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Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject

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Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2011, 09:50
My friend used Veritas this year and loved the results -- hell, he got a fellowship at a top 10 school, so I don't blame him.

I applied to MIT, Georgetown, University of Maryland and so far have been accepted to Smith. Georgetown releases their decision on March 25 (I applied to the part-time program) but I have not been invited to interview with them yet -- so obviously chances are very slim.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stats:
Indian American origin -- born in India, but we immigrated when I was 4.

Undergrad: Boston University, BS Electrical Engineering- Class of 2005, GPA: 2.68/4.0 while enrolled in Air Force ROTC. I was the president of the Indian Club @ BU and the Vice-President of the Arnold Air Society (community service organization in AFROTC). Low GPA because: 1) I didn't know I wanted an MBA back then. 2) Since I knew I had a job lined up with the AF after graduation, I wasn't too ambitious on getting all A's.

GMAT: First score was 550...2nd score was 620 (44Q, 29V, 6.0AWA). Still low.

Professional Experience: 3 years as a commissioned officer in the US Air Force all working in Germany except for being deployed to the Middle East for 6 months fighting in the "War on Terror". While in Germany, I implemented Kaizen to the AF IT system and consolidated 96 call centers to one focal point that I was responsible for -- managed 60 troops at the age of 24 and worked with the UK, Spain, Greece and Italy. 4 star general at the Pentagon visited my work and directed to implement that AF wide. While deployed, I set up the communication system for former Pres. Bush and Dr. Rice's visit to the battlefield along with several 4 star generals.

Now -- I work in construction management and have worked for Top Secret projects and a $330 million data center.

Extracurricular: lots of volunteering -- cleaning up parks/rivers/schools. Volunteering at food pantries and with tutoring children. Active with my undergrad alumni association in my city as a volunteer and an intramural sports athlete.

Aspirations: Long term - start my own international real estate development company (focusing on brownfield redevelopment). Short term: Work with developers or a REIT or in green energy consulting.
------------------------------

Question 1 - Do I reject Smith in hopes of applying with a better GMAT score next year? I plan on taking prep classes to solidify my chances of getting a 700+ on it. My GPA is something I can't control anymore and my professional experience is something that won't increase too much in a year. However, I am planning on becoming LEED accredited by this summer -- something else I can add to the resume. No offense whatsoever to Smith, but I feel for what I want to do, I may need to attend a more reputable school. Thoughts? The downside is, if I say no to Smith and don't get into any school next year -- I'm basically done as far as an MBA goes since I doubt I can reapply to Smith next yr after saying no to it this year. Or can I?

Question 2 - With everything remaining at the status quo except my GMAT's going up to 700+ and LEED accreditation, what are my chances at Columbia (pretty awesome RE program), NYU, Haas, Georgetown, MIT, Kellogg, Booth -- and INSEAD or LBS for international schools? I am contemplating on hiring a consultant to possibly 'brand' myself better than I have this year -- or maybe my recommendations were awful (my boss did submit all recommendations on the same day the day before he left for his Christmas vacation).

I sincerely appreciate your opinion on these matters. Thank you so much.

nks
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Re: Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2011, 13:13
enigmatic526 wrote:
My friend used Veritas this year and loved the results -- hell, he got a fellowship at a top 10 school, so I don't blame him.

I applied to MIT, Georgetown, University of Maryland and so far have been accepted to Smith. Georgetown releases their decision on March 25 (I applied to the part-time program) but I have not been invited to interview with them yet -- so obviously chances are very slim.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stats:
Indian American origin -- born in India, but we immigrated when I was 4.

Undergrad: Boston University, BS Electrical Engineering- Class of 2005, GPA: 2.68/4.0 while enrolled in Air Force ROTC. I was the president of the Indian Club @ BU and the Vice-President of the Arnold Air Society (community service organization in AFROTC). Low GPA because: 1) I didn't know I wanted an MBA back then. 2) Since I knew I had a job lined up with the AF after graduation, I wasn't too ambitious on getting all A's.

GMAT: First score was 550...2nd score was 620 (44Q, 29V, 6.0AWA). Still low.

Professional Experience: 3 years as a commissioned officer in the US Air Force all working in Germany except for being deployed to the Middle East for 6 months fighting in the "War on Terror". While in Germany, I implemented Kaizen to the AF IT system and consolidated 96 call centers to one focal point that I was responsible for -- managed 60 troops at the age of 24 and worked with the UK, Spain, Greece and Italy. 4 star general at the Pentagon visited my work and directed to implement that AF wide. While deployed, I set up the communication system for former Pres. Bush and Dr. Rice's visit to the battlefield along with several 4 star generals.

