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To wait or not to wait?

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To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2011, 06:26
I'm a 24 year old CPA. I only recently decided for sure to pursue an MBA. A quick rundown: Graduated December '09 w. 3.7 GPA from state school, i'm a CPA at a regional firm, I currently have 18 months full-time experience.

My problem is this: I WANT to go to grad school as soon as possible (and my wife REALLY wants me to go ASAP), however, I'm afraid that if I hurry up and take the GMAT and try to make the approaching app deadlines (Sept/Oct/Nov) that 1) my GMAT won't be as good as it could have been if I waited until next year to apply, 2) my work experience won't be as good as it could be in terms of accomplishments, etc and 3) the length of my full-time work experience won't be up to par with others at the schools I'm applying to. My target schools are Wake Forest and Vanderbilt, my long shots are UNC, Duke and UVA. It seems like most of the folks at these programs are up around the 4 year mark. If I apply to begin in fall 2012, i'll only have about 20 months of experience. Does this seem a little on the thin side to you guys? Do you think it's a good idea to hold off a year so that I can have a solid 2.5+ years of experience upon application?

Also, just to make sure, the average experience statistics that I see, those are "upon application" and not "upon admittance" correct? Because there could be nearly a year of additional experience gained between application time and program start time.
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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2011, 07:39
MU2011CPA wrote:
I'm a 24 year old CPA. I only recently decided for sure to pursue an MBA. A quick rundown: Graduated December '09 w. 3.7 GPA from state school, i'm a CPA at a regional firm, I currently have 18 months full-time experience.

My problem is this: I WANT to go to grad school as soon as possible (and my wife REALLY wants me to go ASAP), however, I'm afraid that if I hurry up and take the GMAT and try to make the approaching app deadlines (Sept/Oct/Nov) that 1) my GMAT won't be as good as it could have been if I waited until next year to apply, 2) my work experience won't be as good as it could be in terms of accomplishments, etc and 3) the length of my full-time work experience won't be up to par with others at the schools I'm applying to. My target schools are Wake Forest and Vanderbilt, my long shots are UNC, Duke and UVA. It seems like most of the folks at these programs are up around the 4 year mark. If I apply to begin in fall 2012, i'll only have about 20 months of experience. Does this seem a little on the thin side to you guys? Do you think it's a good idea to hold off a year so that I can have a solid 2.5+ years of experience upon application?

Also, just to make sure, the average experience statistics that I see, those are "upon application" and not "upon admittance" correct? Because there could be nearly a year of additional experience gained between application time and program start time.



Hi!
Answering your two first questions - if you really think that you can send not the best application in first round - do it in round 2 (January 2012) - thus you will have enough time for GMAT (even for retaking) + to improve your application.

If you think that r1 applicants have more chance to be applied rather than r2 - you are wrong (try this article on this topic http://izvos.com/admissions-myths-destr ... verything/).

Answering Q3 - your work experience is evaluated as at september 2012 (when education in b shool starts). Thus, add your 18 month as at now + 14 month till September 2012 and you will get what you want.

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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2011, 07:42
MU2011CPA wrote:
I'm a 24 year old CPA. I only recently decided for sure to pursue an MBA. A quick rundown: Graduated December '09 w. 3.7 GPA from state school, i'm a CPA at a regional firm, I currently have 18 months full-time experience.

My problem is this: I WANT to go to grad school as soon as possible (and my wife REALLY wants me to go ASAP), however, I'm afraid that if I hurry up and take the GMAT and try to make the approaching app deadlines (Sept/Oct/Nov) that 1) my GMAT won't be as good as it could have been if I waited until next year to apply, 2) my work experience won't be as good as it could be in terms of accomplishments, etc and 3) the length of my full-time work experience won't be up to par with others at the schools I'm applying to. My target schools are Wake Forest and Vanderbilt, my long shots are UNC, Duke and UVA. It seems like most of the folks at these programs are up around the 4 year mark. If I apply to begin in fall 2012, i'll only have about 20 months of experience. Does this seem a little on the thin side to you guys? Do you think it's a good idea to hold off a year so that I can have a solid 2.5+ years of experience upon application?

Also, just to make sure, the average experience statistics that I see, those are "upon application" and not "upon admittance" correct? Because there could be nearly a year of additional experience gained between application time and program start time.



Hello and welcome to gmatclub!

My advice is to take the GMAT first, see what you score, and use this as a guide to see which schools are in range.

