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Profile Evaluation Please - 700 GMAT, 3.9 GPA

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Joined: 12 Sep 2012
Posts: 16
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
WE: Marketing (Advertising and PR)
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Profile Evaluation Please - 700 GMAT, 3.9 GPA [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2012, 01:51
Hi,

I am in the midst of the putting together my application for B-School and I am hoping to get an idea on whether my target schools + career aspirations are realistic. I have provided an overview of my profile below:

GMAT: 700, V: 39 (88%), Q: 48 (78%)
GPA: 3.91 from no-name state school
WE: I have 3 years of work experience in digital marketing (SEM), 2.5 of which have been at a digital marketing agency. I've had the opportunity to work with several fortune 500 brands in tech. and retail industries. I have also been in a management role for the past 6 months and currently lead a team of 6 people.
Career Goals: I'd like to build on past experience and secure a position within the digital media department of a top consulting firm.
Target Schools: Northwestern, Michigan, UCLA
Extra-Curricular: 1.5 years on fundraising committee for a local youth program; studied (1 year) and worked (6 month internship) in Europe

My own evaluation: My GMAT is just about par for the top 11 - 20 schools and probably a little low for top 10 programs. I'm concerned that my undergrad degree from a no-name school will hurt me. I'm also concerned that my work experience is a bit light, but hoping that my accomplishments (several promotions, management experience) can make up for that. Lastly, I'm concerned that my GMAT score will be too low to get a job in consulting. I've read online that consulting firms require a minimum of a 700 and that each year the average GMAT score to get hired keeps rising.

Anyhow, I'm in need of a bit of guidance. Are my target schools + career aspirations realistic given the profile? Should I wait a year? Re-take the GMAT?

Thanks in advance,
R
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Re: Profile Evaluation Please - 700 GMAT, 3.9 GPA [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2012, 19:41
Expert's post
Hi "R",

Thanks for posting. Let's break down your profile:

Academics: Competitive score with a slightly low quant score (ideally want to hit that 80th percentile mark). Undergrad GPA is really strong - not sure what your major was, but hopefully something substantive. The fact that your school is a 'no name' school is probably not as much of an issue as you think. Sure, it helps if it's a well-known/reputable university, but I don't think that single criteria would make or break your application. I think it would be great to show that you have the quant chops by either retaking the GMAT and improving your quant score, or enrolling in some quant courses (stats, finance, accounting) and aiming for an A grade.

Professional Experience: Don't sell yourself short. This skill set is in high demand and the fact that you're in a management position already is pretty impressive. I would say though that your career narrative might be somewhat shortsighted -- I don't feel that you would really NEED an MBA to reach your goal. With another year or two in your role, you could probably jump over to a consulting firm without a problem (if you in fact want to stay in digital marketing). You might want to reach a little further - great to build upon the digital marketing experience, but really need to show why/how bschool is critical for reaching your goals. I could be wrong about this -- either way, make sure you really think through your narrative.

Extracurricular: Not seeing anything standout in the post-college extracurricular arena. Focus on bringing out your hobbies/passions.

Community: Fundraising sounds like it was a substantive position.

I don't really think you need to wait a year to apply, unless you use that year to beef up your extracurricular profile. I would say work to show that you have the quant/analytic chops (via a course or higher GMAT score), and apply this year. Your schools are good - Kellogg is going to be tough, Michigan is a great target and you should be pretty competitive/somewhat safe at UCLA (esp if you can raise the GMAT!)

Good luck,
Mili

Mili Mittal
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Profile Evaluation Please - 700 GMAT, 3.9 GPA

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