Have An MBA Admissions Question? Ask Stacey, Our Resident Expert

by Stacey Oyler on

Stacey Oyler of Clear Admit

The former assistant director of admissions for Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, Stacey Oyler knows MBA admissions inside out. Over a 21-month period, from October of 2003 to July of 2005, Oyler participated in every admissions decision for two full classes of admits to Tuck. For the past five years, Oyler has taken that inside knowledge of elite admissions and put it to work for clients on behalf of Clear Admit, the MBA admissions consultant. Her stint in the admissions offices of an elite business school, followed by three years as a recruiter of MBAs for McKinsey & Co., has given her the credibility and the knowhow to smartly advise applicants who want to get into the very top business schools.

Stacey has agreed to help MBA applicants with 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. Stacey will do her best to answer your queries.

  • Mr Brewer

    Hi Stacey please look at my profile

    *24 years old Brazilian man

    *Gmat 620(Planning to retake it)

    *GPA in Business Administration, Brazil is a little different GPA but i was in a top 15% at a prestigious school

    *Work experience:

    When
    i leave the college i opened my own business, is a firm who put all
    smallers wholesellers and industries togheter to make a common large buy
    of raw material from big suppliers abroad, getting better prices and
    finding the right quality to then, i`m employ 3 people on that business
    and i`m planning to open another office soon.

    *Extra curricular.

    At school i was class representative

    *Off school i aways had been a huge fan of craft beer, i started to drink
    after this i had learned how to do it and i become a homebrewer, but my
    brews start to make sucess so i opened a brewery with a partners and 2
    employees and today we have 4 beers year round and some seassonals, we
    recieved the prize of the best Beer brewed in our state, and i`m active
    member and assist our association president, and work hard to spread the
    beer culture around us i`m also had teach a lot of people how to brew a
    good beer.

    My target Schools is: Tuck, Stern (Accepting sugestions about that but must to be a top tier school i was thinking about Darden)

    My doubts about it:

    * My gmat score of course, is pretty low and i`m not sure if i will have enough time to improve that.

    * Entrepreneurship will affectanything postive or negative in my application

    * My age is bellow the average of business school but i thing i`m ready and i can not wait more, my businesses are need a leader skilled than I am today.

    *Any thought about this?

    Thanks in advance

  • ln0038a

    How are interviews executed by 2nd years usually incorporated in a candidates assessment? equal weight? Interviewing at Yale this Friday and wondering how much of the assessment is fit for the SOM community vs. assessment of qualified to attend.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi In0038a,

    Great question! All interviews are weighed equally- meaning it does not matter if you interview on or off campus, with an adcom member, student or alumni. Second year students receive interview training to qualify them to interview students. The purpose of the interview is to assess one’s background and fit with the Yale program.

    The interview is just one of several components of the Yale admissions process, and is officially worth no more or less than your GMAT score, work experience, the quality of your recommendations, etc. An interview is required for admission to Yale, a fact that suggests the Yale adcom considers this data point to be essential to the admissions decision.

    Best of luck in your interview!

    Stacey

  • mbahopeful2013

    Hi Stacey,

    Thank you for your time. I was wondering about the benefit of a high GMAT score (99th percentile). I have seen some consultants say it really doesn’t matter once you’re past 710 or 720, but others like Sandy here on P&Q say a 760+ can stand out, especially at certain schools (MIT, Columbia). I would think it would be attractive on some level because adcoms need 760+s to balance out the <700s. What has your experience been?

    Thanks a lot.

  • MBAreapplicant84

    Hi Stacey,

    I have a Tuck specific question, and know you used to be a Tuck admissions officer. I am a planning on reapplying this coming fall. This past year, in my ding notice they said, “Of the applications we reviewed this round, the admissions committee felt that your candidacy showed significant potential and merited encouragement. Therefore, if you plan to re-apply next year and would like to receive feedback on ways in which you could strengthen a future application to Tuck, a member of the admissions committee would be happy to provide you with a coaching session… Tuck pro-actively offers feedback to less than 10% of applicants, so our encouragement is sincere.” Should I be encouraged by this as a reapplicant? Do you have any advice or things that you have seen past successful applicant do in the year between applications?

    Thanks,
    James

  • Alex

    Hi Stacey –

    I was wondering if you could dispel/confirm some of the theories regarding your GMAT score and getting interviews with top consulting firms (MBB). I have heard you absolutely must have a 700+ to get in the door and I’ve also heard that’s not true at all. Which one is it? Also, is a candidate who took the GRE at a disadvantage or will they still be considered?

    Thanks for your time!

  • MBAreapplicant84

    I had one other question. I am planning on applying through the Consortium. Is there any advantage/disadvantage applying through the Consortium vs. Early Action?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi mbahopeful2013,

    Thanks for your post. A high GMAT score can certainly help one stand out. During my time on the adcom at Tuck, an applicant with a 780 or higher certainly did get noticed. Keep in mind that a GMAT score is only one part of the 3 key application assessment categories (academics). A well rounded profile including excellent academics, solid professional experience and extracurricular activities is the key to success.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    James,

    This is fantastic news! Tuck has always been very forthcoming when it comes to feedback. The adcom is quite generous in that they offer feedback to anyone who was not granted admission. However, it is quite positive that they were the ones extend the feedback offer rather than a request coming from your end. You should indeed view this as an encouraging sign that they were impressed by your candidacy.

    Be sure to take notes and do follow their advice as closely as possible. It’s awfully difficult for an adcom to reject a reapplicant that follows feedback instructions.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • WLbyTuck

    Tuck doesn’t review WL applicants in subsequent rounds – is it safe to infer that WLers from EA all the way to April Round are lumped together and reviewed in June/July? Has anything changed in the WL procedure since you were at Tuck?

  • MBAreapplicant84

    Thanks Stacey!

  • Dan

    Stacey,

    Some applicants try to make up for a lack-luster GPA in college with a course or two in a quantitative topic (Math, Accounting, Economics, etc..). My question is: How are online classes viewed when taken at more brand name schools with AACSB accreditation like Auburn University, Washington State University, Temple University, etc.. vs. the for-profit schools like University of Phoenix, DeVry, Strayer? Is it just better to go in-person at XYZ Community College? I ask because my work hours do not lend to taking night classes in person at this time and I would prefer to take online classes to create a second transcript of sorts. However, I know the stigma against online and for-profit schools is out there. Thoughts?

    Finally, on a related note, Coursera and edX are making there way into online education. Some of the best schools in the country have classes (Harvard, MIT, UPenn to name a few). These classes maybe too new to judge but how might an AdCom view these courses, especially in quantitative subjects? Thanks!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Do what is best for you! As a reapplicant you will already demonstrate a solid interest in the school, so no need to worry. I suggest sticking with the Consortium. Much better to get a scholarship if possible!

  • MBAreapplicant84

    Thanks again!

  • M7hopeful

    Hi Stacey,

    My question concerns extracurricular activities. I’m planning on applying to top schools this fall for matriculation in fall 2014, but I currently don’t have any extracurricular activities that “help others,” so to speak. No volunteering, charity work, etc. (I have activities outside of work–working out, playing music, etc.–but nothing that really helps other people.) I plan to join a service group in the next month that works with third-world countries, but I most likely won’t have any leadership role in the group come September.

    With these things in mind, do you think it would be worthwhile at this point (~7 months until R1 applications are due) to join other groups in an attempt to appear involved with matters beyond myself? I’ve read mixed things about this…some have said it’s better late than never, whereas others have said that adcoms will see right through it, casting the rest of the profile in a bad light.

    Maybe a more pertinent question to ask would be: are adcoms willing to “blink” at bad ECs?

    Thanks so much for your time.

  • Tina

    Hey Stacey,
    Two things, for an Sales and Trading MBA applicant – with plans to most likely continue in finance – does a CFA help at all in your MBA applications? Specifically at the top schools.
    Second, how does one rebound from a poor career move. If one was working at a prestigious firm, and moved to a less presitigous firm with greater responsibility, hgiher title, and better pay. However with a little more insight into the role, I feel I didn’t make the best move. How do I spin this in my MBA applications? Also, I’ve been when applying you only want 2 jobs (not 3) on your apps. How firmly do you believe in this guidance?
    Thank you!

  • Dan

    Stacey,

    Some applicants try to make up for a lack-luster GPA in college with a
    course or two in a quantitative topic (Math, Accounting, Economics,
    etc..). My question is: How are online classes viewed when taken at
    more brand name schools with AACSB accreditation like Auburn University,
    Washington State University, Temple University, etc.. vs. the
    for-profit schools like University of Phoenix, DeVry, Strayer? Is it
    just better to go in-person at XYZ Community College? I ask because my
    work hours do not lend to taking night classes in person at this time
    and I would prefer to take online classes to create a second transcript
    of sorts. However, I know the stigma against online and for-profit
    schools is out there. Thoughts?

    Finally, on a related note, Coursera and edX are making there way
    into online education. Some of the best schools in the country have
    classes (Harvard, MIT, UPenn to name a few). These classes maybe too
    new to judge but how might an AdCom view these courses, especially in
    quantitative subjects? Thanks!

  • Timberland

    Tuck doesn’t review WL applicants in subsequent rounds – is it safe to
    infer that WLers from EA all the way to April Round are lumped together
    and reviewed in June/July? Has anything changed in the WL procedure
    since you were at Tuck?

  • Sanket

    Dear Stacy,

    Thanks for taking out time in answering our queries.

    I have question regarding choosing between GRE
    & GMAT. I have taken GMAT once and scored miserably because of exam anxiety
    ( which is typical problem I faced in my undergraduate also). I was well
    prepared and was scoring 650+ in all the practiced tests. With this background I
    am planning to take GRE with advantages such as section adaptive format,
    ability to move back to questions, score select option. These options have
    helped me in reducing my exam anxiety and hence I am comfortable with GRE
    format of exam. How this transition of moving from poor GMAT score to a better
    percentile GRE score would be perceived and how would you recommend to tackle
    this issue ( especially in case of remaining flawless stellar application.)

  • Totu

    Dear Stacey why do people consider the EMBA a weaker MBA than the fulltime MBA when you graduate with the same degree?

  • Sanket

    Dear Stacy,

    Thanks for taking out time in answering our queries.

    I have question regarding choosing between GRE
    & GMAT. I have taken GMAT once and scored miserably because of exam anxiety
    ( which is typical problem I faced in my undergraduate also). I was well
    prepared and was scoring 650+ in all the practiced tests. With this background I
    am planning to take GRE with advantages such as section adaptive format,
    ability to move back to questions, score select option. These options have
    helped me in reducing my exam anxiety and hence I am comfortable with GRE
    format of exam. How this transition of moving from poor GMAT score to a better
    percentile GRE score would be perceived and how would you recommend to tackle
    this issue ( especially in case of remaining flawless stellar application.)

  • Matt

    Stacey,

    Thank you for setting up this forum for us to ask our questions.

    I was hoping to get your advice/expertise on my current situation, in terms of the probability of my chances at Columbia, Kellogg, and Wharton.

    Graduated in 2006 from a top 10 university (by US News, Non-Ivy), with a 2.9 total gpa in electrical engineering. The long story short with my grades is that I struggled with lower level prerequisite courses but did well (As, and Bs) on my higher level major specific coursework.

    Since graduation I have chosen to work in finance, first in investment banking, and for the past four years, at several hedge funds as an investment analyst. I work with several exceptional partners that all received their MBAs at the schools I listed above, and would be able to write an recommendation for me if needed.

    Recently, I have given the MBA option more thought, but I really want to consider applying only for the top few schools. I have taken a two practice tests, and I think I can shoot for a 720 – 730 on my GMATs.

    With that in mind, what do you think are my chances at landing a spot at those programs? I would be considering of applying early to Columbia. Thanks!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Sanket,

    Such a great question! More and more bschools are accepting GRE scores in lieu of GMAT scores these days. A big reason for this is so that bschools can attract applicants that perhaps didn’t have bschool on their radar when they initially began thinking about graduate school. It’s a great way for bschools to cast a wider net and attract candidates from non-traditional backgrounds. However, it’s challenging for adcom members to compare GRE scores with GMAT scores. It’s sort of like comparing apples to oranges.

    The risk in taking/submitting only GRE scores is that the adcom might want to see a GMAT score in order to compare apples to apples. It’s not uncommon for an adcom to waitlist someone who has only taken the GRE and ask them to take the GMAT. In this situation it could take months for one to prepare for and take the GMAT and the spots in the class will continue to fill up. In other words, it’s a risk one needs to be willing to take For this reason I encourage all of my clients to take the GMAT rather than the GRE. This avoids the waitlist scenario I described.

    For those who struggle with test anxiety the best thing they can do is seek help. Find a tutor, take a class, do whatever it takes to boost your confidence in the material. Doing so will help calm nerves and yield a better score.

    Best of luck!

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Mr. Brewer,

    Thanks for your post. Can you tell me why it is you wish to go to business school? This will help me evaluate your profile.

    Thanks,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Alex,

    Top consulting firms do look for candidates 710+ GMAT scores. However, many schools have a non-disclosure policy that prohibits the firms from obtaining GMAT and well grade information.

    The GMAT isn’t the only metric used by consulting firms in evaluating potential candidates. Just like bschool admissions, consulting firms are looking for teamwork, leadership skills, excellent academics and solid career progression.

    Hope this helps!

    Stacey

  • Mr Brewer

    I wish to go to a business School, because my companies are growing really fast and i need those Business skills what i will lear at a business School, and i want network because, we will need investors and a Business School diploma will help me in that task!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi WLbyTuck,

    I managed the waitlist during my time at Tuck. As the waitlist manager my role was to constantly evaluate those on the waitlist to determine if strong candidates should be admitted in subsequent rounds. All waitlist candidates are indeed “lumped” together into one pool, but when someone gains admission from the list is a decision made on a case by case basis. Waitlist candidates are admitted throughout the admissions cycle, but most of the movement does take place during the summer months.

    The best thing one can do while on the waitlist is ask for feedback and follow their advice to the letter. Find reasons to stay in touch, but be sure to balance out your touch points, meaning don’t drive them crazy by calling and emailing all the time 😉

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Timberland,

    WLbyTuck asked this same question. Please see my response to her below:

    I managed the waitlist during my time at Tuck. As the waitlist manager my role was to constantly evaluate those on the waitlist to determine if strong candidates should be admitted in subsequent rounds. All waitlist candidates are indeed “lumped” together into one pool, but when someone gains admission from the list is a decision made on a case by case basis. Waitlist candidates are admitted throughout the admissions cycle, but most of the movement does take place during the summer months.

    The best thing one can do while on the waitlist is ask for feedback and follow their advice to the letter. Find reasons to stay in touch, but be sure to balance out your touch points, meaning don’t drive them crazy by calling and emailing all the time 😉

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Dan,

    At Tuck we asked applicants to take courses from 4 year colleges and universities rather than local community colleges. Taking an online course from a reputable school was better than taking a course in person at a local community college. I would avoid the for-profit programs if possible since they are expensive and their reputations can often cause concern.

    If you do take an online course go directly through the school – meaning enroll through the school’s website and not through a third party. Check out the UC system courses as well Harvard Extension. I find that both of these offer a large course selection with a quality brand.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Dan,

    Looks like this was posted twice by mistake. I responded to your earlier post on this topic.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Sanket,

    Looks like you posted this questions twice. Please see your other post for my response.

    Thanks!

  • The wait is killing me

    Stacy,

    I applied to Tuck, Darden, and Stern through the Consortium round 2. I thought my application was pretty strong. I have a 3.6 gpa in Engineering from Penn State, 740 GMAT, good work experience at a major oil company, and I’m hispanic. I interviewed with Harvard, but I haven’t received interview invitations from Stern or Darden, and I did an applicant initiated interview with Tuck. I un-submitted and resubmitted my application about a week after the deadline, because I noticed a couple of typos and the Consortium said it wouldn’t hurt my chances, because they hadn’t sent my application to the schools yet. I also thought my essay on “why Tuck” was by far my best (I really loved my visit there). Do you think either of these items would prevent schools from wanting to interview and accept me? I’m cautiously optimistic about HBS, but I would rather not have all my eggs in that basket (especially since I really liked Tuck, Stern and Darden). I would really like to get your thoughts on my situation.

    Thanks!

  • Justin

    Stacey, thanks so much for taking the time to answer all our questions. If possible, I would like to get your thoughts on my profile and what range of schools I should realistically consider (top-10, top-20, etc.).

    – 27/Caucasian/male/Environmental Engineer from rural Alabama

    GMAT
    – Will be taking in April; most recent practice CAT was 710 (shooting for 720)

    EDUCATION

    – BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Alabama-Huntsville; 3.38 GPA, 3.97 GPA senior year (all engineering courses)
    – MS in Engineering (Environmental Engineering) from the University of Alabama-Huntsville; currently hold a 4.0 GPA one year into the program, and will complete the degree next Spring
    – 1 year as a Co-op employee with a regional design/build firm; work consisted of preliminary design of commercial facilities, and some minor project management on small projects (<$200K)
    – 3 months at a very small, local utilities department; work consisted of design and project/program management of ongoing facilities expansions
    – 1.5 years at a large (top-5) private engineering, construction, and technical management firm; work consists of environmental remediation projects for private clients and government agencies; some project management (<$500K or so); identified as an "emerging leader" within the organization, and serve as a team lead for our early career development program

    EXTRACURRICULAR

    – Led a team that designed a solar powered water disinfection method for small, remote communities, and was one of 3 teams selected nationally to present at the ASCE-EWRI World Congress (undergrad)
    – Active in school chapter of ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers); organized teams for student conference competitions (undergrad)
    – Participated in the annual Science Olympiad for local K-12 students (judged projects, tutored, etc.) (undergrad)
    – Active in local professional chapters of ASCE and SAME (Society of American Military Engineers) (current)
    – Volunteer with the local Boys and Girls Clubs of North Alabama (mentor, STEM tutor, athletics) (current)

    Essentially, I want to attend bschool so I can move into consulting. I'm passionate about my line of work, but I feel my impact will be more significant as a management consultant for environmental remediation/alternative energy/other environmental tech companies.

    I know my undergraduate institution doesn't standout, and my GPA is a little low as well. Thus, taking everything into consideration, what range of schools are realistic for me? Also, I'm not planning to apply until NEXT year (matriculation 2015), so I have some time to boost my resume somewhat.

    Thanks!

  • NeverGameUp

    I’m in a top 5 program and my undergrad Engineering gpa was 2.72…GMAT 680; far from stellar, don’t give up mate 😉

  • Matt

    NeverGameUp, would you mind providing some more general background info regarding your application process?

    Did you apply round 1, 2, 3? And years of work experience? How many schools did you apply to and % of invites for interviews? Thanks!

  • WLbyTuck

    Thanks!!!

  • WLbyTuck

    Coursera courses are cool, but won’t really work since there’s no grade awarded to build a transcript. I’m actually taking one now (for general knowledge, and it’s free).

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Totu,

    I found your question interesting since I do not consider EMBA programs weaker than full time MBA programs. I think they are indeed different, but not weaker.

    EMBA programs tend admit people with more work experience, with perhaps lower average college gpas/GMAT test scores. More work experience better prepares candidates for success in the program, and adcoms recognize this thus the trade off between academics and experience. In contrast full time MBA programs admit people with less work experience 3-6 years, but slightly higher academic credentials (including GPA and GMAT). I don’t think that the differences noted above make the EMBA program “weaker,” just different.

    Let’s take the Wharton EMBA as an example. While I am sure that there are exceptions at certain firms, I assume that most employers would value the Wharton EMBA and the Wharton MBA program equally. Meaning, I assume that the WEMBA graduates have the same education a full time Wharton MBA receives, but a different experience.

    I hope this helps!

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your post. Bschools look at three things when evaluating candidates – academics (GPA, GMAT, additional coursework), professional experience and extracurricular activities.

    Your low GPA might raise a red flag, thus putting more emphasis on your GMAT score. Most scores for applicants in your industry are around 720+, so you would need to score around the same simply to compete with others in the pool. You may also wish to write an optional essay briefly explaining the reason for your low GPA to help mitigate concerns they may have about your ability to perform in a classroom environment.

    Lastly, you’ll want to have a solid extracurricular profile. Many in finance simply don’t have the time to balance work and extracurricular activities and so they rely on solid academics and professional experience to bolster their chances. Given the weakness in your academic profile, it’s important for you to round out the extracurricular portion of your candidacy. You don’t mention this area in your post, so I can’t provide specific feedback, but I encourage you to seek out activities and find ways to make your mark outside of the office if you aren’t already doing so.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    I completely understand your anxiety. The waiting is truly the hardest part. That being said, I think you are worrying for no reason. The schools would not have received your applications when you made those edits or else the Consortium would never allow it.

    Keep in mind Stern has rolling decisions, so invitations to interview often come out at different times in the cycle. Tuck stays pretty quiet until a few days before the decision date, so no news ins’t a bad thing at this point.

    My advice is not to worry, you’ve done nothing wrong by making those last minute changes.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Justin,

    Can you clarify the dates on your education and full time work experience? Did you work in between graduating from undergrad and starting your MS degree? It’s not quite clear to me when you gained the full time experience.

    Thanks,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Thanks for weighing in WLbyTuck!

  • Mr. Big Pharma

    Good evening Stacey

    I’ve been researching pharmacist applicants on this site and I haven’t seen an applicant similar to myself. I am a 30 year old African American male. Please indulge me with your expertise regarding my odds of getting into a top MBA program, including Tuck.

    -680+ GMAT (Projected-Private tutoring)

    -3.64 GPA Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.). University is well respected in the industry

    -Work experience-

    -Two years Clinical Services Director at a pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) with about 200K lives. Roles include developing, implementing, and managing clinical programs. Provides
    clinical direction and leadership to in house staff including four pharmacists
    and twenty customer service reps and technicians. Increased revenue of one of clinical programs over 225% within six months of employment. Created a medication therapy management (MTM) program with a revenue model that positions over 200 independent pharmacists in the community setting to aid, what soon will be, a stress healthcare system due to 30 million patients gaining access to coverage in 2014. This program keeps independent pharmacists competitive against big chains and profitable against other PBMs who marginalize the dispensing of Rx medications. Trained and acclimated 200
    pharmacists to the new program. No other decentralized MTM program exists in the industry.

    -One year clinical pharmacist at OptumRx, a UnitedHealth Group company. Left to build clinical programs vs. being a cog in someone else’s system. Leaving was my best move.

    -Four Years staff pharmacist at Rite Aid pharmacy.

    -Extracurriculars-

    – In 2009, I won a business plan competition at a school with a top 14 MBA program vs. other
    undergrad and graduate students. **Granted, I have no business education.

    -Real estate development from 2008-2011. Accumulated over 800K in assets. Ultimately failed due to internal disputes/litigation with partners.

    -Rho Chi (Pharmacy Honor Society)

    -Guest Speaker at a well-respected city sponsored Entrepreneurs’ Forum in a major northeastern city, representing my real estate development company.

    -Guitar Player. Not any good, but just enjoy playing
    -Bodybuilder

    -Goals

    -Become a leader in the PBM industry. With the new healthcare overhaul and with 50%
    of the drugs in clinical trials being very expensive specialty medications, the
    industry is and will continue to look for new ways to manage drug spend while
    using the change in healthcare laws to its advantage.

  • Justin

    Yes, I should I have been more clear. I finished my undergraduate degree in May of 2011. The 3 month stint with the local utilities company was my first full time job post degree, and I’m currently with the private engineering company. The reason for my short stint with the utilities company is simple…I was offered a much better job with much better potential for career development. I’m pursuing my Master’s of Engineering while working full time (taking 6 credits per semester, so just a tad short of full time). It should be noted that it took me 6 years to finish my BS, so that will probably be a negative on my application. In short, I changed majors twice before finally deciding upon Civil Engineering (Biology, then Chemical Engineering, then Civil Engineering). I performed so-so in my Biology coursework, well in my ChemE coursework (A’s and B’s), and very well in my Civil Engineering coursework. At graduation, I had amassed 192 credits, which I’m well aware is completely absurd. I’m hoping my performance during the last couple of years of undergraduate and my professional performance will prove my intellectual abilities and professional commitment. However, I’m aware my meandering path to my current career may be somewhat alarming. Thanks for the help!

  • Gautam Kumar

    Hello Stacey

    My Profile is given below-

    GMAT-600 (2 times)
    TOEFL- Awaited
    Education- M. Sc. Agriculture (8.33/10.00) and B. Sc. Agriculture (8.33/10.00)
    Some Financial certifications like JAIIB, CAIIB, Diploma in Micro Finance and SME Finance

    Work- 8 years in Development Banking-Microfinance, project finance and SME finance, Branch Manager since last 2 years

    Extracurricular- Social Service, Debate, Football, Chess and composing poems.

    Recommendations- The best in business by senior ppl and they know me since last 5 years. One of them actually coaxed me into applying.

    I have an admit from Manchester Business School.
    I Have applied for Tbird and in process of doing so in BYU- Marriot and TAMU-Mays
    What are my chances specially as I wish to move into consultancy with focus on development banking. Please also rank these schools for me.

    Thanks :)

  • The wait is killing me

    Thanks Stacey, I really appreciate your feedback

  • Chewbacca

    Hi Stacy,

    I was wondering how much emphasis adcoms put on undergrad GPAs. I am particularly concerned about a low GPA from undergrad (2.9 cumulative for a BS in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins). I spent the first couple years as an NCAA student-athlete and focused in areas aside from academics, after which I decided to concentrate on studies. There’s a general upward trend in my GPA each year, and I was finally able to get a 4.0 in my last semester. But the cumulative is still a sore mark. However, I also completed a masters in biotech at UPENN with a 3.5 GPA. Would adcoms put less emphasis on that low GPA and look more at grad school GPAs?

    I also currently work on consulting, specializing in pharma/biotech and have significant extracurricular commitment for a religious non-profit group. How worried should I be about that 2.9 and what are the best ways to divert the attention of an adcom away from that?

    Thanks!

  • CFA

    Hey Stacy, does the CFA help with applications at top schools at all?

  • Ussi

    I was speaking to a former Stanford adcom and she said luck plays a big role in getting into a top school.
    How much will you agree with this?

  • Varie

    Can you please rank the following in terms of most to least important:

    work experience/type of industry
    GMAT
    GPA
    Recommendation letter
    Essays

    Interviews

  • Has

    I got 680 in my GMAT (Q50 and v31). My verbal score underscores my verbal ability.I wrote this in the optional essay. Is this a good use of the optional essay?

    I was reading on an MBA forum that this is the most common mistake applicants make.

  • NeverGameUp

    Not all schools have three rounds (e.g. Duke if I recall has four rounds)…in short, my deadlines were in January (so you can think of it as 2nd rounds). 6 yrs of experience across FS and Telecom…applied to Kellogg, Booth, Duke, Cornell, and McCombs.

    All I can suggest is that you challenge yourself with one or two stretch schools. You may be (pleasantly) surprised who invites you (and how doesn’t)! In the end, I made sure to personally meet people and build relationships with folks throughout the admissions process e.g. during the visit I made an effort to get personal time with AdComs (this of course means building relationships before your visit).

    Good luck!

  • GrammarNazi

    “underscores” means to stress or emphasize – I’m pretty sure that’s not what you meant, right?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Mr. Big Pharma,

    Thanks for your post. You have a compelling background, and you are correct in that it is quite unique!

    Your solid professional experience and MBA goals will indeed help you stand out in the applicant pool and position your applications for success. However, I do worry a bit about your projected GMAT score. For top US MBA programs you should aim for a 700. 700 is a nice, neutral score – it won’t necessarily help your application, but it won’t hurt it. The good news is that there is plenty of time between now and round 1 to study and take the exam multiple times if necessary.

    That being said, your profile is quite strong, but given it is a bit different than a traditional candidate, you’ll want to take extra care in crafting your resume and essays so that the adcom can truly understand what it is you’ve done and what you plan to do.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi CFA,

    Great question! While the CFA is seen as an avenue for professional development and the process of earning this designation is certainly a rigorous one, the adcom tends to view this certification more as a sign of your professional dedication than as an academic achievement. Your attainment of CFA will indeed create a positive impression of your grasp of finance, but it will not be given as much weight as your GPA or GMAT score.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Ussi,

    Such a timely question. I was just speaking with a client about this very topic this morning!

    There really isn’t a set process for making admissions decisions. What I mean by this is that factors such as who read your file, their familiarity with your background, their personal interpretation of your success to date and ability to achieve goals all come into play as part of the evaluation process. This is why most schools have at least 2 reads on each application. And yes, a little luck could certainly help!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Varie,

    Thanks for your post. This is an excellent question. Bschools evaluate 3 things when making decisions:

    1. Academics (GPA, GMAT, additional coursework, etc.)
    2. Professional experience (full time)
    3. Extracurricular activities – not just volunteering, but personal interests and hobbies

    Each of these categories weighs about the same. It’s important to note that an applicant is often a bit weak in one area, this simply means they should look to balance it out in another.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Arjun

    Hi Stacey,
    Can both the letters of recommendation be from a supervisor who oversaw an extra curricular or volunteer project? I may be unable to approach someone from work or a client as I do not wish to disclose that I am applying to B school. How much of a deal breaker could this be?
    Thanks,
    Arjun

  • Stephen

    Hi Stacey-

    I was curious as to how the top Business School admissions offices view those working in the oil and gas industry. Here in Texas, schools like Rice and UT certainly have a large percentage of professionals from the energy sector, but I haven’t met many people in the industry who went to a Top 10 school.

    On top of that, I’d be interested in hearing how admissions offices would view a job at an oil refinery (business role). It is viewed as a “high-potential” role within my company but admittedly is not very flashy.

    Thanks,

    Stephen

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    HI Chewbacca,

    Keep in mind that adcoms view your academic profile as your undergrad GPA, GMAT and any other additional courses or degrees. This means that they won’t solely look at your undergrad GPA, but rather the entire package. Your graduate school GPA will help mitigate concerns as will a high score on the GMAT. Someone in the field of consulting should plan to score 700+ to be competitive.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Arjun,

    Ideally one of your recommenders should come from the workplace. If you are unable to approach a direct supervisor to help perhaps you can ask someone else. Have you worked on projects with other groups or departments? Ideally it would be someone who knows how you work and can speak to your leadership and team skills.

    At the end of the day, if you are unable to find someone at work to write the recommendation it is okay to go outside of the office. You will want to be sure to write an optional essay explaining your reason for this. It’s not a deal breaker, but you do want to offer up a clear explanation.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Has,

    I think you mean to say that your verbal score isn’t a reflection of your capabilities? If so, then yes, writing an optional essay explaining this is your best course of action. The optional essay exists for this very reason – to explain potential red flags. However, my advice is retake the GMAT. If you feel this score doesn’t reflect your ability then take it again. Being content with one’s score is so important. Think of it this way, if you don’t retake it and you don’t get into bschool, will you regret it and wish you had indeed taken it again? Long sentence, but I think you get the message.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • ToughOne

    Dear Stacey,

    This is a tough one. How does one spin a career decision they actually regret (and are currently in)? Prior to the move, the move looked very favorable, but after time on the job, the person found out it most likely wasn’t the best move. Lastly, I’ve heard schools don’t look to favorably on 3 or more jobs. Do you suggest staying in the current role (the person’s second role) – even if it’s not the most ideal role (though not too bad)? Or does having 3 jobs not hurt too much as long as there is some logical path / progression.

    Thank you so much. I know this is tough without specifics

  • parkour

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m considering taking a sabbatical year out to teach English as a foreign language in Japan whilst learning the language and hoping to reach a B1-B2 level before applying for one year accelerated MBA program at INSEAD.

    Having gathered over 9 years experience (3 years in IT consulting, 6 years in technology sales) and worked in London, Beijing and now in Melbourne, at the age of 33, would this course of action be detrimental to my application? I haven’t sat the GMAT exam yet but would a GMAT score of 710+ help enhance my chances?

    I would appreciate your feedback.

    Regards,
    Parkour

  • soro333

    Hi stacey,

    Im currently in my first year of undergrad from India in Bachelor of Commerce, and I wish to pursue my mba from top american b-schools without any work experience, I will be working very hard on my gmat (hoping 740+) and interning or working part time through whole of my undergraduation along with volunteering in Non Profit Ventures. Do I have chances to get into Stanford, Harvards 2+2, MIT Sloan or Wharton ?

  • Mr. Big Pharma

    Thank you!

  • BSchool_670.

