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MBA Candidate Profile Evaluation / What GMAT score do I need?

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New post 09 Jan 2019, 12:42
Hello!

I am beginning to look at MBA programs and was wondering whether someone could give my profile an evaluation. I will be partaking in the MBALaunch program with the Forte Foundation for programs in 2020.

BACKGROUND:
- Caucasian, female, 25 years old
- German/American citizenship (grew up both in USA and Germany)

UNDERGRAD:
- GPA: 3.6 (magna cum laude)
- Major: Finance
- School Ranking: Average school (think UW, Syracuse, GWU, BU...)
- Extracurricular Activities: Business Fraternity Member, Leadership role in Undergraduate Consulting Group
- Study Abroad: London School of Economics, general course student

WORK EXPERIENCE:
- Big 4 consulting - technology consulting for M&A deals
- Duration: 3-4 years
- Active mentor / peer adviser, assist with recruitment
- Applying for international rotation (most likely a 6-month rotation to Germany)
- Consistently ranked among top 10% of performers

EXTRACURRICULAR/ LEADERSHIP:
- Founded book club / active reader
- Certified scuba diving instructor
- Active traveler (45+ countries)
- MBALaunch Member (Forte Foundation)
- I travel weekly for work which makes it difficult to get involved in volunteering in my hometown

MBA MOTIVATION:
- Career enhancer for top consulting, product owner role for tech company, entrepreneur...)
- Target schools: INSEAD, LBS, NYU, Harvard, Wharton...

What schools would be realistic fits for my profile and what GMAT score would I need to obtain to reach the M7?

Thank you!
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New post 15 Jan 2019, 20:04
Sounds like you've got some great experience, and it's also great that you're working with the Forte Foundation. In terms of the GMAT, you want to hit & ideally exceed a school's average score. I'd try to aim for 720+ if you can; you'll ideally want your score to be no lower than 700. Consulting is a common background so a higher score will help set you apart. Your extracurriculars are a bit on the low side, but it's not a deal breaker. The adcom knows consultants tend to have a hard time fitting in extracurriculars. Since you've got less experience there than the ideal, you'll want to be sure to show how you've demonstrated leadership at work (extracurriculars are often a great place to show leadership) and you'll also want to be specific about how you plan to contribute outside the classroom while in b-school.

It will be critical to narrow in on some specific post-MBA career goals. You career goals are not only an important way to differentiate yourself but they're also the foundation for your why MBA/why our school argument. The more specific your goals the stronger your argument can be. You'll not only want to name what you plan to do (target titles & firms in the ST & LT, or if you decide to go the entrepreneur route an outline of the problem you plan to solve/unmet need you plan to fill & how you'll compete against the big guys who may be going for this same opportunity) but also the impact you plan to have (again, the problems you plan to solve, etc).

Finally, the adcoms increasingly care not just about what you've accomplished but also who you are as a person -- and that is another way to differentiate yourself. The essays have really evolved in recent years to help the adcom get a sense of who you are, what motivates you, etc -- and of course whether or not you are a cultural fit.

Long story short, just based on what you shared here & assuming a GMAT of 720, I think you do have a shot at the schools you named but it will be important to keep in mind all of the things I've shared above. Schools like HBS & Wharton will be a bit more of a reach (but not necessarily out of reach). You'll have a strong shot at INSEAD (assuming you can highlight international experience & possibly international goals) and at LBS. I think you'll be competitive at NYU for sure. Ultimately your school selection will also depend on your career goals since you want to make an argument that each school's strengths are the perfect fit for you & the skill gaps you need to fill.

I hope that helps! Good luck to you!
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New post 15 Jan 2019, 23:30
Hello folks

I need help to understand my profile and to help me evaluate what is the right gmat score that i need to get a successful admit at colleges like LBS
Am 35, a Chartered Accountant with nearly 5.5 years of work experience with corporates and 3 years of articleship (mandatory in CA) and currently have been practising for last 1.5 years in India.
I need MBA to expertise and to get to strategy and to get to deal advisory and investment advisory services.

I have had good experiences working as a professional but feel the need of the hour to gain to an expertise level to contribute back to the profession and to inculcate deal advisory to bucket of services offered at an expert level.

Please advise me how what is the optimal score that I would need.

Thanks
Rajat

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New post 16 Jan 2019, 06:07
Thank you so much for your thoughtful evaluation! I agree with your assessment and am definitely looking for how to make my profile stand out from the average white female in Big 4 consulting. My main focus right now is to get a high GMAT score (hopefully above 720).

Additionally, my thoughts are a) to highlight the “female in technology” factor – I work in IT Infrastructure, specifically around SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, an area typically dominated by men. I plan to join the Women in Technology (WinIT) groups at my firm and play up my passion for technology in my essays. I’ve thought about a side project, but I don’t think I have time with work, studying for GMAT, etc.

With regard to b) extracurriculars – I recently began online mentoring for high school students applying to college and am attempting to take on a leadership role. Outside of work, I founded a book club in NYC about 3 years ago which has met consistently every two months. To play on this hobby for reading, I was thinking of joining the New York Public Library “Young Lions” association. Do you think that this or a similar committee would be helpful for my story? I was also considering similar associations such as young professionals groups with the Lincoln Center, Neue Museum (to play on my connection to Germany), or MoMa – do you have any thoughts on how this would look on my resume? What else can I do to add a “wow” factor?

Lastly, I lived abroad in Germany for a few years and completed my high school educated at a public school in Berlin. Would it be beneficial for me to apply with my German passport vs. my American (for US universities, I will apply to INSEAD with my US passport)? Thanks again for your help!
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New post 06 Feb 2019, 11:31
PeanutButter4, if you plan to apply this fall it won't make that much difference to add new extracurriculars at this point & can also look a bit transparent (i.e., as if you did it just for the sake of b-school apps), which can actually backfire. I wouldn't worry about new extracurriculars at this point & would instead just invest your energy in getting the highest GMAT score possible & in researching the schools so you can be ready with a strong story for why each school is the best fit for you. You can also counteract any concerns the adcom may have about extracurriculars by being ready to be specific about how you plan to contribute outside the classroom while in b-school - and I think the women in tech angle is a good one!
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New post 06 Feb 2019, 11:33
PeanutButter4, forgot to answer your question about whether to apply as an Intl vs. US candidate. I would apply as a US candidate. Germany is not ALL that unique - and to some extent applying as an intl candidate would put you in that "intl" demographic, which can actually make things harder for yourself since US schools generally take more US than intl candidates as a whole. Good luck to you!
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Re: MBA Candidate Profile Evaluation / What GMAT score do I need?  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2019, 11:39
Carajatarora, I would aim for a 730+ GMAT (and even higher if possible) if you want to be competitive at a school like LBS. As an Indian applicant you are coming from a competitive demographic & one that tends to have very high GMAT scores. At age 35, you will be above the average age for LBS, which means they'll likely place even more weight on your GMAT score. Accounting can also be a challenging field in that it's not always possible to have shown signifiant results/impact in your work or to have shown much leadership experience, so depending on how that looks for you, the GMAT again will be potentially even more important to prove to the adcom that you are up for the rigors of b-school.
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Email: claudia@admissionado.com
Young People: WhatsApp or WeChat (@JonFrankHBS)
Older: FacebookTwitterLinkedIn 
Oldest: 866-409-4753

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