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Where to apply?

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Where to apply? [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2011, 14:05
I'm currently a law student at a top 20 law school. I enrolled immediately after graduating from Florida with a 3.5 in finance. I've already taken the gmat and received a score of 740. All of my work experience has only been during summers and it has all been law related. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what schools I should be targeting for applications. I realize that I can't just apply where the medians would suggest due to my lack of work experience but I don't know how far down the list I should slide. Also, I'm puerto rican if that makes a difference.
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Re: Where to apply? [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2011, 16:34
You're going to have a tough time at any of the top programs in all honesty and I think potentially anything in the Top-15/top-20. Reason being, you graduated with a degree in finance and are now a law student, yet you are also saying you want to now apply to get an mba? How are you going to convince the adcom that you need an mba now and how it will help your career when you haven't even established a career? On paper, you look like someone who is just trying anything that they think will help them "succeed" but don't have clear direction. Not trying to be overcritical here, but I think you really need to evaluate what you WANT to do and then worry about the rest. Currently, if you don't like law school... then enter the work force and get some experience to show the admission committee you're serious and will need an mba. The fact that you haven't worked any type of "real" job is going to make it a REAL hard sell as to why you need an mba right now.

My suggestion, either finish that law degree and see how you feel in 3-5 years (you may actually realize you enjoy it), or stop wasting money on a degree you won't utilize and get some work experience that will translate to a "career direction" and worry about the mba in 3 years. Either way, goodluck to you!
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Re: Where to apply? [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2011, 17:17
losttraveler wrote:
You're going to have a tough time at any of the top programs in all honesty and I think potentially anything in the Top-15/top-20. Reason being, you graduated with a degree in finance and are now a law student, yet you are also saying you want to now apply to get an mba? How are you going to convince the adcom that you need an mba now and how it will help your career when you haven't even established a career? On paper, you look like someone who is just trying anything that they think will help them "succeed" but don't have clear direction. Not trying to be overcritical here, but I think you really need to evaluate what you WANT to do and then worry about the rest. Currently, if you don't like law school... then enter the work force and get some experience to show the admission committee you're serious and will need an mba. The fact that you haven't worked any type of "real" job is going to make it a REAL hard sell as to why you need an mba right now.

My suggestion, either finish that law degree and see how you feel in 3-5 years (you may actually realize you enjoy it), or stop wasting money on a degree you won't utilize and get some work experience that will translate to a "career direction" and worry about the mba in 3 years. Either way, goodluck to you!


I don't get this impression at all. The OP never stated he/she didn't like law. There is a good chance the OP knows exactly what his/her career goal is and it combines both law and business. If college seniors can get into top 10 schools, why can't a law school student.

OP, losttraveler is correct that you will have to be VERY clear on why you need an MBA now as opposed to later. If you have defined career goals and need an MBA to get there then do your research and apply. Are you a 1L, 2L, or 3L? Depending on where you are in your law school journey you may want to focus your internship experience in areas that directly correlate to your career goal. That will help you be able to say, "I want to do C. To progress toward that I've already done A. However, I need my MBA in order to get to step B." You gotta show where an MBA fills in the gaps. Hope this helps.
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Re: Where to apply? [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2011, 23:00
Where did you attend law school? I know that the law industry can be very regional, so perhaps look to the geographic area in which you are attending/attended law school as a first start. It also depends on your career goals. If you can paint a picture on how your law experience will transition to a particular industry, then obviously recruiting at a school which has a strength in that particular field makes sense.

