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Sanity check. Could Wharton be in my future?

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Sanity check. Could Wharton be in my future? [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2009, 16:11
Please give me your perspective:
I was preparing to go to a local campus (Harrisburg) of Penn State for a standard MBA to shake up my fair to middlin' career progress. I took the GMAT and smoked it - 750/98%, Q48/84%, V46/99%, AWA 5.0/55%.

Part of me thinks that this changes everything and I ought to be shooting for the top - EMBA at Wharton or Columbia. The other part thinks that I'm getting way ahead of myself and maybe an upgrade to Smeal or Haub is more in order, or even still a stretch.

I am 42 year old male, out of school for 19 years. Former officer in the US Army - 5 years. Work experience has been successful but not a rocket ship to the stars - supervisory/ operations analyst.

Undergrad is weak - agricultural science 2.3/4.0 What say you?
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Re: Sanity check. Could Wharton be in my future? [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2009, 07:47
Patrick,

Congrats on the nice score. It's high enough and your GPA is far enough in your past that you need not worry about your undergrad grades. To be eligible for top EMBA programs, however, you will need to have some strong managerial experience -- as in leading teams of, say, 20 or more (to pick a number). Your Army leadership background is helpful. Your career track since then will be important. There are strong EMBA programs between Wharton/CBS and Smeal/Taub layers that you may have a chance at ... Note that, as this link about EMBAs explains, GMAT scores are relatively less important -- and lower -- than at full-time MBA programs.

Hope this helps,

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Paul Bodine /
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Re: Sanity check. Could Wharton be in my future? [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2009, 19:39
Got it, Thanks. Two follow-up questions:

a) I'm still pretty new at this game so clue me in to what better programs I might want to look at. For now I'm going to restrict my search to 150 miles from Harrisburg PA, so Pittsburgh, DC and NYC are in play, but no further.

b) Not sure what you B-school types classify as managerial experience. I was a shift operations manager at a large warehouse - about 70 personnel - for 1.5 years, supervisor at various levels for over 15 years. I've led large, multi-year, multi-dept. project teams with good results. At my current company though, "manager" is applied strictly to a pay grade that I haven't acheived yet. Do I have what they are looking for?
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Re: Sanity check. Could Wharton be in my future? [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2009, 08:51
Patrick,

The following EMBA programs are in your region and would be considered higher-ranked than Penn State's program: Wharton, Columbia, Georgetown, and NYU Stern. Wharton and Columbia would be tougher to get into than NYU and Georgetown as a general rule. You obviously do have managerial experience but I can't say based on what you gave me that it will stack up against your competitors at schools like Wharton and CBS. You will be competing against 'middle manager' types with multiple direct reports and resumes showing consistently rising responsibility levels.

Hope this helps,

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Sanity check. Could Wharton be in my future?

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