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  • #26022

    jackal1979
    Participant

    Hi. I hope you can find the time to answer my question. Your advice is great BTW.

    I have heard you are at a big disadvantage at the top schools if you do not attend an ivy undergrad. I hope this is not true but I do look forward to your honest response, however brutal the truth is.

    Jack

    #26023

    Hi Jack and thanks for your inquiry.

    Hi. I hope you can find the time to answer my question. Your advice is great BTW.

    Thanks! [:I]

    I have heard you are at a big disadvantage at the top schools if you do not attend an ivy undergrad. I hope this is not true but I do look forward to your honest response, however brutal the truth is.

    Jack

    This is another ‘urban legend’ that, unfortunately, continues to propagate itself. There is an ounce — and only an ounce — of truth which is the admissions officers know grade inflation can be a bit rampant at some schools and therefore a 3.3 from a top-tier undergrad may be viewed similarly to a 3.5 in the same major from a lesser-known school.

    If you are looking at statistics that show a large number of applicants to the top schools come from Ivy League undergrads, bear in mind these two points:

    1. These schools tend to attract a disproportionate amount of talented overachievers.
    2. The ‘feeder companies’ for the top b-schools (think the top consulting firms and investment banks) tend to recruit at these schools.

    If you have the same GMAT, GPA, extracurriculars, and work experience as another applicant and the only difference is that you went to Blank State U and the other applicant attended, say, Princeton, you would both have the same chance of being admitted to a top b-school.

    We have seen this time and time again with our own clients.

    Best of luck with your applications!

    Sincerely,

    David Petersam
    DPetersam@admissionsconsultants.com

    Admissions committee experience from the top b-schools

    AdmissionsConsultants
    703.242.5885

    #26029

    Kaptan
    Participant

    David,

    I took the GMAT in 1997 (the old-fashioned written test) and got a 670. I believe that score is now expired. I took it again in 1999 and got a 640. I feel that the computer format threw me a bit and I think I can get do 50-70 points better if I am more prepared. I am considering taking it again this fall and plan to actually apply to some business schools this time around.

    I have two questions. First, will admissions people think there is something wrong with me because I have taken the test 3 times in 6 years? And second, since one of those past scores is still current, will it be averaged with, or replaced by the new score?

    Thank you.

    #26030

    Hi and thanks for your inquiry.

    David,

    I took the GMAT in 1997 (the old-fashioned written test) and got a 670. I believe that score is now expired. I took it again in 1999 and got a 640. I feel that the computer format threw me a bit and I think I can get do 50-70 points better if I am more prepared. I am considering taking it again this fall and plan to actually apply to some business schools this time around.

    I have two questions. First, will admissions people think there is something wrong with me because I have taken the test 3 times in 6 years? And second, since one of those past scores is still current, will it be averaged with, or replaced by the new score?

    First of all, ETS (the GMAT test’s administrator) will only send the schools the scores from the past 5 years. As a result, the admissions committees will never see the score from 1997.

    I would strongly encourage you to retake the exam if you are indeed confident you can increase your score by the number of points you suggested above. (Please note I’m assuming your 640 score is well below the mean score of an admitted applicant at the schools you are targeting.)

    If your second score shows a marked improvement, the admissions committees will not think there is anything wrong with you. Furthermore, nearly all schools take your highest score and several will take the highest score from each section of the GMAT. For example, if test A has a higher quantitative score than test B, and test B has a higher verbal score, the school would take the with Q score from test A and the V score from test B. Very few schools will average your 2 GMAT scores.

    Thank you.

    Best of luck with your applications!

    Sincerely,

    David Petersam
    DPetersam@admissionsconsultants.com

    Admissions committee experience from the top b-schools

    AdmissionsConsultants
    703.242.5885

    #26041

    jpav98
    Participant

    David,

    Question on application submission. Is there any advantage to submitting early in a round as opposed to sumbitting on the last day of the round?

    Working hard to make mom and pop proud. (Well, sort of hard…)

    #26042

    Hi and thanks for your inquiry.

    David,

    Question on application submission. Is there any advantage to submitting early in a round as opposed to sumbitting on the last day of the round?

