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Profile Evaluation Request

This topic has 4 member replies
cfoley Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jun 2008
Posted:
13 messages
Test Date:
06/21/08
Target GMAT Score:
700
GMAT Score:
740

Profile Evaluation Request

Post Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:55 pm
Stacy,

I'm planning on applying for admission in Fall '09, and I'd appreciate your evaluation of my profile.

Personal Info: Male, 28 years old (29 at matriculation), married 3 years, have an 8 month old son and another baby due in January.

GMAT: 740 overall (97%), 45Q (77%), 47V (99%), 5.5 AWA
Undergrad: BS in Business Admin, University of Arizona, 3.7 / 4.0 (3.8 / 4.0 last 2 years)

Work Experience: 6 years in managerial positions in finance/accounting. Salary has doubled in that time and position has gone from untitled middle management to Controller.

Community Service / Activities: Undergrad - None. Current - Play bass in services at my church. Commitment is 6-8 hrs/week.

Not sure where this goes (if it belongs at all) in my profile - A few years ago I left a band with a major-label record deal to be a "family man". The band's debut record (which I helped write and record) was released last year, and has had singles chart in the U.S., Australia, and several European countries. I still spend a few hours each week writing, collaborating, and recording with the band.

Target Schools: UCLA, Stanford, HBS, Georgetown.

Post-MBA Career: Executive/financial positions at medium-sized businesses, particularly in high growth / acquisition phases. Organizations that rely on financial leverage (not exclusively, but more so than other forms of leverage) are particularly interesting to me. Given that, and given my interest in working for smaller growing companies, rather than large, entrenched corporations, I'm looking for a program with excellent finance and/or entrepreneurship instruction.

A have a few specific concerns about my profile. My most significant concern is that my work experience is all in small-business environments (first in a freight transportation company and now at a life insurance administrator), which does not seem to match the experience of most candidates. My responsibilities have increased greatly since I started working, from managing accounts payable auditing after graduation to preparing financial statements, calculating annuity benefit reserves, some forecasting, etc. now. But, since I've been working in smaller environments, I've also spent time opening mail, stuffing envelopes, and so on, and I'm concerned that this will dilute the admissions committee's view of my professional experience. In addition, I'm concerned that the more relevant experience I have will be viewed as not being of the same scope or significance as that of applicants coming from more traditional corporate backgrounds. If I can present myself well, will the admissions committees look past the small business nature of my experience, or will this be very difficult to get around regardless of presentation.

My second concern is that top schools may consider my quantitative score to be a bit low. My undergrad scores in quantitative courses were decent (B/A in micro/macro econ, A in stats, A in calc), and there are quantitative aspects to my work experience (calculating reserves on annuity products, etc.). Will my quantitative score be a concern for admissions committees? Should I take a supplementary calculus course through a local community college before applying?

I'm also curious about how admissions committees view applicants with children. I notice that most programs brag about the cohesiveness of their student body. Will admissions committees unofficially view families/children as distractions from the program?


I'd greatly appreciate any comments on my profile. And, if I'm not a good candidate for the programs I've listed, I'd love a recommendation or two for other programs to look into.

- Chris

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VP_MBA_Guru MBA Admissions Consultant Default Avatar
Joined
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GMAT Score:
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Post Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:01 am
Hi Chris,

Thanks for your post (although it might be directed to another forum)!

Chris - I think you have a stellar background. You have strong credentials and are a great candidate for a top MBA program. Your GMAT and GPA scores in well within range for the schools mentioned below.

First of all, I wouldn't worry too much about your quant scores. Since your job is quant focused (Acc/Finance), AdCom will not question your quant abilities.

Second, I do not believe any of the schools will discount your small company experience. Remember, top MBA programs are looking for a diverse class - not only bankers and consultants. Working in an small company environment will have likely given you interesting experiences/leadership opportunites that other 'corporate' candidates will not have. Make sure you emphasize these positive experiences in your essays - and how they will impact your post-MBA goals.

