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GMAT 680 and GPA 3.44. Shot at Stanford GSB?

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GMAT 680 and GPA 3.44. Shot at Stanford GSB? [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2011, 08:52
Hello Alex,

I'm follow your threads here at this forum and at other forums. I particularly liked your comparisons of B-Schools to cars, it was as informative as it was entertaining. I also went through the podcast at mbapodcaster. I was wondering if you could shed some light on how good my chances are at an early application deferred for 2 years. My options are HBS 2+2 and Stanford GSB but my dream school is Stanford. I'm an Indian male (21 years old). I've included pretty much all the relevant information.

Background

I'm an Indian majoring in Economics from one of the top schools in India (Indian Institute of Technology-Madras). We have a GPA system that is out of 10 and my GPA scaled down to a 4 point system is 3.44 although I expect that it will rise when adjusted for the variations between the systems. I've taken the GMAT twice. My first attempt was a 640. Next attempt was a 680 (Q42 V41). I guess on D-Day I just freeze or get tired after the essays. I did well in the AWA both times getting a perfect score of 6.0.

My grades did fall from a 3.6 GPA (9/10 Indian scale) after I got stabbed in a mugging attempt in my 3rd year of college. But I've since bounced back from a much lower score and have kept it near the 3.45 GPA mark.

As far as internships go-

I have done an internship at a Private Equity firm and was involved very closely in the process of a fund expansion to the tune of 200 million USD.

I have done two other internships one with a securities firm and other in the Treasury Forex of a large bank. Needless to say, I want to get into finance post-study.

Now for the other stuff-

As far as professional experience goes, I started a small firm in 2009 after my family portfolio was almost wiped out in the aftermath of the crisis when it was just about 2.5 years after my dad's passing and have since paid my tuition and other expenses myself. I oversaw a 450% growth in the balance sheet during my 18 month tenure as a partner in the firm. This was just three months after my stabbing.

I've been a peer counselor for high school students with a training institute that prepares students for college for almost 5 years now and have counseled over 150 high school students during the time. I sat with each of them personally, gauged their interests and gave feedback to the academic counselors who then took over the process. In fact, starting such a peer counseling position was my idea after I recognised a certain gap between student mindsets and counselors in general when I was a high school student.

Extra-Curriculars-

I've been a dancer since I was 9 and am now a certified advanced Latin Ballroom and Salsa dancer.

I've also been practising martial arts since 9 and have been certified as a 2nd Degree Black Belt from the Apex body in India.

I've also held quite a few leadership positions and handled responsibilities both individually and in teams over the years. (I realise that this has already become quite long a post and dont want to further try and sell my achievements)

Well that's it about me. I want to know if I should take the GMAT again or not. I plan to apply early and defer my admission to B-School by 2/3 years. The HBS 2+2 program is one of the programs I'm applying to in R-2 along with Stanford GSB. I want to know what my chances are of making it. Or should I take up a one year masters such as the Duke MMS or LBS MiM, work a couple of years and apply after that to B-School. Will getting such a masters degree hurt my application for an MBA later on? (the rationale for doing so is because of the relative freeze in jobs across the globe in the banking sector and because delaying graduation in school really won't help because our department does not support finance as a career option because of their philosophy) I wouldn't have so many doubts if my GMAT score were a little higher but since that ship has sailed, I would love it and appreciate it very very (very) much if I could some help here.

Thanks much in advance

Manoj
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Re: GMAT 680 and GPA 3.44. Shot at Stanford GSB? [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2011, 14:39
If you're going to apply, you need at least a 720+ and ideally 740+ for the 2+2 or any deferral program.

Secondly, I don't want to tell you not to apply, but honestly even with a monster GMAT score (say 740+) your chances are still quite slim because programs like the 2+2 aren't really geared towards people like yourself. They are mostly targeting those who otherwise wouldn't have considered business in the first place (pre-med, pre-law, and science majors) and mostly from North America, Europe, and parts of Asia that aren't China or India. In other words, it's designed to broaden their applicant pool beyond the white/Asian bankers and consultants, and the Indians. In your case, it looks like you're already well on your way to building a business career already, so you will not be a priority for the adcom who would much rather take other applicants who aren't traditional business types.

To be honest, the best thing you can do as an Indian (both for MBA admissions and MBA recruiting) is to get work experience in the US, western Europe, or an Asian financial center like HK or Singapore. For many Indians that means getting a masters degree first in the US or Europe, and using that as a gateway into getting full-time work outside of India.
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Re: GMAT 680 and GPA 3.44. Shot at Stanford GSB? [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2011, 16:56
Alex,

Thank you for a candid and prompt reply. I just want to clarify one thing.

Will doing a one year Masters like the Duke MMS or the LBS MiM hurt my chances later on when I want to pursue the MBA proper after having gained some/significant exposure to the US/W.Europe culture both work and study because of the overlap of the essential ingredients of the curriculum, i.e. year 1 core courses? Especially because these are new courses and about 3-4 years down the line there will again be many candidates-atleast 2000 given a combined class size (Duke+LBS) of 250-with similar experiences. I specifically ask this because I want to get into finance and the job market currently kinda sucks.

It'd help if this is clarified. Thanks again in advance,

Manoj
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Re: GMAT 680 and GPA 3.44. Shot at Stanford GSB? [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 11:59
Yes, doing a masters degree that is similar to an MBA can make it more difficult to justify why you would want an MBA in your b-school application, but then again, so what? Focus on NOW. You need or want a better job. If getting those non-MBA masters degrees is what it will take, go for it. I just get a sense that you're putting this MBA on such a pedestal that you feel you should do anything and everything in your life to prep for it - when in fact the MBA is not a glass slipper that will magically transform you into Cinderella overnight.

Focus on your career, not on collecting credentials. The quality of work experience is the most important thing in your career - which may be something you will have a harder time appreciating since you've been in school full-time all your life (so you can only value what you know - which is school since no matter what kind of work experience you've had so far, your main identity to date has been "student").
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Re: GMAT 680 and GPA 3.44. Shot at Stanford GSB? [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 14:54
Alex,

Thanks again for your reply. And I mean REALLY, thank you. It has put things in perspective and though it'd be weird/hard, I guess its time I took a step back and looked at the big picture and not let B-School turn into a desperate obsession (its just that I really want it and sometimes I can get a little carried away and need reality checks such as this one)

I'm definitely going to apply to both Duke and LBS for the Dec Rd because it makes a lot of practical sense for me to do so. I shall keep you in the loop.

Manoj
Re: GMAT 680 and GPA 3.44. Shot at Stanford GSB?   [#permalink] 23 Nov 2011, 14:54
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GMAT 680 and GPA 3.44. Shot at Stanford GSB?

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