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Profile Evaluation and Questions

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Joined: 16 Jan 2011
Posts: 18
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Profile Evaluation and Questions [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2011, 20:04
Hello, I was wondering if you could please evaluate my profile and answer some questions which I have listed below. Thank you so much for your time and feedback!

Age: 25
Gender: Male
Nationality: Canadian (Korean descent)
Education:
I was almost a high school drop out but turned my life around and graduated with a BBA from a Canadian university with a concentration in Finance. Also completed a Joint Major in Interactive Arts and Technology with a concentration in Design.
GPA: 3.32/4.33 (77%)
- Upper Division GPA: 4.04/4.33 (93%)
- Graded on a bell curve (normal distribution)
GMAT: 710 (Q47, V40, 6.0 AWA)
Experience:
- Starting in July @ one of the world's largest financial institutions (Canadian arm): One of 12 people selected across Canada for a 2 year, rotational leadership development program designed to develop company’s future leaders/executive management. Four 6-month rotations in various parts of the bank (private banking, commercial, etc.) including training in London and one international rotation.
- Entrepreneurial experience starting and operating an import/retail business during school.
Extracurricular:
- Decent amount of volunteer experience at various charity events/non-profits as well as participation in university clubs, events and exhibitions (nothing outstanding, though)
- Coached high school volleyball, participate in a wide variety of sports
Academic achievements:
- Selected to represent my university at an international design conference in London, UK. Work was subsequently published in an international design book.
- Led a team and placed 1st at my school and 2nd overall in a provincial portfolio management competition.

Target Schools:
- Harvard
- London Business School
- Berkeley Haas
- Chicago Booth
- Wharton
- Columbia
- Others: Yale SOM, MIT Sloan, Cornell Johnson, NYU Stern

Plan:
I graduated from university last December, wrote the GMAT in April this year, and I start my new job this July. I intentionally took the GMAT coming right out of university while my brain was still in “academic” study mode. I had 6 months off between graduating and starting my new position, so it felt like a good time (rather than taking it once I’m swamped with work). Because my score stays on record for 5 years, I plan to finish my 2 year rotational program and gain another 1-2 years experience after the program in a specific area before applying to schools (3-4 years after writing the GMAT).

Questions, assuming essays, recommendations, and other aspects of my application are held constant:

- Am I part of an over-represented group?

GMAT:
- Does 710 make up for my mediocre overall GPA?
- If not, should I retake? Practice test scores (GMATPrep, MGMAT, Kaplan) consistently 720 – 760, with 760 on the last 3. Disparity came from verbal score (40 actual, 44-45 on CATs)
- How much higher will I have to score to justify retaking to schools? What if I score lower?
- Do top schools see a significant difference between 710 vs 730+?
- Timing: Will the fact that I took the GMAT in advance, before even starting my job, hurt my application? Are scores that are more “recent” to the date you apply considered more valuable?
- Will my GMAT score be devalued in any way due to new changes to the GMAT being introduced in 2012? (Integrated reasoning section). Average scores typically drop after the exam is changed. If so, should my decision to retake be affected? (ie. Should I retake it before changes come into effect). Eg) will admissions officers conclude that because I took the GMAT when there was no Integrated Reasoning section, the exam I took was “easier” as a result?

GPA:
- Will schools take my upper division GPA into consideration? - Its much higher than my overall GPA, and upper division courses are typically more challenging than first and second year courses
- Will schools consider that I was graded on a bell curve/normal distribution? - This usually makes it more challenging to consistently achieve high grades because you are constantly being graded against your peers, thus making it highly competitive.

Work Experience:
- Breadth vs. Depth: Do schools prefer people to have work experience in one specific area, or in various areas? - Primary concern is that my position is rotational and meant to give me broad exposure as opposed to focusing on one area.
- Will the highly selective/competitive nature of my position be a benefit?
- Will the rotational aspect of the position hurt or help my chances? - The position is highly intensive and meant to accelerate experience while developing leadership skills.
- My company has clearly stated that they will financially support members of this position through MBA school, and it is highly likely that I will hold a position at the company upon completion of an MBA program. Will this help my candidacy?
- Will the size/reputation/name of my company help me?

