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Profile Eval for Top 10 Schools

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Profile Eval for Top 10 Schools [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2009, 12:50
Hi Everyone--

I'm looking for an evaluation of my chances of getting into a top tier business school as well as tips on how to enhance my profile. I enjoy my current job where I function as half an engineer/half analyst, and I'm interested in seeing if an MBA can help me enhance my network and refine my soft-skills to take my career to the next level. However, unless I have a great shot at a top school, I'd prefer not to endanger my career by hinting that I'll be leaving soon (eg--telling superiors that I need letters of rec and leaving for bschool will kill my chances for promotion. I've seen it happen). My vitals are below, as well as a few questions.

1) What are my chances for tier 1 (Sloan/Colombia/Kellog/Stanford) and tier 2/3 (Haas/Tepper/UCLA/Texas/NYU/Michigan) schools?
2) What would you'd recommend that I do now to enhance my profile? (take quant courses? get another promotion? do more extra-curriculars?)
3) Should I apply in fall 2009 now or wait a year, enhance my profile, and apply in fall 2010?

------------------------------------------------My Vitals

GMAT 700-730 est (taking in two months)

ACADEMICS
- Undergrad Cognitive Science major (BA) from UC Berkeley; graduated 3.5yrs. Overall GPA: 3.36
- Took calc, diff eqs, and multi variate calc in at CCs high school (got As), BUT did poorly in berkeley math/comp sci courses (2.5 gpa b/w three classes)
- I've taken two programming courses at UC Berkeley Extension since undegrad and earned A's
--> My academic profile is clearly the weakest part of my application. Frankly, I didn't care much about academics--I was focused on becoming a more well rounded person. I can, however, explain my poor academics b/c I was heavily involved in leadership with my fraternity and I worked to support myself in leadership positions part time.


WORK EXPERIENCE (post undergrad; 5yrs)
* Sr Analyst at big internet company (3yrs)
- I'm a half business intelligence engineer (program in java; expert with SQL) and half analyst/technical product manager
- Created company-wide revenue system which allocates 90% of revenue across all user atomic user-activity. This is a huge project which I've lead that could bring MMs in supplementary revenue
- Lead analyst for several multi-million dollar deals that made headlines
- Host all Microsoft Excel (over 40 classroom hours) trainings for company, be it for analytical or financial groups
- Scored in top 5% in company evals past two years; avg 20% raises past five years
* Financial Analyst at big financial company (2yrs)
--> My work experience after college is clearly the strongest part of my profile. I should have five strong letters of rec from VPs. I'll plan to place most of my emphasis on my application here

WORK EXPERIENCE (pre graduation; 6yrs)
* Analyst at a consulting company in High School: worked on a Y2K project (remember that thing!)
* Computing Lab Supervisor at UC Berkeley: hired & supervised 30 lab assistants
* New Student Orientation Counselor
--> I always worked at least part time from high school thru college

SUPPLEMENTAL
* President of Fraternity (also Treasurer and VP)
* Summer ESL Volunteer in South America
* Studied Abroad for Semester in Spain
* Peer advisor for my major
* Getting certified to become a SCUBA Dive Master
* Currently on an amateur salsa dance team
--> I was actively involved outside of work/school in college, but I have less "eye-catching" activities since graduation

In sum--I've got mid-range gmats, poor academics, fantastic work experience, decent supplementals, and I'm confident I can sell myself. What say you about the three questions above?

Thanks in advance,

~mbanana
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Re: Profile Eval for Top 10 Schools [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2009, 17:52
Expert's post
mbanana wrote:
Hi Everyone--

I'm looking for an evaluation of my chances of getting into a top tier business school as well as tips on how to enhance my profile. I enjoy my current job where I function as half an engineer/half analyst, and I'm interested in seeing if an MBA can help me enhance my network and refine my soft-skills to take my career to the next level. However, unless I have a great shot at a top school, I'd prefer not to endanger my career by hinting that I'll be leaving soon (eg--telling superiors that I need letters of rec and leaving for bschool will kill my chances for promotion. I've seen it happen). My vitals are below, as well as a few questions.