Now -- I work in construction management and have worked for Top Secret projects and a $330 million data center.

Extracurricular: lots of volunteering -- cleaning up parks/rivers/schools. Volunteering at food pantries and with tutoring children. Active with my undergrad alumni association in my city as a volunteer and an intramural sports athlete.

Aspirations: Long term - start my own international real estate development company (focusing on brownfield redevelopment). Short term: Work with developers or a REIT or in green energy consulting.
------------------------------

Question 1 - Do I reject Smith in hopes of applying with a better GMAT score next year? I plan on taking prep classes to solidify my chances of getting a 700+ on it. My GPA is something I can't control anymore and my professional experience is something that won't increase too much in a year. However, I am planning on becoming LEED accredited by this summer -- something else I can add to the resume. No offense whatsoever to Smith, but I feel for what I want to do, I may need to attend a more reputable school. Thoughts? The downside is, if I say no to Smith and don't get into any school next year -- I'm basically done as far as an MBA goes since I doubt I can reapply to Smith next yr after saying no to it this year. Or can I?

Question 2 - With everything remaining at the status quo except my GMAT's going up to 700+ and LEED accreditation, what are my chances at Columbia (pretty awesome RE program), NYU, Haas, Georgetown, MIT, Kellogg, Booth -- and INSEAD or LBS for international schools? I am contemplating on hiring a consultant to possibly 'brand' myself better than I have this year -- or maybe my recommendations were awful (my boss did submit all recommendations on the same day the day before he left for his Christmas vacation).

I sincerely appreciate your opinion on these matters. Thank you so much.

nks



I think you should absolutely reject Smith and all the other schools you applied to. You have a very strong profile...that is actually quite unique. The thing most people don't realize is that a good GMAT score will get you nowhere unless you have a strong profile to go along with it. I know plenty of guys who scored 750+ on the GMAT and still could not get into top 15 schools. On the other hand, I have one friend who scored a 650 GMAT and got into Wharton, Columbia, and MIT. Why? Because he had a REALLY strong story, and he was able to articulate it VERY well in his application (essays, interview, resume, etc).
Keep in mind, that you can only get one MBA in your life. Once you have earned an MBA you will never be able to upgrade to a better school/network. You will be in that network for life. In my opinion, getting into a Top 15 MBA program (read: HBS, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Kellogg, Columbia, Chicago, Dartmouth, Berkeley, Duke, Michigan, Darden, Yale, NYU, Cornell) will give you EXPONENTIALLY better career options and networks going forward. If I were you, I would put together a game plan to get into one or more of those schools for next year.
As far as your GMAT goes, let me share my personal experience with you:
My first GMAT test was a 510. I thought it was a fluke so I took it again 31 days later and scored a whopping 580. At that point I finally decided to buckle down and study harder. I studied for 2 months, then I scored a ...650. At the time I only applied to one school and it was in the 30-40 ranking range in US News. I was rejected. I was devastated that I did not get in. starting last fall, I went all-out. I studied 6 hours a day for 4 months. That was what it took for me to finally score a 700 GMAT. For some guys that test comes easily...I am not one of those guys! I had to bust my tail for every point! I also worked with some family members and friends who were great writers and helped me articulate my story way more powerfully in my essays. It has been a long 6 or 7 months, but the end result is that so far I have been admitted to 2 top 15 schools with the chance to get into 3 more later this month once decisions are released. My opportunities with those schools will be MULTIPLES of what they would have been if I had gotten into my T30-40 school last year!

I say go big. You only live once.
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Re: Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2011, 19:12
rpratt620 wrote:

