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Need advice on admission chance and plan

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Joined: 25 Aug 2004
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Need advice on admission chance and plan [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2004, 22:37
My questions are:

1) Do I have a chance?
2) What can I do to build up my record?
3) Advice on my plan for this year and next?
4) How do schools view re-applicants?
5) Recommendations for admission consulting firms in the Bay Area, such as Veritas and Kaplan.
6) MIT requires applicants to have taken financial accounting and micro and macro economics courses; can I still apply even tough I have not taken these courses?

Background:

My list of schools in descending order of desire are MIT, Michigan, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and USC. Focus at school will be on management and entrepreneurship with marketing mixed in.

GMAT 650 (49q, 31v), third try. If I take this again I am confident I can get 700 because I have been averaging 37v on practice CATs). How do schools view retaking the exam 4 or 5 times?

Age and Ethnicity: 27 yrs old (28 later this year), Asian American Male.

Job: Lead Mechanical Engineer

Works Ex: 4 years at Aerospace Defense company.

Undergrad: BSME from UC Berkeley:

GPA: 2.82 from Berkeley, however I was dismissed from Berkeley after 3 semesters due to poor academic performance and had to finish my lower division classes (30 units, all A) from a local community college before I was readmitted to finish my last two years. Therefore if I include my community college grades, then my total GPA is 3.09.

Extra Curricular:
In College: Freelance Page-Setter, Intern at US Army Corp. of Engineer, Research Assistant at University, Student Coordinator at community Art Center.
Post College: Advisor Board Member for nonprofit Art Center, Math Tutor

My plan forward:

Apply this year knowing that acceptance is a long shot. Goal is to learn from the process. If I don’t get in I will pursue courses in program management at UC Berkeley Extension, get reinvolved in community service, and reapply next year.

How do schools view re-applicants?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Last edited by achi on 11 Oct 2004, 21:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 22 Apr 2004
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Location: Southern California
Schools: Kellogg MBA 2004
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2004, 14:25
Expert's post
Whoa! That's a lot of questions! I'll try to hit most of them briefly...

I think you have a chance, but adcomms will likely look very closely at your academic record given the troubles you had in undergrad. The good news is that it looks like you improved as time went on.

Regarding the GMAT, they will generally start to wonder what's up if you take it more than three times. There's no hard cut off that I know of, such as "we only take applicants who took it fewer than four times," but taking it a fourth time will probably raise some eyebrows, especially in light of the trouble that you had in undergrad. But if you are truly confident that you can boost your score, it may be worth a shot.

Overall, I'd recommend waiting to bolster your application as much as possible before applying, rather than just throwing something out there now in the off chance that you'll get accepted. Waiting a year would also give you more community service experience. Schools don't dislike reapplicants, but the key question they'll ask is "Okay, what have you improved on since last year?" You'd better have something new to talk about beyond a better GMAT score or a new reco.

Veritas is a partner of ours, so I'm kind of biased, but we think very highly of their services (that's why we partnered with them). If you're thinking of spending the $$, take a good look at them.

About MIT, I'd recommend getting those classes under your belt before applying. That's another argument for waiting a year before you apply.

Good luck,
Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2004, 21:48
Scott,

Thanks for the response. I just wanted to perform a sanity check.

I think I have a lot to offer and some hope of acceptance, therefore I’ve decided to apply this year. As a backup I’ve started to formulate my plan for next year on what community service and continuing education I will pursue; hopefully they will be significant enough for the reapplication. I see this as a win-win scenario.

Thanks again for your feedback.
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