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Profile Review - Military

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Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2013, 06:31
Admissionado, I've had a few weigh in on this profile but always interested in more advice.

30/m
*3.2/4.0 from a top 30. History Major, Geophysics minor
*Varsity Lacrosse, ROTC
*GRE: 324 (162 V, 162 Q). On the ETS converter that comes to a 700 GMAT

Work Experience : 8 Years Navy SEAL Officer. 5 Deployments to date with combat.
-Consistent leadership in a variety of austere and high profile locations.
-Senior level coordination within DOD
-Excellent lessons learned in terms of personnel management
-Task Unit commander in charge of $25M in equipment overseas.

Extra Curricular:
-Volunteered at numerous foundation events for the Wounded Warrior Foundation, Navy SEAL Foundation, Etc.
-Guest speaker and "SEAL Ambassador" for three recruiting campaigns in support of the SEAL community.
-Repeated visitor to my Alma Mater as a speaker on Leadership for the Varsity Athletic Department.
-Soccer player on a amateur pro select club in Germany "VfL Sindelfingen." A true lesson in humility!

Hobbies:
-Athletics
-Reading
-Volunteerism

Future goals:
I love the experience of working with people and I have a passion for leadership and management. As I transition out of the military my choice to pursue an MBA is simple. I want to seek a position of management within a growing company (my focus is energy but I acknowledge I'm open to other sectors), and without a business back ground, this provides an opportunity to shore up my competencies in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration, etc... A top Gen Management program will compliment my leadership experience to date.

Summary: I feel I can articulate my leadership experience and that my essays will have tangible examples of what I think ADCOMs are looking for. Both GPA and GRE score, when converted to GMAT, are below the top schools' average but I will still be applying anyway. I recently took a microeconomics course from UC Berkeley extension program and got an A. This was to build my basic economic familiarity, bolster my application a little bit, and demonstrate my commitment to applying. Finally, I know I'm a bit older than most of the other students but I don't think this puts me out of the running completely.

Target programs:
HBS
HKS
Tuck
Darden
Owen

Thanks!
Duff
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2013, 00:55
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Hey there Duff,
You have a fantastic profile there man! HBS especially (as I guess you have heard) LOVES military profiles as do many other B-schools. Are you planning on applying to BOTH HKS/MBA?

Even with lower than average GMAT and GPA, your background as a SEAL Officer, your deployments, volunteer work, more than make up for it. (Tell some good stories, my friend). Basically, I don't see any reason for you to apply out of Top 10 (unless you have other, personal reasons)... which brings me to the one anomaly in your note, and maybe we can discuss that, namely your school list.

How did you come up with: HBS, HKS, Tuck, Darden, Owen??? What about other Top 10 schools (besides Tuck and HBS)? Do you have any idea of what you might like to do moving forward? (short term and long-termg goals?) And if HKS is on your list, what about other International Relations/ Public Policy/ Government etc. degrees? (Duke, Berkeley, SIPA, etc...)

Let me know your thoughts,
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2013, 12:16
My school choices are pretty narrow, I know. I have some geographical preferences and the only other school I have considered in Wharton. I could put an application together for them in the 2nd round but I will have to make sure the initial four get the attention they deserve.

How is Wharton's reputation as a military friendly school?
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2013, 23:01
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Well I haven't heard that Wharton is specifically Military-friendly like HBS is... But what that means is that Wharton is only "normal" Military-friendly... Meaning that besides the appreciation that they will have for the job you do, they will also really like the REAL leadership experience you are likely to have and also the more-interesting-than-usual stories you will have too.
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2013, 21:14
Jon,

I appreciate the insight. No school would scoff at the back ground but I'm very aware that it resonates with some stronger than others. But I recently had a huge setback in my applications. Wondering if you could offer your two cents.

I took the GRE last November and upon completion, I checked the ETS convertor to see my ballpark GMAT score. It came out to a 700 so I comfortably put the books down and have not studied since then. I am now in the throws of essay development fo rhte first round and I just checked the ETS website again. Apparently, they changed the conversion and my GRE score now equates to at 670 GMAT!!. To me, this puts me in a completely different category as a 700.

As a SEAL, I've had to carefully plan the application process and I am applying in the first round because I'll be on a deployment beginning in November. I really have no choice but to continue with applications because I don't have time to study and take the GRE again. It's an issue of really unfortunate timing but I feel like I was misled. Had I known my score was 670, I would have sat for the test this past winter without hesitation.

Is this conversion as big a deal as I think it is?

-Duff
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 00:37
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Oh... this is a tough nut my friend.

The thing with the GRE is that it's pretty new for the MBA programs themselves, and anyhow they even tend to be a liiiiiittle bit skeptical of the ETS conversion. But the conversion going from 700 to 670 is no good news of course. And especially if you are aiming for HKS and HBS.

Now, I think that your profile is one of the few types of profiles where you can still have decent chances with a 670 equivalent, even if the score is less than ideal... would you have better chances with a better score? For sure. But do you really have the time to get that better score? That is the question. (and do you even want to? And how much better do you feel might be able to do? in either the GRE or GMAT?) Basically I think that if you are applying this year and you aren't SURE of being able to get a better score (say within two months, so you can prepare your app for R2), then just let the cards lay as they are, and play the best game you can with the hand you are dealt.


