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Chance at Wharton as a JD/MBA?

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Chance at Wharton as a JD/MBA? [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2007, 23:23
Hello, I'm new to this forum (and just starting my consideration of how to apply to business school) and I'm seeking any advice that I can get about how to strengthen my application. Here is my information - I am planning to apply solely to Wharton, given that I will be attending Penn Law next year (I opted to defer matriculation for one year).

First, my two greatest weaknesses: Age - 23, Years of Work Experience: 1 (will be ~1.5 when I apply next year).

Strengths: My numbers/stats (3.75 GPA, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with departmental honors in History from a top 30 undergrad [though I have taken a few calculus/comp sci courses] / I haven't taken an official GMAT yet [as I have several months left before I have to do so] but my prep test averages have been near mid-700s, and my GRE split was 690V/750M/6W - which is 95%/85%/96%). My extracurriculars in college were outstanding - I was president of my class (which meant that I played a major role in planning commencement and directed a fundraising effort that brought in approx. $100,000 from students), a member of the honor court, a member of the school's interfraternity council, and worked part-time throughout most of college. I am also an avid runner and (now) a triathlete (a lot more fun than it looks).

While my work experience is limited, it has been fairly high-stakes work at a federal regulatory agency, working on facets of anti-consumer fraud, spam detection and prevention, data security, and anti-ID theft policy, and my supervisors state that I have been astonishingly successful in tackling immense amounts of work and providing stellar quality as well. I have already thought out my essay topics and, given my strong writing skills, I should do well with these. I plan to (post law/business school) work at a firm dealing with corporate law and hope to then transition into either business consulting relating to what I have been working on post-college (ie assisting companies in ensuring compliance with safeguards/best practices relating to data security and liability) or working on similar aspects within a corporation.

Since I will be attending Penn Law, my only application will be to Wharton. Will this factor (and the fact that I am receiving a sizeable merit scholarship at Penn Law) be of help? I know that there is a Certification program from Wharton for Penn Law Students, which is indicative that they believe Penn Law students are capable of the work required at Wharton. Since I will apply during my first semester at Penn Law, would you recommend finding a recommender on the Penn Law faculty to supplement my other recommendations? Also, save for gaining further work experience, is there anything I should be doing in the mean-time. I know that it's a veritable crap-shoot, so any advice is greatly appreciated
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2007, 10:25
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Wow, yours is a very specific, unique case. That's not bad at all... Just interesting! You obviously have some stellar leadership experiences in your past, which is typically one area where b-schools will focus on when considering someone with little or no work experience.

The other area that they will focus on is answering the question "Why do you need an MBA now?" You will need to have a tight answer here. Especially think about the "now" part of that question... Why not get your MBA in 3-4 more years? I think you have a good reason and realistic post-school goals, but they will really focus on this, so be ready.

Re: recos, I think that strong recos from your job will matter the most, by far. If you feel that there are some holes in your application that an academic reco can help fill, then look for a faculty reco, but I think that professional recos will help you the most.

BTW, you probably already know a lot about Wharton, but here is the answer one their web site about work experience. As you can see, they focus on quality more than quantity:

http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba/admiss ... ex.cfm#Q28

Good luck!
Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2007, 10:37
Thanks! I guess the greatest "why now" reason is that I can knock it out in less time b/c i'll already be at the law school. given that I have some fairly decent (nothing super/ultra compelling like "i know how to cure cancer but want to do it through my own company," but not too blase or anything), do you think that (accompanied by the fact that i'll already be at penn law) would work?
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2007, 11:26
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There's nothing wrong with that answer... That's what most people say... Just be ready to field questions about it.

Scott
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