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Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is below 720

This topic has 114 expert replies and 223 member replies
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dman25 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
30 Dec 2011
Posted:
11 messages
Test Date:
7/2012
Target GMAT Score:
740
GMAT Score:
750
Post Thu May 10, 2012 8:24 pm
Hi there! You've been providing some great insight and hopefully you can give my stats a run through too. Here's the details:

26 year old white male
Double Major from a non-elite Pac-12 state school (ASU, UA, Colorado, Utah etc.)
-B.S. Finance and B.S. Supply Chain Management, 2007
-3.64 GPA
GMAT 700 (44Q 66%, 41V 92%), considering retaking to boost that terrible quant score

Almost 5 years of work experience at Honeywell Aerospace (still employed) in supply chain management.
-Started in a 2 year rotational program moving through 3 different procurement, planning, and production scheduling roles
-Next moved into a research and development planning position (15 months)
-Current role is a team lead in a strategic planning group responsible for planning multiple production lines producing a combined $15-20 million in revenue per month (no direct reports though)
-In between my last two jobs I also was a key part of a team deploying a new planning system, responsible for troubleshooting and training about 75-100 people (while holding down my regular job). This lasted for about a year but again, no direct reports.
-Top performer in every role I have had. Not many of my colleagues leave for full-time programs (mostly part time).

Marginal Extra Curric's, nothing special
-Some intermittent volunteering at a local community center doing fundraising and tutoring
-In some clubs and intramural teams in college, standard stuff

Letters of Rec: Will be from my current manager and director but neither have an MBA so I won't get any special push there.

Goal: To move into a supply chain or general management consulting role.

Programs: UCLA (dream school), Berkeley, Kellogg, USC, Stern, and MIT. And since everyone asks, Harvard Stanford, and Wharton.

Now my questions:
-Do you think it's necessary to retake the GMAT since my quant is so low?
-Will my admission chances be hurt by the fact that I'm in what is considered a non-sexy industry (you know, not consulting or finance)?
-One of the big reasons for my lacking XC's and staying with the same company all 5 years is because a parent developed early onset alzheimers so I transferred back to my home town 2.5 years ago to be a partial caregiver. I'm sure I'll be able to write some meaningful essays based on my upside-down personal life but do schools care about that kind of real-world family stuff (which I'm still dealing with)?
-Does getting a double major give me a boost? I didn't get to take many GPA boosters because I was taking almost all core classes and I'm just wondering if having the 2 degrees will give me any boost.

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rohit.bizschool Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 May 2012
Posted:
21 messages
Post Thu May 10, 2012 8:40 pm
Hi Brian,
I appreciate your detailed response! Thank you!
I understand that Aringo is more able to advice candidates who're interested in full-time programs.
However, One thing in your response caught my eye. You mentioned that part-time programs are generally slightly less competitive to gain entry to relative to full-time programs. You also mentioned that based on your prior experience, I might be a competitive candidate at Haas and strong at Anderson in the full-time programs. So, does that imply that I might be a slightly stronger candidate for Hass' and Anderson's part-time programs since part-time programs are generally slightly less competitive? I'm not considering full-time programs.

Thanks,
-Rohit


BrianW@Aringo wrote:
Quote:
Howdy!

I took the GMAT last week after 2 months of preparation.
Score: 700 (90 percentile)
Quant 48 (80 percentile)
Verbal 38 (83 percentile)

I’m considering applying to part-time programs (Haas-Berkeley, Anderson-UCLA) and maybe (Booth-Chicago, Stern-NYU) I’m not very sure about the latter because I live in San Francisco and flying out to Chi-town/NY every weekend might not be very practical.

I was wondering if I have any realistic chance of getting into these elite schools. Should I consider retaking the GMAT? In the few prep tests I had taken (GMAT Prep, MGMAT), I had scored 730, 720 and 690 (MGMAT 1st test), 730

I’m asking because I’m part of the over-represented pool. Here are the details:

- Software professional in the Silicon Valley with 5 years of experience.
- Ethnically Indian (male/28)
- Undergraduate GPA - First Class from Bombay University - approx 3.75/4.00 GPA if converted (I'm not very sure about the conversion)
- Masters Degree in CS from a reputed school in California. GPA 3.85/4.00
- I’ve been doing well at work (at a reputed tech company ) and can get good (hopefully) recommendation letters from my manager and the director (who’s a Haas part-time alumnus) of the department.
I think mine would be an average profile for Haas/Anderson.

I plan to apply to part time programs for the Fall 2013 class.

