Thank you for your posting.
I am sorry that things did not turn out well for you. However, I want to point out a few issues that relate to your candidacy:
* you are part of a very competitive demographic group where there are many more qualified candidates than there are allocated spots. Thus, the acceptance rate for a person like you is actually much lower than it is for the general application pool;
* you come from a very traditional background and have very traditional goals -- meaning that I do not believe that you distinguished yourself enough in this arena - which is a very important arena;
* you applied to very competitive programs
As for your specific questions:
Should I take the GMAT again? I WOULD NOT -- I DO NOT SEE THIS AS THE PROBLEMATIC ASPECT OF YOUR CANDIDACY. I WOULD USE MY TIME, ENERGY AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES IN BETTER WAYS TO MAKE MYSELF A STRONGER CANDIDATE.
Should I re-assess my goals? YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL HERE ESPECIALLY TO SCHOOLS YOU PLAN TO RE-APPLY TO. YOUR GOALS ARE PRETTY STANDARD AND IF A SCHOOL IS LOOKING FOR CANDIDATES WHO DO NOT WANT TO FOLLOW A COMMON CAREEER TRAJECTORY, THEN YOU ARE BY DEFINITION, A LESS ATTRACTIVE CANDIDATE.
Should I improve the essays (presentation, content etc.) without changing the goals? I WOULD DEFINITELY SAY YES AND SEEK THE ASSISTANCE OF A PROFESSIONAL THIS TIME AROUND. IF YOU DID NOT USE AN ADMISSIONS CONSULTANT, IT WOULD BE A WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT. IF YOU DID YOUR APPLICATIONS ALONE, THEN I BELIEVE THAT THEY COULD HAVE BEEN LESS COMPETITIVE AND COMPELLING THAN YOUR FELLOW APPLICANTS (ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO USED CONSULTANTS).
Should I target some other set of schools? Please suggest a few. I am currently thinking of Kellogg, UCLA Anderson, Yale, Tuck, INSEAD. But if I think the school selection was not a problem, the problem was somewhere else. YOU ARE LOOKING AT SOME SCHOOLS THAT ARE ACTUALLY MORE COMPETITIVE THAN THE THOSE THAT REJECTED YOU. WHICH SCHOOLS YOU CHOOSE TO APPLY TO REQUIRES SOME EXPERIENCED GUIDANCE -- DO NOT JUST JUMP AT ANY SCHOOL THAT SEEMS ATTRACTIVE -- BUT STRATEGIC ABOUT IT AND KNOW YOUR REAL CHANCES OF ADMISSIONS.
Senior Admissions ConsultantManhattan Review
Manhattan Review GMAT Prep & MBA Admissions Consulting
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