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Please give me some advice

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Please give me some advice [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2004, 04:34
Hello

I stumbled across your site yesterday and wish I would have found it much earlier!
I would be very happy if you could give me an answer to my questions.
I am planning to apply for top 10 MBA programs for second round, i.e. January 6 and would like to know if my plans are realistic. Here is my story: I just turned 27, Bachelor Computer Science Minnesota State University GPA:3.9, German citizen, fluent in four languages. I have worked for 2.5 years for a fortune 500 medical device company as a systems analyst and resigned in May to grow my own startup company since then. I am taking the GMAT at the end of this month and am expecting a score close to 700. I have been enrolled as a part time MBA student at a local private university over the last two years, six classes short of graduating. I have taken ten out of sixteen classes so far: Financial management of Electronic Ventures, Organizational Concepts and techniques, Independent Study, Information and Analysis, Financial Reporting and Control, Enrepreneurship, Customers & markets, operational Processes, New product Development, Law & Ethics in business and project management.
Are the classes I took too much for the B-schools, or could I explain these business classes I took as personal interest for running my company and preparing for a top B-school? My transcript also says my major is Master of Science in Information Technology, not MBA. This is possible because both degrees share many classes and electives and I switched around.
How do you think would be a good way to position myself in essays, especially with the graduate business classes I took. Should I just not mention that I went to a local business school or try to explain them, i.e. could they even help instead of hurt?
If I do not score a 700, but let's say a 650, would you recommend applying anyway and reapplying or waiting until next year? Does reapplying look bad?
Thank you very much,

Peter
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Re: Please give me some advice [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2004, 13:19
Expert's post
peterpan wrote:
Hello

I stumbled across your site yesterday and wish I would have found it much earlier!
I would be very happy if you could give me an answer to my questions.
I am planning to apply for top 10 MBA programs for second round, i.e. January 6 and would like to know if my plans are realistic. Here is my story: I just turned 27, Bachelor Computer Science Minnesota State University GPA:3.9, German citizen, fluent in four languages. I have worked for 2.5 years for a fortune 500 medical device company as a systems analyst and resigned in May to grow my own startup company since then. I am taking the GMAT at the end of this month and am expecting a score close to 700. I have been enrolled as a part time MBA student at a local private university over the last two years, six classes short of graduating. I have taken ten out of sixteen classes so far: Financial management of Electronic Ventures, Organizational Concepts and techniques, Independent Study, Information and Analysis, Financial Reporting and Control, Enrepreneurship, Customers & markets, operational Processes, New product Development, Law & Ethics in business and project management.
Are the classes I took too much for the B-schools, or could I explain these business classes I took as personal interest for running my company and preparing for a top B-school? My transcript also says my major is Master of Science in Information Technology, not MBA. This is possible because both degrees share many classes and electives and I switched around.
How do you think would be a good way to position myself in essays, especially with the graduate business classes I took. Should I just not mention that I went to a local business school or try to explain them, i.e. could they even help instead of hurt?
If I do not score a 700, but let's say a 650, would you recommend applying anyway and reapplying or waiting until next year? Does reapplying look bad?
Thank you very much,

Peter


Peter,

Almost all applications ask you to list any post-secondary education. So you must inform the schools of your current program, but you certainly can and should say you are enrolled in a Masters of Science in Information Technology. You can also say that these classes have whetted your interest in business. You will need to explain why you need both degrees and show that you are not a degree collector. Why do you need an MBA and why won't attaining your current degree goal help you achieve that goal? You are going need to be crystal clear on why you need an MBA to achieve your goals .

Regarding your question about reapplication, at almost all schools reapplicants are either viewed neutrally or positively. Harvard and a few of the European schools appear to be exceptions to that rule. For more information on applying as a reapplicant, please see "MBA Admissions: Application Advice for Reapplicants."

Finallly, as to your basic question about competitiveness in the top ten, if you score around 700, can show some leadership or extracurricular activities, and successfully explain your reasons for wanting an MBA given your closeness to another masters program, then you have a competitive profile in the top ten.

Good luck!

