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1) Brief description of your full-time work experience. What do you do? IT Consultant/Business Analyst at top consulting firm- 4 years experience in 2009. Can show growth in career path from analyst to senior analyst to consultant levels.
Also run a private consulting company that specializes in leveraging small business set asides to setup contracts between big business and government. I started it myself in 2008 while in school, and since then have had tremendous growth: 2011 FY Revenue 980K, 2012 FY Revenue: $1.2M
2) Your GMAT. Haven't yet taken actual exam, still studying. Practice tests have shown 680-720 range.
3) College info: Georgetown University, 3.3/4.0, Dual Major: Strategy, Design, and Change; International Business, Graduated 2009.
4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience. In college was 4-year varsity Division 1 athlete and 2-time team captain, set 5 school records and was also a member of an organization that developed events for children in the NICU unit, also was a volunteer trainer through a program I created for aspiring young athletes. Currently started and run a summer swim program in DC (where I live) for urban youth and a weekend swim program for professionals. Also volunteer with DC Public Schools by doing weekly reads and learning at elementary schools. Yearly volunteer for an organization that provides Christmas presents for families that have been affected by juvenile cancer and the financial risks that result.
5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA. Microsoft Certified Professional; Looking to get Certified Business Analyst Professional certification if recommended for chances of getting accepted (would be one of youngest holders with certification)
6) Your target programs. Top 15, ideally top 10.
7) When you plan to apply? Please specify round and application cycle, for example R1 2013-14 or R3 2012-13. R1 2013-2014
8) Your post-MBA goal. My post-MBA goal is to grow the business ideas that I have and currently work on, but also make a global impact to society. Everything I do now (from my company to my volunteering) only affects a small sample (local community), and I believe an MBA will help develop the skill-set I need to grow my business ideas into scalable organizations while also making strides in global social concerns.
9) Additional Info Language fluency in 3 languages, advanced in 1, and developmental in Mandarin. I came to this country as a war refugee on asylum. My GPA is lower than I'd like, but 4 months before I began college I had a traumatic brain illness that took away my ability to read and write. I re-taught myself and went to school that same year and can show progressive grade improvement throughout my 4 years, and now I actually participate in numerous events where I speak to audiences about what I've gone through and the will to not give up. (Is this something I would share on an application?)
Looking very good to start with. Your the perfect age, you have good grades, your business is a good size for a startup and seems impressive (probably will give you LOADS of awesome stories for your application). Your goals are great. I would definitely say you could stick within the Top 10 (apply to all ten if necessary ) as long as you get a 690 or more (and higher is better as is obvious). Once that is in the bag, apply R1 to as many schools as you can and I think you should see some nice results.. _________________
I took my GMAT today and scored a 710 (1st try). Considering my aforementioned profile, any advice on where to start next? I have my choice of top schools, but I want to be realistic in the schools I apply to- even though Harvard would be a dream come true.
That will help you a lot (more than the 690). With a 710 in the bag, you can keep your application to top 10 schools. What I would recommend is selecting five for R1. (Thankfully you are starting so early), and if you start the essays when they are released you should be able to make all five schools by R1. Which schools to choose? H/S/W (but especially the first two) are always tough nuts to crack even if everything is in good shape, and nobody just "walks in" to Harvard or Stanford, unless you have like a multi-million startup or your dad is a senator or some such thing. Since I'm guessing this is not the case , what I'd say is pick two of the top three, and then supplement that with three more schools from the top 10 (based on preferences of location, studies, size, industry strengths, etc.). If you aren't sure at all which ones to consider write me a bit about what is important for you, and I will try and guide you in the right direction. _________________