Admission Questions? Ask Our Expert

by Chioma Isiadinso on

Chioma Isiadinso

I had been in the admissions business for three years at Carnegie Mellon University when I moved to Cambridge to take on an assistant director role at the Harvard Business School. From the open houses and information sessions to the countless phone calls that barraged our offices every day, one thing was clear: MBA candidates were stressed out about their applications. It’s safe to say that with rejection numbers in the 80-to-90 percent range at the best schools, applicants recognize that they are up against significant odds to get an acceptance letter from a top program.

I took away one important lesson from my ten years in admissions: The successful candidates are highly memorable. It wasn’t until I left Harvard and launched my consultancy firm, EXPARTUS, that it dawned on me that the successful applicants to business school had figured out what many consumer goods companies know too well: the importance of selling a value proposition to a customer. I authored The Best Business School Admissions Secrets, and now counsel MBA applicants to help them find the right value proposition to get into their dream schools. Some of my advice can be found here at Poets&Quants, including Understanding the MBA Admissions Cycle and GMATs and GPAs: What You Need to Know About the Raw Numbers.

In any case, I’ve agreed to help anxious applicants with difficult questions at Poets&Quants. No question is out of bounds. Worried about your undergraduate record? Concerned about your GMAT score? Not entirely certain where you should apply to get your MBA? Unsure of how to answer the essay questions? Wondering who you should ask to write your letters of recommendation?

Fire away. I’ll do my best to answer your queries.

  • Shaky experience

    Hi Chioma,

    Not sure whether this is still an ongoing thread but here are my concerns:

    Academically I’ve done everything i can. 3.91 GPA (albeit not from a huge name school), 760 GMAT (50Q, 42V), My extra curriculars are quite good. I founded and actively run a charity race team that raises several hundred thousand $s annually that goes toward recreational activities for children with chronic illnesses. I Had an executive position on my college newspaper, and volunteer for my district leader in NY.

    I am 27 and I have had 3 jobs in 4 years (I left on my own volition). I can hold a job, I have just been changing them up by process of elimination. I am currently on the logistics and operations team (director of an operations sub-team) for a mid-size international IT support company. My current position is following a 1 year stint at Wells Fargo Advisors, which makes my direction look like I am veering away from finance and closer to operations.

    In truth I want to go into corporate finance strategic development straight from school and see where things go from there. However I am having a hard time 1) connecting my path which seems to lead away from finance, with my short term goals, and 2) legitimately convincing myself of what I want to do 10 years down the line.

    Do you think my chances are decent if I can get my direction straight and do you have any suggestions? Im looking at HBS, Wharton, NYU, and Columbia.

  • unemployed consultant

    Hi Chioma,

    First of all thank you for all your replies through this extended period, which I am sure all of us appreciate alot. I hope you can give me an appraisal of my combativeness as a candidate.. My target schools are HBS Insead and Kellog, but my major worry is my current unemployment due to my consulting office’s closure just this month.

    Demographic:

    Singaporean Chinese / 27 / M / First
    generation college graduate

    Post MBA Aspiration:

    Break into MBB (or rejoin
    consulting), then into PE or Entrepreneurship

    Education :

    Business with major in Finance &
    Accounting GPA 3.5 / 4.0

    GMAT 690 Q47 V38 on first try, going
    for 720+

    Degree from one of the 3 state
    university – all 3 universities in Singapore are considered top tier in the
    region

    Professional Profile (all based in Singapore):

    Audit and middle office internships
    at Big 4 and a top Swiss bank respectively

    “Got interested” in
    consulting post graduation, did 5 months of pro-bono / freelance consulting
    work for friends and relatives before breaking into a consulting role with a
    top 20 market research company (10 offices globally) which serves top tier FMCG
    clients and government agencies for 1.5 years. Awarded “Consultant of the
    Year”.

    Transited into full fledged
    management consulting with a German boutique (approx 10 offices globally, think
    Vault 50 “best of the rest”. Worked for 5 months before closure of
    office resulted in retrenchment just this month.

    Interesting

    Lead a team of 20 to rural Indochina
    for a two week community service project as an expedition leader back in
    University. Consistent voluntary record before I started work.

