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680 GMAT, ~4y exp, currently @ african NGO start up

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Current Student
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Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 47
GMAT 1: 680 Q45 V38
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Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 7

680 GMAT, ~4y exp, currently @ african NGO start up [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2012, 08:21
Hi there,
Age: 27, European, male
My main question is if my experience and extracurriculars can offset my lowish-GMAT (especially quant) for the top schools. GPA is also on the lower side.
I scored a 680 (85%; V:83%, Q:71%).
Undergrad in Business Administration from leading European university (Top10). GPA probably in the 65-75%-ile percentile. Did an exchange semester in another European country.

Work:
- Business Management position for 2y at bulge bracket bank in home country (providing analytical, administrational and other support for senior Mgmt). Great management exposure, top performance reviews, early promotion. Whole thing was in the client facing unit for clients from some emerging markets .

After things were pretty much done at the bank,

- I joined microfinance startup NGO in Sub-Saharan Africa in Sep 2012 to help building it, pro bono work, committed for at least six months. Had always dreamed of the challenge to work in developing country.

Other:
- 3 months internship at 2nd tier management consulting company (before the bank).
- Voluntary member for 9 months full time in prestigious student initiative (incl. management of 60 students for a 2w period), otherwise mainly relationship management with business leaders.
- Co-founded a successful online gaming team in my teenage years (incl. management of corporate sponsors and 20 staff members). Grew to a considerable size.
- 1 year military service (rank: sergeant, lead a small group over a couple of months)

Have quite adventurous personality: Do a lot of outdoor-sports (kayaking, mountaineering etc.) and backpacked through some special destinations (e.g. Somalia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia etc.).

Goal: Very fascinated with emerging and developing countries, hope to join and lead (or maybe build, at a later stage) a company that either consults companies that enter these markets or finances local companies (e.g. through PE). To put it more visionary: Helping to transform underdeveloped economies.

I narrowed it down to a couple of schools, but am struggling to put them in the "stretch, match, safe"-baskets): HBS, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, Columbia, Yale, LBS, INSEAD, NYU.

In case most of these schools would be a stretch, Ross, Cornell and Fuqua are on my extended list.
Can consider other leading schools but ruled them out after my initial research for different reasons.

Would extremely appreciate your insightful feedback!
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Re: 680 GMAT, ~4y exp, currently @ african NGO start up [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2012, 16:38
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I think you should be competitive at your target schools. American schools don't get a lot of European applicants, so it becomes somewhat of an exotic differentiator since you would bring a very different perspective than the typical American student. Your experience is broad and your leadership is demonstrable. Your extracurriculars do indeed say a lot about how passionate you are to be involved, a very desirable trait to adcoms. Also, your GMAT is good. You don't have to have a top score to get in and your score is well within the 80% range.
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Current Student
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Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 47
GMAT 1: 680 Q45 V38
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 7

Re: 680 GMAT, ~4y exp, currently @ african NGO start up [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2012, 23:18
Wow, encouraging. Many thanks!
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680 GMAT, ~4y exp, currently @ african NGO start up

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