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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 02:02
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aviroop wrote:
no disrespect to anyone... and no job is worthless.. We learn valuable from everything.. besides, I think I would have a better chance getting into H/S/W if I was a milkman than some fancy internal auditor...

lots of community service, a very different job, and possibly the biologicial father of many unknowing kids in the suburbs..


I totally agree... I was always fascinated by the milklman when I was a kid... probably because he was the one bringing choco milk... I'm pretty sure though that he was not my dad...
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 07:06
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You've also got to realize that within each class, you are only competing for a percentage of the seats available. I, as a white male, am not fighting for any seats allocated to international students, females, or minorities. I am also not competing with Wall Street dudes from PE or IBD.

My only real competition is similar military applicants applying to a school. Since the schools are looking for a diverse makeup, they can only select a fixed amount of various industries, ethic groups, and international candidates. Your odds inside your group are increased by your GMAT, etc., but if you are an IBanker, you probably need to score higher on the GMAT than I do because your background is more common and you have (probably) a higher intellectual pool of people vying for the same seats.

So....that should explain a lot of the BS that seems to occur with less qualified applicants getting in. Yeah, you might be much better qualified than I am or someone else, but if your pool of seats has been maxed out and my pool of seats hasn't, I stand a much better chance of being excepted.

This also makes for the application process being much more of a game of chance than anything else. Depending on the popularity of MBA's, economic conditions, people applying in your particular year, and what you decided to do for the past 5 years (plus college) all converge to give you some random chance at getting to Harvard.

Now if you're not breaking 650....this theory might not fit your mold as well regardless.... :shock:
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 07:41
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mr_gondola wrote:
You've also got to realize that within each class, you are only competing for a percentage of the seats available. I, as a white male, am not fighting for any seats allocated to international students, females, or minorities. I am also not competing with Wall Street dudes from PE or IBD.

My only real competition is similar military applicants applying to a school.


This is definitely true...different groups have different standards. Just like demographics. Someone made a point on here about an Indian vs a person from similiar situation in a rural area, both had tough lives and raised themselves up but the Indian's chances were going to be far less. Thats because there will be plenty of indian's with similar stories but far fewer people from here. I know my wife who is thinking of applying next year would be wise to play up her parents not having high school educations, working fulltime to put herself through school, her father losing his job multiple times because they closed and reopened and then closed the mill her worked at, and all sorts of hurdles she had to overcome to get where she is. She works in software so its a competitve group but her background is part of what will set her apart since there will be plenty of other people with similar experience who moved up at the same pace, have better GPAs or better GMATs...pick your strengths and work with them.

The military one is also like that, they look for the special folks because I think you would be surprised how many veterans and active duty apply. And schools tend to have the favorite segments to draw from. The older military people I have met have been pilots for the most part. Another very popular group are the submarine guys, I had a couple come up and talk to me at MIT since one actually spent time at where I work and knew some people I work with. Then people with interesting stories, the silver star winners, special forces, someone who had an unusual career. They definitely look for that wow factor in a way, the people who have done something impressive or have an interesting command with lots of people beneath them. A lot of applicants and students I have met have been Iraq vets, which gives lots of interesting experiences to draw on. They also love academy grads, a lot of military people I met were guys from the service academies.

Military is definitely going to be easier than a lot of applicant pools but be careful you dont fall into the trap of "I will get in cause I was military and can show leadership." The day I visited tuck there were three guys getting out of the military next summer, out of a group of 10 people that day. They actually out numbered the bankers. Also from what a few people have told me some schools put a higher value on the military people than others.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 07:55
Definitely not underestimating the number of military applicants. Officers are leaving the service in droves. Plus, most of them are going to have one or more tours to iraq to draw war stories from.

The military is also just a wierd place. i've gone from general management to logistics to secretary work. I'm supposed to be flying a helicopter! They randomly throw people in positions. it's wild. you wouldn't expect your boss to walk up to you tomorrow and ask if you could go head up HR for a year or so before wandering off to do supply stuff at the back warehouse.

But yeah, I wasn't saying military makes it easier. Just using it as an example of a target group. I personally am hoping for a deep recession so that people will be less inclined to apply... :-D
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 07:57
The issue of Indian applicants and the quality of applications is not being seen in the correct context. I believe degree of success is a relative measurement.