    Used to be competitive handball
    player / marathon runner

    It is to be noted that consulting is
    a very small and competitive industry, and doubly so in this part of the world.
    Local hires typically have a top tier degree / MBA from US / Europe who are
    relatively abundant in supply so chances of local graduates that actually made
    it like myself are rare. Hence the decision to use MBA to “re-break”
    into consulting.

  • Jatesh

    Hi Chioma. I am from India and is graduated from one of the university here. Now am looking for an MBA course followed by a decent job. While doing MBA there in one of the university i would like to do a part time job as well. I am highly ambitious and hard working person and though i know that is not enough to get what i want and that is for the reason’s sake am here and asking you to become the guardian and guide me the way to success and a better life. Now for doing MBA i have to shift all the way from India to the place you are going to suggest but then thats not a problem at all. whatever you think would be best for me i would do that. I can be a good student and do well in my life if i get the guidance so I would really be very thankful to you if you can tell me what all is possible and if we can it any far from this conversation. I dream of a good life, with a nice job and fair things hope talking to you proves to be the turning point of my life.
    Waiting for your reply !!

  • confused consultant

    Hi, I’m extremely confused about which US schools to apply for, keeping in mind the time it takes to write the essay’s and get your recco’s done I really want to apply selcetively but not sure how high or low i should aim, would really appreciate some suggestions,

    Profile

    Business Undergrad from an Indian University, scored 70% in my course, first class ( not sure best way to convert into a US GPA)

    Campus recruited into KPMG consulting, completed 3 years as of now, 4 by time of MBA next year, exceptional feedback and recco’s from work and clients, two promotions, and one award,

    would like to continue in management consulting post MBA

    GMAT:710

    EC: Sports for school, college and company, some drama and theater during my younger days

  • exdev

    Hi Chioma,

    Thanks for providing this fantastic service and taking the time to respond to our neverending questions!

    My profile is a bit different than the average bschool applicant and I’d like to find out if this is something that would work in my favour or hurt my chances of getting admitted.

    I’m a 34 year old female mid-career economist working in international development (at the World Bank based in DC).

    I work with the highest levels of government (prime ministers, finance and trade ministers) and private sector in sub-Saharan African countries, negotiating and structuring sovereign loans. I spend 3-4 months a year traveling through Africa.

    I am a citizen of Azerbaijan and fluent in a number of languages

    Economics undergrad from the top university in Azerbaijan ( top 10% of class ) and master’s in international economics from a top state university in the US (3.4 GPA)

    GMAT: 740

    Objective: harnessing the leadership and negotiation skills acquired through my 8-year work experience for sustainable business solutions

    What do you think my chances are of getting in to a top bschool right now? What could I improve on to increase my chances?

    Thank you very much, looking forward to your thoughts.

  • SS

    Dear Chioma,

    It would be great if you could evaluate my profile:

    Indian girl

    4.0 Undergrad GPA in Economics from top 10 university in India

    3.5 GPA, Masters from London School of Economics

    3 years of experience in Big 4 strategy consulting in India in the Business Analyst Program

    A number of extra curricular activities including volunteering for a NGO that helps rehabilitate mentally challenged women in India, active participation in MUN’s in college and president of debate club during under graduation.

    Would like to pursue an MBA to fast track my career in strategy consulting with a long term goal of getting into an executive role in industry (retail).

    What are my chances at top B schools in the USA, H/S/W, Kellogg, Booth etc.?

    Also, how do B schools calculate number of years of work experience? Is it the number of years and months an applicant will have at the time of application or at the time of starting the program?

    Thank you so much in advance. Really would appreciate feedback on my profile.

  • shankar

    I am not sure if this the forum to ask questions on dean’s list i.e criteria followed by top 3 american B scools or Insead in France……how does insead decide on the dean’s list…isthere a cut off GPA….would appreciate your views pl….shankar

  • chioma

    Hi ZZZ

    The 2.7 will definitely hurt the chances for getting into
    these schools. Ask yourself, what else is there that I can share that is super
    compelling, screams leadership impact. If there is something like that, then it’s
    a possibility that one of these schools could work but the GMAT would need to
    also be a wow (740+) plus a compelling reason for why another MBA and why they
    should get excited about admitting you.

    You should definitely broaden list to beyond the top 7 or so
    schools.

