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# Most important aspect of application

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Director
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Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 00:20
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Hello experts, consultants and members,

I have read this numerous times on forum and on college’s websites that GMAT or GPA is just a part of the entire application and could be compensated through other components.

My understanding of components: (In no particular order)
1. GMAT
2. GPA & Reputation of college
3. Essays
4. Recommendations
5. Work-ex & reputation of company
6. Extracurricular/Community services
7. Nationality (I guess, it’s a hidden parameter)
8. interviews

I want to discuss and get your opinion on-
1. Which is the most important aspect, if there is one, of your application?
2. Which component, if weak, cannot be compensated by other strong components?
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 00:37
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Director
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 00:56
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Haha.. I like your status.. Too bad kudos cant be granted for those..

Oh well, I'm interested in consulting. I gotta be a good problem solver. Here you go:

Wave 1... Wave 2... Whose Loss? Me or Ross??

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Director
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 09:20
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Work experience is by the single most important factor, followed closely by GMAT. Let me say as an Admissions Consultant though that having the essays and application as an "element" such as GMAt is a bit strange. For the essays and the application are the TOOLS you use to prove your experience in all the aspects (and to move the Adcom)... so one depends really on the other!

yep.

But isnt it true that some colleges admit students even without work-ex, provided student is spectacular in other components. So in effect work-ex could be compensated. On the other hand, if an essay has a spelling mistake or a grammatical mistake, it would not be tolerated. This is what I gathered from many chat transcripts/FAQs..
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2013, 07:54
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Vips0000 wrote:

So in effect you are saying that nationality is more important than other factors.. Or nationality + work ex may be

Well I would not call it nationality. It is the competition among similar peer groups.
If it was about nationality I would be in Harvard, and as you can see I will not .
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2013, 09:40
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Good question and discussion! And a tough one, for sure.

I voted essays. I definitely see the point about the importance of solid work experience, but I would argue that many (if not most) people applying to top business school have solid, above-average work experience for their age. There may be some spectacular outliers where the work experience just speaks volumes for itself, regardless of essays. But I'd be willing to bet that this isn't the case for the majority of applicants. For most of us, we really need to communicate how our accomplishments show leadership through the esssays in order to demonstrate fit and ultimately get that interview invite, and hopefully, acceptance.

As for stats, GMAT/GPA are also important, but I think the key distinction is this: you can definitely get into school with low stats if you have other impressive qualities, but I doubt you could if your essays really suck.

In my case, my essays from my last application were so much better than the ones in some of my initial applications that my boyfriend (who had been my go-to reviewer throughout the process) actually thought my work experience seemed much more impressive. It wasn't that I had some new, over-the-top accomplishment in those two months, but that I was able to better articulate my success.

Before I started this process, I really thought work experience and other leadership accomplishments just spoke for themselves (duh, isn't that what the resume is for?!). And if you started the next Facebook or found a cure for the common cold, maybe it does. But for me, at least, this process of defining success at work was much more tricky than it seemed at the outset. I used completely different, and much better, examples for my last application that in hindsight were more interesting and resonated better with my stated career goals. But for whatever reason, it didn't even occur to me that these examples were all that special when I began the whole rigmarole of MBA applications.
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2013, 11:02
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I love to express when there are no correct answers!

I voted for work/ex and company brand for the following reasons:

1.) Most of the factors that you mentioned, directly or indirectly are 'based' on your work history. You are nothing without the work you have done. Your essays, recos, interviews etc. are, primarily, a derived factor of your resume.
2.) I will put my faith in a person from McK than in a person who says he is brilliant but does not have a brand backing. And I'm sure so will the adcom. The person from McK has already been selected out of a competitive pool, has worked with the best minds, has worked on the best projects and frankly, brings a LOT more to the table.
3.) Your GMAT essentially explains your ability to do well on a standardized test. It can keep you out, but does not guarantee admissions. And the fact that most of the qualified candidates do get a good score (the ethic made them a strong candidate in the first place), does not make the GMAT very important when we talk about the M7s. Having said that, obviously a 99% goes a long way in saying that you are very serious about your MBA.
4.) I sometimes feel the essays are over-rated. I haven't seen a lot of candidates without extra ordinary credits get into a big school. That only explains that essays are a medium to explain what you have already achieved in your past life. There are few qualified and sane candidates, who outright screw their essays.
They are obviously very useful when you are comparing similar qualified candidates - but, again, we are assuming that both have an exceptional work history, which makes the essays sort of a 'tie-breaker'.

