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OK, I finally took the GMAT! Ended up with a 700 (42Q/42V) and expecting a 5.5. or 6.0 AWA. SO relieved to be done with that ordeal!
I told myself that, if I scored 700+, I would apply to more competitive programs. As such, I've narrowed my selection down to the following 9 schools:
Uber Elite Harvard U. Penn
Elite Northwestern Yale UCLA
Almost Elite Emory Georgetown UT-Austin USC
Is 9 too much? I don't want to tire my recommenders, and need to make sure I have enough time to make each application great.
Would appreciate any thoughts and help!
Male, 26 years old at matriculation American, Caucasian UG: Top 50 University with 3.27 GPA EC: Campus leader in several clubs
Studied Abroad in Japan, Fluent in Japanese
WE1: Hotel Manager at Fortune 100 Corporation with 20 direct reports WE2: Hotel Manager, later Night Manager, at re-opening of world famous luxury hotel with 20 direct reports WE3: Property Manager, then promoted to Asset Manager, at Japanese Real Estate Firm. Proposed new division, which was executed and I was given responsibility for it. Speak Japanese on daily basis at work.
Goal Get MBA to pursue career in hotel development. I have strong hospitality leadership background, international experience, and have delved into real estate, so I feel I possess a strong profile.[quote][/quote]
Last edited by briangtsmith on 07 Nov 2010, 06:17, edited 2 times in total.
Nice work on the CATs and good luck carrying it over to the real thing. I think a 720 does change the game a bit. Your GPA might have you playing catch-up at Harvard and Stanford more than other schools, so not sure if the GMAT totally changes things. With HBS it comes down to your leadership experiences and your commitment to the process of general management training (including the academic rigor that HBS prides itself on). With Stanford it comes down to whether you can craft that personal narrative that gets an admissions officer excited. Both are longshots but perhaps worthy longshots. My advice is to pick one or the other though - they are incredibly different schools and frankly, I can't imagine that if one is perfect for you, the other is a good fit at all. Everyone applies to HSW, but the reality is that you should usually be picking one, two max.
As for Kellogg, the GMAT helps a lot, but you are actually a tad young for that school. Kellogg has stayed pretty hard core in its preference for 60+ months work experience and average age of 28/29/30 or so. Still, if you've got the leadership (seems to be your ace in the hole), you can take a real run at Kellogg.
It goes without saying that crafting killer apps will be the x-factor of course.
Thanks for reaching out and sorry for the delay. My records indicated that I had already responded to you, but I looked deeper and saw that it was a different question. Let's get into this...
Your GPA will be fine from GW - not quite at the averages of the top programs, but nothing that spells doom either. Your work experience is good in the sense that you have a lot of leadership to draw upon, it fits your career goals, and it will read as "interesting" compared to so many other applicants. So it really all comes down to three things: your GMAT score, your school selection, and the execution of your applications.
With the GMAT, understand that if we stretch your CAT scores to 650-700, you are hitting three distinct pockets. 600-660 is tough territory - you basically have to pull a rabbit out of your hat to get into the top programs. 660-690 is "wish it was higher" territory - you can still be competitive, but it puts more pressure on the rest of your application and takes some elite programs off the table. 700+ is "check in the box" and brings more elite programs into play and, frankly, takes some of the lesser schools out of the running (they will perceive themselves as safety schools unless you really showcase interest and fit). So how you do on the GMAT will have huge ramifications. This is not to apply added pressure, but just let you know that once you get that score, you will have to immediately make choices about where to apply, either way.
As for school selection, well, see above. I would also research good Hospitality Masters programs, because b-schools that offer that degree often borrow from a top notch faculty to help populate a less common area of the MBA. Johnson at Cornell and NYU Stern come immediately to mind.
Finally, it goes without saying that you have to crush your essays. This is true for everyone, but especially when your career path is more exotic and you might need to educate the reader on how this is all going to work (previous experience + MBA from that school = next job) and especially if you have any academic profile issues to overcome.
Hope this helps. PM me if you want to get into this a bit more.
9 is too many. I would take one off of each part of the list. One super elite, two elite, three almost elite. You might even consider only doing two "almost elite" and three elite (so keeping Kellogg, Yale, and UCLA). Get down to around 6 programs. If you work with a consultant (we have a few rd 2 spots left), you will probably want to work on three applications and then carry it over to the other three.