If you don’t want all my background stuff, please skip to the bottom for “MY REAL QUESTION”
After several months of study I finally wrote the GMAT, scoring a 620 (Q40:V36). I was disappointed with the quant as I spent 90% of my prep on it and was scoring more in the 43-44 range on my prep tests. I have formulated a new plan of attack and will retake the GMAT in approx 6-7 weeks. I fully expect to do improve. In the unlikely event I score worse, a 620 is useable for my purposes as I plan on applying largely to tier 2 b-schools in Canada for Fall 2011 admission. At my target schools a 620 is roughly the average of accepted applicants, but I was really counting on a great score to bolster my weaker areas (see below)
In the meantime, I think I should really start to take advantage of the fact I will have lots of time to beef up my application profile.
GPA - I hold a four-year Hons BComm from a solid, respectable Canadian University and managed to obtain a 3.12 CGPA (roughly) despite having my head shoved directly up my *** for a good chunk of 2nd and 3rd year. Not a major handicap but not a major asset either.
Work Experience - After graduating I had a string of interviews but nothing really clicked. I ended up accepting a job as a bank teller at a major Canadian bank to gain some experience and, more importantly, to gain access to the internal job postings at head office. The bank had a policy not allowing internal movement within the first year of accepting a job but because I truly excelled in my role and was persistent with my manager and after 8 months I ended up with an interview at head office for an awesome 2-year corporate banking leadership program. I interviewed well but was runner-up to another candidate with, you guessed it, an MBA. The hiring manager said she loved my intangibles, but the credentials the other candidate offered couldn’t be denied. I definitely took notice of the fact that all this other guy had on me was a piece of paper with three letters on it. Lesson learned: MBA = More opportunity. No MBA = Less opportunity.
At this point keep in mind I stayed at home for university to save $$$, so by this point I got a bit stir crazy. I quit the bank and backpacked Europe for two months. It was incredible!!! I had an amazing time, and came back in late October 2008. Wow. WOW. Did I ever pick a plum time to quit my job and spend a whack of cash.
I scrambled and was truly lucky to find a job (by December 2008) with a large international finance company specializing in leasing and small & middle-market lending. Anyone know how large lenders did in 08/09? Yeah. It was stressful. Several rounds of layoffs and, eventually, the company declared bankruptcy. It has since emerged from bankruptcy but another lesson was learned: Bankruptcy = no fun. I never, ever want to do that at the corporate or, heaven forbid, personal level again. Solution: Develop more skills. One option: MBA.
My duties at this employer, still my current employer, have essentially been various administrative tasks but I could probably put a good spit shine on them.
I am well short of having any experience in terms of being a manager , or leading a team, or delivering a project under budget, or having people directly report to me, or having a sales territory or anything like that. Nothing that is going to really “wow” any adcoms.
Once I finish round 2 of the GMAT obtaining this experience will become priority #1.
My reference letters will probably be ok, I think I can manage this.
Volunteering - I have almost nothing here. BUT my company recently (last week) sponsored a day for employees to work at a soup kitchen for a day. It was a real reality check. I asked about coming back and volunteering on my own regularly. For me it is a great reminder of how thankful I should be, but I don’t know if this is exactly what adcoms are looking for per se in terms of volunteering. I still plan on doing it for myself though.
Extra Curricular - all mine centre around sports and working out. I had a major transformation from 2005 -2007 where I lost like 50 pounds of fat and gained a lot of muscle. It’s shallow, but its one of my proudest accomplishments because A. I had told myself I couldn’t do it for so long and B. So many people fail at it. I was a success story, totally self-made.. no fancy personal trainers or anything. Just me willing myself to keep at it and to never give up.
MY REAL QUESTION:
Anyways, I’m looking for some creative ideas on how I can improve and/or make my profile standout more.
-more volunteering? more “Business-like” volunteering ie. sitting on board of a NFP?
-Taking a leadership course, Dale Carneighies’ course is like $1700
-A few summer courses at university or college, maybe in math or stats to pad my Q40 on GMAT.
-marrying a rich chick?
Other ideas? Admission consultants - what are some creative ways/ideas your students have used to boost their profiles. I’m open to all suggestions at this point. Any unorthodox ways of standing out from the pack that are just crazy enough to work?
Thanks for reading, I know I’m long-winded.
G.T.L. - GMAT, Tanning, Laundry
Round 1: 05/12/10 http://gmatclub.com/forum/handling-a-grenade-thesituation-s-official-debrief-94181.html
Round 2: 07/10/10 - This time it's personal.