    I interviewed with McKinsey and Bain for summer internship (didn’t get offers) and my GMAT was 670 – so, it’s not an absolute metric to get on closed lists.

    In my case prep, I found that David Ohrvall’s “Crack The Case” book was the most representative of my recruiting experience (he dedicates part of the book to the process). In his book he also talks about the GMAT. In short, he states that the GMAT may play a part in getting on the close list, but he has never heard in brought up when deciding on whether to make an offer or not (once on the interview close list).

    All that said, you do enter your GMAT as part of the app process, so a sexy GMAT score doesn’t hurt, but I had great success w/ recruiting despite a < 700 GMAT.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi ToughOne,

    Can you clarify how many years you’ve been working? 3 jobs in 5-6 years is different than 3 jobs in 3 years.

    Thanks,

    Stacey

  • Ms. Strategy International

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m in the middle of the “waiting game” for Ross, Kellogg, Stanford and Booth, and have two questions for you.
    First, I’m wondering about financial aid/scholarships. Do you typically find out if a school is giving you any money at the time of admission? Or would I have to wait longer to find that out? I expect that the financial portion of each portion will have some weight when I make my decision.

    Second question – Stanford says that they issue interview invites up until the week before the decision date. Do you know what the distribution timeline of invites typically is for Stanford? Is it evenly distributed from when they start issuing invites until that “week prior to decision date” milestone? Or does it taper off or escalate over time? Do you know how many invites have been issued for Round 2 so far? Clearly I’m a bit anxious about hearing back and am wondering if the fact that I haven’t heard anything yet has any meaning for my chances.
    Thanks!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Soro333,

    Thanks for your post. It’s a bit difficult for me to speculate your odds of admission so early on in your academic career. However, I can give you some pointers on how to increase your odds of success. Be sure to seek out extracurricular activities and in particular look for leadership roles. Your internships are equally important, so do spend time seeking out the best opportunities. Lastly, it probably goes without saying, but do be sure your grades are top notch and that you do well (700+) on the GMAT.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Toughone

    Closer to the early end rather than the 5-6 year mark, which makes things difficult. Sounds like one should stay put and apply from where they are (even if not ideal) at the 3-4 year mark. If things don’t work out then, maybe look for something better @ the 5-6 year mark? Thanks

  • ToughOne

    *Continuation of previous discussion

    Closer to the early end rather than the 5-6 year mark, which makes
    things difficult. Sounds like one should stay put and apply from where
    they are (even if not ideal) at the 3-4 year mark. If things don’t work
    out then, maybe look for something better for the 5-6 year mark? Thanks

  • MikeTexas

    When applying will having a CPA help me?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    I can certainly understand your need for information. Waiting can be so challenging!

    As for your questions, schools most often provide scholarship information in the acceptance letter. Most schools understand that scholarship information is necessary for many when making a decision on where to attend.

    As for your second question. Stanford is known to trickle out interview invitations and does indeed extend invitations all the way up to the week before the decision date. This truly can test one’s patience. I don’t have the ability to estimate the current number of round 2 invitations distributed – I wish I did!

    Best of luck!

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Stephen,

    You are correct in the idea that oil and gas industry experience is much more common in Texas applicants than in New England. However, lack of large applicant pools isn’t such a bad thing.

    Keep in mind that adcoms are looking at each individual applicant’s success in their particular industry/sector. They don’t compare applicants in oil to those from banking or consulting. It’s one’s own career trajectory as compared to their peers in the industry that matters. Sound work experience with solid growth is well regarded no matter the industry.

    Do keep in mind that adcoms outside of the Texas area may not be as familiar with your industry and experience as those at Texas schools. You’ll want to be sure your resume clearly outlines your growth and accomplishments. Be sure to avoid industry jargon or other terms that might confuse the reader.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi MikeTexas,

    Similar to my response to the question about the CFA, the CPA is viewed as a professional accomplishment and not as an academic achievement. It will certainly add to your professional profile, but won’t necessary tip the scales in an admissions decision.

  • Colosseum

    Hi Stacey,

    I am a 29 year old Indian male and have 5 years of post grad experience in variegated fields after my graduation in English majors with 60% marks from University of Pune. I think this should be above 3 GPA but dont have a clear idea.
    For the first year immediately afer my graduation I worked as a medical transcriptionist. After which I completed my PGDM in finance, low gpa. I have 4 years of work experience post my PGDM, 2 years as Asst. Manager Budgets in a telecom company , 1/2 year with an American MNC as a Pricing Analyst and subsequently I am working with a Bank for 2 years now as a Financial Analyst. During my term with the Telco I was instrumental in developing pricing models, which were helpful in driving the sales negotiations and driving up tenancy of telecom towers by upto 20%. I was also the key person to develop the segment reporting in my Bank, which is a key reporting fundamental. I am a CFA level III candidate.
    I have participated and leaded the drama, quiz and cricket events in my college and was awarded the best speaker in my organization. Besides work commitments I have helped commerce graduates with their projects and trained the non finance people in my organization for the fundamentals in Finance and volunteered for a competitive performance, education and memory training organization. My stint with this organization has also helped me perform in the Bank competitive exams in India and resulted in the current stint with my organization. I also helped to budget for a large dairy farm at my native place, the establishment of which led to means of daily subsistence for 100+ farmers.
    I want to leverage my skills in credit and emerging markets by doing MBA.
    I have not taken GMAT yet but hope to score above 700.

    How does my background help me for top 10 MBA? Thanks!

  • MBAhopeful

    Hi Stacey,
    I don’t plan on applying to business school for at least another two years, but I’m taking the GMAT this year while my job isn’t that time consuming. Currently, admissions officers have said they are taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude with the new IR section of the GMAT. I’m wondering how much I need to concentrate on the IR section when I take the test this year. My question is whether adcoms will see my 2013 score in 2015 and say, it was only the 1st year the IR section was part of the exam, so we still don’t have enough data to compare, or if they will look in 2015 and say, there are now 3-4 years of data we can look at so we’re comparing his 2013 scores vs. our 2015 applicant pool.

  • toughone

    Dear Stacey, can I confirm you recommend staying put even if the role one is currently in isn’t ideal from an applications point of view (though not way too bad) given you don’t have that much work experience and have already transitioned once. Thank you! (this is a continuation of a previous question).

  • Ussi

    Thanks for your reply. I have my fingers crossed!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Thanks for the additional information. Typically it’s best to find a way to put a positive spin on the experience. I’m hoping that there are some things about the role that are better – perhaps more responsibility, leadership or team experience. I would not let the adcom know that you regret the change. They may misinterpret your desire to go to bschool simply as an escape for your job.

    As for whether or not to stay, if it really is a bad situation it might be a good idea to look for other options. If you do decide to leave, be sure you have found another job first. Ideally you’ll avoid a gap in employment on your resume.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    I responded in your earlier thread below.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Parkour,

    I think the big question here is why exactly to you want to go to INSEAD? It sounds like you’ve had a pretty great career thus far, so what could bschool have to offer that you haven’t already learned or that you couldn’t do without an MBA?

    Taking a year off to do something productive is a lot different than simply taking a year off to play. It would be fantastic if you can spin the experience and perhaps tie it in with your post MBA goals if possible.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    Great question! You are correct that until there are enough applicants in the pool who have taken the IR section on the GMAT there just isn’t a lot an adcom can do with the score. However, I do not view it as a valid excuse or reason not to do well and I don’t think that more years of test takers will change the way the score is interpreted.

    In a couple of years adcoms might be using this score in the evaluation process and it would be best to avoid having to write an awkward optional essay explaining a low score.

    Stacey

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    I know you were seeking Stacey’s advice but, as a recruiter, I am curious as to what is motivating you to consider teaching English in Japan immediately prior to an MBA?

    It sounds like an odd flow on your resume – job, teaching sabbatical, MBA. I for one would wonder whether you had been laid off or if you were suffering from career burnout or lack of career focus – or whether you maybe really just want to be a teacher deep down?!

    Are you perhaps motivated to do this in order to fulfil INSEAD’s foreign language requirements? Taking a year off might be overkill and you might find that French will prove a lot more useful than Japanese if you plan on studying on the Fonty campus.

  • Justin

    Hi Stacy…just wondering if you’ve had a chance to take at look at my clarification below. I’m not trying to be a nuisance, just trying to take advantage of this awesome resource!……..you know how us b-school applicants can be :).

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Tia brings up some good points. Are you looking to teach in Japan in order to fulfill INSEAD’s foreign language requirement? If so, there indeed might be a different way to go about it that wouldn’t require such a lengthy time commitment.

    Also, as I stated in my earlier post, connecting your time in Japan to your future goals would be beneficial in order to avoid puzzled looks from recruiters down the road.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Colosseum,

    Thanks for your post. You certainly have an interesting professional background – it’s not everyday that I see someone start out in medical transcription and end up as a financial analyst. You’ll certainly want to be able to explain the career shift in your applications.

    My main concern is around your academics. You have average to below average grades which could raise concerns around your ability to handle the rigorous course load in bschool. A GMAT score of 720+ would be ideal in order to help mitigate concerns. You may also wish to write a brief optional essay explaining your low grades in the PGDM program.

    Lastly, the best advice I can give you is to find a way to stand out in the applicant pool. Choose your essay topics wisely and balance out examples from your professional experience with those from your extracurricular activities.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi ToughOne,

    Just wanted to be sure you saw my response to your post in the original thread below.

    Stacey

  • Postgrad

    Hi,

    I have a master’s degree in statistics. Does the adcom view post graduate qualifications favourably ? Also, what proportion of a typical MBA class already has a postgraduate qualification.

  • FinGirl

    Stacey: I am applying to Tuck in the third round. My stats are slightly above the average for the class: female, 3.44 GPA, 760 GMAT, 7 years WE in Finance, bi-lingual, international but WE in NY. Do you have advice on how to stand out in the 3rd round?

  • Adadear

    Hi Stacey,

  • Colosseum

    Thanks for the advice Stacey. Wont earning the CFA charter help mitigate the concerns for handling the rigor or ‘standing out’ among applicants. How many applicants did you see as Director of admissions or as a consultant with this designation?

  • Alv

    Hello Stacey,

    I would appreciate your opinion about my possibilities of being admitted in a top school. I am 29 years. I have two masters degree, but not an MBA. I have one year of experience in a prestigious trainee program, 1 year of experience in a well known company, but now I am working in a small company (1 year) I am deciding of taking the GMAT test or not and just try to gain some more experience with the hope of achieving my goals this way. Is it impossible to be admitted in a top B-school?

  • WLbyTuck

    There’s a chat on Beat the GMAT in a couple weeks that’s right up your alley. http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/event/applying-to-tuck-in-the-last-round-how-you-can-stand-out-live-qa
    Check it out, and good luck!

  • WLbyTuck

    **Non-expert advice**
    Stanford is the most selective school already (7%), and applying Round 3 makes it that much tougher. What’ll make it even tougher is if you end up as a re-applicant in R1 – yes it looks like you have a plan to show how you’ve improved, but you’ll only have ~4 months to show how you’ve become a stronger applicant, and none of your points deal with additional responsibilities or promotions at work.
    Why not forget about R3, focus on your GMAT prep, then present a complete package in R1 of next year? This way, you won’t have to deal with the re-applicant essay.

  • Vaibhav

    I am from India and would be having 2 years of work experience by the time MBA classes will start. I have a M.Tech degree from IIT and a accomplished student life with experiences like leading a team of 30 students and visiting abroad for Research Project. The reasons for doing an MBA are to become a social entrepreneur, thus not seeking a job after graduation. I have done internship with non-profits. I was planning to do the same immediately but after discussions with a lot of my seniors and professors, I felt it would be appropriate to go for MBA first. I would now be applying in Round 3. I have a GMAT score of 730 but considering Indian demographics it is still not good enough. Also, as far as I know, most people from India claim their intentions to work for social good as it aids in admission and scholarships.

    I would like to know which school give a fair chance for applications in Round 3, particularly considering an Indian applicant.
    I would have given Harvard a shot if it was first or second round. Not sure now. Right now I am looking at Darden, Fuqua, Anderson. I am open to European schools as well. What do you suggest?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Alv,

    Thanks for your post. It’s a bit unclear to me exactly why you wish to get an MBA after already completing two Masters degree programs. Can you clarify?

    Thanks,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Adadear,

    I must say, WLbyTuck provided some great advice! While bschools often to look favorably on reapplicants, you will be hard pressed to have enough to talk about in your application given the short amount of time between round 3 and round 1 in October.

    I always tell my clients to apply when they are ready. You want to feel confident in your entire application, so if you aren’t pleased with your GMAT score it might make sense to wait until you improve to apply.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Once again, great advice from WLbyTuck! I encourage you to attend the upcoming chat hosted by Pat Harrison. I served on the adcom with Pat, and she is a great resource for advice. Pat is open and honest and can offer some tangible ideas for how to stand out in round 3.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Your attainment of CFA level 3 will create a positive impression of your grasp of finance, but it will not be given as much weight as classes pursued at an academic institution.

    While earning As in outside classes would go farther in mitigating your undergraduate performance, you might consider using an optional essay to argue that your success on the CFA is representative of your quantitative abilities.

    I saw many applicants with the CFA level 3 designation in my years at Tuck. I also have several clients each year with the designation. Given the the high number candidates applying to top school that work in finance, the CFA designation is quite common.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Postgrad,

    Adcom members evaluate post graduate work in much the same way they do undergraduate degrees. This means that the GPA from the program is considered part of the academic profile along with undergrad GPA and GMAT.

    One thing to keep in mind (this goes for all applicants with post graduate degrees) is that you’ll want to have a clear and valid reason for seeking your MBA. Adcoms don’t want to admit “degree collectors,” so solid short and long term goals that require an MBA to achieve are quite important. You’ll want to be prepared to discuss your stats degree and why you feel an additional degree is necessary to achieve your goals.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Forgot to include above – roughly 15% of students at top US MBA programs already have advanced degrees.

  • Alex

    Hi Stacey — Thanks for your response!

  • Alex

    Thanks for the insight!

  • SpeedFever

    Hi Stacey:

    Hope you are doing well.

    I have a question related to mathematics-related perquisites for admission to a
    top 20 US MBA program in Fall 2014. As I majored in marketing as an undergrad,
    I have very few quantitative courses on my transcript, and no calculus. As
    schools like Wharton/MIT/Duke/UNC all require you to complete a
    university-level course in calculus before matriculation, I was thinking it
    would be helpful to be proactive on this and do it now itself, before I even
    apply. This way I could present my grade in the calculus course at the time of
    application (in the optional essay) and put to rest any concerns on my
    quantitative preparation.

    However, what is less clear to me is how stringent are the criteria for
    deciding what exact class satisfies requirements for matriculation? For
    example, I am considering taking a class at UCLA Extension that is online-only
    (including instruction as well as examination) as I don’t live in the US and
    there are no viable offline alternatives where I live. It is also primarily
    Excel-based and called ‘Business Applications for Calculus’, rather than a
    standard ‘Calculus I / II’ kind of class. In addition, while UCLA Extension
    will give a letter grade on its transcript, and it is a 4-credit class, it is
    not certified as an undergraduate ‘transfer credit’ class.

    So my concern is, with all these caveats (i.e., online-only, potentially less
    in-depth, not pre-approved for transfer credit) will this still be satisfactory
    for the admissions committee? Or do I need to consider other options? I don’t
    want to be stuck in a situation of spending time and money on a class now, only
    to realise later that this is still not enough for matriculation. I hope you
    can shine some light on this based on your experience on Tuck’s admissions
    committee.

    Regards,
    SpeedFever

  • Vaibhav

    any answers ?

  • OnEdge

    Hi Stacy,

    In your years at Tuck what proportion of the class needed to be filled from Round 3 applicants?

    I am contemplating applying in round 3.

    Thanks

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi OnEdge,

    The round 3 needs change from year to year. It depends on yield thus far as well as how large the applicant pool has been in the other rounds. I wouldn’t want to speculate since it really does fluctuate from year to year. So sorry, I wish I could shed some light on it for you.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Check with each school that you plan to apply. Most are quite comfortable with the UCLA Extension course, but if you’re worried then it’s worth a quick phone call. Keep in mind schools can’t endorse a particular program, but they can tell you what type of course(s) they prefer to see.

  • Justin

    Hi Stacey,

    I was hoping to get a followup from my clarification below (Justin – environmental engineer). And to develop my question a little more…I know this isn’t a scientific process, and I’m essentially just looking for your off-the-cuff thoughts on the range of schools that would be realistic. Thanks again for the insight!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Vaibhav,

    Thanks for your post. As part of a large applicant pool the most important thing you should do is find a way to stand out in the applicant pool. Applying round 3 is extremely challenging given there aren’t usually many seats left in a class.

    Successful round 3 candidates are able to stand out in the pool and bring something unique or interesting to the table. Essay topic selection is the key to success for all rounds, but is even more critical in round 3. They also need to have solid academics and professional experience.

    It’s difficult for me to speculate ones odds of success, but as long as you know the odds and can find a way to stand out you might be successful. You can always reapply in round 1 in the the fall. Many reappilcants find success the second time around.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Justin,

    Not sure which post you are asking for further clarification on. Can you repost the original one? For some reason I’m not seeing it.

    Thanks!

  • Mexi

    Hi Stacey:
    I’m a Mexican male (27 years old) with 1.5 year experience working at a boutique investment bank in Mexico City and will have 2 years additional work experience (3.5 in total) working at a local private equity firm when I start my MBA (August 2014). I’m looking to study an MBA at LBS to get foreign work experience and the networking and knowledge I need to start my own venture capital firm in Mexico. I have a GMAT of 680, I have founded the first microbrewery in Mexico City and I volunteer at a non for profit which educates low resource families in starting and conducting their local businesses. I would like to know what are the odds of me being accepted at a top business school. Thank you very much.

  • Justin

    Given my profile, what range of schools do you think I should be considering (I’m not expecting anything exact)…

    Bio
    27 year old US white male, environmental engineer from Alabama, looking to apply round 1 for Fall 2015 start

    Education & GMAT
    -BS in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Alabama-Huntsville; 3.38 GPA, 3.51 major GPA, 3.97 senior year GPA (all engineering courses)
    -MS in Engineering from the University of Alabama-Huntsville; currently hold a 4.0 GPA one year into the program, and will complete the degree one year from now (working full time as well)
    -Will be taking GMAT in April, shooting for 720; most recent practice CAT was 710

    Work Experience
    -(1 yr) Co-op with a regional design/build firm; work consisted of preliminary design of commercial facilities, and some minor project management on small projects (<$200K); this was during undergrad
    -(3 mos) Civil Engineer at a very small, local utilities department; work consisted of design and project management of ongoing facilities expansions
    -(1.5 yrs) Environmental Engineer at a very large (top-5) private engineering and technical management company (think URS, CH2MHill, Parsons, etc.); work consists of environmental remediation projects for both private clients and government agencies (primarily DoD); some project management on small projects (<$500K or so); identified as an "emerging leader" within the organization, and serve as a team lead for our early career development program

    Extra Curriculars
    (Undergrad)
    -Mentored and tutored at risk kids at a local school as part of an honors course on social responsibility (~2-3 hours per week for a semester)
    -Led a team that designed a solar powered water disinfection method for small, remote communities, and was one of 3 teams selected nationally to present at the 2011 ASCE-EWRI World Congress
    -Performed other leadership activities within school chapter of ASCE (organized teams for student conference competitions, etc.)
    -Participated in the annual Science Olympiad for local K-12 students (judged projects, tutored, etc.)
    (Current)
    -Active in local professional chapter of ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)
    -Active in local professional chapter of SAME (Society of American Military Engineers)
    -Volunteer with the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Alabama (mentor, STEM tutor, athletics)
    (Misc)
    -Very active individual, and outdoor enthusiast (rock climbing, mountaineering, kayaking)

    My professional experience is listed in chronological order, and the first was a co-op position before I finished my degree.

    Thanks, Stacey.

  • juaniriarte

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m having doubts, about how strong am I as an applicant.

    Let me give you some input on my case, I’m a Colombian, 26 years old economist. I have a decent 700 gmat result, and my GPA is 3.2 again decent. I do how ever how ever a solid work experience, I stated working at debt collection agency (agreed not the sexiest field). The company how ever is owned and managed by ex McKensey (HBS,Sloan, Wharton alumni) and has a analytic approach to the business.

    I join the firm three years ago, as a junior analyst. I have been promoted 4 times and now I manage the analytic’s office. I have a team of 5 analyst, and we do internal consulting to better the business. As a manager I have had 3, ideas that have impact on the company. We pushed for a more multi-channel collection effort (normaly only telephone based, ) and are now a leading company on email, direct mail and internet based collections. We re dissing our fees and upside sharing mechanism with our investors to have better aligned incentives. And finally a conceptual framework to design the collection strategy based on vintage analysis.

    I’m also a climber and have climbed peak in Colombia and the US, a half-marathon runner. As a runner I’m part of a team that raises funds to help Colombian veterans wounded in combat. I do some recruiting for the team as well as the over all fund raising effort.

    Does my work experience offsets my GPA and GMAT?

  • juaniriarte

    An one other thing, I’m fluent in English, Spanish (native) and French (have my DALF)

  • MBAhopeful

    Hi Stacey,

    I understand you used to recruit for McKinsey also. I’m thinking about doing a one-year master’s program at Harvard this coming fall. I’d love to get into consulting and would love to apply to consulting firms through on-campus recruiting. Do top tier consulting firms typically take kids out of one year masters programs? By the time I start my master’s program, I will have two years of work experience from a well-known market research firm as an analyst. I went to a 2nd tier school with a barely 3.5+ GPA, but I plan on taking the GMAT and getting a 700+. I have time to take it twice before I apply. Do you know how consulting firms – top or 2nd tier – would view this background? What’s most important in the consulting recruiting process? I am confident I’d be able to get enough case experience to make me a competitive candidate once I’m in the door – I’m just unsure how to present myself best to get the interview. What do you think?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    Yes, top tier consulting firms do indeed hire out of Masters programs. These hires are known as advanced degree candidates and include those from Masters programs as well as PhD and JD programs.

    Solid academics are indeed an important part of one’s profile for consulting roles. Be sure to do well on the GMAT and in your program since both are metrics for evaluation. It’s also important to practice cases so that you are prepared for whatever might come your way in an interview. It’s never too early to start case study prep.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Juaniriarte,

    Such a great profile! Not only do you have an excellent career trajectory to date, but you also have a solid list of extracurricular activities that can help round out your profile as well as potentially provide for some essay topics.

    I don’t really see an issue with your academics. I can only guess that perhaps you didn’t do so well on the quant section of the exam? Is this the case?

    Stacey

  • Justin

    Perhaps my replies just aren’t showing up?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Mexi,

    You are my second brewer to post in just a couple of weeks! What a small world!

    Your profile looks great, but you are a little bit below average in the amount of full time work experience to date. European bschools such as LBS like to see a bit more professional experience than US business schools, the average at LBS is 5.7 years. My question for you is why now? It’s important to demonstrate the need for an MBA as well as a natural turning point in one’s career. Can you demonstrate both of those things now? Why the rush to do the MBA so soon rather than waiting a year or two?

    More clarity on the timing would be helpful for me.

    Thanks,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Justin,

    Thanks for reposting.

    My favorite thing about your profile is your balance between work and extracurricular activities. You state you are active in both engineering societies, I take that to mean you do more than just show up for meetings and social functions, I hope this is the case. It will be important for you to find leadership opportunities outside of work given your less than average amount of full time professional experience.

    Be sure to keep studying for the GMAT. Keep in mind that it is not at all uncommon to score anywhere from 10-30 points lower on the actual exam than on practice tests.

    As for schools, I generally recommend applying to between 4-6 schools total. It’s great to have a mix of schools – some reach, some target and some safer options. I could easily throw out some names, but I think the best way for you to develop your list is to think about what you want to get out of the total bschool experience. Do you want to live in a big city or small town? Do you want to know all of your classmates or are you comfortable just knowing your section mates? Lastly, you should think about what you want to do post MBA. WIll a general management degree fit the bill or would you prefer a program with specializations?

    I hope this helps as you begin to think about your choices.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Juaniriarte

    Thanks Stacey, that is comforting…

    I thought my score was ok, I can’t remember where I read that what was really required was being in the “40:40 Club”.

    V 40 / 90%; Q 45 / 68%; Total 700 / 90% ;Writing 4.0 / 20%; IR 8 / 92%

    I understand that South Americans are not great at GMAT, not an excuse more of a hopeful thinking….

    My follow up question is: how high in the rankings should I shoot for, top of the list, or more in the towards 10th place? I’m planning that stretch ,possible, safe school strategy, but can’t get a feeling on what is stretch for my profile.

  • Mexi

    Hi Stacey, thank you very much for your reply. To answer you question, I would explain the rush because I constantly have the entrepreneur bug and just can’t wait to start my own business, but I wouldn’t like to rush into it and start without the proper knowledge. Regarding the US, would you also recommend to wait for 1 more year, that is, look to apply in 2015? Which schools do you believe have the highest entrepreneur culture? I’ve been reading about Berkley and like what I have seen so far.
    Thank you very much for your help!

  • African Immigrant

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m considering applying to MBA programs this coming year and I was wondering what schools you think my profile is most attractive to (and which schools you would consider a reach)
    Profile:

    African American Male (first generation immigrant from east Africa who recently became a citizen). 24YO (at matriculation)

    Ugrad: Top 20 State School double major in both Economics and Political Science with at 3.5 GPA and Leadership positions in school clubs

    Work Experience: Will have 2 years as an analyst at a prestigious international organization (WB/IMF/UN) working primarily with developing countries and some fragile states (I have some in country experience and have been published)

    GMAT:730

    Any guidance you can offer would be apprecaited.

    Thanks

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hello,

    Thanks for your post! You have a solid profile, but are a little on the younger side. You didn’t state why it was you wished to get your MBA, so I won’t be able to offer up schools to fit a specific career goal. I’m also missing information on your extracurricular activities, but I can tell you that as a younger applicant, extracurricular activities are particularly important. They are a great way to demonstrate leadership skill should this be something you have yet to do on the job.

    I you should look at top 15 programs. Aim for a mix of schools, ideally a couple of reach (think top 10) a couple of targets and a couple of safer choices (think top 15). Be sure to think about class size and location as well as course offerings when creating your list.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Justin,

    This is the only reply I see. Is there more?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    I would suggest a list of top 15 programs. A mix of schools is the key to success.

  • Justin

    No, you answered my question Stacey. Thanks!

  • Shreeraj

    Hi Stacey,

    I took GMAT on 28th Dec and scored a lowly 630(Q39,V37). My quant score is really poor and hence wanted to retake but as luck would’ve had it i met with an accident that badly injured my leg.Wanting to apply,i applied to Emory,Cornell,Carlson,Tepper,Mays and Rice(I agree all of them are ambitious schools).

    What i have told the admissions committee is that if my condition improves(thankfully it has) i will be retaking gmat and that score can be used.However i did send across my 630 to them to fall back on.I will retake GMAT in 10 days time.

    My profile is as follows:

    Age:26,Engineering graduate Indian applicant.
    5 years work ex in SAP Utilities domain with Accenture.I have worked as an utilities consultant and have consulted clients across the world such as Singapore power,reliant energy etc.I have also visited client location in Singapore for a month’s period.

    Purpose for an MBA:To enter into Alternative energy consulting.Till now i have consulted utilities companies to improve their SAP system but now i want to venture into alternative energy consulting.

    Long term goal:To implement smart grid solutions in India by 2030 by working with an indian utility company.

    Received many awards within the organization such as Accenture outperformer award and also i am in the very top rating group within my company.

    Extracurriculars: Won Economist Pictures of tomorrow challenge and was invited to Haas business school as a speaker.Also invited to New York for a conference.I suggested a model to improve mumbai’s transport system by implementing alternative sources of energy and alternative modes of transport such as water transport.

    Reached Semi finals of Nat Geo international quiz show.

    Worked with Greenpeace India to stop coal mining and submitted petition to Primer minister of India.

    Point of contact of Switch off and save campaign successfully executed within Accenture.

    Taught child abuse victims computer skills at St.Katherines home.

    I have thus mainly worked in energy sector and would now love to venture into alternative energy sector.

    Hope i have provided u my details properly,let me know should i also apply now to 1-2 safe colleges and please suggest me any if possible.

    Thanks,
    Shreeraj

  • Shreeraj

    Also,i speak French,hope that adds weight :)

  • Shreeraj

    Oh and i forgot to add we started a venture after i came back from USA,named Poolster that was aimed at improving Mumbai transport system but we just started it within Accenture on just 1 route.It was a carpooling venture with the concept of buying/selling miles.

  • Biakka

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m considering applying to MBA programs this coming year, and I am wondering what schools I should target. I think HWS are possible, but please feel free to tell me if that is unrealistic.

    DEMOGRAPHICS: African-American male. 29yo at matriculation. I have an interesting life story that involves overcoming substantial adversity. This isn’t something that I intend to advertise, but to the extent essays or interviews ask about me beyond my professional existence, I’m not sure that I can speak honestly without mentioning these important parts of my life.

    UNDERGRAD: Finance major at state school. 3.9+ GPA and leadership positions in campus organizations.

    WORK EXPERIENCE: 4 years at matriculation. Attorney in the NYC office of a very well-regarded global law firm (after graduating from an Ivy League law school that is generally considered the nation’s best, where I was active in several campus organizations). I represent mostly lenders and my practice focuses mainly on structuring domestic and cross-border leveraged finance transactions, with some emphasis on acquisition financing. I have the opportunity to manage projects regularly, leading teams of 3-5 paralegals and attorneys.

    GMAT: 690 (planning to retake)

    EXTRACURRICULARS: Tutoring, mentoring, and community development activities in undergrad. Community outreach program in law school. Also advised local small businesses on the legal aspects of their operations. Currently involved in mentoring children with incarcerated parents. Might also be joining the board of small non-profit soon.

    OBJECTIVE: I would like to transition from the legal side of deals, where our role is largely documenting a transaction, to the business side of deals, where I can be a part of making decisions and driving the transaction. Accordingly, I’d like to go into finance post-MBA, but I like the idea of leaving the door open for consulting as well. One of the knocks on lawyers seems to be that they lack quantitative skills, but I hope that my undergraduate major, GPA (as well as finance courses I took even while in law school) will help to dispel that notion in my case.

    Any guidance you can offer would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!

  • Said

    Does taking the MBAmath.com course and submitting the transcript make up for a low quant score either on the GMAT or your undergrad? To elaborate, how will it be viewed? Are adcom going to shrug with a “mehh”? Or is it going to highlight me, make it truly look like I am serious and will be able to handle the MBA quant and make up for past laziness? Assuming quant score on GMAT is 60th-70th percentile.

  • Said

    I think it’s great that you are concerned with Parkour’s question. Here’s a few things I would like to ask you since you are a recruiter. What’s wrong with having career burnout and then taking a year off to teach in Japan? Everyone gets burnt out and we aren’t all lucky enough to be working for companies that give you vacation days or honor those days, and in the USA many employers look down on vacation takers, we don’t all live in Hollande’s France. Why would taking a year off, visiting a foreign land, exposing yourself to something and someone new and different, while teaching that foreign populace you have just encountered be viewed as a negative?! If anything, in a multi country corporate world, shouldn’t it be seen as a positive? Also about being laid off? I don’t get that either. I am sure you read WSJ and FT. Is it his or her fault that a company who employed him made a few bets here and there and now can’t pay the employees salaries? And now the guy wants to go teach in Japan! Why not! Do it before you have kids, mortgage, car payments and need to put a kid through college, and jeez luise if you have a kid who wanted to be a broadway actor or something and needed your support.

    Sorry if my questions come across as abrasive and nothing personal here but why does it seem like adcoms, rectuits, HR are always expecting the worst? And want a specific mold of a person? Undergrad 3.5/Bank, software, engineer/720+GMAT not a single gap of employment in their resume. Boom open sesame. You might as well smack a barcode on the back of his neck and get it over with. Then you read about a diverse classroom, etc, etc. Contradiction! I for one would love to have someone like Parkoosh is it? By now I actually forgot his name. Be in my MBA classroom and tell me about Japan, and where he is originally from, and what he wants to do post MBA, etc. etc. And I am sure Parkoush after teaching in Japan, would be a happier person, happier student, hell maybe even a better lover.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    Actually, Said, my suspicion is that Parkour doesn’t really want to teach in Japan but merely wants to fulfill the foreign language requirement for admission to INSEAD. Parkour is welcome to correct me on that if I am wide of the mark.

