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11/13/17

WSO is excited to have the experts from Accepted on board to answer applicant questions in the business school forum. Here are messages from Natalie and Jen who will be checking this thread every few days:

Natalie

I'm here to answer any questions you have regarding Business School Admissions. I am a former Admissions Dean and Director and currently a consultant with Accepted. While at Accepted, I've helped clients gain admission to top BBA, MBA, MFE, MF, MCF and PhD programs over the last 7 years and I'm happy to answer questions you have about Business School Admissions. - Natalie (@Natalie_Accepted)

Jen

I'm happy to answer any questions you have regarding business school admissions. I am a former Assistant Director of Admissions at Cornell who also worked in career services at Duke Fuqua. For the last six years as an Accepted admissions consultant, I've helped applicants gain admission to top MBA, EMBA, and MF programs. I'm delighted to answer your questions about business school admissions. - Jen (@jenweld)

If you would like a profile evaluation for schools, please provide the following info:
1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
6) Your post-MBA goal.

Or if you just have a different question about MBA admissions, we'll do our best to answer it.

Comments (1295)

5/11/16

you mentioned that Haas looks for "non-techies"? Are they frustrated by all the applications from silicon valley and are looking for a more traditional class representation or what?

Accepted.com
9/11/15

Epicer,

Great questions. I've been trying to help WSO forum readers with schools that match their skills and their interests. USC is known to have a great undergraduate program and many of my clients have attended USC and if I skipped USC, it was an oversight. USC has a great reputation and also alumni network. I would put it in the same category with UCLA and NYU. I do believe Berkeley is a cut above the others. I think the engineering question depends on the type of engineering you are completing. It's a B median school. You do have to prove quant skills (but to a lesser degree) if you are an engineer. I don't think one course that you take P/NP will matter that much unless its a course that is a business quant course. In terms of techies, Haas has their share of applicants, so a non-techie is often a breath of fresh air because Haas could fill its MBA program with highly qualified techies, but then they would not have the diversity of thought peer-to-peer MBA learning offers. I hope this answers all of your questions. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

9/13/15

Hi Natalie - profile thoughts for top 4
Age: 28 (7 years of Work Experience at matriculation), Asian (Taiwan)
GPA: 3.7 from an Ivy (Dartmouth , Psychology major, minors in Econ/Math)
GMAT: 760
Work Experience: 3 years of investment banking (not GS/MS), but then 3 years at a large private equity shop (one of these: KKR/Blackstone/Carlyle/Apollo). Currently a VP.

I spent 3 years in banking as opposed to making earlier move to PE because I was given a really cool opportunity that actually greatly accelerated the rest of my career.

My biggest passion is working on a Clean Energy project. It is listed as a concurrent work experience. It focuses a country in South America, travel there 4-5 weeks a year to oversee this.

Main questions:
- Is being 28 (29 at matriculation with 7 years WE) too old when coming from a finance background? I am a VP (early promote) but want to pivot to focus on entrepreneurship. I have institutional support for the move and my recs indicate that I'm not being forced out or anything.
- I list the startup I cofounded (Clean Energy, think about giving rural vilages power, lots of applications in commercial uses for it) as a concurrent work experience. Will this be confusing? Its the most honest way I could think of. Of course, I had to put my salary as $0 because I'm an equity owner working for no pay :)

Any thoughts?

9/16/15

I think you have a great profile. Clean Energy is a plus (many entrepreneurs take and equity stake in companies, so don't worry about it...Stanford as a rule, takes and equity stake in IP).
Good luck, Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

9/16/15

Thanks Natalie! In your experience, do VPs at PE Megafunds have a easier or harder time than associates? Or is it all based on the goals you say you are out to achieve. Most of my Associate class matriculated 2 years ago.

9/16/15

I think the early promotion will bode well for you. However, you need to show the impact you've added since becoming VP. It's not just about one thing. Every story you tell, every number you publish, and every encounter you have with the school impact your application.
Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/6/15

Sorry i missed your post. I've seen as many VPs matriculate as analysts, so great numbers, impact, and articulate goals and that something extra that you can demonstrate will benefit you.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

9/14/15

Hi Natalie,

Thanks very much for taking the time to do this. I plan to apply R2 to the following schools:
Harvard, Wharton, Columbia (ASAP after early decision deadline), Tuck, NYU

1) 2-year FLDP at F500 company and 2 years (current) in Corp Dev/M&A with the same company
2) 720 (94%) - Q48 (73%) / V41(94%)
3) Top 15 Public University in the Northeast - 3.39 Overall GPA, B.S. Finance - 3.49 Major GPA
4) Fraternity President, Company Mentorship program (mentored several junior employees), led a team that organized on-campus recruiting events, Special Olympics volunteer
5) N/A
6) Ultimately, I want to take over my father's real estate private equity firm that he started 5 years ago and turn it into a multi-billion dollar fund. Before going to work at my father's firm I would like to get some more independent deal experience either at a middle market PE firm or in Investment Banking at a top bank. Your thoughts on which career path would be more attractive to these schools and how to frame it would be very much appreciated.
Additional Info: 27 year-old, white male

Two questions for you:
1) Is my quant score high enough that I do not need to explain it? I don't think I would do better that Q48, but 73% doesn't exactly sound spectacular.
2) Because I want to go into PE/I-Banking does this mean I will be competing against former bankers and PE analysts for a spot? If so, does this put me at a disadvantage?

9/16/15
  1. You don't need to explain the quant score. It's average, so nothing to write home about.
  2. You will be competing against former bankers and PE analysts (as well as MBB consultants) for a spot. Position yourself as the legacy to your Dad's firm and what you want to do with it. What is your vision for that firm. Smart to apply to all schools for round 2 well before the round 2 deadline. You have some stretch and match schools. You may need a safety if you really want to attend b-school this year. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

9/22/15

Hi Natalie

Excluding financial services, are certain industries looked more favorably upon than others on at top MBA programs?

For example, you have candidates from Google, Apple, Exxon, Chevron, P&G, Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart. Before diving into their roles and accomplishments would any industry/company standout. Let's use the list above as an example.

Thanks!

9/22/15

All of the above stand out if you make an impact on the company. There's a big difference between sales at P&G or J&J and sales at Walmart or Apple. However, if you are in the HQ, you're probably doing well and will be intriguing to adcomms. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/6/15

I apologize for having missed your post. I have seen that applicants coming from big brand tech or manufacturing doing quite well. I think their is a bias because of the number of applicants schools see in certain industries.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

9/22/15

Thanks for the kind words of wisdom regarding M7 and also throwing in UNC/Texas. My family is heavily involved in RE and has an investment fund directly on behalf of institutions and ultra-high net worth individuals. Certain deals that my family has done have made on the pages of Yahoo! Finance, Bloomberg, etc.

9/26/15

Alston, thank you for the acknowledging my wisdom (if only my teens would do that :-)). Do you have a question about your profile? If you would like a profile evaluation for schools, please provide the following info:
1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
6) Your post-MBA goal.

Or if you just have a different question about MBA admissions, I'll do my best to answer it. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  9/27/15

Hi Natalie,

Have a question about my plans to apply next year. I'm considering leaving my job in June and joining a full-time volunteer abroad project such as Kiva Fellows. I'd be applying while I'm in the program, so I'm concerned if not being exactly "employed" during this time would look negatively. I'd be leaving my company on good terms, and would have strong letters of recommendation from my previous employer. My other stats are:

1). 4 years in financial services, last 3 years in a buy-side fixed income shop with some exposure to private equity transactions.
2). 760 GMAT
3). SUNY, 3.7 GPA
4). Good involvement since college
5). CFA

10/22/15

Natalie's out for a few days so I'll be responding. I'm the founder and president of Accepted.

Hi Anonymous,

Obviously some of my answer will depend on exactly what you do with Kiva and the insights you take away from it, but I actually think that if you have some meaningful impact and responsibility, your project will enhance your profile and admissions chances.

Good luck, and do good work!

Linda Abraham

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/6/15

I'm not sure how I missed your post, but I do apologize. Your stats are good. Which SUNY school did you attend and in what did you major? Why would joining Kiva help you with your long term goals? Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

9/28/15

Natalie, thank you for taking the time to answer questions here. I will be applying in a couple years but know my general path. I was wondering what I can/should do to beef up my extracurricular activities and what my realistic expectations for cycle should be.