Let me know if you think I have a chance or if retaking is the best option. I understand that the GMAT score is just one criterion and the Admission Committee looks into other criteria like work experience, extracurricular activities, recommendations, essays, etc. as well. The reason I’m asking specifically about the GMAT is that from the few posts that I’ve perused through in these forums, I’ve figured that an applicant with my background should ideally have a higher score to stand out from the rest of the pool.

Thanks!
-Rohit
Rohit,

Thank you for your profile submission. Please keep in mind that while Aringo advises candidates who are interested in part-time MBA programs, we are less able to give a precise estimate for chances at these programs. The volume of applicants to these programs is much lower than that for full-time, but they are generally slightly less competitive to gain entry to relative to full-time programs. As such, I would caution you in comparing your candidacy against the profiles of applicants to full-time MBA programs.

One item I would ask you to ask yourself is this - if you are truly not willing or able to travel across the country to a program like NYU Stern, then I would highly encourage you to not apply to such a program. Flying to Chicago is still quite a trek from San Francisco but much less of one vs. flying to New York - because of this I might encourage you to consider the part-time program at Kellogg instead of that at Stern.

Your profile, based on the information you presented, would in our experience put you as a competitive candidate at Haas and strong at Anderson in the full-time programs. So, while you could re-take the GMAT, I would perhaps comment that you may just want to research these part-time programs to make sure that you are familiar with them and so that you can prepare a well-rounded application. Having an alum of Haas as a recommender will, all things equal, help you somewhat with your candidacy - so long as that recommender knows you well and can speak to your strengths and developmental priorities.

Best of luck,
Brian

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Posted:
40 messages
Thanked:
5 times
Post Fri May 11, 2012 7:51 am
Quote:
Hi Brian,
I appreciate your detailed response! Thank you!
I understand that Aringo is more able to advice candidates who're interested in full-time programs.
However, One thing in your response caught my eye. You mentioned that part-time programs are generally slightly less competitive to gain entry to relative to full-time programs. You also mentioned that based on your prior experience, I might be a competitive candidate at Haas and strong at Anderson in the full-time programs. So, does that imply that I might be a slightly stronger candidate for Hass' and Anderson's part-time programs since part-time programs are generally slightly less competitive? I'm not considering full-time programs.

Thanks,
-Rohit

Rohit,

Thanks for the clarification question. Given the fact that you are interested in part-time programs, my assessment of your candidacy for full-time programs was more for contextual comparison to help me provide some guidance and supporting rationale for whether or not you might consider re-taking the GMAT.

It's difficult to judge exactly how much different a given school's part-time vs. full-time admissions are (and it also depends on the year), but in our experience it is true to say that part-time programs are, at least directionally speaking, slightly less competitive to gain admission into.

Best of luck,

_________________

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Posted:
40 messages
Thanked:
5 times
Post Fri May 11, 2012 10:27 am
Quote:
Hi there! You've been providing some great insight and hopefully you can give my stats a run through too. Here's the details:

26 year old white male
Double Major from a non-elite Pac-12 state school (ASU, UA, Colorado, Utah etc.)
-B.S. Finance and B.S. Supply Chain Management, 2007
-3.64 GPA
GMAT 700 (44Q 66%, 41V 92%), considering retaking to boost that terrible quant score

Almost 5 years of work experience at Honeywell Aerospace (still employed) in supply chain management.
-Started in a 2 year rotational program moving through 3 different procurement, planning, and production scheduling roles
-Next moved into a research and development planning position (15 months)
-Current role is a team lead in a strategic planning group responsible for planning multiple production lines producing a combined $15-20 million in revenue per month (no direct reports though)
-In between my last two jobs I also was a key part of a team deploying a new planning system, responsible for troubleshooting and training about 75-100 people (while holding down my regular job). This lasted for about a year but again, no direct reports.
-Top performer in every role I have had. Not many of my colleagues leave for full-time programs (mostly part time).

Marginal Extra Curric's, nothing special
-Some intermittent volunteering at a local community center doing fundraising and tutoring
-In some clubs and intramural teams in college, standard stuff

Letters of Rec: Will be from my current manager and director but neither have an MBA so I won't get any special push there.

Goal: To move into a supply chain or general management consulting role.

Programs: UCLA (dream school), Berkeley, Kellogg, USC, Stern, and MIT. And since everyone asks, Harvard Stanford, and Wharton.

