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Thank you for taking the time to evaluate my profile. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
Nationality: White, American
GMAT: 590 Q34 V38, 6.0 AWA, 4 IR, may take again but it would put me in round 3 for most schools (also unsure if I can raise score)
GPA: 3.17 Psychology from state school (upward trend, last 2 years approximately 3.7) ~3.1 various accounting and economics classes taken after graduating 3.5 graduate certificate human resources management, state school
Extras: Basic - misc volunteer work in and after college - worked habitat for humanity projects, food bank, fundraising, student research interest group, volunteering with troubled kids and families who needed help with disabilities (I worked full-time all through college so I had minimal time to do extras)
Work experience: 1 year working with disabled and troubled children, 5 years in state government taxation and accounting, recently hired as a human resources administrator and will have just under 1 year at time of matriculation
Area of interest: Consulting/Human Resources (specifically in green/sustainable business and technology)
Target schools: 1) Kenan-Flagler (sustainable business) 2) Kelley (design your own program) 3) Fuqua (stretch school, probably won't apply based on GMAT score) 4) Goizueta (organizational management) 5) Broad (human resources management)
I am also considering Kenan and Kelley's on-line MBA programs.
Background: I was abandoned when I was 16 and had to put off going to college in order to support myself. I then had to work full-time through college in order to provide for myself. I would like to include this in my essays because I think it demonstrates my determination but not sure if it's appropriate.
The first thing I see when reading through your profile: is GMAT RETAKE!!! Your profile is screaming it to me!
Not necessarily only because your GMAT is so low, but because everything else you have is interesting. You have a very interesting and potentially moving story in your being abandoned at 16. You have a long and good professional career in several professional industries (you will have to settle on a single narrative here). Your undergrad GPA is not the best, but not too bad either. So you are in pretty good shape. But then you have your 590, which can be an app-killer. Or, even if you DO get in, you will just scrape by. Retaking your GMAT is the BEST thing you can do (even if you really really don't want to). It will improve your chances at all the schools, and will also give you higher chances of getting scholarship offers (which can be VERY helpful... BSchool is super expensive after all). So even if it takes you a year and five retakes, ultimately the best thing you can do to your profile is ensure you are applying with the highest score you can apply with.
As for your school list, I would suggest holding off on any decision there until you retake your GMAT and see what score you can get. In general I would steer clear of online programs if it can be avoided. Despite what the marketers say, they are not likely to provide you what a real brick and mortar MBA program can.
Thank you for the response! I took your advice and on December 31st I retook the GMAT and got a 650 (Q:44, V:34). It was my 4th attempt so I am not sure if that will reflect poorly. Given my new score, do you think it would be worth it for me to apply to R3 and R4 for my target schools, wait until next year, or retake the GMAT again hoping to get more than a 650? I am somewhere eager to get a jump start on my MBA since I am 30 and if I wait another year I'm concerned that my age will be a detriment to getting into my target programs.
Why poorly??? It's a hell of a lot better than a 590!!!
That is a score to work with!
Now, I know you are eager to start, but my advice would be to wait till R1 next year. A 650 is certainly a good enough score to apply to good schools with. If you feel up to it, and if you feel you CAN get higher, then yes, retake that annoying GMAT one more time. But more importantly, at this point start planning (And even scheduling) your application, thinking about where you will apply when, etc.