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
-2 years as middle market investment banking analyst
-2 years as a lower middle market private equity associate

2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred
-760
-Quant: 49 (81st percentile)
-Verbal: 44 (98 percentile)

3) College info
-3.7, finance major
-Graduated 2014
-Very average state school

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
-Member of charities but not in leadership position
-Member of alumni organization but not in leadership position

6) Your post-MBA goal
-Currently, I hope to remain in the private equity space and eventually run a fund

9/28/15

Sorry to double post but I seem to be unable to edit. College EC's include:
-portfolio management group (leadership role)
-Founded an alternative investment club (focused on options trading)

10/1/15

Hi Natalie, thanks for doing this. Outside my profile, which is below, I was curious if you think 3 years vs. 4 years of Work Experience will make a big difference for my candidacy at the top 5-10 schools. I'm targeting Stanford, the two Chicago schools, Columbia, and Wharton in that order. Let me know what you think.

1) Hopefully at the time of matriculation 1 year in investment banking at a middle market bank and 2 years in corporate strategy at F200 company
2) 730 (96th Percentile - Q49, V40)
3) Large state school in the south ranking 40-50 nationally in US News - 3.55 GPA overall, 3.78 Major GPA; major in finance with minors in information systems and math and a one year study abroad at LSE
4) Leadership panel for analysts at current company and volunteer at animal shelter
5) Passed series exams? Not really what you want I think.
6) Corp Dev at a large tech firm, Value Hedge Fund, or management consulting ? Eventually hope to start my own company

Let me know if I can provide any other information that might be helpful.

10/9/15

Stanford and Wharton long shots for all, but you have a good shot at the others. Apply early and you should do fine. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/6/15

I don't think there is a big difference between 3 and 4 years. I think you have a shot at the schools you are targeting. You may want to add a safety in there. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

10/5/15

Hi Natalie. I'd like an evaluation of my chances for the following full time MBA programs: Cornell, Ross, Duke, Yale, McCombs, Notre Dame, or any other schools you recommend for me. I'm applying via the Consortium and will also apply for the Toigu fellowship (I'm Hispanic-American).

1) Three years as a Data Analyst and another two years as a Database Engineer at Quicken Loans
2) GMAT: 660
3) Ohio State University, Class of 2011; MIS major; 3.55 overall GPA
4) ~100 hrs of community service for the Salvation Army, member of Hispanic-American Business Club, created a mobile Q&A app for Hispanics who are interested in pursuing careers in business
5) None, but I plan to take the CMA exam after I complete the MBA (I'm going to do a concentration in Finance and Accounting during the program)
6) Directly out of the MBA, I want to do either IB, FP&A, or strategy consulting, and I'm leaning more towards corporate finance/FP&A at a Fortune 500 company. However, in the long-term I want to start my own data analytics company.

10/9/15

Glad you are applying through the Consortium. What impact/achievements have you had as a database engineer? What is the breakdown for your quant and verbal? What was your IR? I don't think you will have an issue with Notre Dame, but the answer to the questions above will give me an idea of how you fair with other schools. Also, Tiogo's network will be important for you to jump from DB Engineering to Finance. Be open minded about boutiques (consulting and banks).

Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

10/10/15

Not many impacts or achievements, but I led a few other DB engineers and mainly did SQL server development and tuning. My Quant was about 47, Verbal was 32, and IR was 7.

11/27/15

You really need to show some impact, so think about how you've increased efficiency, decreased costs (extrapolate if you must). You really need to quantify your achievements. We can take this off line to discuss specific schools. I just think some will be better for you the others. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

10/15/15

Hi Natalie. I'm John from Hong Kong. So glad that you could help us. I'm considering applying for MFE. Could you help evaluate my chances? Or am I suitable for MBA? Here is case.

Quant Developer in a HK prop trading firm for 2 years. Team small but very profitable.
Certified FRM.
Chinese University of Hong Kong. Bachelor of Engineering. Overall GPA 3.63. Major GPA 3.7. First Class Honor.
Exchange in UIUC for one semester. GPA 3.93.
GRE Q170(98%) + V156(71%) + AWA 4(56%). TOEFL 106. Speaking 22.
Some volunteering experience during college.

My dream school is Princeton MFin. What do you think my chances are and how should I improve? Thanks a lot.

10/24/15

I think you have a good shot at the MFE, but cast the net more widely than Princeton. The key to Princeton is demonstrating your intelligence and presenting what your modern financial knowledge. How does your viewpoint add value to the class? On the downside, if you are working for a small trading firm, albeit profitable, they won't have what to compare. How did you fair through the downturn in the Chinese markets back in August? I think being in Hong Kong puts you at the fulcrum of markets throughout Asia, Australia, US, Europe. Hong Kong is a trading center for the world. It should help differentiate you.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

10/25/15

Hi Natalie, thank you so much for your advice. I'll address my distinguishing feature in the PS. Do you think my GRE and TOEFL score will drag down my application? Should I retake them?

10/31/15

You didn't tell me what your GRE and TOEFL score are, but yes they will drag your app down if they are weak.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/2/15

Sorry for my mistake, I didn't restate it. GRE Q170(98%) + V156(71%) + AWA 4(56%). TOEFL 106. Speaking 23. Is my speaking too low? Should I retake it?
By the way, I should be promoted to VP and co-found a new quantitative trading team within the company next month. But this happens after I should submit my application. Could I also mention it in my cv and PS? Thanks a lot.

11/4/15

I hate to "monkey around" with a 98% quant, but i think you should retake to improve AVA and speaking score. Right now force on the TOEFL. You can focus on the GRE later. I would mention the promotion in both your CV and PS.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/4/15

I would try to get the highest score possible. MFEs want really smart students and they use the tests to distinguish those students (I don't think it measures intelligence, just aptitude, but I'm no longer making those decisions). Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

10/15/15

Hi Natalie
I need your help to evaluate my profile for MIT, Princeton (MFin/MSF) and top MBA programs (finance specific).

Background
Education : Undergrad and Postgrad in Econ (Delhi University, India). CFA L2 and FRM.
Professional Experience : 3.5 years (in India), Credit Risk Modeling (Logistic, Time Series and Machine Learning Models).
GMAT : 760, q50 and v42.
Software Skills : R and SAS.
Thanks

10/22/15

Punter 89,

You are competitive at top MBA and MFin programs. For some of the MFin, you are above average in work experience and that may be a negative but for bschool and MBAs you're right in there.

Go for it!

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/18/15

Hi Natalie,

Thanks for doing this. Curious to get your take on my chances at Stanford, Harvard, and other top programs.

1) 2 years IB at an "elite boutique", 2 years at a top-tier, well-known HF
2) 770 GMAT (99%)
3) Wash U, 4.0 in Econ
4) Uhh. Captained a few intramural sports teams?
5) Series exams
6) Startup

10/22/15

user1984,

Certainly your academic stats and work experience are impressive and competitive. Can you show impact and leadership. HBS wants people with a habit of leaders. Stanford wants change agents. Can you show them that you have what they want? For other top programs, you again need to show fit.

Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/19/15

Hi Natalie,

Thank you so much for doing this. Would love to hear any feedback you may have.

Age: 28 (29 @ matriculation)

GMAT: 720 (46Q / 44V)

Education: Boston College, Finance, 3.5.

Experience: Wanted banking out of undergrad; thrown into 2009 post-grad woodchipper. Started in a Merchandising/Buying Leadership program with a F100 retailer. Through networking, transitioned to Corp Finance with a F300 retailer. Great exposure on a lean team on the e-commerce side of the business. Modelled and reported on big decisions for the company (global online shipping policy changes, opening of new distribution centers, $1B budget sign off, etc).

ECs: 15 year volunteer at local Autism therapy program. Volunteer financial consultant for local start-up (family friends); built pro forma financials for approval of mortgage for new production facility, used retail experience to revamp pricing model to enhance profitability / brand perception.

Goals: Long term goal is Corp Dev with a high growth company. May pursue IBD to help with the MBA ROI picture and better set up for Corp Dev.

Dream Schools: Tuck, Fuqua, Ross, Darden, McCombs...

10/22/15

jbob87,

Very good and realistic choices for you. You may also want to consider Yale SOM, CBS, or NYU Stern although you seem to be avoiding NYC.

Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/20/15

Hi Natalie,

I was wondering what type of school I can look at realistically. I understand the GPA may hold me down.

GPA: 2.6 from UF undergrad in accounting, 3.4 for my MAcc while working. No reasons for my low GPA outside I really enjoyed myself in college.
GMAT: 740
Experience: 4 years as a financial analyst for an automobile finance company, 1 year as a financial analyst for a some what new tech company.
CPA license

Looking to stay in corporate finance

10/22/15

SFL,

Any trend to the undergrad GPA?

Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/23/15

I struggled in a few of my accounting classes through the last few years, so no, not really. Trust me, I regret that knowing what I could've and should've done, but that doesn't do much for me at this point. Anything I can do to improve my odds? I grew up after college you could say.

What schools are realistic?

10/26/15

SFL,

Consider programs that really value that high GMAT and will look at your MAcc and work experience as evidence that you have matured. Look into Yale, NYU Stern, Cornell Johnson, Washington Olin, Duke Fuqua, CMU Tepper, and Georgetown.

For more info on handling a low GPA when applying to bschool, please see http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/15/mba-admissions....

Regards,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/21/15

Hi Natalie, I am a first-year in a front office role at a top BB bank (GS/MS/JPM), joined the firm this past summer. I would love to pursue a startup idea and run with it while I have the option of going to b-school if the startup blows up. My question is how would this experience be perceived by adcoms at top MBA programs, particularly H/S/W? 6-7 months at a top bank and leaving to launch a startup?

An issue that occured to me is if my letter of recs weren't from older bosses (since I'd be starting my own business), would that be dealbreaker at top business schools?

10/22/15

winsle.100,

Well some of the answer depends on what you do for the start up, how long it takes to "blow up," and what insights you glean form the experience. Certainly from a pure admissions standpoint, waiting until you have at least year at the BB bank is more prudent and safe. Moving after 6-7 months and then working at a start-up for say a year and then deciding it isn't working out, doesn't present you with a great work history.

On the other hand, if this is a great opportunity that won't wait, I would say go for it. If the start-up doesn't make it, get another job and stick with that one for a year or two before applying for an MBA. If it does work out, it may be wonderful experience from an admissions perspective or you may not need an MBA.

You might find interesting the perspective of the guest on this interview I did: http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/24/venture-for-am...
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/24/15

Hi Natalie,
I have a post graduation in Economics and been working for 2+ years as an analytics consultant ( risk and marketing analytics with various banks). I intend to change my career path toward investment banking and thus want to apply for MBA.? My GPA are >3.5 and I am yet to give GRE. Can you suggest me the schools that I can apply for?

10/24/15

Hard to say without test scores. Get back to me after you have your GRE. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

10/31/15

Hi Natalie, thanks for doing this!

  1. Senior in undergrad - applying to 2+2 program at GSB and HBS. Will be working at Elite Boutique full-time starting next summer (Centerview, Moelis, Lazard)
  2. 740
  3. Top 25 school, 3.4-3.5 expected, Chemical Engineering, 2016. I know GPA is low, but will engineering mitigate that?
  4. part of tech start-up, leadership in 2 service organizations, fraternity president
  5. Defer admission 2 years. Banking, PE, b-school, then buyside again. Would be looking at HFs and PE.

Thank you!

11/4/15

Those programs are really selective (much more so than the 2 year MBA). I think the grades may be an issue, but Chem E. is a tough subject. I would like to hear more about the tech start up. Good leadership. They won't be interested in your if you want to look at banking. They want to know that with a offer in hand for HBS or GSB, what would you do that is remarkable.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/5/15

Tech start-up is currently profitable. We make money connecting people in used electronics. We don't have any product interaction.

So they won't accept anyone going into finance? Why is that? We've already signed for a job, and won't know our results until June assuming R3, so how can we base our future career plans on that?

11/6/15

It's not that they aren't admitted people in finance. They just have so many applying that you really need to stand out with other things you can contribute. It's tougher for people in finance than some other fields. So stand out and go for it.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/8/15

Got it, thanks for the reply. Do you know what some examples are? Seems like it will be tough to do anything extraordinary while doing 80-100 hour weeks.

Or, did you mean by going forward you meant from right now? I assumed you meant going forward from when you hear back from them.

Thanks!

11/12/15

Yes, I know 80-100 is a killer. You are in good company. I did mean going forward from right now. Seize opportunities, make an impact. Don't wait until you hear back. Never wait. Does that clarify? N

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/4/15

Hey Natalie, I really appreciate what you are doing! I am in a transition period where I need to commit to a path or try something very different (MBA type action) and am curious if you see me having a shot at an M7 or even top 15 (UCLA type).

Worked at the Big 4 in advisory (risk services) for two years in a number of industries. For the past nine months I have been working for a small shop, which performs personal/corp/partnership tax returns and private wealth management/financial planning. I fill a number of different roles here...

Thanks!

11/4/15

CPAs are having a tough time convincing M7s of the change from accounting (even risk services) to Asset Management. CFA good move. Let's see how your scores come in re: top 15. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/1/15

Hi Natalie,

thank you so much for doing this! I wondered how I could add some more glitter to my b-school application in 2-3 years time: I am currently a final year undergraduate at a very respected institution in the UK and have already agreed on a full-time position with one of the Big 3 Consulting Firms. I have done some extracurriculars including leadership positions in big student societies et al. Haven't taken the GMAT yet which is why I cannot apply for 2+2 programmes and will not do so.

Thought something along the lines of climbing the Kilimanjaro, teaching underprivileged children or something like that. Any suggestions??

Many thanks in advance :-)

11/4/15

Climbing Kilimanjaro worked for several of my clients. Are you a mountain climber?

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/2/15

Hi Natalie
1) telecom engineering experience around 3 years
2) 620 GMAT
3) local public university, top national school, no-name internationally, 3.80 gpa, telecom engineer major, 2012
4) was treasurer of students body council, now work with ngo advocating technology
5) 3 industry certifications from equipement manufacturers
6) managment consulting, into strategy

11/4/15

It's going to be tough to try to get into management consulting with a 620 GMAT and despite non-disclosure policies, most of the consulting firms ask for your GMAT. I would focus on the GMAT. All else looks good. What schools are you considering?

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/4/15

Kellogg NYU Columbia Booth Warton

11/27/15

Wilhug, Based on the schools you mentioned in a subsequent post, I would suggest you cast your net a little wider and retake the GMAT. We can talk off line. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

Accepted.com
11/2/15

Thanks for taking the time to do this!

I just graduated from a very small, no-name university in May. I spent my first two years of school playing varsity baseball (NCAA Div-II), but had a career ending elbow surgery my freshmen year and decided to quit after trying to comeback as a sophomore. After quitting baseball, I decided to invest in my education and finished school with a 3.68 (up from a 3.2 freshman year), President of two very active clubs (Finance Association and Students for Sustainability), finished an internship during school for a business incubator/angel investing group and ran two marathons.

I worked hard and networked into a very small, Midwest investment bank (about 40 bankers). Outside of work, I am on the Associate Board of a disabled children charity and I am training for my third marathon with the goal of qualifying for Boston.

I want to go to an m7 but Ross, Stern and Fuqua are not out of the question. What else can I do to help me stand out to get into an m7? I plan on applying in about 4 years and still need to take the GMAT (assuming I need a 720+). It's an ambitious goal because I have absolutely no name brand recognition on my resume, but I figure I can be as proactive as possible and see what happens. Any tips would be helpful, thanks!

11/4/15

Hard to say what will happen in 4 years, but yes, you need to get into the mid to high 700s on your GMAT and consider schools outside the M7 (good choices listed). What are you doing on the sustainability front? Network with students (they will be alumni by the time you apply and you may have advocates on your side). Make certain you are impacting your organizations positively.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/4/15

Sustainability wise, we started a Food Recovery Network that donated 2,000+ pounds of leftover food from our cafeteria to a local soup kitchen, founded the campus recycling system and built a hydroponic growing system that grows lettuce and kale from recycled water and natural sunlight inside the cafeteria year round... all the projects were random but very refreshing from staring at power points and excel spreadsheets all day.

Thanks for the feedback! I will definitely take your advice and services into consideration as I get closer to the applications process.