Third, your music background is VERY interesting and a great way to further differentiate yourself from other candidates. I would strongly recommend bringing this up in one of your essays.

Lastly, AdComs do not look down on applicants who are married or have children. Age can be a concern (as it appears many schools are trending downward in age / required WE), but that doesnt seem appear to be an issue for you. In fact, most top MBA programs have spouse/kids extra curricular activities... to make life a little easier!

Your school list make sense, except for GT. Doesnt seem to fit your background. I would consider a few other top 25 schools. Maybe Kellogg, Ross, Duke

Good luck!

NP

_________________
Nikhil P. | Admissions Consultant | Veritas Prep

cfoley Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jun 2008
Posted:
13 messages
Test Date:
06/21/08
Target GMAT Score:
700
GMAT Score:
740
Post Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:03 am
Heh. My apologies for the sloppy copying/pasting.

Thanks very much for your comments. I'll do my best to bring up my involvement in music and highlight my small business experience in a professional way.

- Chris

cfoley Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jun 2008
Posted:
13 messages
Test Date:
06/21/08
Target GMAT Score:
700
GMAT Score:
740
Post Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:32 pm
Nikhil,

Thanks again for your previous comments on my profile.

I'm curious about two aspects of the application process, and I was hoping you might have some advice or insight for me.

1. How do admissions committees view campus visits? How much weight (if any) do schools (particularly HBS and Kellogg, if you have any specific insight) give to candidates who have been able to visit?

With an 8 month old baby and very limited vacation time (due to the aforementioned baby and another one due in January), trekking accross the country to go to an information session before round 1 deadlines is seeming fairly daunting, and a bit impractical...

2. I realize this question may not have an answer (or may not have one that is generally applicable), but I'm wondering if you have any insight into rates of acceptance of realistically qualified candidates, as opposed to just overall rates of acceptance.

For example, Harvard has an acceptance rate of almost 14% (at least as reported by USNews and BusinessWeek). However, despite the somewhat prohibitive cost of applying to schools without a reasonable chance to get in, I imagine that at least some of the applicants to top schools in any given year are not well qualified (i.e. GMAT below 650, extremely limited or no professional experience, etc.). If these applicants were removed from the applicant pool, the acceptance rate from the remaining pool of well-qualified applicants would be higher than the overall reported acceptance rate.

So, I'm wondering if there is a generally consistent portion of applicants at top schools that are not actually qualified.

Have I explained my question well? Is there an answer?

Any insight would be very much appreciated...

- Chris

VP_MBA_Guru MBA Admissions Consultant Default Avatar
Joined
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Posted:
690 messages
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3 members
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GMAT Score:
750+
Post Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:32 am
cfoley wrote:
Nikhil,

1. How do admissions committees view campus visits? How much weight (if any) do schools (particularly HBS and Kellogg, if you have any specific insight) give to candidates who have been able to visit?

2. I realize this question may not have an answer (or may not have one that is generally applicable), but I'm wondering if you have any insight into rates of acceptance of realistically qualified candidates, as opposed to just overall rates of acceptance.
So, I'm wondering if there is a generally consistent portion of applicants at top schools that are not actually qualified.


- Chris
Chris,

Thanks for your post. To your first question, AdCom understands it is difficult for candidates to visit schools, esp if you are not in the same state/region. If you are unable to visit a school, try to attend info sessions in your area, network with an alumni club (they often organize informal info sessions), go online and register with the school.

So dont worry too much. You might want to indicate on your optional essay that you wanted to visit the school, but were unable to because you just had a son and are planning to visit in the near future (and instead of done other things, i.e. info sessions).

With regards to admissions - I wouldnt assume that the acceptance rates are any different for 'qualified' candidates. There are many candidates with STELLAR backgrounds (i.e. 800 GMATs, top WE) that dont get admission, so its not only the 'bottom' profiles that are getting rejected. So there is both upward and downward bias.

Hope that answers your question.

Good luck!

NP

_________________
Nikhil P. | Admissions Consultant | Veritas Prep

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