Now my questions:
-Do you think it's necessary to retake the GMAT since my quant is so low?
-Will my admission chances be hurt by the fact that I'm in what is considered a non-sexy industry (you know, not consulting or finance)?
-One of the big reasons for my lacking XC's and staying with the same company all 5 years is because a parent developed early onset alzheimers so I transferred back to my home town 2.5 years ago to be a partial caregiver. I'm sure I'll be able to write some meaningful essays based on my upside-down personal life but do schools care about that kind of real-world family stuff (which I'm still dealing with)?
-Does getting a double major give me a boost? I didn't get to take many GPA boosters because I was taking almost all core classes and I'm just wondering if having the 2 degrees will give me any boost.
dman25,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 700, our experience indicates you would be a stretch candidate at Harvard and Stanford, between stretch and competitive (closer to stretch) at Wharton, between stretch and competitive (closer to competitive) at MIT Sloan, competitive at Haas, and strong at Anderson, Marshall, and NYU Stern.

You ask a number of good questions that are relevant to a number of candidates. I understand where you are coming from with these questions, as prior to business school I spent time as an engineer working in industry and had many of the same concerns.

In terms of the GMAT, in considering your profile in aggregate, I'm not sure that you necessarily 'need' to re-take it - but that depends on the programs that you're prioritizing. You mention that your top choice is UCLA Anderson - at this point, based on our experience, with a solid execution of your application we don't necessarily think you would 'need' an improved GMAT to have a strong chance (but no guarantee) of admission. Keep in mind that the fact that you have a quantitative background with training in supply chain and finance mitigates the extent to which you may need to achieve a higher quant split on the GMAT. For example, when we see candidates who were liberal arts majors and who have not worked in a quantitative job AND who have a lower than average (for top programs) GMAT quant split, then it makes more sense to try to take the GMAT again. In some ways, the fact that your verbal split is so high helps to round out your profile. If you're really focused on attending a top 5 school, then it may make more sense to consider re-taking the GMAT - but only if you believe that you have a very good shot at achieving a better score.

As to whether your candidacy is hurt in any way because you do not work in consulting or finance, the answer is primarily no, from our experience. Keep in mind that applicants from these industries are really competing with each other for a relative number of spots in a given class - MBA programs want a diverse mix of candidates from a variety of industries. In fact, HBS recently has looked to increase the mix of students who come from manufacturing and industry-related fields, which would include aerospace. And while it is true that, in our experience, we see applicants from consulting and invesmtent banking firms do well in applications, a large part of that is that these applicants are more likely to have really strong profiles outside of their work experience. That is, they have strong GPAs, are more likely to have attended Ivy League schools, etc.

Because you have a solid profile, I don't think you need to be concerned about not working in consulting or banking - rather, be proud of the fact that you'll be bringing valuable perspective to the discussions in your MBA cohort and classes. Because of your background, I can tell you that you'll be singled out by professors to provide your point of view on operations topics and supply chain issues during discussions in classes that a consultant or banker would truly not be able to shed light on. One of my good friends at Kellogg worked at Honeywell prior to business school and currently works at a top consulting firm in New York. Additionally, there are always several students from the aerospace industry in large MBA programs who come from firms like yours or places like Boeing, etc.

Regarding your family situation and whether you should discuss this in your applications, I would say absolutely yes. This kind of context is helpful for the admission committees to understand. That being said, it is really important that you reflect on the experience being a partial caregiver as that of a positive one - you do not want to come across as lamenting this situation and/or that this issue has 'held you back' in some way.

Your question about the impact of a double major is a great one. The answer, in our judgement, is that a double major absolutely helps you out. Think of a double major as a kind of "strength of schedule" factor in your favor, to use a sports analogy. We have observed that admission committees absolutely take this into account when making a qualitative judgement on the overall rigor and difficulty of your undergraduate experience. The factors that are taken into account here generally include:
- The relative prestige of the university
- The relative difficulty of the major (e.g. engineering is typically considered pretty tough)
- The relative difficulty of someone attaining a high GPA, which is harder if a student had any one or more of the following:
- Significant part-time work experience,
- A double major (which as you point out forces fewer easier courses and electives),
- Graduation faster than that of your colleagues, and/or
- Truly outstanding extracurricular work experience

Best of luck,

_________________

vkc911 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Mar 2012
Posted:
8 messages
Test Date:
16 April, 2012
GMAT Score:
700
Post Sat May 12, 2012 1:42 am
Thank You Aringo.

Do you suggest retaking the GMAT to improve on the Verbal part? Wondering if it may help in Kellogg's admission process since you have rated my current profile a stretch!

Kindly suggest

_________________
Cheers,
kc

saswatnayak Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
11 May 2012
Posted:
6 messages
Post Tue May 15, 2012 8:04 am
HI ,

I will be applying to colleges this year for 2013 fall session .

I gave my GMAT on September 2010 and scored 710 . Break up --
Quants - 49
Verbal - 38
AWA - 4.5

Do you think i should retake the GMAT for 2 reasons -- The score is 2 yrs old ( although the scores are valid for 5 Yrs). Second reason is i am confident of improving my score to 740. Will improving the score help me or it can play down showing immaturity on my side to retake the GMAT for additional 30-40 points .

