How Advice From Admissions Directors, Consultants & Others Will Reshape My MBA Application Strategy

sales guyWhat are my chances?

It’s probably the most asked question in the MBA application game. I’m re-examining my profile in light of professional guidance given to me by my MBA network, former adcoms and consultants.

My Profile:

  • Work Experience: 5.5 years at a Fortune 50 at matriculation
  • Age: 28 at matriculation
  • GMAT: 710 (Q49 Q38) AWA 6.0, IR 7
  • Undergraduate School: West Coast state school with regional recognition
  • Major: Accounting BS, Cum Laude
  • GPA: 3.7
  • Background: I received a full-ride scholarship to a regionally prominent state school, and now work for a major F50 manufacturing company. I am a graduate of their finance leadership rotation program, and have worked in multiple divisions and financial functions with international experience.
  • Extracurricular: I have four years with a national leadership role in a non-profit centered on leadership skills in minorities and various other leadership roles in organizations inside and outside of work. I also regularly conduct leadership/teamwork workshops for non-profits and corporations, and I have been a very passionate mentor for over 20 young professionals and college students.
  • Leadership: I have had multiple leadership roles in my work environment and in my extracurricular activities. The largest team I have led was around 25 people. Unfortunately, I have never been a manager with my company.

My Chances, with feedback from others.

  • Profile: Unanimously, everyone seemed to feel that my profile was strong enough to get into the top schools. Looking back at my “waitlist to eternity” at Tuck, many feel that my resume could have been better structured  and that my essays should have used a different approach.
  • GMAT: Many people were split on the competitiveness of my 710 GMAT. Although, both Quant and Verbal scores were above the 80 percentile, some felt that I HAVE to retake the GMAT to be competitive. However, EVERYONE did agree that if I felt I could take it again and get a higher score that I should do so.
  • Extracurricular: Everyone seemed really impressed with how much time I spend giving back to the community. They felt that I perhaps did not spend enough time explaining WHY I gave back and WHAT drives me to help others. They believed if I had used this approach in interviews and essays, my result at Tuck would have been more positive.
  • Essays: Ultimately, everyone felt that I could have done a better job on my essays. I focused far too much on the WHAT and not enough on the WHY. I will be looking to greatly improve this portion of my applications.
GMAT GPA Work Experience Enrollment Accepted
My Profile 710 3.70 5.5 years   —   —
Harvard 727   — 4.0 years 932 12%
Wharton 725   — 5.0 years 837 20%
MIT Sloan 720   — 5.0 years 404 13%
Dartmouth Tuck 720 3.50 5.0 years 277 21%
Duke Fuqua 700 3.46 5.5 years 437 26%
Yale SOM 710 3.57  — 291 21%
Northwestern Kellogg 710   —  — 477 20%

The next steps are clear: get some professional guidance on my essays and kill the GMAT. Piece of cake…. not really!

Time to get to work!

GrantMeAdmission is a young corporate (Fortune 50) finance guy for a Fortune 50 company who blogs at GrantMeAdmission!  A graduate of a leadership rotation program, he’s dreamed of going to a top MBA program and has structured his life to support that journey (making plenty of mistakes along the way). After graduating from a college in California and working for two years, he found transferred to the East Coast so he could visit schools and complete his research. He applied to one school (Tuck at Dartmouth College) and was wait listed for five agonizing months. The process totally caught him off guard, leaving him dazed and confused. 

Previous Posts On Poets&Quants:

How I Got A 710 GMAT On The First Try 

After Getting Waitlisted At Tuck, Here’s What I Would Do Differently

Eight Questions Every Prospective MBA Should Ask Before Applying

Five Essential Elements of a Perfect MBA Application Resume