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It's getting more and more difficult to be admitted!

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mbaseeker09 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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It's getting more and more difficult to be admitted!

Post Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:36 am
Hi there again,
I've just read part of the "new" profiles posted by Businessweek about 2009-graduating MBA classes around America, and I'm a bit concerned. I've seen a surge in application, a surge in average and median GMAT scores of admitted students and a lowering of acceptance rates. Given my target schools, should I really be worried of this increased competitiveness? Or it's just normal, cyclical?

Thanks!

P.S:
- Here's my profile:
I'm a European student, and I'd like to pursue a MBA in the USA.
I plan to apply next year, but I've already taken the GMAT two years ago, and I've just taken the TOEFL test too.
I'd like an assessment of my opportunities and some indications about which school you think I should apply for.
Here's my profile:

AGE: 28
Nationality: Italian
BA: Cultural Anthropology (social sciences-related then) mark 110/110, GPA: 3.76 for last two years, 3.85 for all 5 years.
GMAT score: 680 (Q43, V40)
TOEFL IBT: 109
Work experience: set up my own business re-selling media products through internet when I was at university (1,5 years) on my website. Kind of unofficial business, yet profitable and that gave me deep insight into business.
After graduation, I've joined my current employer. I've worked with them for 1,5 years now. I started as assistant to the Quality Assurance Manager, and I've been recently promoted to Quality Assurance Manager. I work for a mid-sized company working in the logistics field, with 320 employees.
I can speak fluently italian, english and spanish, and I can speak good finnish and a bit of chinese.
I've travelled extensively to 27 countries for tourism, plus two volunteering experiences of 20 days each in Romania and The Gambia.
I've spent one year in Finland as exchange student and a summer semester at UMKC in Kansas City, MO.
I've been involved in volunteering for the last 6 months, and I'm studying french.

Given my stats - which I put here again - you told me I could aim to some good schools. Would Emory University (Goizueta), UNC-Chapel hill, Purdue University, Rice and the likes be feasible?
thanks a lot!

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jelt Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:04 pm
I don't know how these things translate across cultures, but your work experience seems a bit weak given your age..

Having said that your GPA looks fine so you probably shouldn't worry about your academic profile.

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Post Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:20 pm
Personally, I wouldn't retake the test.

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jelt Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:04 pm
I don't know how these things translate across cultures, but your work experience seems a bit weak given your age..

Having said that your GPA looks fine so you probably shouldn't worry about your academic profile.

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Post Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:20 pm
Personally, I wouldn't retake the test.

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jelt Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:49 am
Hi there,

That's great. Honestly, what you just said sounds a lot more persuasive than your original post. And if you are truly interested in such international programmes (which I'm sure you are) you should consider international MBA programmes as well..

And as for me not having work experience, I think a lot of misunderstanding comes from not having proper information: for instance I too did not properly understand your background, and so I think it may benefit you and maybe others for me to explain a little about myself.

Before entering college, I was awarded a full college scholarship to fund my overseas study at The University of Chicago. I also served two years and two months of mandatory service in the Singapore Army, where I led a team of about 6-15 people (depending on the exact time of the year) in a human resource branch.

At The University of Chicago I've kept up a GPA of 3.91. I've also scored 770 on the GMAT. I'm fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English, and I speak conversational Thai. In the past three years I've spent four months volunteering in Thailand, three months studying abroad in China, and traveled to Peru, Mexico on holidays.

During the past three years I've also interned yearly at the company that offered me the scholarship. In the first year I worked in corporate development, and was worked on tackling the threats to the company business model. The company is a media conglomerate, and prints newspapers and magazines; with the advent of free blogs and online news, our circulation has been plummeting.

In the second year I worked at the marketing department approaching people off the streets to sign up for our new online job portal.

In the third year I went back to corporate development because helping the company deal with the threats to its circulation excites me and that's my career goal.

My internships have been great learning experiences. In these past three years I've worked closely with many of the company's top executives: the company is investing heavily in me, and has been trying to get me exposed to as much as possible. I've also learned a lot from my fellow colleagues. I've also performed well in them, such that my company has now also agreed to sponsor the first year of my MBA studies.

Apart from the short and medium term, my volunteering experiences have also clarified my long term goals as a social entrepreneur. In terms of background, my time in the army serving my mandatory service gives me unique experience as a leader trying to motivate my subordinates in an environment (forced labour) that many may not have experienced.

So you see, even with my limited work experience I know my short and medium term goals (corporate development) long term goals (social entrepreneurship) and I know exactly what I need to get out of the MBA. When schools like Wharton say that it's not 'how many years and how many months' that matter, they're not kidding. Rather, know 'why now, and why MBA', and you'll not have to worry about work experience.