I think you should absolutely reject Smith and all the other schools you applied to. You have a very strong profile...that is actually quite unique. The thing most people don't realize is that a good GMAT score will get you nowhere unless you have a strong profile to go along with it. I know plenty of guys who scored 750+ on the GMAT and still could not get into top 15 schools. On the other hand, I have one friend who scored a 650 GMAT and got into Wharton, Columbia, and MIT. Why? Because he had a REALLY strong story, and he was able to articulate it VERY well in his application (essays, interview, resume, etc).
Keep in mind, that you can only get one MBA in your life. Once you have earned an MBA you will never be able to upgrade to a better school/network. You will be in that network for life. In my opinion, getting into a Top 15 MBA program (read: HBS, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Kellogg, Columbia, Chicago, Dartmouth, Berkeley, Duke, Michigan, Darden, Yale, NYU, Cornell) will give you EXPONENTIALLY better career options and networks going forward. If I were you, I would put together a game plan to get into one or more of those schools for next year.
As far as your GMAT goes, let me share my personal experience with you:
My first GMAT test was a 510. I thought it was a fluke so I took it again 31 days later and scored a whopping 580. At that point I finally decided to buckle down and study harder. I studied for 2 months, then I scored a ...650. At the time I only applied to one school and it was in the 30-40 ranking range in US News. I was rejected. I was devastated that I did not get in. starting last fall, I went all-out. I studied 6 hours a day for 4 months. That was what it took for me to finally score a 700 GMAT. For some guys that test comes easily...I am not one of those guys! I had to bust my tail for every point! I also worked with some family members and friends who were great writers and helped me articulate my story way more powerfully in my essays. It has been a long 6 or 7 months, but the end result is that so far I have been admitted to 2 top 15 schools with the chance to get into 3 more later this month once decisions are released. My opportunities with those schools will be MULTIPLES of what they would have been if I had gotten into my T30-40 school last year!

I say go big. You only live once.


Thanks for that man -- and congratulations on dominating the bschool process this year! That really is a great story. What was your profile/story and how you got there besides improving the GMAT's? The only issue I might face is my low GPA -- which I am addressing by taking 1-2 classes at a local state university near me. I figure 8 additional credits at a 4.0 GPA in stats and accounting would bump the GPA up to 2.72 -- although not much different -- helps psychologically in that the 2.6 isn't there anymore -- even if it was a 2.68. It's going to be a ridiculous 8 months coming up -- but I want it bad, and will do whatever is necessary to get me there.

"It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required." ~ Churchill

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Re: Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2011, 19:35
My GPA was 3.3 but I did have to address it because it trended down (i.e. Freshman/Sophmore/Junior GPA~3.5, Senior GPA ~ 2.7). I don't forsee your GPA as a deal-breaker (unless you are thinking HBS/Stanford, in which case if you don't have at least a 3.5 you can forget about it), however, you will need to do 2 things to ensure that it doesn't kill your app.
1. Prove to the admissions committee that you have "learned your lesson" and are totally committed to learning now. Taking those classes and getting A's is a great way to do this. It will also REALLY help if you can crush the GMAT and get any score that starts with a 7! :-) For most top schools the rule of thumb is that you must prove your quantitative abilities through EITHER your GPA OR GMAT. The good news for you is that schools prefer strong GMAT over strong GPA. I have a friend that got into Wharton with a 650 GMAT, but he had a 3.9 GPA. I have another friend who got into Wharton with a 3.0 GPA, but he had a 750 GMAT. So, as you mentioned there is not a lot you can do about getting that GPA up, so taking the classes and then killing the GMAT is definitely your ticket in.
2. You need a story. A really good story, addressing your GPA head-on. Maybe your GPA was low because while you were an undergrad you worked 30 hours a week, got married, led 4 clubs, were captian of XYZ team...you get the point. Adcom will overlook a low GPA if you can dazzle them with some of your achievements and involvements during that time.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 07:03
rpratt620 wrote:
My GPA was 3.3 but I did have to address it because it trended down (i.e. Freshman/Sophmore/Junior GPA~3.5, Senior GPA ~ 2.7). I don't forsee your GPA as a deal-breaker (unless you are thinking HBS/Stanford, in which case if you don't have at least a 3.5 you can forget about it), however, you will need to do 2 things to ensure that it doesn't kill your app.
1. Prove to the admissions committee that you have "learned your lesson" and are totally committed to learning now. Taking those classes and getting A's is a great way to do this. It will also REALLY help if you can crush the GMAT and get any score that starts with a 7! :-) For most top schools the rule of thumb is that you must prove your quantitative abilities through EITHER your GPA OR GMAT. The good news for you is that schools prefer strong GMAT over strong GPA. I have a friend that got into Wharton with a 650 GMAT, but he had a 3.9 GPA. I have another friend who got into Wharton with a 3.0 GPA, but he had a 750 GMAT. So, as you mentioned there is not a lot you can do about getting that GPA up, so taking the classes and then killing the GMAT is definitely your ticket in.
2. You need a story. A really good story, addressing your GPA head-on. Maybe your GPA was low because while you were an undergrad you worked 30 hours a week, got married, led 4 clubs, were captian of XYZ team...you get the point. Adcom will overlook a low GPA if you can dazzle them with some of your achievements and involvements during that time.

Hope that helps.


