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I am 26-year-old, a female Indian journalist. I did my undergrad from Delhi University in India and worked at a national daily newspaper as editor for two years. Then I came to the US to do a masters in arts journalism from S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University (one of the top three J-schools in the US). I graduated in June 2011 (GPA 3.77) and have been working as writer/editor for a fashion/marketing website in New York City since then.
I volunteered at a non-profit in India for two years and collaborated with Indians abroad to raise money for charities. I was also the head of the Journalism Students Association and the Debating Society during undergrad and got the Goldring Merit Scholarship in grad school. I was also the general secretary at the Indian Student Association at Syracuse University and helped organize events, raise funds and create awareness about the organization's initiatives.
I am planning to apply for Fall 2013. From what I have seen in class profiles of most schools and discussions here, most candidates come from an IT, management or finance background. Research tells me that schools look for diversity while selecting candidates and that's where my application will stand stronger than other Indian applicants, who apply to B-schools every year. Is this true for the top 20 schools?
I haven't taken the GMAT yet. I plan to take it mid-September and aiming for a 710-720 score.
The reason I want to do an MBA is because I now want to work in the management side of a media house or at a non-profit. After gaining some experience, I eventually want to start my own magazine and an MBA would help there too.
The schools I am planning to apply to are:
1. Harvard 2. Chicago Booth 3. UCLA Anderson 4. Michigan Ross 5. UNC Kenan Flagler 6. University of Texas, Austin (McCombs) 7. NYU Stern 8. Kellogg 9. Emory (Goizueta) 10. Duke 11. Georgetown 12. USC Marshall 13. UC Berkley Haas
I will shortlist eight schools out of these and apply to those.
I will really appreciate any feedback that you may have for me.
I do think your journalism experience can potentially differentiate you from other applicants in your demographic pool – that’s a plus.
Of course, the fact that you already have a grad degree puts the onus on you to clearly explain why the shift in your career ambitions. In terms of your post-MBA goals, paint a picture that cohesively ties together your past, present, and future. Demonstrate to the admissions committees that your desired career path necessitates an MBA. Identify the specific gaps that stand between you and your short- and long-term goals (knowledge, skills, experiences, network, etc.) and show how business school would directly address those gaps. The more clearly you can show that you truly need a business degree to start a magazine and/or manage a media house or non-profit, the more compelling your case will be! There are leaders in those roles who don’t have MBAs – why do you need one?
I taking the GMAT will help you whittle your school list. Feel free to write back when you have a score. We can then better assess the tiers you might target.
So, I am coming back here and looking for advice. I took the GMAT last month and got 640 (34V and 43Q). Not what I was expecting but I don't think I can do anything about it now and I have been focussing on writing strong essays after that. I have had my essays for 2 schools reviewed by 4 different current B-school students (in Emory and Austin) and one Columbia alum and have receieved very positive feedback from them, I know both my short term and long term goals are tied well with the MBA programs and my recos are pretty solid as well. Due to sub-par GMAT score, I have changed the list of schools I am applying to. How would you rate my chances in the following schools:
1. Duke - Fuqua 2. UNC- Kenan Flagler 3. Texas - McComba 4. Emory 5. Georgetown 6. USC 7. Boston College 8. Boston University
I understand there are so many factors involved that can affect the final decision, but based on my profile and GMAT, how do you rate my chances in these schools? I have already interviewed at Fuqua and KF (during school visits). Thanks!
Brian is no longer managing this forum - I am a colleague of his, Mili, and am happy to answer your question (I've reviewed your previous posts).
Great to hear that your essays are strong. I would say though, with a 640 GMAT, Duke will be tough. I still think it's worth applying - you never know what could happen! The other programs seem like reasonable targets.
One thing you might consider (if retaking the test isn't in the cards), is enrolling in a quant class (statistics, accounting, finance) at a local accredited university and letting the ad coms know that you've done so. You can address your low GMAT in an optional statement and tell them in there that this is how you're addressing it/working to demonstrate your capability, and that you'll send your grades when you receive them. Not sure if timing-wise that works or not, but something to consider.