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Do I have a good chance at my target schools?

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Do I have a good chance at my target schools? [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2004, 11:34
Dear Linda,

I am applying to B-schools right now. I am female, 30 years old, Hispanic, and I have worked in market research in Spain for the last three years. I attended a competitive liberal arts college in the US and I have a 3.85 GPA (My major was Sociology). I also have a Masters degree in Sociology, with a 3.8 GPA. I am taking the GMAT next week and, from my practice tests, I expect to score around 680-700.

My Sociology major and job experience have provided me with a strong quantitative foundation.

I was born in Latin America but I am a US citizen. I am also a citizen of Spain and I have extensive international experience (I speak three languages). I have also volunteered for immigrant causes for many years.

My career goals are related both to my experience and my background: I want to move into consulting, in particular diversity consulting. This field consists in helping companies to have a more diverse workforce, helping with the integration of new ideas, etc. I know this field is narrow, so I would probably work in general management consulting right after the MBA, and then move into my field of interest. I would like to work in Europe after a few years in the US.

One specific question: I have a masters degree in Sociology, as I mentioned above. I entered grad school with the expectation of getting a PhD to become a college professor, but I did not think that was the right career for me so I left the program early with a Masters degree instead. I ended up staying in the program for a couple of years after the Masters degree, taking classes, working, doing research, etc. Will this count against me? (The positive side is that I focused my coursework and research on race, ethnicity and immigration, which are related to my career goals).

I want to attend Harvard, Tuck or Columbia. What do you think my chances are? What other schools do you recommend I look into?

Thank you so much for all your help!

Andie
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2004, 18:47
Hi,

The impact of your academic experience in sociology on your MBA application depends on how you "sell" the experience to the admissions officers. One concern of admissions officers (however misplaced it might be in your case) is that you are not committed to a career in business or that you might be one of those dreaded "degree collectors." Thus, it would behoove you to draw a strong connection between your past academic experience and your interest in the graduate study of business.

Considering your interest in Europe I would investigate some of the highly regarded European/UK schools such as INSEAD, LBS, and perhaps IESE.

There are many schools to consider in the US for management consulting including (among many others) Penn and Northwestern.

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Re: Do I have a good chance at my target schools? [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2004, 17:12
Expert's post
andie wrote:
Dear Linda,

I am applying to B-schools right now. I am female, 30 years old, Hispanic, and I have worked in market research in Spain for the last three years. I attended a competitive liberal arts college in the US and I have a 3.85 GPA (My major was Sociology). I also have a Masters degree in Sociology, with a 3.8 GPA. I am taking the GMAT next week and, from my practice tests, I expect to score around 680-700.

My Sociology major and job experience have provided me with a strong quantitative foundation.

I was born in Latin America but I am a US citizen. I am also a citizen of Spain and I have extensive international experience (I speak three languages). I have also volunteered for immigrant causes for many years.

My career goals are related both to my experience and my background: I want to move into consulting, in particular diversity consulting. This field consists in helping companies to have a more diverse workforce, helping with the integration of new ideas, etc. I know this field is narrow, so I would probably work in general management consulting right after the MBA, and then move into my field of interest. I would like to work in Europe after a few years in the US.

One specific question: I have a masters degree in Sociology, as I mentioned above. I entered grad school with the expectation of getting a PhD to become a college professor, but I did not think that was the right career for me so I left the program early with a Masters degree instead. I ended up staying in the program for a couple of years after the Masters degree, taking classes, working, doing research, etc. Will this count against me? (The positive side is that I focused my coursework and research on race, ethnicity and immigration, which are related to my career goals).

I want to attend Harvard, Tuck or Columbia. What do you think my chances are? What other schools do you recommend I look into?

Thank you so much for all your help!

Andie


Andie,

I think you are a highly competitive candidate at the schools on your list ( assuming your GMAT ends up in the indicated range.) At the same time, these are highly competitive schools and HBS does seem to prefer younger applicants. Perhaps you want to apply to a few additional programs. Haas, Wharton, Michigan come to mind.

REgarding your grad sociology studies, adcoms understand that people sometimes take a detour before finding their professional niche. Apparently your grad studies helped clarify for you what you don't want to do while still giving you a foundation for what you do want to do. Your work experience since then confirmed your direction. I don't think it will be a problem, if you handle it well.

Most of the schools specifically ask about career decision in the past and the path you have taken to this point in time. They want to know how you determined an MBA is for you. YOur answer to those questions should directly address this issue. Explain why you decided against the PHD and what attract you to business and diversity consulting. At the same time, make clear that your studies are a valuable asset in achieving your goal.

Good luck!
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