I took my GMAT this month. Got a 710(Q51, V35, AWA score awaited). This was my first attempt at GMAT. I am not sure if I should retake the exam. My GMATPrep practice scores were 710 and 730. I feel in my retake I can reach 740, best case 760/770. I am targetting a B School in the top 10. Following is a brief about my profile:
I am an Indian, working as an Engineering Project Manager in a well known communication software firm in India. I am 28 right now.
- Completed my B Tech (Hons) in Electronics Engg from IT-BHU (it is considered to be a cousin of IIT in India, though not an IIT itself. The only way one can get through in this college is through the prestigious IIT-JEE exam)
- My GPA was 9.35 on a scale of 10. It roughly translates to 84%. I was the silver medalist in my class and also a 10 pointer in the 3rd semester.
- Have got really good percentages in my studies prior to college as well (not sure how much does pre-college studies matter for admissions but still mentioned it)
- Have completed 6 years of work ex this Aug. Right now I am working as an Engineering Project Manager, managing a team of 8 people. I am the one who is solely responsible for my project in my organization. My responsibilities include overall management of the project, people management, primary contact for the client, deciding on future plans of the project with the customer to meet deployments that are critical for him.
- Have been promoted thrice in the past 6 years. I would be in the top 5% of the company in terms of the career growth rate. Have been consistently rated as the top 10% of the company for 6 times in a row in my appraisals
- Have been awarded thrice by the company - nominations for each of these awards are made company wide. BTW, my company's current strength is around 4000 people. The first award was an individual award and the other two awards were team awards for the teams that were led by me.
- Have represented my company twice at international meets where multiple vendors of my product participate
- Had one more international visit to customer site to resolve a critical technical issue
- On the organizing committees of two events in college
- Pariticipant in technical festival at IIT Kanpur
- Third prize winner at an inter college technical fest at my own college
- Member of the mess committee at college
- Founder of books club in my organization
- Acted as the champion for Quality processes for two years in my organization
- Have been an active trainer for company wide trainings at my organization
- Should be able to get a good solid recommendations from my boss and also from my second/third level manager
- Good recommendations from my college would also not be an issue (if they are required in addition to my professional recommendations)
I haven't been able to research schools a lot, hence need advice on what category of schools should I target.
- Top 10 schools?
- Financial aid would be a very important criteria for me
- Not sure about my area of specialization in MBA but would be best if I can get something in Finance or Business Strategy, though specialization would not be a deciding criteria for me
- Do I stand a chance in top 10 schools?
- In what category of schools would I have good chances with my current profile?
- Will retaking GMAT impove my chances in the top 10 schools? The score which I will be looking at in my retake would be 740-760.
- If I don't stand a chance right now, what else could strengthen my application? A different job profile, community service, a better GMAT score or something else. Would waiting one more year and working on these aspects serve me better than applying this year (considering that I am already 28 and have 6 years of work ex already)
- If I forego the financial aid requirement does it improve my chances in top 10 schools?
Have posted a long one because I am really confused as to whether I should apply with my current score or should retake GMAT and then apply. Pls help I am really confused right now.
Thanks in advance.
Your score is fine; you won't improve your chances significantly by retaking. Your professional profile looks strong, though the fact that you will be applying from India hurts you because it means your work expereience is a little more of an unknown for the adcoms. The fact that you are a male Indian technologist--the most common applicant pool I would guess--also hurts your chances in the sense that it sets the bar higher for you. Your extracurriculars don't appear to be at the same level as your professional profile. I think you have a decent chance at schools like Duke, Virginia, Yale, Chicago, Cornell, NYU, UNC, Michigan, perhaps MIT and Haas.
The financial aid issue is separate from your admission, so telling schools you don't need financial aid won't improve your admission chances. I would not encourage you to wait another year; I would encourage to be more flexible about attending a top 10 school. Some of the programs I listed are not top 10 but they're very good.
Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance
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