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Eval: Please tell me I stand a chance

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Eval: Please tell me I stand a chance [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2014, 16:44
31, White male, US

-Eight years as a financial analyst (business operations and FP&A) for a top defense contractor. Steady promotions, increases in work scope and responsibility, bosses praise me. I’ve led special projects but as an individual contributor, I have no traditional management experience.

-I just began my GMAT prep, taking the test in a couple of months. Practice scores were high 600’s to 710 with barely any studying (q: 39, v: 45). I’m positive I can bring quant up with some refreshers/strategy.

-UCLA ‘06, Econ major, 3.1 GPA.
No excuses for GPA. Just got distracted by my new-found freedom. It took me a little while to develop my inner motivation. I know better now.
If I took some online quantitative classes, would it boost my case here?

-I have no significant extracurriculars or community service since high school. I get the distinct impression that this is a huge mark against me but I'm not sure anything can be done about it now.

-I'm working on getting my FP&A cert in early 2015 (somewhat equivalent to CPA but for different discipline).

-I’m aiming for the best school I can get into that offers an online option or part-time option in California (Indiana, MBA@UNC, Carnegie Mellon, AZ State, Santa Clara, etc.)
My dream is UCLA or Berkeley... If I somehow got a 760+ GMAT and submitted well-prepared essays/application, would these be possible?

-I’m typically a very strong essay writer so I think that could be a real positive for my application. My recommendations would be from former bosses (middle managers) who would have great things to say about me but aren't really influencers in the corporation.

-My goal is to get into financial analysis/business strategy at a major tech company (Google, Apple, etc.) since they seem to be enthusiastic recruiters of MBAs.


If I tell a cohesive story, put together a great application, score 710+ GMAT, maybe take a quant course or two before applying, do I stand a chance at making it into a good school?

Thanks for the help.
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Re: Eval: Please tell me I stand a chance [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2014, 13:05
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Hi there,

Thanks for posting. It sounds like you have a decent handle/assessment on what your areas of strength and weakness are. You are a somewhat 'older' than average applicant but less so when focusing on part time or online programs. Yes you should focus a lot on that GMAT!! Especially to help somewhat overcome that lower GPA. And yes if you were able to enroll in a course, particularly a relevant quant or business course that is graded and get an A (or two), certainly that would be a plus.

Haas would be a stretch. UCLA could be a bit more reasonable as they have a much higher acceptance rate for PT; with a strong GMAT. Online programs would likely be fairly within-reach in many cases. The other schools you have mentioned sound reasonable. Not sure if you are considering USC Marshall but their part-time program has a high acceptance rate. You could also look at UC Davis among others.

Focus on what you CAN still change-- namely the GMAT and your essays! ;) Keep us posted on questions and your progress, good luck to you!
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