    Good question. The general answer is no. The particulars to consider are:

    1. Be certain your essays, references, etc. are perfected.
    2. Determine if you are the type of applicant who will incessantly tweak your story and applications, perhaps for the worst by second-guessing yourself.
    3. Project the likelihood you will receive a promotion or have some other accomplishment between the date of application submission and the end of that round.

    Best of luck with your applications!

    Sincerely,

    David Petersam
    DPetersam@admissionsconsultants.com

    Admissions committee experience from the top b-schools

    AdmissionsConsultants
    703.242.5885

    #26061

    jwt2809
    Participant

    David,

    I have a question about the Stern application. They ask for a resume including educational and professional information, as well as an Employment History which includes responsibilities at each position. Its seems that the Employment History will be redundant with the resume. How should the two items be structured, in your opinion, to avoid this problem? Thanks in advance for your response.

    Jason

    #26062

    Hi Jason and thanks for your inquiry.

    David,

    I have a question about the Stern application. They ask for a resume including educational and professional information, as well as an Employment History which includes responsibilities at each position. Its seems that the Employment History will be redundant with the resume. How should the two items be structured, in your opinion, to avoid this problem? Thanks in advance for your response.

    This is a good question. The employment history allows you to provide more details about specific accomplishments, levels of responsibility and leadership accomplishments. It is also the best place to explain your career progression and why you left one employer for another.

    The resume is more of a one page (most of the time anyway) executive summary of your career with some bullet points.

    Jason

    Best of luck with your applications!

    Sincerely,

    David Petersam
    DPetersam@admissionsconsultants.com

    Admissions committee experience from the top b-schools

    AdmissionsConsultants
    703.242.5885

    #26073

    jwt2809
    Participant

    Thanks for the help David. Your insightful responses are extremely valuable. I do have another question regarding the Duke application. I have my application ready to submit, but I won’t be able to travel to Duke for the interview before their cut-off period. Should I wait and apply in the second round when I can interview, or would I be better off applying in round 1? Do you think I will be penalized without an interview? It appears that the interview is a major part of their application.

    Thanks again, Jason

    #26074

    Hi Jason and thanks for your follow-up inquiry.

    Thanks for the help David. Your insightful responses are extremely valuable. I do have another question regarding the Duke application. I have my application ready to submit, but I won’t be able to travel to Duke for the interview before their cut-off period. Should I wait and apply in the second round when I can interview, or would I be better off applying in round 1? Do you think I will be penalized without an interview? It appears that the interview is a major part of their application.

    You are correct to state the interview is a major part of the application at Duke. The same is true of most other b-schools as well. Regarding Duke, if you are in the U.S. and do not live on the West Coast, you must now interview on their campus by that deadline. You can feel free to call Duke and explain your situation, but I don’t want to give you false hope about your chances of receiving a waiver. My gut says you will need to be a very solid applicant and have a very good reason for why you can’t visit Fuqua. (I’m thinking something along the lines of you are in the military and about to get shipped off to Iraq.)

    On a related note, Duke is now scheduling Saturday interviews in an attempt to accommodate as many applicants as possible. I don’t know your particular circumstances, but this may allow you to meet their cut-off period.

    In conclusion if your circumstances dictate that you are supposed to interview at Duke before the cut-off date and (1) you can’t travel to Duke and (2) you are not granted a waiver, then we would advise you to submit your application in the second round.

    Thanks again, Jason

    Best of luck with your applications!

    Sincerely,

    David Petersam
    DPetersam@admissionsconsultants.com

    Admissions committee experience from the top b-schools

    AdmissionsConsultants
    703.242.5885

    #26105

    This may be old news to some of you, but I was just informed by one of our full-time MBA admissions consultants that Chicago added a new optional essay yesterday:

    Essay E (Optional) If there is further information that you believe would be helpful to the admissions committee, please feel free to provide it.

    Chicago’s first-round application deadline is November 7.

    Best of luck with your applications!

    Sincerely,

    David Petersam
    DPetersam@admissionsconsultants.com

    Admissions committee experience from the top b-schools

    AdmissionsConsultants
    703.242.5885

    #26184

    rayover
    Participant

    Dear David,

    Your advice is very good. I would like to ask you a quick question.

    HOw important is the AWA score of the GMAT? If I did well on V, should I even care about the AWA?

    Thanks,

    Ray

    #26186

    Hi Ray and thanks for your inquiry.

    Dear David,

    Your advice is very good. Thanks! :-) I would like to ask you a quick question.

