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Profile Evaluation - Engineer/690

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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 25 Jul 2010
Posts: 279
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance
Schools: Cornell (Johnson) - Class of 2014
WE: Engineering (Telecommunications)
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 47 [0], given: 76

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Profile Evaluation - Engineer/690 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2011, 10:45
Hello Consultants,

Id like to request a profile evaluation and would greatly appreciate any input/advice you may have.

Attached is my profile below for your evaluation. Thank you in advance

Age: 27 (close to 28 @ matriculation)
Race: AA/Black 1st Generation American (Caribbean descent)
Undergrad GPA: <3.0 Dont know exactly have to get transcript from 1st school, roughly 2.7 :oops:
Degree: BS Civil Engineering from Top-5 Engineering School
Alternate transcript: 2 Classes via UCLA extension GPA: 4.0 (Plan on taking a 3rd class in Fall term)
GMAT: 690 Q49 V35

Work Experience: 4yrs Currently, 5yrs @ potential matriculation Civil Design Engineer/Project Manager for Telecom Engineering Firm. Provide Construction drawings, project management, A/E services, site-walks and design for the major cellphone carriers (In a nutshell i design cell phone towers and tower sites). Clients include: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Sprint, as well as many other cell phone providers and tower management companies.

Certifications: Passed FE Exam (Not sure how much weight this holds but figured I should mention it in case it does.)

Letters of Recommendation: I anticipate strong; I also plan on asking my academic advisor from my school for one, which i predict will be strong as well.

Extra-Curricular: Undergrad (National Society of Black Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Intramural Basketball);
Post UG EC: Very Active member in church (organized numerous events, helped with several ministries, ran sound system during service), Habitat for Humanity (helped ReStore and worked on site builds) Big Brothers, Big Sisters: Big brother mentor [started recently but it is something that means a lot to me and I feel that I can convey this in my essays if need be)

Post MBA Goals: I want to change careers into finance and plan on attaining an associate position at BB investment bank.

Why MBA: As someone without a finance background I will need an MBA from a top program in order to transition from engineering into finance.

Schools (Preference/Choice):

Super Stretch:
Columbia (especially given my GMAT, considering not applying after my recent GMAT performance)(2/3)

NYU-Stern (1)(Dream School) via Consortium
UCLA-Anderson (2/3) (Love the school, only downside not in ny, hurts for finance) via Consortium

Reach/Less of a Stretch (I dont think I have any safeties given my gpa)
USC-Marshall (4) via Consortium
Emory (5) via Consortium
GaTech (6)

Questions concerns:

1.) GPA (obviously): low, but i feel it is something I can help to explain in my essays. While I feel that immaturity did play a part at first, i dont think it was the primary factor in my performance overall. I transferred after 2 years into a top5 engineering program from a good regionally recognized engineering school in the Northeast where I had a scholarship, was in the Honors College and on the Dean's List. My family went through some financial troubles soon after i transferred and i had to work to put myself through school. There were also some other issues i had to deal with during undergrad that I plan on addressing in my optional essay. My advisor at my school is aware of what I was going through and I plan on asking her for a LOR to help tell my story. Also I have started an alternate transcript where i have 2 "A"s so far and am looking to add a 3rd.

Side-note: During undergrad I took a few quant based business classes (2 Accounting Courses and MicroEcon) and Aced all of them. Is this something I could bring up or highlight?

2.) Work Experience: While not "blue-chip", i think it is strong. The company I work for is a small firm which grew from 5 to about 30 employees in about 3.5 years. I started as an paid intern, working during my last semester of school. When i was hired full time I was the first outside hire made by the company, the other 4 started the company, as well as the only minority in the company. Since it is a small company there are no concrete "Titles" that we all have. My responsibilities have increased during my time as I am now in a Project Management role, I manage other engineers at times when I am assigned a project. i am also involved in training new engineers. How does my Work Experience match up?

3.) GMAT: 690 (49Q,35V)
I got this score after my first attempt in December '10, I have since taken it again 2 more times, and have not been able to break this mark despite scoring in the high 700s on my practice tests, the final attempt was today 6/28 and I am now unsure of what to do next. I want to start working on my essays and the rest of my applications, but I do want to take it again perhaps in the fall after I get finished up with some of, if not most of my essays, as i am hoping for 720+ especially if i plan on getting into my top choices. Should I take the test for a 4th time, will it look bad even if i do get that 720+ eventually, is it worth it?