    Chioma
    CEO EXPARTUS
    Author of The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets

  • chioma

    Hi Asad,

    I don’t do profile assessments but recommend that you take advantage of Sandy’s assessment.

    What I will say is early promotions, strong recommenders who can tell a cohesive story with loads of examples to support why a school should take you plus your own case in your essays are the key to a successful application.

    All the best

    Chioma
    CEO EXPARTUS
    Author of The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets

  • chioma

    Hi Ms. Worried African,

    In general schools like diversity so coming from a lesser popular country is a plus for you. Your GMAT will help also. It’s key to highlight your growth in responsibility if not in promotions, also express why the MBA, NOW, ETC.

    Grades seem low but brand name firm on your resume helps also.

    All the best!

    Chioma
    CEO EXPARTUS
    Author of The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets

  • chioma

    Hi South East Asian Consultant,

    While I don’t project what chances anyone has to getting in, what I will say is that the academic story seems fine. Your P&G experience will be highly valued. You have to get into the details of what you have achieved, show leadership, show broad/global mindset, demonstrate that you work well on teams and back this all up with strong recs and you should be able to get into one if not more of these schools. Also know why you want to go to each school.

    Chioma

  • chioma

    Hi Jim

    I can’t say what your odds are. Depending on the actual roles you have had and to the extent that you have great examples of impact you should be able to get into a top 15. Don’t know about top 8 or so.

    Hope this helps.

    Chioma

    CEO EXPARTUS
    Author of The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets

  • chioma

    Hi Vaibhav,

    You should be able to get into one of these schools. HBS/MIT will likely be serious stretches but Duke/McCombs could come through. The GMAT is quite low so definitely retake and depending on the outcome, Chicago may be in play.

    Chioma

    CEO EXPARTUS
    Author of The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets

  • chioma

    Hi Panda,
    Sorry I’ve been behind on the posts but doing my best to catch up!
    Chioma

  • chioma

    HI Amit,

    I tend to be want to give you guys hope when I see the possibility but in this case HBS and MIT are unlikely. Without a stronger GMAT you may find that you will be looking at schools even out of the top 20 in some cases.

    Best

    Chioma
    CEO EXPARTUS
    Author of The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets

  • chioma

    Hi Market Researcher,

    Yes it is and sorry for the delay in answering your question.

    I think what’s realistic are UT, maybe Cornell, and possibly Georgetown. You will need stronger GMATs to make a strong play for the others.

    The As in Econ/Stats helps but the competition is still so strong that you will need a really compelling story outside of work…your first gen Latino hook may also help.

    All the best!
    Chioma
    CEO EXPARTUS
    Author of The Best Business Schools’ Admissions
    Secrets

  • GabeC44.

    Hi Chioma,

    I am a former MLB baseball player with the Tampa Bay Rays. I was also an Academic All American at UCLA for all 3 years I competed. I played in the MLB for 3 years before retiring due to injury. Since retiring I have started my own Baseball Academy in Los Angeles. Beginning this June I took a position at a boutique management consulting firm called Kirra Consulting also based in Los Angeles. I currently run the baseball academy and am on a 2 month break from Kirra as I prepare for my GMAT. My question is a two part question.

    1. With my best GMAT score thus far being 670, what are my chances of getting into an elite MBA program such as HBS, Wharton, Stanford, MIT Sloan and a slightly lower tier like NYU Stern, Fuqua, and Anderson.

    2. I have a pretty good idea that I qualify as a “different” candidate, but I really want to make my limited work experience pop enough so that an elite MBA will feel confident that I am equipped to handle the mundane grind of management consulting or investment banking as my counterparts surely demonstrate they can. Do you suggest tailoring my essays more toward what I want to do with my life:

    - i.e. I’ve started in management consulting but my goal is to work in upper level sports management (GM or VP of business affairs) and eventually own a team ( I-banking/ possible PE experience needed)

    –or do I focus on my unique experience as a professional baseball player and how that will make me stand out from the rest of my MBA colleagues?

