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Surprising GMAT score, now I have no idea where to go

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Joined: 02 Jul 2013
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Concentration: Finance, Technology
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Surprising GMAT score, now I have no idea where to go [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2013, 11:20
Through a combination of the amazing resources on this site, Manhattan GMAT prep books, and my local library resources, I was able to score a 710 on the GMAT (47 Math, 40 Verbal).

I had initially planned on going to the Rochester Institute of Technology for my MBA because I had completed my undergrad work there and could finish their program in just one year. Their requirements were a 580 on the GMAT, and it seems the average score is a 600. Obviously, now I think I should probably apply to other schools.

Here is a full rundown of my qualifications and I would love to hear what you think some safe schools would be, schools I have a decent chance at getting into, and some reach schools might be. Thanks!

Personal Information:
    21 years old
    Air Force Brat who lived overseas and in several different states
    Caucasian

High School
    Graduated with a 4.0
    I was the graduation speaker in front of 500 of my classmates and their families
    Member of National Honors Society

Undergrad:
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    BS in Political Science, minors in Philosophy, and Business Administration
    Enrolled in 2010, graduated in 2013 ( a year early)
    Active member of the Honors program, graduated with honors
    National Society of Collegiate Scholars member
    GPA: 3.8

I also won two writing awards, with cash prizes through the college.
The first was for my work in political science on the subject of the legal definition of personhood, and its implications for chimera creation in the field of biology and biomedical science. The second award was in the field of philosophy of science on the subject of whether development of plate tectonic theory constituted a Kuhnian revolution or paradigm shift in the field.

My employment history:

    I was the Complementary Learning Advisor for the Honors program, from October 2011 – May 2013. I advised undergraduate students on their complementary learning plans, which is the 20+ hour service requirement per year that each student is required to perform. I recommended community service activities, and recorded & tracked counseling session data for trend analysis.

    I worked as a Hot Line cook during High School at Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers from November 2009 – August 2011.

    I was an intern for the Transportation Management Office at RAF Mildenhall, a joint USAF and RAF base in England from June 2007 – July 2007. I performed basic clerical tasks but also worked with civilian and military personnel.

    Finally, my first job was as an intern in the computer support office of the Civil Engineering squadron at RAF Mildenhall from January 2006 – December 2006. I Assembled computers, and installed software including a custom Air Force version of Windows using a ghost image, ensured network connectivity, and organized & catalogued various types of electronic hardware. I started there as a freshman in high school.

I can procure recommendations from the following people as well:

    Two different associate deans of the liberal arts college, one is the chair of the philosophy department as well
    Both professors who recommended me for the writing awards who I took multiple classes with
    The chair of the political Science Department
    Two MBA graduates who currently work at RIT. One is a former VP for a Swiss bank, worked in risk management, and now helps manage the investment of RIT's assets and its overseas campuses, and my intro to options and futures professor which I got an A in. The other is a social media marketer, owner of his own company, and an incredibly tech savvy professor.
    My supervisor at the Civil Engineering Squadron, a retired USAF Master Sergeant, and current systems administrator at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio
    My first accounting professor at RIT, I got over 100% in his class
    Probably any other professor I have studied under. I never failed a class, or had any trouble meeting deadlines, even though I frequently took 20 credits under a quarter system.

Finally, I will probably need a rather hefty financial aid package. I'm not exceptionally well off, and already fairly in debt for my undergrad studies. Schools who are a slightly lower tier, but easier to pay for would automatically jump to the top of my potential applications list.

I look forward to reading your responses, I know I have a rather odd profile. Also, I have no idea how much work experience is weighed in the admissions processes and as you can see I'm rather lacking in that area.
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Status: Can't wait for August!
Joined: 13 Sep 2011
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Location: United States (MA)
Concentration: Marketing, Strategy
GMAT 1: 660 Q44 V37
GMAT 2: 680 Q45 V38
GMAT 3: 710 Q45 V42
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Re: Surprising GMAT score, now I have no idea where to go [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2013, 11:34
You have an impressive profile... but something's missing...

Why MBA? Why Now?

You have the stats to apply anywhere... but zero work experience(MBA programs do not consider pre-UG, or during UG work as experience... More like extra curricular)... Why do you feel this is the right time to get an MBA?
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Re: Surprising GMAT score, now I have no idea where to go [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2013, 11:40
My real problem though is that I haven't been able to find a full time job that isn't going to be comparably menial to that high school job. I can't afford to flounder for two years with just my undergraduate liberal arts degree. Political campaign work is usually unpaid, and government jobs aren't really too common for the inexperienced in the wake of the sequester and current economic conditions. I just don't think I can get meaningful work experience without a second degree. Demonstrating to an admissions board that I have leadership potential is kind of hard when my resume is going to look pretty spotty after graduation, and I don't want to lose steam because I have been really pushing myself to excel (I only studied for the GMAT 3 weeks and my entire last undergraduate year, and some of the year before, I was taking extra classes).

