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Need an advice about applying to B-school [#permalink]
12 Aug 2005, 05:19
I`m a newbie on this forum, so thanks for the opportunity to ask questions and get useful info... With this purpose, I also posted this question to the parallel thread (accepted.com), but your opinion is definetely apreciated as well
So, I want to choose B-school to apply this fall to and have a hard time during this process
My brief profile:
Male, 29 years, Russian resident
PhD in Finance (defended thesis in Russian University)
Graduated from the same University with all the top marks (5.0/5.0)
Working experience - more than 8 years. Have been occupied in the banking all the time, specializing in fixed income trading. At the moment - head of fixed income trading desk in Russian subsidiary of big multinational bank.
Social life - for a long time (more than 10 years) have been involved in the activity of the public non-profit organization, that creates and organises different kinds of intellectual games as a leisure. This fund is actually multinational, but involves mainly ex-Russians in countries like USA, Germany, Israel etc. Have been awarded by the governor of the region for the achivements in the public life.
TOEFL - 273
GMAT > 700 (I`m almost sure it will be like that )
1. From my boss - US citizen, MBA (non top)
2. From one of my counterparties from global banks
3. From the head of the public fund mentioned above
My general intention - to stay within the field of Finance. But I dont mind to make it broader, gaining some extra skills.
For sure, I tend to enroll in some of TOP schools.
So, how do you find my chances to be accepted to one of the "elite" B-schools? And to which particular schools would you recommend me to apply?
You advices are greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance
Welcome! Overall, I would say that you have a very competitive profile. The two things that stand out to me are your work achievements ("head of the tradng desk" sounds pretty impressive to me) and your community service. The fact that you received an award for your work tells me that you were an active leader in the cause, not just someone who showed up to meetings and events. Ideally you'll have real leadership stories to tell from work and from your community service -- be sure to emphasize these in your application.
About your target schools, if you're lookiing for a finance job after getting your MBA, then I'd recommend all of the usual suspects: Chicago, Wharton, Columbia, Sloan, NYU. That should be a good number. As a very general rule, I wouldn't apply to more than five or six schools if I were you.
First of all, thanks for your prompt informative reply.
For sure, you will not be surpised, that all the schools, you mentioned, are in my present "short-list". The only underlying thing, that bothers me a bit - this list does not include the most popular US school in Russia - Harvard. It is based on statistical data - most part of applications from Russia really comes to HBS (by the way, Stanford is 2nd). So, what do you think, does it make sence to apply to these 2 schools, despite the fact that they are probably not so great in the field of Finance? Incidentally, why did you miss them in your list? Any particular reasons?
Also, please, could you tell me - is it true, that all the major B-schools from States now accept applications online (and probably it is the only option nowdays)? Actually, it adds a lot of flexibility. In my case, since Stern got the 1st round`s deadline about 1,5 months later than others, I have an option to apply first to some other schools, and only then, based on the responses, to decide, whether to apply to Stern or not.
Thanks in advance, as usual
P.S. By the way, "Usual suspects" - my favorite movie
I wouldn't apply to a school (even HBS) just because that's where most people from my country/industry apply. In fact, if anything, I could argue that that's a good reason why you shouldn't apply there, since you will be going up against so many other applicants with similar profiles. Overall, apply there if you want (whether or not others from your country apply there), but don't base it on where others are applying.
Yup, pretty much all schools are online now with their applications. The most paper-heavy component remaining are recommendations, but many schools now accept those online, too.
See, in the post above I promised to get >700
Unfortunately, I failed to score like this and got only 700 sharp
(93 percentile, 48/86% - Q, 37/83% - V)
Now I have a dilemma: either to apply with this score or to retake GMAT
Evidence FOR retaking GMAT:
- I really feel that potentially I can score in the range 720-750. Plus I`m more experienced now and know exactly my particular weak sides.
- Actually I have enough time left for 1 more attempt, although I`m going to apply in the 1st round
- I heard an opinion, that adcoms look positive at those, who retook the GMAT and managed to add several tens of points.
- I dont think that it will hinder my general application process cause I have already done some part of essays etc.
Evidence VERSUS retaking GMAT:
- First and main argument that I have already heard across the board - that 700 is a very good score to apply to top-10. That it comes to exactly average figure in the most top notch schools, and there were many cases when people were admitted with even lower scores (something like 660-680) to HBS or Stanford.
- Extra 20-50 points (even if get them) will not add too much value to my application package. Because the main thing - to get result >680-700, and there is no significant difference between 700 and 730, for instance. Other components of application package (essays) are the key factors anyways.
- Taking the GMAt once more will take time, that could be used in some more efficient way for the preparation of the application package. Besides, not so much time left in general till the 1st round expires. I can make next attempt only in October, and adcoms may not receive results in time
In general - I dont wanna waste time just to have more exciting GMAT figure in my application. I will retake it only if I`m sure that this figure noticeably increases value of my application package
So, Scott, could you please give me an advise, writing a little "analysis of argument" essay for me? Seriously, your unfolded answer is highly appreciated
Going by my philosophy, the asnwer to this one is easy... DON'T take it again! You don't need to. Focus on the otehr parts of your application and make those stronger. A 700 GMAT score willl get you in ANYWHERE!
Also, it's just an opinion, but I don't agree with those who say that adcomms look positively on someone who takes the GMAT again and adds a few points. Yes, if you got a 620 and took it again and then got a 660, they would be glad to see that. But, if you got a 700 and are now trying to get a 720+, they'll probably wonder if you understand what they're really looking for.
You're done with the GMAT, as far as I'm concerned!