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Ask ARINGO - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720

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New post 03 Dec 2011, 14:56
Quote:
Hi Brian,

I am an Indian and 31 years old; I need advice about how to proceed further with my grad school application.

I have a score of 650 Q44, V35 (disappointing, because I expected 700)
I'm aiming at Said UK, Judge UK, LBS MiF and Kelloggs for the January 2012 deadlines (all 1 year programs).
A bit about my background, CA (equivalent to CPA in US and FRM holder working for over 5 years in a Big 4 (10th-88%, 12th-88%, Undergraduate : 62% in Accountancy Honours from one of the top University in the region).

Does this profile give me a chance to be accepted at these schools?


inforgmat,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented, and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 650, our experience shows that you will be a stretch candidate at Kellogg, LBS (for an MBA), and Said. Please keep in mind that Aringo specializes in assisting applicants who are looking at the top 30 global MBA programs. As such, since Judge is generally not considered within that categorization, I would not be able to provide you with a chances estimate. Finally, please note that if you were to have spelled Kellogg as you did ("Kelloggs") in your application, it would likely have a moderate to significant negative incremental influence on your chances, relative to your profile itself.

Since you are looking to apply to one year programs, where there typically is not an internship as part of the experience, you will need to have very well-crafted career goals. MBA programs need to make sure that candidates will be employable post-graduation, and you will have less time in a one year program to figure this out than if you were in a two year program. However, you did not speak at all in your submission about what you are planning to do in the short or long term after you graduate. If you have not already given this aspect much thought, I would encourage you to consider making sure this story is organized.

If your career plans are already articulated, keep in mind that you still have a bit of time to potentially re-take the GMAT prior to the 2nd round application deadlines. Of course, this assumes that you did not just take the GMAT, since as you know there is about a one month period in which you must wait in between taking the test.

Finally, as it relates to your academic background, I am somewhat confused that you mention you scored a 62% and that that was considered to be honors at your university. If you really were in the top tier of your class, you should mention this (with a percentile rank, for instance) in your resume.

Best of luck,

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New post 03 Dec 2011, 15:42
Hi Brian, please help me evaluate my profile:

Hispanic (Born and raised in Latin America. Came to the US at 19) 31 years old at matriculation male/us
5 years work experience
GPA: 3.41 Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech
GMAT 650 (Q47,V33)


College Extracurricular:
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

Current Extracurricular:
Habitat for Humanity

Professional Background:
5 years Real Estate Construction Management at multinational construction firm (Excellent recommendations including 1 from a client)

Additional Info:
Avid Volleyball and Baseball player

Goal: I'm looking into strong real estate finance programs, I want to get into Real Estate PE and Investment Trusts

Thank you for your help.
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New post 04 Dec 2011, 09:41
Quote:
Hi Brian, please help me evaluate my profile:

Hispanic (Born and raised in Latin America. Came to the US at 19) 31 years old at matriculation male/us
5 years work experience
GPA: 3.41 Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech
GMAT 650 (Q47,V33)


College Extracurricular:
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

Current Extracurricular:
Habitat for Humanity

Professional Background:
5 years Real Estate Construction Management at multinational construction firm (Excellent recommendations including 1 from a client)

Additional Info:
Avid Volleyball and Baseball player

Goal: I'm looking into strong real estate finance programs, I want to get into Real Estate PE and Investment Trusts

Thank you for your help.


Arzad,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 650, our experience shows that you will be a stretch candidate at Columbia, Wharton, and Sloan, between stretch and competitive at Cornell, and strong at USC Marshall, UNC Kenan-Flagler, and Texas McCombs. All of the schools I mentioned are known to have strong real estate programs and initiatives.

The main challenge with your profile is that you have (for top MBA programs) a below average GPA and GMAT score. You do earn some 'strength of schedule' points for having an engineering degree from Georgia Tech, which is widely recognized as one of the most competitive and rigorous engineering programs in the world. Given that, your GMAT, in my estimation, is the larger of the two in terms of your challenges.

In terms of your professional goals, since you have a background in real estate, it is natural to try to extend that into a different function within the industry. At the same time, please keep in mind that entry into any kind of private equity, and in particular real estate PE, is extremely competitive. I do not want to dissuade you from this as a career goal, but please be aware that you will be competing against other MBA students with heavier finance backgrounds for these roles, with many of them having come from investment banking prior to business school. So, if we consider this in light of your GMAT score, although you have a stronger quantitative split, schools may be concerned about your ability to achieve those career goals at least in the short term. I would encourage you to talk to colleagues at your firm about contacts they may have in the PE space so that you can include these types of anecdotes in your essays.