Are there no top 100 schools that would look at the speed at which I completed a four year program combined with my GPA and my global work experience as an asset? I never had any delusions about getting into Harvard or Stanford, so lowering my expectations to a school with a 680 mean GMAT isn't a problem.
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Status: Can't wait for August!
Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 977
Location: United States (MA)
Concentration: Marketing, Strategy
GMAT 1: 660 Q44 V37
GMAT 2: 680 Q45 V38
GMAT 3: 710 Q45 V42
GPA: 3.32
WE: Information Technology (Retail)
Followers: 20

Kudos [?]: 328 [0], given: 108

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Re: Surprising GMAT score, now I have no idea where to go [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2013, 11:44
dws1159 wrote:
My real problem though is that I haven't been able to find a full time job that isn't going to be comparably menial to that high school job. I can't afford to flounder for two years with just my undergraduate liberal arts degree. Political campaign work is usually unpaid, and government jobs aren't really too common for the inexperienced in the wake of the sequester and current economic conditions. I just don't think I can get meaningful work experience without a second degree. Demonstrating to an admissions board that I have leadership potential is kind of hard when my resume is going to look pretty spotty after graduation, and I don't want to lose steam because I have been really pushing myself to excel (I only studied for the GMAT 3 weeks and my entire last undergraduate year, and some of the year before, I was taking extra classes).

Are there no top 100 schools that would look at the speed at which I completed a four year program combined with my GPA and my global work experience as an asset? I never had any delusions about getting into Harvard or Stanford, so lowering my expectations to a school with a 680 mean GMAT isn't a problem.


Of course you could get into a top 100 school. Hell since you're in rochester already, Rochester (Simon) is a solid top 50... but you're selling yourself short.

Why an MBA and not another masters? What are your career goals? What specifically is it about an MBA that makes you think its the correct next move?


Edit: Also, thats not to say Rochester is a shoe in... and without work experience, recruiting will be tough coming out.

There are many schools that accept kids right out of UG... But they may not be worth the time or money invested.
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Re: Surprising GMAT score, now I have no idea where to go [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2013, 12:13
OP,

Whether to apply:I'd honestly suggest staying out of B-School and getting some work experience. BSchool can be used as a great catalyst to either re-brand yourself or change your career direction. As it stands you don't really have a career, meaning you're in all likelihood not sure what you want out of your work life. Additionally, as you said Bschool is extremely expensive. If you are going to spend ANY amount of money on something make sure the juice is worth the squeeze. Why go to RIT (not to knock it), when you could work a couple of years and go to a top 20. Start to plan based on your life time trajectory, not just what seems like a good idea for now.

GMAT: you pulled a 710, which is a good score (don't let anyone tell you different), but its not a GREAT score (730+). If you really did only study for 3 weeks , then you may have a GREAT score in you. Try take the time to actually prepare for the exam and put your best foot forward.

Suggestions: do some real prep and retake the GMAT,get some real work experience, don't sell yourself short. You seem like an intelligent young person with a good head on your shoulders. Try make sure you give yourself every opportunity to get ahead.
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Re: Surprising GMAT score, now I have no idea where to go [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2013, 12:57
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dws1159 wrote:
I had initially planned on going to the Rochester Institute of Technology for my MBA because I had completed my undergrad work there and could finish their program in just one year. Their requirements were a 580 on the GMAT, and it seems the average score is a 600. Obviously, now I think I should probably apply to other schools.



The first thing I thought of when I read this was this blog post:http://cheetarah1980.blogspot.com/2012/06/great-expectations.html

Quote:

It’s very easy to get caught up in the hype that surrounds business school admissions. While there is a definite advantage to attending a top 5 school, most alums wind up working side by side as peers with alums from schools across the top 20. Fixating on 10-15 schools as if they are the only ones that exist distorts the entire picture. The perceived difference in quality between school #5 and school #6 becomes monumentally more important when the playing field is unnaturally narrowed. Rankings devolve into nothing more than a dick measuring contest for applicants who can’t or won’t see the big picture. Getting into H/S/W is absolutely awesome, but it isn’t the be all and end all. Other schools can sprinkle sparkle dust on your resume and impress employers too.

On the flip side, there are applicants whose career paths won’t land them in the Sweet 16 or even the top 20. Here’s how it usually happens. Joe Schmoe, insurance claims rep/customer service rep/bank teller/etc, decides that he wants a better job. He comes to the conclusion that an MBA will help him get a better title and salary so he checks out what he needs to apply to a local school’s PT program. Joe learns he needs to take the GMAT and should have a good chance of getting in with a 600. He studies for a few weeks, takes the GMAT, and instead of getting a 600 he winds up with a 740. All of a sudden Joe starts to think, Wow! That’s a really good score. And hey, I’ve got a really good GPA from Podunk State University. Hmmm…maybe I can get into some really good schools. Heck, I might could get into Harvard! So Joe aims higher than local PT program and shoots for the stars only to get dinged without interview. He’s left wondering what happened or even worse feeling bitter toward the application process, when the reality of the situation was that he never really had a shot anyways. When the Joe Schmoe’s of the world come onto MBA forums and ask if there work experience is good enough for a top program, I tell them, “Probably not.” No, I do not think of myself as the b-school version of the Soup Nazi (“No MBA for you”). I have simply seen who gets into these schools and Joe Schmoes aren’t it. However, just because a top program isn’t in the cards doesn’t mean an MBA is completely off the table.


Read and heed.
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Re: Surprising GMAT score, now I have no idea where to go [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2013, 10:19
Great score. Congrats! You should have applied to Harvard, and the other top B schools. But t
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Re: Surprising GMAT score, now I have no idea where to go   [#permalink] 22 Sep 2013, 10:19
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