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Evaluation Needed

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Evaluation Needed [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2010, 18:59
I have already narrowed down a list of schools to ten, but would be interested in any advice you would have for me.

White female, 25 years at matriculation

Undergrad:
BBA majored in Design and Management at Parson School of Design (one of top design school in the country)
Overall GPA: 3.48
Studied abroad in Paris for 1 year.
Award: Main thesis presenter for graduating class

Work Experience: 4.5 full time years total at matriculation, (experience in chronological order)
18 months as a freelance product consultant
15 months at an innovation/advertising firm in NY.
20 months running own branding company

Activities:
I have a lot programs that I have been involved with from tutoring in math, charity work, and cultural programs.

GMAT: I am not too happy with my score but I don't have time to retake it.
560 (33V, 34 Q, 5 AWA)

My goal is to work in the research and strategy department at a high end design firm (frog design, IDEO, Smart Design) or product development company

Location: Because of my interest the particular industry I would ideally like to stay in New York, San Francisco, or LA. Although I would be willing to pursue other options if the programs are specifically geared towards my interests. I would ideally like to work while going to school so a part time program would be good if it was in one of the major cities I listed if not than I would need to look at Full Time.
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Re: Evaluation Needed [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2010, 17:26
Do whatever it takes to boost that GMAT score. Sign up for a GMAT class/course, hire a private tutor, etc.

If you can score in the mid-600s, then you may want to look at part-time programs like Langone (NYU), UCLA FEMBA, Haas or USC. Since you're staying more or less within the same industry (but transitioning into a different job function), you're right that part-time will probably make more sense.

It really comes down to your GMAT (assuming you can put together strong written applications and you interview well). From what you wrote, you have a profile that adcoms like - business-oriented but in a creative/artistic industry.

p.s. I was debating between applying for traditional colleges or art schools back in high school - my art teacher went to Parsons actually and was trying to encourage me to apply there. Sometimes I wonder what my life would've been like had I took the art school route...
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Re: Evaluation Needed [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2010, 12:57
Thank you for your comments. I don't know how realistic it is for me to retake the GMAT I know that I am usually strong academically which is why I was upset with myself up over my GMAT score.
Another dilemma I am having is whether I should be looking for more traditional MBA programs that are well known like USC or ASU, or if I should look for an MBA from a school that is more focused on what I am interested in. I found a few programs that really concentrate on design in their MBA programs like...
1. Case Westerns: Weatherheads School of Management- Program: Managing by Design
2. Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business
I have been really torn so I decided to apply everywhere and see where I get accepted before weighing my options.

It is funny that you mention your art teacher, when I was in high school my counselor tried convincing me to pursue a degree in mathematics. I was good in math but I always knew I wanted to go to Parsons. It's never too late to take some classes, Parsons have a ton of summer and evening programs.
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Re: Evaluation Needed [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2010, 00:20
Best way to decide is to see if you can find out more about these design firms you're after. Are they full of MBAs? You may even want to contact them directly - if you're not calling up to ask for a job but to simply set up an informational meeting or chat - you may be surprised how many people would be willing to talk to you. Are these firms really into having MBAs from specific schools (or specific tiers of schools), or do they not really care at all (i.e. those at these firms that have MBAs got them from a wide range of schools - from top schools all the way down to the community college level). A good rule of thumb is that if your target career path sees the MBA as a big asset or even a must - then you really should go to the most reputable school that you can get into. If it's seen simply as a "nice to have" but not a huge deal, then it won't really matter as much where you go.
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Re: Evaluation Needed   [#permalink] 19 Jan 2010, 00:20
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