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Profile evaluation

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Profile evaluation  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2019, 13:54
Hi, would appreciate a quick assessment on the below profile.

MBA
GPA: 3.2 in Finance (Master) and 3.2 in Economics (Bachelor); top10% of students; best business school in Eastern European country
EC's: president of students union, worked (big4 companies), studied, tutor of entrepreneurship and economics in best high schools and passed CFA level I during college.
GMAT: 690 (48 Q, 36 V) - considering retaking
CFA Level 3 passed
Demographics: Eastern European male

Work Experience: 2.5 years MBB in Eastern European country with >50% projects abroad; now transferred officially to NYC (top 20% performance); previous working experience as IBD BB intern (6 months), 1 year experience in IT startups in Southeast Asia as Business Development Manager

EC's: recruiting and running office NGO initiative in MBB, active in students union during college (4 years, elected students union president), living and working in emerging markets, experience living and working in 10+ countries across 4 continents

Post-MBA goal: starting social venture accelerator supporting companies across the emerging countries

Target schools: H/S/W, MIT, Columbia, Chicago

Should I try to improve my GMAT or focus more on getting the applications ready for the round one? What are my chances in getting with current GMAT score?
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New post 16 Jul 2019, 13:58
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Hi mediv3,

Thank you for your post. With respect to the specific question at the end of your post, the short answer is that you would be better off trying to improve your score (even if that means applying in Round 2) rather than pushing ahead in Round 1 with your current score.

LOTS OF POSITIVES BUT NEED TO BOOST GMAT SCORE

There is ***a lot*** to like about your profile, from high performance at a prestige firm (MBB), to deep and diverse international experience (personal and professional), to the NGO initiative, to CFA Level III, on through applying from a unique country / demographic (at least relative to U.S. or Western European consultants). Unfortunately, that GMAT is a little too low for the types of schools you're considering, almost all of which now boast middle 80% GMAT ranges of 700 to 760, which puts your 690 in the single digits percentile-wise -- a very tough starting point as a male consultant, even if the Eastern Europe angle offers a little more diversity than the U.S. or Western Europe.

MAKE SURE YOU PROPERLY COMMUNICATE THAT GPA

As an important aside, your GPA -- on its face -- is also below the middle 80% range for these schools. ***BUT*** you've simultaneously noted that you were in the top 10% of your class. Due to grade inflation in the U.S. and other markets, adcoms are used to thinking of a 3.2 GPA as fairly weak; in U.S. terms, it's below the aforementioned ranges for schools like the ones you're considering, and sometimes it's even below average (!) in a given U.S. university class. With all of that in mind, you should be absolutely sure to frame your GPA properly, likely to the point of spending a couple of Optional Essay sentences explaining that a 3.2 GPA -- given how your university graded students -- placed you in the top 10% of your class. Ideally your transcript will show a ranking (or percentile) and the grading system for your school, that way you aren't just "claiming" to have been in the top 10% with no proof.

UNPACK THE VALUE OF YOUR EXPERIENCES

The good news is that if you're able to boost your GMAT score, you've got a lot of upside potential provided you do a really good job *unpacking the value* of everything I've outlined above. For example, what's it been like to work with MBB clients in Eastern Europe versus in NYC (versus SE Asia before that)? What differences are there? How have you had to adjust? How have you grown? Where did you slip up along the way, and how did you learn from those experiences? What communication, interpersonal, or cross-cultural differences / growth have there been? How have you adapted? How do the industries you've covered or work styles vary? How did growing up in Eastern Europe shape your worldview (depends again on what country, years, etc.), and how has that worldview evolved since? How has all of this shaped your goals and shape the unique contributions you can make in an MBA class?

CAREER GOALS NEED DEVELOPMENT

I know there's not a ton of space to go into your short- and long-term goals with great depth in a post like this, but I also think that your post-MBA goals need development. The current short-term goal feels a bit vague, and risks coming across as too abstract for admissions committees. Having a goal that sits at the intersection of entrepreneurship and social impact is fine if that's what in your heart of hearts you hope to do, but if you want to go that route, you're going to need to explain the heck out the genesis of that goal and show the adcoms that you know *exactly* what steps you're going to take (and ideally are already taking) toward it. Otherwise it feels to me like it might be better positioned as a medium- or long-term goal. Still then, you will need to know and articulate the layers, details, people, and steps involved in executing your vision, along with the big-picture problem you hope to solve, and the depths of your ever-evolving passion to solve it (i.e., why, why, why!!??). Also, in the short-term, are you not going to be sponsored by MBB? You can read more about how to deeply / critically / specifically consider and articulate your goals, why MBA, why XYZ school, and the passion and purposes behind those goals via this blog post.