    It just seems like a really odd flow to a resume to take a sabbatical year and then immediately do an MBA. If Parkour is burnt out, a more recruiter-friendly move would be to resign from work in June and have the whole summer off before heading to B-school in the fall feeling refreshed and ready to go.

    In fact, if you read PhilipDelves-Broughton’s book about his time at Harvard Business School, several of his classmates viewed HBS itself as a 2yr vacation compared to the pace of their work lives prior to B-school.

    It’s not so much what you do but the way that you do it. By all means take a break, go to Japan, do whatever. It’s just good to be strategic about it.

  • Said

    Philip’s interview with Berlusconi was great. Never read his book though. Thanks for putting things into perspective in regards to Parkour and not Parkoush. :-)

  • African Immigrant

    Stacey,

    Thanks for the prompt response.To answer your questions, my mid-term career goal is to go into consulting with a focus on emerging market issues (trending more towards Africa (excl.SA) rather than the BRICS countries). Given the interplay between the government and private industry in a lot of these countries, I have also been considering pursuing an MPP/MPA concurrently with the MBA.

    With both those in mind a joint degree from HKS/HBS(MIT/Wharton/GSB) would be the ideal, but i’m not sure how they would look upon such a young candidate.thoughts?

    Extracarriculars (post undergrad):
    -Volunteer with a program teaching computer skills to recent immigrants
    -Volunteer with a program which helps at risk kids improve their reading profeciency
    -Leadership position in a regional chapter of a UN Young Professionals organization

    Could you clarify what you mean by reach schools (school names not word meaning)? Given my younger profile, would a top 5 school be an attainable reach or a snowball in hell reach?

    Thanks again for responding.

  • Arjun

    Hi Stacey,
    How do adcoms view GMAT scores which are 4 years old. I have a 710 but it is 4 years old. Hence, I am debating whether or not to retake the exam. I know that the validity of GMAT scores is 5 years but do the scores lose their glitter if they are old?
    Thanks,
    Arjun

  • Arjun

    Just to be specific, the score is from July, 2009 and I intend to apply in the fall of 2013 for matriculation in Fall, 2014.
    Thanks!

  • Mr. Coxswain

    Hi Stacey,

    Thanks so much for providing this service. Sandy actually vetted my profile before (http://poetsandquants.com/2011/08/04/handicapping-your-mba-odds/ I’m Mr. Coxswain). I was pleasantly surprised by his stats. I’m looking to join the Army as an officer for the standard 3-year commitment. I’ll be able to enrolled in an MBA program as early as 29/30. Will I significantly hurt my chances of getting into a H/S/W if I go so late? I know Sandy said it shouldn’t matter, but I am looking for a diversity of opinions.

    Thank!

    Mr. Coxswain

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Thanks for the additional information. I’m glad to see that you have leadership experience in at least one of your extracurricular activities.

    Again, your age might make getting into school a challenge, but the good news is that you are young enough that you can always reapply should it not work out for you this year.

    Look at schools like HBS, Yale, Darden, and Columbia.

    Reach = top 5
    Target = top 10

    Hope this helps!

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Mexi,

    I really would suggest holding off for a year if at all possible. The good thing about being a younger applicant is that if you do decide to apply this year and it doesn’t work out, you can always reapply the following year. Reapplicants often have a higher success rate at some schools.

    As for schools with entrepreneurship offerings, you really can’t go wrong at any of the top 15 programs.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    I agree with Sandy! Age doesn’t matter as much as experience, and you’ll be bringing some fantastic leadership experience to the table.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Arjun,

    In my experience, adcoms don’t look that closely at the date of the exam. However, be sure to check the fine print at each school. While GMAT scores are good for 5 years, some schools have slightly different regulations regarding expiration. Some schools take them as long as they haven’t expired at time of application, whereas others require the score still be valid at matriculation. Be sure to check into the requirements for each school on your list.

  • Shail

    Hi Stacey,

    Is 3 years MCA (Master of Computer Applications) degree acceptable to Top Business Schools (like – Harvard, Stanford, Wharton etc) ? College from which I did MCA has been Rank # 1 in India, for the MCA course [may not be right now because of recent structural changes]. I stood 4th / 5th rank in the class. Prior to this I did 3 years Bachelor of Science course in PCM (Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics).

    I understand there are other parameters that matters along with graduate / under-graduate. But like to make sure there is no bias against (or in better words outright rejection) for certain degrees.

    Please advise.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Said,

    Unfortunately it’s not that cut and dry. The quant score on the GMAT is just one component in evaluating a candidates quant capabilities. Adcoms also look at undergrad quant courses as well as the quantitative nature of the applicant’s job and lastly any additional quant courses they may have taken since graduation. Adcoms try to find balance in each applicants quant abilities – meaning perhaps a candidate didn’t have a lot of quant in undergrad, but their job is highly quantitative, or vice versa.

    So, to answer your question, yes MBAmath or other quant classes can indeed boost one’s overall quantitative profile, but whether it’s enough to supplement a low quant score on the GMAT depends on the other factors I mentioned above.

    Hope this helps!

  • Shreeraj

    Hi Stacey,any suggestions,im a bit worried about what will happen to my MBA dream :( just gave a practice test and got 660 which im not sure will help me since my test is coming up soon :(

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Shail,

    I suggest you reach out directly to the schools on your list to find out the exact policy for each school. Simply call the admissions office at each school and ask. They will be able to tell you if your degree qualifies.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Shail

    Thanks Stacey. I researched on LinkedIn and found there are people with MCA and then MBA from Wharton / Kellogs / Stanford. In my network I could not find anybody from HBS. But I think similar profile alumni in some colleges validates that there shall not be any issues.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Shreeraj,

    Thanks for your post. Your professional and extracurricular profiles are great! Your GMAT is the only red flag I can see. Keep on studying and doing practice tests. You may wish to push your test date back a few days or a week in order to give yourself more time. It’s ideal to postpone a week rather than risk a low score again and needing to wait 30 days to retake. Aim for 700!

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Biakka,

    Great profile! The biggest challenge you face is clearly articulating the need for an MBA. It sounds like you’ve given your goals some thought, but be sure you have a tight story about exactly why you need the MBA and a specific plan for both the short and long term. Adcoms often question the need for a second advanced degree, so don’t leave room for them to poke holes in your story.

    Retake the GMAT and aim for an overall score of 700+ with at least 70% in quant.

    Best of luck!

    Stacey

  • Gautam Kumar

    Thunderbird or Maaanchester?

    Hi

    I have been selected in these two schools with a GMAT score of 600. I have applied to TAMU and BYU and waiting for interview calls.

    I am an Indian Male, Post Graduate in Agriculture, 32 Years, 8 years of work experience in Development Banking with Indian PSU Banks.

    Tuition fees and post study work are my biggest priorities. I dont have a US co-signer

    Manchester has a fee of GBP 38,000/- and has offered no scholarships. Thunderbird (fees unknown to me) offered me a Scholarship of USD 10,000. I wish to move in Consulting with a Global profile though no regional choices. Since I have to accept the Offer by Manchester first and that is March 15, 2013, I would be glad if some specialist provides me a suggestion in time

  • Shreeraj

    Hi Stacey,

    Thanks for ur reply! Can u tell me that along with the colleges that i have listed above,should i also put in my application at any of the safe schools or i do chance stand of an admit from the above colleges? Since i want to venture into energy consulting,do u think i should apply to some Texas based college?

    Thanks,
    Shreeraj

  • k.amin

    Hi Stacy,

    My background:

    Undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in Environmental Technology and Sustainable Energy from New Zealand. I have average undergraduate grades and scored 650 on the GMAT.

    4 years and 6 months work experience, starting of as a graduate engineer and progressing to a project manager in one company within those 4 years. The firm would primarily take up multi-million dollar construction projects for the government.

    I have admits from two schools, Syracuse University and Rutgers. I will be an international student. While Syracuse are offering me a generous scholarship, I do not think Rutgers offers aid to International Students. While I know these are not top schools, I am fine with that. I am just concerned which one would be better suited to my needs in terms of post graduate employment and salary. Syracuse is ranked higher than Rutgers on Business Week.

    I appreciate your assistance.

    Thank you,

    k.amin

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your post. Congrats on your offers from Rutgers and Syracuse.

    In regard to your question, it’s a bit difficult for me to answer. You didn’t mention your post MBA goals, so it’s hard to speculate which school would have better employment opportunities.

    I recommend that you call the Career Services office at both schools to discuss employment opportunities. They should be able to tell you about who recruits at the school, top employers and other placement statistics by industry and salary. This information should help you make an informed decision.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Gautam,

    The first thing you need to do is contact Thunderbird and found out the exact cost of attending. Keep in mind that tuition is only a part of the cost to consider. Once you know the cost of attendance for both schools, it should help you figure out which one makes the most sense financially.

    The second thing you need to do is contact the Career Services office at both programs. They can share employment information with you specifically around consulting. They should be able to tell you exactly how many employees go into consulting, the firms that hire and the average starting salary.

    I hope this helps!

    Stacey

  • Vnod

    Hello Stacey

    Writing to you at a point when I am slightly disappointed after my first round of applications. Had tried my luck with Emory and couple of schools in Singapore (INSEAD/NUS) – but could not make it.

    To give a background : A 32 year old Indian software professional with eight plus years of experience .. I am currently a project lead managing software implementations of multi year and multi million magnitude. GMAT score is 710 and I am a topper in my graduation with close to ninety percent academic score. I must admit that I do not have a lot to boast about extra curricular activities. My career aspiration is to get on to roles like product management or business development management roles for technology companies after an MBA. I am driven towards a global exposure and diverse environment to improve on my networking skills and knowledge.

    One thing I could understand from your responses so far is that its not a great idea to apply towards round 3, but in all the above three cases I had applied in the final rounds.

    Haven’t given up yet, but I am focused on a one year program and would like to know your thoughts further on this like

    a) Good schools to apply further

    b) Is reapplication a good idea and what all factors should I look into while reapplying

    c) What are the key aspects to improve on in my application

    d) Will it help if I try getting a higher GMAT score as I can see software professionals form India always carry a higher GMAT score and 710 looks just decent enough.

    e) What are the factors that could be adversely affecting my applications

    Please do ask me on any questions you have further..

  • Jimmy

    Hello Stacey,

    Just wanted to have some couple of advice. I have 6 years of experience as a Consultant working in Paris for Banks and Insurance – I am 30 years old – I moved from IT Consulting to Organization Consulting in the Compliance field (working for US legislations). My goal is to reach Strategy Consulting. My Gmat stays the weak point of my application with a low 630 score (V:34 Q:43) after 5 attempts…

    I worked a lot my essay (with a consultant) to improve my application and it worked: I got interviews for Vanderbilt, USC, and Rice. UCLA (kind of my historic dream school) did not send any interview invitation so far. I would love to join USC as living in LA has always been a dream since my teenage years. but….. my thought is that with a low Gmat I could have interviews for schools ranked 20/25 so why not going beyond ??

    If I am able to reach a 670/680 Gmat (I know I am able to do so) I could aim a Top 10 school. Kellogg would be a terrific school and I was very impressed by its job figures of people joining Mc Kinsey, BCG or Bain each year (more than a 100/year even Stanford , Harvard or Wharton don’t do that !). So do you think I can be more ambitious next year ? (it is true I could be really happy as soon as July at USC if they accept me !)

    Look forward to getting some help and advice from you.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jimmy.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Jimmy,

    Your GMAT score does appear to be your weakness (given the information you shared). Given your work in consulting, it really is important (and expected) that you would have a high GMAT score (above 700+). Keep in mind that consulting firms often have access to GMAT scores depending on the school’s grade release policy, and top tier firms are looking for high GMAT scores as well.

    I think if you raise your score that you should apply to UCLA, but again, I think a score of 700+ is needed in order to increase your odds given the large applicant pool of consultants. Same goes for Kellogg.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Vnod

    Hello Stacey

    Writing to you at a point when I am slightly disappointed after my first round of applications. Had tried my luck with Emory and couple of schools in Singapore (INSEAD/NUS) – but could not make it.

    To give a background : A 32 year old Indian software professional with eight plus years of experience .. I am currently a project lead managing software implementations of multi year and multi million magnitude. GMAT score is 710 and I am a topper in my graduation with close to ninety percent academic score. I must admit that I do not have a lot to boast about extra curricular activities. My career aspiration is to get on to roles like product management or business development management roles for technology companies after an MBA. I am driven towards a global exposure and diverse environment to improve on my networking skills and knowledge.

    One thing I could understand from your responses so far is that its not a great idea to apply towards round 3, but in all the above three cases I had applied in the final rounds.

    Haven’t given up yet, but I am focused on a one year program and would like to know your thoughts further on this like

    a) Good schools to apply further

    b) Is reapplication a good idea and what all factors should I look into while reapplying

    c) What are the key aspects to improve on in my application

    d) Will it help if I try getting a higher GMAT score as I can see software professionals form India always carry a higher GMAT score and 710 looks just decent enough.

    e) What are the factors that could be adversely affecting my applications

    Please do ask me on any questions you have further..

  • Vnod

    Hello Stacey

    Could not find a reply and hence posting again..

    Writing to you at a point when I am slightly disappointed after my first round of applications. Had tried my luck with Emory and couple of schools in Singapore (INSEAD/NUS) – but could not make it.

    To give a background : A 32 year old Indian software professional with eight plus years of experience .. I am currently a project lead managing software implementations of multi year and multi million magnitude. GMAT score is 710 and I am a topper in my graduation with close to ninety percent academic score. I must admit that I do not have a lot to boast about extra curricular activities. My career aspiration is to get on to roles like product management or business development management roles for technology companies after an MBA. I am driven towards a global exposure and diverse environment to improve on my networking skills and knowledge.

    One thing I could understand from your responses so far is that its not a great idea to apply towards round 3, but in all the above three cases I had applied in the final rounds.

    Haven’t given up yet, but I am focused on a one year program and would like to know your thoughts further on this like

    a) Good schools to apply further

    b) Is reapplication a good idea and what all factors should I look into while reapplying

    c) What are the key aspects to improve on in my application

    d) Will it help if I try getting a higher GMAT score as I can see software professionals form India always carry a higher GMAT score and 710 looks just decent enough.

    e) What are the factors that could be adversely affecting my applications

    Please do ask me on any questions you have further..

  • SS

    Hi Stacy, Will greatly appreciate if you could review my profile.

    – 22 years old male

    – An engineer from India (one of the IITs) with a CGPA of 7.95/10 (not sure how it will be projected on a 4 point scale – have read several different ways of converting it to a 4 point scale, could you shed some light on it?).

    – A GMAT score of 770.

    – 1 year experience of working as a derivatives trader (European markets).
    – Currently working in Transaction advisory services (at one of the Big 4 – joined in Nov 2012) and have been working on high profile projects.

    – Part of an NGO as a coordinator of a team of 70 volunteers (for the last 1 year) and manage 9 projects across 3 cities with an aim to provide education to underprivileged children living in the slums of those cities.

    – Co-founder of a not for profit organisation which brings together like minded individuals from different walks of life and aims to provide sustainable solutions for the growth and development of the underprivileged sectors/ villages. Bringing in a sense of professionalism by promoting usage of knowledge gained by the members of the organisation at their respective workplaces for the betterment of the society.

    – Target schools: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Sloan, Columbia, Kellogg – please suggest.

    – I am unable to decide if I should apply this year and start my MBA in 2014 (3 years of experience at the time of joining) or wait for another year and build my profile.

    Thank you for your help.

  • Mr. Asset Manger

    Hi Stacy,
    I would love to hear an assessment of chances at HBS, Stanford, Wharton

    Canadian/Caucasian Male, 25
    Education: 3.6 at Top Canadian Business School
    GMAT 720 (94%), Q45 (68%) V44 (97%), AWA 6 (90%), IR 8 (92%)
    Work Experience:
    – 2 years at a no-name asset management firm (500 million AUM) in buy-side equity research
    – 1 year at PricewaterhouseCoopers in audit (3 co-op terms)
    Extracurricular:
    – At University: President of Business Entertainment Club, member of other clubs
    – After University: Board of directors of charity helping kids with learning disabilities, Scout leader
    Other
    – Diagnosed with the learning disability, Dyslexia
    – Legacy Status at HBS (brother is currently a student)
    Goals:
    – To work in Venture Capital, Management Consulting or internal strategy at a media/tech company

  • enora

    Hi Stacey,

    I am a 27 year old white female who is looking at Top 10 schools, with Harvard and Sloan being the top two contenders.I have two questions:

    1) If I wait two more years to matriculate I could have sponsorship from my employer (consulting). That would mean I would be 29, on the older end of the average age. Does waiting put me at a disadvantage?

    2) While I was thrilled with my overall GMAT score of 730, my quant score was on the lower end (73% Quant, 97% verba). Will this put me at a disadvantage? I don’t think I will be able to retake it and get a much better quant score. As background, I graduated magna cum laude (3.8 GPA) from a top 15 undergrad program in finance, so I can show I’ve taken quantifative classes. I also have plently of extracurriculars in undergrad (3 years student government, multiple volunteer programs) as well as involved in activities at my consulting firm.

    I would appreciate any insight on whether I am a candidate for a top program!

  • Question

    Hi,

    I have kind of a weird question. I am currently in an evening MBA program at a top 25 program but I am thinking about trying to go to a weekend program at a top 10 school instead. Will it be held against me that I’m already about a year into a program? I don’t even know if I’d be a strong enough candidate but I’ve been toying with the idea. I have a 3.3 GPA from a top 10 liberal arts college and a 660 GMAT (unfortunately, low quant high verbal).

    Thanks!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Vnod,

    Thanks for your post. I really do feel that round 3 is tricky. Even the best applicants can get dinged simply due to capacity issues. However, my main concern for you is that you want to apply to one year programs, and frankly there aren’t that many and you’ve already applied to one of the best when you applied to INSEAD. I suggest you check out this list of one year programs to give you some options to consider http://poetsandquants.com/2012/07/10/guide-to-the-best-one-year-mba-programs/.

    As for reapplying, in general reapplicants are looked at favorably provided they are able to determine where the fell short the first time and address those issues and concerns. Reapplying to INSEAD might be a good idea if you can do a self assessment and figure out where you can improve your candidacy.

    I am unable to identify the key aspects for you to improve in your application based on your profile alone. I would need to review your essays in order to determine areas for improvement.

    A higher GMAT score might help, but your score is quite solid and right around the average for the schools on your list, It’s probably better to identify other weaknesses and work on addressing those.

    Again, I am unable to comment on areas to improve or areas that might be red flags without reading your applications. My suggestion is that you do some research and identify new programs and then determine where you fell short the first time around.

    Regards,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Shreeraj,

    I completely missed your follow up question and just now stumbled upon it. I think you have a robust list of schools and at this time I do not have any suggestions. Best of luck on the GMAT!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Great, I’m glad you did your research!

  • Harris

    Hi Stacey,

    Would you say that an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School puts me more at the public ivy level or the actual ivy level? I would greatly appreciate your opinion.

    Sincerely,
    Harris

  • 2014mba

    Is L’Oreal considered a top tier company to ad-comm?

  • egregious12

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m looking to apply to MBA programs this coming year (October), and was wondering which schools would be achievable.

    DEMOGRAPHICS: Canadian male 27yo at matriculation.

    UNDERGRAD: Bachelors Degree at the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada. 3.3 GPA.

    WORK EXPERIENCE: 5 years at matriculation. 3.5 years as Analyst/Associate at a boutique investment bank in Toronto. 1.5 years in corporate strategy at a MNC.

    GMAT: 710

    Why an MBA: I want to tie both my experiences in ibanking and strategy into a position in the private equity industry and/or entrepreneurship, with the goal of running my own consultancy down the road (5-10 years post MBA). Ideally I think Tuck would be my goal, but would kindly appreciate your thoughts.

    Many Thanks,

    egregious12

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hello everyone! I am going on vacation. I’ll be back and ready to respond to your questions and queries on April 8th.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hello!

    Thanks for your post. You have a solid profile, and I can see why you would consider a school like Tuck. I suggest looking into US top 15 programs (check out the list here http://poetsandquants.com/2012/12/07/the-top-100-u-s-mba-programs-of-2012/.

    Aim to apply to 4-6 schools in total with a mix of programs – a couple of top 10 and a couple of top 15. Also, find a way to stand out in the pool. Your professional experience, while solid, isn’t enough to get an acceptance. You need to get noticed and remembered – look for ways to thread your personal interests and activities into your application.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Yes, but the role and growth is more important to the adcom than the brand recognition.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hmm, I’m trying to guess what you’re getting at here. Are you wondering how the adcom will perceive Wash U? It’s a solid school and they will note that immediately. More important is how well you did in the program.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi,

    Thanks for your post. Let’s start off with your question about the GMAT. I don’t think your score puts you at a disadvantage. Ideally the split would have been a bit more even, but your score solid and your academic performance in undergrad proves you have what it takes to succeed in the classroom.

    As for waiting, wow, this is such a difficult dilemma! Waiting does indeed put you at the older end of the age average for many bschools, but if you feel your career trajectory is upward and that you will gain more than just free tuition, it could be worth. A lot depends on what you’re doing now and what you want to do post MBA. If staying put will better position you for your post MBA goals then it sounds like it is an idea worth exploring. If your goals take you in a completely different direction, it might be worth applying now.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Vnod,

    Just wanted to be sure you scrolled down and saw my response to your initial message.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Vnod,

    I responded to your original post a little further down the page. Thanks!

  • Andy

    I have a BA in Political Science from a small state school with a 3.1 GPA, but I later received an MS in Finance and had a 3.36 GPA. How will they be weighted on full time and part time MBA admissions decisions?

  • Undecided

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m 28 (in 10 day) and I’ve applied and been accepted at Michigan State, Boston U., Purdue, Case Western, and U of Maryland (I’m wait-listed at IU Kelley). These are all very good schools and I’m leaning toward BU; however, I only got a 570 on my GMAT which is not that good and in the bottom 10% of most of the universities I applied. When I took the GMAT pretests I usually got between a 600 and 640 I just did not do well at the test site. I was going to retake the GMAT but I got on a new project at work and did not have any more time to study or retake the test again. I think I got in because of my other attributes: I’m a corporate finance consultant at a Big 4 accounting firm, prior to that I was a Sr. Financial Analyst at IBM, I had a 3.57 GPA at a state university and what really set me apart is that I developed a non-profit organization that helps children in Africa: http://www.nigeriafoundation.org. Additionally I believe I interview very well.

    My question is should I wait another year, retake the GMAT, and apply to higher tiered schools?

  • waitlistlimbo

    Hi Stacey,

    I applied R1 to only two schools – Harvard and Stanford, and was waitlisted at both. Happy to report that upon R2 notification, I have been accepted to HBS, but have been waitlisted again at Stanford. Though I am very excited about my admission to HBS, I feel very torn as Stanford had originally been my first choice. R3 notification for the GSB is a few weeks after my deposit is due for HBS… having already written the obligatory letter of continued interest to the Ad Com, is there anything I can do now as a double-waitlister to bolster my application or request an expedited decision notification? Wondering if I should reach back out to the Ad Com or my interviewer and let them know my circumstances (although I am sure they are not unique).

    Thanks for your advice!

  • WLbyTuck

    Congrats on the HBS admit! As someone who’s “doing time” on the WL of my top choice, (Tuck) I feel your pain. I will say though, that asking for an expedited decision because another school’s deposit deadline is coming up is typically useless – a school generally isn’t going to make special concessions for a waitlisted candidate because more than a few are in the same predicament.

    I would recommend you put down the deposit at HBS to hold your seat, and if GSB comes through with an admit, you can still take it and forfeit the deposit at HBS.

    I was admitted to another school during R1 and I’ve already reserved my seat knowing that if I get the call from Tuck this summer the deposit was a small price to pay.

  • Kat Wakai

    Hi Stacey, I applied for the January deadline for Haas, but recently retook my GMAT taking me from a 670 (v41/Q42) to a 710 (V42/Q47) which really increased my quant score. In order for Haas to consider this score, I need to push to Round 4. Otherwise I’m taking my chances on the waitlist. I know that Round 4 is the toughest, but I’m thinking I don’t really have a shot at the waitlist for Round 3 given my quant score. Where do I have the better odds?

    For background, I’m a humanities major, just one stats class (A-), Duke undergrad, 3.4 GPA, 5 years of international experience in Japan doing executive recruitment for a publicly listed British firm, female, not a minority, have been working for a large recruitment agency in the US in a management role.

    I have to decide by Thursday if I take myself out of the running for Round 3 and push to Round 4- either way I know my chances are really slim, but just hoping for some guidance last minute! Thank you!!

  • Reemz

    Hi Stacey,

    I would really appreciate you assessing my profile and what schools would be best.

    – Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Florida
    – GPA: 3.0
    – GMAT: 700 (expected)
    – 4 years of work experience at matriculation
    – Work for one of the biggest names in the tech industry (think apple, google, intel) and was part of their rotational program which is highly selective
    – currently with the same company as a sales engineer
    – 3 high profile internship during undergrad
    – ST goal: product manager working on consumer electronic products aimed at 3rd world countries
    – LT goal: start my own technology consulting company for 3rd world countries
    – Extremely involved during college and was president of several large organizations hence the low GPA
    – Currently tutoring low income high students and preparing them for college
    – I’m also involved in a few other community and technology related extracarriculars
    – US citizen but grew up in central america and first from family to go college
    – Hispanic male

    Thank you!

  • turnaround

    Hello, Stacey

    My story is one of successes followed by failures followed by successes. My undergrad experience started of well, but after a series of personal setbacks, I ended up dropping out of my undergrad engineering program, working odd jobs and finally finished with an BA in Econ.

    My first job after finishing my degree was managing a small stock room to ship sample products to sales reps in the field. At the time I was 30 years old.

    In the 17 years since, I have managed to transform myself and my career. My background and experience can be described as a process improvement and automation project manager. I have experience in every area of a business (front office and back office) in addition to experience in diverse industries such as healthcare, financial services, technology startups, hospitality and global construction. I am now a successful management consultant currently on assignment in Africa leading the effort to establish the operations of a $1Billion government agency tasked with rebuilding the infrastructure of an African country. It has been a long and painful path to get to where I am. My career goal is to lead corporate turnarounds. I enjoy diving into a distressed or failing situation and turning it around. My belief is that if I can turn my own life around, I would like to help others do the same.

    My questions are:

    Am I too old to get an MBA?

    Am I better off pursuing a masters in a specific area such as finance, accounting, etc. and then obtaining professional certificates, etc.?

    Will a top EMBA program seriously consider me given my age and eclectic background?

    If I do go to a top EMBA, will a McKinsey (or equivalent) even consider me for a role with their organization?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nitin.salvador Nitin Salvador

    Hi Stacey

    I am very tensed and have a question.

    I got 430 in GMAT last December 2012

    In March I retook the test and got 740

    I plan for Top programs like HBS,Stanford, MIT etc.

    Will these college have a wrong impression by my GMAT score having surprisingly large variance ??

    Please help me out here ..

  • http://www.facebook.com/nitin.salvador Nitin Salvador

    Hi Stacey

    I have a question.

    I got 430 in GMAT last December 2012 , I really studied hard and

    in March I retook the test and got 740.

    I plan for Top programs like HBS,Stanford, MIT etc.

    I am having 3.5 Years of IT (Software Engineer) Experience in leading MNC.

    Will these college have a wrong impression by my GMAT score having surprisingly large variance ??

    Talking little about me I also have led a small NGO for helping poor people in India. And I am a dance instructor at a dance school in neighborhood.

    Its just a very brief description of my profile. 😉

    What are my chances ??

  • Max

    Hi Stacey
    How important is to visit campus before applying to an MBA for international students?

  • FG

    Hey Stacey,

    Some insight here would help as well!

    I was born in the USA but have lived in India all my life. I am originally an Indian by ethnicity, 26 years, female. Bachelors degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from a local engineering school (GPA: 3.8), Masters in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech (GPA: 3.3). Henceforth, I have been working in a Swiss-Swedish company. My company is one of the main players in the worldwide power industry. I am working as as a Global Product Manager (I was promoted to a global role just 14 months after I joined). I have been with ABB for 3 years now in total. My work requires me to travel 50% of the time, worldwide. I have already clocked 30 countries last year alone.

    I have not given my GMAT yet, however I am aiming for 750+ (I think I can manage this easily). Just as an indication, my GRE score was 1500/1600 (800Q and 700V) but I cant use this anymore as it expired last year.

    I will have a total of 4 years of work experience by the time I start school next year (I plan to apply this Fall). I do feel I am now hitting a ceiling as far as my work at my current company is concerned and would like to steer my career into a new trajectory. I need more challenges and more opportunities and eventually my dream is also to start something of my own, for which business school becomes an important step.

    Oh, and I have been involved in a couple of voluntary activities as well.

    What do you think my chances are for the top 5?

    Thanks!

  • SS

    Hi Stacy, posting again as I didn’t get a response. Thank you for your help.

    – 22 years old male

    – An engineer from India (one of the IITs) with a CGPA of 7.95/10 (not sure how it will be projected on a 4 point scale – have read several different ways of converting it to a 4 point scale, could you shed some light on it?).

    – A GMAT score of 770.

    – 1 year experience of working as a derivatives trader (European markets).
    – Currently working in Transaction advisory services (at one of the Big 4 – joined in Nov 2012) and have been working on high profile projects.

    – CFA level 1

    – Part of an NGO as a coordinator of a team of 70 volunteers (for the last 1 year) and manage 9 projects across 3 cities with an aim to provide education to underprivileged children living in the slums of those cities.

    – Co-founder of a not for profit organisation which brings together like minded individuals from different walks of life and aims to provide sustainable solutions for the growth and development of the underprivileged sectors/ villages. Bringing in a sense of professionalism by promoting usage of knowledge gained by the members of the organisation at their respective workplaces for the betterment of the society.

    – Target schools: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Sloan, Columbia, Kellogg – please suggest.

    – I am unable to decide if I should apply this year and start my MBA in 2014 (3 years of experience at the time of joining) or wait for another year and build my profile.

  • new_guy

    Hi Stacy,

    I recently got admitted to the full time MBA program at Duke Fuqua and Yale SOM. I am an international candidate interested in pursuing investment banking post my MBA.

    Please advice as to which would be a better pick?
    Thanks,

  • new_guy

    just to add i would be a career shifter (technology->finance)

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Kat,

    Sorry for the delay, I was on vacation and just returned.

    This is indeed a tough decision. The advice I give my clients in this situation is to make the decision they are least likely to regret. Meaning, use your current score in round 3 only if you can accept a negative decision and not regret waiting until round 4 with the higher score.

    I’m curious to know what you decided.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi,

    You aren’t the first person wishing to make a change after matriculating into a program. The tough part of your situation is convincing the adcom that you aren’t a flight risk from their program. Their first instinct might be to question your judgement and decision making abilities. You must present them with a valid reason for the switch in your application and interview.

    I suggest retaking your GMAT in order to show that you’ve taken steps to improve your profile for a top program.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Check out the career placement stats online for both schools to see if the types of companies that appeal to you hire at each school. You may also wish to attend their admitted students events if at all possible. Sometimes it takes a visit to make a decision. Both are great schools, at the end of the day you might just pick the one that feels like the best fit.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hello,

    It is not at all expected that you would visit campus as an international applicant. However, I do suggest that you looks to see when the MBA tours/fairs and individual school receptions take place near you. It’s a great idea to find some way to interact with the schools to get a sense of their community and culture.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hello,

    Sorry for delayed response. I’ve been on vacation the last two weeks and just returned.

    Congratulations on the HUGE improvement to your GMAT score! As a former adcom member myself, I’d probably scratch my head and think you just had a really bad day the first time around. Your education and experience suggest a 700+ score, so your new score is right on par with adcom expectations. Keep in mind that most applications only ask for self reported scores and don’t require you to list all attempts/scores, so adcoms may not even know about your first attempt.

    You seem like a solid applicant. I think you can indeed be competitive at the schools on your list.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Please see my reply above. Thanks!

  • StaceyisaHottie

    Hi Stacey…

    I’m reminded of the song: Stacey’s mom..got it going on!!!…Stacey’s mom!!!…

    You look stunning by the way. I love your teeth. Just keep an eye on the wrinkles near your eye..I would recommend collagen strengthening creams to help with that. Overall, you look beautiful.

