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As far as I know, 79% is extremely well and should be way higher than 3.0 (that's my guess). However, because you're an international application, a lot will depend on your GMAT. If you can score 720 (or more), focus on the top schools. If you can score 690 (or 700+), focus on top 20. Given your goal of consulting, it's probably not going to worth it anymore when you go to schools past the top 20 (I'm not saying that you can't get a consulting job if you go to a lower-tiered job, but your choices are limited and the lower you go, the lesser you'll see global consulting firms such as Bain, BCG, or McKinsey.
Michigan, Virginia, and Duke are all very well-known and sought after by the Management Consulting firms. Haas is strong it as well (though many would probably Haas belong to the top 10). A quick browse at the top 10-20's employment report will show you who the strong players are. Darden, for example, had 27% of its graduating class go into consulting (this latest class). Be sure to look for the employers at the schools you're interested in because you'd want to have the firms that you want to work for go recruit at the school you're attending.
I have registered for my GMAT early next month. I need your help in choosing the right schools to apply when I take the test.
A graduate in Electrical Engineering from a normal Engineering college in India. I love programming, hence chose software development as a career path soon after graduation.
Experience: 6 years - Worked on product development for enterprises in fields such as Retail, Systems Management and E-Commerce.
GPA: Engineering - 79% (Considered good in India, am not sure about US). I think the equivalent GPA is 3.0/4.0 but I am not sure! High School: 93.3%
Extracurriculars: Not much here. I worked for an NGO via my company's CSR program teaching school children during weekends for about a year.
Why MBA: Almost stagnant growth in my current job, Salary, want to try Consulting as a career option.
Future aspirations: I hope an MBA will give me a foothold in the IT or Strategic Consulting Industry.
GMAT: Last time I took GMAT in 2008 with little preparation. Scored a 630 (Q44 V33) This time I have put in lot more effort and my practice scores are encouraging
Please advise me on the schools that suit my profile and career aspirations.
It is difficult to suggest without knowing what is a good ballpark GMAT score for you. Assuming you will improve and can get somewhere between 650 - 700. Some good schools come to my mind are: Duke Cornell CMU Tepper INSEAD
The above schools are good for consulting as well as good for your target GMAT score. The schools are also favorable to Indian IT applicants. To have more permutation and combination of score as well as schools please visit http://www.general-ed.com/BSchool-Selector
Assuming you are aiming for top schools then a score above 700 is desirable. Also the GMAT alone won’t determine your chances of admission; your work experience plays a vital role as well. You need to ensure that academically you are in a good position. However it is not just the academics but beyond the academics that will help you in determining your candidature.
Generally most of the applicants from India are from engineering background with good 4-5 years of work experience. Make sure you follow the ‘show rather than tell’ principle so that the admissions committee could really understand your strengths and differentiating factors.”
Also start thinking what makes you unique and what’s that ‘hook’ that will be key to your application. Although it is not just the work experience that counts but also what you did there like-what were your achievements, what initiative you took, what changes you drove in your workplace etc. So if you can show that in 4 years you have demonstrated the skills business schools are looking for you could put in a strong set of essays.Hence the quality of your work, your academics and beyond academics will play an important role in determining your candidature.
Your work ex is good and acads are decent. I GMAT score around 700 will make you candidature really strong.
You can target the following schools:
For Consulting ISB Duke INSEAD ( aspirational) NUS Michigan Ross Oxford Said Judge
For Technology Haas ( aspirational) CMU Tepper ISB
If you want to keep some safe options good in both technology and consulting Texas Mccombs USC Marshall Kelley Indiana Carlson Minnesota
Hope this helps
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You should focus on getting as good a GMAT score as possible. Even once you are in a business school, top consulting companies look very closely at your GPA and GMAT to shortlist students for internship interviews. So for consulting (and IB) folks, GMAT is definitely not over with the applications.
Regarding the choice of schools, if you know the kind of companies you want to work in (for e.g. in IT consulting, etc), go to their website and find out which schools they recruit from. Those should be your target schools. A rule of thumb is that the top consultancy firms do not recruit from schools beyond top 15-20.
I'm back! Just finished my GMAT today. I got a 680 ( Q 49 & V 32). Feel pathetic at the moment My average score during prep tests was 730 ( I took Manhattan and GMAT prep tests only). Never got a verbal score below 37 in any of the prep tests. Even on the test, I felt the verbal section wasn't tough and I managed to finish it on time. I am confused now Do you think I have a decent chance any of the top 20 schools? Your advise is appreciated.
Success is hard to achieve but is worth the effort in the end
If you are not happy with your GMAT score and feel that you could improve it by 30+ points, why don't you retake it? You belong to an application pool where the GMATs are very impressive so if you feel you can get around mid 700s, a retake can only help you.
Thank you bizschoolprep. I agree with you. I will retake the GMAT in a couple of months and will concentrate on my verbal this time while not neglecting the quant. This is because I firmly believe that 680 is a below par score and I can improve upon this score by at least 30 points.
In that case, do you advise me to target to Duke, Cornell or Ross for Round 2 ?
Success is hard to achieve but is worth the effort in the end