the GMAT in April-June timeframe, then with a new score you can re-evaluate and really refine your Haas essays as well as your other top choices.

I found it difficult to balance work, apps, essays, and GMAT re-take at once; i only made it for Round 1 this year because i started very early (june timeframe)

Either way it is a personal choice, just a few issues to think about, if you are generally happy in your job now just get 1 more year, expand on some experiences - volunteering and the classes I mentioned, then you can strategically pace yourself, have time to prep your recommenders so they have more time to write a well-thought out answers to recommender questions, and of course to study and re-take the GMAT so you are not burnt out

as far as another school, i'd look into MIT, I am interviewing there in a few weeks and can provide you some better intel, i visited and loved it, one of my good friends is there and focusing on sustainable development. they are a great, fun, down-to-earth community up there. he has some great opportunities - MIT does externships in January - he is working with Department of Energy and then of course the summer internship - he got one at GE. So great opportunities in those areas you mentioned + great finance / strategy programs as well, what i like the most is there approach to letting you explore different areas wheras most school prefer you to have a very pinpoint career path

good luck with whaetver you decide, you have obviously worked hard to help others and I hope you get what you want out of this process

take care and sorry for this post alex, i know you are the true expert
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Re: 640/3.3/4 years WE/Peace Corps -->Please advise [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2010, 22:21
wp, thanks a lot for the long response I really appreciate it, and it all seems like sound advice. I am eager to get the ball rolling, but it does make sense to wait. Sometimes it's just hard to have patience. And thanks for the suggestions about classes and MIT - two things I hadn't considered. Best of luck to you with the interview.
Re: 640/3.3/4 years WE/Peace Corps -->Please advise   [#permalink] 18 Dec 2010, 22:21
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