joe robot wrote:
I just took the GMAT a few days ago and was wondering about my chances at my target schools given a few problems in my overall profile...
Background / Education
Applying for Fall 06
26 yrs old, US citizen
GMAT of 770 (Q:50, V:47), AWA unknown, but probably 5.5 or 6.0
GPA of 3.90 (4.0 in major)
B.S. in Math & Physics from third tier state school (went there due to my financial situation at the time)
While at school I taught undergraduate Physics labs.
Co-authored an original research paper in partition theory that was submitted for publication, but didn't end up making it.
Recieved a Fellowship to attend the PhD math program at Univ. of Texas (top 15 school), but I left school during my first year b/c I realized I really didn't want to be a mathematician.
By Fall 06, I will have 3 years experience as an actuarial analyst at a leading benefits consulting firm. I have had frequent leadership opportunities and contact with various clients at large companies. I got promoted almost a year ahead of the norm and am moving into a more advanced role on my client teams. My supervisors think very highly of me and should give very positive recs. I have also passed 3 actuarial exams.
I don't really have much here. Between working and studying for the actuarial exams, there isn't a lot of time left over. Is this an understandable reason? I play sports and do a lot of outdoor activities, but I am not in any groups or clubs or anything. I did 3 years of varsity debate when I was in high school, but I don't think high school activities count for much anymore.
I want to move into management/strategy consulting.
Kellogg, Chicago, Wharton, Dartmouth. These are my dream schools, but will consider others also.
Problems / Concerns
 How much will my relative lack of community invovlement actually hurt me? Based on what I have read this is a big factor they consider.
 Will it hurt me that I dropped out of math grad school? A math PhD is one of those things that aren't worth it unless you have a true passion for the subject, which I realized I did not.
 My undergrad university is not very strong, but I did do very well there. Is that enough to compensate?
 I won't have much more than the minimum work exp., especally for Wharton. However, I do feel this is the optimum time in my career to pursue my mba.
I would appreciate any advice or feedback about my chances, or areas to improve.
To answer your questions:
1) YOur lack of community service will hurt you at these top schools. Make the most of your college sports and even your outdoor activities now. Best of all, start volunteering even at this late date. Get involved in your alumni group or recruiting for your firm or the math club at your alma mater. (You're right that your high schools stuff doesn't matter that much.)
2) No it won't hurt you. You changed your mind.
4) Then make your case that this is the best time for you to earn an MBA. Please see MBA Admissions for Younger Applicants.
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