I for one had not heard of engineering until i was in 11th grade, hadn't heard of MBA until i was in college and had not heard of many of the top 10 B-Schools until couple years ago. why? not because i let circumstances drive me as someone suggested in one of the posts, but because i do not have role models to look up and follow. Today the situation is quite different and people are more aware. but if i were to recount my experience, about 15 years ago, government was the major employer and everyone was studying to get a job as a clerk with the government or with one of the several banks which were again owned by government. You cant dream about something you have never seen and so with abysmally low levels of knowledge about other career opportunities, people like me had no idea that they could be entrepreneur or business leaders. when you are competing for only 400 seats in a state that has more than 80 million people and succeed in getting through, i would say that is a great success for someone who had limited information and resources. To the outside world the number of software professionals of indian origin might seem huge, but seen in the correct context it still represents less than 1% of the workforce and was a coveted job until couple years ago. Someone who got into such a job, has worked across several countries but has a family that has not set their foot outside their village, i think it is a great success for them.

So my point is there is a huge number of Indian applicants because of the timing. a whole generation has risen from grime and dust through hard work and competition and is ready to lead a country of over a billion people. I am sure 15 years ago or 15 years hence, this number will go down. its a factor of demographic distribution and age of the work force.

and just to give an example to contrast the backgrounds for people from developed countries vs developing countries, no one in my whole extended family of about 100 has heard of Harvard or MBA which i am sure would be true for many applicants from the third world. It is a truth that Indian guys do not sell themselves well and that is because they do not have the kind of help many others have. e.x most of the people i met in info sessions had buddies in H/S/W and some even knew student AdCom reps. If they don't put a great application who will ? certainly not the dude from Rwanda who came to US in search of job but now is dreaming big.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 08:02
mr_gondola wrote:
Definitely not underestimating the number of military applicants. Officers are leaving the service in droves. Plus, most of them are going to have one or more tours to iraq to draw war stories from.

The military is also just a wierd place. i've gone from general management to logistics to secretary work. I'm supposed to be flying a helicopter! They randomly throw people in positions. it's wild. you wouldn't expect your boss to walk up to you tomorrow and ask if you could go head up HR for a year or so before wandering off to do supply stuff at the back warehouse.

But yeah, I wasn't saying military makes it easier. Just using it as an example of a target group. I personally am hoping for a deep recession so that people will be less inclined to apply... :-D


Recessions increase applications a lot of times, its a good time to take a two year break from a crappy economy and hopefully catch the rising tide on the other side.

Your story reminds me of a college buddy, he was a helicopter pilot and now is an assistant for some big shot admiral. He said its actually is a great position to be in though, you interact daily with a bunch of big wigs and they can really champion your career. Trust me a recommendation from a two start general or admiral who you personally work with daily is going to have a lot more weight than other folks. Your work may not be impressive to you but if you frame it right it definitely can come across that way.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 08:10
Yeah, unfortunately my boss doesn't have a start just yet. That would be ideal if I have to work as a secretary or "aide" at all. I'm sure I can spin it, it's just wierd to get odd jobs that I don't have control over. I had a few other paths i'd have preferred that would write better on a resume.

Yeh, the general aides get hooked up, but I think by and large it is only if you stay military or government. You go private sector and some random two star is probably not going to get you a job at McKinsey or Goldman.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 09:04
kryzak wrote:
wow, I actually did read this thread a while ago, which is where I found the gem that Rhyme and pelihu put out on the statistics of Kellogg (now in the 2008 Pants Pooping links somewhere) versus GMAT scores.

Very interesting how the sentiments and feelings are the same, a year later. I too think the whole process is pretty random, but I'm not bitter, yet. I'll wait until end of January to be bitter (when I get rejected from every school).


pfffft. I can't wait for your "I got accepted to every school, how do I make a choice" thread.

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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 09:08
So is this group under the opinion that if one gets a 750 and can put halfway decent essays together, he/she is better off than a 680 with good essays?
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 09:13
Hmmm...this thread is helping to confirm some of my concerns ('09 applicant). Not sure what to do. :cry:
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 09:42
ryguy904 wrote:
So is this group under the opinion that if one gets a 750 and can put halfway decent essays together, he/she is better off than a 680 with good essays?