5.) I look at the work history as a long process, drawn out over the 5-6 years of one's career. I think its a much better indicator of the pedigree than the GMAT - that's written in a day (and prepared over 3 months) and essays, which might have consultant's input - not saying it is wrong to use them

Anyone may rip apart the above points because they generalize a lot of things. But, in essence, this is what I've gathered till now!

This comes from someone who does have a 99% GMAT, but is still skeptical of his chances!
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2013, 08:08
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jumsumtak wrote:
3.) Your GMAT essentially explains your ability to do well on a standardized test. It can keep you out, but does not guarantee admissions. And the fact that most of the qualified candidates do get a good score (the ethic made them a strong candidate in the first place), does not make the GMAT very important when we talk about the M7s. Having said that, obviously a 99% goes a long way in saying that you are very serious about your MBA.

I really like this point. A lot of applicants get discouraged when they see that people with scores in the 750-770 range are getting admitted to top schools. Like you said, a lot of these applicants have strong achievements and work experience to go along with it, and in reality probably could have gotten admitted with a lower score. The total package matters. This is why on decision day, you'll see folks with a GMAT in the 680-700 range gleefully reporting: "In! Just got the call!" while someone with a 750-770 glumly reports "Ding! What's wrong with my application?"

Stats like GPA and GMAT are a baseline, and once you cross a threshold, you see diminishing value of returns (with the exception of Sloan and their objective scoring matrix).
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2013, 08:58
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AbhiJ wrote:
Vips,

The closest thing to the profile you mentioned was a girl with 700 GMAT and 3 years of IT Consulting experience(requirements gathering etc) who was admitted to Darden. Some schools weigh GMAT heavily. Couple of Indians with 710 were told (by 2 Top 10 schools) that their profile was otherwise good but they need to improve their GMAT.

Another problem with Indians is that every profile looks same. Hence some guys lie through their teeth in essays/work experience. An example of an accepted candidate:

Saved 60 million $for IT Services company (this guy had overall 4-5 years of experience). Partners at these firms hardly save that much money, whereas a developer can. Totally agree.. One of my senior.. From same college.. From same company and even from same project got through tuck while I dint even get an invite for interview for ross and duke.. The fact is that he got the first promotion after 5 yrs when I got in 2.5 yrs.. But when I see his LinkedIn profile I know what kind of lies he had put in his application.. Sad that I don't have guts to lie through my teeth... _________________ Lets Kudos!!! Black Friday Debrief Moderator Joined: 10 May 2010 Posts: 825 Followers: 25 Kudos [?]: 393 [1] , given: 192 Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink] ### Show Tags 12 Feb 2013, 12:30 1 This post received KUDOS Vips0000 wrote: AbhiJ wrote: Vips, The closest thing to the profile you mentioned was a girl with 700 GMAT and 3 years of IT Consulting experience(requirements gathering etc) who was admitted to Darden. Some schools weigh GMAT heavily. Couple of Indians with 710 were told (by 2 Top 10 schools) that their profile was otherwise good but they need to improve their GMAT. Another problem with Indians is that every profile looks same. Hence some guys lie through their teeth in essays/work experience. An example of an accepted candidate: Saved 60 million$ for IT Services company (this guy had overall 4-5 years of experience). Partners at these firms hardly save that much money, whereas a developer can.

Totally agree.. One of my senior.. From same college.. From same company and even from same project got through tuck while I dint even get an invite for interview for ross and duke.. The fact is that he got the first promotion after 5 yrs when I got in 2.5 yrs.. But when I see his LinkedIn profile I know what kind of lies he had put in his application.. Sad that I don't have guts to lie through my teeth...

Such behavior is at par with score-top cheating (others may disagree). Its true that you can not possibly verify all the details of an applicant, but come on with years of experience if admission committee cannot smell a rat then what's the point of having a holistic approach. In a telephonic interview an imposter was acting for the candidate. This happened with HBS no less. The accepted person was caught when he could not contribute in Case Discussion at HBS, flunked and was eased out after a semester. At the end of the day "Nice guys do finish first". I also agree with Dbalks that people are lying not because they have guts but because they lack self-confidence which they seem to overcompensate with fake achievements.
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 00:39
MacFauz wrote:
Not including Interviews to the list??

Great...thank you.. slipped from my mind, probably because i dint get an invite yet from ross
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 00:41
Vips0000 wrote:
MacFauz wrote:
Not including Interviews to the list??

