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Help choosing the right school(s).

This topic has 3 expert replies and 2 member replies

Help choosing the right school(s).

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First and foremost, thank you for your help and advice given.

I am a 29 year old male , URM/African American
GMAT (640 43Q, 34V) (might retake, but window will open after deadlines)
Graduated from a US top 75 private university where I earned a dismal 2.39 overall GPA. There are other factors that contributed to my low GPA which I intend to address in my essays.
I double majored in Economics and Public Policy
I was also a walk-on (non-scholarship) member of the football team, while working part-time during the spring semesters and eventually earned a Full Athletic Scholarship.
Also, to address the low GPA, I have taken Mathematics for management from UCLA extension program and earned an A. I have also taken Accounting from the local community college earning a B (89.4% got rounded).

I currently work in Investment Banking - Capital Markets as a Trader/Underwriter (in a revenue generating position for the company)

Outside of work, I volunteer with the Big Brother, Big Sister organization and participate in alumni events for my alma mater
I also referee middle and high school basketball during the school year and coach a winter church league basketball team.

I still have research to do but I plan to apply to 4-6 of the consortium schools (Texas, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia are potentials) as well as Harvard and Northwestern as reaches.
Short term goal is to transition into a corporate finance role or a rotational program to gain experience of a company's operations at a macro level, with the end goal of becoming a CFO at a large company.

Any recommendations based on my profile?

Thank you again for your help!

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Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Hey @ccrock
Apologies that no one has responded to this sooner! What an interesting profile and I love that you have already taken Haas' Math for Management, which I frequently recommend. Did you apply anywhere in R2? How did it work out? If you are still in the midst of applying and can stomach a GMAT retake, try a private tutor. Given your stats, I think you need a pretty diverse approach -- apply to your reach schools but also make sure that you have some acceptable safeties. How about Notre Dame? I like that you already have Indiana on the list and that you are leveraging The Consortium. Another idea would be to look abroad....Oxford or HEC, for example. See how you feel about that. If you are still in the process of applying, I think you are the type of person who would get a lot out of a free consultation so please reach out to us to set up some time!
Krista

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GMAT/MBA Expert

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I'm seeing some big issues that you will want to take on if you're targeting top-tens like Harvard and Kellogg; fewer if you are targeting second-tens like Kelley or Ross. Nothing you can do at this point about your undergraduate GPA, although taking graded courses, as you have done, provides some help. You definitely want to get your GMAT closer to the median for the schools you're applying to -- special focus on Quant, which you'd want to get closer to 70%. The goal is to have as few "oops" factors to mitigate as possible: a 2.9 GPA is an easier sell if your GMAT is close to the school's median, so you can establish a "that was then, this is now" case in your optional essay.

The other thing I'd love to see you work on in advance of applying to b-school is leadership -- volunteering for BB/BS is nice-to-have, but very common; use your extracurricular time in something that involves leading groups. It could even be a matter of recruiting colleagues to do day-long teach-ins in public schools or BB/BS recruiting events. If you have undergraduate leadership, even in social clubs or sports, you'll want to highlight that as well.

When I assess chances, I put aside issues like URM or Consortium, and just take on your statistical chances: with strong school research (school visits when classes are in session are a must!) and well-researched goals, I believe that you can make an effective case for yourself. In terms of other schools you might apply to, there are a few strong brands that aren't addicted to top numbers: I agree with my colleague's suggestion about Notre Dame, and I would add Georgetown, if it meets your needs from a career perspective. It's an awesome brand and a spectacular location, and in my experience they're more broadminded about numbers. They put together some interesting, globally-diverse classes, and you might really like it.

Good luck!
Margaret Strother

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Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Hi there,
Not sure if this is still relevant, but here are a few parameters that can pare that list down to the ones most appropriate for you. Ask yourself some questions like:
1. Which schools are known for the area I want to specialize in? Most schools have a few fields they’re renowned for.
2. Where do you envision yourself working post-MBA? Make a list, and as you check out a program, see which companies recruit there.
3. Are you heading off to your MBA accompanied by family? Do you enjoy large cities? Or do you prefer smaller university towns? Do you like a certain weather climate?
4. And finally school atmosphere - speak to students and alumni to get a feeling of what it would be like to study at this school.

For more school selection tips, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOBwhpTFvnM

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Well being realistic i would suggest you to target 8-10 B-Schools and try to take experts advice for selecting right B-school.
Before you select any B-School please consider below mentioned points:-
1) Why that particular B-School.
2) Your Short term Goals
3) Your Long term Goals
4) Opportunities and scope
5) Network etc.

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Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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as a follow on the the OP's post, i was wondering if US B-schools or UK B-schools are generally a better choice?

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