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Profile Evaluation for Harvard 2+2 program please!

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Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 18
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Other
GMAT 1: 690 Q46 V38
GPA: 3.25
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Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 2

Profile Evaluation for Harvard 2+2 program please! [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2012, 09:46
I am considering applying to the Harvard 2+2 program and would greatly appreciate some honest opinions with regards to my chances of acceptance. Any sort of feedback/advice is welcome.

Undergraduate Education:
Virginia Tech (Top 15 engineering school)
B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry (Graduation date: May 2013).
Current GPA:3.35, expect to graduate with 3.4+.
Math GPA (I heard this may be important): 3.55

GMAT:
I have yet to take the GMAT, but I took an official practice exam and scored a 700 (Q44,V41) without studying, hoping to bring it to at least 730 by improving my quant score.

EC's/College Involvment:
Fighting Gravity, L.L.C.(Co-founder/Part Owner/Performer)
-Competed in America's Got Talent Season 5, received 3rd place out of 100,000 acts. Performed in front of over 15 million people on live television.
-Toured with "America's Got Talent Live" for 5 weeks. Tour spanned 25 cities throughout the U.S.; performed in front of over 100,000 people in live venues.
-Guest performed on "Germany's Got Talent" in Vienna, Austria.
-Performed for the television show "Red or Black" in London.
-Performed with Far East Movement on the Much Music awards (2011) in Toronto, Canada.
-Helped manage business as well as headed several production projects (building props etc.) for large clients.

Currently working on start own nutrition company.

I am also a member of a social fraternity, have 30+ hours community service each year, active in intramural sports.

Letters of Rec's:
Letter's of rec should be pretty good, they will be from:
- a mentor of mine that now works for Cornell
-either the Vice President of Virginia Tech who doesn't know me very well or a chemical engineering professor who knows me very well. Any suggestions on which I should ask?

Why Harvard 2+2 and why MBA?
From the unique experiences that I have been blessed with in college I have learned a lot about myself, the foremost being that I need a fast paced and exciting work place. I want to get my MBA to help me continue learning about all the facets of business management and leadership. After earning my MBA I plan to be an entrepreneur and/or business consultant.
The Harvard 2+2 program interests me so much because it is something I can apply/get accepted to (hopefully) right after undergrad as opposed to getting caught up in the grind trying to get my "5 years work experience" that is recommended for most traditional programs.

If you are still reading you get my up most respect, thanks.

Phil
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Re: Profile Evaluation for Harvard 2+2 program please! [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2012, 13:21
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Phil:
You have several things going for you and a couple of detriments. Firstly, HBS 2+2 loves engineers. Engineers make good consultants because they know how to solve problems. This makes for a solid foundation on which you can base your case for admission. What might hurt you is not having gone to a top 5 engineering school. Realizing how competitive the HBS 2+2 program is, you will need to rise amongst a pool of very sharp engineering applicants, so posting a good GPA from a good school will not comparatively be as impressive to Harvard as posting an great GPA from a great school. HBS loves pedigrees. Having said that, they also love diversity, so hailing from a school in the South may help geographically, but then again, there's GA Tech, which HBS historically loves. Your involvement is great--leadership is critical in an HBS application, so the fact you started some organizations and demonstrated leadership in the past is always good. They want to be assured that you had a meaningful impact on the organizations and environments of which you have been a part. Perhaps your ace in the hole is the America's Got Talent stint. Being unique and showing that you literally stand out in a crowd will help you stand out in the crowd. Uniqueness adds also to the diversity. Ultimately, however you will need to show that your experience will be valuable to your fellow classmates, so try to think about the things you have done from that perspective. Let us know if we can be more helpful as you pull things together.
-bryant
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Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 18
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Other
GMAT 1: 690 Q46 V38
GPA: 3.25
Followers: 0

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

Re: Profile Evaluation for Harvard 2+2 program please! [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2012, 17:32
bryantmichaels wrote:
Phil:
You have several things going for you and a couple of detriments. Firstly, HBS 2+2 loves engineers. Engineers make good consultants because they know how to solve problems. This makes for a solid foundation on which you can base your case for admission. What might hurt you is not having gone to a top 5 engineering school. Realizing how competitive the HBS 2+2 program is, you will need to rise amongst a pool of very sharp engineering applicants, so posting a good GPA from a good school will not comparatively be as impressive to Harvard as posting an great GPA from a great school. HBS loves pedigrees. Having said that, they also love diversity, so hailing from a school in the South may help geographically, but then again, there's GA Tech, which HBS historically loves. Your involvement is great--leadership is critical in an HBS application, so the fact you started some organizations and demonstrated leadership in the past is always good. They want to be assured that you had a meaningful impact on the organizations and environments of which you have been a part. Perhaps your ace in the hole is the America's Got Talent stint. Being unique and showing that you literally stand out in a crowd will help you stand out in the crowd. Uniqueness adds also to the diversity. Ultimately, however you will need to show that your experience will be valuable to your fellow classmates, so try to think about the things you have done from that perspective. Let us know if we can be more helpful as you pull things together.
-bryant



Bryant:
Thank you so much for your response. My understanding of your post is as follows:

My weaknesses:
Undergraduate GPA and school will be less competitive than most engineering applicants to the 2+2 program.
While what I can do to change this is very limited, would a very competitive GMAT score (750+) help alleviate the disparity?