In terms of your extracurricular activities, please keep in mind that listing a society's name is not enough when it comes to completing your applications. Being a part of SHPE could mean that you attended meetings, or it could mean you were the president of the society and started various initiatives.

Best of luck,

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New post 04 Dec 2011, 12:02
Thanks a lot. I would need ur help a lot. Imp post

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New post 11 Dec 2011, 22:41
Hello Brian,

How much post-BA work experience required in order to gain admission into the Top MBA programs in the US?
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New post 17 Dec 2011, 15:22
Quote:
Hello Brian,

How much post-BA work experience required in order to gain admission into the Top MBA programs in the US?


Steve2014,

Thank you for your question.

The more you fall short of having three years of full-time work experience, the harder it is (although certainly possible) to gain admission. Post-BA experience in and of itself is not required, although post-BA experience will usually be considered as more meaningful than identical pre-BA experience. In addition, military experience is considered equivalent to professional experience.

Best of luck,

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New post 25 Dec 2011, 08:55
Thanks a lot and happy holidays!
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New post 06 Jan 2012, 01:03
Hi Brian,
Will second-tier schools (ranked 15-30) offer an advantage over studies in my home country in terms of the impression this conveys?
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New post 07 Jan 2012, 08:30
Quote:
Hi Brian,
Will second-tier schools (ranked 15-30) offer an advantage over studies in my home country in terms of the impression this conveys?


wayne26,

Thank you for your question.

In my estimate, the main advantage of studying abroad, both in the Top 30 and Top 10, will be in terms of life experience, improvement of your English-language skills, exposure to the business world, getting to know young and talented people from across the world, and acquiring international business knowledge. In this respect, I estimate that the contribution would be similar (although not identical) in Top 10 and Top 30 schools.

In respect to impression and employment opportunities, the question is what your target audience is. If you are planning to seek work in the US, then American programs (in the Top 30 and also in the Top 50) will have, in my estimate, a significant advantage over most foreign programs. As to Europe, in my estimate second-tier US programs will have a certain advantage over foreign programs, while second-tier European programs will have a significant advantage, especially in the same country where the school is located.

The exceptions here would be second-tier programs located at world-renowned schools such as Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge. In this case, I estimate that the reputational advantage will be significant even outside the country you studied in.

Best of luck,

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New post 07 Jan 2012, 20:39
Hi brian,

i am kinda get stuck with my career and thinking about MBA. I am becoming 30 this year.

here is my profile:

Education Background:
I moved to united stated from china when i was 17 and attended 2 years of high school here. then i attended State U of NY in Binghamton, graduate with BS in Computer Science. My GPA was 2.9 (maybe 3.0, kinda forgot already...)

Work Experience:
after graduation, i worked as an IT consultant in a small retail company (the company has 6 stores and less than 20 employee).I started to learn more about the business side of the company, and get involved in the management team. After one year, i was promoted as an assistant manager of the company.
After another two years, i was promoted as the general manager of the company, directly under the owner.
So far I worked there for 6 years. It is a small company, so i was involved in many different area such as operation, marketing, HR, etc. However, because i don't have a solid academic background in business management, i was just learning things myself as i work.

Extra-cirricular:
Back in my college years, I was the guitarist, music coordinator and band leader in a christian fellowship's music team.
I am also a part-time photographer.

Language:
Fluent in english and Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese)


Why MBA:
Because the company i worked for was so small, and the fact that I don't have solid business management knowledge, i kinda get stuck in the career path. I am hopping by getting into MBA program, i can learn the solid knowledge, and able to have a career change.

GMAT:
I am still preparing for GMAT. I am pretty sure i can get 700.

Question:
1. I don't have a great undergrad GPA, and i don't have a impressive working experience in some big company. With a GMAT of 700, what kind of B-school can i get in? top 30? top 50? or not even?

2. i really like McCombs, because of their dual degree program. Do i have any chance getting in?

3. If i am applying school like McCombs, is there a big difference between a GMAT score of 700, 720 or 730?

thank you for your time reviewing my profile!
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New post 15 Jan 2012, 13:51
Quote:
Hi brian,

i am kinda get stuck with my career and thinking about MBA. I am becoming 30 this year.

here is my profile:

Education Background:
I moved to united stated from china when i was 17 and attended 2 years of high school here. then i attended State U of NY in Binghamton, graduate with BS in Computer Science. My GPA was 2.9 (maybe 3.0, kinda forgot already...)

