How to Improve Your Quant Profile

How to Improve Your Quant Profile

While business schools welcome applicants from all backgrounds, quant skills are a must.

“Business schools want to ensure that their incoming students are data savvy and will not struggle to keep up with the material (or their classmates) in rigorous quantitative classes,” Kate Richardson, of mbaMission, says. “Much of the core MBA curriculum involves understanding and analyzing data.”

For those who aren’t consultants or engineers, however, building a quantitative profile may be a challenge. Melisa Prevost, an admissions consultant at Stratus Admissions Counseling, recently offered a few tips on how nontraditional applicants can boost their quantitative profile and demonstrate that they have what it takes to succeed in B-school.

SCORE WELL ON THE GMAT/GRE

Both the GMAT and GRE have their respective quant sections. One of the easiest ways to showcase your quant skills is performing above average in the quant section.

“By looking at the ranges of scores for schools of interest, you can gauge an ‘okay’ score to be within their range and a ‘good’ score to be at the upper end of their range,” Prevost says. “A great score would be above their range (most schools report a middle 80% range). A solid math (Quant) score on your standardized exam will show that you are prepared for and will likely succeed in business school.”

BRING ANALYTICS INTO YOUR WORK

Taking on analytical assignments at work is another way to showcase your quantitative skills to business schools. Prevost recommends applicants to find opportunities to incorporate analytics into their day-to-day tasks.

“Consider utilizing or bringing on projects that require additional analysis visualization software such as R, Tableau, Excel (ideally utilizing macros), or SPSS to show that you know how to manipulate and work with data,” Prevost says. “Once you’ve done this, remember to highlight this analytical acumen on your resume, and ensure one of your recommenders is aware of your quantitative work. Having a recommender speak to your quantitative experience is a great way to reinforce what you will highlight about it on your resume.”

SET YOUR RECOMMENDER UP FOR SUCCESS

When briefing your recommender, be sure to highlight specific examples of when you’ve demonstrated strong quantitative skills at work.

“The theory here is that while you might not have a high standardized test score or great grades from five years ago, you are still capable of being a functional leader who is not afraid of backing their decisions with tangible analysis,” Prevost says. “And if you do not actually manipulate data, recommenders can highlight how you interpret and strategize with data as well.”

Sources: Stratus Admissions Counseling, mbaMission

Next Page: How an MBA can help you land a consulting job.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.