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I am preparing to apply to b-school for Fall 2006 admission. I would greatly appreciate it if you would evaluate my chances of being accepted at Darden, Georgetown, Oxford and Cornell. If you have any other schools to suggest that would be great...I would like to stay on the east coast and I am also considering studying abroad.
My stats are:
-26 year old, female, caucasian
-Graduated with a Communications degree from Penn State, 3.1 overall GPA/3.7 GPA in my major. I had a business minor and unfortunately I received mostly Bs and Cs in the business courses I took.
-I am taking the GMATs in August. Based on my practice test scores, I am aiming for a 690.
-I work as a Strategic Marketing Manager for an international medical publisher. By the time I begin my MBA I will have 4 years of full time work experience. I have shown career progression - I have been promoted approximately once every 12 months.
-I was actively involved in community service in a leadership role for 3 years of college. I am currently a weekly volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House and I am the Community Service Chairperson on the board of my local alumni association.
-I think that I should receive positive recommendations from both of my recommenders. I have asked my old boss and CEO (it was a small company) because I do not want to alert my current boss of my MBA plans.
-Although I do not have international work experience I lived outside of the US for 3 years during my childhood.
I am concerned that my relatively low GPA will be a negative factor in my application packet. At this point I do not have time to take quantitative courses to improve upon this aspect of my application. Do you think that a GMAT score of 690 will suffice for these schools?
Any insight you can offer would be much appreciated.
Yes, I think that a score of 690 is enough to get you into any of those schools. However, even if you get a score of 750, you will need to address your relatively low GPA. Doing well on the GMAT will show that you have the intellectual horsepower to do well, but you will still need to show that you will have the focus and discipline to do well in school. You can address this in your essays and interviews.
I noticed one thing that you said... "I think that I should receive positive recommendations from both of my recommenders." If there's any doubt that a potential recommender will write you anything less than a glowing reco, then look for someone else. By "glowing," I don't only mean that they'll say positive things, but that they'll also provide specific examples of why you're great. You can work with your recommenders to help them remember the best examples of your best traits and accomplishments.
I don't have enough to go on regarding your school choice, but those sound like reasonable choices (e.g., what do you want to do after school?). But if you want to stay on the East Coast, also consider Stern.
Thanks so much for your reply. I am currently working on ways to address my GPA in my essays. It was a combination of being involved outside the classroom and being young and not realizing the importance of doing my best.
As for the recommendations, thank you for the insight. I am confident that both of my recommenders will give me positive reviews, but I will take your advice and coach them to give examples, etc.
Two other schools I am considering are Kenan-Flagler and Notre Dame (even though they aren't as close as I would like). Do you think that I can be competitive at these schools? Do you have any insight on the quality of their programs?
Oh yeah, I think those schools are definitely within your reach! In fact, if you're looking at UNC, you may as well also look at Duke. I bet you would have a decent shot there. Don't sell yourself short. Also maybe look at Emory, as long as that's not getting too far from where you want to be (geographically).