I am a 23 year old Asian American female who was born in the USA but grew up in Asia. I attended American schools while in Asia and only returned to the States for college. I graduated from a university in Washington, DC within three years with a 3.80 GPA (summa cum laude, majoring in Communications and minoring in Business Administration), along with various leadership positions (Teaching Assistant, Office Director for a Model UN conference, president of the ballroom club), honorable mentions and a senior thesis under my belt. My current extracurricular activities/hobbies include: YMCA volunteer; Garfield Elementary School volunteer; competitive Pre-Championship ballroom dancer; and coach for a local ballroom team.
Since graduating in 2011, I worked as a Human Resources Assistant at a national law firm for 8 months before transferring to an international law firm as the Talent Acquisition & Development Assistant (have now worked here for over a year). Even though I am/was technically the “assistant,” I have been given several important responsibilities in the past 2 years. For example, at my previous law firm, I took over the responsibility of the Legal Support Manager whenever she was out of the office. Moreover, at my current law firm, I was in charge of ALL aspects of our local recruiting and development efforts (which is a responsibility usually reserved for a Senior Coordinator or Manager) for 4 months until a Senior Coordinator was hired.
I plan on applying to several top 10 MBA programs this Fall in Round 1 (Harvard, MIT, NYU, Columbia), so that I can begin my studies in Fall 2014. With my international background and bilingual proficiency, I wish to focus on international business consulting. This is a major shift in career and industry, which is why I wanted to enroll in an MBA program after only 2-3 years of working full-time.
I took the GMAT three times and my last and highest scores were:
Total: 750 (98%)
Quant: 49 (84%)
Verbal: 44 (97%)
IR / AWA: I have not received these yet
My specific question is: what are my chances of getting into a top MBA program (especially Harvard, my dream school) with my work experience? I would have only worked full-time for almost 2.5 years by the time Round 1 applications are due, which is definitely below average. Moreover, despite my increasing responsibilities, I have only held “assistant” positions and I did not work in an industry that it favorable for top b-school admission (such as consulting or finance).
Any other suggestions and advice on my profile would be very helpful as well. Thank you very much!
I share your concerns about your work experience. On one had your academic stats are stellar and you are a citizen of the world and multi-lingual. You have assumed serious responsibility at work, but I'm not sure how it will be viewed. You need to show (not tell) that your experience will allow your to contribute meaningfully to class discussion and group projects while in schools as well as be valuable to a future employer. A consultancy should value your multi-culturalism. Obviously your MBA education will give you an analytical framework, but you need to show that your experience taught you something valuable about business that you can transfer to consulting.
Please see Advice for Career Changers
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog