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Profile Evaluation/Questions please!

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Joined: 16 Jan 2011
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Profile Evaluation/Questions please! [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2011, 20:10
Hello, I was wondering if you could please evaluate my profile and answer some questions which I have listed below. Thank you so much for your time and feedback!

Age: 25
Gender: Male
Nationality: Canadian (Korean descent)
Education:
I was almost a high school drop out but turned my life around and graduated with a BBA from a good Canadian university with a concentration in Finance. Also completed a Joint Major in Interactive Arts and Technology with a concentration in Design.
GPA: 3.32/4.33 (77%)
- Upper Division GPA: 4.04/4.33 (93%)
- Graded on a bell curve (normal distribution)
GMAT: 710 (Q47, V40, 6.0 AWA)
Experience:
- Starting in July @ one of the world's largest financial institutions (Canadian arm): One of 12 people selected across Canada for a 2 year, rotational leadership development program designed to develop company’s future leaders/executive management. Four 6-month rotations in various parts of the bank (private banking, commercial, etc.) including training in London and one international rotation.
- Entrepreneurial experience starting and operating an import/retail business during school.
Extracurricular:
- Decent amount of volunteer experience at various charity events/non-profits as well as participation in university clubs, events and exhibitions (nothing outstanding, though)
- Coached high school volleyball, participate in a wide variety of sports
Academic achievements:
- Selected to represent my university at an international design conference in London, UK. Work was subsequently published in an international design book.
- Led a team and placed 1st at my school and 2nd overall in a provincial portfolio management competition.

Target Schools:
- Harvard
- London Business School
- Berkeley Haas
- Chicago Booth
- Wharton
- Columbia
- Others: Yale SOM, MIT Sloan, Cornell Johnson, NYU Stern

Plan:
I graduated from university last December, wrote the GMAT in April this year, and I start my new job this July. I intentionally took the GMAT coming right out of university while my brain was still in “academic” study mode. I had 6 months off between graduating and starting my new position, so it felt like a good time (rather than taking it once I’m swamped with work). Because my score stays on record for 5 years, I plan to finish my 2 year rotational program and gain another 1-2 years experience after the program in a specific area before applying to schools (3-4 years after writing the GMAT).

Questions, assuming essays, recommendations, and other aspects of my application are held constant:

- Am I part of an over-represented group?

GMAT:
- Does 710 make up for my mediocre overall GPA?
- If not, should I retake? Practice test scores (GMATPrep, MGMAT, Kaplan) consistently 720 – 760, with 760 on the last 3. Disparity came from verbal score (40 actual, 44-45 on CATs)
- How much higher will I have to score to justify retaking to schools? What if I score lower?
- Do top schools see a significant difference between 710 vs 730+?
- Timing: Will the fact that I took the GMAT in advance, before even starting my job, hurt my application? Are scores that are more “recent” to the date you apply considered more valuable?
- Will my GMAT score be devalued in any way due to new changes to the GMAT being introduced in 2012? (Integrated reasoning section). Average scores typically drop after the exam is changed. If so, should my decision to retake be affected? (ie. Should I retake it before changes come into effect). Eg) will admissions officers conclude that because I took the GMAT when there was no Integrated Reasoning section, the exam I took was “easier” as a result?

GPA:
- Will schools take my upper division GPA into consideration? - Its much higher than my overall GPA, and upper division courses are typically more challenging than first and second year courses
- Will schools consider that I was graded on a bell curve/normal distribution? - This usually makes it more challenging to consistently achieve high grades because you are constantly being graded against your peers, thus making it highly competitive.

Work Experience:
- Breadth vs. Depth: Do schools prefer people to have work experience in one specific area, or in various areas? - Primary concern is that my position is rotational and meant to give me broad exposure as opposed to focusing on one area.
- Will the highly selective/competitive nature of my position be a benefit?
- Will the rotational aspect of the position hurt or help my chances? - The position is highly intensive and meant to accelerate experience while developing leadership skills.
- My company has clearly stated that they will financially support members of this position through MBA school, and it is highly likely that I will hold a position at the company upon completion of an MBA program. Will this help my candidacy?
- Will the size/reputation/name of my company help me?

Sorry for all the questions and the long post! I wanted to provide as much info as I could. Your help is greatly appreciated :)

Thank you!

Daniel
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Re: Profile Evaluation/Questions please! [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2011, 21:50
Here's what I want you to do.

Copy and paste your post into a Word document. Save it as a time capsule.

Come back to it in about 1-2 years. You'll be able to answer a lot of your own questions. The problem now is that you're barely out of school, and it's hard to really answer a whole lot because you have no context for anything yet until you start working full-time for a while. I can tell you that you're over-analyzing the GMAT and GPA, but you won't believe me - you'll have to discover that and realize it on your own as you go through the next few years of your working life -- which will allow you to put your academic experience in perspective.

Focus on what's ahead of you next -- which is your full-time job. Not b-school. Getting into this much detail about b-school applications and such is kind of like planning the championship parade when you haven't even began the first round of the playoffs.
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
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Re: Profile Evaluation/Questions please!   [#permalink] 23 Jun 2011, 21:50
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