  • Ranger

    Hi Stacy,

    I have got an admit into UNC with fellowship. I have tech background and have build software in my 5 year career at which i am really good at. I see a good path ahead of me as a technology person but on the other hand i have opportunity to do MBA which will open many more possibilities. Can you give me some idea about the career growth and financial growth immediately after mba and some 5 years after mba. I intend to do consulting after mba but realistically i have a better chances to do product management because of my background.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Ranger,

    Congrats on your UNC admit and fellowship! As for your question about career and financial growth post MBA, it is a bit challenging to speculate. So much depends on the sector you enter and the role you have as well as the state of the economy.

    I understand you are trying to figure out if cost of attending bschool in addition to income lost while attending makes sense financially. This is often hard to determine, but a good starting point would be to look at your current income determine a modest annual pay increase and compare that with a starting salary post MBA (this data can be found on UNC’s website). The MBA degree may very well be worth more down the road than in the first 5 years, but again, that is difficult to speculate given so many potential influencing factors.

    At the end of the day, you should think about what drove you to apply to bschool in the first place. If getting your MBA is something you desire and feel will be of personal benefit then it’s probably worth it.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi,

    Thanks for posting. I just returned from a 2 week vacation, hence the delay in responding.

    You have an excellent profile and appear to have done quite a bit professionally as well as in your outside activities. You certainly are poised well to apply to top programs, but I find myself asking why the rush? With just one year under your belt (is that correct) your tenure in the workforce is well below the average for top US bschools – even schools like HBS and Stanford with lower averages. I’d suggest waiting a year to apply to build up a little more professional experience and flesh out your goals.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    I completely agree with WLbyTuck. You don’t want Stanford to think you’re forcing their hand – they could always tell you to take the HBS offer :) Try thinking about your HBS deposit as your insurance policy in case things don’t work out with Stanford. It’s obviously a great backup!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Great question! Adcoms look at an applicant’s entire academic profile which includes undergrad, advanced degrees, additional coursework, GMAT, etc. They will view your solid GPA in Finance in a very positive light especially since your coursework was likely much more quantitative than it likely was in undergrad (I say this as a poli sci major myself). Try to round out your academics with a solid GMAT score and you’ll be in good shape.

  • FG

    Hi Stacey, any comments here? Thanks in advance!

  • Andy

    Stacy,

    I mistyped my GPA for my MS in Finance was a 3.63 not a 3.36. That being said, what would you say a minimum GMAT or GRE score would be for me to have to get?

  • MBA Hopeful

    Hi Stacey,

    When you were an admissions officer at Tuck, did you consider it a negative it a person took the GMAT over a certain amount of times? I would love you insight on this as I am considering taking the test a fifth time. My averages on the practice tests I have taken are around a 750. My highest score to-date is a 700.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hello,

    Wow, you do have an interesting background!

    It’s great that through all the good and bad that you’ve managed to come out on top. At this point in your career getting an EMBA may not make the most sense, but it’s not completely off the table. My suggestion is that you reach out to programs of interest and have an initial conversation with them. Most EMBA programs are quite willing to spend a few minutes up front speaking with a potential applicant about their experience, goals and reason for seeking an MBA.

    Another option is to consider applying to firms like McKinsey as an experienced hire. These firms hire experienced professionals year round (unlike the school calendar recruiting cycle for MBA’s).

    Best,

    Stacey

  • African Big 4 Strategy

    Hi Sandy
    I am a Cameroonian working and studying in North Africa, Morocco. Here is my profile

    GRE 167V 159Q

    2.2 GPA (GPA low because I was hired by Deloitte Central Africa out of high school from a selective Deloitte program. I worked while I was in school in Morocco where I was stationed by Deloitte)

    Al Akhawayn University Morocco (top tier university in Africa)

    4 years of work experience at Deloitte on a rotational program, Currently 3 in Strategy and Operation focusing on Telecommunications, Governments Operatons with Infrastructure development in Africa, Energy and Technology industries covering West and Central African countries, and 1 year as Human Resource Analyst. (I was awarded employer of the month 2 times)

    Extra Curric: Made a business plan to reduce famine in slums, it was nominated as one of the most innovative ideas by Time Magazine and Clinton foundation through the Hult Startup competition in Dubai. Set up a social entrepreneur scheme in North Africa which currently employs 16 women. Marketing officer for the International saloon for agriculture. Member of the Islamic Art and Culture where i lead students into enhancing a women’s cooperative, received the model UN Training award.

    Goal: (My father a minister of transport advised me to go for MPP so I could work with social clients) to get a dual Degree MBA/MPP to continue work in consulting with social industry clients

    Cameroonian 27 years (Central Africa)

    Target schools:

    MIT

    Cornell

    Kellogg

    Wharton

    Yale

    Darden

    Booth

    Ross

    INSEAD

    IMD

    LBS

    Haas(was given conditional admission at Haas because of my experience at Deloitte in Africa)

  • SS

    Hey Stacey, thank you for your reply.

    It is not one year though, by the time I apply (round 1), I would have a work experience of 2 years 2 months (a little more than 1 year as a derivatives analyst and 1 year in Transaction Advisory services – project finance team). So, by the time I join, I would have worked for 3 years. Do you still feel it is too early?

    Further, I am planning to pursue my MBA in Finance – keeping this in mind, would you suggest changing my choice of schools ( may be, include chicago booth or NYU stern)?

  • Rick

    He he..funny!

  • Hemant

    Thank you, Stacey. I think you confirmed to me that the reason I am going after an EMBA is more an act of redemption and resurrection than anything else. I am deeply grateful for your time and perspective.

  • curious

    Hi Stacey,
    Since most of the top business schools have now started accepting GRE Scores as well, will the GRE scores be treated at-par with the GMAT scores. If so, then a GRE score in what range will be suited for HBS 2+2.

    Thanking in anticipation

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Curious,

    If you haven’t taken either exam yet, I would strongly encourage you to take the GMAT. While there is a GRE conversion, it is a lot like comparing apples to oranges. Bschools really do prefer the GMAT. However, if you aren’t 100% sure that bschool is the way you want to go (perhaps you are considering other graduate programs), then the GRE is the better choice.

    Stacey

  • CaliforniaCPA

    Hi Stacey,

    Thanks for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions! I work in audit at a Big 4 (D&T) and it seems that CPAs don’t make the transition to b-school nearly as often as other professions such as banking and consulting. As a result I have come across very few ‘comparables’ and don’t exactly know where I stand when it comes to b-school admission. So, I’m hoping that you might be able to provide some insight in that regard. My background is as follows:

    1.) Undergrad work: Business – Accounting major at small state school in Northern California with a 3.5 cum GPA, 3.97 major GPA. This is my biggest area of concern on my application. My undergrad school is certainly not an IVY, a UC, or even a big name state school and I worry that the lack of pedigree will limit my b-school opportunities. I decided to focus on my studies at the start of my junior year and averaged a 3.9 GPA for the remainder of my time there, but didn’t give much effort to my education before that. I was a scholarship college athlete and was a captain of my team. I was also the president of the biggest student organization on campus and was involved in leadership positions in various other extracurricular activities.

    2.) Professional Work: I’ve been a licensed CPA for 3 years. I’ve been rated at the top of my class for my first three years at Deloitte and believe I will get solid recommendations. I’m also involved in various committees at Deloitte (both internally focused and community outreach focused) that go beyond my general job description. I work primarily on a large client with a large team. The project is a 25K hour job that requires a lot of planning, coordination, client service, etc that I believe will provide good transitional skills to the field I’m hoping to enter. consulting. I’ve been in a lead role for the past two years on the engagement.

    3.) GMAT: I received a 710 (V42/Q47) on the GMAT.

    4.) Extracurricular: I’m on the board of a non-profit organization helping raise funds as well as volunteering at events hosted by the organization.

    5.) General: I’ll be 26 (almost 27) at matriculation (F 2014) with 4 years of work experience. I’ve lived in northern California for my entire life and don’t have much ‘global experience’ which is part of the reason I want to get an MBA to help expand those opportunities. I plan to apply to mostly east coast schools (Tuck, Darden, Duke, as well as Kellogg) where I think being from California might help my chances, but I’m not sure. As I hinted at early – I’m hoping to make a transition to strategy consulting post B-School.

    I’m wondering if you think I will be competitive at the schools I plan to apply to and if I have
    even a remote possibility of getting in at schools such as Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, etc. Also, any advice on how I might be able to strengthen my application would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks again for your time Stacey – I appreciate it!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi,

    The general rule of thumb for the GMAT is to take it no more than 3 times. Your score of 700 isn’t bad at all. Is it simply unbalanced? Keep in mind that Tuck will take your highest score from each section from different exams, so no need for a balanced score for Tuck.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi FG,

    For some reason my initial response from a few days ago didn’t post. Let me try again!

    I think your profile can indeed be competitive, but I know there is a lot more to you than you can share here. However, the one concern that I do have is why you wish to get your MBA.

    I understand hitting a ceiling of sorts can indeed spark one’s interest in a new job or career, but it doesn’t necessitate the need for an MBA. Be sure to clearly outline both short and long term goals to be sure bschool really is the best next step for you.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi California CPA,

    Thanks for your post. You certainly do a have a solid profile, but I worry that it might be a bit vanilla. Your academics in undergrad are just fine. The adcom will see you were a team captain and recognize the time commitment it takes as well as the leadership skills you likely gained from the experience. Your upward trajectory in your grades is a testament to your potential success as a student in bschool.

    Your work experience is solid, and I have known dozens of big 4 CPA’s who have gone on to top 15 programs, so your desire to do so isn’t unusual. And you do have a solid professional and academic profile, so it’s reasonable to apply to the schools on your list.

    My main concern for you (hence my vanilla comment above) is your ability to stand out in the applicant pool. I’m hoping you have additional activities and interests that you didn’t share that you might be able to weave into your applications and essays to help you stand out. The key to getting into bschool is getting noticed, so this is critical to your success. My hope is that you are able to come up with a strategy to enable you to “get noticed” and get in to the schools on your list.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    Was this post for me or Sandy? If it’s for me, can you let me know what advice you are seeking? Did you already apply to bschool hence the acceptance from Haas?

    Thanks,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi SS,

    Thanks for clarifying your work experience timeline. I do think waiting one more year and having 3 years at application would be beneficial. Keep in mind that adcoms consider experience at the time of application and not at matriculation, so while you would have 3 years when you started, you’ll only have 2 when you apply putting you at the young end of the applicant pool.

    I suggest waiting another year, or if you simply don’t want to do that, you could apply this year, and then reapply next year if things don’t work out. Reapplicants often have a higher success rate than first time applicants, so while it would not be fun to do it twice, you could potentially do that if so inclined.

  • African Big 4 Strategy

    Well my issue is will schools have a negative view of my 4 years experience at Deloitte Strategy and Operations Consulting in West Africa? I was hired on a Deloitte program straight out of high school. I did not handle school very well while I was working at Deloitte, consequently my GPA tanked. But My work at Deloitte has always been appreciated. However how do I overcome the low GPA and where should I apply? I tried to apply to Berkeley and here was their answer:
    “We’re most concerned with your full time experience, and it does sound like you were working full time which should be beneficial to you, especially at a top company like Deloitte. As long as you have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, you should be fine” However would also like to know If I am a fit for Harvard Stanford and Wharton. and what other strategies or advice can you give me

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    This puts your GPA a bit below average, but not so much that it would be a deal breaker. A solid GMAT score will be even more essential.

  • SoberOnTheJerseyShore

    Hi Stacey,

    I pleaded to a DUI charge about 3 years ago in the state of New Jersey. It was due to incredible stupidity and gross negligence and I have had to live with that ever since (and rightfully so). But I feel that I have redeemed myself and have put in more than 500 hours of community service to help those suffering from alcohol abuse. It’s been a slow road towards redemption, but I’m not sure whether those scars will ever disappear. I have not even contemplated switching jobs for fear of a background checK; my DUI seems like a huge hurdle to overcome for a top b-school. I work for a major finance firm and did my undergrad at NYU. I have pretty solid stats to get into a good b-school, my DUI charge notwithstanding. I was wondering how you’d view a potential b-school candidate with a DUI charge? Is it still possible for me to overcome this and get into a top school? If I do apply to b-school, I want to be open about my DUI in my application and use the experience as a “teachable” moment (which it has been). I would really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Roy

  • chaotic

    Hi Stacey.

    I plan to apply next year

    About me:

    American

    26 months WE (some of it during undergrad) at matric most of it outside the US in a developing South Asian Country

    Undergrad in Accounting from UK University got a 2-1 (Equivalent to a US GPA of 3.3 to 3.6)

    Aiming for a 99th percentile GMAT

    Targeting programs ranked between 30 and 70 on the P&Q ratings

    Passed CFA Level 1

    There is one thing unusual about me, I will be eighteen (yes 18, that is not a typo) at the time of application and I will turn 19 just before matric

    Any Recommendations? How will my age (and WE) be viewed?

  • Andy

    Hi Stacey
    Here’s my profile overview:
    8 +years in Semiconductor industry with reasonable career progression demonstrated
    Masters degree- GPA 4.07/5,00 (electrical engineering)
    Age – 34 years
    I am thinking about a full time MBA – primary motivation being a career in consultancy. Towards that I am also targeting a top 5 school. GMAT prep is in progress.

    Questions
    1. How much of an impediment is my age on the MBA application?
    2. How can I demonstrate my “leadership” skills outside my work? – I have run marathons and support an orphanage – But I have not been part of a some leadership experience with a “Wow factor”.
    3. How critical is a 750+ score for my profile and target schools?
    4. I plan to apply next year – what can I do between now and then to strengthen my application in areas outside the technical domain?

    Looking forward to hear from you
    Thanks
    Anand

  • FG

    Hey Stacey!

    Thanks for your response.

    A small follow up question: I am also thinking of starting a business of my own (in an industry completely different from my current profession purely out of my own personal interest). Now would it be strategic of me to quit my current position in the next couple of months, and focus full time on my new venture? And how does this impact the people from whom I should take recommendations etc.?

    Thanks again!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi FG,

    Starting your own venture now sounds great, but be prepared to explain to the adcom your decision to begin the venture without an MBA along with how an MBA will help you succeed. You will also need to have some sort of plan in place for your business while in bschool. Who will run it? How will you remain involved? There are some risks involved in going out on your own prior to applying to bschool, so be sure you are aware of them and can speak to all the questions the adcom may have about it.

    As for recommendations, you can still use those from your current role since they would be your most recent supervisors.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    It will be very challenging indeed to overcome the low GPA. My suggestion is to build an alternate transcript with courses such as statistics, accounting and finance. You’ll want to earn A’s in these courses and complete them prior to applying. Strong grades can prove to the adcom that you are capable of success in the classroom.

    As things stand for you now, I think it would be quite difficult to gain admission to top MBA programs with your low GPA.

  • African Big 4 Strategy

    Well how will they assess it? the university system here in Africa is not the same. Even if I have a high GMAT above 710+?. Also I am already taking Statistics, Economics and I have taken Calculus in which I passed with C+. How and where can I build an Alternative transcript? I am already getting towards my 5th year of work experience as a Consultant

  • Roger

    Full time MBA at 34 with a career transition?

    Mate, you are better off with an executive MBA. The top 5 are all going to be long-shots given your age (just look at the stats such as median age for HBS and Stanford).

    You will be 37 by the time you graduate. You want to be 1Y at MBB / Deloitte at 37???????

    Truth is — those MBB firms look for guys and gals in their mid to late 20s. Even other tier 2 consulting firms are looking for young guns to do the hectic travel and 80 hr weeks. Older guys, that too with a family — will find it much harder.

    Also, given your name – Anand — I’m assuming you’re of Indian origin. That group is super competitive for post MBA consulting jobs. Although MBB and other firms have no specific quotas — it’s well known that they try to get a good distribution. So you are going to be competing with Indian and Indian origin guys with Ivy league under grad degrees in their mid to late 20s. That’s the toughest group — both to get into an MBA program and to get a post-mba job.

    I would suggest you think a bit more about what you really want to do. In my opinion – it’s not worth taking a gamble at 37 for a long-shot at a MBB or even tier 2 firm. The odds are not in your favor. People might quote annecdotes about older guys getting hired by BCG or Bain — but most likely they are US Army veterans with significant leadership / combat experience. A 37 year old 1Y at a MBB for an Indian or Indian-Ameican — that’s the definition of a long-shot in my dictionary.

    Of course, nothing is impossible. Good luck.

  • FG

    OK! Thanks for the insight!

  • Futureucgrad

    Hello,

  • Josh

    Nice thread. It might be more useful if John could categorize these comments in an easy, searchable format so that people could easily access Stacey’s advice, and not keep asking the same questions over and over again.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Roy,

    Thanks for your post. Let’s get right to the heart of your question. While a DUI is a tough thing to have on your record, it’s not a deal breaker when it comes to bschool.

    There are a couple of things to consider when applying to school. The first is to look closely at the applications for each program on your list. Some ask only about felonies, while others ask about misdemeanors. Perhaps seek out schools that ask the right question – meaning, if they don’t ask, you don’t have to tell.

    The second thing to consider is simply being open and honest about your past in an optional essay for each school. Just this season I had a client with two DUIs. We decided to craft an open, honest and direct optional essay for each school. This client gained admission to several programs and even got a scholarship at a top 10 school!

    It is possible to move beyond this and move forward. Feel free to send me your resume for a detailed conversation about your profile.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Reemz,

    Your profile is right on track for a top 15 program. I encourage you to apply to between 4-6 programs in total, and aim for round 1.

    As you start to develop your list, think about other factors beyond brand name of the program. Be sure to consider location, class size and career placement stats.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Asset manager,

    Your profile is solid, but you will want to look for ways to stand out in the applicant pool. It’s great that you have activities outside of work, perhaps your work as a scout leader can serve as an essay topic or as an example of your leadership skills. Be creative with your essays so that your application doesn’t get lost in the pile.

    I’m not sure what your plans are in terms of disclosing your dyslexia. Were you granted more time on the GMAT because of this? I can’t imagine the challenges you must face as a result of this, but it looks like you are quite capable and handle it well. Your GPA and GMAT score indicate that you have perhaps overcome dyslexia. Whether or not you choose to mention it in your applications is a personal decision.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Chaotic,

    If I read your post correctly, you graduated about 2 years ago at the age of 16? Age itself isn’t so much a factor in admissions decisions. Adcoms evaluate candidates based on years of full time professional experience. So if you have 2 years of experience, you are a bit on the younger end of the applicant pool, but you are not too inexperienced to apply.

    Clear goals and solid reasons for seeking an MBA at this time in your career are critical. You must be sure that your essays reflect a clear turning point in your career and that now truly is the ideal time for you to get your degree. Have an airtight story to tell in your essays and interviews.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • mbagirl

    Does having an undergrad degree from Northwestern (Medill J-School) help me with Kellogg at all? Or is the school so swarmed with alums applying for MBAs that it’s a moot point? Thanks!

  • lucky

    Hi Stacey

    I am looking forward to applying to Top 20 MBA schools in US according to P&Q rankings.

    I have done my engineering from the No. 1 ranked private college in India and worked for 2 years in a leading global Telecommunication company.

    GPA – 3.4/4.0 GMAT – 710 Age – 26

    Currently I am doing my 2 years Fellowship with a partner of Teach For All network teaching kids from low-income community and working with the community to spread awareness about the importance of education.

    This Fellowship will end in May 2014.

    What are my chances of getting through Top 20 In US?

  • MBADreamer

    Hi Stacey,
    I hope you are doing well. I just have a few questions that I hope you can provide guidance for.
    1.I was wondering what were the pros/cons of attending a school in America vs. attending a school in Europe.
    2. What schools would you reccomend that are good at placing people in the media/entertainment industry after obtaining an MBA?
    3. I understand that Indian males are an over represented group in the admissions process and therefore, more competitive for them. With this, I was wondering how Korean-Americans were viewed as in terms of grouping?
    4. What schools would people reccomend in general for some with my stats? (3.98 GPA while majoring in accounting at a top big 10 school. 2 years full time work experience on the advisory side (focusing on financial services) at Big 4. 730 GMAT and volunteer experience dealing with children who have siblings that have cancer. Worked forty hour weeks when I was a senior in college to cover tutition costs.)
    Thank you.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Thanks Josh. I will share your feedback with John. I agree, it would be great if we could post the comments in some sort searchable format, even chronological order would be nice.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Anand,

    Thanks for your post. I’m curious, why aren’t you applying to programs this year for matriculation next year? My concern is in regard to your age. Next year you will have 9 years of experience which puts you well above the average for many programs. Why not this year? If it’s due to a lack of outside activities, then I would suggest that you don’t hold off. As long as you have solid leadership at work, outside leadership experience isn’t as important.

    Younger applicants benefit from leadership opportunities outside of the office since they haven’t necessarily had a chance to lead inside the office. My guess is that given your years of experience, you should have some solid leadership experience and skills to write about in your applications.

    Regards,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi lucky,

    Your stats are solid, but I’m curious to know why you are teaching now instead of working in your former role? Does teaching somehow tie into your post MBA goals?

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Having a degree from Northwestern does help! It demonstrates a fit with the culture and community, something that is very important to Kellogg.

  • legen-waitforit-dary

    Hi MBA Hopeful and Stacey Oyler,

    I have to respectfully disagree here. I took the GMAT 9 times (not a typo, nine times). Got a 690 5 times and hence the insistence in trying to break 700 and the fact that I got a 49V and a 42Q, but in different test days… In any case, was accepted into 2 of the top 5 schools (as per P&Q Rank) and I am currently waitlisted in another school of the top 5 as per that same ranking. A chance in 3 of 5 of the top 5 is not bad, especially with a low-ish score.

    As a matter of fact, one of my interviewers was IMPRESSED about the fact that I worked for it. He said it showed resilience and said that he would mention it as a sign of persistence in a positive light in his interview report.

  • lucky

    I worked for 2 years in the corporate but felt the immense need to work in the education for the low-income community. I think education is the best way I can serve the society.

    I want to work in the consulting sector for non-profit, preferably education, after my MBA. I also want to open a chain of schools in the longer run.

  • Mike

    Stacey,

    I am a 20-year-old male who is interested in applying for HBS 2+2 and Stanford GSB deferred admissions. I am a rising junior CS major at a Pac 10 school. I spend last summer doing physics research and will spend this summer doing CS research. I have an interest from a blue-chip tech firm for a software engineering position for next summer. I was wondering if I should take a semester off to get more work experience before I apply for these programs. Taking a semester off will delay my application by one year and my graduation by one semester. However, it will allow me to have two more internships (one summer and one semester in addition to the one summer internship I will already have) rather than just one internship.

    Also, if I don’t take the summer off, the first-round deadlines for these programs will occur before I complete the first internship. So it may be difficult to get a letter (let alone both) from industry.

    Should I take a semester off if I can secure another blue-chip internship?

    Thanks!

  • Soumi

    Dear Stacey,

    I am applying to 6 MBA programs this year – Tuck, Kellogg, Ross, Darden, Fuqua and INSEAD.
    I am an Indian woman with 5+ years of experience in India, US, Singapore in quantitative analytics and big data and I am currently working with Microsoft in their asia-pacific headquarters(Singapore)

    GMAT : 720 , Quant – 51, Verbal – 38

    My undergrad GPA worries me. I have a 6.96/10. I pursued a 5 year program from one of the best and most competitive colleges in India (BITS, Pilani). However my grades aren’t good – a couple of reasons being – I found it difficult to adjust to the new place, a lack of good support/friends network, poor time management.

    Although my career has been in a quant intensive role and my GMAT is decent, I worry about my GPA. What would be your suggestions to handle this ?

    I am really keen about Tuck and I am applying in the EA round and will be doing a student initiated interview in September. Should I talk about my grades with the ad-com ?

    Thank you in advance!

  • Ramit

    Hi Stacey,

    I am an Indian applicant with a GPA of 3.1 in Engineering. I would be having a work-ex in telecom sector(technology) of about 48 months by the time I apply for R1 this year. I am a content writer at PEOI, which is an international organizational that strives to make post secondary education free for all through volunteers such as myself. I have been awarded a couple of times for excellent work, by my organization. I have not yet appeared for the GMAT however, based on my mock scores, I am expecting a score of around 720.

    I am targeting top 15 schools. Need your advice on how achievable this goal is and what could be done to enhance my chances.

    Regards,
    Ramit

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Lucky

    Thanks for the additional information. I am glad to hear your post MBA goals relate to the work you are doing now. It sounds like you have found your niche and your goals are logical (and ambitious!). Just be sure you are able able to clearly articulate the need for the MBA – i.e. skills you need, etc., and you should indeed be competitive at top 20 US schools.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi MBADreamer,

    Thanks for your post. Deciding between US and European business schools largely depends on your post MBA goals as well as where you would like to live/work post MBA. European programs tend to have higher average work experience which can be helpful for someone who has been in the workforce for 5+ years. This doesn’t appear to be the case for you.

    As far as media/entertainment schools, top of my list are UCLA and Columbia. Looking at placement stats on the career services department page for programs can easily help you identify this as well.

    Indian applicants do make up a large part of the group. Male applicants in general dominate applicant pools. It’s hard to speculate specifically Korean-American applicants are viewed, but there are many Asian American applicants to bschool, so it’s fair to say it’s a competitive pool.

    You have a solid profile for top 20 US programs. Look for ways to stand out in the applicant pool in order to increase your odds of success.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Ramit,

    Thanks for your post. You have interesting work experience which will certainly help you stand out in the applicant pool. Be sure your resume reflects your unique experience in a way the adcom can understand (be sure to quantify the impact you’ve had in your role as well as the organizations overall impact) since the adcom won’t likely be familiar with what it is you do.

    You don’t state your post MBA goals, but I suggest you think about what it is your wish to do after bschool and research programs that can offer you the skills necessary to do so. Research is critical, be able to identify how the program can help you achieve your goals, but also how you can contribute to the program.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Ramit

    Hi Stacey,

    Thanks a lot for the reply. I want to pursue MBA in strategic management. I am interested in a role that deals with how an organization should be structured in changing market conditions. Based on my job profile, I have witnessed the telecom industry’s darkest days in terms of policy failure, pricing issues, disconnect between technological demand and supply.

    Regards,
    Ramit

  • MBADreamer

    Hi Stacey,

    Thank you for your response. Could you give me some on advice on what I can do going forward to help me stand out more?

    Thank you.

  • disqus_8jFdIAy2AX

    Hi Stacey

  • disqus_8jFdIAy2AX

    Hi Stacey

    Which MBA programs have the best health sector management concentrations? I have been unable to find a good resource to compare the different programs, if you could post a link along with your reply I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Stu

  • FitnessNutMBA

    Wharton, Fuqua and Kellogg have the best healthcare programs among the top schools. Vandy also has a very good healthcare program, but isn’t a top 10 MBA program.

  • Holland Avery

    Hi Stacey, I went to a top 5-10 public school and majored in pol sci and international studies (3.5 gpa), graduated in 2.5 years. I was elected to student government, worked part time in library as a manager, and interned at a small consulting firm. I then went straight into an MPP program at a top 20 public school where I focused on Econ policy and program evaluation (3.8 gpa, top 5% of class). Interned for a government agency researching the financial sector for a year while in grad school, and was classified as a full time gov employee. also led 2 volunteer consulting projects for nonprofits. Prior to undergrad, I was a missionary for the Mormon church in Las Vegas (not very exotic), had leadership responsibilities over 30 volunteers for 9 months.

    Since I graduated, from MPP, I have been working for IBM, as a consultant. Been there for almost a year. Projects included reorganizing a healthcare company, working on proposals resulting in $200+ in revenue, and a promotion (1 year faster than usual). I now have opportunity to switch to the business analytics practice or work for 6 months in Middle East on a supply chain project. I also volunteer for a nonprofit that works with at risk youth and helps high school drop outs.

    I am curious which would be better for mba, international work or analytics work. Also, I would like to apply when I have 2 years experience, enrolling with a little over 3 (this isn’t counting my time working for the gov). My goals are top consulting firms ( MBB, Booz, Deloitte, etc), or west coast tech firms. What schools would I have a shot at, and would my WE be too little? Also, white, male, 1st gen college grad.

  • Myra

    Hey Stacey,

    I’ll be applying to B-School with a degree in Business Administration from a
    good university in the UK. I have a first-class degree, which is the highest
    degree classification in the UK. However, in the UK the final year counts for
    70 % of my grade, my second year count for only 30% of my grade and my first
    year does not count at all. I didn’t really put in much effort in my first
    year-and-a-half, and my grades were mediocre, including one failure in a quant
    course. However, my grades rose very steeply in the second half of my degree (inclduing excellent grades on quant courses) and I have a 740 GMAT.

    I graduated last year, and plan to apply to B-School in 2 years’ time. I work with my family business in China, and I’m leading several initiatives for re-structuring the company’s various processes and have seen significant improvements in different areas of the business, thanks to my effort.

    I would like to apply to Wharton, Columbia and Cornell, but do I simply not
    stand a chance at all because of the failed course on my transcript and my
    working with the family business and not a brand-name company? Is there anything I can do over the next 2 years to improve my chances? Thank you so much for your input.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi lucky,

    I am glad to hear that your teaching role ties into your post MBA goals. Adcoms will be impressed with your tenacity and ambition to leave your former role to do something you’re passionate about.

    You’ve got a great profile and solid goals. You can indeed be competitive for top 20 US programs. Be sure to seek out programs that not only fit with your goals, but fit with your personal needs/interest such as size and location.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    The best way to stand out is through your essays. Look to cite leadership and team examples from outside of the workplace. Adcoms like unique stories – every applicant can tell a story about the time they stayed late to meet a deadline, but outside activities tend to be much more unique and therefore make for better and more memorable essays.

  • Arjun

    Hi Stacey,

    I am currently in school getting my masters part time, while working full time. I have completed half of my degree so far and I am planning to apply to a few business schools for fall 2014. I do plan to graduate by summer 2014. So, my question is should will it be counted as a negative that i am pursuing a masters degree during the time of application. Should I apply for fall 2015 instead?

  • lucky

    Stacey

    I am planning to apply to Tuck, Duke, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Michigan Ross, Virginia Darden and Emory for fall 2014. I will be applying for Round 1.

    What are your thoughts about my selection of the schools knowing my current work profile and my post MBA goals? Do you think any other school I should apply to?
    Thanks!

  • Myra

    Hello Stacey, I’ve reformatted my information; hopefully this will make things
    clearer.

    Could you please give me some advice on how I could improve my candidacy for
    business schools within the next 2 years, before I apply? Does an applicant
    with my profile even stand a chance at Wharton, Columbia , Yale or Cornell?

    Looking forward to hearing back from you, any advice you could provide would be
    so valuable. :)

    Chinese Female, 21 years old, GMAT: 740 (3rd attempt, previously 690 and 720)

    GPA: 3.7 in Business Administration- Attended a Top-20 University in the UK

    (not Oxford/ Cambridge/ LSE/ Warwick/ Imperial)

    (GPA for the first half of my degree was 3.1, with one failed financial

    appraisal unit but it doesn’t count significantly towards my overall GPA in the

    British system. The second half of my degree, I had a GPA of

    3.8, and I did well in all 3 quantitative units during this period: accounting,

    financial equity and statistics)

    Work experience: 1 year with my family business, a manufacturing company in China, where I’ve lead initiatives for significant change in the company’s

    marketing and HR procedures, with positive results. I plan on working for

    another 1-2 years before applying. The company has an annual turnover of approx.
    $100 million.

    Business Goal (in the short term): To work with a boutique consultancy
    specializing in family businesses, and gain experience on how best to deal with
    the unique challenges that this type of business brings

    Business Goal (in the long term): To assume overall leadership of the

    family business and:

    1. Maximize productive efficiency by increasing horizontal and vertical

    integration

    2. Move into new, emerging markets with significant potential for expansion

    3. Establish an R&D center and emerge a local technological leader in our

    industry (which is currently low-tech and traditional)

  • African Immigrant

    Hey Stacy,
    Small update, I retook the GMAT and managed to pull my score up to a 740. Will the marginal improvement make any difference in my candidacy?
    AI

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Wow, congrats on the new GMAT score! I was surprised to read that you retook it given how well you scored previously. Your new score of 740 is great, but it’s difficult to speculate how this will impact admissions decisions. Still, it does go a long way to demonstrate your academic ability. Congrats!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Arjun,

    How much full time experience do you have in total? Also, in what field of study are currently seeking your masters?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Holland,

    Thanks for your post. You’ve got quite the interesting profile.

