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R2 vs R3

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R2 vs R3 [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 07:52
I decided I wanted to try for B-school this fall. Unfortunately, I had already missed all the R1 entry deadlines for the schools I was looking at. I've been studying for the GMAT for a little over a month but due to working full time and having gotten sick, my studying has not been as intensive as I would have liked. Also, I was a liberal arts major in college so my math skills are pretty dismal. They are improving, but slowly.

I had planned to study only the math and essay sections as in college and my job I write often and haven't had any problems with the verbal or reading comp section quizzes I've taken.

So here's my question... should I really try and cram and take the gmat in early January to try and apply for R2 for several schools, put off taking the gmat until a month later and shoot for R2 or wait six months, take it during the summer and apply for R1 in the fall for the following year?

I hate to put off going back to school just because I'd feel like I would be wasting a year. I'm at the point in my job where I've hit the ceiling and really just need something else. It's also a good transitional time for me.

So opinions? No one I know is taking the B-school route so any advice is really appreciated!
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Re: R2 vs R3 [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 08:08
Although I am generally really positive on people trying to apply early and see how it goes, but I think for many of the R2 programs, you will be really hard pressed to do your essays and study for the GMATs within the next month. If you don't want to push your career too far back you can look at January entries like columbia or Insead which are due a little later.

Although you have strong verbal skills I would recommend you study all the sections since even if you're naturally at 40+ verbal person, a 50 would be even better. There's always room for improvement, this would overall lead to better school choices. You can only do an MBA once. I wouldn't rush it.
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Re: R2 vs R3 [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 08:11
I think you give about 4 good reasons to push it back to next year. I think one of the few things people on here agree on is that R3 is much harder than R2. Plus, you would be cramming your gmat and essays in.

I am assuming you were born in '84 which makes you young enough to push it back a year.

I imagine it can be very hard to stay at a job where you feel you have hit a ceilling but I'd try to look for areas that you can use to challenge yourself/develop an expertise (plus start the endless prep for apps).
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Re: R2 vs R3 [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 11:15
The problem with doing both essays and GMAT at the same time is that, more likely than not, you'll end up doing an 'OK' job on both, but neither will be up to your potential. In the hyper-competitive game of MBA admissions, a so-so GMAT combined with so-so essays are unlikely to lead to anything but so-so outcomes. (At best)

You should think about what you would find more distressing -- waiting a year, or not going to your top choice.
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Re: R2 vs R3 [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 14:18
Everyone has said pretty much was I was already thinking. Seems that to really get the best outcome it's worth it to study longer and take the gmat later in the year and just apply to schools' R1 in the fall. I think that offers the best chance of getting into a good school that matches my interests.

I think I may just look for a new job as well to provide a different environment in the mean time. A year and half is a long time to stay somewhere you don't feel fulfilled.
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Re: R2 vs R3 [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 16:31
amy84 wrote:

I think I may just look for a new job as well to provide a different environment in the mean time. A year and half is a long time to stay somewhere you don't feel fulfilled.



Just a few things you may want to note:
1) Schools prefer to have one of your recommendations come from a current supervisor. If you start looking for a new job now and manage to start by say Feb 1, you are going to only have worked 6-8 months before you have to ask for a recommendation. So you are going to have to tell him/her you are leaving just as your are becoming valuable to them (my jobs have had around a 6 month learning curve, you or your industry may be different). In that situation, your supervisor could be upset and, possibly more importantly, not know you that well. Their opinion of you will be based on you learning a job rather than leading/contributing.
2) The application process takes an amazing amount of time and it's nice to have a job that you can coast at. By chance, my first half of the year was really busy and I was able to "bank" on my early year utilization in the past few months.

Also, jobs aren't supposed to be fulfilling... :wink:
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Re: R2 vs R3 [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2009, 08:29
DuckPond wrote:
amy84 wrote:

I think I may just look for a new job as well to provide a different environment in the mean time. A year and half is a long time to stay somewhere you don't feel fulfilled.



Just a few things you may want to note:
1) Schools prefer to have one of your recommendations come from a current supervisor. If you start looking for a new job now and manage to start by say Feb 1, you are going to only have worked 6-8 months before you have to ask for a recommendation. So you are going to have to tell him/her you are leaving just as your are becoming valuable to them (my jobs have had around a 6 month learning curve, you or your industry may be different). In that situation, your supervisor could be upset and, possibly more importantly, not know you that well. Their opinion of you will be based on you learning a job rather than leading/contributing.
2) The application process takes an amazing amount of time and it's nice to have a job that you can coast at. By chance, my first half of the year was really busy and I was able to "bank" on my early year utilization in the past few months.

Also, jobs aren't supposed to be fulfilling... :wink:


I totally agree with DuckPond. Although, I can really sympathize with you Amy84. I'm basically in the same boat as you. I graduated in '08 and was working at a top ibank, doing what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, the market collapsed and I got laid off after just under a year of work. It was really difficult to find another job quickly since no one in finance was hiring. I ended up at a firm that does public finance and carbon credit development. It's not a bad gig, but I know it's not what I want to do and the work isn't really challenging me. After the market has recovered a little, I was caught btw sticking it out and applying in the fall of 2010 or just trying to find another job.

Here's what I decided I'm going to do about this dilemma. I've started to update my resume, once I'm done I'm going to start looking at job postings. If I see something that really interests me I'll apply. And if I get a job I'll decide if it's worth putting bschool off for I'd go for it. In the meantime, I'm going to prepping for my GMAT, dedicating more time to volunteer activities and researching schools since my job is not that challenging. I've also started registered for the CFA, exam since I want to go into equity research after my MBA.

I really don't think rushing through your GMAT preparation and essays is a good idea, unless you're confident in your abilities to get everything done on time. Why don't you hold off until next year. In the meantime, try to find something outside of work that interests you and dedicate more time to it; that will take your mind off your job and be good for your app? Also, you don't sound like you really know what you want to do with your MBA. Why don't you do more research on it, so you're not just applying to get out of your current job. Perhaps you'll find that you don't even need an MBA to accomplish your career goals.
Re: R2 vs R3   [#permalink] 10 Dec 2009, 08:29
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