Anything I should work on? Do you think I have a good shot at the schools mentioned, or not?
My main question is in regards to the GMAT. I've taken it twice, and my scores are now balanced in Quant/Verbal, but I'm not over 700. I can easily take it again, but do the schools look disfavorably on that? Do they even know, if I elect to not send the scores to them?
In short, I think you have an excellent chance of being admitted to at least a couple of your target schools. With the GMAT, you really just want to be sure that your score is in a school's middle-80% range, and I believe that's the case for every one of the schools you mentioned. So, I wouldn't worry about it.
I believe that schools do know how many times you've taken the exam, even if you dont send them your score. If you're certain that you could do better by taking it again, then it probably won't hurt (I don't think three times will look terrible), but I feel like you don't need to bother.
I sound like a broken record on this forum, but people tend to focus too much on their GMAT score (probably because we can't go back and change our undergrad GPAs or make community service suddenly appear on our resumes). I am glad to see that your application isn't just a great score and not much else. It's a good score, along with a bunch of great experiences. So, I think you're fine.
You have a lot of great experiences, both on the job and outside of it. A couple of thoughts:
* You mentioned that you're worried about a lack of quant work in undergrad. I think your experience at Accenture and your work in trading will make clear that you're not afraid of quant work. I'd just be worried if your GPA were low, but it's fine. And thats' great that you're taking the calculus course right now. Doesn't hurt.
* Your extracurricular work is outstanding. Schools are very serious about wanting students who will be active in the school, both while in school and after they graduate. Obviously, everyone an say that they'll be active, but the best proof is the fact that you've done that with Cornell. Definitely emphasize that.
* You touched on it in your post, but schools may possibly look at your application and think "job hopper." Don't waste too many words explaining yourself, but just be aware that they may want to know why you didn't spend too much time in any one place. They may also ask why you waited until now to apply to b-school (since most people would have applied earlier, after working at Accenture and Goldman). Not a huge deal, but make sure that your story is sound here.
* This is a more general point... You probably already know this, but make sure that you don't solely talk about work in your essays and your interview. It sounds that you have a lot of experiences that make you unique (especially your work with abused children). Schools will want to know this about you!
In short, I think you have an excellent shot. Your GMAT score will NOT keep you out of any of those schools. And, it sounds like your way ahead of where most applicants are at this stage of the game. My advice is to just relax and make sure to spend a lot of time on your essays and recs. Best of luck!
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