    It sounds to me like the Middle East opportunity is indeed a good one and could serve you well in the long run with or without an MBA. Bschools do indeed like to see international experience, and this opportunity fits the bill.

    I think you can apply with 2 years of experience as long as you continue on the path you’re on now. Be sure to seek out leadership opportunities both inside and outside of the workplace. You’ll also want a solid GMAT score of 720+ (not only is this helpful for gaining admission to a top program, but it could also come into play when applying for consulting roles in bschool).

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Thanks FitnessNut! You nailed it!

  • African Immigrant

    Thanks for the congratulations. I guess I was more curious about for schools which weigh the GMAT more heavily (as i’ve heard is the case for MIT).

  • egregious12

    Thanks Stacey,

    I was wondering if handling a couple board positions for non-profits over the next year would impact my application? While I have a few volunteer positions over the past 5 years I have been working, none of them were in a leadership roles – purely due to time committment. Thanks again.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Yes, provided you are able to demonstrate leadership in these roles they could indeed be beneficial. It’s great that you’ll have ample time in them before applying. Adcoms like to see long term involvement rather than those who simply pad their resume with activities 6 months prior to applying.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    I really don’t think it’s a game changer. It’s a great score and will boost your overall academic profile, but I don’t see it impacting the admissions decision as a whole.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    You have a robust list of schools. You might want to add Yale to the list, but other than that I think your list looks solid.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Myra,

    Thanks for your post. You are off to a great start in your career. You have solid academics (although it’s unclear the circumstances around your failing grade), and a great GMAT score.

    Continue to seek out leadership opportunities in your family business. Look for ways to have a significant impact and carve out your own niche. Applicants that work for their families need to demonstrate their success came from their own efforts and hard work and not from nepotism. Seek out opportunities to leave your mark and prove your worth.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Soumi,

    Thanks for your post. You have some great international experience under your belt. Bschools appreciate applicants with a global perspective, and it sounds like you’ll have plenty of examples for your essays.

    As for your concern about your GPA. Did you have an upward trajectory? Meaning as you adjusted and made friends did your grades go up? You’ll want to address your low GPA in an optional essay for each application. Just be careful how you phrase your essay. You don’t want to leave the adcom with the impression that this same thing could happen in bschool. The great news is you can point to a lot of accomplishments and a lot of change and adjustment in your career. This will go a long way to prove you are no longer the woman you were in undergrad.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • UK Applicant

    Hi Stacey, how are UK undergrad records looked at by adcoms(compared to the GPA system in the states)? I for one have a 2nd upper honors in Law. Would this be deemed competitive for top business schools? Thanks a lot.

  • Myra

    Thank you very much for the advice, Stacey! How would you reccomend I tackle the fail grade on my transcript?

  • Ramit

    Hi Stacey,

    Further to this. Since I wish to pursue strategic management, which certainly involves finance and economics, will attaining CFA level 1 certification improve my candidacy. Thanks a lot for your valuable feedback.

    Regards,
    Ramit

  • Tyler

    Hi Stacey,

    I graduated from my undergrad with a double major in accounting and finance with a GPA of 3.5. I will be working for a Big 4 accounting firm for a few years starting in the fall and am currently working on my CPA. What should I be doing from now in order stand out from the rest of the bschool applicants? Also, what score on the GMAT would I need in order to get into a top 5 program, such as Stanford?

    Thanks,
    Tyler

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Tyler,

    Look to build both leadership and team skills during your tenure. Seek out leadership opportunities when possible, and if you aren’t able to do so at work, look for them through extracurricular activities.

    Extracurricular activities are an important part of an applicant’s profile. Often bschool applicants fail to think about activities until they start filling out their applications. Looks for something of interest to you and get involved sooner rather than later.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    A lot of international applications apply to US bschools, and adcoms are equipped to understand GPA and ranking systems globally and domestically. Most programs have charts of some sort that adcoms use to understand the strength and ranking of international programs as well as how to translate their grading systems.

    Hope this helps!

    Stacey

  • Reemz

    Thank you Stacey!

  • disqus_8jFdIAy2AX

    Hi Stacey,

    How badly will a DUI when I was 18 affect my chances for admissions? I am 30 years old and am going to apply this fall to a range of top 30 schools (Duke to Vanderbilt), Male, “hispanic”, microbiology background (will have PhD), 730 GMAT, and 3.0 GPA at a decent state college. Also, are there any top schools that only ask about felonies or the past 10 years/ will the schools back ground checks go back that far? Any other advice as to how to deal with this situation would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Stu

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    I’ve worked with quite a few candidates over the years with DUI’s in their backgrounds. The first thing you need to do is read the applications for the schools on your list. Not every school asks about felonies, so read the applications carefully and seek out schools that don’t ask. If you simply must apply to a school that does ask, then you should write an optional essay explaining the circumstances around the DUI and the lessons learned, growth, maturity, etc. since the incident occurred. It is not necessary to write this essay for schools that don’t ask about a felony or arrest.

    I had a client just this year with 2 DUI’s. This client is attending a top 10 school with a scholarship this fall.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Why did you fail?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Mike,

    Have you considered applying in the April round? If I understand your timeline correctly, it would give you time to have another internship before you apply.

  • Mike

    I heard that it is better to apply for the earlier rounds, isn’t that true? Also, how much better are letters from industry compared to letters from academia for these programs? I thought that I should take the semester off so that I can get the industry letters and apply for the earlier rounds.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  • Sports NYC

    Hi Stacey –

    Is it application suicide to take some time off from work before applying? Once my lease is up in a couple of months, I am considering resigning and taking some time to travel throughout SE Asia, filling my time with various side projects (e.g., helping friends with film projects and startups, volunteering) while applying for Fall 2014 entry.

    I have spent the past 3 years working for the league office of a Big 3 sports property (NFL/NBA/MLB) in sponsorship/marketing analytics. In terms of stats: 760 GMAT, 3.6 GPA in economics at a decent but not great liberal arts school, 24 year-old first-generation Asian American male. By choosing the travel route, am I significantly harming my admission prospects at a Top 5 -type school?

    Thank you!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Sports NYC,

    Thanks for your post. Just to clarify, do you plan on going back to work before matriculating at bschool? While taking time off isn’t necessarily damaging to your application, you do need to have some sort of plan in place. How long of a break will you take? What will you do when it’s over? Why are you taking the break in the first place?

    As you can see, taking time off can raise some red flags. It also puts a lot of pressure on you. Most people work full time while completing their applications, not working means your application should be far superior to others since you could technically dedicate yourself to the task full time.

    To answer your questions, it’s okay to take time off, just be sure you can respond to all the questions I’ve listed above.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Sports NYC

    Stacey – Thanks so much for your response. I would look to take 2-3 months off before reentering the workforce prior to matriculation (ideally in a project/consulting role closer to home since it would be for less than a year). As for why I’m entertaining the idea, it felt like this might be my only chance for awhile to take a somewhat natural employment gap (3 years into job, lease expiring, pre-bschool) to see the world before getting back on the corporate ladder for the next decade(s).

  • sameer

    Hi Stacey,

    I am 32 year old Indian male, with nearly 10 years of experience (mostly in financial services etc.) with a top Indian financial services firm. I have a GMAT of 730 and can vouch for some volunteer experience as well. My undergraduate degree is from a top rated Indian engineering college (Estimated GPA – 3.64, estimated using GPA conversion tools from internet, actual 75%, graduated first class with distinction). I already have a MBA degree from top business school (estd GPA – 3.4) from India taken 8 years ago. I strongly believe that I have extracted the maximum from my existing management degree and want to pursue another global management program.

    I am not keen on pursuing executive programs as of now and would like to try my hand at top 6-8 business school programs in US. Can you advise me, from your experience, if any of these colleges have any unwritten rules on existing MBAs and relatively older candidates. Alternatively, could you advise if there are any colleges which may find my candidature exciting….

    Thanks,

    Sameer
    I

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    While it makes sense to me to take time off, be careful how you spin it in your applications. You don’t want adcoms to interpret your time off prior to bschool as overconfidence in your ability to successfully gain admission to a top program.

    A lot of successful applicants take time off the summer before they matriculate that way they have the offer in hand and a deposit in place before they leave their jobs. It’s entirely up to you when you take time off, but if it’s before or during the application process you’ll need to be sure you have a solid story in place in particular if they ask you what you will do if you don’t get into bschool this year.

    Stacey

  • Old Guy stuck in wrong career

    Stacey –
    I am 42 and pretty much everyone has advised me that my age is a non-starter for top FT schools and that I should stick to EMBAs or PT. I would, except that the EMBA programs dont meet my goal of being able to make a career switch. I am just SOL?
    Thanks

  • IC

    Hi Stacey, I am a 32-year old woman looking to apply for Round 1 this year. Will my age hurt my chances of getting into a good school? I’m expecting a 700 GMAT score and had an undergrad GPA of 3.5 from Syracuse University (Journalism and Political Science). I have been Business Development Manager at a major international law firm for nearly three years, but have a varied background, having worked as a paralegal, a store director for a major international luxury retail brand and as a journalist and editor for a national lifestyle publication. Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, French and basic knowledge of Turkish. I was raised in Puerto Rico. Applying to both US and European schools and would have excellent recommendations from eminent internationally recognized business lawyers. I would primarily like to gain more management and entrepeneurial expertise to provide consulting services to law firms in emerging markets seeking to develop marketing and business development initiatives. Any advice? What and where are my best chances? What about my experience would you suggest I highlight? I don’t want admissions officers to think I have been “flighty” or undecided.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hello everyone! I’m attending the AIGAC (Association of International Admissions Consultants) conference in Philadelphia this week. I’ll have limited time to respond to your questions, but I will respond to all posts as soon as I can.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Check out an online MBA program like UNC. I even suggest giving them a call to discuss your goals – I met several members of their adcom today and they are quite open to helping people find the right program (EMBA, online, part time, etc.) to suit their needs.

  • S

    Hi Stacey,
    I am a 21 year old girl from India. I have just graduated from college (we follow the 15 year education system). I wanted to apply for an MBA in the fall of 2014 by which time I will have about one year work experience. What the chances of getting into a good mba school? Will waiting till 2015 be a better move?

  • khatuwala

    Hi Stacey,

    I am 43 years old from SOuth Asia. I have done my Masters in Physics and also have a 4 year Engineering Degree from a top college. I have been running my own education institute for the past 16 years, from where more than 3000 students have completed their courses and are now successfully placed invarious corporates. I now plan to have a change of career and am highly interested in doing a Finance (Private Equity or INvestment Banking) related MBA from one of the top schools. Finance interests me and I do a lot of Investment on my own account. I have also had the opportunity to represent my family in front of various tax authorities upto the tribunal in many tax related issued for about 7 years. I was pretty successful in the tribunal cases. Do a) Business schools take in people at my age. b) Is there a job oportunity in the corporate world assuming I do get accepted c) Are the chances better for getting accepted if I do not for financial aid.?

  • Greg

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m applying to MBA programs this fall 2013. I have 4 years of work experience to date (1 year in corporate development and 3 years in investment banking), a cumulative 3.6 / 4.0 GPA from a top 30 US school, and a 760 GMAT (Quant 48, Verbal 47, 99%). I currently work as an investment banking associate at an international boutique investment banking firm.

    The major flaw in my application is that I lack leadership roles outside of work and I do not have lots of community service. I volunteered last year for 6 months at a non profit on weekends that helped recent immigrants with job interviews, resumes, cover letters, etc. I plan to volunteer there again starting this summer for the next 6+ months. What can I do to improve my chances before applying this fall? Please can you tell me my chances at the top US business schools? My top choices are Wharton, Columbia, and Dartmouth for their outstanding finance programs.

    Thank you!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi IC,

    Wow, what a wonderful background! I love the collection of work experience you’ve compiled over the years. They key for you is to be able to demonstrate key learning experiences from each role and thread them together to highlight them as strengths rather than flighty career changes.

    Your strengths seems to lie in your diverse background, your global perspective and your academics (assuming a 700 on the GMAT). I like your post MBA goal, just be sure you are really able to tie it all back to you and who you are so that it doesn’t look like some idea you concocted out of left field.

    Look at schools that feel like a good fit. Consider academic offerings, but also look at other important factors like class size and location. I suggest applying to at least 4 programs containing a mix of reach, target and safer options.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    It could be very challenging to gain admission to an MBA program with just one year of experience under your belt. HBS developed it’s 2+2 program with the idea that at least 2 years of experience is key for classroom and post MBA success. Why the rush? I suggest waiting at least another year or two and building up your profile as much as possible during that time.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Khatuwala,

    Thanks for your post. Your professional experience sounds quite rewarding!

    Honestly, it could be very challenging to gain admission to a full time MBA program with your level and years of experience. Executive MBA programs were started with candidates like you in mind. Those looking to diversify their skills and knowledge, but are further along in their careers. I suggest looking into EMBA programs to see if one feels like a good fit. Plenty of great schools offer them (Wharton is the first one that comes to mind). A one year course at LBS or INSEAD is also a great idea, and European programs tend to value a greater amount of professional experience than US programs.

    Financial need is not a consideration in admissions decisions, so no need to state you wouldn’t need aid.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • khatuwala

    Thanks a lot Stacey. Just a few more doubts. I checked Wharton and they have an EMBA with classes on weekends. Since I do not stay in USA it shall not be possible to do that course. INSEAD & LBS have fulltime 1 year MBA. Are there any more colleges which offer a full time 1 year MBA? Are there any job prospects after such courses for me in the domain of Finance, Private Equity or Investment Banking considering that I do not have any “corporate” experience? Will a 1 year INSEAD or LBS give me a headstart for a job in USA?
    Thanx
    Sanjay

  • Rick

    Stacey,

    I have a question regarding nontraditional candidates. I was previously an intelligence analyst and now work for a consulting firm that advises international companies on terrorism-related risks in emerging markets. While the role is consulting and analytics-oriented, does the fact that terrorism falls under “security” make that work experience “pedestrian” as a result?

    My concern is also tied to the fact that I was a liberal arts major (Georgetown, UChicago, Duke, etc) and would probably need to take some quant courses before applying for programs. Does being this far from a “traditional” candidate put me at a competitive disadvantage?

    Thanks,

    Rick

  • Anthony

    Hi Stacey, I know you have addressed MBA programs fit for media/entertainment, but I wanted to ask you about the video game industry and interactive entertainment specifically.

    Here’s my biggest question: How often (if at all) have you come across applicants that have expressed a plan to work within the interactive entertainment/video games industry? This is where I would like to enter post-MBA (product marketing/game publishing), and I’m wanting to know how this can be expressed to an adcom without seeming silly. Is the proper term “new media”? There are several prominent execs within the industry with MBAs, but I would guess that there isn’t an influx of applicants wanting to take this route.

    Here’s a quick background:

    -Recently finished undergrad with an accounting/honors degree from a tier one public university, 3.75 GPA

    -Beginning career with a Big 4 management consulting practice in NY (interested in entertainment sector)

    -Plan on working 2-3 years before applying to MBA programs (looking at Notre Dame and USC Marshall 1-year full-time MBA programs)

    -Preparing for GMAT, targeting 700

    Do you see any hiccups in this tentative plan? I would think the alumni networks at ND/USC would greatly help with the entertainment track. I also like that they both offer 1-year full-time MBAs.

    Also, could you provide some insight on how the scholarship selection process generally works with an MBA adcom? What most often gives applicants a competitive edge?

    Thanks for your help, I appreciate it!

  • Ella

    Hi Stacey,

    I have been accepted at Vanderbilt (Owen) and University of Rochester (Simon) MBA programs, but I am having a hard time deciding where I am going.
    I am interested in concentrating in Finance. I am currently living in NYC and would like to return when I graduate. I know Simon places graduates in NYC because of its proximity, but there are Vandy graduates working here as well.
    Can you please help me come to a decision?

    Sincerely.
    Ella

  • Canadian MBA

    Hey Stacey,
    As a former Tuck adcom, would you recommend attending the Tuck Summer Visit Day? Also, the invite mentioned that it is an invitation only event. How selective is the invitation? Any insight would be very helpful.
    Thanks,
    Arjun

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Great question! This event is great for those who are unable to make it to campus during the school year. It’s a small event, and so it’s a great way to meet adcom members, sit in on classes and have the Tuck experience in the off season.

    I’m not sure the selection criteria for the invitation, but if you are invited and are able to attend, I would strongly encourage you to do so.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Ella,

    Thanks for your post. This is a great question for the career placement office at Vanderbilt. As an admitted student, you should feel comfortable reaching out to the career office to ask about placement opportunities.

    Keep in mind that while regional jobs are available at most bschools, the majority of the recruiting efforts on campus place students in jobs globally. Meaning, look to see if companies you are interested in recruit at these schools and use that information to help you make an informed decision.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Rick,

    Thanks for your post. I would not worry about being non-traditional. If anything, your background will help you in the admissions process, not hurt you.

    Bschools love non-traditional candidates provided they can clearly explain their professional experience as well as articulate their need for an MBA and their post MBA goals. As a non-traditional candidate, it’s not likely the adcom will have more than basic/general knowledge of your current role, so be sure your resume clearly indicates your responsibilities as well as your accomplishments.

    As for your quant concerns, a lot of it depends on your GMAT score. Scoring above 80% in quant will mitigate concerns about your ability to perform in the classroom. You should also look for ways to display your quant skills from your professional experience.

    Regards,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Greg,

    Thanks for your post. You have a solid professional and academic background that will impress most adcoms.

    I understand your concern about outside activities and leadership outside of the office. There is a bit of forgiveness for lack of extracurricular activities for those in high demand roles (consulting, banking, etc.). Rushing out now to volunteer would look contrived and would likely do little to improve your applications. Have you had leadership opportunities at work? If so, you need not worry about rushing out to find those opportunities outside of the office.

    As for how to stand out, it will come down to your personal interests. You have the right resume and academics for top programs. Your challenge will be to find things to write about in your essays that get you noticed and remembered by the adcoms.

    Feel free to reach out to me via Clearadmit.com for more detailed advice.

    Stacey

  • shashankpaliwal0587

    Hi Stacey,
    I have an integrated BE + mba degree from BITS Pilani (India…top 5 school) with a cgpa of 7/10. I am working as a data analyst with Genpact (foformerly Ge capital international serviced). I have total 3 years of work experience, I lead a team of 5 analysts who support the forecasting organization of Ge Energy. I have been promoted twice on the current job. I am planning to apply next year. I have not taken gmat yet, but have consistently scored over 720 in practice tests. Post mba I would like to build a career as a operations and supply chain consultant. I was looking at Kelley, mccombs, unc, and ucla. Do I have a chance at these schools?

  • Ram

    Hello Stacey,

    I am from India, I did masters in pharmacy (normal university), and also have some distance learning courses from WIPO, IGNOU…. all are at a range of 65-85%. I have 1.2yrs experience in MNC “AstraZeneca” and approx 8 months of entrepreneurship (own-SME). I wanted to join mba in hbs.

    I am planning for GMAT in near month. Please give me some suggestion & min gmat score needed for me. What are my chances of getting into hbs according to my profile.What is the average biotech/pharma applicants applying yearly ??

    Thanks
    Ram

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    These sound like great choices given your post MBA goals. Keep up the good work on the job, and score at least a 700 on your GMAT (looks like that is doable given your practice scores thus far).

    Take advantage of the time between now and next fall and visit the schools on your list if possible (it’s unclear if you are in US or not. If not, no need to spend the money on an international flight.).

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Ram,

    Are you looking to apply to HBS this year? 1.2 years of experience is a bit below average (they even have a 2+2 program to encourage 2 years of experience prior to matriculation). I realize that if you continued to work between now and matriculation, that you too would have 2 years, but it’s the amount of experience at the time of application that matters.

    I would suggest scoring at least 700+ on the GMAT and waiting a year or two to apply.

    Stacey

  • KV KARTIK SUBRAMANIAN

    Hi Stacey!

    I’m a student pursuing A double undergraduate degree in Law and Commerce at SASTRA UNIVERSITY, in India. I have internships at Mckinsey, BCG, Ernst and Young, Ebay inc, booz and Co, Morgan Chase and also a Judicial clerkship with a judge at the Supreme court of India. Apart from this, I top my class, did a semester abroad at the Kings College Law school at London. I Have founded my own NGO that mentors underprivileged students and provides services to war refugees in India. I’m on the board of directors of a student run Business and also run My own Startup. I’m also the chairman of my College Entrepreneurship Cell and the Chief editor of the Law School Journal. Also part of the Varsity Basketball and Soccer team. I have recommendations from my College dean ( who passed out from HBS) and one from a Judge of the Supreme court of India. I Have a 710 Gmat and am Looking for a shot at HBS 2+2, stanford Gsb and also wharton. Please let me know if i have a shot at any of the top Business schools and if it is worthwhile applying. Your advice would be really helpful and I would be really grateful to you.

  • BM

    Hi Stacy,

    I’m 29 yo Peruvian economist from a top Peruvian university GPA 3.3, GPA Senior year 3.75 (according to some webpage for grade translations). I lead an analytics team at a high social impact/highly awarded start up that operates globally. I was one of the first employees to join the company and progressed from analyst to manager position where I lead an international/multicultural team of engineers and statisticians. Before that I worked at a bank doing similar things but as a single analyst. Most of my career have developed around analytics. Therefore I dream about founding an analytics consultancy company (already have the name, webpage and have done some freelance consulting in the last 6 months) which is why I want to pursue an MBA. Here are my questions:

    – Should I put the freelancer experience in my Resume or my essays? If I put it on my Resume it looks weak in comparison to past experience since there’s no big revenue nor achievements yet; it’s mostly about the learning experience and getting an early taste of being a consultant.

    – During my first three years of college I heavily assisted my father at a recently founded family company (he lost his job as soon as I started college and was his first time being entrepreneur), but mostly doing things like logistics and operations, and very basic accounting. Nothing to do with my later career, however it took a considerable part of my time and thus it affected my grades at the time (why I emphasize senior year GPA). Is this something that I should put on my Resume or my essays? Again, it takes space from my resume that could be devoted to other achievements of my more conventional career and it’s something I can put in essays addressing the low grades during my first three college years. However I’m not sure about which would be the best thing to do.

    Thanks a lot!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi BM,

    Thanks for your post. It’s great to see you have a dream and are in active pursuit of it! I do think it’s worth including your consulting experience on your resume. It’s supports your post MBA goals and also give credibility to them. You will also want to list this role in your application data forms.

    It’s great that you were able to help your father start the family business. Whether or not you choose to include this in your resume is a personal choice. I would consider just how much of a time commitment it involved as well as the impact your role had in the company’s success. Also, if you feel this involvement is a concern or potential red flag, I would advise writing a brief optional essay for each application explaining the circumstances.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi KV,

    Wow, I have no idea how you managed to do all those internships in undergrad! Impressive!

    Your background is right on target for HBS 2+2. i also suggest you take a look at Yale’s Silver Scholars program. Stanford has a deferral program in place for those applying in undergrad that is worth looking at as well.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Steve Blasdell

    Hi, Stacey

    I’am currently finishing up my BA in Business Management at a JFKU in California with a GPA at about 3.8. I just turned 40 and had some financial struggles throughout my history but on track now. I too am also interested in the HBS 2+2 program. Currently, I am looking to change careers. However, my work experience is limited to some time in the Marine Corps as an enlisted member, several years at Comcast and currently as an electrician. Does my current work experience count the way it sits now? What can I do to improve my odds? Is there even the slightest chance of getting accepted from a school that is not well known? Thanks for your time.

    Steve

  • Spandana

    Hi Stacey

    I am an Indian student (age: 21) who is pursuing her undergrad in Electrical Engineering from a fairly good university in India. I will graduate next year and am expecting my undergrad gpa to be around 4.

    I plan to do an MBA after 1.5/2 years of work ex. (2016). I believe that an MBA would assist and accelerate my progress in the job sphere and eventually leading the company i’d work in. I have been involved in managing events in my college and have held leadership positions in school too. My hobbies include art and craft, blogging (newbie) and i am also a voracious reader.

    I was hoping for advice and feedback on how i can improve my profile and hence increase my chances of getting into a top-20 MBA institute in the US. Also any other guidance you can offer would be apprecaited.

    Thanks and regards
    Spandana

  • spandana

    I forgot to mention that I plan on giving my GMAT early next year and am aiming for a 700+score .I am pretty confident of a high GMAT score. My only concern is my extra-curricular profile which i am told must be strong as i aim to apply at a young age for my MBA with a max 2yr work ex.
    Please advice me on which areas to target to increase my chances!

  • hiran

    Hi Stacey,

    I am planning to apply for the class of 2013-2014 , my prospective employer is interested in sponsoring my education. I have not been working full time with them I have been consulting part time for them over the past few years and they are interested in funding my education.

    I did my under-graduation from India and did my Masters in Electrical Engineering from USC – LA worked for three years in software development in the US and moved back to India and I am currently working at a major MNC for their Analytics division.

    Do B schools consider sponsorship from the company who are going to be my prospective full time employers after I finish my course, with whom I have never worked on a full time capacity.

    Looking forward to hearing from you

    Thanks and Regards,
    Hiran

  • Tommy

    Hi Stacey,

    I think that I have pretty decent stats – 730 GMAT, ~3.9 GPAs, and a position at a Fortune 100 blue chip with 2 promotions (to manager level) over three years (at matriculation) with significant international exposure.

    However, I have one BIG problem: the MBA would be my THIRD Master’s degree. I completed one M.S. in a “joke major” (really, though) after undergrad and am currently pursuing my second M.S. part-time. I am hoping to enter business school in the Fall of 2014, immediately after I complete my second M.S. and I would only be 27 years old.

    I think that the second M.S. (Predictive Analytics) is very applicable to my current position as well as my career goals (corporate strategy / consulting), however, my first (Leisure Studies) will not be viewed favorably. I think that coming out of school at age 29 with THREE Master’s degrees and only 3 years of work experience is a little bit ridiculous, but it’s really my only option to get into corporate strategy or consulting.

    How much will this over-education hurt me? I have my heart set on the top tier (H&S) but would consider settling for certain lower schools as well (Wharton, MIT, Dartmouth are my planned backups at the moment). What can I do to convince an admissions committee that I really DO need this MBA?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your post. I must admit, I’ve never had anyone ask about HBS 2+2 who already has full time work experience in their past. I’ve mostly advised 20 year old college students. That being said, my initial thought is to have you call HBS to see if you truly qualify for the program. Given that you’re just finishing undergrad my initial instinct is yes, but given you also have full time experience, you may be more qualified to apply through their regular process.

    Admissions committees in general evaluate candidates based on academics, professional experience and extracurricular activities. A well rounded profile is great to have, but adcoms also appreciate those from different backgrounds and with different experiences.

    Your story is indeed unique, and you’ll have to work to explain why you chose your path and how your experiences to date have prepared you to just now consider a full time program. You’ll also need to explain just what you plan to do with the MBA in both the short and long term.

    As for being accepted from a lesser known school, it does happen, and your GPA is great, which certainly helps. Again, I think this all comes down to your story and just how savvy you can be in sharing it.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Hiran,

    Thanks for your post. You’ve got a solid profile, and it’s great to see that you plan to go to bschool, and even better that your employer is willing to pay for it.

    As for how adcoms view sponsorship, it’s honestly not something that comes up when making admissions decisions. Adcoms feel that candidates have already thought through how they plan to finance their degree, and while it speaks volumes about how valuable you must be to your employer (or future employer), it doesn’t necessarily impact the admissions decision.

  • Canadian MBA

    Hi Stacey,
    Should we include significant volunteer and extracurricular experiences during undergrad (for someone with 3 years of work experience) in our application materials (including essays)?
    Thanks,
    Arjun

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Great question! Yes, these things should be on your resume and in your application data form. Some schools specifically state that applicants should not use examples older than 3 years, so including them in essays may not work for all schools (MIT for example).

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Tommy,

    All applicants that already hold advanced degrees should think about how to position their desire to obtain an MBA. Adcom’s tend to have concerns over those with multiple degrees for fear that they are simply “degree collectors” avoiding reality by attending one program after another. This simply doesn’t sound like it’s the case for you since you are working full time while pursuing your current degree.

    However, you will want to be very clear just how the MBA in combination with your other advanced degree will help you achieve your post MBA goals. Be prepared to explain why both degrees are necessary. Your awareness of the concern around multiple advance degrees is great. Don’t take the defensive approach in explaining your educational choices to date, but be thoughtful, demonstrate that there has always been a long term plan in place, that your education thus far has all be very intentional to help you achieve your long term goals.

    You’ll also want to explain your “joke” degree. It sounds like you simply made a bad or misinformed decision. Take heart, I think everyone makes at least one of those when it comes to school and/or career decisions. Be up front about the reason you sought the degree and simply own it. You should address it in a brief optional essay in each application.

    I hope this helps!

    Stacey

  • adey

    I want to know if it’s okay to disclose about mental illness that maybe affected undergraduate performance.

  • wanderinginthedesert

    Hi Stacey,

    I worked one year in consulting (fairly well-known UK-based company) since my graduation with a degree in political economy (with honors from a well-ranked State school). I quit to pursue some start-up ventures and I have been self-employed as a researcher slash entrepreneur for about 2+ years in the U.S. The problem is, in those two years I have worked on a variety of successful (and not-so-successful projects) and freelanced with many different companies, my resume of experience looks confusing and lost. In reality, most people are jealous that in such a tough economy I’m able to sustain myself as a freelance consultant/writer/researcher/guru! I want to apply to a top-10 MBA program. My ultimate goal is to legitimize my profile as an entrepreneur to obtain venture capital in the future. How can I streamline my resume and focus on my “entrepreneurship” without looking like an aimless wanderer? Also, let’s be honest, do I need an 800 on the quant section to compete with all those McKinsey applicants? I have an old GRE quant score of 720 that is expired now, I think (90 percentile in verbal). As a side note, I’m an athlete who has won a few races and worked with some athletic start-ups–does that make me stand out or is it best to leave off those idiosyncratic accomplishments?

    Thanks,
    Wandering in the desert

  • Approaching 35

    Hi Stacey

    Could you please comment on my profile? From the
    comments at various links on this website I understand that age and
    “pool” are factors against me but still want to see if it makes sense to
    apply. Im planning to apply for Kellogs and Booth for now. If the chances for full time look slim I might take the part time format.

    34 Yrs now.

    1) Green Card holder.(not sure if this matters since Im in the overrepresented “pool” of Indian Engineers)

    2) 720 GMAT

    3) Undergrad in Comp Sc and Engg from India.(6th in class of 60)

    4)
    12 yrs work exp in Consulting. Worked for Oracle USA for 6 years as
    principal, for Accenture as a Manager. Run my own firm now providing
    Supply Chain consulting to AT&T. Currently involved in designing new
    processes for refurbished equipment supply chain.

    5) Captain of
    Bhangra Dance during college team(balle balle!), coached Univ of dallas
    masters folks for their dance competition(2009). Mentor kids at
    religious organization.

    6) Reason for doing MBA- I see a gap in
    standard supply chain software in the market and currently working on
    developing a software to plug those gaps. Want to grow the company I
    started last year within US first by leveraging previous Forbes 100
    clients.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hello,

    It’s great that you took a risk and left a steady consulting job to become an entrepreneur. However, I agree, having multiple ventures over several years can make for a muddled resume. It’s a bit difficult for me to offer you resume structure advice without actually seeing your resume and the specifics of each role/opportunity, I’m assuming that you have some sort of company name and that you could perhaps use that for your time table and then list your most significant ventures (for lack of a better term) in sections underneath. Again, this is a bit difficult to state without your resume in front of me.

    It might be worth your time to seek out a consultant to help you with your resume since it’s a key component to your story and is necessary for all of your applications.

    As for the GMAT, no, you don’t need an 800, but you should aim to score above 700. Aim for at least 80% in quant if possible.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    This is indeed okay. It should be the topic of an optional essay for each school. Try to be brief and to the point and keep it to ~250 words if possible.

  • Murali Mohan

    Hello Stacey,

    I am from India,did master in biotechnology. I am interested in doing MBA from top 20 universities…but I have serious disadvantages..

    Pros: Good GPA’s, 2 yrs full time work exp from MNC.
    Cons: 1. Age 32 (Gap because of MBBS preparations-desired field at that time).
    2. I was fired from company (not because of incompetence,but for going against my Snr boss) even though, I have received clean resignations…I want to be candid..
    3. No extra curricular activities- usually biotech companies are located in outskirts…

    Post MBA goals: To improve health care industries in India…
    (lots of dissatisfaction… dictatorship prevails then leadership)

    Please suggest me on :
    1.Do you think, by staying candid…will it impact negatively…
    2.I know, I have big drawbacks…but I am determined to do MBA. Please guide to achieve
    it.