    From every blog and article I have read, the essays need to be very specific about what you want to do with your life and how an MBA will help you get closer to obtaining this goal. My eventual goal of owning a sports franchise has many different paths. I could start in I-Banking, move to PE and formulate a group that purchases a team. I could go to work for a team and become an essential piece of the larger business puzzle such as team CEO. My point being I dont want to sound too all over the place in my essays despite picking a goal with many different paths to the end result.

    University: UCLA
    GPA: 3.56
    Major: Communication Studies

    Age: 25

    GMAT: 640-670

    Ethnicity: Caucasian/ Asian

    Other: Leadership Council member of nationally recognized charity The Fulfillment Fund: Empowering Children through Education. Serve as a mentor, fundraiser, and recruiter.

  • Strat. Consultant avg GPA

    Hi Chioma

    Wanted some high-level feedback on my profile and chances for admission at my target schools:
    Preference 1: Stanford, Harvard, Wharton,
    Preference 2: Tuck, Kellogg, Booth, LBS (Or any others you would recommend)

    Bio: 26 y/o male, Indian, fluent in English / Hindi/ Regional Indian languages

    Education: Majors: Civil Engineering / Minors: Computer Science at IIT Delhi (amongst the premier rated colleges in the country)

    GPA: 6.5 out of 10 (no Idea how to convert to a 4 point scale), was ranked in the middle of the class of 70 students

    Extra Currs: Strong extra curriculars from participation and leadership positions in several clubs to co-founding E-cell

    GMAT: Under prep (targeting 720-750, as per current performance ;))

    Experience:

    - Sustainability/Carbon consulting at E&Y in India (2 years) + Middle East
    (1 yr), primarily worked in Renewables, Power, Utilities, waste management sector with clients including the UN (Amongst the top performers and was the only person selected for an overseas opportunity, promotion and transfer within firm)

    - Strategy consulting for one of the Stanford born global boutique consulting
    firm SDG, based out of India (1.5 years-present), primarily in Infrastructure, Renewables, power, mining and resources domain (Amongst the top performers with fast tracked promotion within 5 months of joining)

    Community: Very active in the community during intial years after college, volunteered for an Environmental group for 2 years post graduation. Break in between. Currently volunteering to teach kids at a non-profit organization. Also working very closely with a startup NGO
    to help raise funds and carry on upliftment work for sex workers in nations capital
    city. Very passionate about teaching from cousins and family members to volunteering outside.

    Post b-school:

    Short term: To first try and switch into a renewable/Infrastructure focused PE, gain exposure on various technologies at play in Renewable and Urban waste management space.

    Long term: To tap the extensive potential of waste to energy technology in India and try using the technology to scale up and solve energy crisis which has currently plagued country.

    Any input on my chances at the schools would be highly
    appreciated, also any insights on PE/VC focused B-schools would be great as
    well!

  • Sleepless in San Fran

    Hi Chioma,

    Thanks for helping all of us out with this stressful, yet eventually rewarding, business school application process.

    I am currently focused on my applications for UCLA, Stanford, Haas, and Columbia because of their social enterprise and entrepreneurship programs and big city locations. Please see my profile below, and let me know your thoughts and suggestions on the schools I am applying to. I want to make sure I have a good chance at getting in, despite a GMAT score and GPA in the lower ranges of the 80% range, and I also want to make sure I come across earnestly in my desire to pursue social entrepreneurship.

    Gender: Female
    GMAT: 700 (48 quant, 38 verbal, 7 IR, 6.0 writing) on my 2nd try, 1st try was 680
    Undergrad GPA: 3.36 (USC – B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering)
    Masters GPA: 3.97 (Lehman College – M.S.Ed. in Math Education)
    Work Experience: TFA Math Teacher for 2 years, Tech Strategy Consultant for 2.5 years
    Additional Info: early promotion at consulting company, top 10% ratings, and sponsored for full tuition reimbursement to go to business school
    Post-MBA Goal: Return to consulting company to fulfill tuition reimbursement (at least 2 years) and refine leadership/tech/mgt skills, then combine my two passions of education and technology to start my own educational tech startup

    Thanks in advance for your help,
    Sleepless in San Fran

  • disqus_Btu2AWPbDu

    Hi Chioma,
    23 year old student from India.
    Qualification : Bachelors and masters in Commerce from Uni of Mumbai
    Qualified Chartered Accountant
    I’m planning to give gmat in the next 3-4 months.
    Work ex – 2 years financial markets, Intern at a tax consultancy firm for 2 years

    Just a couple of quick questions.
    How much more work ex do you think is required for any top 10
    Will me being a chartered accountant help in any way in getting admissions.
    Any next step/ suggestions would be welcome

    Thanks a lot

  • Aravind Prasad Balaji

    CA is one of the toughest exams and already it is as good as a top 20 MBA. I suggest you don’t go for anything less than the top 3 or 4 MBA. Get 680-700+ and it will be possible. I think you are playing it a bit safe.

