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I have been considering to apply for MBA programs for several years and finally I decided to apply. I would be glad if you could evaluate my profile:
1. GMAT Score: 700
2. Timeline: I am planning to apply on Round 1 for all schools.
3. Education: I was awarded to a Fulbright scholarship and have a Masters degree from Carnegie Mellon in Technology Management with a GPA 3.96/4.0 (%5 percentile)
I studied Computer Science and Management as a double major in Poland, my home country with a GPA of 3.86/4.0 being 1st in class in both programs.
4. Work exp: I worked as a software engineer at one of the top IT companies' Global HQ in San Francisco bay area for 1.5 years, then because of my Fulbright status, I needed to leave USA and my company transferred me to Switzerland. I worked several months and moved back to Poland and worked as a Product Manager at one of the relatively bigger Polish companies for two years. I have a total of 3.5 years work exp.
5. E/C: I play drums and have had a band for almost 10 years. I used to play soccer in a major team's youth squad. I have participated to many volunteer events.
6. Certificates: ITIL, ADF
My current educational/professional background can open doors for me in terms of functional management but I am more interested in general management and strategy at IT companies. I love California and my two target schools are Stanford and Berkeley. Though in the east coast my top choices are Harvard, MIT and Wharton. How competitive does my profile look with respect to those schools? Do you have other recommendations for me to think about?
PS: My GMAT score 700 is of 50 Q and 34 V. Now that I know it would look nicer if the score were distributed evenly, I was thinking whether I should retake the test.
On the other hand, I already hold a Masters degree from a reputable US university and have work exp in a top tech company in USA, which all I hope would convince adcoms to neglect the imbalance in my GMAT score.
Am I right in my judgement or should I retake the GMAT?
Congratulations on deciding to go to business school! You certainly do have a strong academic profile. For your target schools, you should aim for at least a 700 overall on the GMAT with 80th percentile on each section Do you feel that you can demonstrate your verbal abilities with your academic and work experience? You also want to tell a compelling story about your transferable skills and experiences that are a foundation for your future career path and why you want to go in that direction. One other thing to consider is why you need an MBA in addition to your current Master’s. You will need to clearly articulate what you still need to learn/experience from an MBA program to get into general management and strategy. Your international experience and band experience can be great ways to show your character and demonstrate your passions which can help to differentiate you from others will similar backgrounds. Try to stick with any experiences you have had in the past 3-5 years.
That is a great AWA score. It can be one measure to show you have good verbal abilities. At the same time, the AWA is not a substitute for your Verbal score, so you will need other measures as well. I imagine in your experiences, you will have enough examples to demonstrate your verbal abilities in addition to your strong quantitative skills. Also, are you a non-native English speaker? Keep in mind that the admissions committee will most likely cut you some slack if that is the case, especially since you are close to 70% on the Verbal.