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I hope you will take a quick look at my profile and tell me your evaluation.
1) Demographic Info: 28/M/Hispanic
I was born in the South Bronx and lived there until I was 11. I lived in a housing project until I was 8 and in neighborhoods only marginally better than the projects until I was 11, then my mom got a good job in Florida and I moved to the suburbs. Most of my mother's side of the family still lives in the South Bronx, and some are still in the projects. I am the first in my family to graduate from college.
2) Education: 2006 Dual BS degrees in chemistry and physics from a large tier 3 state school. It was close to home. 3.65 GPA 2009 MA Physics from top 10 school. 3.4 GPA (this department has the toughest grading /lowest average GPA in the graduate school, so 3.4 is considered good)
3) Tests: 2005 GRE 790 M 750 V. I know this is too old but I haven't taken the GMAT yet. GMAT practice test 730 (48 Q, 43 V).
I took one of the official GMAT tests you can download from mba dot com. I didn't study much before this and was actually too slow on the math portion so I didn't finish the whole test. Now that I've been practicing, I'm sure I can finish the math section in time. My test is scheduled for Oct 19. I can provide an update once I take that.
4) Work experience: (at matriculation) 2 years as an analyst at Accenture, working mostly in pharma. I will have good recommendations from two of my supervisors but I can't say I've done anything earth shattering during my short time here. My managers think highly of me, so now I have two analysts who answer directly to me and I'm on track for a promotion right around the same time I'd be matriculating.
2 years as a research assistant after my MA. I did some pretty advanced work and have a publication to show for it. I was actually a doctoral candidate during this period but decided not to finish. It's a long sad story, but basically my adviser kept moving the goal posts on me once I told him I was planning to leave academia and go into business.
I also have extensive part-time research experience from my undergraduate days, with one publication in medicinal chemistry and another one in nanotechnology.
The time as a doctoral candidate also includes two extensive trips abroad to work with collaborators in the Middle East.
5) Extracurriculars: I've been involved with science outreach activities since I was in undergrad. Extensive involvement with student leadership during my grad school days. I started the advanced degree consulting club at my graduate institution, basically a club for all masters, JD, PhD and MD students who want to work in consulting. Extensive involvement with a science outreach/big brother type program during my graduate school years. The program targets groups that are underrepresented in the sciences. I built a particularly strong bond with one of my mentees and I still talk with him and give him advice as he approaches the end of high school. He is not Hispanic, as most people would expect based on my background.
6) Short/Long term goals: In the short-term, I give myself about equal probabilities of either returning to consulting (specifically in life sciences) or going directly to work for a biotech company. I'm interested in the commercial side of the business, but I would also enjoy the opportunity to work on R&D strategy. My background fits R&D, but as a theorist and a big picture type of person, I think I'd be a better fit working on the strategy of R&D rather than mundane lab work or clinical data management.
In the long-term, I definitely see myself taking a leadership position at a human health focused biotech company.
7) Schools: This is a big list because my fiancee and I are trying to land in the same city. She is looking for post-docs or lectureship positions in biology. Tuck (Consortium) Stern (Consortium) Harvard Columbia Fuqua Kenan-Flagler (Consortium) Booth Stanford Haas (Consortium)
You are in very very very good shape. With your career, Hispanic background, GPAs and indication of test success (although let's not count our chickens just yet, my friend), you are a good potential student for any and all of the programs, (even HBS and Stanford, even if nobody "just walks in"). Obviously a successful GMAT is key.
And I think you will have to revisit your goals, to have them a) make more sense b) be a bit more ambitious. You have some really unique stuff going on here, and your goals sound a bit "run of the mill". But I wouldn't worry about that now, anyhow, but put all my energies into my GMAT. Whatever the case, I'd be VERY happy to hear from you once you get your results. All the best, _________________
First of all, congrats on your amazing GMAT, this beautiful score is only a confirmation of the excellence that you have shown until now. So really great job there. As for your split, I wouldn't worry about the low quant. First of all, it can matter SOME, but it's far less important than the actual score, and when you are at 750, it obliterates it.
You write: " Hopefully, the adcoms will notice that I was doing graduate level math work for my last publication and not place much weight on this quant score." Now, I' not sure you NEED to (will depend on what else you have to write), but actually don't expect them to "notice" anything you don't tell them. So ultimately if this is a concern you need to address, you may want to write it in an optional essay. But only "may". With a 750, defining your "low quant" may only seem ridiculous, given your score.
Your goals are better now, also, not so much because of the "lateral" change, but more because you seem to have made them more precise and concrete, which strengthens them.
There you go!!! Now, all that's left is your actual applications.
I took the GMAT yesterday and scored a 750. 47 Q (73%) and 46 V (99%). I was very upset when I entered the testing center because of some work emails I was dealing with in the morning. Basically, I had to prove to the client that my team was doing its job and the team that was trying to blame us for quality issues was truly at fault for those issues. This anger turned to nervousness, but I did eventually end up with a decent score. The high verbal was expected, but the huge difference between quant and verbal wasn't. All I can say is that after years of training my brain to do rigorous mathematics, it was hard to throw away those old habits to do GMAT math. Hopefully, the adcoms will notice that I was doing graduate level math work for my last publication and not place much weight on this quant score.
As for my goals, I've refined them quite a bit. In the short-term, i.e. immediately after MBA, I aim to enter a biotech company working in pipeline & portfolio planning at the manager level. In the long-term, I want to move up in pipeline & portfolio planning so that I work on more high-level strategic issues, reaching the director level sometime between 5-10 years post-MBA. Portfolio planning requires knowledge of basic research, clinical development, sales, and marketing. I have experience in all of these areas, with extensive experience in basic research, the area where most practitioners of portfolio planning fall short. Portfolio planning seems like a great area to build the skills I need to understand, manage and lead a biopharmaceutical company.
Check out this awesome article about Anderson on Poets Quants, http://poetsandquants.com/2015/01/02/uclas-anderson-school-morphs-into-a-friendly-tech-hub/ . Anderson is a great place! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I...