My profile --

I an Indian Male of 26 years of age and presently have 3yrs 10 months of total work experience .

Academics & Professional--

Graduated as BTECH in CIVIL Engineering in 2008 From National Institute of Technology - Allahabad ( Ranked in Top 10 Engineering Institute in India)

CGPA - 7.85/10 -- 9th Rank in the batch

Joined Reliance Infrastructure LTD. - ( power Sector) July 2008- March 2011 .

Roles & responsibilities - ( Assistant Manager( civil) - Engineering-Project Management Team)
• Guiding the efforts of 80 people as part of a larger team implementing India’s first Ultra Mega Power Plant (3960 MW) at Sasan Madhya Pradesh of a project cost of USD 4.45 billion.
• Lead a team of 5 member to set-up project’s In-house design capabilities.

IN April, 2011 Shifted my Job and Joined Procter & Gamble Home Products LTD. as Associate Manager -- ASIA Facilities Engineering

Roles & Responsibilities -
• Solely Responsible to cover task within the Civil /Structural /Architectural Technologies to deliver best value Facility solutions across different Global Business Units in India .
• Presently Working And Managing Multiple suppliers in India & overseas to use the best value Engineering services to deliver the project Objectives .

Extra Curricular Activities --

• Was appointed as Sports Captain of the college ( 2007-2008) and Vice captain (2006-2007) responsible for conducting college sports events, preparing yearly budget and making sure its spent judiciously
• Was elected as Head of Disciplinary Committee of the college in 2007-2008 responsible for maintaining overall decorum of the college .
• Core -coordinator of AVISHKAR ( National Technical Festival ) & CULRAV ( National Cultural Festival)
• Was in charge of conducting training programs for young engineers in reliance Infrastructure.
• Won First Prize in the National Level Technical Festival in the year 2006
• Played Under -19 District Level Cricket in the year 2001
• Won Bronze medal in Junior National Level in Martial Arts in the year 1998

Community Activities -- Very few and not very noteworthy
Has been involved in setting up a small teaching session for poor Kids after college hours during Undergrad College
During previous job , i was involved with a NGO to help teach poor kids and organize some events for them during the weekends .

Please let me know what are my chances for the below mentioned schools and what can i improve in my profile in next 2-3 months .

Target Schools --
Kellog
Duke
LBS
Ross
HASS
Johnson

Thanks & Regards
Saswat

dman25 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
30 Dec 2011
Posted:
11 messages
Test Date:
7/2012
Target GMAT Score:
740
GMAT Score:
750
Post Fri May 18, 2012 2:22 pm
Thank you for the very detailed and insightful response Brian. It has helped me figure out where I stand in the grand scheme of things.

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Posted:
40 messages
Thanked:
5 times
Post Sun May 20, 2012 6:01 pm
Quote:
Thank You Aringo.

Do you suggest retaking the GMAT to improve on the Verbal part? Wondering if it may help in Kellogg's admission process since you have rated my current profile a stretch!

Kindly suggest
vkc911,

Thank you for the follow-up question. At this point, as pointed out in your original profile review, we believe (based on past experience) that you would be a competitive candidate or better at a number of your target programs. Yes, a higher GMAT score would help you at Kellogg. However, at this point you list a total of 10 target programs. Your question about whether or not you should retake the GMAT, with a current score of 700, comes down to your personal priorities about schools, the amount of time you have to spend on applications, and your ability to actually get a higher score.

We would certainly not recommend to re-take the GMAT and an application strategy that involves (anything close to) 10 MBA programs. Many candidates we work with underestimate the amount of time required to prepare a high-quality application to 3-4 schools, while the "average" applicant might apply to somewhere in the range of 4-7 programs. So, a re-take would likely reduce the number of programs you could apply to (in our experience) with high quality applications. We also have seen that many students do not actually get a higher score with a re-take, so it's critical to judge how likely this might be given your prior history on practice tests.

When we work with candidates, it is often these qualitative issues and intangibles that make the difference for a decision like this, when we're talking about a candidate who has a solid profile such as yourself.

Best of luck,

_________________

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Posted:
40 messages
Thanked:
5 times
Post Sun May 20, 2012 7:58 pm
Quote:
HI ,

I will be applying to colleges this year for 2013 fall session .

I gave my GMAT on September 2010 and scored 710 . Break up --
Quants - 49
Verbal - 38
AWA - 4.5

Do you think i should retake the GMAT for 2 reasons -- The score is 2 yrs old ( although the scores are valid for 5 Yrs). Second reason is i am confident of improving my score to 740. Will improving the score help me or it can play down showing immaturity on my side to retake the GMAT for additional 30-40 points .

