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730 / 3.69 GPA Engineer Needs Your Advice on Schools

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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 35
Concentration: Strategy, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
GPA: 3.69
WE: Engineering (Aerospace and Defense)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 15

730 / 3.69 GPA Engineer Needs Your Advice on Schools [#permalink] New post 22 May 2013, 16:53
Just joined this forum and soaking in the community here. It's awesome everyone is so helpful.

I work in the Aerospace/Defense industry and thinking about getting an MBA. Thinking about which schools I should apply and realistic have a chance at. I know...I know...I can look up the average stats of admitted students but there so much more to admissions than GPA/GMAT, so please, any advice you can offer would be appreciated. :)

Basics
Undergrad: University of Southern California (USC) Aerospace Engineering BS with 3.69 GPA
Grad: USC Aerospace Engineering MS with 3.92 GPA
GMAT: 49V/40Q/730 - 89%/85%/96% percentile

Work
Work Experience: 5 years at matriculation
Industry: Aerospace/Defense
Company: Big 3 Aerospace (Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing)
Role: Flight Test Engineer on 5th rotation. Currently working in team as youngest member (coworkers 2x my age - Aerospace industry, you know :wink: ) with our work being nominated for highest award in the division

On the Side
Founded and manage credit repair company. On track to meet $700k annual rev.
Founded and manage real estate investment company. On track to own and manage 9 units producing $50k annual rev.
Founded and manage textbook sales company. On track to meet $30k annual rev.
Can run each of the companies on 5 hrs sleep/night :wink:

Volunteering
Coach individuals on public speaking and interpersonal skills
On leadership committee that tutors refugee elementary school kids
On leadership board of company affinity group
Manager/Coach for company basketball club

"X-Factors"
Low-income background
Single parent upbringing
First-born in extended blue collar family
First to grad college

Goals
Short term: management consultancy
Long term: leverage aerospace and consulting experience into blue-chip leadership role w/ P&L responsibility
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Expert Post
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
avatar
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 1022
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 105 [0], given: 0

Re: 730 / 3.69 GPA Engineer Needs Your Advice on Schools [#permalink] New post 26 May 2013, 06:10
Expert's post
Hi there,

Thanks for sharing your detailed profile, and congrats on your impressive GMAT score!

So far, based upon the info you provided, you have a strong profile for most top MBA programs.

Your strengths so far based on profile:

-strong GMAT, above average at top programs
-solid GPA and outstanding grad-school GPA which is more recent/relevant
-solid quantity and quality of work experience
-less-common industry background (aerospace/defense) (you'll probably have a variety of interesting experiences to draw from both for your application and in b-school classes)
-lots of determination, leadership, project management, entrepreneurial experience as demonstrated by the companies you have started
-activities outside of work demonstrate that you have other interests, will likely be involved at b-school

Weaknesses/questions:

No glaring weaknesses; but "questions" that may come up in the mind of the admissions committee--

- "WHY?"--- why do you want to shift careers? why management consultancy? how do you see the whole picture fitting together-- your past, plus the MBA, leading to your short and long term career goals? (things to think about/prepare to answer in essays/interview)
- be prepared to be asked in an interview about the businesses you started and how you juggled it all ;) (as you said, sounds like lack of sleep! while for the most part these are positive and impressive achievements, there is sometimes a slight concern about being able to manage it all-- and one q would be, are you going to put all of those businesses on hold during b-school? since b-school is very time-intensive if going full time...)
- just a note that engineering is a common applicant background, and it's always important for engineers to demonstrate the balance of having strong people and communication skills

As for schools, a lot of it is personal-- depends upon what you are looking for in terms of geographical location, class size and profile, curriculum, school philosophy, etc. We have a free downloadable e-book on choosing schools here that might be useful: http://info.mbamission.com/Selecting-Yo ... ram-E-Book.

Your profile would qualify you for a shot at most top b-schools, the decision would likely be based upon your essays and interview since most of your profile is strong. You will need to convince the admissions committee that their b-school is right for you, and that you need the MBA from their program to reach your career goals.

If you are set on management consulting right after b-school, you may want to focus on schools that are known for lots of consulting hires after graduation, including Harvard, Kellogg, Wharton, Booth, Columbia, Duke, MIT, Stanford.... generally most top-ranked programs do have a lot of grads go into consulting. This Vault.com article has lists of top programs for consulting in different geographic regions of the US if you have any thoughts on where you'd like to start a post-MBA career. http://blogs.vault.com/blog/admit-one-v ... -get-into/. By the way this assumes you are looking at US programs, but international programs such as INSEAD are strong for consulting as well.

Hope that is helpful, please keep us posted on everything and good luck with the upcoming admissions cycle.
_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

Image

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 35
Concentration: Strategy, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
GPA: 3.69
WE: Engineering (Aerospace and Defense)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 15

Re: 730 / 3.69 GPA Engineer Needs Your Advice on Schools [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2013, 10:54
mbaMissionJenK wrote:
Hi there,

Thanks for sharing your detailed profile, and congrats on your impressive GMAT score!

