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What GPA/GMAT is needed to get into a top 5 school?

This topic has 104 expert replies and 147 member replies
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lennybruce Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:30 pm
Dear Lisa,

Thank you for your Prompt reply and honest feedback.

Would you have idea about the course Ms Management Science mainly offered in EU universities? Their is a 1 year program that is offered in LSE and Warwick but in their prospectus their is not much info on Avg GMAT/GPA of admitted candidates etc and no information on Placement scenario.

I have a few queries in this regard:
1) Can you give a feedback of my chances of admission at LSE?
2) Is it a very 'academically oriented' program or someone who is interested in MBA can also think about this type of program?
3) Are their similar programs in US, I guess I'm looking for direction where I can find more info

Also regarding you suggestion on including other programs, what range of ranking would you suggest to include? If you can mention something like outside top 15/ 15-30 something like that would really help.

Thanks

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Post Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:56 am
Dear lennybruce,

Per my previous post, you want to add programs where your profile is above average relative to the class profile. Thus you need to look at how your GMAT, GPA, work experience, etc. measure up to programs that are a good match for you and your career goals. For a good starting point, identify programs with GMAT averages below 690 and then evaluate the program to ensure it offers what you seek in terms of curriculum, resources and culture.

Generally speaking, MS programs are designed for candidates with minimal experience and have focused courses rather than a core curriculum plus electives. Thus they differ from MBA programs in both coursework and student experience level. Consequently, a MS program may or may not be a valid option for you; it depends on your goals and whether your desired future employers recruit MS graduates. There are some MS programs in the EU that are comparable to MBA programs in terms of class profile and employment opportunities, so you need to do your research to ensure you are targeting programs that make sense for you. In the US, MS programs are not equivalent to an MBA and there are fewer of them.

LSE is a great school and I would suspect admissions standards are similar across programs. There will be differences that reflect the applicant pool, so it is possible the averages for the MS are lower than for the MBA. It is best to contact the program directly for information you cannot find so you can determine if it is the right program for you...and what your chances might be there.

Good luck,
Lisa

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thestartupguy Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:28 pm
Hi Lisa,

Firstly, Kudos to the great work!! Appreciated Smile

Age: 25, Male
Education: B.Tech, Production Engineering (NIT, Top 10 engineering school in India)
GPA: 7.8/10 (2008), Presented research papers in International Conferences (IEEE, IIMB)
GMAT: 760/5
Work Exp:
a) Total of 3 years as Business Associate in Management Consulting firm (Pharma domain)
b) CEO, Start-up consulting company (2 years, Mentored and launched more than 50 companies)
EC:
1) Launched two successful ventures in college.
2) Founded entrepreneurship cell in college, currently mentoring the student activities
3) Club President, Society for Engineers' while in college
4) CC, CL Toastmaster
5) Played for my college Volleyball Team
Community work: Solid
Post MBA interests: Management Consulting preferably Healthcare/Pharma domain or Entrepreneurship in Healthcare

Target B-schools: HBS, LBS, Kellogg, Booth, CBS

Please let me know if I have a shot in the target schools or should I consider a different set of schools. Thanks in advance!

Regards,
MSR

ilovemgmat Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Post Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:49 pm
Dear Lisa,

First of all, I appreciate your giving time and effort to reply to everyone's questions!
I have not yet taken the GMAT but will take the test right after a month. My expected score is 700 but I am scared that my scores may fall to 660/680 :S. My strong point is I am the topper (first ranked student) of my university with about 1500 students. My GPA is 3.96 (BBA). I will hardly have a two-years experience by the time the MBA classes start as a Loan Analyst in a Cooperative Finance. What are my chances for an MBA in a top-tier school? Also, what GMAT score should target for? Will my pre-graduation experience count? Thanks! Smile

Target B-schools: Richard Ivey (CANADA), Queen's University (CANADA), LBS (UK), Oxford (UK)

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Post Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:48 am
Dear ilovemgmat,

If you plan to apply to enter an MBA program directly from your undergraduate degree, then you will need a high GMAT score. Most schools prefer applicants to work for a couple of years full-time after a bachelor's degree before entering the MBA program. For applicants with less than 2 years, especially those without work experience, they need to be outstanding applicants across the board and have a strong rationale for why an MBA at this time. Your current experience is important and will factor into your evaluation; however, it will not count in your "number of years experience" per reporting standards. Schools follow standards in reporting statistics and work experience is defined as full-time, professional experience post-bachelor's degree. The 4 schools you note in your post are appropriate targets for you, with a mix of reach and reasonable programs. You will need exceptional application packages and a good GMAT to be competitive.

