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Profile Eval: 750 GMAT, 3.0 GPA, American, 11 yrs China exp

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Author Message
Joined: 14 Aug 2013
Posts: 12
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 730 Q47 V44
GPA: 2.99
WE: Business Development (Law)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 0

Profile Eval: 750 GMAT, 3.0 GPA, American, 11 yrs China exp [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2013, 03:46
I’m a 32 y/o American W/M that’s lived in China since graduating from Ohio State in 2004. During that time I’ve spent three years in Central China (much more significant China experience than Shanghai/Beijing ), taken media sales jobs of increasing responsibilities and now manage the Asia Pacific business development department (and a team of 5) for a global top 100 law firm from our Hong Kong hub.

I’ve been told that I’m competitive at the UChicago and CBS EMBA programs based in Hong Kong, but want to explore if I’m competitive enough at H/W/S (especially Lauder) to justify an investment in time and money to apply to full time programs as well. I think a 20% chance at each would justify the investment for me.


GMAT:Between 730 and 770 (q46-49 v44-46) on practice exams in first month of studying (one month more to study)
Undergrad: 2.992 GPA at Ohio State in international studies (no real trend). The reason for the low score was a lack of maturity. It took me until my late 20’s to really put things together.

Why MBA: Since putting things together in my late 20’s my career’s really hit the accelerator and I realize how much I can do and would like the brand, network and abilities to ensure I go as far as I can. I’m interested in a full time mba for the recruiters and the ability to get on the career ladder at a bkue chip company directly rather than using the EMBA for a number of transition jobs. I’m looking for a way to switch from support staff at a professional /financial services company and become a principal. Though, having marketed and packaged legal solutions for Fortune 500 MNC’s, a general management position there is also interesting.

Fluent spoken, intermediate written Mandarin

I hope to apply for first round applications.

Is the China angle/High GMAT enough to overcome the low GPA? I’d appreciate if you could quantify the chance of acceptance H/W/S

Thanks in advance for your guidance.
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Expert Post
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 1466
Followers: 18

Kudos [?]: 176 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Eval: 750 GMAT, 3.0 GPA, American, 11 yrs China exp [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2013, 15:14
Expert's post
Hi Brian,

Thanks for posting, and I'd say your profile is interesting which means it could help you stand out some and be remembered by the admissions committee, always a plus! The one sore point is, as you know, the GPA. If you DO manage that top GMAT score you're aiming for, yes it would greatly help the GPA, and being further out (in time) from undergrad does de-emphasize the GPA some as well, and lends more importance to the GMAT.

Being an American with that extensive experience living abroad in China is less common and means you'll have an interesting international perspective to class discussions, as well as skills working in teams with those of different backgrounds and cultures, etc. The progression in your career is good and it sounds like at least in your most recent role, you've been able to demonstrate some more leadership, teamwork, and management skills.

You would be on the higher-end of the class in terms of age and experience, which means it's even more crucial that you can clearly explain WHY you need this MBA and exactly how it will fit into your career path, with solid reasoning.

The overall acceptance rate at Stanford is just 7%.... the most difficult, not helped by the fact that their incoming class is about half the size of HBS's. They do have a lot of connections to Asia, so that could be a plus with your experience. I would say that JUST based on your profile info, it's still going to be tough to get in there... but if you are able to really nail the essays and overall application and showcase what is UNIQUE about you, and grab the reader's attention, your chances may be better than average. HBS acceptance rate is 11.5%; you may have slightly above average chances there, tough to say, and again SO much of it is subjective and holistic in nature... there is no admissions formula, and statistics are not the main driver... admissions officers look at the whole application and how you'll fit in to the class and how the MBA will fit into your life and plans, and make a judgement call. Wharton's overall acceptance rate is 20%, and if you can show why you're interested in Wharton (note-- important for every school), you could have slightly better than average chances, sure thing.

For Lauder in particular, the class sizes are smaller and # of applicants is smaller, and acceptance rate generally much higher (but also very competitive applicants who apply). I would think you may have a good shot at the Lauder program if that is what you are interested in.... certainly your international experience is exactly the type of thing they are looking for and again would allow you to bring a lot to the classroom. I'd encourage applying if you are interested in the MBA/Masters combo there!

Also briefly wondering about international programs? Depending on where in the world you see yourself after the MBA that is... but top global b-schools like INSEAD, LBS, Judge, Said have the advantage of being entirely international (i.e. most of the classes are completely diverse, with only say 10-20% max of citizens of that country in the class, the rest mixed), whereas US programs are often 70-80% US students... doesn't have to be a key criteria, and certainly HBS/Stan/Wharton have the top global reputation and are also great if you're planning to work in the US afterwards. Just mentioning the international diversity aspects of some non-US programs since you have that interest in living abroad. That said, Lauder is a great program to focus on those interests as well and that class will be very diverse! ;)

Overall be sure you don't underestimate the importance of the essays... if everything else is strong, it won't matter if the essays are not compelling, engaging, personal, and well-thought-out. They should convey what is unique about you, why you need the MBA, exactly what your short-and long-term career goals are, and WHY that school is the right one for you. Be prepared to do multiple drafts, and to seek feedback from either an experienced MBA admissions consultant, or at least a friend/colleague who knows b-schools well. It's also good to get feedback from both someone who knows you well (so you can ask if the essays portray a good sense of who you are), AND someone who doesn't really know you well (so you can ask, what do these essays say about the person who wrote them??).

If you are interested in additional profile feedback or q&A, we do offer a free 30 minute consult, if you're interested, you can register at You can also return here to ask some more q's and/or keep us posted-- would love to hear how it goes either way! Good luck to you on the process!

Jen Kedrowski

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Profile Eval: 750 GMAT, 3.0 GPA, American, 11 yrs China exp

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