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TOUGH decision - need YOUR help!

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TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2008, 19:49
Everyone,

I've appreciated being a member of this community, and reading advice/thoughts from some of the best minds I've encountered. Now, it's my turn to ask a question regarding my situation.

I just took the GMAT - got a 790. I just graduated from college in May 2007 with a 3.9 GPA. My full profile is here:

97-t57737?

I initially thought that I would wait until August of 2008 until I applied, with an intention of matriculating in fall 2009. Now, I'm having second thoughts and am considering applying to HBS in ROUND 3 for matriculation THIS fall. I have two months until the deadline and am fairly confident that I can put together some good essays and get good recommendations, etc.

Am I day-dreaming too much? Exactly HOW competitive is R3? How much of the class is already chosen by the end of round 2?


HELP please! :)
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2008, 20:07
first of all, HUGE congrats on the AMAZING score and GPA!

With that said, HBS is hard to get into in R1 and R2 already, no matter your GMAT or grade. It all depends on your experiences and your essays (plus recommendations). I think you have the right background to get into the top schools (they're impressive), but most schools reserve only 10% of their class in R3... so you're chances are diminished (compared to 45% in each of the previous ones).

With your background, I would probably also try for Stanford, since they like people with very little experience (more than any other M7 schools), they like people with "wow" factor (which you have), and Stanford's a better school than HBS anyways :P

So basically, it'll be tough in R3, as you'll be competing with the Olympic medalists, army seargents, and CIA undercover agents, but it's possible if you can really bring out your experiences well.
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2008, 20:25
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msday, great job on the GMAT. At HBS, everyone gets just 1 shot and HBS is notorious for rejecting re-apps. Therefore, apply for R1 of next year. With a good 8/9 months before next year's deadlines, you can spend time learning as much as you can about what it takes to put together a good application. Do not underestimate the steepness of this learning curve. Spend time soaking in all the information available in various books and this forum. Even now, there are a few things you can do to get a head start.

    Start writing an outline for your goals essay
    Start writing a story on what matters to you and Why.
    Visit HBS, Stan and any other target school as many times as possible
    Develop relationship with current students
    Pick your 3 best leadership experiences and start drafting a 250-word write up on each
    Repeat the process for mistake, failure, culture shock experiences
    Start noting down all online application relation stuff like per semester grades, club details, contact info etc. These will help you finish online apps in a jiffy when the time comes around.

Hope this helps. Good luck for your applications. You have a great chance to be successful.
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2008, 21:23
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Congratulations on the profile that you've developed so far. I don't need to tell you what your profile's strong points are. But I can tell you that there are a few things that go against you if you apply to an ultra-ultra elite like H/S this year. First of all, these schools are notoriously selective (Don't underestimate the competition). Then, R3 is a killer in these schools. Then, these schools pick only a handful of limited-experience candidates (Yes, they are "youth-friendly" .. but only so much). And finally, such schools (This is true for H at least) are not reapplicant-friendly. So if you apply this year, you harm your next year's chances.

So I would say, do this (I am pretty much repeating what prasad and kryzak already said):

1. Research top schools that interest you - read about them online, visit them, talk to students, find some current MBA students / alumni (Perhaps in LinkedIn) who are from your own undergrad school / background and get some guidance from them etc.
2. Create profiles in all your top schools and go through every part of their application form. You may find some areas that they ask about where you are lacking. Use the rest of the year in solidifying yourself in those areas. For example, you may find that they ask for separate in-school and after-school extra-curriculars. And that you haven't done anything worthwhile after school.
3. Read the books written by Montauk and Paul.
4. Look at those schools' essays of this year .. and start collecting information or start working on the drafts. First and foremost, "Why MBA / Goals". Then Leadership, Mistake, Cultural shock / Outsider etc.
5. Leadership, Leadership, Leadership. Work on that, grab opportunities that let you develop / show leadership.
6. Read more about consulting / strategic consulting. Develop your case for why that interests you and that is a logical progression choice for you.

All the best! I wish I had visited GMATClub when I was 21 years old :)
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2008, 21:25
mNeo wrote:
All the best! I wish I had visited GMATClub when I was 21 years old :)


Ahh, youth... I was a hard-headed engineer who thought an MBA was a waste of time back then... sigh. :(
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2008, 21:55
Apply

msday86 wrote:
Everyone,

I've appreciated being a member of this community, and reading advice/thoughts from some of the best minds I've encountered. Now, it's my turn to ask a question regarding my situation.

I just took the GMAT - got a 790. I just graduated from college in May 2007 with a 3.9 GPA. My full profile is here:

97-t57737?

I initially thought that I would wait until August of 2008 until I applied, with an intention of matriculating in fall 2009. Now, I'm having second thoughts and am considering applying to HBS in ROUND 3 for matriculation THIS fall. I have two months until the deadline and am fairly confident that I can put together some good essays and get good recommendations, etc.

Am I day-dreaming too much? Exactly HOW competitive is R3? How much of the class is already chosen by the end of round 2?