Good luck,
Lisa

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Post Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:52 am
msr4mba wrote:
Hi Lisa,

Firstly, Kudos to the great work!! Appreciated Smile

Age: 25, Male
Education: B.Tech, Production Engineering (NIT, Top 10 engineering school in India)
GPA: 7.8/10 (2008), Presented research papers in International Conferences (IEEE, IIMB)
GMAT: 760/5
Work Exp:
a) Total of 3 years as Business Associate in Management Consulting firm (Pharma domain)
b) CEO, Start-up consulting company (2 years, Mentored and launched more than 50 companies)
EC:
1) Launched two successful ventures in college.
2) Founded entrepreneurship cell in college, currently mentoring the student activities
3) Club President, Society for Engineers' while in college
4) CC, CL Toastmaster
5) Played for my college Volleyball Team
Community work: Solid
Post MBA interests: Management Consulting preferably Healthcare/Pharma domain or Entrepreneurship in Healthcare

Target B-schools: HBS, LBS, Kellogg, Booth, CBS

Please let me know if I have a shot in the target schools or should I consider a different set of schools. Thanks in advance!

Regards,
MSR
Dear MSR,

I do think you have a shot at your target schools based on the profile posted. You will need a strong package to be competitive though, so be sure to submit a great set of essays and recommendations, not to mention ensure your resume effectively conveys your professional and community experiences. Your target list is all reach programs though. I encourage you to identify and consider applying to 1-2 schools that are closer to safety programs if your priority is to be in business school at this time next year.

Good luck,
Lisa

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thestartupguy Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:55 am
Thanks Lisa. Smile

otterlygood Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
11 Sep 2011
Posted:
2 messages
Post Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:08 am
Hi Lisa,

Thanks very much for your feedback.
I'm in a tricky situation. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

I made a terribly stupid mistake and did my mba at a relatively unknown school, and it's cost me a lot career-wise since then. It's made me feel like I have spoiled underwear on, and I'm considering striking it off my CV for good.

Also I have resume gaps from getting my MBA in the middle of the crisis, as well as trying to change sectors straight after my BSc. So yes, career hell. My current job as a hedge fund analyst is via contacts, but I feel severely hampered career wise without a big name MBA, and bank on my CV.

I am signing up to redo my GMAT, and preparing this time, so hopefully 750-790 should be doable.


Education: BSc. Electrical Engineering (Boston University), MBA (University of Bradford)
GPA: 2.0 (yes! 2.0) for my MBA I graduated with distinction for my thesis
GMAT: 710 (first try 6 years ago, zero prep literally). My SAT Is and IIs are around top 97-99%
Work Exp:
a) 2 years Investment Analyst with a hedgefund (current)
b) 1 year Management Consulting at Accenture
c) 1 year CEO of my own start up
d) Resume gap: 3+ years
e) Various jobs not worth mentioning.

EC:
1.) MENSA Singapore member
2.) CFA Singapore member (CFA in progress)

Referees:
1.) Current Global CIO of a large German Asset Management house (ex boss and family friend, I interned at his office)
2.) Managing Director of a hedge fund (current boss), also ex-head of Rothschilds for this part of the world etc
3.) President of a large, international private education group

Community work: Various religious institutions, ad hoc basis
Target B-schools: MIT, Insead, Oxford

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:17 am
Der otterlygood,

You are in a pickle--that's a tricky situation. I certainly understand where you are coming from and am happy to see you have done a thorough self-assessment. You appear to have a handle on the potential challenges of your applications.

First and foremost, you will have to disclose your degree from the University of Bradford. It might pose a problem for you at some programs and not so much at others; you will need to verify your eligibility to apply with any program you are considering. Many MBA programs will not allow you to apply if you already have an MBA as they won't award you the same degree; however, some schools are relaxing on this policy if they see that your current degree is not equivalent in some way.