I would rather be a 710 with stellar esssay. Below average anything means you need to be strong in all other areas. Weak undergrad means stronger work experience. Weak work means very strong extras. Weak GPA means strong GMAT.

However, you want the best essays you can get. The better the essays the better your chances. Good essays will work for super star applicants. But if you arent a McKinsey consultant or a banker at Goldman or an IT guy at Google...you are going to need to set yourself apart from the pack and the best way to do that is great essays and recs.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 09:50
ryguy904 wrote:
So is this group under the opinion that if one gets a 750 and can put halfway decent essays together, he/she is better off than a 680 with good essays?


What about the guys with 750 and good essays?!? Welcome to GMATClub :) Most of the guys here have 700+ scores and from the quality of the posts, pretty darn good essays as well.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 09:52
riverripper wrote:
ryguy904 wrote:
So is this group under the opinion that if one gets a 750 and can put halfway decent essays together, he/she is better off than a 680 with good essays?


I would rather be a 710 with stellar esssay. Below average anything means you need to be strong in all other areas. Weak undergrad means stronger work experience. Weak work means very strong extras. Weak GPA means strong GMAT.

However, you want the best essays you can get. The better the essays the better your chances. Good essays will work for super star applicants. But if you arent a McKinsey consultant or a banker at Goldman or an IT guy at Google...you are going to need to set yourself apart from the pack and the best way to do that is great essays and recs.


My personal opinion,
GMAT is a challege presented to you with the convinience of studying all you want, making your own startegies, and all of us have equal access to resources. One can even try umpteen number of times.

So one that settles for less, in my opinion, lacks something. I am assuming that one who appears for the exam knows that he/she needs to do his best and has willingly decided to take the exam.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 10:40
riverripper wrote:
ryguy904 wrote:
So is this group under the opinion that if one gets a 750 and can put halfway decent essays together, he/she is better off than a 680 with good essays?


I would rather be a 710 with stellar esssay. Below average anything means you need to be strong in all other areas. Weak undergrad means stronger work experience. Weak work means very strong extras. Weak GPA means strong GMAT.

However, you want the best essays you can get. The better the essays the better your chances. Good essays will work for super star applicants. But if you arent a McKinsey consultant or a banker at Goldman or an IT guy at Google...you are going to need to set yourself apart from the pack and the best way to do that is great essays and recs.



I hear ya RR. I am at a 680 and applying to H/W/Chi/Colum/NYU/Kellogg. I'm not sure if I can bump up to 710, or if it is worth the risk of scoring 680 or lower on a second attempt. I have been spending A LOT of time on the essays and believe that I have pretty solid recs (but hey, who doesn't think they have solid recs?). Perhaps it's just my analytical mind at work, but I'm trying to get some sort of comfort factor, since the fact is, I am BELOW average on the GMAT. My GPA was 3.8 from a Cal State School, and I am a CFA Charterholder. I'm hoping that those factors with the best essays I can put together will get me in to one (or two!) of these schools.

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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 11:48
Well I personally think that the whole 'stellar' essays thing is a little misleading. You need to have certain experiences to write good stuff. Rather simply put, if you dont have memorable experiences, then even your best written stuff can only get you half way there.

I think 710, with good stories AND stellar execution/essays, you will get through. 710 with boring stories AND stellar execution/essays MIGHT not get through. 710 with great stories AND avg execution/essays MIGHT get you through.

But agree with you on all other counts :)


riverripper wrote:
ryguy904 wrote:
So is this group under the opinion that if one gets a 750 and can put halfway decent essays together, he/she is better off than a 680 with good essays?


I would rather be a 710 with stellar esssay. Below average anything means you need to be strong in all other areas. Weak undergrad means stronger work experience. Weak work means very strong extras. Weak GPA means strong GMAT.

