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Asses my schools pls

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Asses my schools pls [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2010, 20:21
Please evaluate prospective chances at the below schools:

I want to determine how to best spend my time on apps...if I need safeties etc.

Profile- at time of application:

24, White Gay Male (Don't know if any of that would affect anything)
3 Yrs Work Experience- Top 5/6 Strategy and Management Consulting Firm

Undergrad GPA: 3.90 Summa Cum Laude
Honors- Finance, Marketing Double Major; Political Science Minor
Top 25 Undergrad Business School

GMAT- 750 (49-Q, 42-V) 6.0 AWA

Post-Undergrad Extracurriculars:
Role in nationwide firm internal government structure
Actively volunteer for head start (youth education)
Leadership role at local level of a Political Organization (conservative-moderate)
Marathon runner, Skydive etc.
Avid Traveler (Europe, Brazil, Australia)


Schools:
Stanford
Harvard
Cornell
Dartmouth
Berkeley
Virginia
Northwestern
Chicago
U. North Carolina

Thanks
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Re: Asses my schools pls [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2010, 18:00
You can probably narrow down your list of schools to 5 or 6.

As for "safeties" it really comes down to how low you want to go. You already have a business degree, you have a solid job, strong community extras, etc -- in other words, even without an MBA it seems like you already have a pretty strong resume as it is, so my hunch is that you probably want to limit your schools to the top 16 (i.e. top 16 or bust).

Stanford/HBS - if this is a 2-year plan (i.e. apply this year to schools with the option of reapplying next year), then apply to both; if it's a one-shot (you're only going to apply this year), then choose one. As for which one, it depends on which school you'll fit into more. Visit both schools if you can.

Kellogg/Chicago/Tuck - choose two or three. Kellogg and Tuck are the more collegial. Chicago is more studious.

Cornell/Haas/Darden - choose your top two.

You don't need to look at UNC.

With this list, you should be able to get in, regardless of your sexual identity. As for being gay, it *can* matter if your sexual identity has had an influence in your development as a professional and a member of your community (i.e. it's colored your choices, your experience, your perspectives, your achievements, etc. in your workplace and your extracurriculars). If your sexual identity hasn't had anything to do with your workplace or extracurriculars, then it is just a datapoint that probably won't really matter either way.
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Re: Asses my schools pls [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2010, 18:12
Hi Alex,

Thanks for the quick response.

I am curious why you described the Stanford/HBS strategy. I plan to apply to all the schools at the same time. Why would you recommend only applying to 1? Wouldn't applying to both increase my chances of acceptance at one or the other. Stanford is my overall top choice, followed by Haas and Tuck.

As for my sexuality... As with most LGBT people, it has been one of the most influential pieces of my life and has had a great impact on my character and my view of the world. Coming out recently, and not fully in the workplace, it has had a limited impact on my professional activities. It, however, has influenced extracurriculars, meaning that it has fostered an civic activism and political involvement throughout my life and has led me to surprisingly become involved with a conservative/moderate organization.

UNC is on my list because it was my undergrad dream school and as an out-of-stater, I was rejected. It consistently ranks 15-25 everywhere I see, and my employer would sponsor the education. I also would love a pipeline to a job in the South- such as Atlanta.
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Re: Asses my schools pls [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2010, 11:03
I didn't want to make assumptions about how your sexuality impacted your career/extracurriculars - but if you can show how it's colored your choices and experiences in your extracurriculars - then yes it can be an asset.

As for HBS and Stanford, the reason is that both schools collectively will take up a huge amount of time because there is very little overlap *and* both schools require a different approach in framing your essays, rec letters, etc. As such, it can take away significant time from working on other school applications. That's why I usually recommend to choose one of two if you're looking it as "I'm really gunning for this year" and to go for both if you're looking at a 2-year plan (i.e. apply to a small list of only stretches/reaches in the 1st year, with the option of applying to a broader range the 2nd year). However, quite a number of folks will apply to both anyways regardless.
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Re: Asses my schools pls   [#permalink] 12 Jan 2010, 11:03
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