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# Prospects for a top school?

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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
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Prospects for a top school? [#permalink]  28 Nov 2004, 18:22
I already posted the following in the accepted.com forum, but it never hurts to get more opinions! Hope you can help.

I graduated college about three years ago, and started and have been building a business in the last three years that has started doing pretty well lately. I just got a whim about a week ago that I should maybe consider business school. It's only a whim, but since I'm at it, I figured that I should ask some experts what my chances of being admitted to a top school might be and a few other questions.

Before I ask my questions, here's a little more background on me and my business:

My revenues this year are expected to be about $130,000, and next year, my goal will be to hit at least$700,000 in revenues (it might sound lofty, but we are in the midst of exponential growth), with a lot more expected when I enter the national expansion phase.

We are certainly not talking about a Fortune 500 company here, but I do have very big ambitions and a passion for my business.

I would be aiming for a top 5 business school -- perhaps Harvard or Stanford would be my top choices. Otherwise, it would not be worth it for me to attend at all.

Do I even have a profile that would be (barely) competitive for such a school, or do I have very little chance of acceptance? What is the typical profile of the average accepted applicant to a top 5 school?

My second question concerns recommendation letters:

How heavily are recommendation letters looked at? I have no superiors that I report to and that I can ask for letters from; I don't suppose a letter from an employee would do any good. I'm just wondering where one would seek such letters of recommendation, and are these less important in my case?

I would appreciate any advice and feedback. Thanks very much!
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Joined: 22 Apr 2004
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Expert's post
Wow, pretty impressive! Your questions are good ones. First, I think you definitely can get into a top b-school. Don't be worried about not having a "typical"-looking profile. Yeah, a lot of b-school students come from finance or consulting, but this is because of the number of bankers/consultants who apply, more than anything else.

Adcomms will see you as an entrepreneur, which is good. They will greatly respect what you have achieved. The biggest question you will have to answer is, "Why do you want an MBA now?" You obviously have been able to do well without one, and now you've decided that you want one. Why? What do you think an MBA will teach you that you don''t already know? Is there something that you're trying to do in your business that you don't think you can do without the learnings and connections that an MBA will provide?

Or, are you maybe trying to get out of your business? If this is the case, then why? Why are you trying to hop off of a very successful train at this point?

Another thing that you will have to show adcomms is that you're not too full of hubris to fit in well with your classmates in b-school. Yes, schools like self confidence, but cockiness and arrogance aren't really tolerated. (Of course, some b-school students are arrogant, but adcomms try to weed out the most obnoxious ones.) I'm not saying that you are arrogrant or too self-confident, but just keep in mind that this is a stereotype that you may need to overcome.

We actually cover the "entrepreneur"-type applicant in our book, and give some more advice on how to shape your application given your background.

Scott
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Scott

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