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Am I competitive enough for these schools?

This topic has 1 expert reply and 0 member replies
humblescarabee Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
30 Apr 2008
12 messages

Am I competitive enough for these schools?

Post Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:20 pm
Good Morning.

I am a 31 years old black guy born and raised in Guadeloupe FWI.

So far, I have taken the GMAT twice and my best score was 650 (70% quantitative, 86% verbal, 80% overall). I scored 109 over 120 for the TOEFL.
I have 2 great letters of recommendation from my former and current bosses. I also have 6 years of professionnal experience in Telecom industry and, particularly, 2 years of experience as a manager.
I ranked 98 over 262 when I was student in Euromed Management School (top 15 business schools in France). I guess my GPA is not that good so.
Unfortunately, I was not really involved in many extracurricular activities apart from representing my university for the recruitment of prospective students, training of the basketball team during 1 year, teaching maths to primary schools students and learning Chinese and Spanish.
I'm a good writer, so I can write good essays. For example, I can explain why my GPA was low since I was fully employed when I was a student in order to pay for my studies. I can explain how I sttrugled to achieve my carreer so far.

Do you think I can be competitive for schools like these one?
- Berkeley (YES/NO)
- Columbia (YES/NO)
- Yale (YES/NO)
- Stern (YES/NO)
- Emory (YES/NO)
- Marshall (YES/NO)

Graduation from a MBA in the US is like a dream for me. I would really appreciate your honest answer.

Best regards.

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Graham MBA Admissions Consultant
18 Sep 2008
270 messages
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Post Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:31 am
Dear Humblescarabee,

Thanks for your post!

While it sounds like you have a very unique background (very few applicants to b-school come out of Guadeloupe), your candidacy for the top schools in the US presents several liabilities:

1) Your academic profile will fall well below the average at top-15 programs like UCLA, Berkeley, Yale, Stern and Columbia. While a 650 on the GMAT is not the end of the world, it is nearly 50 points below the average score at many of your target schools. I worry that when this score is coupled with your undergraduate marks, the top programs will have concerns about your ability to handle the rigorous academics in b-school. While schools like Emory, Marshall and HEC may be more within your reach, your academic profile will still fall below their averages.

2) Your age (31) makes you a bit of an outlier at the top programs (average age of a first year student is usually closer to twenty-eight). While this isn't the end of the world, there are some strategies that older applicants need to keep in mind when applying.

3) While it sounds like you have some solid telecom experience (and accompanying rec letters) I am curious to know if you have more than 6 years of experience (if you are 31, I would have expected more like 8 or 9 years of total experience).

4) Your XCs sound like a bit of a liability as well, since it's unclear how you've been spending your time outside of work since you graduated from university. Keep in mind that the top schools place a fair amount of emphasis on admitting well-rounded, involved students who can contribute to campus life.

Overall, given the information you've provided, my sense is that a number of the schools on your list are going to be 'reaches' - based on your academic profile alone. While Emory, HEC and Marshall will present slightly better odds, I'd say there's no real guarantee there either.

Have you considered working with a tutor or taking a GMAT prep course to boost your score? This would be the best way to counter your lower GPA...

If you are interested in a more in-depth assessment, please feel free to send your resume to info@clearadmit.com and sign up for a free initial chat with one of our counselors.

Best of luck,


Graham Richmond
Clear Admit, LLC
215 568 2590

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