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Profile evaluation/thoughts - Thanks

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Intern
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Joined: 03 Jul 2010
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Profile evaluation/thoughts - Thanks [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2010, 16:07
Hi,

Please evaluate my profile below. I sincerely appreciate your time. I have 2 years until I apply to MBA programs.

Age: 24 at time of application
Ethnicity: White
Nationality: Canadian
Undergraduate Degree: 4.0/4.0 GPA (93.33%) from a top-tier Canadian business program
Work experience: 2 years as an analyst in a bulge bracket investment bank (i.e. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, UBS, etc.)
Extracurricular activities: a plethora during my undergrad, not many since then (my work is not very accommodating)
GMAT: 700 (46Q, 40V)

Target schools:
- Harvard
- Stanford
- Wharton
- Columbia
- Yale
- etc.

I am quite concerned about my GMAT score, please advise if I need to retake although finding the time will not be easy. Again, thank you very much for your time.
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Status: Darden Class of 2013
Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 1838
Schools: University of Virginia
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Re: Profile evaluation/thoughts - Thanks [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 08:16
hi alpha, congrats on the 4.0 GPA!! Here's my take on your situation: I think you have a realistic shot at all of the listed schools, except that H/S/W may be stretches since they're stretches for pretty much anyone who want to go into finance (I assumed this since you didn't state your post-MBA goal and your current job is in IB). Depending on how the economy goes, there may be more or less people in finance who wants to go for an MBA in two years. With more people going for finance, less will get in (I believe there's a quota in b-schools for each concentration, but this quota is hidden from us normal folks). Since you still have 2 more years before you apply, I'd find the time to re-take the GMAT, only if you believe you can score 40+ points, bringing your total to 740+. In fact, if you score less than 40 points, or score even lower than your current score, it may even bring a negative impact to your application when an adcom views your app. You can try Knewton's 50-point-guarantee if you want to go that route. Also, I assume that you're fresh off the GMAT boat, so if you do decide to retake it, you should do it soon because you don't want all your hard work and preparation go back to the abyss.

Other than that, try looking for leadership in and out of work. This is easier said than done, of course. In an IB, it's probably a bit harder to find leadership role since it's so structured in a way. Good luck!! :)
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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 03 Jul 2010
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Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile evaluation/thoughts - Thanks [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 15:16
Bakfed, thank you very much for the reply. I am not 100% certain what I will be targeting post b-school, which is why I did not complete that field. Just to be clear, are you suggesting that anything sub-740 would effectively hurt my application. So a 700 and a 720 would not help in any way? Thanks again for your input.

Alpha101
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Re: Profile evaluation/thoughts - Thanks [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 17:36
alpha101 wrote:
Bakfed, thank you very much for the reply. I am not 100% certain what I will be targeting post b-school, which is why I did not complete that field. Just to be clear, are you suggesting that anything sub-740 would effectively hurt my application. So a 700 and a 720 would not help in any way? Thanks again for your input.

Alpha101


Well, before you apply to any b-school, you'd really need to come up with a post-MBA goal as that's pretty essential in all b-school application/interview.

My opinion on that GMAT score is as follows:
Adcoms love to see high GMAT scores, that's a no-brainer. In fact, as much as b-schools don't want to admit it, Kellogg (Northwestern University) does provide a breakdown for GMAT scores for 700-730, and 740+ and we can clearly determine that the highest percentage of people who gets in using this brekadown is the 740+. Having said that, your score of 700 is already at a comfortable level for all bschools now (again, no doubt about it). If you decide to take it again and score lower than 700, adcoms are going to be turning a wide-eye, thinking to themselves, why in the world would this applicant retake a 700 GMAT and only to end up with an even lower score? Of course, there are ways around this from time to time, but let's assume that adcoms saw both scores. If you score lower than 700, the obvious question from adcom would be - does this applicant really know how to manage his/her own time? Apparently he/she doesn't because rather than focusing on the application, the applicant decided to retake the test, but got an even lower score. This is not a deal breaker, but why give adcom the opportunity to think that way?

If you score higher than 700 but lower than 740, I think the stigma of time management is lessened, perhaps completely abolished in adcom's eyes. However, if you ask anyone to think about the difference between a 700 and a 720, there really isn't any. There's always some luck involved and a difference of 20 points is definitely between that luck/real deal type of score. Understand though a higher score is, of course, better than a lower score (no doubt about that), but is the time involved in prepping and studying for GMAT worth it or is the time better spent working on essay and the application?

Last but not least, if you score a 740 or above, you've just put yourself in a totally different grid of GMAT score and your chance of gaining an admission to the top b-school has increased tremendously.

Last but not least, one reason that I'd retake it if I were in your shoe is if my quant scores have been significantly higher than the real one (Q46). If you're interested in going back into finance (IB) or management consulting post-MBA, that quant score is a bit low to peak an interest in the interviewer. If you can raise your quant score to a Q49 or above, and keep your current verbal score, you'll be looking at a much better chance go get back into banking or consulting after MBA. I know this is a lot, but by no means am I a professional admission counselor. This is purely my own subjective opinion.
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Re: Profile evaluation/thoughts - Thanks   [#permalink] 05 Jul 2010, 17:36
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