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Help Weaving the Application Story

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Joined: 24 Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Help Weaving the Application Story [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 16:14
Hi All,

I'm looking to apply to the following schools:

1. MIT
2. HBS
3. Duke
4. UMN- Carlson
5. TX-Austin


Bachelors Mechanical Engineering from Midwestern University
3.88 GPA (3.95 without (1) C- on a group project course)
660 GMAT Q46
3 years engineering automation systems (small company)
4 years in consultative sales of automation systems and robotics for a distributor (big company but they probably wouldn't have heard of it)
10 years building a farming business -- owner/operator

My question is if I really have a shot at this list. My second question is if it makes sense to play up the farmer/agriculture producer card? I can't imagine a ton of techie farmers applying to HBS. Does this play well for me or is this something too strange for adcoms to handle? Weaving a tale of wanting to go to b-school in order to introduce higher level automation to the agriculture industry seems like an enticing story...

The other option is to leave my farming business out completely. I'm really just looking for guidance based on this profile. I know the 660 Q46 is certainly not doing me any favors. I've never been amazing at standardized tests.

Thanks for your help!
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Joined: 16 Jan 2012
Posts: 1085
Re: Help Weaving the Application Story [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2017, 00:50
beefey wrote:
Hi All,

I'm looking to apply to the following schools:

1. MIT
2. HBS
3. Duke
4. UMN- Carlson
5. TX-Austin


Bachelors Mechanical Engineering from Midwestern University
3.88 GPA (3.95 without (1) C- on a group project course)
660 GMAT Q46
3 years engineering automation systems (small company)
4 years in consultative sales of automation systems and robotics for a distributor (big company but they probably wouldn't have heard of it)
10 years building a farming business -- owner/operator

My question is if I really have a shot at this list. My second question is if it makes sense to play up the farmer/agriculture producer card? I can't imagine a ton of techie farmers applying to HBS. Does this play well for me or is this something too strange for adcoms to handle? Weaving a tale of wanting to go to b-school in order to introduce higher level automation to the agriculture industry seems like an enticing story...

The other option is to leave my farming business out completely. I'm really just looking for guidance based on this profile. I know the 660 Q46 is certainly not doing me any favors. I've never been amazing at standardized tests.

Thanks for your help!


I think MIT and HBS are both a long shot with your GMAT score.
Your agriculture- farmer story sounds interesting to me. You have the experience to back it up, but you will have to convince the adcom that you are really passionate about it and have long term plans to shake the industry up.

To add to b-schools under consideration- Wharton has a good offering for agri-business and its something you should explore. They also have an Agri -business club.

You haven't mentioned the other option you'd use to pitch your career goals, so it will be hard to compare.
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Joined: 24 Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Re: Help Weaving the Application Story [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2017, 08:59
Thank you for your input MBA decoder. I really appreciate your advice.

I did about 75% automation/engineering consultative sales and 25% agricultural production business. It would be possible to completely leave out the agriculture story and JUST talk about the engineering/automation side. My references will be from the automation industry.

We always called ourselves 'sales engineers' but does 'consultative automation engineer' play better? Lots of people dislike sales people for one reason or another...

In the 'optional' essay would it be worthwhile to say that I actually have a 3.96 without ONE C- or is that undermining their investigative determination? Is the optional essay really not optional?
Intern
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Joined: 24 Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Re: Help Weaving the Application Story [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2017, 12:07
bump
Intern
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Status: Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: MBA Link
Joined: 05 Jan 2015
Posts: 10
Location: Singapore
Schools: Cornell - Class of 2012
Re: Help Weaving the Application Story [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2017, 20:56
Hi beefy,

I would be careful about specifically pointing out what your GPA would be under different circumstances. The adcoms will have your full transcript and they can make this calculation for themselves.

Your GMAT is lower but I have sent clients to both HBS and MIT (any many other top schools) with lower GMATs. That isn't to say it happens often or is easy, but it can happen. I don't know enough about you to say whether you could be in that category.

I do think that having an agribusiness background is a differentiator, but perhaps as implied above, it might not be as much of a differentiator as you think, so it's on your shoulders to present it in a way that really emphasizes how unique your experience is, even among applicants who may come from an agribusiness background.

Feel free to reach out if you'd like to chat more.


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Status: MBA Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: 99colleges.com
Joined: 02 Jul 2015
Posts: 327
Schools: Wharton
Re: Help Weaving the Application Story [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2017, 22:45
Hi beefey,

Explaining ‘GPA minus one C’ in the optional essay isn’t a good idea. Someone could be tempted to explain how they could end up with 4.0 after taking out three courses.
As pointed out by others, your GMAT score is significantly subpar for some of your target schools. If you can, then you should improve your score. But if you decide to apply with your current score, you need to swing for the fences in terms of your differentiators to have a chance. On the safe route, you run the risk of getting trampled by super-high GMAT scores.
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Joined: 24 Jul 2017
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Re: Help Weaving the Application Story [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2017, 08:55
Thank you for you input gentlemen. I've studied my ass off for this test and I can't crack it. Standardized tests have always been horrible for me. I got a 24 on my ACT (very low) and KILLED engineering school ending up at the top of my class.

I know I have the aptitude but fast paced tests aren't my forte.

How do you folks feel about putting travel into an extracurricular. Past job consumed my life (and soul) so I don't have things like 'brushing children's teeth in sub-Saharan Africa' lol. Do I need to have (3) or more or is (1 or 2) good ones better?
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Concentration: Marketing, Organizational Behavior
Schools: Kellogg
GPA: 3.67
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Re: Help Weaving the Application Story [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2017, 13:13
beefey wrote:
Hi All,

I'm looking to apply to the following schools:

1. MIT
2. HBS
3. Duke
4. UMN- Carlson
5. TX-Austin


Bachelors Mechanical Engineering from Midwestern University
3.88 GPA (3.95 without (1) C- on a group project course)
660 GMAT Q46
3 years engineering automation systems (small company)
4 years in consultative sales of automation systems and robotics for a distributor (big company but they probably wouldn't have heard of it)
10 years building a farming business -- owner/operator

My question is if I really have a shot at this list. My second question is if it makes sense to play up the farmer/agriculture producer card? I can't imagine a ton of techie farmers applying to HBS. Does this play well for me or is this something too strange for adcoms to handle? Weaving a tale of wanting to go to b-school in order to introduce higher level automation to the agriculture industry seems like an enticing story...

The other option is to leave my farming business out completely. I'm really just looking for guidance based on this profile. I know the 660 Q46 is certainly not doing me any favors. I've never been amazing at standardized tests.
I think your farmer/agriculture producer story is one that will stand out- and if you can make a compelling case for WHY the MBA helps you do great things for our food supply/processes- that message might just resonate enough to have them forget your GMAT... stranger things have happened! I think MIT is doing some really interesting work in food tech- http://mitsloan.mit.edu/alumnimagazine/ ... t-work.php and your story could resonate with all the resources of MIT here. I say go for it and show your best side- in terms of why there was a C on the transcript- don't worry about it- the 3.88 GPA says you did well. Don't try to split hairs on why it was not even higher. If anything say you don't tend to test well yet offer support for being able to handle tough quant courses from undergrad. And knock the application out of the park! If you want someone to review your drafts before submission- reach out to us at :https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com/admissions/business-school-admissions-consulting-gmat-club-visitor/
Thanks for your help!

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Re: Help Weaving the Application Story   [#permalink] 13 Dec 2017, 13:13
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