Work Experience:
after graduation, i worked as an IT consultant in a small retail company (the company has 6 stores and less than 20 employee).I started to learn more about the business side of the company, and get involved in the management team. After one year, i was promoted as an assistant manager of the company.
After another two years, i was promoted as the general manager of the company, directly under the owner.
So far I worked there for 6 years. It is a small company, so i was involved in many different area such as operation, marketing, HR, etc. However, because i don't have a solid academic background in business management, i was just learning things myself as i work.

Extra-cirricular:
Back in my college years, I was the guitarist, music coordinator and band leader in a christian fellowship's music team.
I am also a part-time photographer.

Language:
Fluent in english and Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese)


Why MBA:
Because the company i worked for was so small, and the fact that I don't have solid business management knowledge, i kinda get stuck in the career path. I am hopping by getting into MBA program, i can learn the solid knowledge, and able to have a career change.

GMAT:
I am still preparing for GMAT. I am pretty sure i can get 700.

Question:
1. I don't have a great undergrad GPA, and i don't have a impressive working experience in some big company. With a GMAT of 700, what kind of B-school can i get in? top 30? top 50? or not even?

2. i really like McCombs, because of their dual degree program. Do i have any chance getting in?

3. If i am applying school like McCombs, is there a big difference between a GMAT score of 700, 720 or 730?

thank you for your time reviewing my profile!


KChen,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented, and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 700 with a Round 1 application next year, our past experience indicates you would be between competitive and stretch (closer to competitive) at McCombs, Kenan-Flagler, and Marshall, and between competitive and stretch (closer to stretch) at Tepper. With a GMAT score of 730, you would be strong at McCombs, Kenan-Flagler, and Marshall, and competitive at Tepper.

In terms of your application, the following are a few points to keep in mind:

As you can see, the difference of 30 points in a potential GMAT score for you does make a fairly big impact in chances. We have seen plenty of candidates accepted into top programs without work experience at a brand-name firm. However, since your GPA is below the average for most top programs, and because you potentially have little extracurricular involvement after graduation (schools need to see this as well), you will need to make up for these gaps in other areas.

Perhaps the biggest issue I see is that you may need to give your future career plans a fair bit more thought prior to applying to business schools. Saying that you are "stuck" in your career, without explicitly stating a function, geography, and/or industry for where you want to go is not nearly enough - in fact, using this terminology in essays and/or MBA interviews would (in our experience) effectively nullify the rest of your application. In your essays you're going to need to be much more specific about how you can transfer the skills and experience you have gained into a different career. Based on what you have done, I can see you transitioning into an entrepreneurial job (if you like working in small firms) or perhaps into a CPG or retail marketing role with a larger company (if you really enjoyed the industry). But, that is for you to think about.

In terms of your work experience, you'll want to consider the positives that you can highlight in your resume and in your application (you've done some of this here, but you seem to come off as almost apologizing for your work experience). As far as I can tell, these would include a number of promotions and increasing responsibility, access to a number of functions in the company, strong recommendations from the owner(s), and presumably strong accomplishments tied to the success of the company.

Another opportunity to write about in essays is your move from China to the US at 17 - I would guess that it took time to improve your English skills and become acclimated to American culture. Definitely consider talking about this in a story in the essays.

Finally, since you are not a native English speaker, I would encourage you to consider having a native speaker help read through your essays and applications for spelling, flow, and grammar.

Best of luck,

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New post 25 Jan 2012, 05:36
Thanks a lot for this input!
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New post 06 Feb 2012, 10:19
Hi Brian,

I am an entrepreneur and have been managing my own company for a few years.
My questions are:
-Do you think it makes sense to use a client as a recommender instead of supervisor, which I don't have?
-Do you think it counts as full time work experience, even if there were periods when I wasn't working full time in my business?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance.
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New post 06 Feb 2012, 12:47
Hi Brian,

I am 26 years old and hoping for an MBA at a top 10 school. Can you let me know my chances at a Harvard, Wharton, Booth or Darden? Here is my profile:

Education: 3.5GPA from tier 2 school
Chartered Financial Analyst

Work Experience: Corporate Financial Analyst - 5 years, Fortune 100 company

Extracurricular/Volunteer: One week volunteer trip to Africa, tutor children every week and other small events from time to time

GMAT: 750 Q49 V 42 (AWA: 6.0)

Do I have any chance or am I setting my sights too high?

If I am aiming too high. what would be my odds of getting into a top 25 school like Notre Dame, or NYU?
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New post 11 Feb 2012, 09:25
Quote:
Hi Brian,

I am an entrepreneur and have been managing my own company for a few years.
My questions are:
-Do you think it makes sense to use a client as a recommender instead of supervisor, which I don't have?
-Do you think it counts as full time work experience, even if there were periods when I wasn't working full time in my business?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance.


superstudent,

Thank you for your questions.

