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Please see below for my profile evaluation information as well as my short list of target schools. I'm interested in attending business school in the Fall of 2012. I look forward to your opinions and advice as to which programs I am competitive for.
Undergrad @ Clemson University: Major - Financial Management, Minors - Legal Studies, Accounting (studied businesses classes abroad in China) GPA: 3.54 (cum laude and above average for all target schools) GMAT: 650 (40M, 39V, 6 AWA) Experience at Matriculation: 3 yrs. business analyst at large name management consulting firm (financial task manager for multimillion dollar contracts, co-authored green energy related deliverables for client, proposal co-pricing lead for multimillion dollar opportunity, leader of financial software users group to encourage collaboration across firm, promoted in 1.5 years, strong support and career progression from management) Professional Certification: Certified Associated Project Manager (CAPM) from Project Management Institute (PMI) Extra Curricular: firm liaison for Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) (will also be volunteering in classrooms starting this fall), college lacrosse team leader, Delta Sigma Pi (professional business fraternity), bonsai society club member, multi sport intramural player, also previous volunteer experience with Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity References: Strong, at minimum a close Clemson University math teacher and managers at current firm Path After Business School: goal is to work for a small start-up company in energy or tech industry and/or to utilize network to find a position in venture capital firm to build on brief summer internship in which I worked for a holding company to determine potential takeover candidates
Full Time vs Part Time: One of the major advantages of full time is obtaining and working an internship. Have you ever heard of students that complete their MBA part time and then leave their current company and intern in a new industry in hopes of being pulled on full time? This would lower the amount of debt incurred and give the 3 years of experience. Please let me know your thoughts. GMAT: 650 was the best practice test that I took, so I am happy with my score. Upon further analysis I think I could possibly increase to 670 or 680 with a lot of effort. With the schools below should I focus on applications or try to retake for a 20 point increase? I am within the range for all target schools. Years of experience: Are internships counted as years of experience? If so I will have 3.5 yrs. at matriculation
Short List: UVA (reach) Michigan (reach) Texas (reach) UNC Georgetown (full or part time) Vanderbilt Boston College or Boston University Babson
Internships are generally speaking not counted as full-time work experience.
In my opinion, your GMAT of 650 is less of a problem than your Q40 (a rough percentile of 59). The Q40 is going to draw a red flag onto your application as most b-schools will care more about quant than verbal and that Q40 is a bit low for most top b-schools.
With that in mind, I think your chances are going to be slim for Darden and Ross. Your good spots are probably going to be from McCombs and onward on your list. I don't usually recommend retaking GMAT for a 20 point increase, but I think it may do you some good if you try to increase your quant score. But if not, don't worry about it and just apply. You seem to know where you want to apply for and where you're shooting for.
When aiming for top institutes abroad a score above 700 is advisable. Looking at class profile of some of your aimed institutes, the students on their GMAT scored-
Ross- Average 704, Middle 80% Range 650 – 750
UVA Darden Middle 80% 650–740 with Mean score 699
NYU: 660-760 and Georgetown’s: 640-740 in their GMAT exam.
However GMAT alone won’t determine your chances of admission; beyond the academics will also help you in determining your candidature and your work experience plays a vital role as well.
Beyond academics plays an equally important role so make sure you showcase it well. Generally most of the applicants have a good 4-5 years of work experience. Although it is not just the work experience that counts but also what you did there like-what were your achievements, what initiative you took, what changes you drove in your workplace etc.
So to leverage this if you can show that in 3 years you have demonstrated the skills business schools are looking for you could put in a strong set of essays. Hence the quality of your work, your academics and beyond academics will play an important role in determining your candidature. Keeping all these aspects in mind decide if you wish to retake the gmat or you can balance your profile well.
Start thinking what makes you unique and what’s that ‘hook’ that will be key to your application.