    Thank you.

    Mohan.M

  • Murali mohan

    Hello Stacey,

    I did master in biotechnology. I am interested in doing MBA from top 20 universities…but my candidacy have serious disadvantages..

    Pros: Good GPA’s, 2 yrs full time work exp from MNC.
    Cons: 1. Age 32 (Gap due to MBBS preparations-desired field at that time).
    2. I was fired from company (not because of incompetence,but by going against my Snr boss) even though, I have received clean resignations…but,I want to be candid..
    3. No extra curricular activities- Usually have extended working hours and biotech companies are located in outskirts…

    Post MBA goals: To improve health care industries…
    (lots of dissatisfaction… dictatorship prevails then leadership)

    Q1. Do you think, by staying candid… will it impact negatively…
    Q2. I know, I have big drawbacks…but I am determined to do MBA. Please guide me to achieve it.

    Regards.
    M.Mohan

  • J.P. Blanchard

    Hey Stacey,

    I’m your typical high-octane millennial just looking my slice of the good life!

    First off- the good stuff:

    I have high GMAT’s, a big data entrepreneur / serial philanthropist actively
    engaged in the non-profit sector in the southwest. Applied econ background from undergrad, have worked in higher ed, and have a few years of wall street experience. I can sell. Have worked as a broker, sales/marketing executive, research analyst and bootstrappin’-n’-high-five-slappin’ entrepreneur and I have yet to reach the ripe old age of 30.

    I do not need the MBA- but like a moth to the flame- I want the experience,
    opportunity, and networking power that comes from a top-tier MBA.

    The problem: I have a low undergraduate GPA. We’re talking fratboy-disaster-status. What’s the best way to sell my experience? Could my background in philanthropy, if not for differentiation’s sake alone?

    Also- what about the possibility of going DBA instead of MBA? Would the
    (presumed) lower volume of applicants bolster my chances?

    Best Regards,

    J.P.

  • 2016hopeful

    Hi Stacey,

    Thanks for taking the time to do this. Really appreciate it. I’m looking for a place in the class of 2016 at some top schools and could really use your help to see if I’m in line for my target programs. I’m an Indian engineer (non-iit), graduated with a 3.3 (based on some rough approximations I carried out), doing electrical engineering in undergrad. I went on to complete a masters program at Duke. I managed to do a bit better in my time at Duke and got a near 3.7 at grad school. I took up an offer at a leading engineering/energy company (think Siemens,Schlumberger) and was positioned in one of their rotational development programs. I have been working with the company in the US for the past 3 years. I took the GMAT last year and managed a 740 with good splits on the verbal and quant sections. I feel I’ve gained a good amount of industry exposure through my work and look to work in a role that offers more involvement with clients/customers. Along these lines, I’m hoping to get an MBA to leverage my experience and break into management consulting (I’d love to work for the big 3). Long term, I hope to transition into a leadership role at a Fortune-500 energy company and be involved with strategy and innovation in the firm. I’ve been quite involved with my extracurricular activities and upon introspection, have a couple of instances/experiences that could possibly single me out (I think!). I know the competition in my applicant pool is pretty intense, but I was hoping you could chance my odds at Booth, Kellogg, Columbia, Tuck (and Wharton maybe?). I’ve done my research (spoken to current students and visited a couple of the schools) on these programs and can see myself being fully involved at these places. Do, I have enough ‘gold dust’ to stand a chance at these places? Do view my background and undergrad gpa as deal breakers? I don’t see myself going to Harvard or Stanford (I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew). I know Duke has a great program as well and I might consider it, although I’ve done little or no research on fuqua. Your evaluation would be really helpful! Thanks in advance, Stacey!

    -2016 Hopeful

  • Old and Random

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m a 31 year old male graduate from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School with a 3.4. I went to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown for my MA several years back (3.9/4.0) and used that degree to work (successfully) as a civilian analyst at the Pentagon on Afghanistan/Pakistan issues and deployed to Afghanistan.

    As the wars wind down, I transitioned to the private sector (Financial Services Consulting arm of a Big 4). I have a 780 GMAT and am aiming for a top-5 school to pivot towards more corporate strategy for an international business.

    No real extra-curriculars – I travel all the time and like to spend whatever time I have at home with my wife.

    My questions are:
    – Am I barking up the right tree? Is there a particular top school that looks for people like me?
    – Will my age work against me?
    – Will my undergrad GPA work against me? Or is it washed away by my GPA in my MA program?
    – What should I focus on in my essay, given my unconventional background? Should I explain why I want the MBA, or try to contextualize the path that I’ve taken so far?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your post. I am big fan of non-traditional backgrounds, and most business schools are too.

    You have a great profile, it’s unique given your experience in a civilian role in Afghanistan, but also your transition to the private sector. Business schools seems like a natural next step, but you will want to clearly articulate your goals and pay particular attention to exactly how an MBA is the only way to achieve them

    As for your specific questions:

    Am I barking up the right tree? Is there a particular top school that looks for people like me?

    Any top school can offer what you’re looking for. Look at things like location and class size to help you narrow your list.

    – Will my age work against me?

    No, but it does mean your goals should be clear and that an MBA is necessary for you to achieve them. More experience means you should have a better plan than say someone with only 3 years under their belt.

    – Will my undergrad GPA work against me? Or is it washed away by my GPA in my MA program?

    Your undergrad GPA is just fine! Academic profiles consist of undergrad GPA, advanced degree GPAs, additional coursework and GMAT scores. All of this adds up to a great academic profile. No need to worry here.

    – What should I focus on in my essay, given my unconventional background? Should I explain why I want the MBA, or try to contextualize the path that I’ve taken so far?

    When it comes to applying to bschool, the emphasis should be all about moving forward and not about your past. Clearly your past is important, but your focus should be on your goals and how the MBA is critical to achieving them. Your international experience is also something you might wish to emphasize.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Thanks for your post. You have a solid profile with some great professional experience. You are correct in that you are a bit on the older side for full time programs. However, my main concern is exactly why you need the MBA. It sounds like you are already a successful entrepreneur, and while your business idea indeed seems sound, it’s not quite clear to me exactly why an MBA is necessary for you to achieve your goals.

    If it is simply a skill set issue (marketing, etc.), perhaps a part time or EMBA program would better suit your needs?

  • Approaching 35

    Thanks Stacey. Im thinking on the same lines. I will be going for part time and applying to the two chicago schools. Appreciate the feedback!

  • X IIT

    Hello Stacey,

    I am a typical Indian male engineer albeit not in the IT sector. My manufacturing backgrounds makes MIT an extremely attractive choice for me. But I cannot help but notice that all the Indians who have been through Sloan are from the IITs in India or from BITS Pilani which is another well known college.

    My concern is that in-spite of a decent Undergrad performance ( my GPA was 8/10 and was within the top 20% of my graduating class), a strong GMAT (770) my undergraduation institute is a state university in India and might not be very well known in the US.

    Is it a waste to apply to MIT or would the fact that I work in an organisation which hires guys from IITs for the same position as mine, help in any way.

    Looking for some guidance

  • rocketscientist

    Hello Stacey,

    I have a question regarding the importance of a part time graduate school GPA while working full time. I work in the field of spacecraft operations (think NASA mission control but for classified programs), and I’ve been continuously exceeding expectations, which allowed me to become a team lead much earlier on than the norm. However, it’s been a demanding work environment as I averaged closed to 60 hours a week, and I’ve been enrolled in a part time M.S. engineering program as well (taking 2 classes a semester). Because I also try to engage in other extracurriculars, such as tutoring or personal endeavors like training for endurance races, my graduate school GPA is going to be lower than my undergraduate GPA (3.3, engineering), and it’ll probably be in the 2.9ish range.

    I was wondering how serious of an issue the lower part time graduate school GPA will be, if I can somehow compensate for that by performing well on the GMAT, and if I should be addressing the graduate school GPA situation directly in my essays. I am aiming for Fuqua/Darden. Thanks!

  • rocketscientist

    Extension to the original post: the M.S. program will be completed in 2.5 years, I will have around 5 years of experience by matriculation

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hello,

    You’ve taken the first step when contemplating business school – a complete self evaluation. I am a big fan of honesty in the application. Owning mistakes, challenges, or any other issue says a lot about one’s character.

    Keep in mind that there are three areas evaluated by adcoms: academics, professional experience and extracurricular activities. It is very rare for a candidate to shine in all three of these. Just be sure you balance out concerns about your experience being fired with a great essay about ethics or leadership. Also, compensate for your lack of activities with a killer GMAT. It’s all about finding balance.

    Stacey

  • Chewbacca

    Hi Stacy,

    How much does the reputation of my employer influence adcoms?

    I’m currently working for a small pharma consulting company that has been consistently growing and expanding. It’s only been around for a few years, so it’s around 20 people at this point. And I love it – the small company culture, my ability to influence the company’s and office’s future, and have great mentors. I think I could grow quickly here and the company continues to win new contracts while maintaining current/previous ones.

    However, I was recently contacted by recruiters for two other pharma consulting companies, for similar roles to what I do now. One is widely recognized as a top healthcare informatics company and has over 8,000 employees. The other is also well recognized in pharma/healthcare consulting and has over 2,000 employees. All three offices are in the same geographic region and work with top pharma companies.

    Do adcoms prefer the more recognizable name? Or could the start-up company work in my favor depending on what I learn while I’m there? I’m aiming to matriculate in b-school in fall 2015.

    Thanks for your help!

    Best,
    Geo

  • Duke

    Hey Stacey would love a read on my profile for the Harvard/Stanford 2+2 and other deferred admission programs.

    3.8 gpa at UCSB (Sociology Major)

    730 gmat (expected)

    paid intern at heart center (first summer)

    paid intern with financial planner who is family friend, got insurance license (second summer)

    paid intern at Openheimer (third summer)

    for my last summer before I apply I was either considering either volunteering or interning with the largest peacekeeping nonprofit in the world which my uncle founded in order to get a letter of rec from him or alternitivaley going for a tried and true internship at Mckinsey, Boston, and the like.

    member of martial arts club… I have been doing martial arts since I was 9 and have some minor awards

    president and founder of The Guild, a student social/business interest club which promotes networking and invites guest speakers to talk to the club members

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Duke,

    Thanks for posting. You have a great profile. It’s nice to see that you’re taking advantage of your summers and obtaining worthwhile internships.

    As for your next move, if you can nail down an internship at a top tier consulting firm like McK or BCG, go for it. These are difficult internships to get and adcoms know it. HBS is particularly fond of strong candidates with McKinsey in their background. Plus, this last internship could lead to an offer to return full time upon graduation. It would be a nice compliment to your profile to secure one of these roles.

    You’re on a great path, keep up the good work!

    Stacey

  • Old and Random

    Thanks for the candid and quick reply. Your help is very greatly appreciated!

  • Bubba

    Hello,
    I’m sure you’ve seen 100’s of profile evaluation questions, and I’m sorry but I’ve got another for you. My basic problem is that I’m going to be 24 when I wish to enter a finance-focused MBA program

    -I graduated from a top 20 American university in 2012 with a chemical engineering degree and a 3.5 GPA. I haven’t taken the GMAT but I took the GRE and my GMAT equivalent score is 710 (GRE scores 165 verbal, 164 math, 5.5 Analytical Writing)

    -I found out through internships at Boeing and National Institute of Standards and Technology that I didn’t like engineering so I decided to go teach English in China for what will be two years (originally I went to work for a non-profit but then quit to work for a regular school with 50 elementary school students in one class when the non-profit wanted me to work on a tourist visa which is very illegal).

    -I discovered FOREX trading (trading foreign currencies to make money) in early April and I only wished I found out about earlier. It’s like crack to me. I would trade foreign currencies even if I wasn’t paid to do it because I think it’s just so much fun (and I am not joking-my fiancee can attest to this). This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I trade currencies everyday on my laptop and I plan on doing it that way even while attending business school. After obtaining an MBA, I want to work as an analyst or day trader for a firm and then 10 or 15 years down the road I want to either be a senior manager or start my own firm. I know I’ll be ridiculed and probably called a liar for saying this, but I have never felt more convinced about wanting to do something for a career in my entire life, I know that this is my line of work.

    -And then little tidbits that may help or hurt my application: 1st in my family college grad, fluent in Mandarin (my fiancee doesn’t speak English), I’m engaged, I have a 3500 postcard collection, in addition to teaching English I have a translation company on the side that I run with my fiancee (I translate from English to Chinese with my fiancee correcting the errors and vice-versa).

    -Leadership Experience: Started my college’s community garden from scratch, college president of a chemical engineering society, set up a professional partnership between the Chinese elementary I teach at and an American elementary school, started an “Everyday English” program at my school where I teach our school’s 1000+ students one English sentence before they start morning exercises.

    So my questions are these:
    1) Because I don’t have any formal education or work experience in FOREX trading (or investment trading for that matter), do I even have a chance of getting into a top 50 MBA program with this kind of career objective even though I’m sure that this is what I want to do and I can prove that I’m decent/good at it? I want to go to a top school but I don’t know if I can if I don’t come from Merrill Lynch or Goldman Sachs before getting into business school.

    2) If I’m engaged, does that help or hurt my application? How should I fill out my application because I’m not technically married yet? Should I even tell admission counselors at all?

    3) Should I look at foreign schools (like HEC Paris, EDHEC, etc.) that offer 1 year finance degrees and then the second year you get a Master’s?
    4) Just as a special request, can you give me a range of schools that I should think about applying to (I plan on applying to the Consortium too). Right now my short list has about 20-25 schools which is way too much. I would just like to know if I even have a shot at a school like NYU, UC-Berkeley, or Carnegie Mellon which all have really good Finance MBAs.

  • Bubba

    I’m terribly sorry, that was a lot longer post than I thought it was going to be

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Wow, that was a lot of information! Here is my response to your questions:

    1) Because I don’t have any formal education or work experience in FOREX trading (or investment trading for that matter), do I even have a chance of getting into a top 50 MBA program with this kind of career objective even though I’m sure that this is what I want to do and I can prove that I’m decent/good at it? I want to go to a top school but I don’t know if I can if I don’t come from Merrill Lynch or Goldman Sachs before getting into business school.

    You need not have experience in the industry to want to work in it. People go to business school to change careers or advance in their current industry.

    2) If I’m engaged, does that help or hurt my application? How should I fill out my application because I’m not technically married yet? Should I even tell admission counselors at all?

    Is your fiance also applying? If not, the adcom isn’t really interested in your marital status.

    3) Should I look at foreign schools (like HEC Paris, EDHEC, etc.) that offer 1 year finance degrees and then the second year you get a Master’s?

    Not if you want to get an MBA. You need to decide if you want an MBA or a Masters in Finance. I would not recommend doing both since it’s not necessary to have both for the job your interested in obtaining after school.

    4) Just as a special request, can you give me a range of schools that I should think about applying to (I plan on applying to the Consortium too). Right now my short list has about 20-25 schools which is way too much. I would just like to know if I even have a shot at a school like NYU, UC-Berkeley, or Carnegie Mellon which all have really good Finance MBAs.

    Aim to narrow your list down to 4-6 programs. It’s going to be challenging to gain admission to bschool at this stage in your career. I suggest you look at programs that have younger class averages. Your challenge is going to be explaining why you need an MBA now given you’ve been teaching for such a short time. Keep in mind adcoms look at the amount of experience at application, not matriculation, so your short tenure in the workforce might work against you.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Bubba

    Thank you very much for your response Stacey, it really helps!

  • txikipep

    Hi Stacey,

    Im planning to apply to a couple of b-schools in Canada for next year, targetting Schulich and Sauder primarly while keeping my options open for the rest as well. Hopefully land a seat by for the Fall 2014 intake. Some particulars about me would be:

    – 26, male, living in my home country in South East Asia.
    – Been working for a Global 500 company in the transportation and logistics business (role is of a commercial nature) for the last 2 years to date. By the time I start b-school next year it should be three years. Havent had major career progression yet, but feel Il be seeing some movement upwards before the year is over
    – Have an MBA already from an institute in my home country, achieved with a 3.41 CGPA (85.71%)
    – For my undergrad I have a 4 year degree with Computing as my majors from the same school. Clocked in a 2.90 CGPA (82.28%)
    – I know theres a difference in the grading schemes between the two degrees, but there was a grading scheme change in 2010, because of which you can see the difference
    – The place where I studied from had collaboration with Wharton in its formative years (first MBA degree awarding school on the US b-school model in South Asia, etc), and then later with USC and Babson in the last two decades, so Im hoping my previous degrees arent undervalued
    – Yet to take a GMAT but targetting a date in October for it with a range of 710-730 for a score. Would give me a chance to have atleast one more attempt if need be at the exam, since ideally I want to wrap up my applications for every option by end of December.

    Now some questions where I need some light shed upon from you:

    – First up whats the first feeling that comes to you looking at my profile, of course I have reasons to go back to school (want to experience doing something more self-fulfilling for work, with a greater scope of impact stemming from my initatives if given the chance / wanting to work in another geographical market which is not possible with my current profile / being a minority here in my homeland with serious consequences beyond just my career / etc.)
    – Would the fact that I already have an MBA be an impediment in the admission process? My undegrad and postgrad were both done without any break or work experience in between.
    – Which CGPA would be looked at, the one from undergrad or postgrad? If its the one from undergrad, on the face of it I do kind of shy from a 3.0 CGPA required by most b-schools but will the fact that my scoring system back then was vastly tougher than the ones normally prevalent in North American b-schools count for anything? For example with a 2.90 CGPA my percentage is 82.28%, while a quick Google lookup says for schools in North America a percentage between 82-84 correlates to a 3.33 CGPA. Both systems were on a 4.0 CGPA scale by the way.
    – Would I necessarily have to take up somethinng totally different to what I already have gone through during my previous MBA to make my application attractive to adcomms?
    – On the face of it, considering the fact that I would like to stay and try my hand in the geographical market that I would be going to school to, as a foreign national applying for a work permit after Im done, which market would you suggest, the US or Canada?

    Sorry I know I seem a bit all over the place, but Im really working hard to come to down to the one thing that I want to do. Ive narrowed down from a whole host of options to quite a few now and hope to have identified all I need to by the end of this month. This is a big step for me because Im going to pause my career after already clocking in 18 years worth of school education, with all my savings going into this, so just want to be sure I make the decision with the highest probablity of achieving what I aim for.

    Thanks!

  • Sylvester

    hi stacey..

    i am an 34 yr old indian based in dubai. Married and have a daughter of 3yrs. I am working for a global technology company with 11 years of experience. I have a bachelors degree in engineering from india. I am thinking of a global mba program from any of the top B schools.
    May be a inspiration to prove myself that i can do better things in life. Never been a academic person but a firm believer in myself. Appreciate some guidance to how to make it happen.

    Appreciate your time and support in advance.

  • ramela

    imd emba is good option>

  • Sylvester

    imd ?
    sorry for the trouble :)

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Geo,

    Great question! It sounds to me like the quality of your professional experience and the influence you have on business decisions is far greater than you would have in a larger firm. Yes, adcoms like it when they see a brand they know on the resume since it’s easier to identify with the company, but at the end of the day, they aren’t selecting the candidates with the best brand company, but rather the candidate with the best experience as compared with their peers. Your experience at this smaller firm sounds fantastic. I would think twice before giving it up for a larger company.

    At the end of the day it’s important to simply do what you love. If for some reason bschool doesn’t work out, you want to be sure you’re happy with your job.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Mad_men

    Hi Stacey,

    it would be really great if you could give me a short assessment on weather I have any kind of realistic chances of getting into one of the Top 10 (US based) finance programs. I have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from one of germany’s top 5 institutions (GPA 3.3/4.0), I am currently pursuing a PhD degree at an american public ivy university (GPA after all coursework 3.78/4.0). I will obtain this degree by the age of 29. My GMAT score is 720, I should also mention that I was raized bilingual so therefore I am able to communicate in 3 languages (my 2 native once plus english). I think my biggest flaw is that I have no real life worke experience since I spent my entire professional time in academia.

    Thanks!

  • Hopeful 2014

    Hi Stacy,

    My questions is about financial aid. I’ve been reading through a number of sources, but things seem to vary by school (or even by source!) and I’m having trouble keeping it straight. I’m applying to HBS, Stanford and Kellogg Round 1 and will need to apply for financial aid. I understand that FAFSA won’t be available until Jan 2014 for classes beginning Fall 2014, correct?

    Am I meant to apply for aid before my application (when FAFSA isn’t even available), after I’ve been accepted but before enrolling, or after enrolling?

    I was just at an info session for Kellogg where they said that you apply for financial aid after you’ve accepted admission – how could I then compare the package to what I might have been offered at other schools? Financial aid will be an important factor for me.

    Thanks for helping clarify!

  • Ann

    Hi Stacey,
    My profile: 29 yr old female, first gen immigrant, top Ivy League undergrad in engineering, Ivy League Masters in Engineering. GPA 3.0 (BSE), 3.9 (MSE). GMAT 740
    My question: How should I address my unusual career trajectory? In the 6 years since college, my longest job has lasted 18 months (at major pharma co). My other experiences include getting my masters (1.5 years), doing two 1-year fellowships (non-profit in Africa, govt-related in Asia), and now working for another non-profit in the US. I am interested in continuing to remain in the global health sector, where I currently work. All my other jobs are healthcare related as well.
    Should I use the optional essay to chart out my reasons for changing jobs? I am aiming for Stanford and INSEAD.
    Thanks!

  • Meg

    Can we still ask questions?

  • JohnAByrne

    Absolutely. Fire away. Stacey would be happy to help you.

  • Confused

    Hi Stacey! It is so wonderful to know that you are so willing to answer our queries.

    I am a 25 year old Female from India, I was working in a leading MNC in India for past 3 years as Associate Consultant, I got 3 promotions in 3 years there. For several reasons, I decided to apply to this year’s deadline at the last moment. All top schools deadline were already passed, and I could only apply to few schools including University of California campuses. I did not get acceptance from them and Tepper. I got a 550 in gmat as again I didn’t get much time to prepare. I have accepted offer from California State University in LA as they offered me scholarship.
    At this time I am really confused because after several interactions with the University, I do not feel its very reputed and administered properly. I have a large amount of extracurricular work, I also manage our family’s charitable hospital and school. I have done Computer Engineering from a State University in India which is well known with First Division. My TOEFL Score was 95. My recommendations were all very good too. I am assuming since I applied in last deadline with low GMAT score, I got rejected everywhere.

    1. Should I prepare and give the gmat again ?
    2. I know not many schools allow transfer, but I am interested in going to University of Washington in Seattle, their foster school of business is very good and my sister lives in Seattle too.
    3. I am definitely joining Cal State LA next month but I am really keen on transferring. What are my options? Does the school ranking and reputation really matters? I am afraid that is the last degree I can get before I get married and it will stick to me for life. I don’t feel good about the school I am going. I am coming to US next month and willing to take professional help.

    I am really very confused, and really need your opinion on this. Thank you so much for taking time to help. I really appreciate it. Let me know if you have any questions regarding my profile.

  • disqus_8jFdIAy2AX

    Hi Stacy,

    I have been performing animal research for the past 4 years while working on my PhD. Is this something I should emphasize or keep quiet about in my applications? I am worried that there may be animal rights activists on the admissions committee and that would prevent me from getting into a program.

    Thanks,
    Stu

  • Lawrence

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m curious about whether I should take extra quant-intensive classes (Calculus, Statistics, Finance, Accounting) because I did not take any quant classes during my college career – I went to a liberal arts college and both of my majors were in the humanities. All of my quant requirements were waived because of my high school AP and SAT scores. I got a 5 on AP Calculus AB, 4 on AP Statistics, and 800 on SAT math. I also just took the GMAT and got a 750 (Q50 V41), 5.5 AWA, 8 IR. I’m looking at top 5-10 schools.

    Here are my questions:
    – Should I worry at all about taking extra classes because of my GMAT score?
    – Do admissions committees look at AP scores?
    – What extra quant classes should I prioritize if I do take extra classes – do I need to worry about Calculus and/or Stats at all because of my AP scores?
    – Do schools have a preference between classes at a local community college and online classes at a more reputable extension program (UCLA, BYU, etc)?

    Thanks,
    Lawrence

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Ann,

    I think the question to ask is why so many different jobs? Was it your decision to leave these roles and try something else, or were you laid off as a result of the economy and downsizing?

    The good news is that you can thread all of these roles together with the common theme of healthcare. Most importantly, you’ll want to tie all of these experiences together as part of your post MBA goals. Meaning, you’ve had a lot of different roles and experiences thus far in your career, but your lacking skills x,y and z to continue on in your career, and those skills can only be obtained through an MBA.

    At the end of the day, simply owning your decisions and demonstrating them as thoughtful and intentional is the best way to explain your many roles.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Most scholarships are given out with admissions offers. If you do not receive a scholarship, you should plan to apply for financial aid (loans). It’s up to the candidate to determine how to pay for their MBA. Each bschool does have a financial aid office to guide admitted students through the process of applying for loans.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Thanks for your post. Most schools (all the ones that I can think of) require full time experience to apply (there are some exceptions such as HBS 2+2 and Yale Silver Scholars). Adcoms are often concerned when applicants lack full time professional experience and have other advanced degrees. It raises concerns that perhaps the candidate is a perpetual student and is avoiding the working world by collecting degrees.

    An awareness of this concern is key when applying. You’ll need to clearly articulate why you need a PhD and an MBA to achieve your goals.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Sylvester,

    I’m not quite sure what you are asking. Can you please clarify?

    Thanks!

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Lawrence,

    A couple of things to think about. Building an alternate transcript is a great way to demonstrate quantitative skills if one is lacking quant courses in undergrad or in their career. You don’t mention your job, so I’m not sure if quant skills are necessary in your day to day role.

    I am a big fan of taking quant classes to help boost one’s profile. Not only does it ease concerns around one’s quantitative ability, but it also sends a message to adcoms that the candidate is serious about bschool by taking foundation courses.

    Keep in mind that you’ll need to complete the classes BEFORE you apply. Simply stating in your application that you are enrolled isn’t enough. Adcoms need to see grades and the grades should be A’s.

    I recommend looking at finance, accounting or stats classes. Take them online at a reputable institution such as UCLA or Harvard Extension. Avoid community college courses.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Yes! My role at Clear Admit is keeping me busy with round 1 deadlines right around the corner, so I may not respond as quickly or as often as I would like, but I will respond!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    You need to own what you do! I understand your concerns, but you should need be ashamed or hide your experience. I agree that it is controversial, but it doesn’t mean you should pretend your role never existed.

  • Lawrence

    Hi Stacey,

    Thanks for the response!

    I work at a marketing and fundraising consulting firm for non-profits. We do quite a bit of analytics and are very data driven. Quant skills are definitely needed, but they aren’t front and center.

    I plan to apply next year for Fall 2015, so I have time to take the courses. Would you suggest BYU or do you know about its reputation for its extension program? It seems like the least expensive and has the most flexible hours.

    Lastly, do admissions counselors care about AP Calc and Stats scores at all?

    Thanks,
    Lawrence

  • James

    Hi Stacey,

    I recently asked a former supervisor at my current job for a recommendation for b-school. He asked me if I would write it and then he could just take a look and see if it was ok. I didn’t feel comfortable with that, so I decided to turn down the offer.

    So, here is my dilemma, I am currently in a promotion year. I have a few big projects on my plate, and I don’t want to hurt my promotion chances this coming January by letting my current supervisor know that I plan on leaving my job for b-school. So here are my remaining choices for recommendations:

    -Supervisor from my former employer. I left the firm almost a year and a half ago.

    -Community/business partner. I run a non-profit outside of work and I have worked closely with this individual to put on community events, etc.

    -My mission president from my LDS mission in Japan.

    I feel like the last two would be able to write the strongest recommendations because of the amount of leadership I was able to exhibit in the roles I was in when working with them. Could you offer any insight on my situation?

    Thanks,
    James

  • txikipep

    Stacey, you missed out on a reply to me! :)

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi James,

    Good for you for turning down your supervisor’s offer to write your own recommendation. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common these days, and I think it happens more than most realize.

    Since you need two recommenders, I would suggest your supervisor from your previous employer and your community/business partner. This will give adcoms a great idea of what you’re like both at work and outside the office. I would not suggest using your mission president simply since it was quite a long time ago.

    Be sure you write a brief optional essay explaining that you could not use your current supervisor since it could put your promotion in jeopardy.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    BYU would be just fine. As long as you enroll at a well recognized four year institution you should be just fine.

    Adcoms don’t really take into consideration AP scores. Sorry!

    Best,

    Stacey

  • rohit

    Hi stacey,

    Have been reading your posts, though a first time poster. I wanted to assess my chances at wharton, stanford, booth and insead based on the profile provided below. In addition, i would like to mention that i had applied for Round 2 at wharton and booth last year and was not invited for interview. Probably my GMAT score would have weakened the chances. Last time around i had scored 680 (Q 50 90%, V 33 (67%)).

    I have taken GMAT again and have now scored a 710 92% (Q 49(81%), V 38(85%)).

    Let me put my queries first followed by my profile :

    1. Being from Over represented Indian bucket (though not in IT anymore) what are the overall chances at these schools ? Especially Wharton ? (a fair assessement please)

    2. Initially was excited to apply for wharton Round 1 after scoring a 710. But, having seen the recent wharton stats on GMAT of median 725 GMAT, coupled with the fact that i am an indian, presses me to still postpone applying to wharton. (heard somewhere that Indians tend to have higher scores that average at the school). What do you think ? more GMAT re-takes to rise among sea of high GMAT indian applicants ?

    3. I have a first MBA which was mostly out of fresh college (engg.). I have seen range of indians going for second MBA so i guess school accept candidates. Reason for second MBA for me is to continue in the PE industry but want to target larger international PE firms which surely need better exposure and a good international b school education in-order to compete in India

    Profile:

    Schooling – among top 3 students out of 130 students

    Graduation – Top 20 college in india ; 1st rank out of 260 students

    Post-grad MBA from a top 10 b school in india – GPA 3.5 – Awarded best all-rounder for extra curricular and acads. ( out of 440 students)

    Work experience –

    1. Software consulting at a global IT major (< 1 yr) — pre MBA

    2. Big credit rating agency in India – an S&P subsidary(2 yrs) – top performer, awarded multiple times

    3. Investment Associate at a domestic PE firm (2 yrs) – top performer — rewarded financially better than the others. compensation growth (though at a smaller base then seniors obviously) among the highest in the consecutive appraisal cycles among 60 people (PE is usually a small setup so cant help it )

    Others

    CFA holder – Teach CFA part-time at a leading indian CFA coaching institute

    National talent examination scholar

    Other activities – decent activities at school and college level (events organising, participation, fund raising for events etc)

    Finance cell General Secretary at B-school

    Founder of research division at B-school

    Charity

    Some charity work in the past (2 organisations during schooling, under-graduation and during post graduation) though not very active presently owing to work pressures

    Have been from a small community in India which had to migrate owing to past war in 1990's (though still from india). Lost their homes and livelihood in 1990s and hence had an impact on me as a person to assist others and hence the charity what i have done in past (dont know if it can still be carved out separately from the usual indian male engg. bucket)

    Please suggest/advice.

  • Guest

    I have posted above as Confused.

  • Guest

    I have posted above as Confused

  • Venus

    Dear Stacey,
    This is going to be a little long. With too many brackets. Sorry about that.

    Im a 25 year old indian female interested in doing an MBA ( general or international business). I graduated from a top engg college in India with a CGPA of 6.97/10 ( I believe around 3.5 in US terms). I also had an accident in my second sem of college which led to memory loss, which explains my not so great grades.GPA was 8.6 in first sem. I have arrears after that. Had to relearn maths, had difficulty remembering basic words, and had fits and coordination issues. Was fine by final sem, and graduated in time).
    I have been working for 3 years in a Petrochemical complex in India (one of the largst in the country, which is currently under construction. I was the only girl in my batch of trainees ( we were the first batch), and was the only female engineer in the company for two years. I am mostly involved in Project Management, Project monitoring etc. and also have an engineering role in document review and supervision of work at site.
    My GMAT score is 700. I have lived in UAE (school), India(kerala [native], tamil nadu[college] and gujarat [work]- all different cultures and languages), and for a couple of months in Houston. I love reading, occasionally write, do a lot of painting and craft work, make jewellery, and enjoy gardening and cooking. I am also a trained dancer ( indian classical dances) , learnt violin for 4 years (Indian classical), and love listening to all kinds of music ( hindustani to Death metal). I have been involved in some charity work in college, and my family regularly pools in money and donates to good causes.