Good luck!
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Thank you [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2004, 15:59
Linda

Thank you so much for your reply.
Do you think I would stand a reasonable chance by explaining that I took these classes out of the need to learn how to run my own company, however, I have realized that random classes cannot equate to a full-fledged MBA program in teaching me business skills? I also want to drop out of the MSIT program now, do you think this would help or hurt my aplication? On one hand it may show I am not a degree-collector on the other hand would it cast a doubt on persistence sticking with a program? BTW, Harvard and MIT actually do not require transcripts from schools where one did not finish a degree. I wonder how much those graduate business classes hurt my profile?
Another question I have is for the case that I do not get in this year and have to reapply for the next year. If my startup company fails and I have to get a regular job by next year how much would that hurt my case? Can schools really find out about all jobs I have held even if the job is only for the duration of two weeks or if I have do something part-time to keep myself from starving? I would prefer not to list those side-jobs because they would not match my industry or career pattern; they merely serve to pay bills.
Regarding reapplication, would you suggest to apply anywhere but Harvard if my application is not too strong, in the case I need to reapply? What are the chances in terms of admissions for Europeans compared to Americans at US B-schools? Does it matter which European country I am a citizen of? I can claim citizenship for either Poland or Germany, would one be better than the other?
I would really appreciate if you could give me some advice.

Peter
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2004, 17:49
Hi,

I would not worry so much about the MSIT program. If I understand your account, you became more interested in "mainstream" business after taking these classes. If an MSIT no longer suits your goals, it makes sense from a "sunk cost" perspective to cut your losses and focus on a more appropriate academic program. As long as your grades have been reasonably strong so that you are making the transition from a position of strength, I think it will be viewed as a reasonable move by many observers.

I would also place less emphasis on how "school x" will view your transition. Instead, construct a portfolio of schools to adjust for the risk of aversion by any particular school.

Best,

Hjort
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Re: Thank you [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2004, 12:21
Expert's post
peterpan wrote:
Linda

Thank you so much for your reply.
Do you think I would stand a reasonable chance by explaining that I took these classes out of the need to learn how to run my own company, however, I have realized that random classes cannot equate to a full-fledged MBA program in teaching me business skills? I also want to drop out of the MSIT program now, do you think this would help or hurt my aplication? On one hand it may show I am not a degree-collector on the other hand would it cast a doubt on persistence sticking with a program? BTW, Harvard and MIT actually do not require transcripts from schools where one did not finish a degree. I wonder how much those graduate business classes hurt my profile?
Another question I have is for the case that I do not get in this year and have to reapply for the next year. If my startup company fails and I have to get a regular job by next year how much would that hurt my case? Can schools really find out about all jobs I have held even if the job is only for the duration of two weeks or if I have do something part-time to keep myself from starving? I would prefer not to list those side-jobs because they would not match my industry or career pattern; they merely serve to pay bills.
Regarding reapplication, would you suggest to apply anywhere but Harvard if my application is not too strong, in the case I need to reapply? What are the chances in terms of admissions for Europeans compared to Americans at US B-schools? Does it matter which European country I am a citizen of? I can claim citizenship for either Poland or Germany, would one be better than the other?
I would really appreciate if you could give me some advice.

Peter


Peter,

First I want to be very clear: I am not encouraging you to drop out of your MS program for admissions reasons. Many applicants have an MS in some other field. They, like you, have to explain why they need an MBA to achieve their current goals. Indeed, if someone has a low undergrad GPA a high grad GPA can mitigate the impact of the low GPA. The fact that you have taken some business class also is not going to automatically hurt you. As I said earlier,you can say that these classes whetted your appetite for more.

If you start-up fails you will have lots of good company in the applicant pool. Show what you learned from the experience and how you grew as a result, and it won't hurt you. Especially if you get a good job afterwards.

Once accepted, many schools (Wharton and Haas for example) will verify the information you put on your application. They want to see that you have been truthful. If you haven't, they can withdraw their offer of admission.

I would not suggest applying to Harvard unless you are sure you are submitting your best application. Harvard sets the bar high for reapplicants.

Europeans are currently sought by b-schools because not that many are applying. I don't know if Germans or Poles are more sought after, but I don't think it makes a big difference. Ultimately its you, not your nationality, that they will accept.

Good luck!
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Thanks [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2004, 19:28
How do schools find out whether you have been truthful about your employement? Do they check tax statements, is there some kind of national registry, etc?

Where do you think is the cutoff in GMAT score where you would not recommend applying to Harvard?

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Re: Thanks [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2004, 17:00
Expert's post
peterpan wrote:
How do schools find out whether you have been truthful about your employement? Do they check tax statements, is there some kind of national registry, etc?

Where do you think is the cutoff in GMAT score where you would not recommend applying to Harvard?

Thank you


Some schools actually hire firms to check into accepted applicants backgrounds. These are the same companies that check out prospective employees for companies. They will call previous employers and ask about hire and fire dates, etc.

I don't know of an official cutoff score. But an unofficial one is probably around 600 and someone getting in with that low a score would probably be from a very underprepresented group, have great grades, an incredible personal story, and outstanding work experience. For mere mortals the realistic cut-off would be more like 650-670.

Good luck!
_________________

Linda Abraham
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