Ahh! Researching Programs a little late... Help Please! :)

Figure out where you wish to apply
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Hello world,
Long time listener, first time caller!

I suppose this isn't the WORST problem to have, but my head is definitely spinning. Long story short, I really underestimated how I thought I would do on the GMAT, and basically, I ended up beating the GMAT :) but now I need to rethink my target schools. I didn't want to get my hopes up on looking at top schools thinking I would score in the 500-low 600 range, so I set my focus on some mid-range schools. I took the GMAT on Monday and got a 700 (41V, 45Q)! Very pleased.

However, our CEO sat me down yesterday and basically said I was really selling myself short and that I have everything it takes to go to HBS (she's a proud alum, if you didn't guess), need to be shooting for top programs, etc. etc. I realize that she is so right--I have nothing to lose by adding some applications to competitive programs. The thing is, I would love to get all my apps in before the R2 deadlines and I feel like I'm starting this REALLY late in the game (who wants to apply to Harvard with a rushed app?!).

I'm not sure about Harvard, but I do want to research more programs and I really don't know where to begin thinking about what is right for me. They all do such a good job making themselves look great--and sort of the same.

A little about me-- I work in High Tech doing operations & analytics now, previously worked in Politics. Am really passionate about Education Reform and want to go to B-school to formalize my business skills because I see huge potential in using the High Tech model to make Non-Profits that are trying to bring resources to public education more effective so programs with a focus on both high tech and non-profit are ideal. Graduated from a good Public University with a 3.65, have good recommenders who are huge believers in me and my b-school plans (if you can't tell from the above vignette) and I will have 5 years of FT experience going in to 2013 (1 year at an education reform NGO in a third world country, 2 years in politics working for education reform candidates and one year at a tech start up in SV), always had a lot of upward movement in my jobs and all that good stuff.

Does anyone know of some great resources to really help me narrow down what schools are right for me? I just feel bombarded with information and while these schools all look great-- I can't even tell them apart. Obviously don't have time to visit campuses at this point. Or anyone read this and say "OMG- XYZ school is PERFECT for this girl."

Any help helps!

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by machichi » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:27 pm
First things first--congrats on your GMAT score! There's no better feeling than to underestimate and then outdo yourself!

I strongly recommend waiting to apply until R1 next year. I can't imagine you being able to research all these schools and put together your applications by the R2 deadline. Sure you may think that it's worth it to apply in R3 because you are in fact a pretty different candidate, but R3 is a crap shoot and it makes applying R1 a bit rockier as a reapplicant.

I have a friend with a similar background at Chicago Booth. Also think about Stanford (though it's going to be a crapshoot there, they love social do-gooders with an analytical side). You may be interested in MIT and Dartmouth. There are still tons of questions you need to ask yourself. Does geography matter? How important is class size? Can you feasibly get applications done by January?

What's SV by the way?

Good luck, you're in a great place!
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by [email protected] » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:41 am
I totally agree! Congrats on your GMAT score.
But really, you should be waiting till next year. If you haven't started writing apps yet, it's just too late for this year, and if you wait till next year, you'll have time to prepare to research to visit, to do basically everything you need to make sure you get in!

sooo hold on to those horses....
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