Does that make sense?
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 09:36
Agreed. As I said, I would have absolutely reset to take the test again and I know a 700 would have been within reach (I didn't have the best test day). But now it is a bit of a bridge too far. I honestly cannot help but feel that I got totally screwed.

Do you think this is worth addressing in an optional essay? It's a little difficult to truly capture the totality of the situation with the pending deployment, an assignment overseas (I moved to Germany within the last six months), and managing the business school venture while balancing committments as an active duty SEAL. You will never meet a more deliberate planner but this literally came out of no where. To an ADCOM though, at the end of the day, I am choosing not to take the test again. Sucks.

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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 10:24
Duff wrote:
Agreed. As I said, I would have absolutely reset to take the test again and I know a 700 would have been within reach (I didn't have the best test day). But now it is a bit of a bridge too far. I honestly cannot help but feel that I got totally screwed.

Do you think this is worth addressing in an optional essay? It's a little difficult to truly capture the totality of the situation with the pending deployment, an assignment overseas (I moved to Germany within the last six months), and managing the business school venture while balancing committments as an active duty SEAL. You will never meet a more deliberate planner but this literally came out of no where. To an ADCOM though, at the end of the day, I am choosing not to take the test again. Sucks.

Duff


Hey man - that blows. Just some food for thought: After you apply R1, will you have time to take the GMAT in the following spring at any point? Even though it won't help you with your R1 applications there are two benefits I can see:

1) Getting a 700+ score would help should you end up on a school's WL.
2) The GMAT (not GRE) is a measuring stick used by some companies, so having a 700+ on your resume will help come recruiting season.

Best of luck!
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 12:56
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CobraKai,

Solid name by the way. I love the mosaic of 80s movies references!

The answer is yes, I'll have time to study and I just had a discussion about this with my wife. It's not that I will have time, but that I will make time.

Truth be told, I have some very solid inroads at Tuck, HKS, and Darden. Influential alumni have pledged to help with the two latter and with Tuck, I got the advice early on to "show your love for Tuck" and let's just say I took it seriously over the past three years. As a professional worst case planner, I am not counting on any of this though. I am very far from my comfort zone here but I think I have been inoculated to that state over the last eight years in the Navy so I am resolved to play the hand I'm dealt as Jon says, put forth honest and provoking essays, crush the interview, and roll the dice.

My ace in the hole is that I also have enough time left on active duty to apply again next year if needed. And on the bright side, I think the events of the next few months, regardless of outcome, will make for a solid debrief for GMAT Club that has helped me so much over the last few years.

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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 13:20
Duff wrote:
I am very far from my comfort zone here but I think I have been inoculated to that state over the last eight years in the Navy so I am resolved to play the hand I'm dealt as Jon says, put forth honest and provoking essays, crush the interview, and roll the dice.



If you do the stuff in bold, it won't be much of a roll of the dice. If they like you, that GRE score will be a blemish they overlook.

I'm glad you got my username - a lot of people have no idea what I'm referring to! :-D
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 21:13
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You mean there are actually people who haven't see the Karate Kid? And who don't recognize your icon?? Wow....
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2013, 04:20
JonAdmissionado wrote:
You mean there are actually people who haven't see the Karate Kid? And who don't recognize your icon?? Wow....


I know, right? Kids these days...

Well, for those who haven't seen it, this should get them up to speed:


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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2013, 22:47
So you think it's not appropriate for an optional essay?
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2013, 00:10
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Duff wrote:

My ace in the hole is that I also have enough time left on active duty to apply again next year if needed. And on the bright side, I think the events of the next few months, regardless of outcome, will make for a solid debrief for GMAT Club that has helped me so much over the last few years.

Duff


Well then, as CobraKai wrote, you do the best you can with what you have now (and it's pretty good) and let the cards fall where they may.


Duff wrote:
So you think it's not appropriate for an optional essay?


What, the Karate Kid? Oh I dunno, you've probably got a whole bunch of folks on the committee from that generation who'd get all teary-eyed, if they heard about that.
:)

I'm kidding of course... To be honest I don't really think optional essays about test scores are really interesting. I mean, you take the test, you get what you get, and then you have to live with it. Although yes, you have a great reason for having felt falsely secure, at the same time for them there's no guarantee that you would have done better (I mean THEY have no idea how smart you are)... Maybe maybe, you could try and slide it in as a one or two phrase point in an optional essay that is about a bunch of "issues".. and than I think it could work.
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2013, 01:39
Thanks, Jon. I'll bring it up in an interview if it's appropriate. I do want the ADCOMs to know about the situation but it's kind of difficult to relay in essay form. I'll continue to think about it.

I think I'm on the phone with Eric Weisman this afternoon for a profile review. Looking forward to his comments.
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Re: Profile Review - Military [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2013, 01:45
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Well, you'll see how you should approach it in function of what else is and isn't in your application.

Great to hear that you're hooked up with Eric. Eric's a really good guy (and of course a top-notch pro). Let me know how it goes (in PM if you like).
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