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Profile Evaluation: URM 730/3.8, little work experience

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Strategy
GMAT 1: 730 Q47 V44
GPA: 3.82
WE: Law (Other)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 1

Profile Evaluation: URM 730/3.8, little work experience [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2012, 14:02
Hello,

I am here to get some thoughts on 1) whether I should retake the GMAT and 2) what schools I will be competitive at with my current profile. About me:

2 years at community college: 3.9 GPA; transferred to UC Berkeley: 3.8 GPA (graduated with honors in two years)

In college I:
Founded and was president of an African American pre-law association
Tutored and mentored kids in low income neighborhoods, also delivered motivational speeches at high schools in these areas
Worked 20-30 hours a week all four years (no exaggeration) to successfully avoid undergrad loans

After college I went straight to Harvard Law School. Graduated in 3 years. Grades were not great but not terrible, and I took several business-related courses. I met a genius the first year of law school (computer scientist, not law student), who started a hedge fund, and I went to work as his chief compliance officer after I graduated (I graduated this past May).

GMAT: 730 (47 quant, 44 verbal) on my first try (still waiting to get my AWA score). I don't think I necessarily need to retake to get into a good school, but I'd like to get some serious scholarship money, and I think that a higher score could help with getting jobs after B school.

African American Male

I think that my biggest weakness by far is a severe lack of work experience (only been working since this past May). However, I did two prestigious legal internships during my summers as a law student. My list of hopefuls is:

Stanford
Berkeley
UCLA
Harvard
Wharton
Columbia
Yale

What do you think? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, thank you for your time.
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Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 382
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 45 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
Re: Profile Evaluation: URM 730/3.8, little work experience [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2012, 22:00
Expert's post
Hi,

Thanks for sharing your profile. You've got a very strong academic profile, and a strong undergrad leadership profile, but are lacking in the work experience department (as you've pointed out :)), and are also lacking in the post college community/extracurricular leadership arenas.

Let's break these down. On the academics front, I really don't think you have anything more to prove, so I'd say that retaking the GMAT would be a waste of time (and could also come across as stubborn/not knowing when to quit). Could help with scholarships to have a higher score - I'm not sure it's necessary though. And same for post-MBA jobs. This shouldn't be an issue.

On the professional experience front, I see three issues: 1) you could come across as a 'degree-hunter' or lost soul. What I mean by that is that you've invested all this time/energy/money into law school and have only worked a few months and now you've decided you need a different degree... you could come across as an unfocused candidate who hasn't truly figured out his career goals. So, to combat this, you have to have a very strong story about how an MBA fits into your big picture. And that big picture really needs to build off the experience you've gained to date. 2) you don't have any real business experience. Not so concerned about experience running financial models, etc., but moreso the leadership experience that inevitably comes with a business role. Whether its sales, marketing, finance, or consulting, entry level business people generally work in teams and as they continue in an organization, take on more responsibility (including leading teams formally or informally). I worry that your experience really hasn't lent itself to as much team work/leadership. While CCO is a big title, I'd need to know more about your day to day role and team experience to see if it is strong experience for bschool. 3) you don't have enough work experience. As you've mentioned, you've only been in the work force for a short while... but quality definitely trumps quantity. So, if I'm totally wrong about point 2 in this paragraph, the duration of your employment could be a moot point. Hope this makes sense.

Community/extracurriculars: Looks like you were very active in these arenas in college (great that you were in leadership roles), but seems to have dropped off afterwards. The schools you are targeting are looking for folks (ideally) who have maintained their commitments to these activities after college, and who've continued to demonstrate leadership in everything they do.

If you're going to apply this year, I think you've got to have a really strong story to have a shot at the programs on your list. You could possibly get into UCLA and/or Yale, but I think the others are wild cards. They'll either want to see more experience or a very strong career story. I'd say that you should apply to these programs and see what happens. If you don't get in, then I suggest you take some time to make a career transition that gets you closer to your goals (and closer to a business/leadership role), and then reapply. In the meantime, also pick up your extracurricular/community leadership roles so that you have a more balanced post-college profile.

Sorry for the very long winded response -- hope it helps!
Mili

Mili Mittal
Senior Consultant
http://www.mbamission.com

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Profile Evaluation: URM 730/3.8, little work experience

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