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Could you evaluate my profile? Thanks in advance.

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Could you evaluate my profile? Thanks in advance. [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 20:46
Hi there,

Thanks in advance to anyone who helps me out by taking a look at the information below. This sounds a tad crazy and definitely over-ambitious but I believe that I will only be applying to Harvard Business School and no others. Why? I feel that my current experience is enough for me to succeed in life but that if I'm going to take the time off to better myself professionally, why not go big or go home?

I am almost certain I am not your typical HBS accepted applicant but I have this feeling that I may just stand out from others. With that being said, here is my profile. I would love to hear thoughts and overall feedback.

Age: 25

Work experience: Started working for myself at 19 years old as an online marketing consultant while studying as a sophomore in college. I grew this effort into a full time at-home new media marketing business I now run managing a few employees while also servicing multiple companies including Fortune 500 brands. I currently manage an online community which I've helped grow from 500 people to 80,000 people (in just one year) from all over the world for quite possibly the biggest global name in consumer electronics (I serve as the sole Community Manager for this brand).

Education: Graduated with a BS in Communications from St. John's University - 3.2 GPA (One class I bombed one semester due to a variety of reasons). I otherwise would have graduated with Honors at least. I know that my undergraduate GPA is not one of my stronger points nor is the mark that made it dip quite substantially. However the last 2 years of my undergraduate, I averaged a 3.75 GPA.

Extracurriculars: Before graduating college in 2007, I raised over $8,000 for a volunteer trip by approaching businesses, individuals, publications and holding a charity event. With the money raised, I volunteered in Ghana Africa for a month while structuring the first summer camp ever for the children of an underprivileged remote village. I have also held a few other leaderships positions in college and with other smaller efforts before then.

Additionally, there is one item I could choose to include or omit from the application but that I think is vital in understanding the type person I am. I happen to be a single mother on top of all of my endeavors. I am an atypical one of course and defy the stigma usually associated with one. However since that takes up most of my time, the extracurriculars are naturally kept to a minimum lately. I would only want to state this fact to show my determination and ability to succeed as opposed to use it to evoke any other thoughts. Do you think that is worth mentioning on an application?

GMAT/GRE:
Here is my biggest concern: I am not a huge math person. The class that really messed with my GPA was a math course with a very difficult (personality-wise) professor. With that being said, I'm terrified of the type of math that is existent on the GMAT's. I am great with writing/verbal skills but math is simply not my strong point. It seems the GRE suits my testing style a bit more and I see that HBS accepts it now. Question is, how many people do they truly accept that submit GRE scores as opposed to GMAT? I did hear that oddly enough, HBS is a bit less quantitative than most business schools and that they focus a lot more on managerial talent and so forth. Is this true?

Recommendations: I am very fortunate to have worked with and made connections with top-tier professionals from Fortune 500 corporations who I am sure would provide great recommendations.

Also if I was invited to interview, I'm extremely confident in my interviewing skills as I tend to obtain about 95% positions/opportunities after any interview opportunity. I am also a great essay writer and have no doubt that my essays would be compelling enough to grab their interest.

I would appreciate any honest opinion.

Thanks!
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Re: Could you evaluate my profile? Thanks in advance. [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2010, 05:10
Hi there,

>> am almost certain I am not your typical HBS accepted applicant

I'd agree with you. You definitely aren't the typical candidate we are used to seeing on these forums.

Here are some queries to challenge you and get you to think a little more. It might help you when you start writing essays.

>> I currently manage an online community which I've helped grow from 500 people to 80,000 people (in just one year) from all over the world for quite possibly the biggest global name in consumer electronics (I serve as the sole Community Manager for this brand)

That's a pretty impressive jump in numbers.

- How much of this do you think was attributable to your individual efforts?
- Would you be able to convince the HBS adcom that the brand (the strongest in its area as you've admitted) didn't play a huge role in drawing in the crowds? Would you be able to replicate the same success again in a different setting and with a different (less powerful) brand?
- How did this community help the organisation? Can you link the numbers to something that the company will find more tangible? Did this translate to revenues? A stronger brand?


