- 690 GMAT (42Q/42V) (retaking and shooting for 720 and hopefully a 43-45 in quant)
- 3.5 GPA
- Undergraduate degree in political science with a minor in Spanish from Barnard College
- Work experiences includes current job as community manager at a well-known digital media agency in New York and two years as a paralegal at one of the country’s top law firms for major corporate clients (think J.P. Morgan & Apple)— [thought i wanted to go to law school]
- Held a variety of internships during college, spending a summer in Korea designing curriculum and teaching business English and debate to elementary and college students as part of a small fellowship; also worked college summers as a marketing associate at a tiny marketing venture in San Francisco
- Extracurricular involvement doing pro-bono law work and social media strategy for a health food startup
- “Am interested in marketing strategy [potentially digitally-focused], and my dream would be to do strategy for health products and services (may tie in something about the future of baby boomer services). Have a real passion for health and nutrition, and am hoping to start some relevant volunteer work”
- 24-year old female (won’t be applying until next year)
Odds of Success:
Wharton: 30% to 40%
Sandy’s Analysis: You had me at “Currently work as a Community Manager at a well-known digital media agency in NYC.”
This is a consistent, trendy (social/digital/ media marketing) and tight story where all the pieces fight together, or can be made to fit together. Business schools are falling over themselves to deal with such alien issues (to them) as digital marketing, social media, yadda, yadda (that last phrase a legacy of the pre-digital age that somehow survives). Adcoms may admit you with a secret plan to have you intern for THEM.
A 3.5 from Barnard and current GMAT–690 [42 Q, 42 V] are so-so for your target schools but I think they would blink at the GMAT given how strong and consistent the rest of your story is, although it might depend a bit on what quanty-type courses you took in college.
A 720 GMAT with 80 percent on both sides would make you very solid at almost all your target schools– Kellogg, Wharton, Booth, Ross, and Columbia. For one thing, with your background in social media, you will be able to get a job after business school, in that field or at some consulting company (even MBB) which is looking to beef up its digital media resources. Get that 720 GMAT and execute sharply, take a deep breath, and apply to HBS, Could happen, especially if you really progress at your firm next year and become some kind of homegrown digital marketing guru.
–“worked 2 years at one of the country’s top law firms as a litigation paralegal for big clients (think JP Morgan, Apple..etc).” That is great. Adcoms know those paralegal gigs and respect them because they are selective (although see note below) and they serve as a “this kid can really ‘eat s**t’ proxy” by which I mean if you can survive two years as a big law firm paralegal, you have the patience, serviceable hygiene, team savvy, high-boredom threshold! and good manners to survive B-school, which is kinda a paralegal gig in terms of scut work, stupidity, phony teamwork, deadlines, high boredom thresholds, late hours and sucking up to superiors (called professors) with the added liability of having to PAY THEM. Although these paralegal gigs are not AS selective as they used to be, back in the day, say the late 1970s-early 1980s, when, amazingly, thousands of Ivy league high-performing confused people toddled off to leading law firms as paralegals (this was before investment banks started hiring kids right out of college!), they still are respected for reasons above.
–“Spent a lot of time doing pro-bono work, using my Spanish, and received a pro bono award from the firm twice,” well, don’t hurt.
–“Last 5 months at the law firm I was also doing social media/strategy for a health food startup in my free time . . .” Great, that is worth noting, since it is part of your digital stagiest story.
–“Worked college summers as a marketing associate at a tiny marketing venture in SF,” also good and expand on this in your resume. It’s another bead on the digital marketing bracelet you are creating in the app.
–“interested in marketing strategy [potentially digitally-focused], and my dream would be to do strategy for health products and services (may tie in something about the future of baby boomer services). Have a real passion for health and nutrition, and am hoping to start some relevant volunteer work.” Health and nutrition are fine, but just stress your passion for digital marketing/social media, that is the gold in your story.
Everyone likes health. Not everyone can do digital marketing.
You want to sound serious and techie, not nice and granola.