So...would undergrad classes show the adco's I'm ready for bschools or would I have to take graduate accounting/stats classes?
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Re: Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 08:52
enigmatic526 wrote:
rpratt620 wrote:
My GPA was 3.3 but I did have to address it because it trended down (i.e. Freshman/Sophmore/Junior GPA~3.5, Senior GPA ~ 2.7). I don't forsee your GPA as a deal-breaker (unless you are thinking HBS/Stanford, in which case if you don't have at least a 3.5 you can forget about it), however, you will need to do 2 things to ensure that it doesn't kill your app.
1. Prove to the admissions committee that you have "learned your lesson" and are totally committed to learning now. Taking those classes and getting A's is a great way to do this. It will also REALLY help if you can crush the GMAT and get any score that starts with a 7! :-) For most top schools the rule of thumb is that you must prove your quantitative abilities through EITHER your GPA OR GMAT. The good news for you is that schools prefer strong GMAT over strong GPA. I have a friend that got into Wharton with a 650 GMAT, but he had a 3.9 GPA. I have another friend who got into Wharton with a 3.0 GPA, but he had a 750 GMAT. So, as you mentioned there is not a lot you can do about getting that GPA up, so taking the classes and then killing the GMAT is definitely your ticket in.
2. You need a story. A really good story, addressing your GPA head-on. Maybe your GPA was low because while you were an undergrad you worked 30 hours a week, got married, led 4 clubs, were captian of XYZ team...you get the point. Adcom will overlook a low GPA if you can dazzle them with some of your achievements and involvements during that time.

Hope that helps.


So...would undergrad classes show the adco's I'm ready for bschools or would I have to take graduate accounting/stats classes?


Basic, intro level undergrad courses in Stats, accounting, finance, econ, calculus, etc will be more than enough.
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Re: Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 09:19
I very much disagree with how positive rpratt is being here. I'm not trying to burst your bubble here but your GPA would be in the bottom 5% AT SMITH. SO you would be even lower at better schools

You profile is decent but nowhere near the admits or averages or even ranges for school that rpratt is suggesting.

a 2.67 is what you have; no classes will change that. An alt. transcript is used to prove that you can handle b school. It doesnt take away form the fact that the school still has to eat your gpa in their stats, they dont want to do that. Especially where there are lots of people with better numbers.

IF you get a 720 and 8 credits with a 4.0 you will be within reach of schools outside of the top 14...cornell tepper, etc will be within reach but not likely.

Look i love the go for it attitude and am for you applying to any school you want but lets not get delusional here. Rpratt has a 3.3 and a 700.....thats a BIG BIG difference from your profile.

Go for the gold but dont be surprised if you dont get interviews in the top 14-16 schools.

I love basketball but i know i cant be in the nba....
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Re: Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 09:36
jordanhendrix makes some valid points. At the same time, I truly believe in my heart of hearts that adcom's will not sacrifice a candidate with a phenomenal profile/story just to keep their GPA numbers up. Now, if you are just trying to get in off of sheer numbers with mediocre/cliche essays that you threw together in a couple of weeks, and if adcom was just a group of robots devoid of human emotion, than yeah, I would say impossible to get into a top school with that GPA. I just don't believe that to be the case though. However, I will make one disclaimer. If you want to get in you are going to have to have a story and essays that bring a tear to the eye of the adcom members. It can be done, it just requires a LOT of time and thought and you will have to plumb the depths of your mind and soul to get that story to come across on paper. A really good resource that helped me with my essays is a book by Richard Montauk called "How to Get into the Top MBA Programs" Very good stuff.
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Re: Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 09:46
rpratt your an idealist and thats a wonderful trait....
thats said the adcoms only let in people with numbers like that if they have some serious connections (like G W. Bush's asst, in HBS without a bachelors degree, or G bush himself in HBS!)

Sob stories are a dime a dozen, and this kid doesnt even have one!
if you make an adcom cry they will pass your essay around before it goes in the trash not forgive both a terrible GMAT and GPA. (by their standards)

I wish you the best of luck, I'm going off of what most admissions consultants will tell you not an idealistic opinion which requires you to bring tears to adcom eyes. All in all I genuinely hope you prove me wrong!

For what its worth SMITH is decent in the DC area real estate scene GTOWN just launched its RE program too! I work in real estate in DC, its not like Investment banking....the school matters much less in RE
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Re: Please evaluate this potential '11 MBA reject [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 09:51
It just goes to show that there are many different candidates from many different backgrounds and vastly different viewpoints that are all admitted to top schools. Go with what works for you and fulfills your life's objectives.

Good Luck!
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