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Profile Evaluation - 730 GMAT and 4.0 GPA [#permalink]
15 Jan 2013, 13:05
I would appreciate some insight as to whether or not I would be strong applicant for the following target schools: Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, Dartmouth, MIT, Booth and Haas. Below is an overview of my background:
Age / Work Experience - Would be 27 with just over 5 years of experience by the time I apply in Fall 2014.
GMAT - I recently took the GMAT for the first time and scored a 730 (Q48, V42).
GPA - 4.0 from a Big 10 state school. Was one of only 23 students in a class of over 2,000 to earn a 4.0. Graduated with Honors with a degree in Accounting.
Work Experience - Have been with a private equity and mezzanine capital firm since 2007. I was recruited as a summer intern and then joined as a full-time Analyst upon graduating from undergrad in 2009. I was promoted to Associate in November 2010 and have been in that role ever since.
One unique aspect of my work experience is that I am the second most tenured employee of our five man team. I was also heavily involved in raising our second fund. As the youngest member of our team, I have had a great opportunity to become more heavily involved in certain elements of the private equity business than I feel I would have at other larger firms.
Other Activities - While working for the private equity fund, I pursued an entrepreneurial venture on nights and weekends which involved creating a new ready-to-drink smoothie beverage. I partnered with a university for research and development and took on a business partner who formerly was a VP with a Fortune 500 food company. Ultimately, I abandoned the project after a year, but it was a very valuable experience and opened my eyes to consumer products.
Extracurricular - Am involved as a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, a national organization dedicated to middle-market businesses and the deal community. I also was responsible for authoring the business plan to help establish our local chapter of the organization, which needed to be approved the national group.
Miscellaneous - I am located in a rural state, so there are likely few applicants from my region, although I am a white male.
Career Goals - I am pursuing an MBA because I have found that I have a passion for consumer products and strategy. My background is in finance and accounting, and I want to pursue the MBA to build a more well-rounded skill-set, as well as to use as a stepping stone into a career in either consumer products or management consulting with an emphasis on the consumer products sector.
Wow, fantastic work! As I'm sure you already know from a quick glance at the rankings, you're academic qualifications are unquestionable, even at the top-ranked schools. All of your stats line up just fine: GMAT, GPA, age, years of work experience, etc. As Wharton's Director of Admissions says, 75% of applicants are qualified. HBS' Admissions Director describes her job not as an "evaluation" process, but as a "selection" process among the sea of qualified applicants. The #1 challenge for someone in your circumstance is to not appear to be a 1-dimensional candidate by focusing exclusively on your strong analytical and finance skills.
Instead, you need to show the admissions committee why they should select you over other qualified candidates. What is the unique blend of experiences, background, perspective, personality traits and so forth that only you can bring to their class? Secondly, you'll need to tell a compelling story regarding your career goals that seem completely disconnected to your skills and career to-date. While nearly 80% of MBA candidates make some kind of career switch upon graduation, you need to show the Admissions Committee that you've done the appropriate level of research and have a reasoned path for a successful transition to a dramatically new career.
I would love to discuss your candidacy and application strategy in greater detail! Please give me a call at 310-456-8716 or shoot me a PM and let's chat more about specifics.