My profile --

I an Indian Male of 26 years of age and presently have 3yrs 10 months of total work experience .

Academics & Professional--

Graduated as BTECH in CIVIL Engineering in 2008 From National Institute of Technology - Allahabad ( Ranked in Top 10 Engineering Institute in India)

CGPA - 7.85/10 -- 9th Rank in the batch

Joined Reliance Infrastructure LTD. - ( power Sector) July 2008- March 2011 .

Roles & responsibilities - ( Assistant Manager( civil) - Engineering-Project Management Team)
• Guiding the efforts of 80 people as part of a larger team implementing India’s first Ultra Mega Power Plant (3960 MW) at Sasan Madhya Pradesh of a project cost of USD 4.45 billion.
• Lead a team of 5 member to set-up project’s In-house design capabilities.

IN April, 2011 Shifted my Job and Joined Procter & Gamble Home Products LTD. as Associate Manager -- ASIA Facilities Engineering

Roles & Responsibilities -
• Solely Responsible to cover task within the Civil /Structural /Architectural Technologies to deliver best value Facility solutions across different Global Business Units in India .
• Presently Working And Managing Multiple suppliers in India & overseas to use the best value Engineering services to deliver the project Objectives .

Extra Curricular Activities --

• Was appointed as Sports Captain of the college ( 2007-2008) and Vice captain (2006-2007) responsible for conducting college sports events, preparing yearly budget and making sure its spent judiciously
• Was elected as Head of Disciplinary Committee of the college in 2007-2008 responsible for maintaining overall decorum of the college .
• Core -coordinator of AVISHKAR ( National Technical Festival ) & CULRAV ( National Cultural Festival)
• Was in charge of conducting training programs for young engineers in reliance Infrastructure.
• Won First Prize in the National Level Technical Festival in the year 2006
• Played Under -19 District Level Cricket in the year 2001
• Won Bronze medal in Junior National Level in Martial Arts in the year 1998

Community Activities -- Very few and not very noteworthy
Has been involved in setting up a small teaching session for poor Kids after college hours during Undergrad College
During previous job , i was involved with a NGO to help teach poor kids and organize some events for them during the weekends .

Please let me know what are my chances for the below mentioned schools and what can i improve in my profile in next 2-3 months .

Target Schools --
Kellog
Duke
LBS
Ross
HASS
Johnson

Thanks & Regards
Saswat
Saswat,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 710, our experience indicates you would be between stretch and competitive at Kellogg, competitive at Haas, and strong at Johnson, LBS, Ross, and Fuqua.

Your work experience and leadership responsibilities in your work roles are strong, and I suspect you will have good stories to select from for your essays. Additionally, I like that you highlight that you've been involved with projects that were the first of their kind in India. At the same time, keep in mind that ad coms will not understand the technical aspects of your industry. I understand what a MW is, but I have a background in mechanical engineering. The vast majority of ad coms are liberal arts majors. As such, I would recommend that you leave out this kind of detail but just convert any of these types of details into more general terms ("largest of its kind" "20% larger than the company had undertaken in the past" etc).

In terms of your academic performance, make sure you explain that you finished 9th out of a quantified number of students. As I'm sure you would understand, it makes a huge difference if you finished 9th out of 20 vs. 9th out of 2,000. For the awards that you have received to date, also mention how many competitors it was 'out of' so that it's clear how prestigious it is.

I am somewhat confused by your question about the GMAT. We have never in our experience ran into any issues with a GMAT score that is a few years old. I believe you are asking if you should take the GMAT because a two year old score is perhaps not reflective of your current capabilities. Your score is competitive for top programs (although it's not a differentiator), but you should in no way feel pressure to take the test again on the basis of when it was taken in the past. If you're very confident that you can receive an improved score, yes you could consider taking the exam again. However, we often see students get 20-30 points lower in the actual test relative to what they received on practice exams. As such, in order to actually score a 740, you might want to be able to consistently get 760 on practice tests, for instance.

As far as what you can work on in the next 2-3 months, my recommendation would be to strengthen and hone your resume and your writing skills. Since your AWA was 4.5, because you are an engineer, and because your verbal GMAT score/split is somewhat lower, you'll need to convince the ad coms that you have strong communication abilities. Make sure that you take time to not only select strong stories for your applications but that you do not have any typos or spelling mistakes in your essays. For instance, you've spelled two of the MBA programs incorrectly, are capitalizing words that might not need it, and are using an inconsistent spacing methodology across sentences when you use parentheses and periods. These kinds of details count, and in our experience we have seen otherwise (very) strong applications denied entry because of too many small errors such as this.