1/16/16

Sorry, I've been out of touch during our extremely busy round 2. The Food Recovery Network sounds interesting. Have you heard of the 3000 Club /Market on the Move (MOM)? It's an amazing program and may help you with your FRN. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/3/15

Hi Natalie,
Please find below the profile questions you requested:

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
Currently at my first job after college, working as an Analyst in the Institution Research division at a small brokerage house in Mumbai, India. I have started working since August and am planning for MBA in the next 2-3 years.

2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
Planning for the GMAT has started. Will start prep by December (Family commitments). Will be sitting for the exam by May.

3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
Rutgers University, 3.2 GPA (cum), May 2015 graduate- BSC Finance

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Multiple e-board and leadership positions held. Over 200 hours of community service hours accumulated from the past 4 years. President of my Fraternity Chapter. Awards (Organization and Individual) won for contribution.

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
None. Not planning for any realistically.

6) Your post-MBA goal.
Most likely, come back to India to work in any of the top 5 companies for institutional research (same as where I am now).

So I had a few questions:
A) What are my realistic target schools (Assuming GMAT of 650+)
B) How can I furthur improve my profile (Assuming I do not want to change jobs nor realistically postpone the MBA program)

If you fall down, make sure you get back up with a vengeance!
11/4/15

There is a big difference between a 650 and a 750, so its difficult to target schools without that information. A 3.2 is not stellar. If you want to return to what you are doing, why do you need an MBA?

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/4/15

Its a professional degree and everyone in my family has one basically. I do know that my is not stellar but thats what I have to work with. So towards the second question, what can I do to improve my profile furthur?

If you fall down, make sure you get back up with a vengeance!
11/4/15

Its a professional degree and everyone in my family has one basically. I do know that my GPA is not stellar but thats what I have to work with. So towards the second question, what can I do to improve my profile furthur?

If you fall down, make sure you get back up with a vengeance!
11/12/15

Let's take this off line so i fully understand your situation and you can send me your resume. Click on the link that says, contact me. I'll keep everything confidential. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/12/15

Done. Thank you so much.

Regards

If you fall down, make sure you get back up with a vengeance!
11/27/15

Thanks for reaching out on the Accepted site. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/3/15

Natalie,

I have a 3.65 GPA
From target school (H/Y/P)
Working in Investment Banking (Elite Boutique, think Centerview, Lazard, Evercore, Moelis)

Undergrad Extracurriculars:
Leadership position in the finance club
Started a successful business

Expected GMAT: 710

I am still a senior in college but applying for 2+2 programs as well as wondering my chances for after my 2 years of banking if I dont get a 2+2 program.

Should I be doing leadership/ extracurriculars while working full-time? Not sure if there is time.

What are my chances for top schools: HBS/Sloan/Stanford? What GMAT would I need to boost my chances?

Thanks so much for doing this!

11/4/15
  1. 2+2 will expect something unusual that you can do with an HBS application in hand that you wouldn't be able to do otherwise.
  2. You should be doing leadership/community services/ hobbies/athletic endeavors while working, but also have an impact on your clients.
  3. You will need to get better than a 710 for 2+2. Maybe okay for 2 years from now for Sloan, but not HBS or Stanford unless you have something really unique to offer and I don't see that in your profile.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/5/15

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

I have been working as an engineer in deepwater operations. I have not touched finances as part of my job.

2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.

N/A - but I predict I can get ~680-720 with good effort.

3) College info: The name of the college, your GMAT or grade average, your major, year of graduation.

Public Nontarget, 3.5, Chemical Engineering, 2013 graduation date. I was sick in college twice - Freshman year and junior year, so my gpa dips then. However, I took the hardest courses I could my senior year and ended up with 3.9 for senior year.

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

-College: President of Engineering (Students)
-Leading teams of engineers offshore

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.

-None

6) Your post-MBA goal.

-Use skills, knowledge and networks obtained during MBA to establish an upward career in the financial industry.

I think I might end up pursuing a MFin (preferrably MIT), might I get in with a 3.5 GPA still, even if I blow the GMAT out of the park? It seems like it would be difficult for an MBA with Harvard or similar because of my 2 years of experience.

Thank you.

11/6/15

MFin may be better for you with only 2 years of experience. Leading teams of engineers is solid, but you will need to let the schools know how you will make the transition from engineering to finance (unless you are thinking managerial finance). Tough to give you a list of schools without the gmat score. Unfortunately, schools are putting too much weight on it these days. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/7/15

I will not make the deadline for this cycle unfortunately, so I will have to apply in the 2017 one. Can you please expand on what you mean how I will make the transition? I am not sure how to show them that I am interested in finance more than engineering. I only went engineering in order to have a high market value coming out of university and be readily employable in a broad range of industries (which seemed to work). Recently, I've been trading options and have made some solid returns (and will continue working on this for the next few years, and this return is good given that the market is still iffy). Even if I did get a solid gmat score (say 730), is there any way I can get into MIT Sloan or similar?
Basically, I will have either 2 years of engineering experience where I am now + 1 yr finance (if I can get a boutique bank to take me) or 3 years of engineering experience by the time I apply (there is a chance I will just leave and go travel, which would result in a gap...but would this be frowned up?).

Thank you for your expertise.

11/12/15

there is a way to make the transition, network your way into the industry and demonstrate your network. I think you should be fine if you go the boutique route, so the extra year is a blessing in disguise. Good luck! Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/4/15

Really appreciate this Natalie. My profile is below:

25 yr old biracial (White / Black) male

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

2 Years at a BB in IB Healthcare coverage, 2 Years at Healthcare focused VC

2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.

GRE (168 V(98%), 162M (82%)) Know I could bring up the math if necessary. Not sure if this would be a good use of time.

3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation.

Went to a top liberal arts school (Williams / Amherst), 3.25 GPA, Math Major, Class of 2012

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

While at the BB volunteered on the Young Leaders board for a charity, moved to a new city for my VC job and am currently volunteering for a charity that provides bike maintenance and education to the community. This ties in with cycling which is a major hobby of mine.
In college was a Varsity athlete on a very successful DIII team (National Champion)

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.

-None

6) Your post-MBA goal.

Work for a startup in healthcare that is delivering care better and cheaper.

Ideally want to go to H/S. Would consider Columbia or Hass as backups.

A few specific questions:

Is it worth it to retake the GRE given I want to go to H/S? I took when I was working in banking and prep consisted of 3 hours the night before the test.
Would taking a job for a portfolio company or other HealthCare startup for two years help or hurt my chances at b-school?
Potential interested in adding on a MPH or MPP (with a focus on health) given the crucial role the government plays in the way healthcare is provided and paid for. Anything special to consider with this?
I'm a little concerned about the low GPA. Is that a deal breaker at a place like H/S with the rest of my profile?

11/6/15

Well you can't make excuses to H/S for your GRE, but I've seen people with lower scores gain admission, so I wouldn't put my efforts forward into that either. The GPA may be an issue, but Williams/Amherst are desirable schools. Healthcare start-up falls in line with your goals, but you need to make sure its a winner. I like the idea of applying with an MPH. I think you have a shot at H/S with a good story for healthcare and also C&H. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/5/15

Do you have any experience with someone pursuing a dual degree between MBA and Masters in International Affairs/Public Administration? My goal would be to get into a program like CBS+SIPA / Wharton, Tuck, INSEAD + Johns Hopkins SAIS. If not, could you simply assess my candidacy for a top MBA program and what I should work on in the medium term to boost my profile?

I'm still a senior in college, but my profile would look like this at the time of application:
1. Top 50 Private, 3.2 GPA Finance major with leadership experiences in student-run portfolio and social fraternity. 6-month IB internship in Hong Kong. Volunteered at a education/mentoring non-profit. I come from a education family and it is a passion of mine, although not a professional interest.
2. 1-2 years IB experience at a bulge bracket bank (NYC).
3. 3 years military experience as an Intelligence Officer for a foreign country. Experience has potential to provide exposure to high-profile international military and political affairs.
4. No GMAT yet but I do test well and expect that I can hit 700+ with plenty of prep time until I send in my apps.

I'm an international student from Asia and native in my mother tongue. My goal is to transition out of the military and go back into banking, Asset Management or consulting with preferably an international bent in function.

Thanks!