  • rapplicanth

    Hi Chioma,

    I applied to 3 schools in R1 (Haas, Sloan, and Stanford) and I have received an interview invite for both Haas and Sloan. I plan to apply to Kellogg for R2, and I was considering adding UCLA to my R2 applications as a “safety” school. My question is, should I focus the next month on my Kellogg application and my upcoming interviews and NOT apply to UCLA, or should I try to squeeze it in?

    Thanks!

  • StillTrying

    Hello,

    Just Dropping by to get some
    advice. I am an Army Officer and just returned home from Afghanistan.
    I am applying to HBS, Wharton, Stanford Graduate School of Business and
    Tuck. I wanted to apply for round two
    but am reconsidering after taking the GRE yesterday. I had taken practice test and scored relatively well, 160Q/158V;
    however, the day before my actual exam, I came down with the flue and was extremely
    ill on test day. Needless to say,
    it didn’t go so well (151Q157V). Because
    I was in Afghanistan this year, I was only able to take the test once
    (yesterday). I had very limited
    time. My question is: should I
    hold off and apply for round 3, or should I write an additional essay
    explaining my circumstance and apply for round two?

    Here are my stats:

    Ivy League Undergrad

    3.57 GPA

    Political Science Major

    Fulbright Scholar Finalist

    Published as an undergrad

    Decorated for valor in combat and awarded
    the Purple Heart for being wounded

    Held significant leadership positions in
    combat

  • LongHornJoe

    I have no advice to offer but just wanted to thank you for your outstanding service to our great nation. Good luck. Our nation endures because of selfless soldiers such as yourself.

  • MBA Aspirant

    Hi Chioma,

    Hope you’re doing good.

    I am a student from India (University of Delhi) and I have completed Bachelors in Economics (Honors.). I plan to work in a consultancy for two- three years now and then go on to do my MBA from Harvard Business School or Stanford Graduate School of Business.

    I have landed up a job in Bain Capability Center as an Analyst and Takshashila (an Indian Consulting firm founded by McKinsey Partners) While BCC gives me brand name (but not much experience in hardcore consulting, its just analytical and number crunching), Takshashila gives me a lot of hands on experience in the field.

    My question to you is, that given the two colleges (and other renowned MBA colleges) what gets more weightage- brand name or the kind of work done?

    Looking forward to your advice on the matter.

    Thank you!

  • PleasehelpASAP

    Hello, Chioma,

    I am a woman who has a 630 on the GMAT, which I have taken once. I also have a very unique and compelling story and solid work history. My question is this: Should I apply to schools for their Round 2 deadlines despite my lower than ideal GMAT score, or should I attempt to boost the score and apply in Round 3? I’m confident that my application besides the GMAT is strong, but I also feel I could raise my score. I’m sort of on the cusp and I don’t know what to do. Please let me know at your earliest convenience. Thanks!

  • RG3

    Hey Chioma… Thanks for all your advices and recommendations. My question is on the new GRE. What GRE score should we aim at if we want to apply to HBS or GSB? The new GRE Verbal and Quant are over 170 each.

    Thanks

  • Hari

    Hi Chioma,

    First, Thank you for all the guidance. I found good success with my MBA essays following the instructions and ideas in your book.

    I have a weird situation now. Since I interviewed on 20th Dec with adcom, my profile changes considerably. Two of the tools I created at work, qualifies for patenting and is currently under review by my company’s legal department. I have also made good progress with my extracurricular activity that is in line with my long term goal.

    Is it advisable to email them about the changes? I think this information may help them make a decision.

    Frankly, I am anxious and would like to provide them with all the information I can to get a favorable decision.