Best of luck,

_________________

RedRoosevelt Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Posted:
1 messages
Post Thu May 24, 2012 7:43 am
Hi Aringo, the advice you're able to give seems really helpful so I'd love to hear what you have to say about my profile. I'm a white male by the way. Thanks!

GMAT: 710 - 47Q (76%), 41V (92%).

Undergrad: 3.43 GPA in International Relations from a top 30 USNWR school. Extracurriculars included participating in college's emerging leaders program, helping to organize international service trips and member of incoming-freshman welcome committee. Had three meaningful summer internships as well.

Work experience: Served 1 year in AmeriCorps working at an urban public school. Selected to be a part of the national pilot team to test the program's impact in schools which included data collection and quantitative analysis. Received city-wide award for dedication and commitment to service.

Now work as program director of a growing nonprofit organization that introduces high school students to social entrepreneurship. In-charge of all day-to-day operations including program growth, fundraising, social media and internet presence, board communication, accounting, marketing, etc. Organization has already experienced significant growth and development under my leadership. By the time of matriculation, I will have been in this position for 2.5 years.

Current extracurricular: Volunteer field organizer for state-wide political campaign

Recs: The executive director of my nonprofit is very enthusiastic about the possibility of having me attend a top MBA program and will write a solid recommendation on my behalf. I have a few options for a solid 2nd or 3rd recommendation.

Goal: To create a social venture that promotes entrepreneurship in under-served, urban areas. I've become frustrated with the inefficiencies in the nonprofit and public sectors and truly believe that private enterprise can be used to achieve positive social change.

Long-long-term-goal: Parents started and currently run a highly successful, yet non-traditional business in the education space. Ideally, I would like to take over the reins of this business at some point later in my life and I think and MBA would help immensely in this pursuit as well.

Timeline: Hope to start MBA program in fall of 2013.

Schools: I’m targeting Harvard, Stanford, Hass, Kellogg, Yale, Fuqua and Georgetown but I’m not quite sure what schools would go for a profile such as mine. I would love to go to a school with history of promoting social entrepreneurship but I know these are the hardest schools in the country to get into.

I would love any advice or insight into my chances at the top schools. Thanks!

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Posted:
40 messages
Thanked:
5 times
Post Mon May 28, 2012 4:45 pm
Quote:
Hi Aringo, the advice you're able to give seems really helpful so I'd love to hear what you have to say about my profile. I'm a white male by the way. Thanks!

GMAT: 710 - 47Q (76%), 41V (92%).

Undergrad: 3.43 GPA in International Relations from a top 30 USNWR school. Extracurriculars included participating in college's emerging leaders program, helping to organize international service trips and member of incoming-freshman welcome committee. Had three meaningful summer internships as well.

Work experience: Served 1 year in AmeriCorps working at an urban public school. Selected to be a part of the national pilot team to test the program's impact in schools which included data collection and quantitative analysis. Received city-wide award for dedication and commitment to service.

Now work as program director of a growing nonprofit organization that introduces high school students to social entrepreneurship. In-charge of all day-to-day operations including program growth, fundraising, social media and internet presence, board communication, accounting, marketing, etc. Organization has already experienced significant growth and development under my leadership. By the time of matriculation, I will have been in this position for 2.5 years.

Current extracurricular: Volunteer field organizer for state-wide political campaign

Recs: The executive director of my nonprofit is very enthusiastic about the possibility of having me attend a top MBA program and will write a solid recommendation on my behalf. I have a few options for a solid 2nd or 3rd recommendation.

Goal: To create a social venture that promotes entrepreneurship in under-served, urban areas. I've become frustrated with the inefficiencies in the nonprofit and public sectors and truly believe that private enterprise can be used to achieve positive social change.

Long-long-term-goal: Parents started and currently run a highly successful, yet non-traditional business in the education space. Ideally, I would like to take over the reins of this business at some point later in my life and I think and MBA would help immensely in this pursuit as well.

Timeline: Hope to start MBA program in fall of 2013.

Schools: I’m targeting Harvard, Stanford, Hass, Kellogg, Yale, Fuqua and Georgetown but I’m not quite sure what schools would go for a profile such as mine. I would love to go to a school with history of promoting social entrepreneurship but I know these are the hardest schools in the country to get into.

I would love any advice or insight into my chances at the top schools. Thanks!

RedRoosevelt,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 710, our experience indicates you would be between a strech and competitive candidate (closer to stretch) at Harvard and Stanford, between stretch and competitive at Kellogg, competitive at Haas and Yale SOM, and strong at Fuqua and Georgetown.

