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# Tell me why I suck!

Author Message
Intern
Joined: 16 Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Location: DC
Schools: HBS, Booth, Kellogg, Stern, McCombs
WE 1: Management Consulting
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1

Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  16 Jan 2011, 08:12
Hi guys,

I applied to a bunch of schools first round and have been waitlisted more often that accepted/rejected.

I've been told that most waitlisters are quality applicants that have a deficiency in one particular area of their application.

Can you guys help me figure out what my deficiency is? I've provided my profile below...

GMAT: 740
Undergrad: University of Virginia, 3.1/4.0, Engineering
Graduate: New York University, 3.9/4.0, Engineering
Work: Consulting, 1.5 years at IBM and 1.5 years at Booz Allen Hamilton
Demographic: 31 year old American white guy
Area of Interest: Technology Industry Management
Extracurricular: Started a niche web startup that met with moderate success
Community Service: Minimal, some volunteer work here and there
Leadership Experience: Not much at work, but a decent amount with the startup
Interviews: All went pretty well, I did my research and showed a lot of interest

I've been waitlisted at Kellogg and Stern.
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VP
Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 1473
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 236 [1] , given: 31

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  16 Jan 2011, 08:17
1
KUDOS
mdk6c wrote:
Hi guys,

I applied to a bunch of schools first round and have been waitlisted more often that accepted/rejected.

I've been told that most waitlisters are quality applicants that have a deficiency in one particular area of their application.

Can you guys help me figure out what my deficiency is? I've provided my profile below...

GMAT: 740
Undergrad: University of Virginia, 3.1/4.0, Engineering
Graduate: New York University, 3.9/4.0, Engineering
Work: Consulting, 1.5 years at IBM and 1.5 years at Booz Allen Hamilton
Demographic: 31 year old American white guy
Area of Interest: Technology Industry Management
Extracurricular: Started a niche web startup that met with moderate success
Community Service: Minimal, some volunteer work here and there
Leadership Experience: Not much at work, but a decent amount with the startup
Interviews: All went pretty well, I did my research and showed a lot of interest

I've been waitlisted at Kellogg and Stern.

You would benefit from an admissions consultant. Essays would be my guess. Are you at least getting interviews? If you are getting interviews then it could be your interviewing skills and/or personality(with regards to fit).

Additionally, you come from a tech background and want to remain in tech so schools might think you will be better off tapping into your network rather than an MBA program.
Intern
Joined: 16 Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Location: DC
Schools: HBS, Booth, Kellogg, Stern, McCombs
WE 1: Management Consulting
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  16 Jan 2011, 08:40
Could it be my GPA? 3.1 isn't terrible, but it's well below the average at most of these schools.
Manager
Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 239
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 7

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  16 Jan 2011, 09:31
mdk6c wrote:
Could it be my GPA? 3.1 isn't terrible, but it's well below the average at most of these schools.

I think you have a strong overall profile. We all wish that sth would be better. You have great college, GMAT, engineering is a tough subject and you don't get grade inflation. At least you get interviews and with some luck, you may get off the WL at 2 very competitive Bschools. Also, your applicant pool of Tech consultant is really competitive (the only tougher one is male Indian IT)

Most people get more dings than admissions unless you are a superstar. You just need one admit and there will be some movement on the WL. Any other eggs in R2 basket?

Good luck
Manager
Joined: 21 Jul 2010
Posts: 78
Schools: rd1: Haas, Ross ; rd2: ISB
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 15

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  16 Jan 2011, 10:09
Based on your description, your profile looks stellar. However, there are some soft factors that contribute to a WL/ding:

- the way the essays + resume are written and if they cohesively paint a strong pic
- wow factor (that can be created based on essay+resume writing style and i/v style)
- a strong competition pool over which you've no control
- how you interview (an i/v can go well where you smoothly provided answers and the interviewer is smiling. But if the interviewer still doesnt like a couple of answers which he deems important, he/she may be hung up on that )

Also, after an interview, the adcom goes back and looks at your application as a whole to make a decision. Sometimes, you can have a good i/v and still not make it because of a strong pool of similar profiles.

Also, a bschool admit process is subjective & random and you need to apply to atleast 4-6 schools to not be bitten by this randomization. Good luck buddy!
VP
Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 1473
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 236 [0], given: 31

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  16 Jan 2011, 10:25
Just curious. You are 31 and only have 3 yrs work experience?

Intern
Status: I'm stuck in a glass cage of emotion
Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 47
Schools: McCombs (acc w/$) (Kellogg(WL), Haas(WL - ding), Anderson(WL-WD), Owen (acc w/$\$)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 3 [1] , given: 3

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  16 Jan 2011, 10:41
1
KUDOS
It's not GPA. You have a great resume on paper, but as I am realizing, the essays are the biggest part. Maybe you weren't clear enough about your career direction, or there is some other lingering question. Also, it might have to do with your age and crazy amount of schooling already. Like someone else said, they might feel like you don't need it.
Intern
Joined: 16 Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Location: DC
Schools: HBS, Booth, Kellogg, Stern, McCombs
WE 1: Management Consulting
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  16 Jan 2011, 17:47
Thanks guys for all the help.