HELP please! :)
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2008, 22:07
Care to elaborate?
collegesenior wrote:
Apply
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2008, 22:10
Dont beat yourselves up, my friend. If you had tried then, you would have got a "Page Cannot be displayed" message. :lol:

mNeo wrote:
I wish I had visited GMATClub when I was 21 years old :)
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2008, 22:48
ncprasad wrote:
Dont beat yourselves up, my friend. If you had tried then, you would have got a "Page Cannot be displayed" message. :lol:


Very funny NC... don't make me ban your a** :kill
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2008, 23:09
Believe he has a very strong profile. Also, some times the same achievements appear stronger in the context of one's age.

ncprasad wrote:
Care to elaborate?
collegesenior wrote:
Apply
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2008, 01:17
you seem to be what h/s looks for in young applicants. i guess the concern as others mentioned is whether you want to risk doing r3, which will probably be very competitive this year. i would go for it if i were confident i could get a good app together.

btw, how do you have 2 years exp if you just graduated in may?
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2008, 06:37
Congrats on what you have achieved so far! Definitely above par.

dabots wrote:
btw, how do you have 2 years exp if you just graduated in may?


He must have done the profile when he meant to matriculate in 2009, which would have given him two years experience before matriculating. Right, msday86?

If I may ask msday, what made you change your mind to apply in r3? I guess I am wondering if you had reasons to believe that your profile will somehow become weaker by August rather than stronger.
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2008, 06:44
Wow.. you have an awesome profile and an great GMAT score. Having said that, the added work exp and an earlier round will strengthen your case. You might also want to start getting involved in community service activities (i didnt quite read any after college) to show interest in "giving back" to society.
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2008, 06:47
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If you are in one of GE's rotational programs, finish it or at least set it up so that you finish it before you matriculate.

Seriously, you may infact get into HBS, but then you may be considered too young by your ideal employers. Not only is it tougher to get in when you are very young but it is also tougher to get a job even after you get in.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2008, 07:34
everyone,

thank YOU so much for your advice. it makes sense to me. i'll try to answer some of your questions.

1. kryzak, thank you for putting some numbers in that show how hard it is to get into R3...i'm certainly no olympic gold medallist!

2. ncprasad and mNeo, thank you (so much!) for the action plans - that's just the sort of thing I need to keep myself occupied over the next 7-8 months.

The 2 yrs work experience was when I was planning to matriculate in fall '09. After a few hours of mind-wrestling, and thanks to your help, I've decided to stick with my original plan and try to make my profile better (i.e. more community service, well thought-out ideas about consulting, etc.).

My only reason for wanting to apply in R3 this year is my impatience (spoken like a brash 21-year old). I'm pretty set on getting my MBA once I graduate from this program, and now it's getting hard to focus on engineering :shock:

I think GMATClub has once again given me a good dose of reality (although somehow everyone on this forum manages to be nice 24/7, you really must be extraordinary people!), so thank you for that, and now I will continue to work on my profile and make the more-than-occasional post on these forums!
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2008, 07:38
Stick around I know I picked up a ton of useful stuff from this site and met more than a few great people who have provided help along the way.

And if you think its tough to focus on engineering when you are thinking about applying just wait until you get accepted. My productivity has plummeted.
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2008, 10:14
msday86 wrote:
you really must be extraordinary people!


Well, at least I am! :lol:

I know that it can be hard to stop yourself from applying right away (Once you've decided that you need an MBA). But this is going to benefit you in the long run. Keep building your profile. I am sure you've recognized some weaknesses in your profile (Or you will do). Just keep working on them and make it that much harder for the top schools to deny you.

All the best for your future.
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2008, 10:22
msday86

As people already said here, R3 is very competitive, specially if you're from some pools: Americans, Indias, Chinese, and others.

During the HBS reception in Lisbon I met a Portuguese who was accepted at HBS and Whaton around 5 years ago, both for R3, but there are still not much Portuguese going to B-School, so they are kind of "diversity" factor.

If you think you really have a shot, see if the schools you want are "Reapplication Friendly", I know that Columbia for instance is. If they are at you place I'd apply, especially if you think the timing is now. However, I'm quite sure that with your age, you definitely can wait for "next season", and apply at R1...

Good Luck!
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2008, 10:48
msday, I know how you feel. Once I decided on an MBA, my passion for my current job plummeted. Once I got into a school, I just don't want to work anymore. :P

But I think you made the RIGHT decision. Please do stick around here for the next year, ask questions, help others, and REALLY take time to formulate your answers to each of HBS and Stanford's (which I still highly recommend because of your background) essay questions (they'll change, but not completely). Once you get a set of essays written, even if it's for this year's application, it'll be a LOT easier next year for you to write other essays. Also, RESEARCH some other schools that will fit your ultimate goal (I think it's consulting?). Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago may be good, Tuck, Haas, and Ross could be backups for you, things like that. You have a great chance of making HBS/Stanford, but why put all the eggs in one basket if you have more than a year's time to prepare?

The GE rotational program is what my company's rotational program is modeled after, so I also suggest you complete that to add to your resume. It'll help you in all your future job searches, with or without an MBA.

Either way, good luck, and please let us know if we can help you more. Do take some time to search the forums, read the threads, and learn as much as you can! I think most of us wouldn't have gotten into all our dream schools if it weren't for this forum! :)
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Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help! [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2008, 21:47
Also think about sponsorship...I originally planned on going to b-school right after undergrad, but then realized that my employer could end up picking up the tab for me -- which is what will likely happen :-)
So, see if GE is willing to pay for your MBA. Trust me, no one wants to be 150K in debt.

Also, as some posters have said, top MC firms like McK/B/B (I work at one of those three) might be reluctant to hire someone who is 22 and would be an Engagement Manager/Project Leader/whatever you call it by 24/25. Just doesn't work so well with the clients, you know...
Re: TOUGH decision - need YOUR help!   [#permalink] 06 Jan 2008, 21:47
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