Sorry for all the questions and the long post! I wanted to provide as much info as I could. Your help is greatly appreciated :)

Thank you!

Daniel
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MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 668
Followers: 13

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Re: Profile Evaluation and Questions [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2011, 03:15
Expert's post
Dantastic wrote:
Hello, I was wondering if you could please evaluate my profile and answer some questions which I have listed below. Thank you so much for your time and feedback!

Age: 25
Gender: Male
Nationality: Canadian (Korean descent)
Education:
I was almost a high school drop out but turned my life around and graduated with a BBA from a Canadian university with a concentration in Finance. Also completed a Joint Major in Interactive Arts and Technology with a concentration in Design.
GPA: 3.32/4.33 (77%)
- Upper Division GPA: 4.04/4.33 (93%)
- Graded on a bell curve (normal distribution)
GMAT: 710 (Q47, V40, 6.0 AWA)
Experience:
- Starting in July @ one of the world's largest financial institutions (Canadian arm): One of 12 people selected across Canada for a 2 year, rotational leadership development program designed to develop company’s future leaders/executive management. Four 6-month rotations in various parts of the bank (private banking, commercial, etc.) including training in London and one international rotation.
- Entrepreneurial experience starting and operating an import/retail business during school.
Extracurricular:
- Decent amount of volunteer experience at various charity events/non-profits as well as participation in university clubs, events and exhibitions (nothing outstanding, though)
- Coached high school volleyball, participate in a wide variety of sports
Academic achievements:
- Selected to represent my university at an international design conference in London, UK. Work was subsequently published in an international design book.
- Led a team and placed 1st at my school and 2nd overall in a provincial portfolio management competition.

Target Schools:
- Harvard
- London Business School
- Berkeley Haas
- Chicago Booth
- Wharton
- Columbia
- Others: Yale SOM, MIT Sloan, Cornell Johnson, NYU Stern

Plan:
I graduated from university last December, wrote the GMAT in April this year, and I start my new job this July. I intentionally took the GMAT coming right out of university while my brain was still in “academic” study mode. I had 6 months off between graduating and starting my new position, so it felt like a good time (rather than taking it once I’m swamped with work). Because my score stays on record for 5 years, I plan to finish my 2 year rotational program and gain another 1-2 years experience after the program in a specific area before applying to schools (3-4 years after writing the GMAT).

Questions, assuming essays, recommendations, and other aspects of my application are held constant:

- Am I part of an over-represented group?

GMAT:
- Does 710 make up for my mediocre overall GPA?
- If not, should I retake? Practice test scores (GMATPrep, MGMAT, Kaplan) consistently 720 – 760, with 760 on the last 3. Disparity came from verbal score (40 actual, 44-45 on CATs)
- How much higher will I have to score to justify retaking to schools? What if I score lower?
- Do top schools see a significant difference between 710 vs 730+?
- Timing: Will the fact that I took the GMAT in advance, before even starting my job, hurt my application? Are scores that are more “recent” to the date you apply considered more valuable?
- Will my GMAT score be devalued in any way due to new changes to the GMAT being introduced in 2012? (Integrated reasoning section). Average scores typically drop after the exam is changed. If so, should my decision to retake be affected? (ie. Should I retake it before changes come into effect). Eg) will admissions officers conclude that because I took the GMAT when there was no Integrated Reasoning section, the exam I took was “easier” as a result?

GPA:
- Will schools take my upper division GPA into consideration? - Its much higher than my overall GPA, and upper division courses are typically more challenging than first and second year courses
- Will schools consider that I was graded on a bell curve/normal distribution? - This usually makes it more challenging to consistently achieve high grades because you are constantly being graded against your peers, thus making it highly competitive.

