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Paul, I want to echo everyone's great appreciation for the service you are providing. This is a remarkable resource that I wish I had known about months ago!
Here's my situation:
I'm applying to the Stern Full-Time program and University of Washington Full-Time and PT.
I graduated from a strong liberal arts school with a lack luster 3.0 GPA with double major in Economics and Chemistry. On my GMAT, I was disappointed with my 640 score, far down from my 700+ practice tests.
I am almost 26 and have been working at Merrill Lynch (Seattle) in private client wealth management for 2.5 years with much success (great rec's). I have built a practice that is the largest in three regional offices, given my length of service.
Leadership includes: i am a campaign manager for a state house legislator, who is running for the senate three-time collegiate varsity men's swim team captain i have coached a summer swim team of 180 swimmers for four years held at least 4 or 5 elected posts in school
After graduation, I am looking to transition out of private client into IB/corporate finance.
I know that Stern is a long shot at best, especially if i can't raise my GMAT. But I'm also concerned that UW may also be a stab in the dark.
Assuming that my essays are strong, what do you think my chances are?
I agree that Stern is a longshot, though except for your GMAT and GPA your profile looks strong in every other respect. You should have a decent shot at Washington, since your 640 falls within their middle 80% and is not too far off their 674 average. If you can make the case (with evidence) that you traditionally get mediocre scores on standardized tests but simultaneously get strong grades then you may be able to soften the impact of your GMAT score. Washington is not a lock for you, but you seem reasonably competitive there.