I'm a big fan of your profile evaluations and I appreciate the honesty you put in your reviews. Id like to ask if you could review mine and perhaps offer some advice on whether I'm taking the right approach.
Attached is my profile below for your evaluation. Thank you in advance
Age: 27 (close to 28 @ matriculation)
Race: AA/Black 1st Generation American (Caribbean descent)
Undergrad GPA: <3.0 Dont know exactly have to get transcript from 1st school, roughly 2.7
Degree: BS Civil Engineering from Top-5 Engineering School
Alternate transcript: 2 Classes via UCLA extension GPA: 4.0 (Plan on taking a 3rd class in Fall term)
GMAT: 690 Q49 V35
Work Experience: 4yrs Currently, 5yrs @ potential matriculation Civil Design Engineer/Project Manager for Telecom Engineering Firm. Provide Construction drawings, project management, A/E services, site-walks and design for the major cellphone carriers (In a nutshell i design cell phone towers and tower sites). Clients include: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Sprint, as well as many other cell phone providers and tower management companies.
Certifications: Passed FE Exam (Not sure how much weight this holds but figured I should mention it in case it does.)
Letters of Recommendation: I anticipate strong; I also plan on asking my academic advisor from my school for one, which i predict will be strong as well.
Extra-Curricular: Undergrad (National Society of Black Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Intramural Basketball);
Post UG EC: Very Active member in church (organized numerous events, helped with several ministries, ran sound system during service), Habitat for Humanity (helped ReStore and worked on site builds) Big Brothers, Big Sisters: Big brother mentor [started recently but it is something that means a lot to me and I feel that I can convey this in my essays if need be)
Post MBA Goals: I want to change careers into finance and plan on attaining an associate position at BB investment bank.
Why MBA: As someone without a finance background I will need an MBA from a top program in order to transition from engineering into finance.
Columbia (especially given my GMAT, considering not applying after my recent GMAT performance)(2/3)
NYU-Stern (1)(Dream School) via Consortium
UCLA-Anderson (2/3) (Love the school, only downside not in ny, hurts for finance) via Consortium
Reach/Less of a Stretch (I dont think I have any safeties given my gpa)
USC-Marshall (4) via Consortium
Emory (5) via Consortium
1.) GPA (obviously): low, but i feel it is something I can help to explain in my essays. While I feel that immaturity did play a part at first, i dont think it was the primary factor in my performance overall. I transferred after 2 years into a top5 engineering program from a good regionally recognized engineering school in the Northeast where I had a scholarship, was in the Honors College and on the Dean's List. My family went through some financial troubles soon after i transferred and i had to work to put myself through school. There were also some other issues i had to deal with during undergrad that I plan on addressing in my optional essay. My advisor at my school is aware of what I was going through and I plan on asking her for a LOR to help tell my story. Also I have started an alternate transcript where i have 2 "A"s so far and am looking to add a 3rd.
Side-note: During undergrad I took a few quant based business classes (2 Accounting Courses and MicroEcon) and Aced all of them. Is this something I could bring up or highlight?
2.) Work Experience: While not "blue-chip", i think it is strong. The company I work for is a small firm which grew from 5 to about 30 employees in about 3.5 years. I started as an paid intern, working during my last semester of school. When i was hired full time I was the first outside hire made by the company, the other 4 started the company, as well as the only minority in the company. Since it is a small company there are no concrete "Titles" that we all have. My responsibilities have increased during my time as I am now in a Project Management role, I manage other engineers at times when I am assigned a project. i am also involved in training new engineers. How does my Work Experience match up?
3.) GMAT: 690 (49Q,35V)
I got this score after my first attempt in December '10, I have since taken it again 2 more times, and have not been able to break this mark despite scoring in the high 700s on my practice tests, the final attempt was today 6/28 and I am now unsure of what to do next. I want to start working on my essays and the rest of my applications, but I do want to take it again perhaps in the fall after I get finished up with some of, if not most of my essays, as i am hoping for 720+ especially if i plan on getting into my top choices. Should I take the test for a 4th time, will it look bad even if i do get that 720+ eventually, is it worth it?
As of right now I want to start working on my essays and putting together the other components of my application for my top 4 school choices (CBS, NYU, Anderson, Marshall). I figure this should take up the rest of the summer, then in the Fall give the GMAT 1 more try. During my GMAT preparation I was scoring in the high 700s on a fairly consistent basis, but I just couldn't seem to put it all together on exam day. I honestly feel like I have a 730 GMAT score inside me, and I think with my GPA I need to get a score in this range in order to submit a good enough application package to apply to my top 3 schools. Also since I plan on career changing into IB, it would be in my best interest to gain acceptance into one of these 3 programs. CBS has rolling admissions, and I anticipate the 1st round for the Consortium to be around Nov. 15, as the were last year. Do you think this is a good plan to pursue in my attempt to put together a solid/competitive application?
Thanks again Alex for taking the time to read and review my profile. Im sorry about the length of the post but I wanted to give as much detail/insight as possible especially given my situation.