As of right now I want to start working on my essays and putting together the other components of my application for my top 4 school choices (CBS, NYU, Anderson, Marshall). I figure this should take up the rest of the summer, then in the Fall give the GMAT 1 more try. During my GMAT preparation I was scoring in the high 700s on a fairly consistent basis, but I just couldn't seem to put it all together on exam day. I honestly feel like I have a 730 GMAT score inside me, and I think with my GPA I need to get a score in this range in order to submit a good enough application package to apply to my top 3 schools. Also since I plan on career changing into IB, it would be in my best interest to gain acceptance into one of these 3 programs. CBS has rolling admissions, and I anticipate the 1st round for the Consortium to be around Nov. 15, as the were last year. Do you think this is a good plan to pursue in my attempt to put together a solid/competitive application?

Sorry about the length of the post, but I wanted to be as descriptive as possible. Thanks again for any input or thoughts you may have.

User avatar
Status: Trust Experience, Trust Success
Affiliations: U. Chicago, Johns Hopkins, AIGAC
Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 1765
Followers: 15

Kudos [?]: 182 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation - Engineer/690 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2011, 11:09

I think you're being too hard on yourself. Despite your GPA and GMAT, CBS, Stern, UCLA and USC may all be achievable (UCLA and USC in particular) because:
1. You qualify as an Underrepresented Minority, which is a major asset. You do not need to compare your numbers to these schools' medians in judging your chances.
2. CBS has an early decision option which can significantly improve your odds.
3. You have good reasons for your GPA (work, "other issues") and also you went to a good school, in a demanding major, and have built an alternate transcript.
4. Your GMAT score is not bad at all -- it's a solid score. No need to retake.
5. You seem to have leadership at work ('project manager') and lots in your community.

So relax, you do look competitive. Feel free to send me your resume for a closer look:
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 25 Jul 2010
Posts: 279
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance
Schools: Cornell (Johnson) - Class of 2014
WE: Engineering (Telecommunications)
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 47 [0], given: 76

Reviews Badge
Re: Profile Evaluation - Engineer/690 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2011, 15:32
Mr. Bodine,

Thank you so much for your assessment! This is certainly reassuring to hear. I have actually been reading your book, Great Applications for Business School so its great that I get to hear your opinion. I like a lot of the ideas and approaches you have laid out and look forward to using some of them when I start drafting my essays and putting my applications together. I will certainly get my resume out to you as soon as I can, I need to put an updated one together since I haven't needed one in a while.

Thanks again,

User avatar
Status: Admissions Consultant
Joined: 05 May 2011
Posts: 180
Location: India
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation - Engineer/690 [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2011, 00:26
Hello John

First we like to answer your queries one by one:

Query (1):

You might need to prove to the admission committee that your GPA won’t be an issue. If you can tell in your application about the skills that you gained at work and beyond in the areas you had scored low would put you in better position.

You need to indicate a positive learning from your bad experience. If you took any extra classes or courses in the subjects that you din’t do well and highlight your zeal to learn and improve it could also improve your low GPA situation. Add these extra classes as well to improve your case.

Query (2)

Generally most of the applicants have a good 4-5 years of full time work experience apart from part time work exp or internships. Although it is not just the work experience that counts but also what you did there like-what were your achievements, what initiative you took, what changes you drove in your workplace etc. So if you can show that in 3.5 years you have demonstrated the skills business schools are looking for you could put in a strong set of essays.

Query (3)

Looking at the 2012 class profile at Columbia the students scored in the range of 680-760 in their GMAT. Similarly at Wharton’s MBA class of 2012 the students scored in the range of 650-770 in their GMAT and the median GMAT score being 720. Hence a GMAT score of 700 plus is advisable if you are aiming for top institutes abroad.

Also the GMAT alone won’t determine your chances of admission; your work experience plays a vital role as well. So we would advise you to retake GMAT to improve your chances and focus on your application.

So, If you can get a score of 730 as you think so it would put you in a strong position. Juggling between work and studies is tough so you need to define a significant time for your GMAT preparation. After you GMAT we would advise you to devote your time for application process. Often candidates overweigh GMAT score and under weigh the importance of essay questions. Make sure you balance it well and plan the things to utilize your time properly.
Re: Profile Evaluation - Engineer/690   [#permalink] 11 Jul 2011, 00:26
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Profile Evaluation - Engineer/690

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