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I applied to Kellogg, MIT, Michigan and Duke this past year in round 2 and so far Kellogg: (interview and skeptically waiting fingers crossed), MIT (ding no interview), Michigan (no interview), Duke (interview & WL). Barring unexpected circumstances I expect to be reapplying next year and wanted to ask your advice on school choice and round choice. I'm a less traditional applicant and was advised that round 2 was preferable but am open to new perspectives. Also, what I can do to improve my chances next year other than retaking the GMAT which I plan to do and know I can improve at least 20 points. Should I take a course to further show I'm a more mature/successful student since I was an undergrad and had sub-competitive grades.
Age: 28 current Demo: White Male GMAT: 720 (Q:47 V:44) Academic (at #1 and #2 policy schools): Undergrad 3.1 (w/ one very bad and explainable semester and double major), Grad in public policy 3.6 WE: 4.5 years working for a federal agency providing advisory services (written testimonies, briefings, reports) on policy issues mostly focused in the defense sector. I've had considerable salary growth and responsibilities and have a promotion to be official at end of March. However have not extensive supervisory experience. EC: In school was Div 1 athlete, several undergrad externships, several notable awards and was contributing author to textbook. Also organized highly successful recruiting trip in graduate school leading to several job offers for classmates and is currently an annual event. Since school started non-profit professional development non-profit that has grown very large and attracted corporate sponsors. Career Goals: Consulting, with an eye to M/B/B and long term goals of returning to government as an executive
I'm a little surprised that you haven't had better luck, because your GMAT score is fine and your work experience is unusual and interesting. Your leadership at work may be an issue, but your NGO outside of work sounds very promising. If you can increase the GMAT score 20+ points that might eliminate your GPA as a source of concern. In general, you should apply in the first round to maximize your chances. I would want to know more about your application to offer reapp advice. That is, it's not clear to me what's been holding you back: poor essays, bad reco letters? I'd be happy to quickly review your application (under 1 hour) and give you some actionable advice on schools and next steps to strengthen your application before the fall. You should certainly reapply to Duke (if they ding you -- make sure you wage a good wait-list campaign) and schools in its league, such as Darden, Cornell, UCLA, etc. In terms of other schools, again, I would want to know more about your current application and profile. Let me know if you'd like to talk. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks Paul. In fact dinged from K and now crossing my fingers on the waitlist at Duke. Am seriously considering using your services but want to wait to see the outcome at Duke first. However, given the timing of round 1 and retaking the GMAT, do you think I should be investigating additional classes in the meantime?
My suspicion is that your undergrad GPA is not the main thing holding you back so course work would probably not help much. I could identify the main issues if I reviewed your application. Would take less than an hour...