However, you want the best essays you can get. The better the essays the better your chances. Good essays will work for super star applicants. But if you arent a McKinsey consultant or a banker at Goldman or an IT guy at Google...you are going to need to set yourself apart from the pack and the best way to do that is great essays and recs.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 11:53
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Well I retook the exam after a 720 in first attempt and scored 760 1- did not think the score was reflective of my abilities 2-you wont submit a half hearted essay, so why should you compromise on one of the more quantifiable stats that schools look for? 3-I have a not so spectacular GPA, so needed every bit I could 4- I plan on MC after my MBA and I know the top firms ask for your GMAT, so figured might as well try to bump it up when I could. 5- I am a 'what if' person. So atleast with my score, I know that GMAT Is not the reason I got dinged from all the schools (if it happens to be that way).



But then again- there is no right or wrong answer to that choice.

ryguy904 wrote:
riverripper wrote:
ryguy904 wrote:
So is this group under the opinion that if one gets a 750 and can put halfway decent essays together, he/she is better off than a 680 with good essays?


I would rather be a 710 with stellar esssay. Below average anything means you need to be strong in all other areas. Weak undergrad means stronger work experience. Weak work means very strong extras. Weak GPA means strong GMAT.

However, you want the best essays you can get. The better the essays the better your chances. Good essays will work for super star applicants. But if you arent a McKinsey consultant or a banker at Goldman or an IT guy at Google...you are going to need to set yourself apart from the pack and the best way to do that is great essays and recs.



I hear ya RR. I am at a 680 and applying to H/W/Chi/Colum/NYU/Kellogg. I'm not sure if I can bump up to 710, or if it is worth the risk of scoring 680 or lower on a second attempt. I have been spending A LOT of time on the essays and believe that I have pretty solid recs (but hey, who doesn't think they have solid recs?). Perhaps it's just my analytical mind at work, but I'm trying to get some sort of comfort factor, since the fact is, I am BELOW average on the GMAT. My GPA was 3.8 from a Cal State School, and I am a CFA Charterholder. I'm hoping that those factors with the best essays I can put together will get me in to one (or two!) of these schools.

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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 12:08
dosa_don wrote:
Well I personally think that the whole 'stellar' essays thing is a little misleading.


I agree. Stellar essays mean nothing without stellar stories or background.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 12:14
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I think the GMAT score also has to take timing into account. You dont want to be studying for and taking the GMAT in December if you hope to apply this year. Your efforts of going from a 700 to a 750+ are going to take away all your time from applications. Applying in R2 with a 700 is far better than R3 with a 750+ (some schools wont allow internationals in during R3 because of visa issues).

You are right about my stellar...but I think that with enough thought most people can pick out great stories and make them work well. Stellar essays for Chicago GSB would be pretty easy even without a lot of great material. Essay 1 is a the typical why an mba, why now, why here...not much required for experience there, essay 2 is whose shoes...once again no material required. #3 was the PPT and that can be a shot at creativity and its only 4 slides so hopefully anyone could come up with enough interesting stuff for 4 slides.

MIT on the other hand, god help you if you dont have great experiences to draw from.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 12:23
riverripper wrote:
I think the GMAT score also has to take timing into account. You dont want to be studying for and taking the GMAT in December if you hope to apply this year. Your efforts of going from a 700 to a 750+ are going to take away all your time from applications. Applying in R2 with a 700 is far better than R3 with a 750+ (some schools wont allow internationals in during R3 because of visa issues).

You are right about my stellar...but I think that with enough thought most people can pick out great stories and make them work well. Stellar essays for Chicago GSB would be pretty easy even without a lot of great material. Essay 1 is a the typical why an mba, why now, why here...not much required for experience there, essay 2 is whose shoes...once again no material required. #3 was the PPT and that can be a shot at creativity and its only 4 slides so hopefully anyone could come up with enough interesting stuff for 4 slides.

MIT on the other hand, god help you if you dont have great experiences to draw from.


Since you brought GSB up, what is the widely followed strategy as regards to essays ? I personally find inserting stories/ anecdotes in such straightforward / pointed essays as essay 1 of GSB almost impossible without appearing as one who is tailoring their essays according to what the school wants. Or have people found ways to mix stories with plans in some way? In my opinion that would be ideal though.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 12:27
My plans build off my career and experiences so I definitely used stories. You need to personalize any essay so it doesnt sound cookie cutter. You dont want an adcom to be able to read your essay and be able to say it fits for 100 other applicants. Yes that is difficult but its doable.
  [#permalink] 05 Dec 2007, 12:27
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