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Hi, I would truly appreciate your input on my business school chances:
• 24 years old, Male, Indian American (born in US) • Graduate of Lehigh University with a 3.56 GPA • Majored in Finance within a Combined Business & Engineering Honors Program o Extracurriculars: Student Senate (4 years), President of Dorm House Council (4 years), Selected Member of leadership development/volunteering 4-year program • Since graduating in 3.5 years, have worked for almost 3 years as a consultant for a large IT services company;worked with Financial Services clients primarily in NYC; promoted to Senior Consultant in <2 years • GMAT: 710, then 770 after ~5 months • Career Paths: Not completely sure, possibly Brand Management/Marketing
Should I consider applying this year to Round 2 for top schools such as HBS, Stanford, Haas, Kellogg, MIT (and any other schools you would recommend)? Could you provide any detail on my potential chances of admission? Also, would working longer or obtaining a job in a different field and applying later help my chances (I do not want to pursue a career in IT consulting)?
As you may know, Stratus Prep is particularly well known for our unprecedented success helping applicants into HBS and Stanford so I am very happy to weigh in and offer my strategic advice in terms how to best position you at these top schools.
Congrats on the incredible GMAT score that will certainly position you well at all the top schools, but remember that the essays and recommendations are far more important than the GMAT when it comes to HBS and Stanford in particular.
I would recommend only applying to your top 2-3 schools this year in Round 2 (maybe HBS, Stanford and Wharton). If you are admitted, that is great news. If not, you can reapply next year to those schools and some targets and safeties. Don’t worry about potentially being a reapplicant to HBS and Stanford; as we have quantitatively demonstrated, you actually have a higher probability as a reapplicant than you do as a first time applicant. Our overall success rate at HBS is 60% and at Stanford is 40%. Those numbers actually increase by about 20% for reapplicants.
Given that your GPA is a bit on the lower side for HBS and Stanford, you will need to use your application essays to speak in a compelling way to the admissions committee and differentiate yourself from other IT applicants. With some coaching from experts, I have no doubt that you could get into the schools you mentioned like HBS and Stanford.
Since you studied finance and business in college and work in IT, you have the added challenge of convincing business schools why you need more business education and what you will gain from their specific MBA program as well as separating yourself from other highly technical applicants. My team at Stratus Prep has ample experience working very successfully with applicants who have an undergraduate business degree and who come from a more technical background, so we would be happy to help you navigate this challenge.
Hi Shawn, I should have said this earlier, but thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my initial post. I did decide to apply to Round 2 for my top schools and do not regret gaining the experience of going through the entire process. Unfortunately, I did not have any luck in the application process. I applied to HBS, Stanford, MIT Sloan, Wharton, and Kellogg; outside of my required interview with Kellogg, I was denied without interview for all. I understand that I am shooting for extremely selective schools, but I am determined to attend a school at that level if I go to business school.
For each school, I provided a great (and true) story of my strong passion for the automotive industry and desire to pursue a career in marketing within it (story was slightly tailored to each school). Since it is such a significant change from my current job, the transition I explained may have been a potential missed area. In addition, I did not feel like I had that unique experience/characteristic that would provide a “wow” factor to admissions.
----------------------------------------- - Academics and GMAT: I believe I have solid statistics (not really something I can change) - Work Experience: I had about 2.7 years of work experience as a consultant, and am 24 years old. Compared to other applicants, this made me feel like an outlier slightly. I have received excellent reviews and was promoted; however, even though I was confident and satisfied with each application I submitted, the quality of the experience seemed inferior to other applicants. - Essays: I was extremely happy with my essays, especially those for Kellogg, Wharton, and Stanford. I had others review them numerous times. My 2.7 years of work experience at the time may have provided me with less material than other applicants. - Recommendations: Both my recommenders were previous supervisors that claimed to have written excellent letters. One was from a mid-tier b-school; the other did not have an MBA. I provided them with background information with my resume and gave some advice on b-school letters. I did not guide them further than that. One of my recommenders provided letters a day or two after the deadline for Wharton, Sloan, and HBS. My third recommender for HBS and Stanford was a longtime coworker with excellent writing skills that I have no doubt wrote an amazing letter. - Interview: My only interview was with Kellogg. The interview went really well, I would give it an 8.5/10. Kellogg seemed like an amazing fit. My short career may have lessened the number of stories I could provide in my answers. - Extracurriculars: My extracurriculars during college were excellent with multiple leadership roles. After graduating, I have done volunteering and other activities here and there, but nothing with a consistent time commitment. ---------------------------------------
Now I need to figure out where to go from here. Is there any reason at all to try again in Round 1 of this fall? If not, I would be aggressively seeking a new challenge for myself in a different field, as I do not feel I am growing nor have a strong passion for my current job. Is there a minimum number of years I should stay at that position if I still want to pursue an MBA? If was in a non-automotive or non-marketing field, or if my goals changed, would those negatively impact my reapplication?
Apologies for the long post, I just wanted to be as detailed as possible! Thank you again.