FREE CONSULTATION

Hope this helps! If you would like to continue this conversation, please feel free to email me at greg@avantiprep.com or sign up for a Free Consultation via this link: https://www.avantiprep.com/free-consultation.html. As always, we can cover a lot more -- and do so with far greater nuance -- by way of a live, back-and-forth conversation. I would be happy to chat at your convenience!

Best Regards,
Greg
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Greg Guglielmo
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MBA Admissions Consulting
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To better understand how I work with clients and what they've historically felt were the major benefits of partnering, I encourage you to read through my Client Testimonials, all of which are independently verified by GMAT Club. I believe you'll find the reviews to be among the most transparent and detailed out there, and I believe you'll observe a unique level of time, depth, quality, commitment, attention to detail, and personal care. For serious inquiries, I am happy to connect you with former clients so you can hear about their experiences.
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New post 16 Jul 2019, 14:39
Hi Greg,

Thank you for a great reply! Let me ask a couple of short follow-questions to your answer.

1. I think I misrepresented my GPA, it is 4.6/5.0 scale which should translate properly into 3.7/4.0 - does it need further explanation or should be fine?
2. How far should I boost my GMAT? What's the score you would accept to proceed further with the application in the first round (retaking gmat this month)?
3. I have sponsorship for MBA but depending on the scholarship I will decide if I take it. Do you think is safe to say that short-term i plan to comeback to MBB and then go for social ventures? Don't you think it risks compromising my story?

Thank you for support!
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Re: Profile evaluation  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2019, 19:50
Hi mediv3,

We are set to chat tomorrow, so we can cover your follow-up questions in greater detail then, but I will share my thoughts here too for your reference and in case anyone else is curious to see the responses:

1. I hadn't previously realized that you were translating the GPA to a 4.0 scale, and the updated translation is definitely more favorable! That said, you will end up inserting your GPA in the application according to its original scale (which avoids people who didn't go to schools with a 4.0 scale conducting their own haphazard computations). It reads like a high GPA, but if there is any additional context or clarity to be shared (e.g., fixed curves or class percentile ranks), it could make sense via a couple of sentences in an Optional Essay. (A little tough to say now as it depends on what your transcript shows.)

2. 740+ is a nice aspirational target for the GMAT. 720 is a good baseline target. But if you got a 720 and really felt like you had another 20 or 30 points up your sleeve, you might consider another re-take.

3. MBB sponsorship is super attractive and competitive, and it is quite common for sponsored candidates to return to their firm immediately post-MBA. At Wharton, for example, ~10% of students have company sponsorship and return to their firms. That said, when an applicant is returning to his or her firm immediately post-MBA, it's important to articulate the new layers of what they hope to focus on (groups? teams? industries?) and impact they hope to have (i.e., still need to articulate a specific post-MBA vision and how the MBA helps you). It's also important to articulate what goals lie after those two post-MBA years (both right after and in the longer-term). So while the immediate post-MBA goal might be "set" via sponsorship, goal specificity upon your return, industry focus, projects and impact, layers of nuance and vision, why MBA (how it helps), and medium- and long-term goals are still super important and critical.

Thanks!
Greg
_________________
Greg Guglielmo
Founder | Avanti Prep
MBA Admissions Consulting
Sign up for a Free Consultation!

To better understand how I work with clients and what they've historically felt were the major benefits of partnering, I encourage you to read through my Client Testimonials, all of which are independently verified by GMAT Club. I believe you'll find the reviews to be among the most transparent and detailed out there, and I believe you'll observe a unique level of time, depth, quality, commitment, attention to detail, and personal care. For serious inquiries, I am happy to connect you with former clients so you can hear about their experiences.
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Re: Profile evaluation   [#permalink] 17 Jul 2019, 19:50
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