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B-School Convert Seeking a Prelim List of Schools:

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B-School Convert Seeking a Prelim List of Schools: [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2013, 09:31
Hi folks, thanks so much for taking the time to read this.

Prior to working, I had no desire to pursue an MBA. After a year spent working for a small but powerful nonprofit, I came around. I'd like to apply for Fall '15.

GRE scores equivalent to 710 GMAT
3.59 GPA; B.A. in Environmental Studies at liberal arts Ivy equivalent '12

Work experience: working two years as a self-directed program coordinator with global literacy non-profit on a Native American Reservation. Only employee of organization on location. Partnering with tribal government, schools, and community institutions to launch educational programs, classes, fairs, and other initiatives. Originally planned to stay for one year before transferring back to HQ, but am responding to an urgent need in the community by remaining for another year.

Undergrad extra-curriculars: published author/novelist, columnist in college paper, intern at community-based environmental advocacy group, leader of college religious organization, a capella choir director

23 y.o. female; fluent in Mandarin and Spanish, beginning Italian and Navajo

Goal: to become a more effective non-profit manager and asset, especially with educational, environmental, or public health initiatives in underserved communities.


I honestly don't know how to begin selecting appropriate b-schools. My quant skills aren't stellar, but I'm planning to take MBAMath or a couple of online uni courses to prepare myself/compensate. I'm looking for a socially-minded but challenging program.

So far, I'm eyeing: Sloan, HBS, Stanford, Haas, Tuck, Rotman, Columbia, Yale SOM, Kellogg, McDonough, Wagner, Marshall, and Wharton. Am I off-base?

Thanks so much!

Last edited by nostalgicary on 26 Mar 2013, 10:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: B-School Convert Seeking a Prelim List of Schools: [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2013, 09:38
Expert's post
That's a pretty varied list, but you are starting early so you have some time to figure it out :) I'd definitely look into Yale, Haas, and Kellogg for starters. If you're particularly interested in 1 area -- education, environment, etc -- I'd look into schools with strong graduate schools in those areas too so you can take classes there or even get another master's degree if you wanted to. For education, I'd look at Stanford, Harvard, Vanderbilt. For environmental studies, I'd look at Ross and Yale. For health, I'd look at Duke, Kellogg...there are others that I can't remember right now...

Good luck with the research!!
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Re: B-School Convert Seeking a Prelim List of Schools: [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2013, 09:43
I think you'll be competitive everywhere you apply. You have very good stats, have a very unique (and interesting!) background, speak multiple languages, and are a woman. You could try to boost your GRE/GMAT, but that probably isn't even necessary. At this point, I'd advise you to start thinking about the type of school/setting in which you'd thrive and then apply to a handful of schools.
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Re: B-School Convert Seeking a Prelim List of Schools: [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2013, 10:07
I'd largely agree with aerien on the school choices. From reading your bio, Stanford and Kellogg in particular jumped out as schools you might really be interested in. Stanford because they have a particularly strong focus on non-profit and serving underprivileged communities (not to mention, they will pay your debt if you work in non-profit and earn below a certain threshold which i believe is 80K). Kellogg also has a particularly strong emphasis on non-profit work and education, and I was impressed by how many of their alumni population goes into work in non-profit and social enterprise ventures.

One easy check to figure out which school is right for you might be to line up 10-20 non-profits you might want to work for and identify key parts of their leadership team (might be as simple as looking at their company website or linkedin profile to see if they went to a certain school for an mba or some other degree). of the top of my head I can think of two educational reform non-profits based in Chicago that are headed up by Kellogg alums. As the process rolls along, don't be afraid to reach out to them - you might be surprised how willing they are to help!
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Re: B-School Convert Seeking a Prelim List of Schools: [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2013, 12:42
We worked with a candidate who had (as close as can be) a similar background to yours this year (but lower GPA). She applied to HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Sloan, Haas, Anderson and Ross. Got into all but Stanford. Waitlisted at HBS. Going to Wharton on Forte Fellowship.

Good luck.

Kimberly Plaga
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Re: B-School Convert Seeking a Prelim List of Schools: [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2013, 11:27
Wow, the generosity of strangers online never ceases to amaze me. Thank you all so much for your help and advice!

aerien: Thanks for helping me make some preliminary distinctions between schools. Yale looks like a great choice, especially after I read your phenomenal "Evolution of your b-school" thread. I'm looking to become more useful to social enterprises in any field, not just one, so I think your first three suggestions would be great places for me to begin.

kingfalcon: Thanks for the encouragement. Having never been a part of b-school prospects' gang, I have a hard time assessing my candidacy at different schools. I'll definitely start considering different school settings.

DCTech87: Thanks for the school recommendations. Also, looking up leaders of favorite NFPs/NGOs is a brilliant idea. I'll do that right away and I'll be sure to reach out to them as the process continues.

Kimberly/ManhattanReview: Thanks so much for your review! Do you know if there were certain criteria Stanford sought that could've been improved in your candidate? Nonetheless, that's fantastic that she was accepted to every other school. I wish her the best at Wharton.
Re: B-School Convert Seeking a Prelim List of Schools:   [#permalink] 26 Mar 2013, 11:27
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