Furthermore, I think every individual is unique. You speak many languages; I've been in the army. But even categories like that unfairly try to categorise someone into easy groups that they don't belong to (I'm sure many people speak many languages in the world. Similarly, the army.). That's why I always keep an open mind about others.

Good luck!

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mbaseeker09 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:44 am
and my gpa is 3.60 for the last two years.

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mbaseeker09 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:36 am
Probably I spotted the error in my post...

I have 2 years and 9 months of full time work experience, not just 1 year and 6 months! It's almost the double, so it's my fault! Actually - as I started to work with my employer 3 months before graduation, I have 3 years of full-time work experience...

Well.. ok... just wanted to be precise!!

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mbaseeker09 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:29 am
Jelt,
I appreciate your honesty, but as you said you don't know much about how to translate work experience across cultures. Just to let you know, If an average american student is graduated by the age of 22, an average italian student is graduated at the age of 24/25 according to the month of his birth. So, it very normal to start working when you're 25. And it's normal having just 3 years of work experience when you're liek 28 years old.

Comparatively speaking, it's a disadvantage, but I really think admission committees will be aware of that, and this doesn't worry me too much then.

Furthermore, i've been promoted quickly once in the work place, i've coached an intern and I've assumed/been given increasing responsabilities.

Furthermore, I have an international experience (languages, travels, exchange student) that I really think 90% of other people can really dream about. And that not 'cause I'm rich, but 'cause I really have an international outlook and a strong passion for other cultures, as my laurea specialistica in Anthropology shows. I've worked hard during college to afford my trips abroad, i've set up a smart half-online half-ad mags business that helped me paying off my education and my travels.

So, also to answer to your insightful posting about re-taking the gmat - well, I really prefer taking some language courses or quantitative ones (I'm currently studying bahasa indonesia) or travel abroad than studying for the gmat again. nevertheless, if I will have to retake it, I will retake it, don't worry.

Maybe my work experience isn't at Bain or at Goldman Sachs, but it's a decent one and with a company who has nevertheless more than 300 employees and which is well-respected in my region.

At least I got work experience that will help me through my MBA, while you seem not to have got any anyway...

Cheers,

Andrea

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mbaseeker09 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:55 am
Hi again,
well, do you think my profile is not good and needs to be balanced by a stronger GMAT score?

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Post Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:21 pm
Your 680 score seems to be in range with the schools that you've listed in your previous post. Even with the perceived upward trend, I think your 680 will still be competitive.

If you are leveraging your GMAT to balance out other discrepancies in your application, then it may be worth your investment to retake the test, especially since you have two years ahead of you. Otherwise, if your work experience, undergrad GPA, recommendations, etc. all seem pretty strong, then I wouldn't bother with the retake.

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jelt Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:57 am
Honestly, I think you know the answer to this question.

What you're really saying is, studying for the GMAT again will be a huge pain in the ass, and may take up a few months of my life. But I have two years to prepare for business school applications, and I'll be sure as hell pissed off if I were to be denied admission for something like a GMAT score, especially when I can do something about it right now.

A higher GMAT score is always better. And as you've duly noted, you're not quite in the range of substantially outperforming the mean. So if I were you, I would definitely retake it. If nothing else, to know that I tried my hardest to get in and had no regrets.

Cheers.

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mbaseeker09 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:46 am
Hi again,
well, the trend seems to be related to more than just a few points per year. Here's some GMAT scores for 2006 and 2007 per school:

USC: 685 to 689
UNC -Chapel Hill: 662 to 689 (!!)
Emory: 690 to 685 (median still 690)
Indiana University (Bloomington): 645 to 656
Texas - Austin: 669 to 663
Texas A&M: 643 to 665

The trend is really upward!
Yes, I plan to apply in 2, maximum 3 years.
Do you think I'll still be fine for these schools? I mean, even if the median GMAT will be around 690-695, will a 680 still be considered ok or it will be considered too low?
For sure, I'm gonna hire Stacy Blackman Consulting, and they will hopefully help me with something! Do you think they will help?
thanks!

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Post Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:02 pm
Anecdotally, I also agree that there seems to be an upward trend for GMAT scores. If you are applying in two years, I wouldn't worry about the trends too much--overall, the averages or medians seem to be increasing just a few points a year, if that.

Just want to reiterate that the GMAT is just one factor of several that admissions committees consider. Your 680 is a solid score and will remain a solid score in two years. Don't worry too much about these trends, but focus on the other areas of your candidacy that you can control.

Good luck!

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MBA Watch - Your one-stop shop for all MBA program research

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mbaseeker09 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Target GMAT Score:
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Post Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:15 am
Hi felals,
I'm very concerned by the upward trends of GMAT scores! it seems that top30 programs round now 680-690 as their average GMAT score! Do you think will continue to go up? I plan to apply in like two years from now, and i'm quite concerned by 680 won't be enough! Sad

What do you think?
thanks!

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