Ugh the FBI still quotes the Dow...
-Matt Levine

11/6/15

I do have extensive experience with dual degree candidates. If you are planning to return to banking, Asset Management or consulting with an international bent, why do you need to Public Administration degree? Grades are less than stellar, you will need to hit a homer on the GMAT to compensate for the schools you list (you may be better off taking the GRE because not all MPAs take the GMAT). The military story may get you some traction, but there are a lot of bankers out there applying to business school who want to return to banking and that hasn't been resonating too well with some of the top programs this year (unless you have another angle you can discuss and you may have that with your military assignment). Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/6/15

I do have extensive experience with dual degree candidates. If you are planning to return to banking, Asset Management or consulting with an international bent, why do you need to Public Administration degree? Grades are less than stellar, you will need to hit a homer on the GMAT to compensate for the schools you list (you may be better off taking the GRE because not all MPAs take the GMAT). The military story may get you some traction, but there are a lot of bankers out there applying to business school who want to return to banking and that hasn't been resonating too well with some of the top programs this year (unless you have another angle you can discuss and you may have that with your military assignment). Good luck with your senior year at school. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/5/15

Hi Natialie,

I'm thinking about applying to Harvard's PLD program.

My background below... do I have enough experience?

Double citizen: Austrian / Danish

Languages: English, German, Danish

Undergrad:
- Public university in the USA
- B.Sc.: Major in economics, minor in engineering
- GPA: 3.9/4.0
- GMAT: 730/800
- 4 year varsity athlete

Work (total of 8 years):
- 2.0 years IB in London
- 3.5 years PE in Frankfurt (1 promotion)
- 0.5 years as corporate development officer (ad interim) in PE-owned business
- 2.0 years as group controller and head of treasury at publicly listed company in Zurich (1 promotion)

Goal:
- Return to employer (1.0bn in sales) with view to become BU CFO (200m in sales) in 1 year, will receive strong recommendation from group CFO (hired me to company personally)
- Long-term goal to become group CFO when current person likely receives group CEO role (5+ years)

Best,
BBB

11/5/15

Forgot to mention, I'm 32 years old, and since recently also a CA. Employer will sponsor half the cost, it's in a cost-competitive industry, so no lavish perks... =D

11/6/15

I think you have a good background for the PLD! Go for it. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/7/15

Hi Natalie

I want to do equity research post-MBA. I'm applying to Booth (#1 choice), Kellogg, Tuck, and Columbia (are there any other ER-oriented schools you would recommend?) I'm also applying through the Consortium.

Experience - 5 years. 2 years IT Analyst at Boeing, 3 years FP&A at US Airways
Undergrad - UT-Austin, MIS+Accounting double major, 3.62 GPA
GMAT - 710 (46Q, 40V)
Extracurriculars: community service awards, led a club that built a library for a financially-disadvantaged elementary school, coach youth baseball
First generation college student, South Asian-American

11/12/15

For Consortium, I would look at Stern, Yale and Cornell. I'm hoping you are going to discuss ER for Airlines/Aerospace in your app. Columbia and Booth and are stretch match. Kellogg and Tuck fall between a match and a stretch. Everything else should be a match. Definite plus coming from the airline/aerospace industry. What did you do when USAirways bought American? Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/7/15

1) Spent two years doing consulting at IBM (mix of operations and tech) Spent the last 3 years at tier 2 consulting shop where I was able to focus on more corporate strategy projects

2) GMAT: 715

3) Did my undergraduate at the University of New South Wales, GPA 3.55/4 (using WES conversion), majored in Finance and Economics and graduated in 2010

4) Lead some clubs during University, minimal EC activity after graduation.

5) NA

6) Ideally I want to continue along consulting, hopefully break into MBB. Also considering doing a finance internship just to see if I enjoy the work.

As an international application is there anything in particular that I should be concerned about? I'm not too worried about securing working rights because Australians can draw from a different pool than the H visas which are notoriously hard to get.

I'm mostly considered about my lack of EC's post graduation, I have one year to try and improve on this but I'm not entirely sure what type of EC's that provide the most benefit from an admissions standpoint whether it be - social work, leadership role, passion projects etc. Is it common for people to pursue EC's solely for the sake of bolstering their MBA apps?

11/10/15

Hi Natalie,

Thanks for doing this - I really found the advice on the previous pages very illuminating!

I'm a senior in college and wanted to get a head start on planning for college, would love to hear any advice you have to offer.

  1. Work Experience: freshman/sophomore summers in software engineering, junior summer in economic consulting, where I'll be returning after graduation. Plan on working there for 3 years before heading to b-school to switch to management consulting/PE/HF/equity investing.
  2. Scores: Plan on giving GMAT before in January during winter break (got a 720 on my first diagnostic test)
  3. College: Prestigious west coast public university, double major in Computer Science and Business, 3.7 GPA (cum laude as long as I keep it up).
  4. Leadership: board of student managed portfolio (raised high 5 figure amount from various sources, hosted first equity pitch competition at college) , president of debate team (grew membership 3x, revenue 2x, still ongoing so expect competition results by the end of the year). I plan on getting heavily involved with recruiting at my full time job, and with firm dev/volunteer work as well.
  5. Certifications: no real plans to get anything, perhaps try CFA if it's really going to help my application.
  6. Plans: as I mentioned before I want to eventually switch from econ consulting to management consulting as it's more client focused and provides a broader experience base. My long term goal is to move in to some form of investing (PE/HF/long-short equity), and I would potentially be open to heading into that straight out of b-school. My dream program would be value investing at Columbia.

Any advice on what I should do over the next few years to make this happen? I plan to matriculate Fall 2019, so lots of time to get a stellar application together.

11/19/15

mchazman,

Natalie and I are going to be sharing WSO duties. I hope you will find my advice as illuminating.

Good job so far! And your plans sound solid also. I would try to add an international element to your profile either in terms of professional assignments overseas, personal travel, or a volunteer commitment. Also, while I'm sure your work will be demanding, do make a volunteer commitment and assume responsibility for it on some level. Obviously the usual: keep your grades up and get a high GMAT.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/9/15

Hi Natalie!

I wanted your opinion on the schools I can apply to. My background:

I have masters in Economics from the best school in India and 3 years of work experience as an analytics consultant( Risk and Marketing). My GRE score is 323 ( 157 V and 166 Q). Can you please help?

11/19/15

VAggarwal,

Please respond to the question in the post that is pinned to the top of this page and we'll do our best to respond.

Thanks,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/19/15

Hi Linda,

Thank you for the reply. I had posted my details sometime back and this was in continuation to my previous conversation. The required information is as follows:

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience: 3 year experience in Analytical Consultancy, building risk and marketing models for various financial institutions
2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.- GRE (percentile)- Q: 92 and V: 74
3) College info: Masters in Economics, University of Delhi; GPA >3.5 ( I don't have the exact numbers because we get results in percentage)
4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience: Part of various activities related to environment and education
5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.- None

Please let me know if this would suffice. I look forward to your advice.

Thank you

11/19/15

VAggarwal,

Thank you for the additional information. I also saw in an earlier post that you would like to go into IB.

Consider Cornell's Accelearated program as well as the regular MBA programs at Columbia, Booth, NYU Stern, LBS, Duke, and Yale.

Best,
Linda Abraham

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/9/15

Hi Natalie,

Thank you for helping the community.

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

I am currently in a leadership development program for finance at a F200 Industrial Manufacturer. The program is a 3-year program with 2 18-month rotations. After the program, I will try to either get a role in Corporate Development or half FP&A and half Corporate Development.

2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.

N/A - but I predict I can get ~650-700 with good effort.

3) College info: The name of the college, your GMAT or grade average, your major, year of graduation.

I went to a public non-target for a year before transferring to GaTech. My gpa at the public non-target is a 3.85 while my gpa at GaTech is a 3.66 as a business major.

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

Currently, I tutor at a community center 3 days a week, and I plan to participate in more extracurricular activities in the near future.

5) Your post-MBA goal.

Everyone that is in a management role at my company has a MBA, so it seems like a requirement to move up the ladder. Ideally, I would want the MBA to move to a strategic role such as Corporate Development at my company or any other company.

My story is that I am a minority that graduated from a high school that lost its accreditation, worked his way into a good school, and then graduated with a decent job in corporate finance. I hope that this story is good enough for Kellogg, Booth, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, etc.

Thank you.

11/15/15

Hi Natalie!