You have a strong profile with a number of very good attributes. A couple of items to keep in mind, with the general mindset of making sure the ad coms know you have the capability to perform in a top MBA program and have the potential to be a leader:

- Perhaps the top area for your application will be in showing that you have significant, quantified results as a result of your involvement in your work experience. You've graduated from a pretty good school, have a good (not great) GPA, and have a competitive GMAT. Given all that, in our past involvement with candidates from non-traditional backgrounds, the applicants who are able to highlight specific achievements well do better with the top programs. It sounds as though you have a couple of great items to discuss from your education experience, and given that you are in charge of many functions for your non-profit you could have a number of items to choose from. The challenge with responsibility for so many functions is that you may not have been able to go "as deep" in some of them. This is ok, but just don't select the areas where you weren't as focused for your essays.

- The second item that will be quite important is ensuring that you highlight your leadership appropriately while as an undergraduate. Part of the reason here is that applicants with non-traditional backgrounds need to prove to the ad coms that they have a lot of potential. Why? At a non-profit, you don't have a lot of opportunity to gain promotions or to be compared against a large class of your peers (which implies potential). On the other hand, you'd have that 'comparison set' if you were at a Deloitte, P&G, or Caterpillar, for example. Right now, though, with comments that say, "helping to X," "member of Y," and "participating in Z," your leadership here may be (unfairly) questioned by the ad coms. On your resume just make sure to place your activities in the right context and (if true) highlight the leadership roles you help and accomplishments you were responsible for.

Your future career goals in the short and long term are very reasonable. And, while many applicants talk about social entrepreneurship in their applications, your background is actually quite aligned to this. Based on our experience, we would highly recommend you note your family business in your application - it definitely helps (on the margin) to have a family business to potentially take over in the future.

Best of luck,

_________________

georgepaul0071987 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue May 29, 2012 9:37 am
application



Last edited by georgepaul0071987 on Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:07 am; edited 3 times in total

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:16 pm
Quote:
Hey Brian ,

I was just wondering if I could get your input on my profile .

Academics :

Xth Grade - 91% ( Overall )
XIIth Grade - 90% ( Overall )
Bachelors' degree in Telecommunication Engineering
Overall GPA of 8.4/10 - First Class with Distinction ( The highest possible class that can be achieved ) . I was in the top 5-10% of my class.

GMAT - 710 ( Q50,v35 ,AWA 5.5)

Work Experience -
1.5 years as Business Analyst / QA Engineer at Societe Generale . The project I worked on mainly dealth with Fixed Income Products and Forex Markets . The software was a monitoring tool that was used by the bank to track it's activities in these domains . My roles included speaking to the end user ( requirement gathering ) and acting as a middle man between the software developers on the team and the end user .

1.5 years as a Sales and Marketing Manager at my family business . The family business is a pharmaceutical company with a wide range of patents for a number of products . It is a well established business with clients all over the world . Right now I manage a team of about 30-40 people . I was instrumental in setting up markets in the US and Australia and the revenue for the company from these markets has increased exponentially since I joined the company .

My main aim is to do an MBA and then come back and take over the family business . I feel like doing a course that emphasizes leadership would really help me . Once I take over the business I would need to be in a position to lead a team of about 100-200 people .

My target Schools - HBS ( Leadership ) , Wharton ( Finance ) or Kellog ( For Marketing ) . Although I feel HBS would be the best fit because I would be taking a leadership role once I return to the family business after my MBA .

Extra Curricular Activities -

Captain of the College Football Team
Participated in an International Salsa Dance Congress
Was instrumental in Setting up a school for underpriveleged children in a village that was near the factory of the family business . This school provides free education for children from the age of 2 to 12 .
georgepaul0071987,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 710, our experience shows you would be between a stretch and competitive candidate (closer to competitive) at Harvard, competitive at Wharton, and between competitive and strong (closer to competitive) at Kellogg.

Your profile is strong in general, as you have a solid GPA and GMAT, gain points for being associated with a name-brand firm, and strong leadership and management responsibility with your current role in your family business. And, business schools, in our experience, love to receive applications from situations in which the applicant is going to be taking over the family business - especially when that family business is already a success.

A couple of items to keep in mind during your applications:
- Talk about your performance and standing at Societe Generale prior to your leaving the firm. Ad coms would want to know that you had good performance reviews and in general left the organization on good standing.
- Mention the size and growth rate of your family business, along with the initiatives that you were part of that helped to drive this recent growth. Discuss some of the challenges that you see the organization facing in the future and try to tie this to areas where an MBA would help you manage those topics going forward.
- Research your schools of interest further. At this point, because your profile is generally strong and well-rounded, you can transfer most of your efforts to working on a solid application. When I see applicants who associate Harvard with leadership, Wharton with finance, and Kellogg with marketing, that is perhaps only scratching the surface. I would encourage you to keep learning about the relative culture at those schools and their learning and teaching styles. Beyond this, I'd encourage you to research the entrepreneurship and more specifically the family business initiatives that your target schools offer, as you'll want to craft your essays around describing how these can help you and your family's company.

