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What GMAT score and what else will I need?

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Joined: 01 Sep 2009
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What GMAT score and what else will I need? [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2009, 12:22
Planning to apply to MBA program in a few years.

Here are a few stats:
- Currently 24 (will apply at 26-28)
as of now 2 years of work experience at big 4 in financial sector in NYC (with some interesting projects as a result of the financial crisis), relatively high performer, and should be able to get good recommendation from Columbia alum.
- Goal is to have CPA and CFA done when applying (CPA is done, and CFA level 3 is left)
- Undergrad GPA: 3.9/4.0 in Accounting and Finance with minor it IT from a decent school in CT (Quinnipiac).
Non-US Citizen,
Male
I haven't taken GMAT yet.

Ideal schools in that order:
Columbia
Stanford
Wharton
U of Chicago
NYU (back up)

Questions:
What GMAT score should I aim for? Does 750 make that much difference from 680 in my case?
Do you think it's better to stay at big 4 until MBA or try a job at another place?
Should I know what I want to do after MBA, or can I play card that I want to do MBA to see what other jobs closer to participation in capital markets (in banking or investment management) there are?
Will applying at 28 vs. 26 make much difference?
Any other tips for next 2-4 years?

Thanks a bunch
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Schools: Chicago Booth, Class of 2011
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Re: What GMAT score and what else will I need? [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2009, 09:09
I don't think that you'll need a 750, but I would try to get over 680. Every school you're applying to has an average greater than 680, and there's no reason to place yourself at any sort of a disadvantage. Given the schools that you're targeting, I'd try to get at least 700, with 720-730 being more helpful. The latter scores will at least place you at the average/median at all of your target schools.

Your GPA will help to offset a slightly lower GMAT, but since you haven't taken the GMAT yet, I see no reason to aim for a 680. As everyone will say, however, GMAT and GPA are only some variables that get tossed into the admissions mix. Strong letters of recommendation and amazing essays are the best bet to getting in. Aiming for at least the average GPA (which you defininately have) and average GMAT are a reasonable goal...just so you aren't at any sort of early disadvantage during the application process.

Good luck!
Re: What GMAT score and what else will I need?   [#permalink] 04 Sep 2009, 09:09
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What GMAT score and what else will I need?

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