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Profile Evaluation - 3.16 GPA & Projected 690-720 GMAT

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Author Message
Manager
Manager
User avatar
Status: Planning to retake.
Affiliations: Alpha Psi Omega
Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 90
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 650 Q42 V37
GRE 1: 1310 Q630 V680
GPA: 3.16
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 13 [0], given: 14

Profile Evaluation - 3.16 GPA & Projected 690-720 GMAT [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2010, 06:19
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1) Demographic Information:
24, M, US - Caucasian
Speak English & French

2) Educational Information:
History and French at a 4-Year Public University 3.16 GPA
Studied Abroad in France for the 2007-2008 school year.
I take the GMAT December 13th, 2010. My highest prep scores so far are a 43V/42Q, or 700, so I'm hoping to get around that level. (690-720).

3) Work Experience:
-Various entrepreneurial activities, with varying degrees of success :P (Ebay Business, Garage Sale Business, Affiliate Marketing, Vending Machines, among others.)
-Over 1 Year of management experience at a 4-rooftop car dealership.
-Two promotions within 9 months.
-In charge of the internet sales department, at the moment. Previously, helped manage fixed operations in service departments.
-By the time I apply (most likely Fall 2011) I will have 2+ years of similar WE on the books.

4) Extracurriculars
-Helping to raise/take care of my cousin my uncle and his girlfriend didn't want. (My Dad ended up with custody. He's 6 now.)
-Highly music-related. Volunteered to play at nursing homes. Also in jazz band, marching band, drum corps, etc.
-Heavily involved in theater since 2007. Both stage manager and actor (or both) in numerous different plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest, She Stoops to Conquer, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).
-Involved in stand-up comedy. Appeared on Comedy Central in 2009.

5) Short/Long Term Goals:
Short term - Consulting. (Helping people with their problems without worrying about feelings or psychoses? I'm there!)
Long term - to keep making people think and laugh. (Can't you tell I was a liberal arts undergrad?)

6) Schools

Stern (Stretch), Yale, Darden, Tepper, McCombs, Olin, or Fisher. If it all came down to it, then I guess I would consider Owen at Vanderbilt in a pinch, primarily due to it being in my home state.
_________________

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Each moment of time ought to be put to proper use, either in business, in improving the mind, in the innocent and necessary relaxations and entertainments of life, or in the care of the moral and religious part of our nature.

-William Andrus Alcott

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Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 840
Followers: 49

Kudos [?]: 178 [0], given: 195

Re: Profile Evaluation - 3.16 GPA & Projected 690-720 GMAT [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2010, 19:36
Expert's post
Thanks for reaching out.

In terms of an interesting story and being more than a paper tiger candidate, you have that going for you. Challenging personal growth when you had to help raise a child, interesting and also challenging personal interests in the form of stand-up comedy (not easy to get up and do that), etc. Where you are going to need to really craft your message is on the timeliness of the whole thing. Why now? What about your experiences have prepared you to take literally the final training step of you business career? We're seeing more and more young applicants and many of them are finding the going tougher than they expected and it's almost always because they assume that who they are matters more than *where* they are in their career progression. Sure, HBS has skewed very young, but most b-schools still want people with dirt under their nails. When they see a young applicant, there is a "guilty until proven innocent" assumption that the candidate is just in a huge hurry to barrel through life and they neither know for sure what they want, nor are they prepared to really dig deep and share life experiences with other members of the class.

Now, this is not to say that you can't be competitive as a young applicant. It's one of our specialties, in fact, and that is because we focus on forwarding a very mature application. One that shows introspective thought, reflection on the powers and limitations of the MBA, a sound and pragmatic approach to the hiring process, and a story of discipline and focus. For you this will be especially relevant because your GPA, while not horrible, suggest that maybe you weren't totally plugged in to what you were doing in college.

Your GMAT score will obviously play a role as well and it could determine whether Stern/Yale are stretches are realistic chances (720 gives you a shot with perfect applications, 690 is an uphill battle).

Be sure to look us up next year when you apply as we can help you make sure it's the right time and also help you put together that mature, grounded application you are going to need.

In the meantime, I hope this helps and good luck.

Respectfully,

Paul Lanzillotti
_________________


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Manager
Manager
User avatar
Status: Planning to retake.
Affiliations: Alpha Psi Omega
Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 90
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 650 Q42 V37
GRE 1: 1310 Q630 V680
GPA: 3.16
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 13 [0], given: 14

Re: Profile Evaluation - 3.16 GPA & Projected 690-720 GMAT [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2010, 06:01
Paul,

This was an absolutely fabulous evaluation. This is going to be a long reply, but I'm going to structure it so it is readable - if you have any more thoughts at all, and the time to relate them, then I am all ears.

Quote:
there is a "guilty until proven innocent" assumption that the candidate is just in a huge hurry to barrel through life and they neither know for sure what they want, nor are they prepared to really dig deep and share life experiences with other members of the class.


Maybe it's just my Poet instead of Quant nature speaking to me, but I feel that certitude is one of the luxuries not afforded us in this life. We are allowed to make choices, but only a few of them have guaranteed outcomes.

I do not know if I will ever know for sure what I want. How people definitively arrive at this conclusion mystifies me. What I want, today, is to do well on the GMAT, keep doing my job well, and apply to business school because I want to try my hand as a consultant, and my undergraduate background alone would not provide that opportunity. If I end up hating it, as I am sure that many people do, then I hate it. No big deal. I'd do it until my B-school debt was cleared and try something else.

