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Profile review and advice request

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Senior Manager
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Joined: 02 Jun 2009
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Profile review and advice request [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2009, 20:08
In my current situation I can only opt in for an part-time program locally or one of the top 5. I have found a lot of very valuable information in this forum so I trust you guys will be able to give me some direction.

Is my profile strong enough to hold water with the top 5 programs?

Profile:
I am in my mid twenties Female. GMAT pending, but scores on sample tests are around 740 so far. Grew up in Eastern Europe in a family of struggling entrepreneurs .As a result I am very passionate about business from models to organizational problems, management and ethics (have plenty of stories).

Followed a technical track - started young. Graduated a small liberal arts college GPA: 3.9, Honors Program . In college: President of a couple of clubs. Ever since - always had impact on my employers.

Worked for 3 years (as of 2010) outside of college after graduation. Currently work for a Fortune 500. My technical achievements are reaching a peak for my industry which is what makes me want to do an MBA and focus on the Business side. I am surrounded with excellent mentors, and have learned to lead from within and have an excellent track record with my teams, but do not hold a formal Management position.

My MBA goal is to become well rounded which means I will probably focus on Strategy, Finance, and Management (I know Wharton also has a Law/ethics specialty also which is tempting).

Currently the opportunity cost of a top 5 MBA for me would be $300 G+ and 2 years away from family. The other option would be part-time top 25 MBA while working full-time for my current employer.

Do you think I am top 5 material and should I consider top 5 with the above mentioned opportunity cost/alternative?

Last edited by MBAgirl2010 on 26 Aug 2009, 10:10, edited 1 time in total.
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MBA Admissions Consulting
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Re: Profile review and advice request [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2009, 13:07
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In short, it's hard to say whether you'll be competitive for a top school. You seem to have enough raw goods to tell an interesting story, but it really depends on how you tell the story.

First, you have to focus on actions and results. Being "raised on discussions about [xyz]" is nowhere near the same as "founding an org, raising money, and doing [abc] because of [xyz]." The former is passive. Anyone can have an intellectual, cerebral, and academic discussion. But far fewer people take ACTION. Don't confuse your *opinions* about your upbringing with bona fide *achievements*. In other words, being passionate about something is moot if you have no achievements to show for it.

The other thing is that you come across as a hard working technical person who is good at keeping busy on a lot of things. Nothing wrong with that. But again, business school (especially the top schools) are about grooming future "bosses". They want people who have the potential to be great people managers, great bosses to work for. And as you probably know already working with a bunch of technical people - the person with the strongest technical skills or the most analytically/technically accomplished doesn't always make the most effective manager or boss.

The impression I get from what you've written is that you're probably a great worker, but do you have the potential to be a great boss? Do you have the characteristics, skills, personality traits, experience, etc. that show you would be a great boss to work for someday? And those traits have very little to do with your technical or analytical achievements (even if it's on the "business" side - i.e. crunching spreadsheets, doing research, etc), and nothing to do with "I work hard. Really hard. And keep really busy.")

So that's why it's hard to say whether you're competitive for a top-5 (top-7, top-8, whatever), because it's really dependent on "the person behind the resume" -- the stuff that isn't immediately obvious from your profile alone; the stuff that is beneath the surface.
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Re: Profile review and advice request [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2009, 13:31
Excellent feedback, Alex, thank you! You have caught on to a gap in my written profile that would certainly be important. Please allow me to pass you my resume, and tell me if you think the same applies when the admissions team sees both resume and essays in parallel. In the mean time I will work on verbalizing the essence of my management/people/leadership skills in a concise form and posting that on my profile as well. I really appreciate your feedback, please keep it coming...
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Re: Profile review and advice request [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2009, 13:41
Don't spend your effort trying to convince me you have the leadership/team/interpersonal skills. Instead focus on convincing the adcom, not me.
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Re: Profile review and advice request [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2009, 14:21
That is my goal as well. With that regard I have two questions:

1. Do top 5 MBA programs require a specific Management position to accept a candidate or would demonstrated leadership be sufficient?

2. Would the following serve as an acceptable / sufficient demonstration of leadership?

before College:
- Managed part of the family business

in College:
- College President of a couple of student clubs. Introduced rograms that are still applied at the college today.
- College resident adviser

outside of College
- Contributed to small business center.
- Created a strategy model for a corporation

Would demonstrated leadership be enough, or is a Management position of authority required in order to be accepted at a top 5 MBA?
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Last edited by MBAgirl2010 on 26 Aug 2009, 10:05, edited 1 time in total.
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Re: Profile review and advice request [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2009, 14:05
What I suggest is that you have friends, current students, alums (or even hire a consultant) to review your essays. From what you wrote, the biggest concern is that it's full of corporate jargon, making it hard to discern what is substantive and what is fluff (that's why jargon is used in a corporate environment).

Corporate jargon is sort of like women's makeup. If you're caking on the makeup in a way that makes it so obvious to others you're wearing *wayyyyyy* too much makeup, it begs the question: "what are you hiding underneath?". You might be pretty, you might not be, but it's hard to really tell behind all that makeup.

Ideally, you want to be able to write and communicate in a language that a high school or college educated English major can easily understand. Because there's enough substance that you don't need to hide behind formality or jargon.

It's not easy - so many of us speak and write in "corporate jargon" at work that it becomes its own dialect. So it's translating how you normally communicate at work back into the kind of English you would normally use with your friends, in non-work situations, or the kind of English you'd use back in college.

Keep in mind that corporate jargon and formality is a dialect used by corporate bureaucrats to give the *illusion* of substance. Like makeup, it's used to conceal or highlight -- but NEVER to reveal. And in your essays, your goal is to reveal who you are. Someone who comes across as sincere and without pretension almost always stands out in a crowd of 'by the books" corporate workers.
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Alex Chu
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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
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Joined: 02 Jun 2009
Posts: 446
Followers: 39

Kudos [?]: 158 [0], given: 36

GMAT Tests User
Re: Profile review and advice request [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2009, 09:24
I just took my GMAT today. 710. This tells me that the same Q and V scaled scores are going down in percentile lately. Essays are not out yet but I think I did well on those. I also think slowing down on a couple of verbal questions did me in - I guessed on 2 out of the last 4.

Do you guys think an actual score of 710 instead of the previous estimate of 740 will change my chances at H/W/S significantly? Should I retake the test?
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GMAT experience: gmat-710-q47-v41-what-worked-and-what-didn-t-81055.html#p608295
Telling your story: storytelling-82064.html#p615567
Other MBA women: calling-all-female-mba-applicants-84636.html
GMATClub interview practice groups: gmatclub-interview-groups-85902.html#p643929

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Last edited by MBAgirl2010 on 26 Aug 2009, 10:20, edited 1 time in total.
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 26 Dec 2008
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Kudos [?]: 524 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile review and advice request [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 07:11
It's not going to change your overall candidacy or your chances. Don't retake the GMAT.
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Re: Profile review and advice request   [#permalink] 20 Jul 2009, 07:11
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