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Profile Evaluation

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Joined: 25 Aug 2012
Posts: 4

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Profile Evaluation [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2012, 17:48
Thank you for reviewing my profile. Any advice you have would be much appreciated.

I'm a 25 year old, white, female applying for a dual MBA/MIA (Masters in International Affairs). Received my BA in International Relations from Tufts University, GPA 3.67. GMAT 700 (Q 42 & V 44). Since my GMAT Quant is low, here are some other math indicators. I took one calculus class in college and got an A- and took 2 econ classes (A- & B-). Since graduation took a statistics course through an extension school and got an A+.

I am currently a Project Manager at a health insurance company, working on healthcare reform and the affordable care act. Since graduating, I have received 3 promotions at the insurance company, and have also interned abroad doing community development work in South America, and interned at a nonprofit in US. I want to move into strategy consulting for international development organizations and nonprofits, hence the dual degree program and the divergent work experience.

I currently volunteer as the Development Chair for an international development organization's young professionals group, play in two recreational sports leagues, and practice photography on the side. During college I participated in a couple of other club's and extra-curricular programs.

Columbia is my dream program and I am wondering what my chances are of getting in. In particular, if I need to raise my GMAT quant score. I would like to apply early decision, but if I decide to do so will not have sufficient time to re-take the exam. I am unsure if applying early decision will help to offset my quant score or if I would be better served to re-take the exam and apply regular decision. I am not sure if having a low quant score matters less or more because I am not a traditional candidate. Do I need to do extremely well on quant to prove that I can hang with the finance kids, or do I just embrace the fact that I am not the standard candidate and accept a high verbal score?

Thanks again for taking the time to give me some advice. It is greatly appreciated!

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MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 382

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New post 27 Aug 2012, 18:39

These are great questions and valid concerns. Could you tell me the percentile breakdown of your quant and verbal scores respectively? If your quant is over 80th percentile, then you're fine. And if it's pretty close to that, I think you're still fine given your A grades in past math courses. If it's well below that, then you might consider retaking it or enrolling in a stats or finance class to show that you can hang with the finance kids :) Honestly though, it depends on your own tolerance for risk! I think applying early decision will help a little, but it's difficult to say whether it would be enough.

I think you've got a shot at Columbia, but I'd say it's a slight reach. You should definitely apply, but I think you should also apply to some safer schools. While you're definitely really well-rounded and have a very global perspective/experience, I don't see a whole lot of leadership roles in your experience. That is something you're really going to want to focus on in your application - highlighting your capacity for leadership, both inside the workplace and outside of it. Think about times when you've led or managed teams (formally or informally), when you've initiated a new project/service, when you've challenged traditional thinking/ways of doing things.

My advice is to embrace your current profile and showcase it as best you can in an early decision application. Of course, that is just my opinion - you'll have to make your own decision at the end of the day :)

Good luck,
Mili Mittal
Senior Consultant

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