Yup I'm one of those overeducated folks. In retrospect, I didn't really need the Master's degree, but it was a lifelong goal to get a Master's in a scientific discipline.

The 3 years work experience doesn't include 2 years I spent working on a web startup (which ultimately failed). With those years included my work experience comes to 5 years.

I'm trying to decide what I should say in my letters to the schools that waitlisted me. NYU, in particular, has a waitlist FAQ where they all but beg you to submit a letter addressing your biggest weakness as an applicant, and I think I'm beginning to understand what mine is.

Thanks again you guys, I really appreciate the comments.
VP
Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 1473
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 236 [0], given: 31

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  16 Jan 2011, 18:00
mdk6c wrote:
Thanks guys for all the help.

Yup I'm one of those overeducated folks. In retrospect, I didn't really need the Master's degree, but it was a lifelong goal to get a Master's in a scientific discipline.

The 3 years work experience doesn't include 2 years I spent working on a web startup (which ultimately failed). With those years included my work experience comes to 5 years.

I'm trying to decide what I should say in my letters to the schools that waitlisted me. NYU, in particular, has a waitlist FAQ where they all but beg you to submit a letter addressing your biggest weakness as an applicant, and I think I'm beginning to understand what mine is.

Thanks again you guys, I really appreciate the comments.

In that case approach a consultant for waitlist analysis.
Retired Moderator
Status: Darden Class of 2013
Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 1838
Schools: University of Virginia
Followers: 21

Kudos [?]: 272 [0], given: 37

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  16 Jan 2011, 20:56
I think your GPA may be a bit low for those targeted schools, but definitely not a deal-breaker. As others have mentioned, a 3.1 from a great university (UVA) and a hardcore degree is really not that bad. After reading your profile, I also think a consultant just might benefit you. If I had to guess, it would probably have been your essays that somehow didn't address appropriately what this MBA would do for you.
_________________
Director
Status: Go Blue!
Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 685
Location: United States (MO)
Concentration: Nonprofit, General Management
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2015
GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V45
GRE 1: 336 Q169 V167
GPA: 3.22
WE: Information Technology (Manufacturing)
Followers: 17

Kudos [?]: 147 [0], given: 249

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  17 Jan 2011, 07:55
Could be fit too? Kellogg and Stern are not schools that come to my mind for an interest in tech management.
Intern
Joined: 01 Dec 2010
Posts: 46
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  18 Jan 2011, 12:24
Before approaching a consultant, try purchasing MBAmission or ClearAdmit's waitlist guide. Why waste money on a consultant when they offer they same advice for a fraction of the cost?
Current Student
Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 64
Location: India
Schools: Booth R1, Tuck, Ross
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  20 Jan 2011, 09:48
My guess would be that you aren't coming across as particularly unique, especially if you're not 'selling' your experience in the web start-up. Without seeing your essays it's difficult to tell; but if someone you trust to be honest tells you they're OK (I assume no one here is going to bother submitting essays that they felt weren't good enough) then the other place to look would be your recommendations; did your recommenders talk about specifics or were the letters more general?

Personally, I feel there's probably enough advice and experience on GC and elsewhere on the web to make an admissions consultant unnecessary. It will just take a bit of critical analysis on your part.
Intern
Joined: 16 Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Location: DC
Schools: HBS, Booth, Kellogg, Stern, McCombs
WE 1: Management Consulting
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  20 Jan 2011, 10:41
I sold the tech startup story pretty hard. Two of my essays involved experiences from that work. So I think that provided me at least a little bit of uniqueness (?) as a candidate. One of my recommendations might have been soft. That is a pretty realistic concern.
Current Student
Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 64
Location: India
Schools: Booth R1, Tuck, Ross
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  21 Jan 2011, 07:53
If you're not 100% happy with your recommendations I think you should definitely look for another recommender; ideally someone who can help you introduce some new information or perspective to your profile. It might also be worth analysing what qualities / traits you feel each school is looking for in a student (aside from the basics) and just check that you've completely covered those in your essays. If you haven't visited the schools, now might be a good time to go and meet some students / adcom to get a better understanding of what in particular they want to see in a prospective student.

Otherwise, you should probably follow the general WL advice: get in touch with the adcom, highlight any new achievements since you submitted your app, and maybe have a go at explaining why you are so enthusiastic about wanting to go to that particular school.
Intern
Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Posts: 19
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 0

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  21 Jan 2011, 11:24
You need to beef up your community service! I really think that could play a huge role.
Current Student
Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 64
Location: India
Schools: Booth R1, Tuck, Ross
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Re: Tell me why I suck! [#permalink]  21 Jan 2011, 18:24
shawdaff wrote:
You need to beef up your community service! I really think that could play a huge role.

I agree with shawdaff, but now you've been WL'ed it's probably too late. The risk is that anything you start now could come across as insincere and actually damage your application. On the other hand, if you want to cover all your options, you could start something now to improve your chances for an app for the 2014 class.
Re: Tell me why I suck!   [#permalink] 21 Jan 2011, 18:24
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# Tell me why I suck!

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