Great...thank you.. slipped from my mind, probably because i dint get an invite yet from ross

Haha.. I like your status.. Too bad kudos cant be granted for those..
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 02:40
+1 to you..
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 07:25
Work experience is by far the single most important factor, followed closely by GMAT. Let me say as an Admissions Consultant though that having the essays and application as an "element" such as GMAt is a bit strange. For the essays and the application are the TOOLS you use to prove your experience in all the aspects (and to move the Adcom)... so one depends really on the other!

yep.
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 08:58
Work experience is the most important thing. Management Consultants from top firms routinely get admits from M7 irrespective of any other factors. For the rest of you it's a balancing act and finding our sweet spot. know one Indian guy with GMAT in excess of 750 got dinged by top 10 schools 2 years in a row. He finally attended UNC Kenan Flager. If he had applied to Cornell and 3-4 similar ranking colleges he would have got an admit.Else if he would have applied to Emory he could have received 100 % scholarship. Accurate self assessment and identifying top choice schools is a tough task.
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 09:22
AbhiJ wrote:
Work experience is the most important thing. Management Consultants from top firms routinely get admits from M7 irrespective of any other factors. For the rest of you it's a balancing act and finding our sweet spot. know one Indian guy with GMAT in excess of 750 got dinged by top 10 schools 2 years in a row. He finally attended UNC Kenan Flager. If he had applied to Cornell and 3-4 similar ranking colleges he would have got an admit.Else if he would have applied to Emory he could have received 100 % scholarship. Accurate self assessment and identifying top choice schools is a tough task.

Good example- how do you know which factor led to his failure in top-10 while could have got him 100% schol in other schools? There must have been one component which was weak enough for not to be compensated by 750+ gmat.
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 20:43
bump.
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2013, 01:02
Vips0000 wrote:
AbhiJ wrote:
Work experience is the most important thing. Management Consultants from top firms routinely get admits from M7 irrespective of any other factors. For the rest of you it's a balancing act and finding our sweet spot. know one Indian guy with GMAT in excess of 750 got dinged by top 10 schools 2 years in a row. He finally attended UNC Kenan Flager. If he had applied to Cornell and 3-4 similar ranking colleges he would have got an admit. Else if he would have applied to Emory he could have received 100 % scholarship. Accurate self assessment and identifying top choice schools is a tough task.

Good example- how do you know which factor led to his failure in top-10 while could have got him 100% schol in other schools? There must have been one component which was weak enough for not to be compensated by 750+ gmat.

I know the guy pretty well. He checked all the boxes pretty well. At the end of the day B School Admission process is subjective and what I have mentioned is a subjective opinion. I know another Indian IT guy with 770 getting full scholarship at Emory. Hence my analysis .
IMO the only reason he was denied because of the fact that he was an Indian male with Indian work-ex. An American Male/Indian Female with his credentials/intelligence would have easily made into Top 5. I was reading stri1der blog where he mentioned that at Wharton 70% of Indians with Indian work ex who were interviewed were females. We should work hard assuming life is fair but at the same time keep in mind that some things are out of our control.
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2013, 06:24
AbhiJ wrote:
Vips0000 wrote:
AbhiJ wrote:
Work experience is the most important thing. Management Consultants from top firms routinely get admits from M7 irrespective of any other factors. For the rest of you it's a balancing act and finding our sweet spot. know one Indian guy with GMAT in excess of 750 got dinged by top 10 schools 2 years in a row. He finally attended UNC Kenan Flager. If he had applied to Cornell and 3-4 similar ranking colleges he would have got an admit. Else if he would have applied to Emory he could have received 100 % scholarship. Accurate self assessment and identifying top choice schools is a tough task.

Good example- how do you know which factor led to his failure in top-10 while could have got him 100% schol in other schools? There must have been one component which was weak enough for not to be compensated by 750+ gmat.

I know the guy pretty well. He checked all the boxes pretty well. At the end of the day B School Admission process is subjective and what I have mentioned is a subjective opinion. I know another Indian IT guy with 770 getting full scholarship at Emory. Hence my analysis .
IMO the only reason he was denied because of the fact that he was an Indian male with Indian work-ex. An American Male/Indian Female with his credentials/intelligence would have easily made into Top 5. I was reading stri1der blog where he mentioned that at Wharton 70% of Indians with Indian work ex who were interviewed were females. We should work hard assuming life is fair but at the same time keep in mind that some things are out of our control.

So in effect you are saying that nationality is more important than other factors.. Or nationality + work ex may be
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2013, 11:00
Work/Ex > Nationality/Gender (Diversity) > GMAT > Essays > Interviews > Extra- Curricular > Recommendation

GMAT can make up for weakness in the first 2 points.

This is true for 99% of applicants. For the rest 1% they have extra-ordinary leadership stories, they are the brand ambassadors for the top B Schools.
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Re: Most important aspect of application   [#permalink] 07 Feb 2013, 11:00

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