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McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year

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Joined: 28 May 2012
Posts: 130
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 710 Q43 V45
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WE: Marketing (Consulting)
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McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 06:10
I ended up batting a pretty poor average in my application process, and I'm curious as to some of your thoughts on next steps. To give you an idea of my profile, I'm 24 years old, American male, had a 3.51 undergrad GPA from a Top 40-50 university, 760 (Q48/V48) GMAT, strong recs and essays, but weak work experience that entails smaller, off-brand companies and only 39 months of experience at matriculation.

I was admitted to McDonough with a very nice scholarship ($20k/year) and will be attending admit weekend to learn a little more. I visited to interview on campus, talked to many students and sat in on a class, and I am generally impressed with what I found. However despite my enjoyment of the facilities and culture, I'm concerned that it's strengths as a program are not aligned with my areas of interest - brand management and private sector consulting - which exacerbates concerns based on Georgetown's perception as somewhat of a tier 3 program.

It's a good opportunity, but I feel that another year of age and work experience may help my case at some higher-tier schools. I wouldn't reapply to Harvard/Wharton/MIT, but I was dinged with interview from Columbia, so I feel that I might make a strong ED candidate there for class of 2016. And while there is no way of knowing how far I got with Kellogg, I really loved my visits there and had great rapport with every student and adcom member I met.

Hopefully I will have more clarity after admit weekend at McDonough, but any thoughts on this situation?

Thank you all!
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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 06:25
You're young with great stats. Without knowing you, I think you just haven't had enough leadership opportunities to display in your essays/resume and you should actively seek those out - both in and out of the work place. I would give it another go. Sure McDonough is nice, but do you want to go there wondering what if I re-applied to Kellogg, Columbia, etc? The MBA only happens once. Delaying by a year may be worth it.
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Current Student
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Joined: 28 May 2012
Posts: 130
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 710 Q43 V45
GMAT 2: 700 Q42 V42
GMAT 3: 760 Q48 V48
GPA: 3.51
WE: Marketing (Consulting)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 45 [0], given: 27

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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 06:36
CobraKai wrote:
You're young with great stats. Without knowing you, I think you just haven't had enough leadership opportunities to display in your essays/resume and you should actively seek those out - both in and out of the work place. I would give it another go. Sure McDonough is nice, but do you want to go there wondering what if I re-applied to Kellogg, Columbia, etc? The MBA only happens once. Delaying by a year may be worth it.


That's kind of how I feel. Although I have a handful of personal reasons to want to go now, it might be rash decision to let those dictate.

Also I should have mentioned that I have decent out-of-work leadership experience (President of my fraternity's alumni chapter, founder/still contributor to a charity consulting event), but have not had permanent management situations at work.
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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 07:37
I completely agree with CobraKai here. Georgetown seems like a good program, but I think you can do better. And, you can only play the MBA card once, so you don't want to waste it. If I were in your shoes, I'd try again and focus on schools 4-15.

Given your goals, I'm really surprised you didn't apply to Fuqua. I'm interested in consulting, so I can tell you that Fuqua places very well at many of the top firms. I've also heard that brand management is huge there, too. Looking more broadly, I could definitely see you getting into at least one school at the Fuqua/Ross/Darden level and perhaps a school in the top 10 (Kellogg?).
Current Student
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Joined: 28 May 2012
Posts: 130
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 710 Q43 V45
GMAT 2: 700 Q42 V42
GMAT 3: 760 Q48 V48
GPA: 3.51
WE: Marketing (Consulting)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 45 [0], given: 27

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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 07:52
kingfalcon wrote:
I completely agree with CobraKai here. Georgetown seems like a good program, but I think you can do better. And, you can only play the MBA card once, so you don't want to waste it. If I were in your shoes, I'd try again and focus on schools 4-15.

Given your goals, I'm really surprised you didn't apply to Fuqua. I'm interested in consulting, so I can tell you that Fuqua places very well at many of the top firms. I've also heard that brand management is huge there, too. Looking more broadly, I could definitely see you getting into at least one school at the Fuqua/Ross/Darden level and perhaps a school in the top 10 (Kellogg?).


Thanks for the input! Fuqua is a program that really interests me on paper but that I wrote off due to location and didn't look much into until after I had applied. Yale is also in that boat. I really wanted a school in a major city, which I still feel I would prefer, but there are also some personal factors which may not be as relevant if I am deferring for a year. I also was recently in North Carolina and enjoyed it much more than I expected.
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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 08:01
chains1910 wrote:
kingfalcon wrote:
I completely agree with CobraKai here. Georgetown seems like a good program, but I think you can do better. And, you can only play the MBA card once, so you don't want to waste it. If I were in your shoes, I'd try again and focus on schools 4-15.

