Thanks for reaching out. You are right that your GMAT score killed you this last time around. Below 660 or 670 is just really hard to overcome. 670 to 690 is not ideal, but you can work with it. 700+ is the magic line, obviously.
As for what else might have been working against you, obviously, I would need to thoroughly review your applications and provide feedback. We do have a Ding Analysis service if you are interested in that. We also fold Ding Analysis into our comprehensive packages when we work with people who are taking another run at it, so if you were to work with me on your applications for the fall, we would naturally start with what happened this past cycle. My guess is that it is some combination of career goals not being articulated perfectly (it is so much harder than people think to get it "just" right), the key themes not being highlighted, and - most likely of all - school fit not being nailed. (Not just a list of activities or classes, but hitting the DNA of a program.) I guess these factors because they exist almost across the board. We see a stark contrast between the people we help and those who go at it alone (and even many of those who use other consultants, unfortunately) - applying to b school has becoming like running for public office. If you don't have a campaign manager, you just aren't going to fare very well in most cases.
So I would say the two biggest recommendations would be: 1) improve your GMAT score to 670, or 700 if possible, and 2) hire a vetted consultant who can take B or C applications to an A.
As for schools, I would add IESE, Cambridge, and Oxford to your list. We've had a ton of success at all three. Oxford in particular is a school that can allow you to outshine the competition if you understand what Said is all about.
Good luck. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
if we can be of any help.
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