The experience statistics in school reports are usually given as "months at matriculation", but that really shouldn't make a difference. If you have more quality experience, then you will have better and more plentiful material for you essays and interviews. There are many candidates that apply and are accepted to b-school right out of college or within 2 years of graduating, but they usually have pretty interesting stories.
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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2011, 07:53
Unfortunately you guys didn't give me the answer I was hoping for! Haha. I guess I'll purchase my GMAT materials and get cracking. However, if 1) I do not get accepted into the schools of my choice BUT do get accepted into a "safety" school (I know that is a poor term) and 2) I believe that the reasons for not getting accepted into my schools of choice are able to be remedied in the next year -- should I forego the "safety" school and reapply to my choice next year? will there be any harm in reapplying to schools you've previously been rejected from?
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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2011, 08:05
MU2011CPA wrote:
Unfortunately you guys didn't give me the answer I was hoping for! Haha. I guess I'll purchase my GMAT materials and get cracking. However, if 1) I do not get accepted into the schools of my choice BUT do get accepted into a "safety" school (I know that is a poor term) and 2) I believe that the reasons for not getting accepted into my schools of choice are able to be remedied in the next year -- should I forego the "safety" school and reapply to my choice next year? will there be any harm in reapplying to schools you've previously been rejected from?


Your question is dependent on your own situation. If you feel that you NEED to go next year, then you should do that. If you feel like brand/rank/prestige is important, you might want to hold off. Whatever you decide, don't waste time applying to a safety school that you won't attend.

And no, there won't be any harm. Most schools are re-applicant friendly. The admit rate for re-applicants is pretty close to (or slightly higher than) the admit rate for all applicants. They will expect material changes in your candidacy though. Just piling on 12 extra months isn't going to get you to Duke/UVA/UNC unless you have changed something - position, responsibilities, GMAT, supplemental transcript, leadership, etc

Last edited by mreevit on 06 Jul 2011, 06:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2011, 08:46
Only apply to schools that you would love to go to, whether they be safety or reach schools. Applying some place that you really don't want to be just because you can get in is a waste of your time and money and a waste of the adcom's time.
As for when to apply? Apply when you are READY! If that is this fall, then apply in R1 or R2, depending on how long it takes to put your app together. If not, wait until next year. Just know that no matter when you apply it's the quality of your experiences and how you present them that matters more than the quantity. If you've already worked on some interesting projects, had some meaningful leadership experiences, and feel you can offer something substantial to your classmates then apply now. Only you know what you offer right now. If you feel confident in what you've accomplished then there's your answer.
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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2011, 08:50
why dont you wait and se what happens? cross the school selection bridge once you get to it!
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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2011, 10:22
Honestly, I hadn't given much consideration to applying in round 2. I was under the impression that there was at least a statistically significant reduction in acceptance rate between 1st rounders and 2nd rounders. Assuming I applied to all my choices in the 2nd round, that would give me about 10-12 weeks to prepare for the GMAT. That just might be enough for me to be comfortable.

I will go ahead and give it a shot. If I'm not happy with my options after application, I may respectfully decline offers, approach the GMAT after a few more months of studying, as well as beef up my resume with some additional responsibilities that I'm positive I will have early next year and reapply for fall 2013.
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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2011, 16:11
Well like mentioned the one thing to strongly consider is the factor if you don't get admitted. When you reapply next year (assuming you don't get into the schools you want to attend), what are you going to do in the mean time to beef up the resume or your overall profile? The added year of work experience will do little in terms of increasing your candidacy if it's not meaningful in substance or scope.
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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2011, 17:06
Hello and thanks for the post.You are not alone in trying to navigate the timing! I have to agree with some of the other posts that are suggesting you take a deep breath and take the GMAT so that you can see where you stand. If you are in the 500's at this stage, you know you have some work to do- and that will help you to make educated decisions about what to do next.

I have a few questions-
1 . What's the rush? Do you want to change jobs? Are you unhappy at work? Do you think that you will get a faster promotion if you stay in the same industry with an MBA? Most importantly- WHY DO YOU WANT AN MBA?

2. Seems to me like you are selling yourself short on your "possible school list" meaning that you seem to have a solid ( if short) work background so far, and you have done well in undergrad. I know you just gave a few examples, but are there schools that you would LOVE to go to but feel you can't due to your timing?

3. I can't say this enough- the more "seasoned" you are , the more you will get out of the experience. If you are able to bring to the table some leadership skills/management skills from your work experience, and a good understanding of what you hope to get out of the MBA, you will really be able to take advantage of all the program has to offer..... without feeling like you are just getting the degree to "punch the ticket". Its a BIG investment ( you know this, you've seen the tuition figures.. and the lost earned income.. and the sacrifices of your wife and family) So- you want to make sure in your GUT that you are ready for that.