Question 1: My assumption is that you have worked as an entrepreneur for your entire work experience, and thus would not have a supervisor or executive to reference in any capacity. In that situation, I would say that a client would make some sense to consider as a recommendation, but that is not necessarily the only path to consider. Ultimately, you want to choose recommenders (you'll generally need at least two) who have known you and interacted with you for a significant amount of time and can speak to your strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, this person also should have given you evaluations and should be able to rank you amongst a peer group. A client could theoretically do this. However, if you are an entrepreneur, you might also consider any angel investors who have contributed capital into your business. We strongly encourage our clients to avoid any kind of academic recommender (e.g. a professor or academic advisor), because they typically lack the ability to speak to your experience and potential in a professional setting. At the end of the day, though, you'll need to be careful so as to not damage any pre-exisiting relationships you have with your client(s). In other words, would they be surprised and/or concerned that you are applying to business school, because perhaps the service and/or product that you provide would be at risk if you're no longer running the company?

Question 2: I'm not exactly sure the context behind the question, but again let me make an assumption. If you've been running a business on the side while in undergrad, I would say that may or may not be considered full-time experience. If you were working 10-20 hours a week and the revenues and client base of your business was relatively limited, and if you didn't have any other employees besides yourself, that would not be a full-time endeavor. If, on the other hand, your business had significant and growing revenues, if you had (many) full-time employees that you hired and were managing, and if your involvement in the business was more than 50 hours per week, then that might be considered full-time. Again, all of this is under the assumption that you were in school.

On a broader level, it is absolutely crucial for entrepreneurs to be able to speak to the scope and nature of their business when applying to business schools. The size of your firm, in relative decreasing importance, in terms of profits, revenues, number of and notoriety of key clients, and employees is critical to explain. Since it is relatively easy to set up a website and offer some kind of service, the adcoms need to see truly how dedicated and successful your business has been.

Best of luck,

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New post 11 Feb 2012, 09:51
Quote:
Hi Brian,

I am 26 years old and hoping for an MBA at a top 10 school. Can you let me know my chances at a Harvard, Wharton, Booth or Darden? Here is my profile:

Education: 3.5GPA from tier 2 school
Chartered Financial Analyst

Work Experience: Corporate Financial Analyst - 5 years, Fortune 100 company

Extracurricular/Volunteer: One week volunteer trip to Africa, tutor children every week and other small events from time to time

GMAT: 750 Q49 V 42 (AWA: 6.0)

Do I have any chance or am I setting my sights too high?

If I am aiming too high. what would be my odds of getting into a top 25 school like Notre Dame, or NYU?


Dbalks,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 750, our experience shows that you would be between a stretch and competitive candidate (closer to stretch) at Harvard, between stretch and competitive at Wharton, competitive at Booth, and strong at Darden and NYU Stern. You would be very strong at Notre Dame. In all honesty, unless you had a personal reason to attend Notre Dame, based on your profile I would say you'd want to consider other top 15 programs such as Tuck, Haas, and Fuqua before you considered applying to Notre Dame. This is because you would have a good chance at these programs based on your profile.

The key in your application strategy and relative potential is how you frame your experience in finance at the F100 company. You have worked there for five years, so admission committees will need to see an increasing amount of responsibility and contribution to the company. You are not necessarily competing against other finance types like investment bankers or private equity associates; rather, you're somewhat competing more against other corporate employees at larger organizations. And, because your undergraduate institution and GPA are not necessarily stellar (they won't eliminate you from consideration, don't get me wrong), your work experience and success is going to be huge. In theory, you should be able to get strong recommenders because you've worked in the organization for five years and likely have built some strong relationships and 'champions' for your brand.

Best of luck,

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Re: Ask ARINGO - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2012, 10:19
Hi,my name is adhithya
Profile:
Indian male
age=24
Gmat1=640(q=49,v=35)
Gmat2=680(q=47,v=35)
Work ex=working in indain IT major TCS for last 1.3 years but at time of admission would have completed 2 years
Academics:very good.Have been a collge topper throughout my academic career.
Achieved a state rank of 14th in HSC(undergraduate)
Stood first in my stream in engineering(iam an engineer i Inforamtion technology)
extracurriculars:was a quiz champion in school.