I guess we'd need a bit more information to give you a better analysis, but the best advice might be to do some soul searching on your own. Explore your goals. Why are getting an MBA? What do you want to do for your career? How does an MBA fit into that? What do you really want to get out of your MBA experience? What are your priorities in both an MBA and life? If you know the answer to these questions, then when you research schools the top options will jump out at you, because it will become self-evident how they tie back to these goals.
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Re: Where to apply? [#permalink] New post 05 Sep 2011, 03:49
Cheet, I don't disagree that there are people in top programs who apply as college seniors, but they are few and far between. A law degree is a professional degree similar to an MBA. Being the OP internships have been law related, it's going to be difficult to express why an mba will be needed. Even those college seniors who get into top programs... what's their background? I would put money that it's ivy league undergrad, interned at Morgan or Goldman for two summers and potentially a co-op, who then also have parents who are alum or have an in with the admission committee in some fashion. They also probably have traveled across much of the globe and have a very sound package if they were in an mba program or not. The OP here states he went to Florida for finance and is now a law student who has a track record of law internships... there's not one career that an mba will seek that requires an mba. Investment banking? Nope, you can start as an analyst out of undergrad. Consulting? Nope. Industry? Nope, just start as an analyst (finance or business). The point here is that any job you will pursue post mba normally has attached with it the same job in a different flavor for an undergrad. I just don't see how someone coming from a finance undergrad, law internships, and now at law school will be able to convince a top program that they need an mba to do any job when they haven't even applied or worked in an industry where you're not required to have an mba to start.

Again, everyone will have varied opinions and I don't want to be the "debbie downer" here... I'm just trying to be very realistic about expectations. This isn't to say that the OP hasn't traveled the world, cured cancer, did volunteer work in Malaysia and Africa... I have no idea. It's just to say that if you don't have something that will really stand out and tie together a story... I don't see it happening. Lawgonebusiness did his law degree at Columbia, then I believe he worked in the field for 8 years, then applied and was admitted to CBS for his mba. At that point, it's clear he can write a story on how he was interested in law, had a successful career and potentially developed leadership or his own firm, then realized he was more passionate about business side of the equation than the practioner so he wanted to get a degree in business to develop a set of skills he lacked in order to be successful in the field.

OP, feel free to prove me wrong and apply to the top programs you think are the best fit for your background, I wish you nothing but the best... this isn't meant to be overly critical on you or your goals, I'm just trying to take the position of someone looking at all areas of weakness. If you look at some of last years threads "calling all XXX applicants", you will see a lot of people with high GPA/GMAT that don't get into top programs. While that's a product of a number of things, most of them I would argue are due to lack of professional experience (quality or quantity), and no real defined goal based on their background. HBS 2+2 program is the only real top program I believe allows undergrad seniors a chance to get admitted, but then still get 2 years of experience before they join.
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Re: Where to apply? [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2013, 19:56
Remember that GMAT score is only 1 of multiple factors when they consider your candidacy. Review the school's priorities first!
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Re: Where to apply? [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2013, 09:35
jgator1 -

This is a very interesting discussion. My opinion comes from my 15 years of serving as the Director of MBA Admissions at a top 30 MBA program. I initiated the JD-MBA program at that school several years ago. I'm now launching a boutique MBA admissions consulting firm.

First of all, do you classify yourself as Hispanic or Latino? If so, many business schools will be interested in you as a minority candidate. If you consider yourself a minority candidate, then you should get in touch with the Consortium for Graduate Management (http://www.cgsm.org/). They have many services that can support you in identifying the right school, etc.

Second, are you leaving law school to attend business school, or do you plan to return to law school? If you are returning to law school, then your experience may not be as much of an issue for admission - especially if you consider a school that has a JD-MBA partnership.

Third, if you do not plan to return to law school, then your relative lack of experience will be a more critical issue because it will impact your employability post-MBA. Also, there will be questions surrounding your decision to leave law school (did you have poor grades, or did you find it was just not for you? If it was not for you, how can we be certain that business school will be for you? etc.). You will have to proactively address these issues and make a strong case for admitting your application to an MBA program.

I hope my observations here have been helpful to you. If I can assist you further, please contact me.

Wendy

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wendylflynn89@gmail.com
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Wendy Flynn is the MBA Admissions Coach, providing comprehensive MBA admissions consulting services. As the former Director of MBA Admissions for 15 years at a top-30 MBA pgoram, Wendy holds deep expertise in admissions issues for Full-Time, Executive and Professional (Part-Time) MBA Programs. Through her blog, MBA Expert Insights, she brings the view of the Director of MBA admissions to MBA applicants and others.


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Re: Where to apply?   [#permalink] 15 Apr 2013, 09:35
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