Hey Brian - thanks for asking for input from EssaySnark.
First up: we TOTALLY disagree with what you heard from another consultant re: your grades. Sure, Harvard looks for evidence of overachievement, and low grades are a blemish - but it is absolutely not the end of the world.
Now before we get ahead of ourselves, we're not trying to say that you're otherwise qualified for HBS or you're guaranteed to get in - but we take issue with the advice you got elsewhere. It's just not true, and it's totally unfair to make such categorical statements (that type of stuff is what prompted this rant that we published on the EssaySnark blahg awhile back
Before we can say much more about your profile though, we honestly do need a GMAT score. A high score won't offset lower grades but it counts for a lot and it's tough enough to be definitive about this stuff with the full picture; we need to know more before we can say much. You're testing at a very respectable level but everybody does better on the practice exams; we hardly ever hear of anyone pulling out even a similar score to what they do on the mocks. So if you get a 730, GREAT! But we can't count on it until it's done.
The next issue of course is you're definitely on the way-older side. This is potentially a bigger deal than GPA - even moving into possibly showstopper territory at some schools. You really are much more appropriate to an EMBA program. It's possible to get into H / S / especially W with this much age and experience but it becomes less likely; they admit "older" candidates every year, just not that many.
ALL OF THAT BEING SAID: There's some interesting stuff going on. The American ex-pat in China thing has REAL VALUE. You very well could have enough in the story to make this work.
But we truly don't have enough data to say.
Apologies for the upsell (this is the first time we've done this today, we totally don't pull this on everyone!) but we'd encourage you to go for our Comprehensive Profile Review
which is just what it says it is and we can drill down into EVERYTHING - read about it here and specifically check out the reviews that others have left
; GMAT Club members get a $10 discount if you click through from this page
You probably wouldn't want to do that till you have your GMAT score in hand - which we hope will be SOON if you're planning on Harvard!!! That deadline is coming up fast and you need to be WRITING ESSAYS NOW!! (did everyone hear that???)
Hope there was something mildly useful in all of that...
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