Given your goals, I'm really surprised you didn't apply to Fuqua. I'm interested in consulting, so I can tell you that Fuqua places very well at many of the top firms. I've also heard that brand management is huge there, too. Looking more broadly, I could definitely see you getting into at least one school at the Fuqua/Ross/Darden level and perhaps a school in the top 10 (Kellogg?).


Thanks for the input! Fuqua is a program that really interests me on paper but that I wrote off due to location and didn't look much into until after I had applied. Yale is also in that boat. I really wanted a school in a major city, which I still feel I would prefer, but there are also some personal factors which may not be as relevant if I am deferring for a year. I also was recently in North Carolina and enjoyed it much more than I expected.

Makes sense. One of the problems with focusing only on schools in major metropolitan areas is that their acceptance rates are usually super low (as you know). Whereas the acceptance rates for Wharton, Stern, Sloan, HBS, CBS, and Kellogg are all 11-20%, the acceptance rates at Duke, Ross, and Darden are 25%-40%. Just something else to keep in mind!
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Joined: 28 May 2012
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Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 710 Q43 V45
GMAT 2: 700 Q42 V42
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GPA: 3.51
WE: Marketing (Consulting)
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Kudos [?]: 45 [0], given: 27

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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 08:10
kingfalcon wrote:
Makes sense. One of the problems with focusing only on schools in major metropolitan areas is that their acceptance rates are usually super low (as you know). Whereas the acceptance rates for Wharton, Stern, Sloan, HBS, CBS, and Kellogg are all 11-20%, the acceptance rates at Duke, Ross, and Darden are 25%-40%. Just something else to keep in mind!


Good to know; I hadn't researched rates at college town schools much given my preference for a major metro. I guess if I make the call to defer I will have to explore a little bit more.
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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 08:17
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Also keep in mind that the location of your school isn't forever! I want to end up in NYC after my MBA, but I didn't apply to Stern or CBS because I wanted to go to schools with small class sizes and where MBA life was the center of the social life. I looked closely at how well schools placed in NYC when choosing.

Would I want to work in Ithaca, NY? HELL NO. Would I want to go to school there? You bet - I'll have 270+ like minded classmates who want to meet people and have fun in clubs and other activities outside of class. People make the place - that's especially true for B-school.
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Joined: 28 May 2012
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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 08:35
CobraKai wrote:
Also keep in mind that the location of your school isn't forever! I want to end up in NYC after my MBA, but I didn't apply to Stern or CBS because I wanted to go to schools with small class sizes and where MBA life was the center of the social life. I looked closely at how well schools placed in NYC when choosing.

Would I want to work in Ithaca, NY? HELL NO. Would I want to go to school there? You bet - I'll have 270+ like minded classmates who want to meet people and have fun in clubs and other activities outside of class. People make the place - that's especially true for B-school.


True, but there are personal/relationship factors involved (as I'm sure for many others that prefer big cities). Although I imagine my dog would prefer a college town haha. Also I prefer the idea of a bigger class/alumni base, but am not tied to it (Georgetown is small as well).
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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 11:20
I think you should wait a year as well. I completely agree with kingfalcon that you need to apply to schools like Ross/Darden/Duke instead of so many top 10 programs.
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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 13:14
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I agree with what everyone else has said. I think you're definitely on the young side and could benefit from another year of work experience. Your stats are great so if you execute your essays (and story) properly I agree you should definitely be able to get into a school that is higher ranked (though I've heard great things about Georgetown from people who went there). I also think that now that you have been through the application process you will be able to actively do things at work that will help you have good leadership stories. Maybe before you wouldn't have been so inclined to take on a special project, but now that you know they want to hear about ways you've shown leadership at work or have experiences at work that fit in line with your goals, you'll be able to actively make some good stories happen.

Not sure if your work experience now translates to your career goals, but I would definitely make sure that your prior work experience somehow has prepared you for your goals (doesn't have to be obvious, I would just caution away from a complete career change story) and that you are clearly explaining your motivations for your goals. I really think that is the most important aspect of the essays - having clear career goals and explaining how the work you have done to date prepares you for MBA and future and how the MBA is essential to getting to where you want to be.

Good luck!
Current Student
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Joined: 28 May 2012
Posts: 130
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 710 Q43 V45
GMAT 2: 700 Q42 V42
GMAT 3: 760 Q48 V48
GPA: 3.51
WE: Marketing (Consulting)
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Kudos [?]: 45 [0], given: 27

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Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 06:12
Thank you everyone for the input! I appreciate the help. As of now my plan will be to go to admit weekend at McDonough with an open mind and see what it has to offer, but I see some definite benefits to deferring.
Re: McDonough ($$$) vs. deferring for a year   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2013, 06:12
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