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Am I selling myself short?

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Am I selling myself short? [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2017, 22:56
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Last edited by 2017BsnsSchool on 25 Sep 2017, 01:40, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Am I selling myself short? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2017, 00:42
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Sounds like you have a very attractive profile and a set very interesting experience to add to the diversity.

Congrats on getting into Rotman. That's a great school. It has jumped in rankings and popularity in the last few years.

However you are score is somewhat of a liability for a top 10 program.To get admitted your profile has to outweigh other amazing people applying with 90% standardized scores. If your academic records are good then maybe there is a small chance but with that score it will be a really small chance.

My suggestion would be to consider retaking GMAT or GRE. You could be easily a top5 candidate. Is that out of question?

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New post 15 Sep 2017, 01:09
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Last edited by 2017BsnsSchool on 25 Sep 2017, 01:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Am I selling myself short? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2017, 01:31
GMAT is important for a number of reasons:
1) US School rankings depend on it (the higher the average GMAT score of the incoming class, the better ranked the school is)
2) It is an indicator of academic success while in the program and an easy numerical way to filter/sort applicants

I neglected to consider that you took the GRE - that's a great move! GRE is not considered in the #1 above, so that removes any issues/considerations about GRE impact on the rankings.

P.S. It is not insurmountable to get an 80th or 90th percentile on the GMAT. Esp for someone with your level of accomplishments. As you will see all top 10 schools have GMAT above 700 and most above 720. Ideally you would get at least 700 so that you don't raise any red flags.

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New post 15 Sep 2017, 01:58
bb wrote:
GMAT is important for a number of reasons:
1) US School rankings depend on it (the higher the average GMAT score of the incoming class, the better ranked the school is)
2) It is an indicator of academic success while in the program and an easy numerical way to filter/sort applicants

I neglected to consider that you took the GRE - that's a great move! GRE is not considered in the #1 above, so that removes any issues/considerations about GRE impact on the rankings.

P.S. It is not insurmountable to get an 80th or 90th percentile on the GMAT. Esp for someone with your level of accomplishments. As you will see all top 10 schools have GMAT above 700 and most above 720. Ideally you would get at least 700 so that you don't raise any red flags.

BB


Thanks for your advice. Out of interest, where would you place Rotman and what are your general views on the school? FT, etc, doesn't seem to rate it too well.

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Re: Am I selling myself short? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2017, 09:36
2017BsnsSchool wrote:
I am in the process of applying to business schools (see my profile stats) and I have been fortunate to have already been admitted to one. I've also been given a very generous scholarship. From the time I applied to the time I was offered a place was about 14 days.

In terms of my profile, it's fairly good. I won't go into much detail, but graduate of top UK university with high GPA, postgrad from top Belgian university, good extra curricular including officer in the British Army, tri-national (UK, Canada, Ireland), foreign language (Russian).

My work exp is British govt, lobbying firms, comms consultant (3yrs overall).

I've lived in four countries and currently live in the Middle East. Been to around 40, but tbh not sure. Quite a lot. It's part of the reason I'm so poor... I keep going travelling.

I've advised government ministers, worked - not necessarily directly - with heads of state (including the current President of 'Murica) and work regularly with c-suite. My management exp is decent. Mostly project management stuff, but some line management work.

Put simply, I have no issue getting jobs in the top companies in my current industry, but I don't want to stay in comms as find it horrendously boring and also don't see the value in 'reaching out and touching base so that we can leverage our position to disseminate information on this new merger'. Seriously, who invented corporate jargon? I'm looking for a career switch, but still not 100% on exactly what that'll be. My current thought process is: if I'm going to work in a soul-destroying job, I may as well be paid for it. FYI Comms is not well paid.

As you'll see, I'm still applying to Yale and Duke. My applications are good (I think). I've decided not to use admissions consultants due to the fact that many charge fees higher than London solicitors, which I find completely mad to put it lightly. I received a quote for something like $5k. My response was: are you genuinely a lunatic? Also, my family are all in academia so have helped with editing essays etc. Re references, they are good. Eg. top ranking people (former managers) in companies like Google and Facebook and, in the case of Yale SOM, an alumni.

Here's the clincher, I have a terrible GRE. Well, not terrible, but not great. About 83% average, with a slightly weaker quant section (still over 60%). Nothing to write home about. I'm not really surprised as I only had time to study for three weeks. I've got this major project coming up and I simply can't/won't put any more time into this exam. It's already impacted on my work and personal life (I no longer have any friends) and that's not really acceptable. I'm also quite bad at maths, having not done anything beyond 10x10 since I was 16. I guess another issue is that I am about as far from a minority group as you can get. Privately educated, white, male, middle-class. There is literally no box I can tick. Oh, and I'm not LGBTQUSDUUIO (I've forgotten the full acronym).

