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What I need to do before applying to improve my chances?

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What I need to do before applying to improve my chances? [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2004, 18:48
I am a US citizen and plan on applying to UCLA, Stanford, Michigan, Tuck(maybe), Haas for 2006 fall.

Reason to want to go to B-school:
I want to make a transition from the research aspect of biopharmaceuticals to business end. Short term after business school being to gain knowledge of industry though gaining job in I-Banking, VC etc. and long term goal to start my own company in India.

Background:

Education:
Santa Clara University, B.S. Chemistry (3.0) 2000
Pursued graduate study at Northwestern but quit due to personal issues.

Work Experience
2 years at pre-IPO biotech company as research assistant in Med. Chem
-Although not project leader I was on a project from conception to near development stage of drug.

Currently at an IPO'd biotech company working as an associate in Med Chem for three months (by the time I apply will be ~1.5 years)

Extracurricular & Leadership
-President of Chemistry Club in College
-Starting member of the Improv troupe at Santa Clara
-Also acted in a student written play
-Performed undergraduate research for 3 years and presented at national meetings
-Upon graduating from Santa Clara recieved Joseph Deck Award in recog. of teaching chemistry and research
-Received a teaching award at Northwestern

Patents and Publications
-Two patents from first job

Unique Facts about me
-I've lived in North Carolina, Chicago, India, Japan and California
-I can speak Japanese semi-fluently and read and write hiragana and katagana
-I can read, write and speak Malayalam (an Indian language)


I have not taken the GMAT yet but I feel that I need above a 700 for the school I'm targetting to even notice me.

Things I know that are not good:
-I realize that quitting from a graduate program will raise many eyebrows
-My GPA is not good and furthermore it is not from a "well-known" university
-I do not have much volunteer experience

SO back to my question in the subject line. In the next 1 year what would I need to do to make my app. look better. How do I attack these weaknesses? How do I distinguish myself from the sooo many interesting applicants that I have seen on this site alone? Also when does talking about personal problems you have encountered cross the line into the appearance of whining? If need be I am willing to wait on applying for atleast another year to improve these weaknesses.

Scott and/or Omari I would really appreciate your help (bought your book a year ago, it really helped me make my decision to pursue my MBA...THANKS!)

Thank you and have a great new year!!! :-D
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2005, 14:33
Hi,

Santa Clara is certainly well known in the Bay Area and California in general so I would not be too concerned with that aspect (especially since three of the schools you mention are in CA). I can understand why you might not want to go into great detail regarding leaving grad school but such a departure need not be fatal to your application. Indeed, many people begin programs that are poorly suited to their skills and goals and need to leave them.

Hjort
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2005, 14:49
Thanks for the reply Hjort. I'm less concerned that I got a degree at a less well known school, and more concerned that I got a poor GPA from a school that is not well known. So for example when adcom people see a guy who got a 3.0 from Cornell and a guy who got a 3.0 from Santa Clara, all else being equal, the guy from Cornell is at an advantage, right?

And about graduate school, yes you are right, a lot of people leave. I think there was a 60% attrition rate in the PhD program that I joined. However, it could show that I am not committed or that I do not finish what I start, and that concerns me because the same questions might come up in reference to my MBA pursuit.

Thanks you again for the reply and I hope you all have a happy (and lucky :o ) year!
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2005, 11:32
You're story is not the norm, which will help you. A 3.0 in chemisty is looked more highly upon than a 3.0 in basketweaving, so it's not a complete bust.

I would highly recommend that you take a couple college-level courses in business to prove 1) You can do the work and 2) You're committed. Accounting and a course in Economics would be helpful. They do not need to be taken at elite courses.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2005, 13:29
Thanks for the reply Omari. I'm happy that a 3.0 in chemistry is looked upon more favorably than a 3.0 in basketweaving, because I was really close to going for that basketweaving degree :-D

In all seriousness thanks for the suggestion. I was planning on taking two courses this summer, Accounting was one of them, and I was unsure on what else, now I think I'll take econ. I think of micro and macro, micro is better to take right? I was planning on also taking a finance class in the fall of this year. Any suggestions on that?

Again thank you so much for the direction. My friend who got into UCLA MBA prog. told me that this website was extremely helpful, I have to thank him for being right.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2005, 16:04
The difficulty of your major should also help put your GPA in context. Re: the PhD program, it depends to some extent how you left the program- whether you elected to leave or were forced to do so.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2005, 18:50
Yes micro would probably be more relevant than macro.

Just a basic fin course would do (you don't want to take a super advanced course and then get a bad grade). A course that focuses on showing you the basics of discounted cash flow analysis and porfolio theory would be perfect. I wouldn't worry about getting into advanced analysis like derivatives.
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