Interested Schools
HKUST
NUS
Nanyang
ISB
IE-spain
HEC paris
Ross
UCLA
Said
thanks in advance
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Re: Ask ARINGO - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2012, 10:31
Sorry,forgot to add this question in the last post
1)considering the fact that work ex is gonna remain same i.e 2yrs at time of apllivation,
Will a higher gmat score improve my chances of getting into my list of schools .
2)are there any ways eg.comm service etc. which I can do to strentgthen my profile
3)will the fact that I have good academic credentials(especially in maths,was the uiversity topper in math and college topper in math continuously for 4 semesters/5)
add any weight to my profile
Thansk in advance
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Posts: 117
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 0
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Re: Ask ARINGO - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2012, 13:12
Quote:
Hi,my name is adhithya
Profile:
Indian male
age=24
Gmat1=640(q=49,v=35)
Gmat2=680(q=47,v=35)
Work ex=working in indain IT major TCS for last 1.3 years but at time of admission would have completed 2 years
Academics:very good.Have been a collge topper throughout my academic career.
Achieved a state rank of 14th in HSC(undergraduate)
Stood first in my stream in engineering(iam an engineer i Inforamtion technology)
extracurriculars:was a quiz champion in school.

Interested Schools
HKUST
NUS
Nanyang
ISB
IE-spain
HEC paris
Ross
UCLA
Said
thanks in advance

Sorry,forgot to add this question in the last post
1)considering the fact that work ex is gonna remain same i.e 2yrs at time of apllivation,
Will a higher gmat score improve my chances of getting into my list of schools .
2)are there any ways eg.comm service etc. which I can do to strentgthen my profile
3)will the fact that I have good academic credentials(especially in maths,was the uiversity topper in math and college topper in math continuously for 4 semesters/5)
add any weight to my profile
Thansk in advance


adhithya,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as provided and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 680, our previous experience indicates you will be stretch candidate at Ross, UCLA Anderson, and Oxford Said, and between competitive and stretch (closer to competitive) at HEC Paris and IE. It is harder for me to put an estimate on your chances for HKUST, NUS, Nanyang, and ISB as we typically provide clients with assistance to the top 30 global programs.

Perhaps the most important issue in your profile is not extracurricular activities or academic performance (although we'll get to those later), but rather your essays. This is quite common for many engineering applicants, as that applicant pool (and I was one of them myself) is not used to crafting a personal story. It's important for applicants to know that we see clients who come to us who have previously been unsuccessful in prior years' applications merely because of spelling mistakes and/or typos - even for candidates with very strong profiles otherwise.

On your question about whether being stronger in analytical components like math will help your candidacy, my answer is 'yes,' but only to a point. You have an engineering background, and competitive engineering applicants show a strong aptitude for quantitative skills. Holding your ground in these areas is not necessarily going to be enough. Rather, in the application, and this is especially true for a younger applicant like yourself, it's important to hone in on stories that show your leadership, communication, presentation, and persuasion skills. The Indian / male / IT background applicant pool is extremely competitive, and so you'll need to have a well-rounded application to break through.

Another key point in your application will be your future career goals. In our experience, applicants with fewer than three years of work experience at matriculation and who are not consultants or investment bankers have a more difficult time achieving admission. You'll need to have a very well-crafted and articulate rationale for why now is the right time for you to attend business school, especially as many applicants in your peer group will be applying with more years of work experience.

Please keep in mind that in your application and resume you'll need to provide the right level of context and comparison for your achievements. Being a "topper" is certainly better than being average, but saying that you finished 14th out of over 2,000 (or converting that into a percentile) is instead a good way to introduce to the reader/adcom the right level of context. Similarly, it's great that you were a quiz champion, but was this out of 3 teams or 300, and were you the captain of the team or merely a participant?

On your question about whether a higher GMAT will help your chances, the general answer is yes. It's perhaps a bit more important for you with less work experience to rely on, in the sense that schools are judging you a bit more on your potential rather than your accomplishments (just because you have not had as long to work to generate these yet). That said, we specialize in working with candidates with lower GMAT scores, and we see plenty of candidates every year who are admitted to top programs with a GMAT at or below your 680 level.

A few things for you to think about doing/achieving in the next couple of years:
- to get promoted at work (preferably more than once);
- to accumulate impressive achievements at work (especially leadership-oriented);
- to try to get to a situation where you manage people - preferably regular direct reports (and if that's not possible, then on a project or in a matrix);
- to boost your community contribution (preferably in a leadership-oriented context);
- to consider initiating/co-founding/setting up a project/department/organization (either at work, or outside of work) and making it successful;
- to mark a few potential recommenders and deepen/strengthen your relationship with them

In summary, I urge you to continue researching schools, career plans, and reasons to attend business school.

Best of luck,

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Last edited by AringoConsultant on 06 Apr 2012, 18:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask ARINGO - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2012, 18:53
Thanks a million for your great evaluation.
I would certainly practice your great suggestions
Thanks again
Re: Ask ARINGO - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720   [#permalink] 12 Feb 2012, 18:53

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