Need expert Advice - Retake the GMAT, what else ?

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Hello All
I need some advice. I gave my GMAT last year and got a 640 (Q47, V31, 5.0). Although I was planning to retake the exam but due to some unavoidable circumstances I could not. I then took a chance and applied to 3 schools for their Round 2 deadline (LBS, Said and ISB). Needless to say got Dinged from all 3.

Now I plan to retake the GMAT in the next 2-3 months and will try to get a 700+ score. Am trying to figure out, that apart from GMAT what else could have been a negative in my application and what do I do to improve my chances next year. As these schools do not provide any feedback (apart from ISB and even there I have heard that the feedback is very generic) am not sure how to figure that out so thought of asking the Experts.

Given my post MBA goals and some personal reasons, I am more interested in doing my MBA from Europe or Asia but will apply to 1-2 US school as well. As of now, am thinking INSEAD, LBS, IMD (maybe depending on which round am ready for), ISB, Kellogg, Wharton, Fuqua (may be).

I have not yet thought of safety schools but given that next year will be my do-or-die year, I will add 1-2 safety school (recommendations are welcome).

My profile is:
Indian/Male/29 years
Undergrad: B.Tech in ECE from India (68%)

Masters: MS from US in Electrical Engineering (GPA: 3.72/4.0), Specialization was Satellite Communication, Worked as a Research Analyst and did a project for NASA (Masters Thesis topic as well), wrote and presented papers in conferences.

WE: 5+ years in Aerospace industry in US, designing GPS receivers for airplanes out of which around 3 years are of Technical Project Management. Have lead projects for major airplane manufacturers (Airbus, Boeing etc). No direct reportees but am responsible for projects (upto 10M $). Am also involved in bids and proposal work and have worked towards new business acquisition of approx 20-25M $ in sales (as a team member).

Post MBA goal Goal:
I want to get in Business development/marketing role in aerospace industry in europe/asia pacific. There is tremendous growth in Aerospace market in these regions.
On a longer term I want to grow in the Business Development role in these markets.

Extra Curr:
At work, I have been working with the Diversity Employee network (Asian network) in a lead role (VP) and have organized cultural and business events. I also volunteer at events organized by the company/department, one specific case was helping out local community during the Iowa Floods of 2008.
During Graduation, I worked with the Indian Student Association. Also volunteered on and off with the university to help out local community, one specific case was the major Florida hurricane in 2004.

Thanks for all the help in advance.

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by paulsbodine » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:07 pm
mn2010,

Based on what you posted, I think your GMAT was the primary ding factor but there were secondary ones as well: (1) your demographic (Indian, male, technology) is a very crowded one, (2) your leadership is decent but not great (and your community leadership is work-related so its not as 'valuable' -- from a perception standpoint), (3) minor factor: age. Your goals make sense and your industry is a decent differentiator. If you raise your GMAT to a 700-720 you may be near competitive at INSEAD, LBS, Wharton, and Kellogg. Your odds at IMD, ISB, and Duke seem stronger. I would consider more schools in Duke's range, perhaps Cornell, Michigan, Darden, UCLA, etc.

Hope this helps,
Paul Bodine
Author, "Great Applications for Business School," "Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance," "Perfect Phrases for Letters of Recommendation"
https://www.paulsbodine.com/
[email protected]
(858) 869-1959

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by mn2010 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:49 am
Hello Paul

Thanks for the response.
In your eval you mentioned that my age might have been a minor factor. I was wondering in what sense ? Am I on the older side for these schools ?

Thanks once again

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by paulsbodine » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:52 am
Yes, a little on the older side for the U.S. schools (assuming age 30 at matriculation), but OK for the European schools. This is a minor factor, however.

--Paul
Paul Bodine
Author, "Great Applications for Business School," "Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance," "Perfect Phrases for Letters of Recommendation"
https://www.paulsbodine.com/
[email protected]
(858) 869-1959