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I'm currently planning my future assault on MBA school and could really use an outside opinion from some professionals on the matter. I ultimately would like to attend a great (top 20) full-time MBA school in about 2-3 years. Right now, I'm trying to position myself to become a decent candidate for such schools while also accomplishing some personal goals. Here's some general information about myself:
Age: 25 yrs, male Nationality: US Education: BS Computer Science, 3.23 @ LSU GMAT: 690 ( Q-48, V-37, Essay- 5.5) Work Exp: 3 years Background: I've been working at a Fortune 500 company as a software developer since graduation 3 years ago. I also have a few sports-related extracurriculars (but nothing real notable). I've recently taken the GMAT and increased my score from 660 (taken right after graduation) to 690. I was planning on retaking when I'm closer to my desired entry date to raise my score to over 710.
I've always had the idea of going to MBA school, but wasn't sure where or to what end. I have ultimately decided that I would like to go into corporate strategy or possibly entrepreneurship if the opportunities arise. Having been exposed to only the technical side of problem-solving in a corporate setting (with almost a tunnel-vision, at that), I want to position myself better for school with a more problem-solving sort of position. I'm planning on moving to NYC and obtaining a consultant role. Ideally, I'd like to become an entry-level strategy/management analyst, but with my current background I expect that an IT consultant role would be more likely. Would this be sufficient to position me for a school such as Duke, UT Austin, Chicago, LBS, INSEAD, etc? I haven't determined exactly which schools I will target yet, thinking that the next couple years would give further clarity to my interests and future. Are there any suggestions of other types of positions that would help my profile? I chose a consultant-type of position based of the fast-paced work, customer-facing interaction, and exposure to different problems. After my move, I hope to become more involved in extracurriculars and my community.
Thanks for reading my post. Your help will be greatly appreciated!
Do you think you can boost your GMAT score up to 720 or more? If so, I'd recommend a retake. If your practice CATs indicate that 690 is your typical score, just go ahead and leave it. I think you have a good reasonings for your post-MBA jobs, but since you're not applying until a couple of years later, you can better finetune your goals. In terms of your current profile, you're below average both on GPA and GMAT for Chicago, but as long as you can turn in a compelling application, those can be overlooked. I'm not sure what you put in INSEAD and LBS in your list of schools. Are you planning to work in Europe post-MBA? If not, I'd suggest taking these off your list and focus on US schools.
Since you are aiming for top schools then a score above 700 is desirable. If you can get that you can easily aim for the top business schools. However it is not just the academics but beyond the academics that will help you in determining your candidature. Check out this article about ECA and how you can use it to leverage your profile. http://futureworks.co.in/knowledgecenter/. Make sure you follow the ‘show rather than tell’ principle so that the admissions committee could really understand your strengths and differentiating factors.”Also your work experience plays a vital role.
Generally most of the candidates applying for MBA have a good 4-5 years of work experience. Although it is not just the work experience that counts but also what you did there like- what you did there like-what were your achievements, what initiative you took, what changes you drove in your workplace etc. So whichever job you choose if you can show that in terms of work that you have demonstrated these skills and more, this could put in a strong set of essays.
Thank you bakfed and FutureWorks for your replies.
I do believe I can push myself over the 700 hump with a little more preparation in the verbal section of the GMAT. I will try and land me a good position for a couple more years and focus on making an impact there and through extracurriculars. Hopefully this will help my candidacy for the great business schools. I'm not planning on working in Europe, but would like the international exposure. Would attending any schools abroad be putting me at a disadvantage in the job market in the US?
If you attend a european b-school, such as INSEAD or LBS, you'll learn pretty much the same thing; however, it will certainly put you at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting. Most firms that go to INSEAD or LBS will be focusing on putting people in workplaces in Europe, not the states. You'd have to literally fly to the states for interviews and such to meet with the firms in the states. That, however 'work-able', will put a toll on your b-school experience, not to mention your wallet with all the flying. My suggestion to you is that if you'd like to work in the states, focus on US based b-schools. If you're looking at Europe, go for European b-schools.