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Requesting Guidance in Building Application for B-Schools

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Requesting Guidance in Building Application for B-Schools  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2018, 22:39
Hello,

First, let me thank you for your time and help; it is greatly appreciated! I am seeking advice and insight into how my current stats lend themself to top b-schools, and suggestions for ways I can improve myself as an applicant in the coming years.

I graduated from a non-flagship state school (think UNC-Wilmington) with a liberal arts degree. I took multiple quant courses (i.e engineering physics, calculus, etc.) and received A’s.

My CGPA: 3.45
with a strong upward trend for four years (had a 3.7+ my last three years. My low GPA is due to my first year of college—in my first semester I received a 2.1, and in my second I did not show up to class and did not withdraw, so I failed every course.

Work experience:
Out of college I worked my way into a position as a Territory Manager for a consumer goods company, in which I managed sales for the entire east coast. Within five months of employment my territory was the most profitable in the country. I also identified an opportunity to decrease spending and increase profit, and successfully implemented a nationwide strategic territory realignment. After 10 months I was given the added responsibility of interviewing candidates and training new hires.

I recently took an Account Management (sales rep) position with one of the largest global pharmaceutical companies.

EC:
Extremely proud father
Emergency Department Volunteer
Teach a spin class at the local gym

GMAT: hoping to score 700+
I have written one practice test without studying for diagnostic purposes: I received a 610. I have read that with intensive study it is not uncommon to improve scores by around 100 points. I did very well on the verbal section, and terrible on the quant section—around 30th percentile. I think I can boost my score, because I never had any issues learning math, and I feel that I was rusty with a lot of simple mathematics concepts at the time of the test.

- Assuming I do well on the GMAT, how competitive am I?

- Will my GPA hurt me?
1) will schools appreciate the strong upward trend
2) I am planning on taking some quant courses (micro/macro economics, finance, calc 2) to demonstrate my quant abilities. Will this help?

- Will my career help or hurt me as an applicant? 1) I feel that it is understood that gaining entry into pharmaceutical sales is extremely competitive. The income is also high (relatively similar to that of careers that more commonly lead to MBAs). I am hoping that my sales job won’t be viewed negatively.

- Assuming I receive a high score of 700+ on the GMAT, which tier of b-schools should I be looking at?

- Do you have any suggestions career or otherwise that you feel could help improve my candidacy?

Thanks!

[size=80][b][i]Posted from my mobile device[/i][/b][/size]
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Re: Requesting Guidance in Building Application for B-Schools  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 09:00
Hi there! Thanks for reaching out. Tell me a bit more about what went wrong freshman year - were you going through family/person issues? Was there any kind of illness? Since your freshman GPA was so low & since you had a semester where you failed every class I think you will need to address it in your optional essay. The question is HOW you address it. It definitely helps that you improved your GPA as you progressed through school, and you've got some strong work experience. But we need to explain what went wrong so the adcom understands. I do think it makes sense to take some quant courses - focus in on business-related ones (finance, statistics).

In terms of your sales career, my advice would be to own it & to come up with some sales-related post-MBA goals that really require the MBA. Sales is a somewhat unusual pre-MBA career & it's also a less common post-MBA goal. You've got an awesome track record of success & impact so I'd use your sales background to differentiate you.

Assuming you score a 700 on the GMAT, I'd focus primarily on schools in the 10-25 range (we use US News & World Report). The low teens will be more of a reach & schools ranked in the high teens/low 20s will be schools where you are competitive.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Requesting Guidance in Building Application for B-Schools  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 05:11
Jon,

Thank you for your response! My academic performance my freshman year is really a composite of circumstances. Looking back, I was most likely depressed—I stayed in bed all day, and avoided people as well as class. However, I do feel that beyond depression I am very much to blame. I feel pretty confident that the only thing that allowed me to get into college in the first place was my SAT score. Up until my sophomore year of college I had never really “applied” myself; and so there was a very real learning curve when it came to how to being a successful student. I think it took receiving a semester of all F’s to realize just how negative the path I was heading toward was. Of course, after that semester I never received anything less than a 3.4, and as I mentioned I received nothing less than a 3.7 my last three years of college. I sometimes wish I could just go back to my first year of university and be the student that I am now, but I realize that I needed that failure to set me straight and motivate me.

My post-mba goals would align more with the traditional student entering b-school. The projects I’ve worked on that allowed me to use information to solve problems (i.e maximizing profits through realigning territories) are the aspects of my career that I take the most pride in, but also enjoyed the most. I have lived the 3 weeks of the month in a hotel life, and do not feel that it is all that bad, and so I feel confident that I would really enjoy consulting. I would also be happy working in strategy. It is my understanding that consulting requires the ability to sell not only your solutions, but also your services to potential clients.

I have done some research into the b-schools out there, and I keep coming back to Tuck. I know—especially based on your school suggestions—that this would be a reach. However, the student bonds and strong alumni networks they espouse seem like they could really benefit someone who comes from sales and a lesser known school. I have also looked at UW-Seattle, as it is my understanding that they have a strong healthcare focus: with my background in pharmaceuticals I would think that my pre-mba experience might tie in more naturally.

Thank you again for your time and help. It’s greatly appreciated!

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Re: Requesting Guidance in Building Application for B-Schools  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2018, 07:58
I'd definitely use the optional essay to explain the low GPA early on. You want to keep it short & sweet & stick to the facts so you don't sound like you're making excuses, and you can point to your later GPA and your work experience as better representations of your ability.

Definitely give it a shot with Tuck! It will be in the reach category, but you'll never know unless you try! They also place huge importance on the efforts you make to connect with the schools so definitely take advantage of every opportunity.

If you like the culture at Tuck you might like UT Austin as well. It's very collaborative & team-based and they also really care about who you are as a person like Tuck does.

If you decide you need any help shaping your story definitely reach out to us! Claudia can get you set up with a free consultation & we've also got a book called 50 Essays that Worked that I'll let her know would be something you'd probably find helpful. It will give you some ideas about how to shape your own story & help you see what it takes to get into a top school like Tuck. You can reach her at Claudia@admissionado.com. And either way best of luck to you my friend!
_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

==

***NEW Admissionado Products & Services! ***

If you like the post, give it a KUDOS!

Now, read up and get smart:


That'll get you started. Still have questions? Reach out, and let’s gab. 
Our only requirement is that you don’t prefer warm milk over cold milk. Everyone else, 100% welcome.

Email: claudia@admissionado.com
Young People: WhatsApp or WeChat (@JonFrankHBS)
Older: FacebookTwitterLinkedIn 
Oldest: 866-409-4753

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