    I am interested in General MBA or International business. Have shortlisted Michigan(ross), Duke(fuqua), INSEAD, Rice, and Indian chool of business as my ambitious ones. And UT Austin, UNC(kenan flagler), Olin(washington), Indiana(kelley) , Illinois(urbana champaign) as my probable ones.
    Do you think these are achievable targets? Any alternate suggestions? And what points should I highlight in my essays.

  • anum1234

    Hi!

    I’m currently in my third year of a BA in Business and marketing. I would like to apply for the HBS 2+2.
    I have 4 years work experience (most of it is part time – however all of it is in managerial positions, making decisions that affect the company’s progress (positively in my case). This has been in various fields. I have even written a book on the paintballing business.
    I have yet to do my GMAT and academically i’m on my way to a first grade degree (British University).
    Do you think it would be a wise choice to apply to Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard (2+2), Yale and Princeton right after i graduate?
    I would love some advice as to what would make me a strong applicant.
    Thankyou.

  • Mikael

    Stacey,

    I am going through my MBA at a top BS, and I applied to a summer internship in a top consulting firm, which I got. Now I am waiting for the decision on the final offer.

    My question is, If I don’t get an offer from the firm I interned in, will other firms know about it? How should I handle that if it happens that my interviewers for other firms ask me about the reasons for not getting an offer following my internship? They will very probably ask me what I did wrong…

    Thanks.

  • Kyle

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m a 28 y/o white male planning to apply third round at M7 and T15 schools this spring. I went to a top 10 liberal arts, 3.5 GPA and hoping to score 700+ on the GMAT this fall. But I have a very non-traditional background and was wondering if you could give me some advice about how to tie my experience together in my application. Right after graduating, I pursued an MA in history. I worked briefly as a records management analyst at a small company, then spent the next few years working on research databases at two top ranked universities. My MA was useful here, and I gained a lot of management and tech experience (database automation and digitizing photographic collections). But these jobs depended on funding, and I eventually had to take a job as a private school teacher (not TFA) to make ends meet. This is my second year teaching. I really want to leave teaching for consulting, but I have to convince schools that I’m worthy of an MBA when my career path has gone in the opposite direction, away from business.

    I want to combine my educational database background with my teaching experience to go into educational tech consulting. But I know I need to be able to weave my past into a sensible story, and if there are other plans more likely to succeed, I don’t mind considering those. Do you have any ideas for how I can frame my past to make myself a serious candidate at the top schools? How do I explain why I started to teach? Would it also help to get some IT training experience under my belt? Or are the top schools completely out of the question?

  • Rico

    Hi My name is Bruno Rico’ just want to share my experience with the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 7years with 2kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that she filed for divorce… I tried my best to make her change her mind & stay with me cause i loved her with all my heart and didn’t want to loose her but everything just didn’t work out… she moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly cause I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and used roots and herbs… Within 7 days she called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma she had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our third child. I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news… Just thought I should share my experience cause I strongly believe someone out there need’s it… You can email him via akhidenorlovespell@gmail.com you can also call (Dr Akhidenor) on +2348161850195.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    First of all, congrats on improving your GMAT score. This new score will certainly help your profile. I have a feeling your 680 might have impacted your results last year.

    Please see my comments below:

    1. Being from Over represented Indian bucket (though not in IT anymore) what are the overall chances at these schools ? Especially Wharton ? (a fair assessement please)

    It’s hard to speculate changes without a crystal ball. However, you have a solid profile, and your school list certainly makes sense. The key for success is standing out. While you’re qualified for these programs on paper, it really comes down to WHY they would want to admit you over someone else. Getting noticed = getting in.

    2. Initially was excited to apply for wharton Round 1 after scoring a 710. But, having seen the recent wharton stats on GMAT of median 725 GMAT, coupled with the fact that i am an indian, presses me to still postpone applying to wharton. (heard somewhere that Indians tend to have higher scores that average at the school). What do you think ? more GMAT re-takes to rise among sea of high GMAT indian applicants ?

    Think of the GMAT like this: 700 is a nice, neutral score. Anything above helps, anything below hurts. Your new score is great. I would not worry about it unless you feel that you could improve your score by taking the GMAT again. If you feel your score won’t improve, then it’s time to stop worrying about it and move on.

    3. I have a first MBA which was mostly out of fresh college (engg.). I have seen range of indians going for second MBA so i guess school accept candidates. Reason for second MBA for me is to continue in the PE industry but want to target larger international PE firms which surely need better exposure and a good international b school education in-order to compete in India

    Not sure what to say here other than you should be clear why this additional MBA is needed.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Venus,

    Thanks for your post. Your accident and subsequent recovery sounds so challenging. You’ll certainly want to write about this in an optional essay for each school in order to explain your grades. You may also choose to write about it in other essays should it fit the prompt.

    Your profile is solid and your school choice makes sense. It’s always a good idea to balance the list with reaches, targets and safer options. You’ve done just that.

    My one concern is around your extracurricular activities post college. If I am reading your post correctly, it appears you haven’t had significant involvement in an activity since school other than donating money to charity (which doesn’t really count). Look for ways to boost this part of your profile in order to round things out.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Prospective Entrepreneur

    It appears that business schools are increasingly shifting
    their focus towards entrepreneurship. Since
    entrepreneurs generally tend to skew younger, does this mean schools will be
    less averse to admitting applicants with less work experience? Moreover, might schools be more open-minded
    about the type of work experience – depending on the type of industry the
    aspiring entrepreneur is going into?

  • Steve

    Hi Stacey,

    I am applying for an MBA program, my top two being in New york.. columbia and stern.
    Im almost done with my undergraduate degree from a State university of NY.. My GPA is currently a 3.95 with a major in economics.. minor in mathematics.
    My GRE scores are avg around 160, planning to take it again to score higher if possible.
    My work experience is what I am slightly concerned about as well. Previously, I managed a restaurant for a large corporation, and I also have experience currently as a Personal banker at a Bank.
    I know my application package should be very cohesive, and my work experience isnt necessarily easy to include.
    I am 22, male

    What do you believe my chances are at these programs? Do you have any advice for my weakness of work experience. Is it possible to get in without much more extensive experience.. considering I am a senior in undergrad studies.
    Any additional tips are appreciated
    thank you!

  • Libby

    Hi Stacey,
    I know you can take MBA level courses at certain colleges without enrolling but there is still an application involved. How difficult is it to take courses without enrolling at a school like Stern? Are the odds the same as if I were to enroll full-time? Also, I was looking to take these classes to help my undergrad GPA a bit. I heard that admissions take grad school courses into account and that it shows that you can handle the MBA workload. Does that even work?
    Thanks,
    Libby

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Libby,

    I believe you are referring to what is commonly known as an “alternate transcript,” essentially taking MBA foundation courses like stats, financial accounting, etc. These courses demonstrate to adcoms that one can handle bschool classes, and also can often demonstrate a genuine interest in pursuing an MBA by taking such foundation classes.

    These types of classes do not have to be at the MBA level to have an impact. Taking a course at a reputable 4 year institution (e.g. UCLA) have the same impact. Don’t feel the need to take courses at Stern to get into Stern. It’s not necessary.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    Strong applicants to programs like HBS 2+2 and Yale Silver scholars have the following profiles:

    1. Solid/top performing academics – grades and GMAT score
    2. Multiple internships at reputable firms
    3. Leadership roles and involvement in extracurricular activities

    You’ll also want to have clear goals and a sound reason for seeking an MBA.

    It sounds like you’re on the right track. Take the GMAT to see how you do before moving forward. There’s no rush to apply – after all these schools are filling spots for down the road not 2014, so they have a lot more flexibility in terms of number of admits.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    Other firms won’t know that you didn’t receive an offer to return, but they will likely question your choice not to return and thus be curious to know if you received an offer. You will want to have sound reasons that you aren’t returning to the company from your internship (fit, etc.) so that you aren’t caught off guard by this question.

    Lastly, while you need not disclose that you didn’t receive an offer, if you are directly asked this question you must be honest and tell them about it.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hmm, are you an entrepreneur with limited professional experience? It’s not about what everyone else is doing, it’s about what you are doing. Your job is to convince adcoms that you’re ready for bschool. Have specific goals and illustrate a clear turning point (or gap in skills) that necessitate the need for an MBA at this time. Don’t let adcoms poke holes in your story or think you don’t really need an MBA at this time. Convince them…

  • IrishGuy

    Hi Stacey,

    I am currently an undergraduate at the University of Limerick, Ireland studying Law (In Europe our legal system is somewhat different, Im sure you are aware). The University has been listed as one of the top 100 New Universities in the world however I feel as if the name does not carry as much weight as an American university. Would I have any chance at getting into one of the top 10 business schools considering this?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated on this matter.
    Thanking you
    John

  • Ben

    Hi Stacey,

    I have a question about the quantitative/verbal split on the GRE. I scored decently overall, but I’m heavily weighted towards the verbal (170/170 – 99th percentile) and pretty low on the quantitative (162/170 – 84th percentile). I’m worried because the GRE to GMAT score converter provided by ETS suggests that a 162 on the GRE is equivalent to a 43 on the GMAT (58th percentile). I’m worried that is too low to be accepted at HBS, Sloan, Columbia etc. Can you provide any insight into how they will view these scores?

  • Prospective Entrepreneur

    First, thanks for your response; it is much appreciated. I am relatively young. I’ll have two years of full-time work experience at a fairly prestigious law firm as project assistant when I begin an MBA program – provided I am accepted. I’ve done a lot of innovative things in my current job, but it is admittedly a nontraditional path. Hopefully, a very strong GPA and dual major in Journalism and PoliSci from a Public Ivy as well as a good GRE score will be sufficient to get an interview.

    I definitely have strong reasons to attend B-school at the present time. There aren’t many professional opportunities in the field I’m interested in, which is digital journalism. Broader implementation of paywalls is beginning to change that, but I believe other reforms are necessary – reforms that do more than require people pay for a service they’ve grown accustomed to receiving for free. I developed a concept in undergraduate, and continued to refine it after graduation, to do precisely that. However, my undergraduate studies, which allowed me to develop the plan, required I forgo the business curriculum that would be incredibly beneficial for an entrepreneur. Moreover, since I am young, I am also able to devote the absurd amount of time I expect it will take to launch this business.

    I would love for adcoms to question the plan. As someone who is really passionate about the field, I’m more than happy to discuss the plan with them and where it fits in the emerging media environment. My concern is just getting a foot in the door because of my age.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Evaluating one’s quantitative performance isn’t black and white. Your undergrad GPA, graduate coursework (if applicable) as well as any other coursework are all considered as part of your academic and quantitative profile. Additionally, the quant skills used in your job are also taken into consideration.

    However, I can tell you that 70% on the quant section of the GMAT is considered the minimum at most top programs. Again, this is inclusive of one’s entire academic/quant profile.

  • JG

    Hi Stacy
    Reading this has really spooked me. I scored 710 on the GMAT, my verbal was in the 96th pctile and my Quant was only in the 61st. I thought the overall score (which was the 92nd pctile for me) was all I needed to consider. My quant grades in college weren’t horrible and I have a 3.6 from an Ivy League university. I’m also an African American woman, and don’t have many of my close peers pursuing MBAs, so I don’t really have an ear to the ground.

    Am I no longer a competitive applicant for top 10-15 schools at this point? Should I shoot to retake the GMAT and hold off on round 1 applications?

    Your thoughts are much appreciated.

  • BobDylan

    Hi Stacey,
    What effect do multiple W’s on a transcript have on admissions to top MBA programs? I have a 3.8, come from an elite boutique IB, and a top notch PE shop. GMAT is 750. Concerned about the message taking W’s in several class scattered throughout my undergrad sends to admissions. None of the W’s came from major classes or GE classes and I retook 2 of them and ended up receiving an A in both classes. Thanks for your insight. Thanks!

  • Amory

    Hello Stacey, first thank you for answering these questions!
    I’m applying next year for Fall 2015 and I’d love to hear your advice. I work in the nonprofit sector focusing on community development, my roles include fund development, management and program operations. I’m interested to going to b-school to move into a career in nonprofit consulting or social venture capital/impact investing. Do you have any advice for applicants from nonprofit backgrounds/is there anything I should keep in mind going forward lacking traditional business experience and lastly are there any specific b-schools that are attracted to nonprofit candidates?

    Second, I lack quantitative coursework from college (only 2 calc courses) and overall I have a gpa on the lower end for the schools that I’m interested in. What are your opinions on enrolling in Coursera classes online and taking stats/econs from top schools-Princeton, MIT, etc.–(for no charge, or minimal charge for their “proof-of completion” certificate). VS enrolling in classes at a nearby reputable university or online for a letter grade (high costs)? I’ve yet to take the GMAT and my work involves some quantitative work with grant writing, assessing ROI for donors, and quantifying the impact of our services. I appreciate your time Stacey!

  • CalBear2012

    Hi Stacey,

    Thanks for doing this. I just have one quick question: I currently have 750 GMAT, 3.8 GPA from UC Berkeley, doing consulting at one of MBB firms in Asia. While my overall profile and GPA is quite good, there was one semester in my senior year where I did quite badly (with some B’s and C) in sharp contrast to my grades in other semesters. This was due to extenuating family circumstances where I had to leave for home for awhile, causing me to miss some key exams. Should I explain this situation to the adcom, or am I just worrying too much?

    Best,
    -CalBear2012

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Why so many W’s? Were the classes too challenging? Did you take too many classes each term and struggle to handle the course load?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi CalBear,

    I always tell my clients to write a brief optional essay to explain red flags. These grades do seem to cause concern for you, and the adcom might indeed wonder what went on that semester. It’s a smart idea to write a brief optional essay (250 words or less) explaining the situation. It’s always best to give the reason rather than allow the adcom to make their own interpretation.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi JG,

    It’s so easy to panic when reading these posts. It’s so important for you to remember that each candidate is unique and brings different things to the application.

    As I stated in my previous post, quantitative skills aren’t simply a reflection of one’s GMAT score. If you are worried about your quant background, I suggest you take a quant course to build an alternate transcript. This is fantastic way to build your skills while also mitigating possible concerns around your score.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • KB

    Hi Stacey,

    I have been working in US since 2005 on H1B as consultant but due to illness in 2011 had to return to my home country for recovery. Now I have recovered and am ready to get back to main stream job,

    My visa stamp has expired. And I need to file for extension

    Though I have some time left (couple of months) on my total 6 year H1 B visa and plus eligible for visa extension since my Green card is in process, I can apply for the extension only when I am able to prove that I have a client whom I would join as consultant, Its only then I can really enter USA or other way is when I get Green Card.

    I was also thinking about doing my long time yearning MBA program. I would like to do some EMBA rather than full time one. But am not sure , since I am not in USA , what would be visa requirement provided I get in some university
    So all in all I am not working right now, . and even if allowed Can I come on student visa on executive program, is that allowed.?

    Is their a different process of admission for EMBA programs? and for those applying from USA and outside USA?

    Thanks for your time and assistance.

    KB

  • mj

    Hi Stacey,

    I am planning on applying to INSEAD R2. Need to know how important does the international experience play a role in evaluation. I completely lack one.

    Thanks,

    MJ

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Do you meet the language requirement? Are you post MBA goals international or in Europe. International experience is important to INSEAD, but they also take into consideration the other key application components – academics, professional experience, goals/reasons for seeking an MBA. If you have sound stats and a solid profile along with a solid reason for your interest in INSEAD – you absolutely should apply.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi KB,

    These are pretty complex visa questions that I don’t feel qualified to answer. I suggest you reach out directly to the schools on your list for guidance. Schools know how to navigate the visa situation and are better equipped to answer your questions.

    Best of luck!

    Stacey

  • Mr. MBA

    Hi Stacey,

    I want to apply for many schools in MBA but the number one choice is Columbia Business School. I am from Georgia, the country which located in Eastern Caucasus. I studied online part time undergraduate degree in industrial administration in my country and I have studied my full time undergraduate degree for 2 years in Texas, then I moved to New York and finished in Pace University in Finance and minor in accounting with the GPA of 3.6 and was in business fraternity, finance club and had a study abroad semester in University of Bristol in UK. I had done many community service, and especially in UN. I had an internship in Wall Street for 2 months as a full time employee and 6 months as a part time. I am fluent in 4 languages and also learning spanish as my fifth. I have a Green Card and now I am managing private equity and funds. I had over 3 years work experience. I am 26 years old. At last, I have 680 GMAT but I think I can increase my score. I also can provide very good recommendation letters from top ranked politicians and business people. What are my chances? Thanks beforehand.

  • SeekingCounsel

    Hi Stacey,
    I’m applying in Fall 2014 for Fall 2015 admissions. This spring I’m intending to take two courses at Georgetown University to make up for a less-than-ideal undergraduate record and lack of quantitative educational background (BA/MA in Liberal Arts). My question: what classes would you recommend I take? I don’t have the pre-requesites to enter some of the higher level courses. I could take accounting or finance 101 with a bunch of 19yr olds, but I feel like schools won’t appreciate this… but I can’t take the Senior year accounting courses, because I don’t have the background. Graduate level courses are also an option. Welcome your thoughts. Thank you.

  • Sabir Kerimli

    Hi Stacey,

    I am an international student from Georgia and I have a green card. I studied high school in my country. I know 4 languages including russian and english. I also have online degree from my country, my major was industrial administration. I came to Texas A&M university corpus christi to study my BBA in Finance. After my second year, I transferred to Pace University New York and graduated major in finance and minor in Accounting with the GPA of 3.67. I was active at that time, I was member of Student Finance Association, and professional business fraternity,Alpha Kappa Psi. I had an internship at Wall Street firm and also in Turkey, at petroleum company. I also studied abroad for summer semester at University of Bristol in UK. I also worked for UN to do the community service. Right now, I am working at private equity. I am 26 years old. Many people from UN or high ranking politicians as well as alumnis of CBS are willing to write me a recommendation letter. I have 690 GMAT which I can increase, GPA 3.67. I want to apply Columbia MBA as an early decision. I might apply other schools like HBS, Wharton, Yale and etc. What are my chances to get in? Thanks beforehand!

  • Sabir Kerimli

    Hi Stacey,

  • Sabir Kerimli

    Hi Stacey,

    I am an international student from Georgia and I have a green card. I studied high school in my country. I know 4 languages including russian and english. I also have online degree from my country, my major was industrial administration. I came to Texas A&M university corpus christi to study my BBA in Finance. After my second year, I transferred to Pace University New York and graduated major in finance and minor in Accounting with the GPA of 3.67. I was active at that time, I was member of Student Finance Association, and professional business fraternity,Alpha Kappa Psi. I had an internship at Wall Street firm and also in Turkey, at petroleum company. I also studied abroad for summer semester at University of Bristol in UK. I also worked for UN to do the community service. Right now, I am working at private equity. I am 26 years old. Many people from UN or high ranking politicians as well as alumnis of CBS are willing to write me a recommendation letter. I have 690 GMAT which I can increase, GPA 3.67. I want to apply Columbia MBA as an early decision. I might apply other schools like HBS, Wharton, Yale and etc. What are my chances to get in? Thanks beforehand!

  • New Yorker

    Hi Stacey,

    I am an international student from Georgia and I have a green card. I studied high school in my country. I know 4 languages including russian and english. I also have online degree from my country, my major was industrial administration. I came to Texas A&M university corpus christi to study my BBA in Finance. After my second year, I transferred to Pace University New York and graduated major in finance and minor in Accounting with the GPA of 3.67. I was active at that time, I was member of Student Finance Association, and professional business fraternity,Alpha Kappa Psi. I had an internship at Wall Street firm and also in Turkey, at petroleum company. I also studied abroad for summer semester at University of Bristol in UK. I also worked for UN to do the community service. Right now, I am working at private equity. I am 26 years old. Many people from UN or high ranking politicians as well as alumnis of CBS are willing to write me a recommendation letter. I have 690 GMAT which I can increase, GPA 3.67. I want to apply Columbia MBA as an early decision. I might apply other schools like HBS, Wharton, Yale and etc. What are my chances to get in? Thanks beforehand!

  • Ali2328

    Hi Stacey,

    I am considering apply to b-school in 2014 and have already started the process
    of narrowing down schools, going for campus visits and talking to alumni. My
    stats:

    Female, Indian, graduated from top 3 liberal arts school with 3.1 GPA in Economics,
    Political Science (I dealt with an illness freshman year which affected my stats. GPA in the remaining years is much higher)

    GMAT:750
    1 year in Investment Banking and 1.5 years in Financial services (will have more
    than 3 years of work experience at the time of application) Owner
    of a consulting business, deeply involved with a finance start up (currently
    finishing a first round of capital raising) and leadership position with an education
    focused non-profit

    I am would like to apply to Harvard, MIT, Wharton (all are reach) and love the
    programs at both Tuck & Yale

    I would like your opinion on whether these are realistic choices and what other
    schools I should consider as more reach/where I have a good chance (possibly
    NYU?) Also what advice do you have on parts of my background that I should
    highlight more? Anything else I can do to make my case stronger (Coursera
    classes etc?)

    Thanks
    for your time!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Ali,

    Thanks for your post. You have a great profile! Your professional experience to date is solid, and I am happy to know you have a good reason for the low GPA your freshman year. Be sure to touch on that in an optional essay in each application.

    I like your list, but I do think you might want to consider adding 1-2 safer options. If you like Tuck and Yale, perhaps you might like Darden or Duke. Both have smaller class sizes and really close knit communities.

    You’ll want to apply to between 4-6 programs total, so if you keep your current list (which looks great), you only have room realistically for one more. Think about what you want to get out of a program (beyond academics) such as location, class size, etc. These things can help you decide on one more less competitive program to round out your list.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Sabir,

    Thanks for your post. It’s a bit difficult for me to speculate your odds for admission, but I can tell you that you are wise to retake your GMAT. Your current score is below average at most top programs, so increasing your score to 710+ would be a great idea.

    Be sure you select recommenders who know you well and who have worked directly with you. Your current list, while impressive, has me concerned that you may not have actually worked with these people. I apologize if I am incorrect in this assumption. Strong recommendation letters from supervisors and colleagues are much more impressive than recommendations from those with impressive titles that haven’t worked alongside you.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Mr. MBA

    I think you posted this again above as Sabir. I responded to that post. Thanks!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Great question! At Tuck we always recommended accounting, stats or finance. As long as they are college level they fit the bill. You can also take classes online (schools like UCLA and Harvard have great extension programs). This way you can avoid sitting next to 19 year olds :)

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi,

    Looks like you posted this a few times. I responded to the post above posted by sabir.

    Thanks.

  • http://www.mylanguagelist.com/ Delali

    Hi Stacey, I’m applying to a couple of schools and am noticing that a few specifically ask which other schools I plan on applying to. How would you position that? I don’t want this school to think they’re the “safety school” but at the same time I don’t want to just lie and say I’m applying to some mediocre schools to give them the impression that “you are my dream school”. I’m applying to 3 schools, all top 15 worldwide, and would be glad to attend any of the 3 but obviously if accepted at all 3, I have my preference. How would you consult such a situation? Just be honest or maybe a bit more strategic?

  • disqus_8jFdIAy2AX

    Hi Stacey,

    I applied for the early-action round at Duke and got wait-listed. Any advice on how to improve my chances of getting accepted? I know you don’t have my entire profile, but any ‘generic’ advice would help.

    Thanks

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Congrats on the waitlist! While I know it’s not the decision you were hoping for, it’s still a good thing – it means they like you.

    I managed the waitlist during my time at Tuck, and I can tell you it’s important to respect Duke’s policy when it comes to waitist conduct. Just as important is for you to figure out why you are on the waitlist. Low GMAT? Low GPA? Vague goals? Figure it out and address it. Duke will be impressed with your ability to be introspective and improve your candidacy.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Delali,

    Such a great question. My clients often struggle with this when asked in an application or in an interview. I always say honesty is the best policy, but I also think being strategic is just plain smart. If the other schools outrank the school that’s asking, they will likely interpret this just as you stated – that they are your last choice. Most schools want to admit candidates they think will attend, so this could have a negative impact or none at all.

    At the end of the day, you should decide what you’re comfortable with and do just that. You are not required to divulge your other applications if you don’t wish to do so.

    Stacey

  • Marko

    Hello Stacey (and everyone else),

    I believe my case is somewhat special, so I need a bit of guidance.

    I am 31-year-old professional athlete (Serbian, male) with more than 13
    years of experience in various teams in Serbia, United States, Spain and
    France. Additionally, I graduated with a Diploma in Sports and Physical
    Education after which I did Master in Nutrition and Dietetics. I do
    have plenty of playing, coaching and in general sport-related
    experience, yet almost none related to the specific field of business.
    In order to successfully transition my career after sport, I am looking
    to enroll into business school, hoping to focus on strategic management/
    consulting afterwards.

    My idea was to do a Master in Management in one of top European business
    schools, like HEC Paris, IE or ESADE. However, some of the admission
    staff that I talked to at these schools suggested that I skip this and
    do the MBA. I see pros and cons of both options. So, my key dillema is
    what would you advise me in this occasion, whick one to go for? Only after can I start
    searching the right program…

    I scored 740 on GMAT (51Q, 38V). I am native in Serbian, fluent in English and Spanish and I have reading and basic speaking competence in French.

    I thank you all in advence.

    Marko

  • Kyle

    Hi Stacey,

    I earned a MA after undergrad, and for several years, I worked at one of the top Ivies doing educational database projects. A year ago, I started working as a private high school teacher, mostly because I was interested in experiencing the direct service side of education. I enjoy this kind of work, but I miss the greater influence my previous, behind the scenes jobs had. I’d like to move into consulting, probably educational tech, and I’m planning on applying to business school (round 2) this fall (Columbia, Kellogg, Tuck, Yale and Ross).

    I’m concerned about how to address my current job as a teacher in my applications, since it clearly wasn’t a logical “next step” in my career. I know it’s important to have a compelling story, so any advice you could provide would help. With a 3.5 GPA from a top ten liberal arts, and 720 on the GMAT, would I have a shot and any of the schools on my list?

  • Guy with a (not so bad) proble

    Hi Stacey,

    I have a bit of a dilemma (though not a bad one to have!). I interviewed for HBS and CBS, and am interviewing for Yale SOM next week. I prefer the schools in that order, no surprise. I think my interviews so far went well, but I’m not sure what to do about CBS’s Early Decision rules. I know they want me to make the decision before I hear back from HBS (need to decide by 12/2, HBS sends out notifications on 12/11). I don’t have $6k to drop by accepting, then declining later… what can I do?

    I was thinking of calling CBS and asking to be moved to Regular Decision (since I haven’t heard the decision yet). Do you think they’ll go for that?

    If they don’t go for that I’ll likely have to decline. Unless I can stall long enough. Ie, accept the invitation on 12/2, but don’t send deposit until 12/11. I’m guessing they’re pretty strict on that. Is that your sense?

    If I decline CBS and get dinged by HBS, I’ll hope I get into Yale. Not a bad option, just last on my short list.

    Thanks for you input here.

    Hans

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Hans,

    I can appreciate your dilemma. However, part of applying Early Decision at CBS means that you agree to forfeit your other applications and enroll. I understand that $6000 isn’t a small chunk of change, but it is something you would need to give to CBS should you want them to hold a spot for you.

    I think asking them to push your decision to the regular round after you’ve already interviewed would send a clear signal to them that they are not your first choice and that you are waiting for other offers. I don’t think they’d be excited to do it for you. It’s a huge risk to ask them to do it, and it might result in a negative outcome.

    I strongly suggest you let each application run it’s course and see what happens. You can certainly speak to CBS about a slight extension in payment deadline after you’ve received their offer. They are more likely to help out someone they’ve admitted and would like to enroll.

    Good luck!

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    I know plenty of teachers that go to business school. It’s okay that you’ve had a couple of different professional experiences. It sounds like each experience has helped you realize what you ultimately want to do. Rather than trying to explain why teaching isn’t part of your post MBA goals, instead take the highlights from teaching that are similar to consulting – helping others, training, leading teams, problem solving, etc. and use them as a strength as to why you’d make a great consultant.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Tuck Reapplicant

    Hi Stacey,

    I applied EA to Tuck last month. I am a reapplicant and I visited and interview last year on campus. However, due to some family medical issues, I was not able to make it out there this year to interview. I am located on the west coast. I am concerned that my chances for admission will be hurt since I didn’t do an applicant-initiated interview. Am I just being paranoid? In your time at Tuck, were there many domestic interview invites?

    Thanks,
    Tuck Reapplicant

  • Niall

    Hi Stacey,

    I have a question regarding referees.

    Would you say that it’s better to select two referees who are

    a) more recent – current supervisor and most recent supervisor (1 yr ago since we last worked together), from the same firm albeit different departments

    or

    b) less recent – most recent supervisor from current firm (1 yr ago) and previous supervisor from last firm (3 yrs ago).

    My hesitation with a) is that by asking my current supervisor I’m concerned there may be a change in attitude (as I’m effectively handing in my resignation) and both referees are from the same firm. b) is probably the more comfortable option but my there may be less in terms of examples worth citing.

    Thank you!
    Niall

  • Afzalur Rahman

    Hey Stacey!

    I am planning to do my MBA (Marketing) in USA!

    I have a list of universities that i’ve in mind (tuition/living expenses is a factor).I’ve cross checked them with Princeton review/USA news,etc.

    Please provide your opinion on them.

    -University of Tampa
    -Bradley University
    -Fairfield University
    -Wichita State University
    -Hartford University
    -Bridgeport University

    Personally, i am a bit inclined towards Bridgeport University, whats your say on it?

    Awaiting your kind response.

    Thank You!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    HI Afzalur,

    You’re on the right website for information on MBA programs. I don’t tend to share opinions of programs publicly, because I truly believe all programs can add value and benefit the right set of people. Be sure your list isn’t just based on rank and cost, but also think about other criteria like location, class size and post MBA employment statistics.

    Spending time on P&Q is the best way to educate yourself on what’s out there.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    HI Niall,

    Thanks for your post. I’m assuming you mean recommenders. It’s always ideal to select a current supervisor if possible (pretty much every application explicitly asks for this). However, you need not pick two recent supervisors. It’s okay to pick someone whom you worked with a few years ago as long as they can speak to your growth and development.

    If you don’t feel you can ask your direct supervisor, you can simply write an optional essay for each school explaining that doing so would put your job at risk.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    I’m assuming you had a feedback call with a member of the Tuck adcom last year. Did they suggest you interview again? If so, it could be a deal breaker. If not, I wouldn’t sweat it – it means you have a solid interview in your file they can refer to if need be.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • Jenny

    Hi Stacey,

    When describing career ambitions, how specific do schools expect you to be? My long term goal is to work on the management level of an international NGO focused on addressing social and health based issues in developing countries. Is this too vague? Should I give examples of organizations? How would you recommend framing/specifying this response?

    Many thanks!

  • Andrew

    Stacy,

    I am a 3rd year law student and very interested in going to B-school next year. I worked for about two and half years in between undergrad and law school. However, my employment is rather scattered. I lived in Charleston, SC for about 7 months, then moved home to start working for my father’s construction company. As a machine operator (loader of dump trucks) I studied for my LSAT. After a year of construction I got a job with an NFL agent in Virginia and worked as a radio producer for a “drive time” (4-7 pm) sports talk radio show. I worked in Virginia for about 18 months and then went to law school. While in school (I don’t know if we are supposed to announce our school or keep it hush hush) I have concentrated my studies in transactional based courses: federal tax, corporate tax, business planning, trusts and estates, etc.

    I have a 3.4 GPA (business admin/economics) from undergrad and a 680 GMAT. I have wanted to get back into sports, especially client counseling, but I don’t know if that is a great sell for adcoms. I would also enjoy doing consulting after school.

    What schools should I being looking at and what are my chances at Top 25 schools? It may be a reach, but I really want to attend school at my current University.

    Thank you.

  • Niall

    Great, thank you!

