I would be extremely grateful for any feedback about my profile - I've included a short paragraph in the end on what I am most worried about. It's only been a couple of months since I first thought of doing an MBA - I am still not sure whether I am the right calibre and so would greatly appreciate any feedback, even if it is negative - I just need to know where I am. Thank you so much in advance!
- Russian female, 27 y.o., UK-educated, have lived in the UK for about 12 years, on and off
- 6 years work experience: desktop publisher/graphics designer as in-house support with financial services companies + some general marketing experience. Of those: 4 years DTP with a Big Four company in Moscow, one year general marketing/communications for a British charity, over one year with a major global bank in the UK. Switched direction about a year ago to become communications manager in the global "headquarters" communications team in the bank
- leadership experience: two years as head of dekstop publishing (Moscow), supervising team of three; one year deputising for head of graphics team (London) who supervised team of eight (though not supervising them directly myself)
- GMAT: 710 (46Q (79%), 41V (93%))
- dropped out of university (LSE) at 19, went straight to work, been doing a distance learning degree in IT with Open University (reasonably reputable in the UK) whilst working full time for the last three years, degree currently 80% complete, will be finished by summer 2008, expected average grade around 75%
- international exposure: worked in both Russia and UK, current position involves close liaison with people all over the world on a daily basis
- extra-curricular/interests: pretty serious photography, freelance commercial, contributing to magazines and websites; diving
- community involvement: nothing currently, but wonder if one year working for a charity would count?
- MBA goal: change career - move from marketing role within financial industry to become a finance/investment professional
- applying to LBS and Said Business School in Oxford
I am worried about whether my leadership experience and my community/extra-curricular activities are good enough. Is it worth becoming involved in something in the next couple of months before I submit my application?
Also - I know this is the classical stupid question, but one cannot help worrying - should I retake the GMAT? I feel I could do a little better - perhaps get it up to 730-740 or so. Or does it not matter since my current score is still above average for my target schools (680)?
Thanks in advance to anyone who replies to my message! Feel so worried and unconfident at the moment - any feedback would be very important
P.S. I am cross-posting this to various sections - hope this is ok.
You have an interesting/unusual profile but I see some weaknesses that will probably hurt your odds at top schools: current lack of undergraduate degree; you must get this obviously before applying to B-school; some fuzziness and excessive movement in your career progression, seems unfocused; lack of social impact/community involvement. My sense is that you are reaching too high at LBS and Oxford.
If you feel you could raise the GMAT score without expending a lot of prep effort then it might help ease their concerns about your nontraditional academic background if you raised it 20+ points. As for getting involved in community work "late," I believe late is better than never, and that schools are more interested in your results than in your motivations. So if you do get involved I recommend thinking big and aiming for a leadership role where you can have some impact.
Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance
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