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Most important aspect of application

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Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 00:20
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Hello experts, consultants and members,

I have read this numerous times on forum and on college’s websites that GMAT or GPA is just a part of the entire application and could be compensated through other components.

My understanding of components: (In no particular order)
1. GMAT
2. GPA & Reputation of college
3. Essays
4. Recommendations
5. Work-ex & reputation of company
6. Extracurricular/Community services
7. Nationality (I guess, it’s a hidden parameter)
8. interviews

I want to discuss and get your opinion on-
1. Which is the most important aspect, if there is one, of your application?
2. Which component, if weak, cannot be compensated by other strong components?
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06 Feb 2013, 00:37
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Director
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06 Feb 2013, 00:39
MacFauz wrote:
Not including Interviews to the list??

Great...thank you.. slipped from my mind, probably because i dint get an invite yet from ross
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06 Feb 2013, 00:41
Vips0000 wrote:
MacFauz wrote:
Not including Interviews to the list??

Great...thank you.. slipped from my mind, probably because i dint get an invite yet from ross

Haha.. I like your status.. Too bad kudos cant be granted for those..
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06 Feb 2013, 00:56
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MacFauz wrote:

Haha.. I like your status.. Too bad kudos cant be granted for those..

Oh well, I'm interested in consulting. I gotta be a good problem solver. Here you go:

Wave 1... Wave 2... Whose Loss? Me or Ross??

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06 Feb 2013, 02:40
+1 to you..
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06 Feb 2013, 07:25
Work experience is by far the single most important factor, followed closely by GMAT. Let me say as an Admissions Consultant though that having the essays and application as an "element" such as GMAt is a bit strange. For the essays and the application are the TOOLS you use to prove your experience in all the aspects (and to move the Adcom)... so one depends really on the other!

yep.
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06 Feb 2013, 08:58
Work experience is the most important thing. Management Consultants from top firms routinely get admits from M7 irrespective of any other factors. For the rest of you it's a balancing act and finding our sweet spot. know one Indian guy with GMAT in excess of 750 got dinged by top 10 schools 2 years in a row. He finally attended UNC Kenan Flager. If he had applied to Cornell and 3-4 similar ranking colleges he would have got an admit.Else if he would have applied to Emory he could have received 100 % scholarship. Accurate self assessment and identifying top choice schools is a tough task.
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06 Feb 2013, 09:20
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Work experience is by the single most important factor, followed closely by GMAT. Let me say as an Admissions Consultant though that having the essays and application as an "element" such as GMAt is a bit strange. For the essays and the application are the TOOLS you use to prove your experience in all the aspects (and to move the Adcom)... so one depends really on the other!

yep.

But isnt it true that some colleges admit students even without work-ex, provided student is spectacular in other components. So in effect work-ex could be compensated. On the other hand, if an essay has a spelling mistake or a grammatical mistake, it would not be tolerated. This is what I gathered from many chat transcripts/FAQs..
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06 Feb 2013, 09:22
AbhiJ wrote:
Work experience is the most important thing. Management Consultants from top firms routinely get admits from M7 irrespective of any other factors. For the rest of you it's a balancing act and finding our sweet spot. know one Indian guy with GMAT in excess of 750 got dinged by top 10 schools 2 years in a row. He finally attended UNC Kenan Flager. If he had applied to Cornell and 3-4 similar ranking colleges he would have got an admit.Else if he would have applied to Emory he could have received 100 % scholarship. Accurate self assessment and identifying top choice schools is a tough task.

Good example- how do you know which factor led to his failure in top-10 while could have got him 100% schol in other schools? There must have been one component which was weak enough for not to be compensated by 750+ gmat.
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06 Feb 2013, 20:43
bump.
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07 Feb 2013, 01:02
Vips0000 wrote:
AbhiJ wrote:
Work experience is the most important thing. Management Consultants from top firms routinely get admits from M7 irrespective of any other factors. For the rest of you it's a balancing act and finding our sweet spot. know one Indian guy with GMAT in excess of 750 got dinged by top 10 schools 2 years in a row. He finally attended UNC Kenan Flager. If he had applied to Cornell and 3-4 similar ranking colleges he would have got an admit. Else if he would have applied to Emory he could have received 100 % scholarship. Accurate self assessment and identifying top choice schools is a tough task.

Good example- how do you know which factor led to his failure in top-10 while could have got him 100% schol in other schools? There must have been one component which was weak enough for not to be compensated by 750+ gmat.

