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Round-1, Round-2 or Next Year ??

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Round-1, Round-2 or Next Year ?? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2006, 06:01
Hi Omari and Scott,

First of all, let me tell you I was blown away after reading your book (MBA Game Plan). I spent 3 hours straight after receiving it yesterday afternoon from Amazon and kept it away after finishing the last chapter. Thank you so much for such an excellent piece that you both have compiled. I also would like to know your honest opinion on my game plan. I am spending sleepless nights and going through hard & struggling balance between studies, personal life and work from past 4 months.

So, let me put everything on a plate:
My total work expererience - 8 years Full-time (6 years - Japan, 2 years - India)
My career profile - Started in IT as Systems Engineer and moved towards Project Management and Business Analyst role in japanese financial markets. Gathered clear understanding of Financial markets and Finance while working in Japan. My current profile requires me to advise internal IT Head and CIO on IT and Business correlation. So I do work as a Business Analyst, from time to time. My current firm is supporting me strongly for my MBA prep and even bent company policies recently to make it work for me.
My objective - Enter any Top tier business schools in US (MIT, Babson, Columbia, Chicago-GSB, NYU-Stern, Kellog, Wharton)
My strengths from career profile perspective - Strong understanding and experience in inter-cultural work culture, Quality work experience for 8 years, Clear and excellent grasp of IT and Business and their correlation (being leveraged by my current firm), GPA - 3.0, Actively participated in community activities within Japan and during school days (graduation) in India, CIo and manager of current firm are willing to write recommendation letters, My past firm was 100% Japanese and Largest financial group globally by reserved assets. I worked there for 4 years straight and was active in implementing global policies and enhancing their infrastructure that resulted in 50% efficiency increase. I was promoted from System Engineer to IT Project Manager and worked closely with Global IT Director over key projects.
My last GMAT score - 470 (this is my main concern!)
Intended period of MBA session - Fall 2007 (that also means I need to apply in Fall this year)
My current age - 29 years

Current game plan:
In September this year, I am planning for campus visits to my schools of choice (MIT, Babson, Columbia, Chicago-GSB, NYU-Stern, Kellog, Wharton) I would be travelling from Japan. I plan to apply in Round I (as instructed in your book) and assigned common deadline of October 15th. Till October 15th, I plan to continue my GMAT prep and aim as high as possible. (I am currently working only 2 days a week only so rest of the week is available for studies). I have also joined GMAX Online prep course and using it for GMAT preparations. I am planning to take first attempt of GMAT at 25th August and last attempt in 1st week of October 2006. After last attempt, I will use best test score and use it for applications. Until October 15th, I also need to gather Recommendation letters and prepare application essays & Resume. I am also planning to take TOEFL by October 15th (although not sure if it is necessary; I graduated from India with an Engineering degree).

Do you think this game plan is feasible ? Or do you think I should wait until I get high GMAT score despite my strong work profile in past 8 years. Or should I simply let this year roll by and try next year?
Please, Please.....I am taking a serious risk and planning to spend generously (campus visits, repeated GMAt attempts). Any adivces or tips would be extremely helpful.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2006, 17:49
Expert's post
Thank you for the kind words about our book!

Overall, I think your game plan makes sense. The one suggestion I will make -- and this will make things easier for you -- is to not apply to all of your target schools in Round 1. You're right that earlier is better, but we have never found real evidence that Round 1 gives you a better chance than Round 2. (Round 3 is a bad idea.) So, rather than cramming to complete seven applications in R1, plan on doing 3 or 4 in R1 and another 3 or 4 in R2. This will also make things easier on your recommenders.

Your GMAT plan sounds fine. Ideally you can nail the GMAT (i.e., get a score that you're happy with, so you can stop thinking about the GMAT) and then focus 100% on your essays and recos. If you're still taking the GMAT in October, your application quality may suffer, in which case you will probably want to push more apps back to Round 2.

But overall, I like your plan. Good luck!

Scott
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Scott

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