4. My advice- have a look at the questions that the applications are asking for this year, for maybe 4 schools or so. Do you feel that you have on-the-money answers for them? That to me, can be pretty telling about whether or not now is the best time. I would rather see you wait a year, be really READY and knock it out of the park.

Good luck, let me know if you want to chat about any of this.
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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2011, 04:27
JudithHodara wrote:
Hello and thanks for the post.You are not alone in trying to navigate the timing! I have to agree with some of the other posts that are suggesting you take a deep breath and take the GMAT so that you can see where you stand. If you are in the 500's at this stage, you know you have some work to do- and that will help you to make educated decisions about what to do next.

I have a few questions-
1 . What's the rush? Do you want to change jobs? Are you unhappy at work? Do you think that you will get a faster promotion if you stay in the same industry with an MBA? Most importantly- WHY DO YOU WANT AN MBA?

2. Seems to me like you are selling yourself short on your "possible school list" meaning that you seem to have a solid ( if short) work background so far, and you have done well in undergrad. I know you just gave a few examples, but are there schools that you would LOVE to go to but feel you can't due to your timing?

3. I can't say this enough- the more "seasoned" you are , the more you will get out of the experience. If you are able to bring to the table some leadership skills/management skills from your work experience, and a good understanding of what you hope to get out of the MBA, you will really be able to take advantage of all the program has to offer..... without feeling like you are just getting the degree to "punch the ticket". Its a BIG investment ( you know this, you've seen the tuition figures.. and the lost earned income.. and the sacrifices of your wife and family) So- you want to make sure in your GUT that you are ready for that.

4. My advice- have a look at the questions that the applications are asking for this year, for maybe 4 schools or so. Do you feel that you have on-the-money answers for them? That to me, can be pretty telling about whether or not now is the best time. I would rather see you wait a year, be really READY and knock it out of the park.

Good luck, let me know if you want to chat about any of this.


1) I'm not in a "rush" to get out of my current job, however, I am in a rush to move to a new area and begin a new direction in my career. I love having an accounting/finance background, but I want to use my skills in industry rather than in public accounting. So, in so many words, I'm in a hurry to get to where I'm going. I want an MBA so that I can have management potential moving forward. Also, I want a "top" MBA so that I can be "on the radar" of the types of companies I'm interested in. Obviously, I will have more meaningful reasons than "I want to be in management" when I actually complete my applications, but that is the quick and dirty version.

2) Honestly, I was a very poor student in high school, and only turned on my intellectual engine when I hit college. I guess that has caused me to somewhat lack confidence in myself. Also, the fact that I am from West Virginia and attended a run-of-the-mill public school is also a barrier that I feel will be difficult to overcome, even if this barrier only exists in the minds of the adcoms. I think my long shot schools of UVA, Duke and UNC are fairly ambitious though, considering my work experience is not at a Fortune500 or nationally recognized accounting firm. Am I wrong?

3) I have been thinking deeply over the past couple of weeks, and I've decided to hold off until next year. This coming year, I will not only have more experience, but I will also have more time to strengthen ties with clients (whom I will ask for recommendations), and I will also be the "in charge" auditor for a large manufacturing client of ours. I think this is a GREAT opportunity to show leadership and initiative, and it's an opportunity that I will not get to have on my application if I apply early.

4) I do not feel as though I have on-the-money answers for leadership questions. I'm currently awaiting two significant projects at work that will not come to fruition until AFTER the current years application deadlines. One of them is the manufacturing audit for which I will be the "in charge" overseeing the job. The other is a marketing campaign that I have been allowed to develop with regards to our recruiting process at the two universities where we get most of our talent. I think both of these things can be MAJOR factors in my essays and resume, and I will be lacking BOTH of them if I decide to apply this year.
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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2011, 15:25
Do not be discouraged by the fact you went to a state school. I went to a state school for undergrad and got into columbia with scholarship (masters in economics). Just make sure you work hard on your gmat and essays. Make sure essays tell a compelling story of who you are and why mba from that school. Good luck!

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Re: To wait or not to wait? [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2011, 08:09
Thanks again for the thoughts. It seems like you are of two minds.. one is to wait a year, and the other is to go for it this year. I think that it seems like you may have some more leadership opportunities this year coming your way... and that by giving yourself time to plan ahead, you will feel like you had the best possible ingredients for your application. I agree that a state school is NOT a barrier to your admission; on the contrary, it sounds like you really knocked it out of the park once you got there ( schools love this kind of story) Let me know if you have other :???
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Re: To wait or not to wait?   [#permalink] 13 Jul 2011, 08:09
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