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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?)
Thanks for sharing your profile. It is incredibly impressive. Strong professional background (your entrepreneurial success will definitely be something to highlight); great community and extracurricular achievements, and very strong personal story. As far as your academic background, I would really try to hit that 700 mark on the GMAT, and I would also disclose the information you shared about your brain injury and the effect on your college grades in an optional statement. Frankly, that story of recovery could make a compelling essay if you are comfortable using it. Depends on the other stories you will be sharing.
Congratulations on all your achievements -- hopefully you'll be adding a top 15 bschool to your list soon Really though, I think you should have a very good chance at a top school if you can get a high GMAT score. If not, I still think you have a shot, but your academic abilities might be in question and it may be worth enrolling in supplementary courses to prove you can handle the material.
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.
Congrats on the GMAT! I'd say you should probably spread your risk a bit -- apply to HBS if that is your top choice, but also look at programs like Wharton/Kellogg/Columbia (maybe pick one or two of those), and then add things like Berkeley, Michigan, Duke (pick one or two of these range). Finally, I'd still have a safety, as you never know what could happen. This could be Darden, UCLA, or something similar.