I wanted your opinion on the schools I can apply to. My background:

I have masters in Economics from the best school in India and 3 years of work experience as an analytics consultant( Risk and Marketing). My GRE score is 323 ( 157 V and 166 Q). Can you please help? I look forward to your reply.

Thank you,
Viren

11/24/15

Hi Natalie/Linda

Hoping you guys over at Accepted.com can provide some insight on my chances/list of schools. Do they seem reasonable? Would you suggest I add/remove anything? Thanks in advance!

25 year old asian male. Hoping to apply in fall 2017.

Targeting: Tuck (top choice right now), Yale SOM, Ross, Stern
Reach: Sloan, Kellogg

1) 1 Year Finance Rotational Program at a global bank, 1 Year Corporate Banking/M&A Origination at the same bank, 2 Years Corporate Development at a Fortune 25 (Household name)

2) Took GMAT three times 660 (48Q, 32V), 680 (49Q, 34V) and 700 (44Q, 41V). I finally hit the 700 mark, but my Q was way off. I have mixed thoughts on taking it again to get an extra 10-20 points given that it'll be my 4th go. How much does Tuck take the best Q and V into consideration (49Q, 41V) would translate to a ~730)?

3) Top 20 liberal arts college. 3.5 GPA Economics Major/Math Minor. Graduated in 2012.

4) College: Varsity collegiate athlete (captain, team scholar), Co-founded a club team that went to D3 Nationals multiple years. Economics tutor. Managing Editor of school newspaper. Post-college: Volunteer at a non-profit teaching inner city kids how to swim. Also work on budgets/grant proposals/general number crunching for the founder of the non-profit organization.

5) No certifications

6) Switch over to corporate strategy in the same sector my company is in

11/24/15

DangerZone,

Given that you are applying next fall and that you did do much better on the math in earlier exams, I would encourage you to retake. Is it possible that you can get in because with your major and professional experience shows you have the ability to do the math, yes. It's possible. It's also possible that some programs will look at the low quant score and just say no.

If you just can't stomach the thought of taking the exam again, then apply with this score and see how you do. You certainly have a chance at all your target programs. Everything is competitive except that quant score.

Regarding Tuck, I believe that it does take the highest separate quant and verbal scores; I know it used to do so. You can always ask them if it has that policy today. Obviously if it does, you have a competitive profile for Tuck, but being competitive means you are part way there. Not in.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/25/15

Hi Linda/Natalie

My brother is applying to the weekend MBA program at uMich/Ross. What are his chances?

1) 4 years at Ford Motor Company as a software engineer

2) GMAT: 680 (49Q, 34V)

3) Ferris State University. 3.11 cumulative GPA, Computer Science + Math Major.

4) Member of Hispanic American Business Club, programmed mobile app for local charity, volunteer at a homeless shelter, community service award.

5) None

6) Move up to management at a Fortune 500 company (mainly at automotive firms such as Ford, GM, fiat-Chrysler, etc.)

11/26/15

mike50,

Your brother has a competitive profile for the weekend program. I'm optimistic!

Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/25/15

Natalie/Linda,

  1. 1.5 years in audit at Big 4, .5 years in corporate restructuring/turnaround management consulting at a top shop (AlixPartners/A&M/FTI)
  2. GMAT 680
  3. Top 25 Public School with a 3.3 in accounting and finance (GPA was significantly affected by my pledging semester). Similar GPA in masters of accounting program at Wake Forest
  4. Founded the Special Olympics Club at my school
  5. CPA, CIRA
  6. Investment banking/consulting at a premier boutique/BB/MBB in NYC or Charlotte. Feel that I need a prestigious name to be taken seriously for internal advancement.

Thank you.

11/27/15

Jam-Consultant

You're in a bit of a bind. The top banking and consulting firms want to see a GMAT with a 7 starting it. Your GPA in both your undergrad and MAcc program are frankly also a little low for the top schools and the top firms. But you need to get into those schools to have a shot at the firms you are aiming for. And while I am not questioning you when you say your pledging semester contributed to a dip in your undergrad grades, your grad grades were similar, which takes away the argument that your undergrad grades are what they are because of one semester of over-involvement in your fraternity.

Your CPA,CIRA and work experience look good. Founding the Special Olympics at your school is also good. Have you any non-professional commitments since you graduated?

So basically, I think you either need to really raise that GMAT, or you need to be more realistic in your goals and target schools.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/27/15

Have stayed active in volunteering, albeit with various organizations as opposed to focusing on a single one. If i raised my GMAT to around 710 would schools like Stern or Fuqua be realistic or is the GPA too much to overcome? Thank you for you're candor.

11/27/15

Jam_consultant,

Thanks for your gracious reply. It's good that you have stayed active in community service.

No with a GMAT of 710 plus you would be more competitive. Fuqua and maybe Stern would be more realistic. Also consider Yale, Tuck, and Cornell Johnson.

Also realize there is nothing wrong with aiming high with one or two programs provided that you also have several programs that support your goals and where you are competitive and more likely to get in.

Best,
Linda.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/25/15

Good evening!

I have circled these forums for some time now and there seems to be a lot of people who have gone through what I am in right now. I am a graduate student at BI Norwegian Business School in Norway at the moment, BSc of Business and administration, with applied macroeconomics and modelling as my major. I had an Asset Management (real estate, Norway) internship during this summer, but did not feel like this was something for me.

I have always wanted to break into investment banking (London) and then move to a HF/PE, and this is where I am having trouble. I see that a lot of the graduates who complete the MIF at IE goes to IBD or other buy-side roles. Although I like their admissions office (very helpful) I think that their Sept-July would be bad for my chances of landing the dream internship.

At Bocconi I will have two summers to land internships and I will get a chance to test out two firms. I have heard that Bocconi is considered one of the top schools as well for recruiting, but they still do not compare to IE in terms of graduates in IBD.

I have not yet applied, but both admission offices said that it is very likely that I get in, given that I can score a 650 on the GMAT (Which should be more than manageable). I am currently top 5% in my year across all campuses, lots of extracarriculars, captain of the case-competition team, played sports at a high level. I also think that the school I am transferring from, which is highly ranked in both Eduniversal and FT, will give me a slight edge over other applicants.

My question is simple; where will I have the best chances of landing a job in the square mile?

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

11/27/15

Sal-ty, your post is confusing, so your question albeit simple requires a lot of follow up. Please clarify a few things and you man reply privately or on the forum if you want to share the information with your peers. 1. Did you just graduate from your undergraduate school in Norway? 2. or are you going to graduate this year? 3. or are you currently at Bocconi? 4. Where are you transferring from and where are you transferring to? 5. Have you had any full time work experience? 6. Am I missing something in this square mile?

To break into IB in London, check out LBS, LSE (MF), Oxford and Cambridge. Like most schools, recruiting tips toward the region. IE does draw recruiters from London, however, many banks shouldn't, but ask to see your GMAT (I know life is not fair). I've always liked athletes for a variety of reasons. They are driven, competitive, focused, strategic, know when to lead and when to follow and have a knack for sizing up the competition. I would consider MF programs in addition to MBA. Natalie

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/28/15

Sorry, for being ambiguous in that post. I am going to graduate in June 2016, so I am not currently at Bocconi. I only have one year of professional experience, from the Marines, as well as 2 summer internships that are relevant. I would not say that I am transferring from something, seeing that I am still in business school, but I am having trouble choosing where to go next.

I am going to spend Christmas and most of January focusing on my GMAT. To break into Oxbridge I guess my score should be in the 700s? I have always thought that those two schools are out of the question, because I do not have a big x-factor that they seem to look for (ie. not cured cancer, built orphanages in Africa, or climbed Mount Everest).

One last thing; should I inlcude that I am a member of Mensa in my resume or on my applications?

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

1/22/16

How did you do on the GMAT? Don't include Mensa. They should see your aptitude through your grades and GMAT.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein
Admissions Consultant & Former MBA Admissions Dean
www.accepted.com/mba
My bio | Contact Me

11/27/15

Hey Natalie, I have a specific question - say an Associate-level applicant works at a small firm (i.e. LMM PE shop). But the angle is the shop focuses on a really niche market, and the Associate does everything from sourcing deals, working on M&A transactions in an execution role, and does portfolio operations work (ex: build out 13 wk cash flows, ad hoc consulting projects, etc.) Would he market himself as a traditional PE guy when applying to schools, or would he say, "I work at an operations-focused PE shop, and I'm well-rounded in the sense that I do this, this, and this at my firm - and can say through my work experience that I've become a specialist in this industry"?

