Thanks for your post. You've actually done a pretty good job of self-analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, nice!
So you're definitely pretty aware of how you may be viewed by the admissions committee, and also have some thoughts on ways to stand out which IS important for sure.
I agree with your assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. Though I wouldn't worry too much about lacking experience leading a large team-- even if you lead and manage a few employees, that is still good experience you can include.
FYI your GMAT will make a big difference (in that sub-700 could make it really difficult; not that 700+ will necessarily get you in
). So just keep that caveat in mind!!
I would really play up the international experiences you have and what you learned from that, about interacting with others from different cultures, etc etc. That could be a good way to stand out along with the slightly different area of work you've been doing.
The 4 schools you mention are all in a similar tier (with Wharton possibly being most of a reach, though also a good fit with your background and goals). So you should probably add 1-2 schools of a lower tier for better odds. With your finance experience and aspirations, perhaps Stern, Ross, UCLA?? And/or a school ranked more in the 12-20-ish range that appeals? Be sure to really research what you most want in a program-- in terms of region, setting, class size, profiles, curriculum, teaching styles, hiring profiles, etc.
The most important things right now are to focus on WHAT YOU CAN STILL CHANGE within your application-- namely your GMAT and your essays!! Your essays are the one place in the application where you create something from scratch to represent who you are. So don't underestimate their importance. That is where you make your case and tell your story-- including who you are, what you'll bring to the program, why you want an MBA, why now, and why xyz school is right for you.
Good luck to you, let us know how else we can help!
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