    Thanks,
    Hari

  • Priyanka

    Hi Chioma,

    I am a chemical engineer from India, graduated in 2010. Have been working as a field engineer in Baker Hughes Incorporated (oilfield service provider) since July, 2010. Have been involved equally in the sales as well as operations side of the job. Scored 660 in gmat.

    Can you tell me if applying in round 3 of any business school will be feasible?

  • Turbo

    Hi Chioma – I recently submitted my MBA applications
    to a few top tier schools and I am seeking some advice about to do during the
    wait period till hear back from the admission committees. I doubt there will be
    significant improvements in my profile since I have recently been
    promoted and I don’t plan on retaking the GMAT_ I had a 720 score. Thus I
    really don’t plan to send status updates about my profile. Nonetheless, I
    simply wouldn’t want to sit tight, cross my fingers and hope for the good news.
    Is there something at all I can do to improve my chances of getting admitted?

  • Azboh20

    Hi Chioma

    I have a good idea of where my stats put me, 3.65 gpa and 700 GMAT (practice). But I’m wondering what my experience will do to help and how much it will elevate me. I’m a co-founder of a start up in energy. We are 6 years old, have grown from two to 200 employees and over 40 MM USD a year in rev. I ran ops for 5 years and now have expanded our business internationally and assume the role of regional manager where I have p&l responsibility for a 30+ MM dollar a year unit.

    How much would this experience help me in a top ten bschool admission?

  • LOW GMAT

    Hello, Not sure if this column is still alive but I would appreciate to get some valuable advice. I have 5 years of experience in big4 consulting on the finance/performance improvement side. I have done my masters from virginia tech in MIS with a 3.6+ gpa and undergrad from India in Engineering (IT) with a 3.6gpa (approx.) My gmat is on the low side with a score of 660 (Q50, V31). I have taken GMAT multiple times but am not able to break the 700 barrier on test day. I also have some experience as a marketing/business development manager for a matrimonial website on part time basis. My target school is INSEAD as it aligns with my short term as well as long term goals. It is my dream school to get in and would like your assistance in how I should go about my application process to overcome the low gmat. Thank you.

  • KB

    Hello

    I am currently in the process of applying to Chicago Booth and Northwestern Kellogg’s part time MBA programs. I have a masters in mech engg, with 7 years of industrial experience. Five of those are from a fortune 50 core mech company. My GMAT score is 630 and I am currently in the process of writing my essays. What do you think my chances are?

  • Ms. Strategy International

    Hi,
    I’m in the middle of the “waiting game” and have some questions. I submitted my applications in Round 2 and am waiting to hear back from all of the schools. Do people usually receive admissions decisions (e.g. phone calls) prior to the decision date? I applied to Kellogg, Booth, Ross and Stanford. If I haven’t received any information from a school after my interview and before the decision date, is that a bad sign? Also – for Stanford GSB, their email to me after I submitted my application indicated that I might receive an interview request as late as 1 week before the decision date. Is that common? Or is there a certain time by which I should start to accept the fact that I’m probably not getting an interview? Help – any insight would be much appreciated!

  • Mr. Delayed Gratification

    Hi Chioma!

    I am a slightly older undergrad interested in pursuing an MBA, and was wondering if you could give some insight into my chances at H/S/W. I am in my mid-twenties, have taken a rather unusual path to get to where I am today, and am wondering how much (if at all) it would hurt my chances at the top three schools.

    A little backstory: I graduated high school in 2005, and pursued a liberal arts degree for ~3 years. My GPA from this time was about 3.55, and I was enrolled in the University’s honors program. During this time I helped to found a social issues student group that has thrived at my school for five years now, though I am no longer affiliated with it. Unhappy with my direction in the liberal arts, I took an extended leave of absence for about two years. During this time I worked as an owner-employee of a cooperative restaurant, as well as some other service industry jobs – nothing that would show particular leadership. After figuring out what made me tick and what I was good at, I returned to the same university as before, this time to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering.

    At present, I am a junior in my mid-twenties with two more years of school to go. My GPA in my current major is 3.8, and I am very near the top of my class at a university in the top 25 in engineering. I plan on graduating Summa Cum Laude and writing an Honors thesis. As far as extracurriculars go, I am in charge of fundraising for a student group that is designing and implementing a clean water project in Central America. I also have been working for nearly a year as an undergraduate research assistant, and am second author on two publications, one of which one an award for best paper in its venue.