Reason I ask is b/c I know for a fact that there are very few shops that do what my firm does, and as such, I fear admissions will look at my profile and say, "We don't know what we can expect out of this guy. We haven't had anyone from his firm apply here before and his niche is very specialized. Why take a chance on him when we have more traditional PE guys who come from firms that we have accepted candidates from, and when we know what to expect out of these places?"

This question is tailored towards M7 schools (+ Tuck). Any insight would be great - thanks!

12/1/15

westcoastmonkey8, It's the applicant's job to educate the admission reader about unusual (and impressive) aspects of his or her work, responsibilities, achievements, and perspective. By all means highlight how your level of responsibility has been significant, wide-ranging, and contributed to a more profound understanding of business and finance -- and do so without putting down "traditional PE guys and gals."

First of all, have the academic stats so that committees won't feel that they are "taking a chance" with you. Then show them that you bring something special to the table so they will want to admit you -- and not the far more common, typical PE analyst represented by the file that was just read.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/28/15

Linda, Natalie hi,

Thank you for offering this! I am mainly targeting EU schools as I prefer 1 year programs due to my age. Mainly INSEAD & LBS, however I'd appreciate if you could assess my chances for specific US schools; i.e. Columbia, Wharton & Stern.

Btw, I am a 32 years old male with dual citizenship (EU and non-EU passports).

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

Post-masters:
- 5.5 years at an M&A boutique in Eastern Europe, the leading firm in my country but not well known internationally.
Working as a manager reporting directly to MDs and managing associate/analysts in the deal team.
My deal experience includes +$100 mn buy-side M&A advisory to a well-known European PE fund, as well as project finance advisory for a +$300 mn PPP/PFI infrastructure project. Also did some smaller deals on sell-side, all are cross-border transactions with major European firms being the buyers.
pre-masters:
- 1 year in auto industry at a leading European car manufacturer (that is pre-masters experience)

2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
GMAT: 660 (Q 81%, V 75%, AWA 5.5): Took this with not much effort for masters applications in 2008.
I guess I can take this to 690-710 level with enough studying.

3) College info:
IE Business School, Spain, Master in Mgt - graduated in 2010. GPA 3.6/4.0 with honorable mention
Technical Universty in CEE, Bsc in Industrial Eng. - 2006 graduated. GPA 3.1/4.0 (one of the top eng. schools in the country, hence not easy to obtain a great GPA).

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Did a 6 months military service leading a smaller team. Nothing more impressive than this.

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
none

6) Your post-MBA goal.
Move in to a mid-market PE fund, infrastructure fund or hopefully a Sovereign Wealth Fund office in Europe, Singapore, HK or UAE region (This would be US for US target schools).

Many thanks!

12/1/15

ASAPP,

You're welcome.

Assuming your GMAT comes in around 710, you have a competitive profile for both LBS and INSEAD. I believe that LBS, INSEAD, CBS, Wharton, and Stern would all wonder why do you need an MBA given your Masters in Management and your current PE work. None of them like the idea of being attended just for brand.

I do not think that 32 would be an insurmountable obstacle at any of your programs including the U.S. ones. You are on the older, more experienced end of the class, but the bigger, and related, question is why do you need an MBA?

Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/1/15

Thank you Linda, much appreciated!

I anticipate that it will be a challenge to argue the need for an MBA; but the Idea is to move to a PE fund in Western Europe / Asia via leveraging the INSEAD/LBS MBA network & experience in addition to gaining a management education at a later stage of my career.

Since on a stand-alone basis, working in an unknown IB currently does not help me to switch to a proper PE fund in Western Europe/Asia:)

Do you believe that is a weak argument? Many thanks agian!

12/1/15

ASAPP,

You're welcome.

Your argument is one of brand, not one of program or education. The schools are proud of their brands, but they want to see people who will also fit with their culture and appreciate what is distinctive if not unique about their programs.

What about any program that you intend to apply to will help you achieve your goal of moving to a well-known PE fund? Why are these PE companies willing to hire grads from LBS or Booth or CBS or Harvard or wherever when they won't hire someone with your experience? What do you intend to learn during these 1-2 years?

The answer to those questions will make a stronger argument -- and also one that is specific to the school and better enable you to show fit.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/3/15

Thank you for the insights, that is very helpful indeed. I will be in touch for your firm's services once I have a firm decision

undefined:

ASAPP,

You're welcome.

Your argument is one of brand, not one of program or education. The schools are proud of their brands, but they want to see people who will also fit with their culture and appreciate what is distinctive if not unique about their programs.

What about any program that you intend to apply to will help you achieve your goal of moving to a well-known PE fund? Why are these PE companies willing to hire grads from LBS or Booth or CBS or Harvard or wherever when they won't hire someone with your experience? What do you intend to learn during these 1-2 years?

The answer to those questions will make a stronger argument -- and also one that is specific to the school and better enable you to show fit.

12/5/15

Thanks for taking the time to do this! I'm considering applying to HBS 2+2 and GSB for their January deadlines. Here's my background:

  1. I interned this past summer at an MBB firm and will be returning full time as an analyst. I spent my sophomore summer doing and HR internship with a F500.
  2. GMAT 730, Q47 V44 (96th percentile overall)
  3. Cornell University, Industrial and Labor Relations, 3.75, May 2016.
  4. Founded a student organization devoted to prison reform, serve as Co-President of the Senior Class Campaign (gift giving), served as president the Slope Day Programming Board (Cornell's year end music festival), and president of my social fraternity.
  5. N/A
  6. I'd either plan to get sponsored by my firm and return or start a business with classmates. Not sure of my preferences or which would give me the best shot.

Thank you again!

12/8/15

Lockesmith,

You're welcome!

I think it''s worth a shot to try for both these programs and you certainly have a chance, but they are highly competitive schools and particularly tough programs. You may also wants to consider the Yale Silver Scholars program (http://som.yale.edu/programs/mba/admissions/silver...).

In other words, try, apply, and also make alternative plans in case you aren't accepted.

FYI, one of our consultants is an HBS grad (Baker Scholar) and gained admissions through 2+2.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/8/15

ASAPP,

You're welcome. We'll be delighted to help you. For information about our services, please see http://www.accepted.com/mba/services.

Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/29/15

Thanks in advance!

1) 3 years in a BB (Deutsche Bank / Credit Suisse / Barclays) S&T role (front office)
2) GMAT: 700
3) Top 10 Public University (Not one of the University of California system schools)
Major: Business Administration - Finance
GPA: 3.90
Major GPA: 4.00
Graduated 2012
4) Over 300 hours of community service after graduation, nothing too significant in college other than fraternity leadership, investment club participation, and being a teaching assistant
5) No certifications.
6) Goal of an MBA is to rebrand and transition into either real estate or investment banking (capital markets)

Other information:

Male, Hispanic URM
Schools I am interested in learning about my chances for: All M7 Schools, Yale, Cornell, Tuck, NY

12/1/15

leveragedtothehilt,

You're welcome!

IF your GMAT is balanced and you can show leadership and fit, you have a competitive profile for the M7 and listed schools.

Are you applying to the CGSM schools through the Consortium?

Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/1/15

Thank you Linda! Is there any advantage to applying to the consortium vs regularly in terms of admission chances?

12/3/15

Hi Leveragedtothehilt
Not to my knowledge, but it is easier and less expensive. Plus, there are recruiting opportunities for Consortium members, networking opportunities, and fellowship opportunities. It's worth checking out.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/9/15

25 year old Asian male

Targeting: UT McCombs, UNC Kenan Flagler

1) 1 year FP&A at a Fortune 100; 2.5 years at an investment bank performing valuations and opinions

2) 650; 76th

3)University of Mississippi, 3.86, Finance, 2011; University of Texas - Austin, 3.16, MAcc, 2012

4)Korean American Coalition; Korean American Bar Association; church involvement

5)None

6)Investment Banking Associate Position

12/9/15

daebak7,

You're caught between a rock and a hard place. You need to attend a program like one of these, or perhaps something even higher ranked to get into IB, but UNC and McCombs will both have serious concerns about your masters GPA and gmat score. I am not optimistic at all.

