I'm a 25-year old Romanian female and I would like to apply for a PhD in Marketing, Quant track at the top programs in the US. What do you think my chances for admission are?
GMAT: 750 - 49Q(88%), 42V (95%), so only 88% in Quant, I am really worried about this...
Undergrad GPA in Economics (Marketing concentration)at Romanian top univ: 4.0
Master's in Strategic Marketing: 4.0
Undergraduate research experience, including a Best Student Research Award
2.5 yrs experience in marketing research, including in London and Hamburg
Great grades in Statistics and Econometrics
3 Prizes at National Mathematics Olympics while in high school
Teaching experience: undergraduate marketing seminars
Recommendations: great, but not from any professor they would know.
I am especially worried about the fact that my background is in Marketing (I've seen that a quant background is preferred), that I got only 49Q in GMAT and that my recommenders are not well known in US...What do you think?
Looking forward to your feedback.
You've got a great profile. You shouldn't worry about your credentials -- with a good SOP you'll be competitive anywhere.
1) No quant background + 49Q = no big deal. A 42V for an international student is mind-blowing. You don't have a purely quantitative background (e.g. MS Math), but so what, few people do. While not directly relevant, those Math Olympics prizes you got are evidence that you can perform well, especially since they're backed with Econometrics grades (even though undergraduate I would guess?).
2) Recommendation letters -- not a big problem in the sense that someone from a Romanian university is very unlikely to get recs from well-known American (or even English) faculty. It's what admissions people deal with everyday when it comes to international students. Once they've decided on opening the door for them, they need to loosen up on some criteria due to lack of knowledge (e.g. what does your 4.0 GPA mean, etc.).