Take my father, for instance. My Dad retired from bluegrass music to be a lawyer and found law to be boring. A few short years after his law school graduation, he was back on the road with his band and had a much smaller caseload at the office. (NB: This story is why I happen to be posting on a GMAT forum instead of an LSAT forum - I witnessed all of this first hand and didn't want to go through it myself.)

Quote:
your GPA, while not horrible, suggest that maybe you weren't totally plugged in to what you were doing in college.


My major progression was Music Education - Sociology - History/French/Political Science - French - History w/ a French minor. The coursework just felt so pointless sometimes...I probably should have just changed my major to business. I was not plugged in at all - I devoted most of my time to helping with the kid, theater, spending time with my fiance, etc.

Quote:
What about your experiences have prepared you to take literally the final training step of you business career?


The way you have framed this question made me realize that I, perhaps erroneously, consider an MBA to be more of an early-step in a business career. (If a college degree is crawling, and your first job after graduation is walking, then the MBA is what teaches you how to jog and eventually to run.) You work for 2-8 years, get an MBA, work 35-40+ more years. You know more about it than I do, but I find it hard not to see it this way. Perhaps this is a fair way to put it - don't get an MBA until you have had a job that taught you how to walk, otherwise you won't keep up or be able to motivate your classmates, who may be more "out of shape", to run.

Quote:
Your GMAT score will obviously play a role as well and it could determine whether Stern/Yale are stretches are realistic chances (720 gives you a shot with perfect applications, 690 is an uphill battle).


If I were to change my schools to which I might apply to Ross, Columbia, Duke, Tuck, Kenan-Flagler, Darden, Tepper, Mcdonough, and Goizueta, since consulting is my primary focus, would that alter anything you've already said?
_________________

Did I help you? Please give me kudos.

Each moment of time ought to be put to proper use, either in business, in improving the mind, in the innocent and necessary relaxations and entertainments of life, or in the care of the moral and religious part of our nature.

-William Andrus Alcott

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 840
Followers: 49

Kudos [?]: 178 [0], given: 195

Re: Profile Evaluation - 3.16 GPA & Projected 690-720 GMAT [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2010, 10:04
Expert's post
Happy to provide some more thoughts.

- You don't have to be certain about what you want to do, but you have to be committed to the due diligence process on the front end. I could write for hours about this, but there are basically four types of MBA programs at the elite level when it comes to your career goals/the hiring process:

1) Columbia - Very paternalistic, the career services office gets highly involved, they have been known to even bring people in "off the record" to coach them on their career goals.

2) Guarded - For some reason people forget about employment #s when they look at the rankings, but now that schools care a great deal about getting students jobs when they graduate. So if someone says they want to work at McKinsey and that seems unlikely based on prior experience, the school is going to be extremely hesitant about admitting you, because if you strike out in the job market, that goes on their scorecard. Employment #s are just as important as GMAT and GPA when it comes to the rankings. So many schools fit this very "guarded" group, where they get skittish if someone doesn't seem likely to go out and land a job (young applicants are fighting an uphill battle at these schools, because they have less experience to impress recruiters, they are often presumed to be less skilled and comfortable in a hiring interview due to generational gaps, and they tend to be more naive about getting from point A to point B ... plus there could be generational or age biases built into certain company hiring cultures, which has a trickle down effect on the admissions practices of the schools).

3) Diligence - Many schools (Tuck comes to mind) are very aware of and honest about the fact that there is no certainty and they kind of assume you might do something other than what you outline. But what they want - in fact demand - is that you display an understanding of the process at a high level. Are you aware enough that recruiters might not take such a "what a wonderful world" life about the MBA being a journey of self-discovery? If recruiters won't afford you that luxury, schools can't either. It's a professional program and that demands that every involved approach it as such. In fact, it is funny that you mentioned law school, because arguably he biggest flaw of the JD system is that they don't make people put a serious check on their career goals at the outset. Thus, the world is full of miserable lawyers with $150K of debt.

4) Not as worried about what you say you will do. You've got a couple of schools like HBS and Sloan that just aren't worried about what you *intend* to do. They don't find career goals to be very predictive of ability or ultimate success, so they don't bother with the exercise, regardless of whether or not they are genuinely concerned about it (the Columbia/Guarded group) or they just want you to do your due diligence (the others).

- To reiterate everything I just said and also answer your other point, it is not an "early stage" degree the way a JD or MD is. It can be, if someone has accelerated quickly and run out of pre-MBA growth opportunities. You have to exhaust your capacity to learn, grow, and improve pre-MBA or they go "come on, have some patience." Consider this: with a JD or an MD, it doesn't matter what you've done prior. You can be 22 or 42 and either way, you are hitting the reset button. You will receive your academic training, you will take a credentialing exam, and you will begin an apprenticeship in that industry (junior associate/clerk in law, residency in medicine). In other words, the school only has to start your training. With a business school, the school has the burden of doing everything. They have to train you, mint you, validate you, and prepare you to be an executive leader. Nobody involved has the luxury of treating this like an exercise in finding your path. I think the way you have reframed this for yourself makes a lot of sense. Get to that "walk" stage and then an MBA will allow you to run and help others run as well.

- Your new school list makes sense to me. You'll just need to ramp up that maturity in all of the apps, regardless!

Glad to be of help.
-PL
_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

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