To have a competitive chance at either program, especially UNC, you need to raise that GMAT (and keep it balanced) and provide context for your masters GPA that will assure the schools that whatever contributed to the drop in grades won't happen again.

Sorry to be discouraging.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/14/15

Natalie & Linda,

Thanks for being so responsive. This has been helpful

12/15/15

Glad to be of help, Abomnia

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/15/15

Hello Natalie & Linda,

How do adcoms look at downward trends in GPA? My average GPA from sophomore through senior year will be 0.1 lower than it was freshman year.

Thanks!

12/15/15

Activistinvesting,

In general a declining GPA is red flag, however a .1 decline is pretty hard to draw conclusions from.
Did you have a bad semester due to illness in your sophomore year and then did well in your junior and senior years? Really not a big deal. If your grades dropped sharply in your senior year or if the overall trend was downward from your sophomore to senior years, that's going to be more of a problem even if the total drop for those 3 years when compared to your freshman year was only .1.

And then again if your grades consistently hovered around a specific number, it depends more what that number is. If your freshman year was a 3.8 and the next three years averaged consistently around 3.7 -- no problem. If your freshman year was a 3.0 and you sent down to a 2.9, then you have a problem in the top tier schools.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/20/15

Hi Natalie!!
My name is Niranjana and I'm planning to pursue MS in Finance in the US and looking for schools in the Boston area. I completed my education in India and currently reside in New Hampshire. Following are my details required for profile evaluation:
1) Work Experience: I worked with KPMG-India as an Executive in their Risk consulting division. This position was a full-time position and my work involved Risk-based Internal audits, Formulating Standardized operating procedures for companies, COSO mapping etc. Duration of my stay was 2 years. Apart from my experience in KPMG, I have done a couple of assignments as a free-lance consultant for CA firms in India. These assignments were based on Financial reporting, Fixed Asset and Stock verification and valuation, Due Diligence etc. I have also completed a Mandatory Internship of 3.5 years under a practicing public accountant as a part of the CA curriculum.

2) GRE scores: My official GRE is score is 307 out of 340. I have also finished TOEFL and awaiting results.

3) College info: I completed my Under-Graduate education from Bangalore University located in the city of Bangalore, India. I earned a Bachelor Of Commerce (B.Com) degree and the major subjects were Financial Management, Accounting, Taxation, Law and Auditing. My GPA is 3.5 and year of completion is June 2010.

4) Certifications: I'm a Chartered Accountant(CA) which is equivalent to CPA in the US. I'm an associate member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India(ICAI) which is a statutory body for regulating public accountants in India.

5) My goal as MSF: Finance is varied field of study and I have always been on the Financial Reporting and Auditing side of it. My goal is to venture into live markets and work with them, formulate new investments strategies and help the business community manage its portfolios better.

With the above information, kindly let me know whether I can get into MIT Sloan?? If not, which are next best options in Boston I should consider??

Thanks a lot for your help!!!

Regards
Niranjana

12/23/15

Niranjana,

Your GRE score is a major hurdle for MIT Sloan's MiF program and makes me pessimistic about your chances for acceptance unless you raise that GRE score.

Other MiF programs in Boston; Boston College, UMass Boston, and Northeastern University. Boston University offers a masters in Investment Management as well as an MS in Mathematical Finance. There are a few other programs too, but that should get you started.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/20/15

Hi, I have a dedicated thread to this however, I figure it would be good to ask you as well.

I'm a law student at a T25 law school, with a 2.4 in undergrad and a 760 GMAT. I have a 3.75 in law school and was wondering if I got corp dev/biglaw work experience if I'd have a decent chance at the top ten business schools.

12/23/15

Redelephant,

Obviously some of my response depends on what you actually do in your work, but assuming your work is competitive, you can demonstrate leadership, and given your GMAT and law school GPA, yes you have a shot at top 10 bschools.

Also, make sure you show in your application that whatever contributed to the low GPA in college is no longer a factor in your performance.

For more on dealing with a low undergrad GPA, please see http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/15/mba-admissions...

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/20/15

Hi Natalie,

Quick question. I've, in round 1, been accepted into Columbia and Sloan with no scholarship (Rejected HBS, Wharton). I didn't apply to any safeties because I really just thought "l can take out the loans because I'll make it back post business school". However, the reality of going 200k in debt is starting to scare me so I've been thinking about filling out a couple applications for a fewer easier to get into schools and seeing if I get large scholarships that might sway me from Columbia and/or Sloan. With that said, I'd be interested in hearing whether you think I have a chance at significant scholarships at Yale/Tuck/Stern/Andersen/Darden/Fuqua/Johnson and whether it's worth it for me to put in the effort and reach back out to my recommenders.

  • Currently at a BB in an FP&A/Treasury internal finance role. 2 promotions and great rec letters (Sloan's adcom member told me it was one of the most raving she had ever read). Previously M&A at a small company that was acquired within a year of me joining (lost my job in the acquisition) and previously at a f500 leadership development program. 4 years WE total.
  • 730 GMAT with huge bad split (60th percentile quant, 99th verbal). 3.4 from top 15 undergrad in econ. Also completed MBA Math course to make up for the quant somewhat.
  • white male
  • Very involved in several charity organizations with leadership positions. Mostly helping underprivileged kids. Also involved in a leadership position for campus recruiting for my firm.
  • Post MBA goal is Investment Banking. And I won't go to a school unless it's common for the BB banks to all come on campus and recruit.

I'm just not sure if it's worth it to go back to my recommenders and take the time. But I appreciate the feedback.

12/23/15

Finn1492,

I'm helping Natalie out right now.

First congrats on those acceptances! I do think you would have a chance at scholarship if you apply to several of the programs you listed. is it worth it? That's up to you. I can't even estimate what size scholarship you may get, but I'm almost positive it won't be a full ride. I would think it's worth it though.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/21/15

Hi Natalie and Linda,

Thank you for offering your professional advice! Please see my situation/background below:

  1. WE: 4 years (at matriculation for class of 2019) in Technology Consulting (Accenture/E&Y/PwC); have done both technical implementation work and most recently project management work
  2. GMAT: 750 (50Q 41V)
  3. College: graduated in 2013 from Top 10 engineering school (CMU, GaTech, UMIch) - B.S ChemE and BME Double Major with 3.03 GPA (upward trend) due to significant college ECs
  4. EC: Co-founded a startup in college that received some funding and co-founded a social fraternity. Volunteer Group lead at work and some other more minor post-grad ECs
  5. Certifications: none
  6. Post-MBA goal: BB Investment Banking (ideally in a healthcare group)
  7. Asian-American male

I applied to several schools this year (ranging from Booth to Yale) for the class of 2018 and was dinged by all of them. Only received an interview invite from Booth, which I thought I did very well in FWIW. Despite my true desires for IB, my applications this year centered on wanting to do MBB to gain the skills to eventually expand my family's pharma business as it created the most cohesive/interesting story. I was afraid that saying IB would be too random for my background.

I am not sure if my schools are too ambitious and that I need to be more realistic with my targets. Or if there is something fundamentally wrong with my candidacy that I can improve on. I do not plan on applying anymore this year and would rather give these schools another shot next year. I plan on taking a couple extension courses and maybe volunteering in some pro-bono consulting.

Any advice or feedback will be much appreciated!

IBY1229

12/23/15

IBY,

The most obvious weakness in your profile is your undergrad GPA. Either the upward trend was slight or you had to start with some really low grades. To mitigate the undergrad record in addition to your excellent GMAT, take a few business-related classes and earn A's in them. Also see http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/15/mba-admissions....

I also urge you to state your true goal and reasoning and make a case for how your technology consulting and project management work will help you in IB. Keep in mind:

  1. You real sincerity and interest should help you in interview and with essays.
  2. The schools are used to career changers.
  3. If you can't make this case to the schools, how are you going to make it to employers? Perhaps your focus will be on IB in pharma or in bio tech.....

You may be aiming a little too high. I suggest you try for 3-4 programs that support your goals and are easier to get into and a 3-4 programs where you will be a reapplicant. You may also want to consider a Rejection Review (http://www.accepted.com/mba/services/applicationre...). If you are making mistakes in presenting yourself, you need to know it before you apply again. You don't want to make those mistakes again.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting