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Military Officer Admissions Question

This topic has 1 expert reply and 0 member replies
rmcguire7 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Test Date:
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Target GMAT Score:
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Military Officer Admissions Question

Post Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:39 am
I have an atypical application and after searching far and wide for a similar profile, I have not found one. Here are my big three stats:
GMAT: 620 (39q 36v)
GPA: 3.44 BA History '05
Work Experience: 6 years (when I apply) plus 2.5 years part time 

I have been an Army officer since graduating and will have served in Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan (all for 12 months) in a variety of positions. Of note are two:
1) Fire Support Officer- I signed for and distributed over $6,000,000 cash to the local community in efforts to rebuild their economy. Started and was in charge o numerous work and security programs and started and led a  3.000+ member Farmers Coop which was successfully linked into the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture. 
I did this with no business background and is what inspired me to move into the business world and get an MBA.

2) Brigade Intelligence Officer- This is a Major's position that I am filling as a Captain, so I am definitely working in a position above my peers.

I plan on using both in my essays and anticipate the essays being a strength.

I have 3 questions:

1) Without taking my GMAT over, will my GPA and work experience mitigate the 620? Do I look like a strong candidate for schools with a higher average GMAT score than mine, but in which I fall into their 80% (i.e. Duke's 80% is from 620-750, but average is ~685)? I am looking at Duke, USC, and Cornell at the top of my wishlist.

2) Are there any top 30 schools that particularly like military officer experience?

3) Is my military experience a liability or an asset when applying? I think it comes down to a strong leadership background versus lack of business experience.

Thanks for the answers, I know others have similar questions!

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Bryant@VeritasPrep MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:43 am
Rick you should have a shot at those schools. In general, b-schools love ex-military for all the reasons you list plus one very important one you did not: teamwork. Having 5+ years military experience proves you know how to not only lead a team, but also function as part of one, a critical skill for b-school and business and one you should highlight in your application. Remember that business school is designed for people with no business experience--you will get everything you need from b-school to work in business management functions. They take all types from all backgrounds and assume no prior business knowledge for the most part (although you might consider taking an accounting course, statistics course and/or business calculus prior to matriculation just to make your experience better). GMAT should be fine for those schools assuming you have a bang-up application that weaves a compelling vision for why you deserve a seat over the next guy with similar experience. Try to think on how you stand out vs. other military guys--how has your experience helped you stand out among your peers? There will be other military applicants with 700+ GMAT scores who went to top undergrad schools (you didn't say where you went, so I don't know)--in other words, you have to have a hook to better these applicants in other areas. You might consider seeking help on your application just to make sure it all comes together well. Good luck!

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