Work Experience:
- Breadth vs. Depth: Do schools prefer people to have work experience in one specific area, or in various areas? - Primary concern is that my position is rotational and meant to give me broad exposure as opposed to focusing on one area.
- Will the highly selective/competitive nature of my position be a benefit?
- Will the rotational aspect of the position hurt or help my chances? - The position is highly intensive and meant to accelerate experience while developing leadership skills.
- My company has clearly stated that they will financially support members of this position through MBA school, and it is highly likely that I will hold a position at the company upon completion of an MBA program. Will this help my candidacy?
- Will the size/reputation/name of my company help me?

Sorry for all the questions and the long post! I wanted to provide as much info as I could. Your help is greatly appreciated :)

Thank you!

Daniel


That certainly is a lot of questions! I'll try to answer them each individually here.

- Am I part of an over-represented group?
No, you are part of a represented group, but not an oversaturated one.
GMAT:
- Does 710 make up for my mediocre overall GPA?
- If not, should I retake? Practice test scores (GMATPrep, MGMAT, Kaplan) consistently 720 – 760, with 760 on the last 3. Disparity came from verbal score (40 actual, 44-45 on CATs)
It shows them that you can do the work, yes, but since your practice scores were so much higher it does make sense, in my opinion, to retake it with a little more preparation.
- How much higher will I have to score to justify retaking to schools? What if I score lower?
Anything higher boosts your profile a bit, and, in my opinion, there is no downside to scoring lower since the programs only use the highest score.
- Do top schools see a significant difference between 710 vs 730+?
Yes.
- Timing: Will the fact that I took the GMAT in advance, before even starting my job, hurt my application? Are scores that are more “recent” to the date you apply considered more valuable?
No, timing is irrelevant. I guess they figure that anything in your brain within the past 5 years is relatively retrievable ;-)
- Will my GMAT score be devalued in any way due to new changes to the GMAT being introduced in 2012? (Integrated reasoning section). Average scores typically drop after the exam is changed. If so, should my decision to retake be affected? (ie. Should I retake it before changes come into effect). Eg) will admissions officers conclude that because I took the GMAT when there was no Integrated Reasoning section, the exam I took was “easier” as a result?
No, there is no penalty for not taking the newer GMAT.
GPA:
- Will schools take my upper division GPA into consideration? - Its much higher than my overall GPA, and upper division courses are typically more challenging than first and second year courses
- Will schools consider that I was graded on a bell curve/normal distribution? - This usually makes it more challenging to consistently achieve high grades because you are constantly being graded against your peers, thus making it highly competitive.
You can use your application form or the optional essay to explain your GPA so that the admissions committee understands how well you did in comparison to the class and/or any specific challenges you faced to performing well. Don't fall into a trap of making excuses or sounding whiny: no one likes a whiner.
Work Experience:
- Breadth vs. Depth: Do schools prefer people to have work experience in one specific area, or in various areas? - Primary concern is that my position is rotational and meant to give me broad exposure as opposed to focusing on one area.
Schools prefer applicants who have consistently proven that they are capable of stepping into any environment and leading.
- Will the highly selective/competitive nature of my position be a benefit?
Yes, but you'll need to explain how selective it is in the Work History section of the application.
- Will the rotational aspect of the position hurt or help my chances? - The position is highly intensive and meant to accelerate experience while developing leadership skills.
Rotational programs are highly regarded.
- My company has clearly stated that they will financially support members of this position through MBA school, and it is highly likely that I will hold a position at the company upon completion of an MBA program. Will this help my candidacy?
If it fits your career goals, yes: having funding and an offer shows that the company truly values your contributions and does not want to lose you.
- Will the size/reputation/name of my company help me?
The more recognized and renowned the company is, the easier it is for the admissions committee to understand your value and contributions.

I hope I didn't miss any of your questions!
_________________

Regards,
Jennifer Bloom, CPRW
jbloom@accepted.com
310-815-9553

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