Best of luck,

_________________

rahulvsd Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:46 am
Hi

Could you evaluate my profile?

I took up the GMAT thrice. Got 610 in my first attempt. 660 (47Q 34V) in my second and 650 (46Q 34V) in my third (No power for the entire duration of the test made me lose my focus). My practice test scores were in the range of 710 - 740 and I felt good before my third attempt. But as mentioned the external conditions at the test center dampened my chances of getting a good score. I do not want to take the GMAT again.

Here is a short brief on my profile.

1. GMAT - 660 (Highest)
2. Work ex - 13 months with Cognizant Technolgy Solutions as a developer. 16 months as a Product Evangelist at a software products company.
3. Undergrad CGPA - 3.2 not sure on this (82 % - and finished in top 5% of my class)- Electrical Engineering
4. Have led and formed teams at college and at work. Revamped a dead Entrepreneurship Cell at my college by taking it from a one member team to a 75 member team in one year. Received an award at college recognizing this. Led a team of 50 other training batch captains at Cognizant and conceptualized and conducted a one day fundraising cultural activity. Raised 5000$ (INR 2,50,000) for an orphanage.
5. Received an award and lot of appreciation from clients and peers at Cognizant for developing a tool that reduced testing time by 80% and brought down costs by 70% for my client (An insurance company based in the US)
6. Was more interested in marketing and sales side of a product and hence switched to my current role. Have been involved in creating marketing strategies for 4 different products (2 new products) in my current role. Have worked on getting more customer testimonials for the 4 products, have revamped the product blogs and have drastically improved our social media presence.
7. Have been leading teams of size 4 - 10 for the last 8 months now. Played a key role in expansion of the company and have also helped manage recruiting at all levels. We nearly doubled up our head count in the last one year.
8. Have also helped with operations and described as the "The GOTO Man" by my CEO.
9. Was the campus ambassador for Child Rights and You and worked with them to help create awareness for the Right to Education act. Have also been involved with the CSR arm of Cognizant during my stay there.
10. Worked as the Alumni officer at my Undergrad college for two months before my role at Cognizant. Have helped set up the process for the Alumni Scholarship for meritorious students from difficult background. Have been a board member of the Alum Association and was also part of the Scholarship committee and Election committee which oversees the election process for office bearers.
11. Have finished Level 1 Spanish certification and will be taking up Level 2 soon.
12. Learning to play the flute and the sport of archery for last 6 months.

I would like to pursue a specialization in Marketing. Below are the list of my target schools.

1. Indian School of Business
2. University of Virginia - Darden
3. University of Michigan - Ross
4. Cornell University - Johnson
5. Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper
6. UCLA - Anderson

dbnoho Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:26 am
Hi Aringo,

Thank you in advance for providing your assessment of my profile. I have a somewhat unique work experience and I would greatly appreciate hearing your expert opinion.

Profile:

BA - Small Business Management (2007) from mid 2nd tier state university (University of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, etc.). GPA 3.35 (3.5+ final two years, 3.5+ within major). Graduated cum laude (top 20%).

GMAT: 720 (48 Quant, 41 Verbal - still waiting for AQA, but it will be at least a 5.5). First and only attempt.

Community Involvement:
Almost my entire career has been spent in the non-profit space. I have regularly volunteered at a number of charity events, although I have no on-going commitments.

-1 year marketing assistant in small, private law firm
-3 years in mental health human services - no previous experience. Promoted to youngest manager within company of 1000. Managed 2 direct reports, residential home and outreach team.

-Almost two years as Recruiter for prestigious global non-profit (Gates, Clinton Foundation, etc.). I contribute to evolution of processes and systems, have become the team's expert on Excel, data analysis and process flows. I've created new systems and protocols for a variety of ongoing tasks. I am moving towards a team lead role and am in line to be become manager of global team of 5 in one year.

As you can see, I have not followed the typical path (consulting, analyst, etc.). My career has involved a focus on collaboration, interpersonal communication and interpersonal management, and problem solving.

My career goals are to continue to advance within human resources/human capital strategy or organizational behavior.

My school preferences are:

-Darden
-Kellog
-INSEAD
-Columbia
-Duke
-UNC
-Chicago


Do I have a chance at these schools? Thank you!

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