Education:
>> I know that my undergraduate GPA is not one of my stronger points nor is the mark that made it dip quite substantially.

It gets a little tricky here. You will have to demonstrate that the Achilles' heel from undergrad days doesn't come back to haunt you during the MBA studies. Can you take a few extra courses in related subjects to show that your undergrad performance in that subject was an aberration? GMAT is another tool that can help you partially overcome this issue.

>> Extracurriculars

Pretty strong.


>> I happen to be a single mother...Do you think that is worth mentioning on an application?

From a b-school application perspective, this in itself is neither a pro or a con. But if you explain how this status influenced your life choices and helped shape you as an individual, as a professional, then you could use this to your advantage.


GMAT/GRE:
>> I am not a huge math person...With that being said, I'm terrified of the type of math that is existent on the GMAT's.

You don't have to be. B-schools get applications from architects, poets, doctors, psychic healers (pls don't ask for evidence, specially for that last one). Point I'm trying to make is, you don't have to be a maths wiz to crack the GMAT. But it does require practice.

If you haven't started the process yet, try out a few mock tests. See where you currently are on the bell curve. If you have a well-planned prep plan in place, your score will rise.

The best part about the GMAT is, you can take it as many times as you want. Most schools will take the highest score.

Not too sure about the GRE stuff. So I'm conveniently skipping that part.

Recommendations
>> ...made connections with top-tier professionals from Fortune 500 corporations ...I am sure would provide great recommendations

Great. Another tick-mark on the list. But don't just go for people with the highest designations. Someone who can passionately and genuinely vouch for you, will be your best bet.

Interviews
>> I'm extremely confident in my interviewing skills as I tend to obtain about 95% positions/opportunities after any interview opportunity

Another tick mark. However, be aware that B-school interviews aren't the same as job interviews. Learn about the structure, the kind of questions they ask etc. You basic interviewing skills will still come in handy, though.

>> I am also a great essay writer and have no doubt that my essays would be compelling enough to grab their interest

Damn...this means admission consultants can't get any revenue from you. Couldn't you write this first?

Just kidding. I'd be happy to help with any further queries that you might have.

Intentionally taking up the next point in the end.

>> ...applying to Harvard Business School and no others. Why? I feel that my current experience is enough for me to succeed in life but that if I'm going to take the time off to better myself professionally, why not go big or go home?

Fair enough. However, consider this. The decision to initiate the MBA application process is the toughest, as it is preceded by a whole lot of introspection (is it worth it, why now et al) and analysis (financial, RoI, career impact).

Once you've decided to take the plunge, the incremental effort of applying to additional schools isn't too bad. If you are going to do this only once, why put all your eggs in one basket? There are other 'big' schools as well that could get you there.

Having a choice isn't always bad, right?

_________________

Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com


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Re: Could you evaluate my profile? Thanks in advance. [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2010, 10:44
Absolutely love this evaluation. Thank you so very much! I really appreciate the questions that help me further decide on what I can really focus on within the application. As for putting all my eggs in one basket, the reason is this: I am unable to relocate for a program at this time as I simply cannot take my daughter away from what she is growing used to as well as the close contacts/family I have around the area. Taking such extensive time off for schooling without working full time would be challenging so those resources nearby are necessary if I were to in fact obtain my MBA.

With that said, HBS seems like a long shot but worth applying to. If I were unable to get in, that is fine. Unfortunately at this time, an MBA program cannot be worth it for me unless it's close by and would truly propel my current career. I feel like the standard MBA program wouldn't. As for MIT, I do not think I'd be a good fit for them or vice versa.

Either way, I'm taking everything you said seriously and appreciate it!
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Re: Could you evaluate my profile? Thanks in advance. [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2010, 23:44
I'm glad you found it helpful. The reasons you've outlined, for not pursuing other programs, justify your stance.

Prepare well and give it your best punch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.

_________________

Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com


Re: Could you evaluate my profile? Thanks in advance.   [#permalink] 03 Mar 2010, 23:44
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