I know the guy pretty well. He checked all the boxes pretty well. At the end of the day B School Admission process is subjective and what I have mentioned is a subjective opinion. I know another Indian IT guy with 770 getting full scholarship at Emory. Hence my analysis .
IMO the only reason he was denied because of the fact that he was an Indian male with Indian work-ex. An American Male/Indian Female with his credentials/intelligence would have easily made into Top 5. I was reading stri1der blog where he mentioned that at Wharton 70% of Indians with Indian work ex who were interviewed were females. We should work hard assuming life is fair but at the same time keep in mind that some things are out of our control.
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07 Feb 2013, 06:24
AbhiJ wrote:
Vips0000 wrote:
AbhiJ wrote:
Work experience is the most important thing. Management Consultants from top firms routinely get admits from M7 irrespective of any other factors. For the rest of you it's a balancing act and finding our sweet spot. know one Indian guy with GMAT in excess of 750 got dinged by top 10 schools 2 years in a row. He finally attended UNC Kenan Flager. If he had applied to Cornell and 3-4 similar ranking colleges he would have got an admit. Else if he would have applied to Emory he could have received 100 % scholarship. Accurate self assessment and identifying top choice schools is a tough task.

Good example- how do you know which factor led to his failure in top-10 while could have got him 100% schol in other schools? There must have been one component which was weak enough for not to be compensated by 750+ gmat.

I know the guy pretty well. He checked all the boxes pretty well. At the end of the day B School Admission process is subjective and what I have mentioned is a subjective opinion. I know another Indian IT guy with 770 getting full scholarship at Emory. Hence my analysis .
IMO the only reason he was denied because of the fact that he was an Indian male with Indian work-ex. An American Male/Indian Female with his credentials/intelligence would have easily made into Top 5. I was reading stri1der blog where he mentioned that at Wharton 70% of Indians with Indian work ex who were interviewed were females. We should work hard assuming life is fair but at the same time keep in mind that some things are out of our control.

So in effect you are saying that nationality is more important than other factors.. Or nationality + work ex may be
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07 Feb 2013, 07:54
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Vips0000 wrote:

So in effect you are saying that nationality is more important than other factors.. Or nationality + work ex may be

Well I would not call it nationality. It is the competition among similar peer groups.
If it was about nationality I would be in Harvard, and as you can see I will not .

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07 Feb 2013, 09:40
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Good question and discussion! And a tough one, for sure.

I voted essays. I definitely see the point about the importance of solid work experience, but I would argue that many (if not most) people applying to top business school have solid, above-average work experience for their age. There may be some spectacular outliers where the work experience just speaks volumes for itself, regardless of essays. But I'd be willing to bet that this isn't the case for the majority of applicants. For most of us, we really need to communicate how our accomplishments show leadership through the esssays in order to demonstrate fit and ultimately get that interview invite, and hopefully, acceptance.

As for stats, GMAT/GPA are also important, but I think the key distinction is this: you can definitely get into school with low stats if you have other impressive qualities, but I doubt you could if your essays really suck.

In my case, my essays from my last application were so much better than the ones in some of my initial applications that my boyfriend (who had been my go-to reviewer throughout the process) actually thought my work experience seemed much more impressive. It wasn't that I had some new, over-the-top accomplishment in those two months, but that I was able to better articulate my success.

Before I started this process, I really thought work experience and other leadership accomplishments just spoke for themselves (duh, isn't that what the resume is for?!). And if you started the next Facebook or found a cure for the common cold, maybe it does. But for me, at least, this process of defining success at work was much more tricky than it seemed at the outset. I used completely different, and much better, examples for my last application that in hindsight were more interesting and resonated better with my stated career goals. But for whatever reason, it didn't even occur to me that these examples were all that special when I began the whole rigmarole of MBA applications.

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07 Feb 2013, 11:00
Work/Ex > Nationality/Gender (Diversity) > GMAT > Essays > Interviews > Extra- Curricular > Recommendation

GMAT can make up for weakness in the first 2 points.

This is true for 99% of applicants. For the rest 1% they have extra-ordinary leadership stories, they are the brand ambassadors for the top B Schools.
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07 Feb 2013, 11:20
lb2015 wrote:
Good question and discussion! And a tough one, for sure.