Now, Rotman is a fantastic school and it's arguably the top in Canada. But it doesn't perform well in international rankings, which concerns me. Furthermore, in terms of 'wow' factor, it doesn't have the same street cred as Yale or maybe Duke. I spoke to my grandfather who's an academic and has pals at various business schools and he said I should only be applying to schools like Harvard, MIT, Upenn etc. I explained that, with my GRE, that's probably a tall order, but I might be able to get into tier-2 US schools due to the other aspects of my profile. I should also note that I have top-10 European schools trying to get me to apply and, in some cases, saying I'd be guaranteed entry. I'm not really interested in staying in Europe, though, so I'm only applying to NA schools. Also, as I plan on making a career switch, I should really do the 2yr course. Only truly decent 2yr MBAs in Europe are in London (been there, done that) and Spain (have you seen the state of their economy??????). I also explained that part of the business school experience is developing a network in the country/city where you'd like to work for the foreseeable future. I like Toronto, it's a cool city. I've never lived there (or anywhere in Canada for that matter), but it seems like a nice place. Also, being (technically) a Canadian, I don't imagine i'd struggle to get good jobs, even if my entire life has been spent in Europe, with the last year being in Dubai.

So here's the question: What should I do? I have to tell Rotman within 30 days whether I plan on attending. If I confirm, I am required to make a deposit of CAD$5000. I am not a rich guy (I work in comms, after all), so that would be quite a sizeable amount for me to spend. I also applied to Duke Early Access so will hear (I hope) within the next 30 days or so. I gave them a ring yesterday and they seemed very nice. Also doesn't hurt whipping out the ol' English accent. Americans love that.

I just saw your post and thought I'd add my 2 cents... of course no one but you can say what to do-
but Rotman is a school on the rise- so "your grandfather's Buick...." or his opinion might not be as valuable as what Rotman is doing in the marketplace now or in the future. I've been very impressed with their program and especially if you would like to work in Canada I think that could be a great option. All these "good" business schools give you a platform to achieve your career goals- you could be successful at many of them in achieving your goals- so I guess you have to ask yourself how much "brand" matters to you and how willing you are to put your life on hold and roll the dice again... I'm older so I would say go with what you have and make the best of it- as it truly is a good option. But if you want to go in search of that greener grass elsewhere, than know that - and crack open those GRE and/or GMAT texts again and have at it! Best wishes whatever you decide! And since I am one of those "consultants" I will say that while the services may seem pricey- we really do add value to our clients both in helping them to better focus on their career goals and why the MBA makes sense- which is really helpful in trying to present a compelling case to adcom- and in some cases we help people present just that little bit better- that can sometimes catapult them into the scholarship category- so while it is not for everyone- there is some value in this- crazy as that may seem! Even if you don't use a consulting firm- know that they usually publish a lot of helpful content. We have a free newsletter that you can get tips mailed to you from this link:
https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... dmissions/

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 05:16
StratusMBACounselor, thank you for your reply. It's good to hear that Rotman is well regarded. I initially thought it was, especially in Canada (where I plan on working post-MBA), but the comments by my gdad - who admittedly is quite out of touch on these issues due to being retired for about 20 years + economic history professor - slightly threw me.

I'll see how Fuqua and SOM go. I think I have a fairly good shot at Fuqua, but will have to wait and see!

I also appreciate that consultants are great for some people and arguably would be for me, too. Plus the free resources, as you said, are extremely useful. I've just been slightly taken aback by the fees that many charge. As if the business school application process wasn't expensive enough.

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 05:18
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Rotman in GMAT Club's view/popularity/interest is about a Top 20 Global School. It was probably Top 50 just a few years ago but it has grown in popularity and interest substantially in the last few years: https://gmatclub.com/forum/all-school-s ... 66143.html
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Re: Am I selling myself short? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 06:14
Isn't Duke early decision binding? They ask that you commit to attend if admitted. I'm confused as to why you would apply early to Rotman which is clearly not your 1st or 2nd choice (you could have submitted your app in January and still gotten your current result, possibly) and not be in the position of rethinking your life after.

I understand your concern about aiming low with Rotman. But real talk you kinda aimed low with not retaking the GRE. The benefit of Rotman is they are willing to overlook that. Consider that "being bad at maths" indicates you might not do well in an MBA for highly prestigious US schools with street cred.

The thing I like about US schools using standardized tests is that is forces EVERYONE - from the Oxford grad to the Podunk State grad to prove their mettle with an unbiased objective test. Consider that there are Podunk State humanities grads with overseas development experience who killed the GRE and GMAT and are applying to Duke, Yale, even HBS. The top US schools (and now I mean the top 5) are on the look out for people who give this thing their all. If you phone it in in one area, you can try to compensate with other things (like British charm in an interview, or your prestigious undergrad). But why wouldn't you want to be the best you could possibly be in all aspects of your app?

As for Grandpa, I actually get this. My African father, once he heard of my MBA aspirations, wanted me to apply to HBS, Wharton, INSEAD, Yale. ? Given the prestige of my current employer, those schools would almost certainly "consider you." I had to stop telling him about my apps and currently no one in my family knows where I am applying. Maybe it's because I'm older (30s), but you just can't live your life according to what family thinks. They're your family and love you - but they don't always have a clear understanding of your abilities and limitations

Go to the school that is right for you - not to please granddad but to please yourself. And if you want to aim high, better come correct in ALL areas.

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