Note: This has become a much longer post than I intended. I appreciate you reading through it to provide some guidance. Please let me know if I can provide addtional details.
I am trying to decide whether to apply to B schools for the Fall 2013 year or wait another year. Please take a look at my profile below and maybe help add to my pros and cons.
Thanks a lot!Background
I am targetting top 10 schools (which is part of the reason for my dilemma - if my application is not good enough for top 10 schools yet i would rather wait) and, although i am still trying to figure out exactly what i want to do after B school, areas of my interest include venture capital, management consulting (Strategy), or startups.
Ideally targetting US schools but LBS, INSEAD, and IIM Ahemdabad are on my radar.
i am only 25 so if i have to wait a year it is not a super big deal. however, i think i am ready to move on from what i am currently doing as i think i have gained what i can out of my current job and need the mba to make the managerial leap/switch careers. Profile
25 Male Indian (green card holder - US high school and college)
Univ of Florida, Bach of Sci in Business Admin. Majors: Finance, Information Systems. Minor: Entrepreneurship
GPA: 3.65, Major GPA: 3.95
I have some undergrad extracurriculars which are decent but nothing spectacular i would say. Study abroad at Hong kong univ. of science and tech for a Fall semester (4 months). graduated cum laude (i think- i will have to double check this one
). three internships, 2 in consulting 1 in retail.
and i know this probably doesnt mean much, but i passed the CFA level 1 (and if i do not apply to Bschools and get in, i will do level 2 next year)
Consultant at Accenture in Management Consulting- Risk for Capital Markets (i have consulted in banking, healthcare, and asset management industries as well). I would say my work experience is pretty solid where I have been everything from process analyst to data analyst to solutions architect to project manager. i have also written proposals and other marketing materials.
i was promoted from analyst to consultant during my first performance review. i worked my way into c-suite steering committees as facilitator for one of my clients, (prepping the materials and presenting the topics of discussion), managed a team of 9 people, and each of these 9 people had entire departments reporting to them. I have crunched through and met some pretty hard deadlines, etc.
additionally, i currently have an intern from a top 10 B school program working with me whom i trained, advised, and was the pseudo team lead for her.
Point being that i think my work section will be my strongest.
i have to retake it because, like a fool, i did not do the AWA part. i am not too worried about the gmat however since i got a 740 the first time around. this was on the old format, however, so i do need to spend some time on this.
This is my weakest point i think. I have done a few extracurriculars through work (recruiting, teaching, mentoring, etc), but apart from that nothing of much significance to add here. I am an active equity options trader which takes up significant amount of my time but i feel since it is my family money, it is not "accredited" and could be perceived as me trying to fill up space on my resume.
i love to play sports and i am involved in couple of leagues.
I have taken some math classes (calc 3, differential equations, linear algebra) from respected universities while i have been working. average GPA on those is probably 3.9ish. i did this because for a while i was interested in quantitative finance and also to help trading.
i do speak three languages fluently, english, hindi, spanish - all of them i learned by living in native countries.
Lived in 6 countries while growing up.
excellent analytical, communication, and even managerial skills (backed by work experience).
know basic VBasic and C++. conceptually know programming at an intermediate level.
Not sure if this belongs anywhere on the application, but i did the world's tallest bungee jump and now have 1.5 million views on my youtube video ( shows me in a different light - a calculated risk taker)The decision
So here i am, unable to decide whether to wait another year or go ahead and apply. besides the cost (time and money) of putting together the various applications, i am concerned that a poor application will hurt me more than waiting another year. in other words, if i apply now and get rejected, the schools will obviously keep track of that and i think reapplication has several disadvantages that i would rather not have next to my name.
below are some pros and cons of applying THIS year. additionally, i have some questions. please help answer these and weigh my pros and cons. also any advice is of course much appreciated.Pros of applying right now
1. I am at a point where I feel I am ready to move on from my current job. I know that next year I will be up from promotion but I think B-school will provide me with better, more diverse opportunities and I would rather start harnessing those opportunities now. Also personally, family wise, it would make more sense for me to go this year.
2. I have time. Relatively speaking I will have ample time (i think) to apply to schools. such luxuries may not be available next year.
3. I have the necessary work experience and the GPA and the GMAT scores required. The numbers add up well.
4. Interest rates are low - loans will be cheaper (although this is somewhat of a moot point for me...)Cons of applying right now
1. I am not confident that i will get in. my extracurriculars are quite weak and waiting another year will allow me to bolster that section a bit.
2. Since deadlines are approaching fast, applications may be a bit rushed.
3. I do not have the "Story" clearly formulated in my mind. What do i want to do after b-school? not 100% sure. why b-school? cus... what else? i know there are better answers to these questions and i have the partial answers but i fear this lack of clarity will show up on my essays.
4. I expect/hope to be promoted again next year (septmber time frame i think) which will further improve my work experience section.
5. another year allows me to save more money for financing purposes. questions
1. How bad are my weaknesses? I know adcoms say that everything is considered holistically, but like i said i am interested in only top 10 schools and if my lack of extracurriculars takes me out of the running, i can spend the next year working on that. I have a couple of things lined up already for extras: big brother program and i am beginning a financial literacy class for grad students and young professionals.
2. Is it frowned upon to say something like "I am not 100% sure what my goals are. I have ideas and I want to go B-school to explore which one of those intersts me the most"? I can back this up with WHY i have an interest in those areas and how B-school can help me explore those interests further.