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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, 20:09
Posted this in the general Admissions Consultants forum. I apologize if double-posting is poor form, but I wasn't sure where to put it.

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 27 Dec 2010, 18:49
As a current Kellogg student who is also interested in entrepreneurship and also interested in going back into the same industry after b-school, my advice to you is to reconsider whether b-school is truly necessary. Some things that might sway you: 1) most b-school classes focus on how to run huge businesses correctly, not how to run a small business that is struggling just to start up, so the education part is not truly aligned with your goals. 2) the recruitment process out of school is not geared to help you go into a small business or startup. 3) by leaving the industry for a year or two, you get out of touch with industry developments.

Considering your undergrad business education, there are only minimal roadblocks stopping you from starting up your own microfinance business today. Sure, you might want to learn more about marketing (etc), but you can get that from reading two or three good books, which takes way less time and way less money. Make a prioritized list of specifically what is stopping you from accomplishing your goal. If your #1 and #2 items are "prestigious education" and "large MBA network" then you have a good reason to go to school. Otherwise, you might be wasting your time.

I'll send you a PM with another question.
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Re: 640/3.3/4 years WE/Peace Corps -->Please advise   [#permalink] 27 Dec 2010, 18:49
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