I voted essays. I definitely see the point about the importance of solid work experience, but I would argue that many (if not most) people applying to top business school have solid, above-average work experience for their age. There may be some spectacular outliers where the work experience just speaks volumes for itself, regardless of essays. But I'd be willing to bet that this isn't the case for the majority of applicants. For most of us, we really need to communicate how our accomplishments show leadership through the esssays in order to demonstrate fit and ultimately get that interview invite, and hopefully, acceptance.

As for stats, GMAT/GPA are also important, but I think the key distinction is this: you can definitely get into school with low stats if you have other impressive qualities, but I doubt you could if your essays really suck.

In my case, my essays from my last application were so much better than the ones in some of my initial applications that my boyfriend (who had been my go-to reviewer throughout the process) actually thought my work experience seemed much more impressive. It wasn't that I had some new, over-the-top accomplishment in those two months, but that I was able to better articulate my success.

Before I started this process, I really thought work experience and other leadership accomplishments just spoke for themselves (duh, isn't that what the resume is for?!). And if you started the next Facebook or found a cure for the common cold, maybe it does. But for me, at least, this process of defining success at work was much more tricky than it seemed at the outset. I used completely different, and much better, examples for my last application that in hindsight were more interesting and resonated better with my stated career goals. But for whatever reason, it didn't even occur to me that these examples were all that special when I began the whole rigmarole of MBA applications.

Totally agree to whatever u said.. I think u may have spectacular gmat, work ex and what not, but if u don't have great essay highlighting everything it's of no use. Essays are most important component of application.
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07 Feb 2013, 17:10
I think it's helpful to think in terms of the way MIT Sloan does it. All schools say it's a holistic process, whose underlying approach takes into account all these items with varied weights. MIT assigns point values to each item out of certain score. While each school will vary somewhat, here's what I might say:

GMAT: 25%
Work Experience: 25%
Essays: 25%
Extras: 10%
Interviews & Recs: 5%

I put Recs and interviews together because they seem more about confirming things they already see in other parts of your application. You can immediately be dinged if things don't match up, but mostly it's a wash.

For tier 2 schools, a high GMAT can overcome pretty much anything. Though as I've heard said: they admissions committee will blink once, don't ask them to blink twice.
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07 Feb 2013, 21:39
machichi wrote:
I think it's helpful to think in terms of the way MIT Sloan does it. All schools say it's a holistic process, whose underlying approach takes into account all these items with varied weights. MIT assigns point values to each item out of certain score. While each school will vary somewhat, here's what I might say:

GMAT: 25%
Work Experience: 25%
Essays: 25%
Extras: 10%
Interviews & Recs: 5%

I put Recs and interviews together because they seem more about confirming things they already see in other parts of your application. You can immediately be dinged if things don't match up, but mostly it's a wash.

For tier 2 schools, a high GMAT can overcome pretty much anything. Though as I've heard said: they admissions committee will blink once, don't ask them to blink twice.

I think essays are the most important aspect. I'm disappointed to not get even an interview call from Ross and duke, two colleges I spent most time on. I think 720 GMAT, first class with distinction in undergrad, 8 yrs work ex including 3 yrs international in 2 countries, awards and out of turn promotion should've covered all other areas.
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Re: Most important aspect of application [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2013, 03:36
Vips0000 wrote:
machichi wrote:
I think it's helpful to think in terms of the way MIT Sloan does it. All schools say it's a holistic process, whose underlying approach takes into account all these items with varied weights. MIT assigns point values to each item out of certain score. While each school will vary somewhat, here's what I might say:

GMAT: 25%
Work Experience: 25%
Essays: 25%
Extras: 10%
Interviews & Recs: 5%

I put Recs and interviews together because they seem more about confirming things they already see in other parts of your application. You can immediately be dinged if things don't match up, but mostly it's a wash.

For tier 2 schools, a high GMAT can overcome pretty much anything. Though as I've heard said: they admissions committee will blink once, don't ask them to blink twice.

I think essays are the most important aspect. I'm disappointed to not get even an interview call from Ross and duke, two colleges I spent most time on. I think 720 GMAT, first class with distinction in undergrad, 8 yrs work ex including 3 yrs international in 2 countries, awards and out of turn promotion should've covered all other areas.

The thing is that talented people get good jobs from lower ranked schools as companies do not stress about diversity and so called other intangibles. For example, know someone from similar ranked schools you mentioned landed a job as a Database Administrator whereas people from 40 ranking schools got jobs at Amazon and Top 5 Consulting firm.
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Re: Most important aspect of application   [#permalink] 08 Feb 2013, 03:36

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