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Profile Evaluation please!

This topic has 2 expert replies and 0 member replies
MBA2018golden Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
21 Nov 2016
6 messages

Profile Evaluation please!

Post Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:39 pm

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this post. While I am still a year or two away from application, I would like to see how my profile is shaping up for when I pull the trigger. FYI, my dream schools are UCLA, HBS, NYU, COLUMBIA, STANFORD, and USC. I'm hoping to get an expert opinion. UCLA is my number one.

I went to a top 30 liberal arts school. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude, 3.9 GPA with a double major in Econ and Film and finished my degrees in 3 and 1/2 years. I was an RA, played club sports, did theater and wrote screenplays. During undergrad, I worked in entertainment at three Academy Award winning production companies and for WME as an intern. When I graduated early, I got a job at Ernst and Young as a consultant in financial advisory which I did for 8 months before shifting back to the entertainment industry where I currently work (at a top 4 talent agency in the Film Finance and Sales group). Recently promoted to work for a head of the Motion Picture Group. I will either stay here until I apply to B-school in the fall of 2017 or 2018 or I will shift to a Studio, preferably in the strategy or marketing space.

on the GMAT side: Tough road of studying but pulled out a 710! 47 Math, 40 Verbal. 6 AWA and 6 IR.

Throughout the next two years, I plan on doing volunteer work with my company and on my own. I also am an active stock trader on the side as a hobby. I am a white man FYI. I am also wrestling with applying in the fall of 2017 or 2018?

With all that info, do I have a shot at any of my dream schools listed above?

Thank you for your time and response!

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Post Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:30 am
You definitely have a shot! But there are also areas you can optimize.

First: IMO, don’t switch companies again - you don’t want to appear to be a job-hopper. Keep going for promotions in the same company, and seek out LEADERSHIP roles. That’s one thing that’s not clear to me in your materials: what leadership roles have you had, at work or in university? For b-school purposes, “leadership” = leading people, anything from direct reports to project teams to volunteer groups. Differs from “in charge of” or “owning” a process - top business schools want to see the people in your story.

Volunteer work: if you haven’t done anything substantial since university, tacking that on the same year you apply might look a bit like a “death-bed conversion”, if you know what I mean. If you have done work with organizations or causes in the past, you could re-involve yourself or crank up your current involvement, preferably taking on a team-leadership role.

GMAT: These days, 710 is rather neutral. It won’t knock anyone’s socks off, but it won’t hurt you either. Given your industry and undergraduate profile, my advice would be to try to get past 720, just because I see a sort of invisible line at that point these days. Neither your Q nor your V is problematic, so it would just be a matter of eking out a few extra points, although a stronger Q would give you the most impact. You would know best whether that’s realistic for you; I am simply speaking optimally here.

International exposure: it’s a major plus if you have it, either professionally or during university.

Schools on your list: you’ll be good for USC and UCLA, but with these numbers you might struggle at HBS or Stanford. Your post-MBA goals will be a crucial component, both in helping you identify the right programs and in structuring your research.

I see that you’ve gotten a lot of feedback on this site over the last few months, so hopefully these components are starting to gel for you.

Good luck!
Margaret Strother

Margaret Strother
Senior Consultant
Stacy Blackman Consulting

Learn more about me


Post Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:49 am
The advice provided seems good. Your work experience helps differentiate you. I would apply for the next cycle, you can always reapply if not successful. cheers, Alex

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