Secondly, you will need a new GMAT as scores are only good for 5 years. Should you score in the high 700s (750+), that will help mitigate your transcript some, but I also think you will need to address your academic performance in your graduate work.

Finally, your resume will be an issue and you want to be ready to explain the gaps and rationale behind your decisions. It is not a negative that a recognized bank is missing from your resume; what matters is what you have done at the hedge fund, Accenture and your start up venture. The quality of your experience is what counts, so you want to show how you have progressed and contributed in each role.

With the challenges you are facing, you might find a third party helpful in presenting your background effectively. Perhaps you have a trusted advisor, colleague or friend who has been through this process? or you can spend resources on a consultant? Either way, pay attention to all the details to give yourself the best chance for admission.

Good luck,
Lisa

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Thanked by: otterlygood
otterlygood Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
11 Sep 2011
Posted:
2 messages
Post Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:07 pm
Thanks very much, yes, I will look for a consultant.

Am i wasting my time though?

If you tell me it's going to be pretty much impossible to get in to those schools regardless of GMAT and referees (I can rope in more), then I'll look at more realistic schools.

If you had to assign a probability, assuming I get a GMAT in the 760-790 range, what would it be?
I can take the ugly truth. Neutral



Lisa Anderson wrote:
Der otterlygood,

You are in a pickle--that's a tricky situation. I certainly understand where you are coming from and am happy to see you have done a thorough self-assessment. You appear to have a handle on the potential challenges of your applications.

First and foremost, you will have to disclose your degree from the University of Bradford. It might pose a problem for you at some programs and not so much at others; you will need to verify your eligibility to apply with any program you are considering. Many MBA programs will not allow you to apply if you already have an MBA as they won't award you the same degree; however, some schools are relaxing on this policy if they see that your current degree is not equivalent in some way.

Secondly, you will need a new GMAT as scores are only good for 5 years. Should you score in the high 700s (750+), that will help mitigate your transcript some, but I also think you will need to address your academic performance in your graduate work.

Finally, your resume will be an issue and you want to be ready to explain the gaps and rationale behind your decisions. It is not a negative that a recognized bank is missing from your resume; what matters is what you have done at the hedge fund, Accenture and your start up venture. The quality of your experience is what counts, so you want to show how you have progressed and contributed in each role.

With the challenges you are facing, you might find a third party helpful in presenting your background effectively. Perhaps you have a trusted advisor, colleague or friend who has been through this process? or you can spend resources on a consultant? Either way, pay attention to all the details to give yourself the best chance for admission.

Good luck,
Lisa

tommycanuck Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
10 Jun 2011
Posted:
10 messages
Post Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:06 am
Testing



Last edited by tommycanuck on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:26 am
Dear Tom,

I would say a more recent supervisor is best for a recommender to fill the "supervisor" slot. Most schools do prefer or ask that at least one rec be from a current/former supervisor. So, in light of your current supervisor's role of staffing assignments, I would say the 2nd most recent manager sounds like a good option IF you believe s/he will provide a great rec for you. I also think going back and picking someone from within the last 3 years would work, especially if you worked with the manager for a longer period of time. As for your manager from 5 years ago, it is not a bad option, but there is more perceived value in using someone who has worked with you more recently. I think if you have 1 rec from a very recent manager, then it might be ok to use the manager from 5 years ago.

Good luck,
Lisa

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:27 am
Dear otterlygood,

You have a chance...but only if you are eligible. That is what you need to determine before you spend time and effort on any application.

Regards,
Lisa

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tommycanuck Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
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Posted:
10 messages
Post Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:23 pm
Testing



Last edited by tommycanuck on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:53 pm; edited 4 times in total

GMAT/MBA Expert

Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:27 am
Dear Tom,

Schools do prefer your recommenders have worked with you for closer to/more than a year. However, that doesn't mean a recommendation is negated when the time is shorter. The recommendation can be valuable if he provides detailed, candid remarks. If you are concerned, then submitting a few sentences on your choice of recommender is probably advisable (both for your peace of mind and to answer any potential questions in the minds of the admissions committee).

Regards,
Lisa

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Last edited by Lisa Anderson on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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