  • Rachit

    HI Stacey

    I am a 25 year old Indian and below is what my profile looks like

    GMAT- 570, 610 & 660 ( Q46, V35)
    GPA- 3.5
    Extra Curricular- Have been active in sports in school,part of CSR & Green Initiative at the company level, Volunteer work in AIDS awareness workshop.
    Work Ex- Process Lead in Infosys ( former designation was Associate Consultant ), significant leadership experience- have lead teams across different domains, 4 promotions/progression in 5 years
    Aspirations: Career in strategy consulting ( MBB)
    Question

    What Business Schools do I have a chance in? Would giving the GMAT again help, I think I can score better ( 700+) ?

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Rachit,

    Yes, you should retake your GMAT. I’m not sure what you studied in undergrad, so I don’t know exactly what applicant pool you fall into, but I can say that it’s best to have a higher score if possible. In particular, if you know you can improve, it’s in your best interest to retake the exam and achieve a higher score.

    Think of it this way, for top US programs 700 is a nice, neutral score. Anything above helps, just as anything below hurts. Also, since your goals are in strategy consulting, you would want a higher score since it is often considered as part of their screening process.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Jenny,

    I generally advised my clients to be specific, but to avoid looking like one is narrow minded. Demonstrating that you have done research in your field of interest only serves to support your idea. Also, it’s great if there is some sort of personal or professional connection to your goals, this way it doesn’t look like it’s completely out of left field.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • chaudhry

    gre scores for getting in top business schools

  • Paul

    Hi Stacey,

    Thank you for helping us out!

    My question is: I plan to return to my family business (mid-sized corporation) back in Asia to help with leadership transition to me as well as assist with product line development and international expansion. However, I currently work for a reputable global consulting firm in the US as an analyst (I am a naturalized US citizen). My current job and my post-MBA plan do not convey a consistent theme. (My family wanted me to learn get jobs and explore the business world on my own first).

    What is your take on this? How would an admission committee especially from a top 20 program view this situation?

    Many thanks in advance.

  • Kay

    Hi Stacy,
    What are your thoughts on MBA candidates with public accounting & fund accounting experience in gaining admission to top 15 programs? I graduated Rutgers Business School with a 3.1 GPA, majoring in Finance & Accounting. However, my major GPA is much higher (3.8). The reason for the lower cumulative GPA is due to personal reasons during freshman & sophomore year of college. I have worked at a regional public accounting firm for a year, 2 years at Ernst & Young auditing hedge funds & private equity firms, and I am now currently at a boutique investment management firm doing fund accounting. Also, some analysts (most analysts at my company are around 40-50 years old) have attended Columbia Business School & NYU Stern. Furthermore, I have obtained my CPA and I will be sitting for CFA Level 3 this upcoming year, but I have little to none extra curriculars.
    My end goal is to enter into investment management and grow within that field. I am looking to apply Fall 2014 and is there any chance top programs would look at me?
    Thank you,
    Kay

  • Kay

    Also, my GMAT score is 720.
    Kay

  • Andrew

    Hey Stacy,

    I am a 3rd year law student currently applying to B-school for the fall 2014 year. I took almost 3 years off between undergrad and law school, so I have 2+ years of work experience, but I worry that it won’t be enough to get me into the school(s) of my choice. I worked for an NFL agent and as a radio producer, which makes for great story pieces; however, most everyone I have talked to in B-school worked for some sort of financial company and has a more comprehensive work history. My 680 GMAT (I know everyone has work and other obligations, but I had to study while also balancing law school) is right around the median score along with my undergrad GPA of 3.4 in Business Admin/Economics. I have been a part of many extra-cirricular activities in law school and undergrad including being elected President of my graduating law school class. What aspects should I focus on in my essays and interview to get into my choice schools (top 18-25 schools)?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to hearing form you soon.

  • disqus_8jFdIAy2AX

    Hi Stacey,

    Is there any information about the salary five or ten years post graduation from MBA programs?

    Thanks,
    Stu

  • Hal

    Hi Stacey,

    First off thank you for offering your insight and answering our very specific questions..

    My general question would be how could I leverage my work experience and admission numbers to have a legitimate chance at getting into Standford or MIT

    Experience – 4 years IT Consulting at large blue chip tech company working in complex IT/software solution/integration projects across various industries (retail, financial, health care). Also spent 1 year overseas on international assignments in Paris, Sao Paulo, Tokyo leading local teams

    Personal – strong passion for tech, investing, and entrepreneurial activities. I own/manage income property and am an active options trader

    Admission stats – Class of 2009 graduated with 3.68 top 30 school (International Relations, humanities major), 720 GMAT

    My underlying desire to get my MBA is that I want to make a transition into the startup world. Im concerened that while I am a consultant that I’m not in the ‘right consulting group’ ie management consulting. In addition I’m concerned that if I approach my story as wanting to go from consulting/corporate to startup without an actual startup experience that admissions will not buy into my story. Would I be better of trying the IT consulting with desires to get into big 3 management consulting as a more realistic chance.

    Haven’t seen to many explanations on how IT Consultants can leverage their experience to get into a top MBA program.

  • MBA Hopeful

    Hi Stacey,

    Just wanted to get you opinion. I am applying to Darden, Tepper, and Anderson in round two. I have worked with Junior Achievement for over a year now and am thinking about applying through the Consortium. As a non-URM (I am Japanese), would I have a better shot not applying through the Consortium? I am a firm believer in the Consortium’s mission and definitely plan to continue to support it during and after b-school.

    Thanks,
    MBA Hopeful

  • saurabh

    Hi Stacey, i (35 yrs) earned my first MBA from an indian university in 2004 and have done stints in retail and consumer goods firms since then in sales and marketing. I am currently employed as a Business head for a brand with a lead beverages company and looking to accelerate my career and possibly change the growth trajectory through broadening my horizon. While i do have a shortlisted institutions list viz Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Wharton, Kellog’s, LBS, Insead to pursue, would like to know your views on (a) do you think an MBA at this juncture will really help, (b) should i consider an Executive MBA course over a regular MBA, (c) what factors will lend credibility and weightage to my application? thanks in anticipation

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Great question, it’s nice to see you are exploring your options. With 10 years of professional experience under your belt, you probably would benefit (and enjoy) and EMBA rather than a full time program. It can also be extremely challenging to gain admission to a full time program with so much experience. I’ve had clients in similar situations explore and apply to both full time and EMBA programs just to see what works out. Perhaps you could do the same.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    I don’t have that kind of data. However, this is a great topic for John to tackle on P & Q. Perhaps you can suggest he cover this topic.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    This isn’t easy to figure out since it’s not just the cut and dry number adcoms evaluate when making decisions – in this case it’s the entire academic package – GPA, additional coursework, professional experience, etc.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    The most important thing you need to convey in your application is why you need an MBA when you’ve just spent 3 years working toward a law degree. Adcoms can often be a bit wary of those who go right out of one degree program into another. What is the reason you need an MBA to compliment your law degree? Why don’t you want to/need to practice law before going to bschool?

    All of the above should be covered in your goals essay. You want to reassure the adcom that you aren’t simply a degree collector, but that you have a plan, both short and long term, and that the MBA is essential to the success of the plan.

    I hope this helps!

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    This is a tricky question, especially without knowing your entire profile. The way I see it, if you apply and are admitted into the Consortium, then you are indeed qualified to apply to your chosen schools as a Consortium candidate.

    Consortium candidates are not granted favoritism in the admissions process. In other words, your chances of getting in (either through the Consortium or through the regular process) are the same – it all comes down to the overall strength of your profile.

  • Rashid Idrees

    I want to do MBA, I am an HR Professional, if you can advise me right now in UAE. If any Expert can contact me.

  • chaudhry

    stacey i was just asking that gre scores for students admitted at top schools

  • Apoorv

    Hi Stacy,

    Thanks for taking time out to help applicants like me.

    I scored a 690 (Q47 V38) on GMAT recently which was my first attempt. I wish to apply to Booth in R2 for class of 2016. Other relevant details –

    Indian, Male 27 years of age at matriculation

    Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Laws – 66.5% from a Top 5 Law School in India.

    Self employed attorney (3 years work ex at matriculation) – noticeable achievements at work: winning a $50 Mn verdict in favour of India’s largest Public Sector Undertaking before the Supreme Court of India, successfully defending the Government of India’s policy of decontrolling of diesel prices before the Supreme Court of India, leading the team of defence attorney for a Bollywood movie ‘Ram Leela” which fetched $ 3.52 Mn on the opening day itself, facilitation a long term Public-Private Partnership agreement for development of natural gas and renewable energy infrastructure in an Indian State.

    Have played an active role in policy formulation on behalf of the Government and have drafted 3 public welfare polices that have been implemented.

    Extra-curricular:
    (Post College) facilitating rural electrification through solar electricity, starting a pro-bono rights-based advocacy group for giving free legal aid, mentoring at a youth-led research think tank, founded a group for mentoring law students wishing to take up litigation as a career upon graduating from law school. Excellent cook on Sundays!
    (During college) Member of legal aid and environment protection clubs.

    Why MBA: to apply business skills to bring about social and economic development in India (I have a good how and why explanation, at least I hope I do have)

    I just hope to know if my GMAT score of 690 in itself would be an application killer or can I salvage the situation leveraging from other experiences. (Booth is the target school)

    Thanks

  • Jordan

    Hi Stacey,

    Do public MBA programs (I’m thinking specifically Kenan-Flagler) give preference or hold spot for in-state applicants?

    Thanks!

  • chaudhry

    hi stacey what if a person is a ceo of a company does he get any exemptions in the admission process of mba at stanford

  • James

    Hello Stacey,

    I am a student of chartered accountancy and need to know whether I am eligible to apply.
    In my region, we go straight form high school (12th grade) to chartered accountancy education. After two years of full time education up to CA Intermediate, we are required to to get 3.5 years of practical experience in accounting firm and sit for 8 exams. So no graduate degree or GPA.
    I am currently working as senior associate (Advisory Services) at EY after completion of my 3.5 year training with EY. It is my sixth month as Senior Associate.
    I have not given GMAT yet but I scored 99th percentile in mensa.
    Please advise me of my eligibility for mba and do B-Schools take chartered accountants as their students?

  • Chandan Ahuja

    Hi Stacey,

    My profile overview:
    Year of Experience – 15 year
    Profile: Regional Business Dev. Head Media sales (leading a 15 member team)
    Industry: Media
    Country: India
    Score: 650
    International Exposure: Nil
    Gender: Male

    I have risen thru the ranks and moved up to this position. As a matter of fact, i am pretty satisfied with my growth in last 15 year.

    I am of the opinion that ‘what got me here will not take further’. And In order to add matter to my professional profile, i wish to add do 1 year full time mba, outside india.

    When I started preparing i was confident that with my experience i would be able to add a lot to the class. However as i have been going thru the profile of schools, i could not see any college with students above 35. Makes me wonder if full time MBA is right choice?

    Pl let me know of your opinion on my profile.

    Tks

    CRA

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi,

    Thanks for your post. You have an impressive career trajectory, but I can certainly understand your desire to go to bschool. That being said, I agree, you are above average in terms of number of years of professional experience for full time bschool programs.

    At this stage in one’s career, one can often benefit from an executive or part time MBA program. These allow students to continue working full time while pursuing their degree. The average years of professional experience is much higher for these types of programs, and rightly so, students often feel more comfortable in this type of environment as opposed to full time programs where classmates can have 2 years or less experience.

    I suggest you look into part time or executive programs to see if you can find one that is a good fit for your needs.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Not that I am aware of.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Unfortunately the answer is no. These days many candidates run their own businesses and are considered CEO’s. It wouldn’t be a fair process to exempt them from the normal process.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    This is challenging info to track down. Many admits who have taken the GRE have also taken the GMAT and therefore the GMAT score averages are available, but not the GRE. It’s such a small percentage of the applicant pool that takes the GRE that most admissions committees don’t publicly record this information.

  • vinay145

    hello Stacey Oyler,
    Does it require f1 visa for international students.
    If so, is there any information that can be shared?

    thanks

  • Hector

    Hi Stacy. Where do I begin? Executive MBA programs are far too expensive and less and less employers are willing to foot the bill. I have a family, a mortgage and a full time job yet I long to take advantage of what I have always perceived to be of great value in my field, a professional business degree. I am an EVP with a small broker dealer in SF. I specialize in public finance and have done so for over 20 years. Admittedly, I am not your typical candidate leaving the work to join the ranks of MBA students. I need a business school experience that factors my professional experience, maturity and helps me to develop the tools and knowledge to help lead a company to the next phase as its partners retire and hand over the mantle. How do I go about cobbling an MBA course program on the internet or bricks and mortar Exec MBA that meets the challenges of my work schedule while at the same accomplishing my of objective at an affordable clip? I live an work in San Francisco, if that matter much.

    Hector

  • Lorien Hamilton

    Dear Stacey when I was young I made the decision not to go to university because I was purely motivated by money and doing very well in IT sales.

    Now that I am more mature I recognise the value of qualifications and the financial opportunities that they bring.

    At the age of 40 years old I do not wish, nor do I see the value in studying for a bachelors as frankly I have proven in my career that I am far more capable than most despite not having a degree.

    If I am to tackle an MBA it needs to be the right one otherwise there is no point. Can you suggest which MBA courses (if any) I can apply for.

  • Olufemi

    Hi Stacey,

    Like everyone should be, I’m
    quite grateful to be able to ask for you expertise. I have applied to the
    Executive MBA class for 2015 for HEC Business school Paris(I’m going out on a
    limb here, I don’t expect that European business school admission requirements
    should be that different from the US).

    So my question goes thus; How
    best can I prepare for a ‘Business Case’ assessment? Could you kindly recommend
    tools? material? websites? My search so far is leaving me more confused than
    when I started.

    At the moment it seems like
    making a good impression at the afore mentioned assessment is all that stands
    between me and enrolment into one of (it seems) the more prestigious EMBA’s in Europe.
    A bit of my background, I’m a Chemical Engineer with almost 10years Oil
    industry experience (currently on expatriation from Nigeria, Africa to France).

    Finally, I should also probably
    point out that at my preliminary interview (2nd of a 4 stage process to getting
    the admission), I was told that the average class age is 39 (I’m 33) and work
    experience 15 years (I’ve got a little over 9).

    GMAT is not a requirement, the
    assessment substitutes for a GMAT score of over 600.

    So it won’t hurt to know what
    else i can do (apart from ace the Business Case assessment) to improve my
    chances.

    Thanking you again in advance for
    your help.

    Regards,

    Olufemi.

    PS: Despite my relative
    inexperience (compared to the class) my interviewer found my profile a strong
    one and hence passed me on to the next stage (which is where you come in!)

  • Curious Sales Guy

    Hi Stacey,

    How do admissions committees at the top business schools view candidates with a sales background? Do they think sales people will be an asset to the class or is it quite the opposite? I’m curious because I haven’t really found any posts on this topic. All I saw was either consulting, finance or engineering. Thanks so much!

  • vijay

    Hello Stacey, I am a 22 yr Indian Male working for BNY mellon. I have 2 years of experience as a system engineer. I wanna apply to top ivy schools next year. I was hoping if you could help me with my chances of getting me into top b schools and how can i improve it. Heres my details

    Exp; System engineer in bny mellion with 2 yrs work exp.
    undergrad: engineering in electronics and telecommunication from pune university with 62% marks.
    gmat: 730
    average extracurricular activities. interested in finace domain. read alot of finance novel and invest in stocks too. Love travelling extensively in or outside the country.

  • Matthew

    Hello Stacey,
    Very quick question for you: How much weight does the CFA designation carry when applying to top business schools.
    Thanks,
    Matt

  • Shaky0304

    I am an international student from India having a burning desire to pursue MBA from Harvard Business School. I am an average student graduated in Bachelors of Technology from Tier-3 university in India. I want to seek guidance in evaluating myself if I am fit for HBS. I have little knowledge on applying internationally for higher education. Please guide the way on how to start and from where to start. I am clueless at this moment.

  • Concerned Skeptic

    This isn’t necessarily an admissions question. But, I’d really appreciate your insights.

    The UNC@MBA program at Kenan-Flagler seems to be aggressively promoting that it grants the same MBA diploma as the on-campus program. I support distance learning, but I have substantial reservations about granting the same degree. The online program offers a very limited a number of elective courses and group work is altogether different.

    It also claims that it wants to help students maintain their lifestyle. In my opinion, if an MBA program allows you to maintain your lifestyle, it’s a joke. A legitimate MBA should be intensive – not a hobby.

    UNC@MBA also does not make admission data publicly available, the GRE/GMAT is not necessarily required according to the website, and admission has skyrocketed more than 2000% in two years. I am concerned this will dilute the alumni network – particularly if UNC@MBA shares resources with the on-campus program, which I suspect it might.

    This is looking a lot like a diploma mill. Frankly, I think it will get out of control soon and devalue the school’s on-campus MBA program. From an organizational standpoint, I don’t know how they can put the lid on this and stop it from devolving further – I can only imagine the margins they’re making. I’m having serious doubts about attending the school. What are your thoughts?

  • Chewbacca

    Hi Stacy,

    Is there a “best” time to apply for bschool? I’ve talked to a few friends currently in MBA programs, and have heard a mix of opinions when whether to apply this upcoming fall (2014) or next year (2015). Some say that an additional year of work experience (I’m 27 y/o with 2 years of experience in consulting) would show that I’m more certain about wanting to pursue an MBA and would help assuage a sub-median undergrad GPA. Others have told me that my GPA from doing an MS already addresses the undergrad GPA and there’s no reason to wait another year if I know I want to pursue an MBA.

    I suspect that there may not be a right answer, but it ultimately boils down to what my career goals are and how applying now or later will better help me reach those goals?

    My current plan is to take the GMATs before summer rolls around. Depending on how that goes, I can take a step back and reflect on my overall profile and career goals. Then either 1) go all in, 2) only apply to my dream schools and if I don’t get in, use the year to improve my package and reapply the following year, or 3) just waiting until 2015 to apply.

    Thanks!
    Geoff

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Geoff,

    You’re right – there isn’t one answer for this. Generally speaking, applicants to bschool have anywhere from 2-6 years of professional experience. The right time to apply is different for everyone.

    I think your plan of taking the GMAT and then taking a step back to reflect is smart. Do your career goals necessitate an MBA at this stage? Would one more year in consulting actually help you achieve your post MBA goals?

    Taking the time to think it through this summer after you have the GMAT under your belt is a great idea. At that point it might make sense to reach out to admissions consultants and have a few free consultations to get some further opinions.

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    I suggest reaching out to a few admissions consulting firms to seek advice on your MBA goals. They’ll be able to review your resume and goals and offer you sound advice. It’s a bit challenging for me to do so in this type of forum without knowing more about you.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    It’s a nice feather in your cap, but it doesn’t carry that much weight. Think of it as another testament to your academic abilities.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    I suggest checking the school website for visa requirements for the programs you’re interested in.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Hector,

    I understand your situation. It sounds like you might benefit from an online MBA or a weekend/evening program. Living in the Bay Area gives you plenty of options from Santa Clara to Haas to Cal State programs. You should also look into online programs such as UNC (they are truly pioneering the online degree).

    Best,

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Lorien,

    Unfortunately, I am not aware of any MBA programs that admit applicants without a bachelors degree. I’m sorry I can’t help!

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi there,

    You raise some valid concerns. This seems like a great topic for John to investigate. I don’t have an opinion on the UNC online MBA program just yet. I think they have a great idea and a great team implementing the program and running the admissions office, but given it’s still in it’s infancy, I’m in your shoes, waiting to see how things shake out in a few years.

    John, do you have thoughts on this?

    Thanks,

    Stacey

  • Pete in Houston

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m applying to third rounds at the following schools: HBS, Booth, Stanford. I’ve already applied to Wharton and (through the Consortium) Berkeley, Cornell and NYU. Here’s a little about me. I’m a first-generation, African American male with a 710 GMAT, 3.6 undergrad GPA in actuarial science and advanced degrees. I’m a previous PhD student – turned finance guy. My first degree is in quantitative finance from University of Illinois Urbana (all of my coursework was PhD-level) and my second one is in economics from Duke. I’m applying on my own and it is difficult to synthesize the vast amount of information available to me. I just want to know what my chances are to the schools in which I have applied. Oh, I have 4 years of work experience as an actuary and 4 in model development within large banks. I’m not a member of ML4T, Inroads or any similar program.

  • Billy Beane

    Hi Stacey,
    I have a question about an alternative transcript. I studied Accounting and Finance in school, but graduated with around a 3.4. I am hoping to take a few classes over the next your to bolster my application, but I have taken most of the classes that are generally recommended. I have taken almost all basic Accounting, Finance and Econ courses with an A or B, and I have also taken Calculus 1 and Statistics.

    Are there any other types of courses that you recommend? I was thinking a Computer Science course and maybe a more advanced Statistics course. Do you think that courses like these would be helpful?

  • vedavyas9

    hi stacey,
    Im a recent grad with 7 months of work experience in hand under telecommunications domain. i have a few questions.
    1. would any domain related certifications increase my chance of getting into bschool?
    2. does abroad work ex add any extra points.

    As a member of TUCK adcom, could u give me any recommendations on how to build my profile for IVY leagues especially TUCK.

    thank u :)

  • preetu

    Hello Stacey

    I would like to know about the full time MBA program offered at university of Delaware, Alfred Lerner.
    Thanks

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi preetu,

    I suggest taking a look at their website to learn more about the program. Also look to attend MBA fairs as well as other school events including online chats, etc.

    Stacey

  • Matheus

    Hello Stacey.
    My main doubt is I should aim at the HBS 2+2 program now or the regular HBS MBA program right after graduating.

    Im a product design senior in one of the top 5 Brazilian Universities. I have a 2 yo Shoe Start up and have a Tecnical Course in Footwear Design (loads of business experience and great experiences). Because I have done all this while in college my GPA is not awesome, but I’m working on getting a rockstar GMat to better my odds at HBS.

    So my question is, which kind of application do you think suits me better/ will I be a better candidate?

    Thanks a lot!

    Best,
    Matheus

  • Catherine

    Hi Stacey,

    I graduated from a Top 12 University with a degree in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology. I have a 3.3 GPA. I took the GRE and scored 165Q/160V. Do you think I should take the GMAT? I am not sure how top MBA programs view the GRE.

    Thank you,
    Catherine

  • Rajiv Shukla

    should online websites be used for writing resumes for mba application process

  • Vidyuth

    Dear Stacy,

    Im a 27 year old, Indian male, from a family business background in Apparel Manufacturing & Retail. I have nearly 6 years of work ex at present. 2 years in Operations, 1 year in Micro finance (product of idealism) and nearly 3 years in Apparel Retail Operations. My career goal is to diversify the family business into a supply chain solution provider to industry. However, my 3 GMAT attempts – 560, 570, 580 – stopped me from applying to more than 3 schools. The problem is that studying for 5 months (second attempt) and not studying (3rd attempt) did not have any impact on my final score. I have decided to spend another 2 years working with a supply chain solution provider in India. My question to you is how old is too old for an MBA ? I will be 29 before i apply again & secondly any thoughts on figuring out the path to acing the GMAT??

    Waiting to hear from you.

    Regards,
    Vidyuth

  • CallMeMaybe

    Stacey,

    I have what may be a unique question for you. Hopefully you can answer it because it pertains to me personally and I am very torn about what to do in the situation. How far do calls to admissions directors go in the admissions process, if those calls come from very powerful/successful/influential people in the business world? For example, if someone as prominent as a Phil Knight knows me personally, thinks highly of me and is willing to place a call to Derrick Bolton supporting my candidacy (even though this prominent figure didn’t write my recommendation letter because he has never supervised me directly or indirectly), would this call help my chances at all? Could it in any way hurt me? Assume leadership, age, work exp, etc. are all in line.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t have a silver spoon; quite the opposite. I had to work really hard to make these connections. I will appreciate your response greatly. Thanks.

  • adam

    Hi Stacey,

    Thank you for doing this. I’ll try and keep it short. I currently work in Big 4 tech consulting, but my true passion lies in strategy consulting (specifically, public sector strategy consulting) so I’m planning on getting an elite MBA in a few years to make the jump to McK/Bain/BCG. What is holding me back the most is my undergrad GPA ~ 3.1. This is NOT a reflection on my intellectual capability, but more on my apathy/immaturity from freshman/sophomore year. It obviously hurts my application so I’m wondering what I can do to improve my application from an intellectual capability standpoint besides doing very well on the GMAT. One thought is getting a pre-MBA graduate degree to create a sort of alternative transcript. I’ve found a Master’s in Public Policy degree (from a reputable school) that I’m interested in. If I get this degree with great a great GPA ~ 3.8, will this be enough to help alleviate concerns about my low undergrad GPA?

    Thanks,
    Adam

  • Daniel

    Stacey,

    I would appreciate any insight you could offer into my chances of getting in w/funding to some of my round 2 applications. And then if unsuccessful trying again next year will make a difference?

    I am Hispanic male 28 (29 at matriculation), GRE 168/Q 165/V (760 equivalent) I had a 3.61 from a 2nd tier midwest public school (I finished HS at 16 and just ended up at the school in my area, but was hyper active/involved undergrad) and then went straight to HKS and SAIS on full ride. I worked professionally abroad in SA as well as in the public sector in midwest. Recently I am working as an entrepreneur and have seen a good deal of financial success.

    My interests are in smaller programs Cornell, Tuck, Yale for Consortium, and then MIT/Stanford.

    If it doesn’t work out this year I am exploring trying again next year. Do you think financial success in my current work will limit my ability to secure funding? I have been unsure in essays and interviews how much to disclose.

    Thank you in advance!

  • Jimmy Fallon

    Hi Stacey,

    I am currently in consulting and looking to apply several top MBA programs for Fall 2015. I have a total of 4 years of experience – two at a previous bank and two in consulting so far. I am considering switching jobs to another consulting firm in April. This means by the time schools starts in fall 2015, I will have stayed at the new firm for 1.5 years. I’m uncertain whether this is the right move as it will be harder for me to get a letter of recommendation from the new firm during fall 2014 when I’m applying. The reason I’m considering this is because there was a change in management recently resulting in limited upward mobility. Do you suggest I (1) stick it out at least until Oct 2014 when I apply so I can have a better letter of recommendation or (2) change firms ASAP so I can develop a deeper relationship with the newer firm faster and still use management from this current firm for some letters of recommendation?

  • Jimmy Fallon

    Hi Stacey,

    I should add that if I went with choice 2 above, I can potentially get into a feeder consulting firm or apply for a manager position at a smaller firm.

  • surabhi

    Hi Stacey! I am planning to pursue Masters in Management. Since I was confused whether to take GRE or GMAT, I gave practise tests of both. Using the ETS conversion tool, my GRE score ( converted to GMAT score by the tool) was 60 point less than my GMAT score. I also read an article on this website only,regarding top B-schools accepting low GRE scores compared to GMAT scores. I have work experience of 1 year. Please, tell me which one should I give? I am very confused now.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    If you’re thinking 2+2, why not give it a shot now? if it doesn’t work out, you can always reapply to HBS in a few years through the regular process.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Catherine,

    Thanks for your post. I always recommend MBA candidates take the GMAT. While some schools do accept the GRE, many adcoms will ask candidates to take the GMAT (which could land you on the waitlist while you prepare). I suggest taking the GMAT now before applications come out.

    Stacey

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    There are some great resume samples online, but be careful how much you rely on them. Use them for formatting and general structure, etc., but not to help you develop content.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Networking is key both before and after bschool. If you have a connection to Phil Knight, you should use it. You should pull out all the stops to get into bschool – everyone else applying is doing the same thing.

  • Shinky

    My profile is very different than other prospects of MBA on this post. I have an undergrad from Louisiana university in Biology and Math Minor. I had 3.2 GPA. I have been working as accounts payable and receivable/bookkeeper. I love numbers and researching and analyzing and seeing how companies are progressing and interested in steps they are taking. Therefore, I decided to be financial analyst and therefore I thought MBA would be a right choice to change the career.

    After I read other alumni profile, I don’t know if MBA is correct path for me for my goal to be financial analyst. MBA teaches you management not finance. Although, when I search for financial analyst job, a lot of employers preferred MBA not MS in finance. Second, since i worked only in simple job, I am not sure if college would even consider me.

    I am not sure if these are the type of question you usually answer. If you don’t, please advise who can help me guide.

  • Shane

    Dear Stacey,

    I appreciate your willingness to assist with my pursuits.

    How would you assess my chances of being accepted to a top business school in 2014 or 2015? My goal would be to work in strategy consulting for a company like McKinsey or Bain.

    I am a 29 year-old native Bostonian living in Germany at the moment, where I am currently a professional development trainer in Frankfurt for the likes of Deutsche Bank, Proctor & Gamble, and Deutsche Telekom. I initially came abroad to play American football in hopes of my aspirations taking me to a higher league in the USA or Canada. I graduated from Brown in 2007 with a BA in Business Economics, earning a 3.2 GPA, and I also worked at Merrill Lynch’s Global Wealth Management before the Great Recession. I have not taken my GMAT yet. I am planning on applying to Deloitte to work in financial consulting for two years.

    I am also very open to programs outside of the US, although that admittedly might not help with my career prospects if I were to return home.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Regards,

    Shane

  • Scorpio 1987

    Hi Stacy,

    I’d be grateful to know your views on my odds of making it to one of the top 10/20 schools.

    Here’s my profile:

    1. I am an Indian female, 26 years with 5 years experience in an oil and gas multi-national with work experience spanning areas of project management (including lead roles in CAPEX intensive projects in uncommon (high risk in terms of security) countries), design and engineering and operations support. I have worked in three different countries (Netherlands, India and Philippines) and most of my work has been focused on leading projects (small to large) with significant global interfaces.
    2. GMAT-700 Q48/V38
    3. Undergrad degree: Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering; GPA of 3.7 from a top 10 institute in India. I have scores of 96% and 94% in High school and Higher Secondary School boards
    4. As part of the National Service Scheme in India, I led the demonstration of the usefulness of solar energy in cooking and lighting to rural communities close to my university; I volunteered for offering services to the cyclone Yolanda hit victims in the Philippines during my stint there, in a non-English speaking community; I was part of the diversity and Inclusion team during my stint in the NL and organized a workshop on sexual orientation highlighting issues faced by employees from the LGBT community; I have organized many workshops while I was a student at the undergrad university including one on Intellectual Property rights and their relevance to university students, as a classical vocalist I have given a few concerts;
    5. My post MBA goal would be to enter the strategy department of any of the energy industry majors for I have been quite good so far (based on my work experience) at steering work processes towards a certain goal, cutting out the excesses. My experience in the relevant sector i believe will be quite useful here.
    6. My other credentials include a summer research internship in India (chosen among thousands of other candidates) and a leadership based selection program for the oil and gas major I now work for, for which I was among 47 candidates selected from all countries in Asia Pacific

    Thanks!

  • Scorpio 1987

    My GPA would probably be higher- I had a GPA of 9/10 in India and was second my class of 47 students.

  • Carlo

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m applying this year for Fall 2015. I’m peruvian (currently living in Peru), 25 years old, Bachelor of Economics, worked for 3 years after graduation, 1 year in food exports and 2 years and 2 months (so far) as a consultant for a regional firm. I also have worked for 6 months in Ecuador as a consultant and traveled to Germany for a food fair (ANUGA, 2011 in Köln, Germany) while I worked for the food exports company. Lived for two 4-months periods in Wyoming where I worked in a gas station while raising money to pay for my university in Peru. Got 720 on my GMAT (49Q, 38V), 8 in IR and 5.0 in my AWA score. I do volunteer work in Peru helping building houses for the poor and I’m planning to start volunteering for another NGO teaching maths to kids in less favored regions of my country. I want to apply for Harvard, Wharton, Stanford and Tuck, could you please help me by telling me what my chances are for such programs?

    Best regards,

    Carlo

  • pushkar

    hi stacey,
    i m a final year LL.B. student from india ,i would complete it by april 2015, i have gone through a large number of rankings(bw ,ft,the economist, forbes and US) ,but at the end all i am is confused.
    I am yet to give my gmat , but all i am looking at is a full time MBA from the best college possible in the world. i dont have a work experience and neither will i ever have a work experience for business since i would always be a person who is more interested in litigation.
    i want you to help me out as to which school is the best where i can be admitted right after my graduation before which i would have given a gmat. money is not an issue and dont take the gmat score a criteria , i know good schools require a good gmat … all i require from your side is which are the best colleges around the world that would take me for a full time mba right after graduation and without a work experience on gmat scores.

Partner Sites: C-Change Media | Poets & Quants for Execs | Tipping the Scales | Poets & Quants for Undergrads