I’m looking for some guidance before I narrow down my list of schools and start filling out applications. I’m shooting for the Round 2 deadlines in early January. Thanks in advance for your time.
730 (47v, 44q, 6w)
I graduated from the University of Maryland in 2007 with two bachelor’s degrees – journalism and government and politics. I had a 3.2 GPA. (It took me way too long and too many credits to figure out I was really, really bad at Japanese.) Most of my extracurriculars were journalism-related. I did lots of freelance writing for small newspapers and held down a radio show for a few years. I also have two black belts in Japanese martial arts – Ninjutsu and Taijutsu. Those won't do me much good in B-school, but they've helped me stand out before.
At the time of the application, I’ll have 5.5 years of professional experience.
-Two years covering business, government and politics at various times and later doing a lot of editing for a chain of newspapers in Pennsylvania.
-Almost 2.5 years covering state government, politics and business/economic issues for a statewide paper in Maryland.
-About a year in the public sector working in a variety of economic development functions, including external communications (speechwriting, etc.) and some policy development.
I want to (eventually) end up doing VC or entrepreneurial work. After I got my GMAT score, I started looking at the top schools in Boston (Harvard, MIT), Chicago (Booth, Northwestern), and Northern Cali. (Stanford, Berkeley). Am I a fit there? If not, where else?
Thanks again for the time.
While you certainly have a chance at the schools you name, I'm really concerned that each is a stretch for the following reasons:
* You are more experienced and older than most, especially for Stanford.
* Your GPA is below average for the schools you are targeting. Now maybe if you take out the Japanese grades and calculate your GPA without those grades you will get an average closer to these programs' average.
* Your GMAT quant score is below average for these programs and would be a concern, especially at MIT Sloan and Chicago.
* You may have leadership experience, but I don't see it above.
On the positive side:
* Your work experience is both distinctive and relevant to business.
* You are obviously a good communicator and writer.
I suggest you choose 2-3 of the above schools and also consider programs like UCLA, Yale, Duke, and Cornell. Choose 2-3 from the latter group. In addition to address possible concerns about your quant skills, either enroll in a program like MBAMath or consider taking classes like statistics for business, calc 1 (if you have the prerequisites for it), accounting 1, or economics. Earning As in these classes would help address possible concerns about your grades and your quant skills. And even if you earn these grades after you submit your application, they could help if you are waitlisted, or it you need to reapply.