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Profile Evaluation Request

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Joined: 18 Mar 2012
Posts: 21

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 0

Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2013, 07:55
I am a 23 year old Asian American female who was born in the USA but grew up in Asia. I attended American schools while in Asia and only returned to the States for college. I graduated from a university in Washington, DC within three years with a 3.80 GPA (summa cum laude, majoring in Communications and minoring in Business Administration), along with various leadership positions (Teaching Assistant, Office Director for a Model UN conference, president of the ballroom club), honorable mentions and a senior thesis under my belt. My current extracurricular activities/hobbies include: YMCA volunteer; Garfield Elementary School volunteer; competitive Pre-Championship ballroom dancer; and coach for a local ballroom team.

Since graduating in 2011, I worked as a Human Resources Assistant at a national law firm for 8 months before transferring to an international law firm as the Talent Acquisition & Development Assistant (have now worked here for over a year). Even though I am/was technically the “assistant,” I have been given several important responsibilities in the past 2 years. For example, at my previous law firm, I took over the responsibility of the Legal Support Manager whenever she was out of the office. Moreover, at my current law firm, I was in charge of ALL aspects of our local recruiting and development efforts (which is a responsibility usually reserved for a Senior Coordinator or Manager) for 4 months until a Senior Coordinator was hired.

I plan on applying to several top 10 MBA programs this Fall in Round 1 (Harvard, MIT, NYU, Columbia), so that I can begin my studies in Fall 2014. With my international background and bilingual proficiency, I wish to focus on international business consulting. This is a major shift in career and industry, which is why I wanted to enroll in an MBA program after only 2-3 years of working full-time.

I took the GMAT three times and my last and highest scores were:

Total: 750 (98%)
Quant: 49 (84%)
Verbal: 44 (97%)
IR / AWA: I have not received these yet

My specific question is: what are my chances of getting into a top MBA program (especially Harvard, my dream school) with my work experience? I would have only worked full-time for almost 2.5 years by the time Round 1 applications are due, which is definitely below average. Moreover, despite my increasing responsibilities, I have only held “assistant” positions and I did not work in an industry that it favorable for top b-school admission (such as consulting or finance).

Any other suggestions and advice on my profile would be very helpful as well. Thank you very much!

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MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 382

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New post 12 May 2013, 20:48

Thanks for sharing your profile and my apologies for the delay in responding. Your academic, extracurricular and community profile are very strong! However, I agree that your concerns about your professional experience would be valid. Legal assistant positions do not offer the kind of leadership opportunities that other fields offer, so I feel this will be a weakness in your application. Further, being only 2+ years out of school puts you at a disadvantage relative to others.

If you're really set on top programs like HBS, I'd suggest you make a career shift and take another couple years before you apply to build up your professional experience. Could you potentially move into an entry level consulting position at this stage at one of the top firms? It seems that could be an option. Alternatively, you might be able to shift into an MNC of some kind, within their HR group, and that would be a step in the right direction that would show the ad com you are committed to this path and working towards it. It would also demonstrate business experience, which will be important.

Good luck!

Mili Mittal
Senior Consultant
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