I'm trying to understand if I should take the leap to apply to a top 10 MBA school given my background and experience.
At a glance, I'd say that you have as good a shot as anyone at getting into a top-ten school. Your community involvement is great, you've taken on leadership roles both in and out of work, and you've advanced quickly in your job.
The first thing that came to mind was, "I wonder how his quant skills are." Your first GMAT score would have been a liability, but your score of 710 will get you in anywhere (don't take it again!). Your undergrad GPA isn't incredible, but it's good enough, and it's good to see that it got better as you grew older.
It sounds like you did enough quant-type stuff in school, and you're obviously bright, but some adcomms might read that your an HR person and think "soft and fuzzy." That's not necessarily bad, but you want to do all that you can to make sure that they realize that you're not afraid of analytics. You could possibly take some business courses at a local college. But, you probably don't need to.
BTW, don't be afraid to use some of your community service experiences as the basis for stories in your essays. Definitely don't just talk about work. It sounds like you have some interesting stories to tell.
Overall, though, I can't spot any real deficiencies. You said you have eight years of work experience. Do you mean it's been eight years since college? If so, you may look a little "old" to adcomms, who are used to seeing apps from people with 2 to 6 years of experience. If this is the case, make sure that you can explain why *now* is the time for you to go to b-school (and not four years ago).
Also, have you managed people in your jobs? Not a big deal if you haven't, but it helps if you have. If you haven't, then be sure to talk about how you've managed to influence other people in order to accomplish what you need to get done.
I'd encourage you to shoot for the stars. I've seen people with far less interesting backgrounds get into top-ten schools.
Veritas Prep | GMAT Prep | MBA Admissions Consulting | Co-author, Your MBA Game Plan
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