hi, I took the GMAT for the first time yesterday and got 680 (Q:46 (77%), V:37 (81%)). Giving that Round I and Round II have already ended at B-schools, I'm trying to decide between my two options outlined below. if someone could evaluate my profile, I'd really appreciate any tips and advice
My current options are:
1. Whether I should not worry about my GMAT scores and just focus on my essays and recommendation letters and apply for Round III, then if I don't get into a b-school of my choice, then I'll retake the GMAT and re-apply to those same schools in RI in the fall.
2. Should I not apply for Round III and simply direct my energies on studying some more and retake the GMAT to get a 700+ score and apply for RI spots in the fall?
Here's my profile:
Personal - 29 yr old Asian female
Edu - GPA: 3.66, cum laude, from a top 5 liberal arts college. Major: economics Minor: psychology
- GPA: 3.68 Screenwriting certificate from Emerson College at the graduate school level
- GPA: 3.8 some general courses at a local community college (although it's most recent, i'm not sure whether i should even include it in my application, since the classes I took are for self-improvement purposes, like Investing and Graphic Design classes)
besides my undergraduate studies, all other courses were completed when I was working full-time
-3 yrs as a Research Assistant at a top 10 national hospital.
--During this time, I got a promotion, co-authored several papers published in nationally recognized journals, incl. one where I was the 2nd author.
--Am the first one in my dept to learn a new internal classification system and trained other staff on its use
-Got the creative bug, quit the job and got two internships, one at a production house, the other one was at a post-production facility, in both places I got to assist on projects and being on location shoots for national networks like CBS, MTV, etc.
-put together a portfolio, came out to S.Ca, got a job as a designer at a small internet company.
--worked with international contractors, including supervising 1 overseas designer.
--am the only designer in my company, so I'm a jack-of-all-trades, doing both print and web work.
--I taught myself on how to us all the design softwares like the Adobe suite, web programming languages like xhtml and actionscript
--besides the classes I mentioned above, I also took various design classes at a well-respected art school, but I don't have a grade or record of attendance in those classes b/c the school charges more for these and since I have to pay tuition myself, I was simply trying to save $, not realizing that I could need these later. Sad
-currently self-employed after gotten laid off in Aug.
-not too much since I graduated, I didn't have much free time b/c I pretty much always had both a full-time job and full courseload.
-right now I joined two women's business leadership associations, I also signed up to volunteer for my local design association and the animal shelter (I'd do that even if I wasn't applying to b-school), but these were way recent and I currently don't hold any leadership position in either organization.
Reason for b-school:
Many designers work as freelancers or small design firms. Eventually I'd like to have my own design business, having artistic skills isn't enough to succeed as a designer, so going to b-school is always at the back of my mind. But the laid-off probably pushed the dates earlier, which is fine w/me. I don't want to go to b-school when I'm 35+.
My dream schools:
My top choice is Kellogg, followed by UCLA, USC, Stanford, and Berkeley.
While my 680 GMAT score isn't too shabby, it's not that great either. My quant. section is also worse than my verbal. Although I can counter that by pointing out my GPA as a econ major, it may also help that my school's econ dept has a very good reputation.
My main concern is my unconventional background, esp. b/c I didn't come from the typical i-banking, management consulting background. Also, since my switched careers, my job titles aren't as impressive, I was always an assistant of some type 'til my last job, not some corporate VP with 100 underlings. I've heard that b-schools are looking for diversity, but I really don't know if my kind of work experience would be an asset or hindrance in the application process.
Some of my other concerns are:
What type of qualities should I emphasize in my applications? Do I have enough leadership experience? (it's difficult for me to compare myself with most candidate profiles on the web as I've not read one with a similar background successfully got into top b-schools)
Do I need to include all my transcripts, including those at the community college?
Since I'm currently self-employed, I could put off my work right now and devote myself full-time to applying to b-school. so even though time is tight, I'm confident that I have enough time for my essays. But what I want to know is this:
What are my chances in round III w/my current situation? does re-apply hurt your chances more than if you simply wait for round I, when the competition presumably isn't as bad? I'd really like to enter business school in fall'09, but I also want to get into a top school of my choice. My only concern about r3 and r1 this time is that due to the economy, I'm afraid the competition in r1 in the fall may be just as bad as applying for r3 right now.
I welcome any suggestions you may have. Thanks so much in advance.