    As you can probably tell, I am more or less being groomed to go into research. And while I’m good at it, I really would like to open up my career to strategic management in the high tech industry. I still have a while before I graduate, but am seriously considering an MBA from a top school rather than taking the PhD route.

    Do you think I stand a chance? Also, should I apply to matriculate right out of graduation (I will be 28 then) or hold off and gain some work experience for a year or two but be an even older applicant? I plan on getting an internship at a top tech firm next year (Google, etc) to add a little to my work history.

    Thanks for your input!
    Mr. Delayed Gratification

  • CFA?

    I’m 100% sure I want to do an MBA. I work in Finance. After getting an MBA, I’ll most likely stay in Finance. Do you think getting a CFA will help me in my MBA applications? Hoping to get into top schools.

  • shafin

    Hi Chioma,

    I am an Indian applicant having undergraduate degree in engineering (GPA 3.5+).
    My GMAT score is 660 (first attempt 590). I will have 40 months of work
    experience plying my trade in an Indian IT consulting firm by July, 2013. I am
    aware that I belong to an over represented group and therefore not trying for
    the top 20 programs in U.S.A.

    I need the MBA to switch from IT consulting to management consulting. I have
    received many awards and have been promoted twice in my current firm. I have
    been wait-listed by Boston University (R2) and awaiting decision from Boston
    College, Washington University in St.Louis and University of Connecticut. I
    would really appreciate if you could comment on my fit and on factors I need
    work on to improve my candidature.

    Thanks,
    Shafin

  • More Piet than Quant on GMAT

    Hi Chioma,

    I have a question with my GMAT score. I aim for HBS and Kellogg for their marketing program’s. I am satisfied with the rest of my profile, work experience at Disney’s business strat group in California as well as strat for Shanghai Disney JV. Both positions required a large amount of financial modelling. I am now working in luxury retail sector with a marketing strat position in London (US citizen) and have also set up another new project in China lately for the fashion co. also have several years of leadership positions in micro finance non profit orgs and 3.5 GPA from Top 3 undergrad business program. However my GMAT is 710, with 99% in verbal and only 76% in quant. Will scoring below 80%ile in quant significantly impact the rest of my profile? I don’t think I can improve the quant score significantly, so then is it worth the trouble of taking the GRE?

  • adarsh kumar singh

    mera odisa jee me 5607 rank hai kon sa collage milega

  • adarsh kumar singh

    odisajee me 5607 rank me koi achchha collage milega

  • MasalaDossa

    Greetings Ms. Idilidossai,

    I graduated from Sambar school of management, Indonesia and pursued consulting at Saravana Bhavan international. I specialized in supply chain mgmt of various products including chutneys, behlpuris and paavbhajjis. I’m currently working on expanding new product lines in thair sadam and oorga. Do you feel applicants from non-traditional backgrounds such as Indonesians can compete in MBA, USA?

    Thanks,

    GheeRoast

  • ComradeKHAN

    With this profile 100% Bain or BCG.

    Good luck.

    AQ Khan
    Lahore, Pakistan

  • Mr. former under-achiever

    Hi Chioma,

    I’ll get straight to the point, i graduated from a Nigerian University with really, and i mean really low grades (Second class lower averaging about 55% over a four year course period), and it’s been a thorn in my flesh ever since, talk about stuff you cant take back :).

    The reason?, i was young, and pretty much dumb. I have however tried to balance this off by getting professional certifications and right now I’m 26, a chartered accountant in Nigeria, CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) and I’m in the final stages of my ACCA. Oddly this hasn’t closed the gap because potential employers, who have interviewed me based on referrals from professional colleagues in the big four, whom I have had the privilege of working with on joint audits, are turned off by my CGPA despite with my qualifications and work experience.
    Now I’m trying to get my MBA done at Memorial University of Newfoundland and its seems that the thorn is gonna pierce yet again, this is because they have a minimum B+ GPA requirement which i clearly do not meet.
    i was wondering if you had any pointers, that could help increase my odds, for several reasons MUN is a school i would love to be a part of.

    Your assistance would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks

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