So far, based upon the info you provided, you have a strong profile for most top MBA programs.

Your strengths so far based on profile:

-strong GMAT, above average at top programs
-solid GPA and outstanding grad-school GPA which is more recent/relevant
-solid quantity and quality of work experience
-less-common industry background (aerospace/defense) (you'll probably have a variety of interesting experiences to draw from both for your application and in b-school classes)
-lots of determination, leadership, project management, entrepreneurial experience as demonstrated by the companies you have started
-activities outside of work demonstrate that you have other interests, will likely be involved at b-school

Weaknesses/questions:

No glaring weaknesses; but "questions" that may come up in the mind of the admissions committee--

- "WHY?"--- why do you want to shift careers? why management consultancy? how do you see the whole picture fitting together-- your past, plus the MBA, leading to your short and long term career goals? (things to think about/prepare to answer in essays/interview)
- be prepared to be asked in an interview about the businesses you started and how you juggled it all ;) (as you said, sounds like lack of sleep! while for the most part these are positive and impressive achievements, there is sometimes a slight concern about being able to manage it all-- and one q would be, are you going to put all of those businesses on hold during b-school? since b-school is very time-intensive if going full time...)
- just a note that engineering is a common applicant background, and it's always important for engineers to demonstrate the balance of having strong people and communication skills

As for schools, a lot of it is personal-- depends upon what you are looking for in terms of geographical location, class size and profile, curriculum, school philosophy, etc. We have a free downloadable e-book on choosing schools here that might be useful: http://info.mbamission.com/Selecting-Yo ... ram-E-Book.

Your profile would qualify you for a shot at most top b-schools, the decision would likely be based upon your essays and interview since most of your profile is strong. You will need to convince the admissions committee that their b-school is right for you, and that you need the MBA from their program to reach your career goals.

If you are set on management consulting right after b-school, you may want to focus on schools that are known for lots of consulting hires after graduation, including Harvard, Kellogg, Wharton, Booth, Columbia, Duke, MIT, Stanford.... generally most top-ranked programs do have a lot of grads go into consulting. This Vault.com article has lists of top programs for consulting in different geographic regions of the US if you have any thoughts on where you'd like to start a post-MBA career. http://blogs.vault.com/blog/admit-one-v ... -get-into/. By the way this assumes you are looking at US programs, but international programs such as INSEAD are strong for consulting as well.

Hope that is helpful, please keep us posted on everything and good luck with the upcoming admissions cycle.


Jen,

Wow, thank you so much for a long, detailed response! :)

One last thing if I can get your opinion on:

How should I be going about selecting a recommender? I have to decide between current boss or my boss from previous project a year ago. One is a good salesman and good talker but I am not too sure how he feels about me. The other is your vanilla manager who cares about his people but isn't really eloquent but I feel that he likes me alot. Which would you pick and what criteria should I be considering in choosing?

Thanks in advance.
Expert Post
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
avatar
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 1022
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 105 [0], given: 0

Re: 730 / 3.69 GPA Engineer Needs Your Advice on Schools [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2013, 11:07
Expert's post
Hi again,

Good questions, for sure, regarding recommenders. It is a tough call in a situation like that, but the most important thing to consider is who will write you the best letter. Generally that is the person who knows you well, and can give specific examples and stories and anecdotes about you, and really knows your traits and what you will contribute to a program. You never know, perhaps the 'vanilla' option is better with the written word than spoken? ;) (or maybe you already know that's not the case).

It's also helpful to provide as much info and insight to your recommenders as possible-- your resume, info about your goals and why you want to go to b-school, even copies of essays drafts if you have them at that point. Depending on your relationship with them, some like to go out for coffee for example and chat about their goals and applications, which can be a chance to remind the person on projects you worked on, accomplishments, etc. Here are some more reminders about Recommendations: http://www.mbamission.com/resources-recommendations.php

By the way, if at any point you have any interest in speaking with an MBA Admissions Consultant in more detail, we do offer a free 30 -min consult to offer advice and further review your profile; if that's something you are interested in, you can check that out at http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php.

In any case feel free to check back with questions, and let us know how everything goes!
_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

Image

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Experts publish their posts in the topic 730 / 3.69 GPA Engineer Needs Your Advice on Schools finalgears 1 22 May 2013, 16:54
730 / 3.69 GPA Engineer Needs Your Advice on Schools finalgears 0 22 May 2013, 16:53
Experts publish their posts in the topic 730 / 3.69 GPA Engineer Needs Your Advice on Schools finalgears 3 22 May 2013, 16:52
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730 / 3.69 GPA Engineer Needs Your Advice on Schools

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