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Several Questions

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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Other
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V38
GMAT 2: 660 Q V
GPA: 3.64
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 60 [0], given: 76325

Several Questions [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2011, 21:46
Hi and thank you in advance.

Short version:
About to get a JD from a top-25 law school, mostly corporate work background, good work experience last summer but otherwise only about 9 more months of good (but segmented) work experience, 3.6 undergrad GPA (political science major), 3.35 law school GPA, best recs will be academic although I may be able to get professional recs, took some important b-school type courses. I think I'll get a 670-760 on the GMAT, but if I had one number I'd guess 730 (I take it next Saturday).
(Feel free to skip long version and go to the questions)

Long version:
I am set to graduate from a top-25 law school this spring. I had a decently good legal job doing corporate work last summer and was planning on going back to that job, but it fell through due to firm economics. I have a pretty big concentration in corporate legal work specifically including M&A, and have taken a couple MBA classes that I really enjoyed. I majored in a social science in undergrad and finished a semester early and worked for a firm for that semester until law school started, but otherwise went straight through. I have taken corporate finance, accounting (sorta), micro/macroeconomics, and statistics (among many other related courses, but those seem to be asked about). I think I will do well on the GMAT, but have not looked at schools at all, nor do I know much about how competitive I will be.

I am interested in any of these fields, in order: public work (the IBR program makes public work extremely appealing for someone in my position), consulting, private equity, investment banking (M&A), M&A on the legal side, or hedge funds. I realize that some of these fields (e.g. private equity) will probably require some other experience first.

I am pretty screwed on the job hunt (the legal market is miserably bad) and so as long as I can get into a decent program I am going to go. The finances sound terrible as far as taking on a ton more debt, but with Interest-Based Repayment it's not bad for me. I do not care much about scholarships for this reason.

I have taken several practice GMAT tests. I have done consistently well, however I choked a bit on the LSAT so I think that could possibly happen. I think I could reasonably score anywhere from 670 to 760 (I've been hitting 730-750). I am posting in large part because I would like to have an idea of where to send my GMAT score since I get to send to 5 schools for free.

I am obviously applying pretty late, but I really don't want to wait another year because there is nothing I could do. My recommendations will probably include 2 from business law professors that will be very strong recs, along with 1 from an internship I had my last semester of college with the US Department of Commerce. I may ask my summer firm for a letter of recommendation, but I have been pretty annoyed with them and didn't want to ask. It should still be a decently strong rec.

I had a 3.6 in undergrad at a (not great) state school, and I have about a 3.35 (about top 40%) at my law school.

Questions:
1. Where would I be competitive, based on minimum work experience, a law degree from a decent school, a late application, and either, say, a 680 or a 730? (I am from the Southeast and live in Atlanta if geographic diversity matters much). I'd like to get maybe 2 sets of 5 schools, one based on a 730 and the other based on a 680.
2. Which schools where I may be competitive seem to best fit my career interests?
3. Should I consider Georgia Tech's MBA program (they're an engineering school so I'm not sure if they place well in the areas I'm interested in)? Staying in Atlanta would be nice, although I realize also that none of the top 20 schools are here.
4. Will any of the schools reimburse travel expenses for interviews, or provide fee waivers to someone like me that is on need-based financial aid?
5. Would someone like me be competitive for any of the jobs I am interested in after coming out of the schools I'd be competitive to get into?
6. Do I need to write a personal statement essay or anything like that for most schools? Can I re-use the same one?
7. If I were to score a 760, what is the likelihood of landing a teaching job with one of the top companies, like Manhattan GMAT? How much do they pay starting (and about how many hours/w can you expect to get?) and how much do the less respectable companies pay (e.g. Kaplan) for GMAT instructors?
8. Do my GMAT essays matter at all? On the LSAT I could have drawn a picture and schools wouldn't have cared. Is this something that I should spend time practicing / learning how to score well?
9. Any other general advice?

Thanks a lot. Feel free to ignore any questions that you don't want to answer.
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Re: Several Questions [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2011, 09:53
Not sure where to start.

In any case, going to b-school at this point won't improve your job prospects. The reason is, you have no post undergrad full-time work experience. As such, even if you did get into school, you'll be competing against other MBAs with more experience than you.

As such, even with an MBA, you'll basically get offered similar entry level jobs as college grads.

I know hearing this may be difficult to swallow especially in this job market, but if you want to go to b-school someday, you need to find a way to get a job after law school, rather than delaying it by spending another 2 years in school. It won't help, and in fact will be a waste of money.

Moreover, there are really no decent schools that will accept folks like yourself with no full-time work experience. If you get a monster GMAT score, you may get into schools outside the top 50, but going to a school like that with your career ambitions won't be a good use of your time or money.

Don't apply to b-school now. Get a job. Any job. Work in the real world. It's going to be hard, but trying to go back to get another graduate degree is not a wise choice at this point. As for being a GMAT instructor, don't get ahead of yourself. You haven't even taken the GMAT yet.
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Alex Chu
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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Other
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V38
GMAT 2: 660 Q V
GPA: 3.64
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 60 [0], given: 76325

Re: Several Questions [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2011, 18:22
Just to follow up with this in case someone happens to search...

I took the GMAT and got a 740. I should have done better, but whatever. At any rate, I ended up doing final round admissions and was accepted to a top-30 school w/ a scholarship 2 weeks after I submitted everything. I did not apply anywhere else, but I also received a letter from Notre Dame saying I would be a good candidate for a full tuition scholarship + $12.5k stipend, and they do not know that I would have a J.D. I put down no experience and "some graduate courses" on the GMAT (I have not yet finished my JD). I have received e-mails from other top 50 schools suggesting I would be a good candidate for a full tuition scholarship.

Also, my close friend that recently graduated from UVA and works for BCG told me that firms like his won't care that I don't have experience. They just want me to come from a good school and they want to see a good GMAT. My JD would count toward experience.

Finally, the debt load isn't nearly as bad for someone in my position thanks to IBR.

That said, I ended up having a job come through that I'm excited about, so I took that. But if I didn't have anything come through, it would not have made sense to work as a pizza delivery boy. I had previously sent resumes for entry-level iBanking and Consulting jobs with no success -- they said a JD made me overqualified, but that I would need an MBA to start as an Associate. The legal market is miserably bad, and this was the only thing that came through. Anyway, maybe 3 years from now I'll try giving Harvard/Stanford/Penn/UChicago/Northwestern a shot if I feel I can benefit from a top-tier MBA.
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Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2014
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Re: Several Questions [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2011, 19:56
is this a joke? forums attract huge swaths of people just looking for a bit of assurance and maybe a hug. take this thread down.
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Re: Several Questions [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2011, 09:59
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Re: Several Questions   [#permalink] 13 Mar 2011, 09:59
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