1) WE: I am a corporate attorney practicing at a top-5 law firm doing M&A and capital markets transaction work. Have been working for about 1.5 years now (would be ~2.5 years at matriculation).
2) GMAT: 740 (Q45, V47, AWA6.0)
3) Previous schooling: Went to college and law school at a well known state school (straight through to law school after college). GPA in UG was 3.53 and in law school was 3.67 (I tried a lot harder in law school and didn't take school very seriously in UG). I graduated magna cum laude in law school and was on law review, won some academic awards, a few other notable honors. UG major was poli sci and sociology. Graduated UG 2006, LS 2009.
4) EC: Not a ton. Was on an junior advisory board for a few months but didn't like it. Could come up with some leadership experiences at work (e.g., being a mentor to an intern), but nothing astronomically impressive, depending on spin. Since it is April and R1 apps are not due for more than 6 mos. I might be able to actively try to take on some ECs, though feel that it may seem kind of contrived on apps.
5) Certifications: None. Took an online financial modeling course, but nothing official.
6) Schools: Targeting top 5. Likely would apply for HBS, Booth, Kellogg, Columbia, maybe one more safer school, but being that I already have a lot of school debt and a good (well, at least a relatively high paying) job, if I don't get into a top program my motivation for matriculating would drop significantly.
7) Post-MBA goal: BB or elite boutique i-bank.
Thank you in advance for evaluating my profile. In addition to an overall evaluation, I am curious as to your thoughts on retaking the GMAT. While I'm very happy with my overall GMAT score, my quant is only about 71 %-ile, and with a non-quant background (not many classes in UG, WE is non-quantitative) I feel that may hurt me, especially if I indicate in my app that I want to go into a somewhat quanty (IB) field post-MBA. I took the GMAT over a year ago and I don't remember for sure, but I'm pretty sure I was scoring slightly higher on the quant section in practice tests (though I also think I was usually scoring slightly lower on verbal), and since then have been doing some math-type activities (online modeling course mentioned above), so I think that if I put in a little time again to refresh on the concepts I stand a good chance of improving my quant score. Since apps for incoming 2013 class aren't due for a while, I probably could take the time to take the GMAT again, but still I wonder if it is worth it. Any thoughts, on the GMAT retake question and on my profile/admission chances in general, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Your profile seems strong. I would definitely try to work on some leadership examples in the interim before you apply since your short work experience may not have offered you opportunities to lead as much as share in the work of the entire team. Evidence of that leadership can certainly come from your work as an attorney but it is also useful to demonstrate that you can lead people in an environment where you have no control: extracurricularly. Here's what I have to say
about your concern that your sudden interest in extracurricular activities will be viewed as insincere. Finally, the 71st percentile in the quant section is a bit of a concern, so if you can boost it to the 75th-80th percentile or higher, I would feel even more confident about your application.
Jennifer Bloom, CPRW
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