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I just finished the GMAT and thankfully I scored a 740 with 49Q and 44V as my splits.
My dream school list is: HBS, Booth, Stanford, Wharton & Columbia in that order.
I am a US citizen but I grew up in India and went to High School there. I came back for University and have been here ever since.
I graduated from Temple University in December 2007 with a BBA in Finance with a 3.47 GPA and University Honors and Business Honors.
While in school, I worked fulltime in the hotel industry and got promoted several times and held significant leadership positions within a 4-diamond hotel in Philadelphia including roles managing Front Office Operations, Revenue Management, Food & Beverage Management and Operations Management. I spent 5 years with this company. Since I was working full time, I don't have any college related leadership experience.
After I graduated, I went to work at a top healthcare company (fortune 500) in their Finance Development Program. This was an amazing experience which involved several 8 month rotations in different functions and different geographic regions. During the program I was promoted from Associate Analyst to Analyst. After I graduated the program, I was promoted to the position of Senior Financial Analyst. I was one of the people responsible for starting an Asian Finance Leadership Council at this company and had several leadership opportunities related to this. After another 5 months, I helped the company fill a critical need position in cost of goods sold analytics. After a year of doing this, I got an offer from a Fortune 1000 Metal & Mining conglomerate for a role focussed on analysis and senior mgmt reporting for a business with $2B in sales. I accepted this role and have been in it for around 6 months now. I spent almost 4 years at the healthcare company I worked at. I will have a little bit less than 2 years of experience in the mining and metal company I work at by Fall of 2013 (when I intend to matriculate).
I intend to take the CMA by June 2012 and may also join a few committees in the IMA to get some broader leadership experience.
So my questions are:
1) What are my chances at HBS and my other dream schools? 2) Any recommendations on things to do to improve my chances?
Congratulations on your excellent GMAT score. Your numbers indicate that you have the intellect and focus to thrive in a top tier MBA program. Nothing about your story makes me think there is any reason why you cannot be admitted, but nothing stands out telling me why you should be admitted. All of the reasons why a top program would admit you are in the details of your work experience, personal experiences, personality, values and overall story.
Here is some school specific advice for the programs you are considering:
I think I have some really good work experience over the last 5 years which will help my application a lot.
While in college, I worked for 5 years at the Omni Hotel in Philadelphia and I rose through the ranks and held some very interesting positions, including Front Office Manager, Revenue Manager & Food & Beverage Manager. The roles in management here involved being very actively involved in customer service, operations and revenue generation.
After graduating, I worked for 3.5 years at Johnson & Johnson and was a member of their Financial Leadership Development Program which is a rotational finance program. (I got promoted twice at JNJ)
I've been at Alcoa for the last 6 months and will have another year or so by matriculation date in 2013.
I think my experience after graduation is very blue-chip but the experience I got during college taught me how to run a business, think like an owner and take calculated risks.
One of concerns is that I will be a month away from turning 31 in Aug 2013.. I wonder if ad coms will think that is too old..
I am flexible about what I would do post-MBA, but am leaning towards Corporate Finance, Mgmt Consulting or Marketing. I realize I need to carefully craft my post-MBA goals as well.