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I was hoping that you could evaluate my profile. I am planning to apply next year and am very curious about what schools to target. In any case, thank you for taking the time to reply.
Age: 26 (28 at matriculation) White male GMAT: 740 (Q48, V44) AWA: 5.5 GPA: 3.08 Tufts (Psych major, Entrepreneurial Leadership minor)
First (probably of many) Attempt to Explain my GPA: I imagine (know) that this is the weakest point of my application. My grades in college were pretty much all over the place, though there is an upwards trend (around a 3.5 junior and both senior years). Unfortunately, when you look at my transcript, the trend doesn’t really jump out at you. Furthermore, because of a running injury, I red shirted the spring of my senior year (left school) in order to compete in what became my second senior year. In the end, it just looks messy…
3 years as an analyst at a strategic consulting for a firm specializing in the biotech industry. I worked on brand strategy development, targeted marketing campaigns, and other clichéd consulting projects. Managed projects from time to time, but never really had my own.
2.5 years (at matriculation) at a pharmaceutical services company. My current work is much more data driven. My primary function is to design and program health economic models (Markov and Discrete Event Simulation). I work as a project manager and supervise research assistants from time to time but I have no direct reports.
College: 4 years varsity cross country, indoor track and outdoor track Volunteered for the school depression/self help/suicide hotline
Post School: 3 years with the Big Brothers program. The first two years I spent as an active big brother but my "little" has since moved away. I am now on the Big Brothers young professionals’ board and chair the new membership committee.
I founded, and now run, a non-profit that allows high school kids to submit (via a website) college and research essays to volunteers who review the essays and give the students feedback. I “manage” 10-15 volunteers and coordinate with three local high schools.
Other: I was the sole author of a business strategy article and I am one of many people on a number of pending pharmaceutical/economic journal articles. Hopefully at least one or two get through.
I’m a really good cook. If making a risotto was part of the application process, I’d probably just apply to Stanford….
Member of the Society of American Baseball Research
I would like to stay in pharma but want to move from the consulting side to the manufacturing side. I have had both strategic and data driven experience which I think, along with an MBA, will position me to work as a brand manager (or other similar function) for a pharma company.
Target Schools (Dream school first and so on…) Berkeley Duke UVA Michigan UCLA UNC USC
Questions: 1) Is my list of target school realistic? How do you like my chances at each? 2) Would you recommend adding or subtracting any schools? I like the idea of Kellogg but I don’t know if it’s worth applying. On the other end, do a need a lower safety net? 3) Since I have a year plus before I apply, is there anything that you would recommend I do to strengthen my application? Take a class or two to shore up academic concerns stemming from my GPA? 4) Am I crazy for thinking about re-taking the GMAT? I know the overall score is good but is it enough to compensate for my GPA? Would another 30 points help?
Thank you for reading. I am looking forward to your feedback. If anybody else has comments/advice, I would love to hear from you.
Strong and distinctive profile. You may be overestimating the importance of your GPA. It's not a horrible one, and your GMAT score does a lot of the damage control for you. Your professional profile is better than solid and your extracurriculars are outstanding.
As for your schools, you should have no trouble getting into USC, UNC, Duke, or Darden. Michigan and UCLA will be tougher but you are certainly competitive for them. Haas will be tougher still, but you definitely have a shot there. I don't think you need a lower safety net, and I believe you should take a shot at Kellogg, given your strong extracurriculars.
Regarding courses, if you have any mediocre grades in core MBA subjects like calculus or stats, you could retake those (and ace them). Other than that, I would start visiting your target schools and start building networks among students and alums. Above all, keep racking up the leadership experiences in and outside of work.
You don't need to retake the GMAT, and I don't see any significant benefit from gaining 20 or more points.
Good luck, _________________
Linda Abraham Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy 310-815-9553
Check out this awesome article about Anderson on Poets Quants, http://poetsandquants.com/2015/01/02/uclas-anderson-school-morphs-into-a-friendly-tech-hub/ . Anderson is a great place! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I...