My potential strengths
My involvement in Fighting Gravity and how unique that experience is. I also forgot to mention that we, as a group, raised over $25,000 for Virginia Tech's Relay For Life by performing on campus, with all proceeds going to charity. We also performed at the "Children of Chernobyl" charity event in New York for no cost.

" Ultimately, however you will need to show that your experience will be valuable to your fellow classmates, so try to think about the things you have done from that perspective."

Can you please clarify? By this do you mean in the way of community service and service to other students (advisement/tutoring)? I spent a summer as a resident adviser for a summer bridge program put on by the Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity. The program targeted mainly minority and underrepresented students and helped them adjust from high school to a college level engineering curriculum. Would this be an example of what you speak of? (Also, even though I am a white male I am a member of the National Society of Black Engineers)

Or do you mean I need to paint a picture of how my unique experiences will add and grow the culture that is HBS?

Phil
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Re: Profile Evaluation for Harvard 2+2 program please! [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2012, 09:15
Expert's post
Phil:

To answer your questions:

about your weaknesses and strengths...
yes indeed a very effective way to innoculate concerns about academics is to nail the GMAT. HBS wants to be assured they are bringing in young leaders without any concern for their ability to handle the rigors of a fast paced academic environment. Certainly your engineering degree will be good evidence, and a great GMAT will help assuage any worries they might have about GPA or UG institution. Please know I am not disparaging either! Both very impressive achievements, but you have to think about the gal from MIT who had a 4.0 etc. as your competition. This is where your other strengths can also help you shine, since not many applicants with a 4.0 from MIT will likely have done some of the things you have done. You are on the right track in how to incorporate these things into your application in a way that demonstrates value and not just interesting or novel facts. For example, you likely were able to meet and work with a wide variety of personalities and nationalities and perhaps garnered some skills in diplomacy as well as some insight into how other cultures and businesses work. This gives you a unique perspective, as does your demonstrated interest in diversity and community service. Often times, I find the egg-head applicants do not have a very deep or genuine commitment to much other than school work. Your uniqueness should be couched in a way that communicates that your classmates would find the experience you have had as valuable to classroom discussions or solving business problems as well as generally good for the HBS culture overall. In short, you need to do both: demonstrate value in the classroom and value to the HBS culture. Certainly showing that you are the kind of person who gets involved and is passionate about more than just learning is key. You seem to be that kind of person.


hope this helps,

Bryant
_________________

Bryant Michaels
Veritas Prep | Admissions Consultant

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Veritas Prep Reviews

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 18
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Other
GMAT 1: 690 Q46 V38
GPA: 3.25
Followers: 0

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

Re: Profile Evaluation for Harvard 2+2 program please! [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2012, 10:18
bryantmichaels wrote:
Phil:

To answer your questions:

about your weaknesses and strengths...
yes indeed a very effective way to innoculate concerns about academics is to nail the GMAT. HBS wants to be assured they are bringing in young leaders without any concern for their ability to handle the rigors of a fast paced academic environment. Certainly your engineering degree will be good evidence, and a great GMAT will help assuage any worries they might have about GPA or UG institution. Please know I am not disparaging either! Both very impressive achievements, but you have to think about the gal from MIT who had a 4.0 etc. as your competition. This is where your other strengths can also help you shine, since not many applicants with a 4.0 from MIT will likely have done some of the things you have done. You are on the right track in how to incorporate these things into your application in a way that demonstrates value and not just interesting or novel facts. For example, you likely were able to meet and work with a wide variety of personalities and nationalities and perhaps garnered some skills in diplomacy as well as some insight into how other cultures and businesses work. This gives you a unique perspective, as does your demonstrated interest in diversity and community service. Often times, I find the egg-head applicants do not have a very deep or genuine commitment to much other than school work. Your uniqueness should be couched in a way that communicates that your classmates would find the experience you have had as valuable to classroom discussions or solving business problems as well as generally good for the HBS culture overall. In short, you need to do both: demonstrate value in the classroom and value to the HBS culture. Certainly showing that you are the kind of person who gets involved and is passionate about more than just learning is key. You seem to be that kind of person.


hope this helps,

Bryant


Bryant,

This was incredibly helpful, I will keep everything you said in mind when filling out my application and essays. Thank you so much for your insight and advice.

Phil
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Re: Profile Evaluation for Harvard 2+2 program please! [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2012, 08:45
I have an update to my profile:

This last semester was by the far the hardest of my curriculum, and perhaps the hardest semester of any major in undergrad (5 junior and senior level chemical engineering courses). My overall GPA is the lowest it will be in all of college at 3.25 (next year will be much easier and my GPA will go up).

I also just finished taking the GMAT missed my goal by 10 points, scoring a 690 overall, with a 46/38 quant/verbal split. I feel as if i could have done much better on the GMAT (with the two most recent GMATPrep scores being 740 and 730) but freaked out at the beginning of the quant section.

If you guys could offer some wisdom on the following questions I would greatly appreciate it:
Is there even a point to me applying to Harvard with my updated academic profile?
Will my profile consider full consideration in spite of not having a 700+ GMAT score?
If I was able to retake the GMAT (but had to apply at a later round because of this) and improve my score to 730 would it increase my chances enough to be worth the cost of the test?

Any insight or encouragement I would greatly appreciate, pretty bummed and considering not even applying. Thanks for your time
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