I posted this same question on the MBA Gameplan forum, but I'm hoping you can give me some insight from your perspective as well.
I'm trying to understand if I should take the leap to apply to a top 10 MBA school given my background and experience. Here's the skinny:
I graduated from a small, private liberal arts college with a 3.34 GPA. My major was Psychology, but I had a great deal of emphasis in Business coursework. In my last year of college, I carried a 3.7 GPA as I was more focused on my grades at that point. I also took some challenging courses in my last couple of years (i.e. biology and advanced statistics)
Extracurricular Activities During College
While in college, I was involved in a number of activities in addition to my coursework, including:
- Work study all four years - 3 years supervising cleaning crews and manager of the on-campus restaurant
- President of my fraternity
- Taekwondo (Black Belt/instructor)
- Cheer Squad (captain of the squad multiple seasons)
- In Choir all four years (concerts and tours)
- Member of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity
I've spent my career up to this point in various roles in Human Resources. For the last 5 years, I've worked at a large telecommunications company in Colorado in HR. Currently, I'm managing all major projects and program initiatives in HR. Prior to this role, I led multiple HR people and systems integrations resulting from mergers and acquisitions. Prior to that, I managed the entire HRIS function. In a five year period of time with this company, I've tripled my salary and been asked to lead multiple high visibility projects within HR. I held jobs in two other companies before that, but my contributions were not as extensive. I have 8 total years work experience.
While in college, I worked during the summers as a Director of an Inner-city summer camp for kids. I managed everything from budget and setting up fees with the parents, to coordinating logistics and overseeing the activities of three counselors and about 30 children.
I'm the president of our local Toastmasters club and I volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters program
610 on the first try; 710 on the second try (45-Q/41-V)
Can you help me understand what I would need to focus on if I wanted to have a decent chance at getting into a program like Kellogg or Harvard? Is any part of the backround I listed majorly deficient and/or largely irrelevant to admissions counselors?
Any insight you have would be appreciated.
You have a chance at schools like Harvard and Kellogg and other top 10 and defintely should apply to those schools as well as 1-2 in the top 20. In my mind your biggest weakness, which may not be a weakness depending on your goals, is that the bulk of your experience is in HR. If you want to stay in HR and the schools you apply to have programs in it, then you're fine. If you want to change and go into general mgmt, you are going to have to overcome a certain prejudice against HR.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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