1) What are my chances for tier 1 (Sloan/Colombia/Kellog/Stanford) and tier 2/3 (Haas/Tepper/UCLA/Texas/NYU/Michigan) schools?
2) What would you'd recommend that I do now to enhance my profile? (take quant courses? get another promotion? do more extra-curriculars?)
3) Should I apply in fall 2009 now or wait a year, enhance my profile, and apply in fall 2010?

------------------------------------------------My Vitals

GMAT 700-730 est (taking in two months)

ACADEMICS
- Undergrad Cognitive Science major (BA) from UC Berkeley; graduated 3.5yrs. Overall GPA: 3.36
- Took calc, diff eqs, and multi variate calc in at CCs high school (got As), BUT did poorly in berkeley math/comp sci courses (2.5 gpa b/w three classes)
- I've taken two programming courses at UC Berkeley Extension since undegrad and earned A's
--> My academic profile is clearly the weakest part of my application. Frankly, I didn't care much about academics--I was focused on becoming a more well rounded person. I can, however, explain my poor academics b/c I was heavily involved in leadership with my fraternity and I worked to support myself in leadership positions part time.


WORK EXPERIENCE (post undergrad; 5yrs)
* Sr Analyst at big internet company (3yrs)
- I'm a half business intelligence engineer (program in java; expert with SQL) and half analyst/technical product manager
- Created company-wide revenue system which allocates 90% of revenue across all user atomic user-activity. This is a huge project which I've lead that could bring MMs in supplementary revenue
- Lead analyst for several multi-million dollar deals that made headlines
- Host all Microsoft Excel (over 40 classroom hours) trainings for company, be it for analytical or financial groups
- Scored in top 5% in company evals past two years; avg 20% raises past five years
* Financial Analyst at big financial company (2yrs)
--> My work experience after college is clearly the strongest part of my profile. I should have five strong letters of rec from VPs. I'll plan to place most of my emphasis on my application here

WORK EXPERIENCE (pre graduation; 6yrs)
* Analyst at a consulting company in High School: worked on a Y2K project (remember that thing!)
* Computing Lab Supervisor at UC Berkeley: hired & supervised 30 lab assistants
* New Student Orientation Counselor
--> I always worked at least part time from high school thru college

SUPPLEMENTAL
* President of Fraternity (also Treasurer and VP)
* Summer ESL Volunteer in South America
* Studied Abroad for Semester in Spain
* Peer advisor for my major
* Getting certified to become a SCUBA Dive Master
* Currently on an amateur salsa dance team
--> I was actively involved outside of work/school in college, but I have less "eye-catching" activities since graduation

In sum--I've got mid-range gmats, poor academics, fantastic work experience, decent supplementals, and I'm confident I can sell myself. What say you about the three questions above?

Thanks in advance,

~mbanana


mbanana,

I think your being somewhat tough on your undergrad record. While it is a little low for the elite programs, it is not in my book "poor," especially with those 2 recent A's and a strong GMAT.

To answer your questions.

1) If your GMAT comes in the range that you anticipate, especially if it is in the higher end of that range or if you are a member of a URM, then you have a competitive profile for all the schools on your list. If your GMAT is a 700, then Stanford, Columbia, Kellogg, Haas, and MITprobably become stretch programs for you, but by no means entirely out of reach.
2) I would perhaps take one quant class and focus on an extra-curricular commitment, which apparently has taken a back seat since college. Also, if you can, visit the programs you are most interested in while they are still in session this year.
3) Apply in Fall 2009.

You might be interest in Accepted'sMBA Admissions Telethon. During this event we are providing free, mini-consultations to 2010 MBA applicants. It's this Wednesday March 4.
_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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