    Go right ahead…

    HOw important is the AWA score of the GMAT? If I did well on V, should I even care about the AWA?

    Good question. It is becoming more popular amongst admissions officers and some schools (the best known is probably Yale SOM) scrutinize it rather closely due to concerns about applicants getting outside help with essays.

    Since we don’t ghostwrite essays and we leave them in the applicants’ own voices, we’re not very concerned about this new development and we don’t anticipate it having any effect on our success rate.

    Thanks,

    Ray

    Best of luck with your applications!

    Sincerely,

    David Petersam
    DPetersam@admissionsconsultants.com

    Admissions committee experience from the top b-schools

    AdmissionsConsultants
    703.242.5885

    #26190

    jch28
    Participant

    David,

    I am currently an undergraduate (this usually sounds the alarm) at Drexel University. I have a GPA of 3.6 and a GMAT score of 710, and am heavily involved on campus in leadership activities. However, I only have 1 year of work experience through co-ops, and realize that I’m at a great disadvantage in this area. For this reason, I was going to wait 2-3 years, and then apply to top MBA programs. However, I know that what they are looking for is high-quality work exp., not just work exp. For this, I would obviosly need to find a high-quality job, and I have nothing surely lined up yet (I graduate in May 2004).

    My question is: Should I reduce my targeted schools, and apply to schools in the 20-30 range that I would have a better chance of getting in at? Or holdout for a high-quality position (risking having no job for a while)? Or take the best job I can find?

    I’m confident in my essays, and letters of rec., the only hinderance I see is my lack of work exp.

    Sorry for the long post, thanks for taking the time.

    Sincerely,

    Jim Holland

    #26191

    Hi Jim and thanks for your inquiry.

    David,

    I am currently an undergraduate (this usually sounds the alarm) at Drexel University. I have a GPA of 3.6 and a GMAT score of 710, and am heavily involved on campus in leadership activities. However, I only have 1 year of work experience through co-ops, and realize that I’m at a great disadvantage in this area. For this reason, I was going to wait 2-3 years, and then apply to top MBA programs. However, I know that what they are looking for is high-quality work exp., not just work exp. For this, I would obviosly need to find a high-quality job, and I have nothing surely lined up yet (I graduate in May 2004).

    You are correct that the admissions committees care far more about the quality of the work experience than the quantity. In fact, 4% of the entering class at HBS this year came directly from undergraduate. Granted, they had some huge ‘wow’ factors in terms of military leadership, running a business out of a dorm room, etc., but, nonetheless, 4% is a material number of incoming students and it is indeed possible to gain admission to a top b-school without full-time, post-undergraduate work experience.

    My question is: Should I reduce my targeted schools, and apply to schools in the 20-30 range that I would have a better chance of getting in at? Or holdout for a high-quality position (risking having no job for a while)? Or take the best job I can find?

    This is going to be a personal decision for you. If you go to a top 30 school now, you won’t be able to attend a top 10 school down the road.

    As an up-front disclaimer, I’m going to wear my ‘admissions hat’ as I answer your jobs question. (Read: there are other things to consider such as happiness, fulfillment, etc.) This said, a high-quality position to an admissions committee gives you a lot of opportunity for personal development and experience in leadership and teamwork situations. They also love to see a good career progression so if you join a small company, try to select one where you may be able to create your own position if the only level above you is the owner.

    You don’t have to secure employment in a business-related field, but it will probably make demonstrating the need for an MBA a bit easier if your work experience is in management, finance, operations, etc. Finally, there are a ton of IT applicants out there and differentiation amongst them is not always easy to achieve.

    I’m confident in my essays, and letters of rec., the only hinderance I see is my lack of work exp.

    Understood. However, that lack of work experience is likely to disrupt your story and this story is what you are trying to convey in your essays and recommendations.

    Sorry for the long post, thanks for taking the time.

    No problem. [:)] Don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you would like to schedule a pre admissions consultation to determine if you should apply now or later. If you and your consultant decide you should apply later, we will provide you with a detailed action plan to ensure you optimize your positioning for those future applications.

    Sincerely,

    Jim Holland

    Best of luck with your applications!

    Sincerely,

    David Petersam
    DPetersam@admissionsconsultants.com

    Admissions committee experience from the top b-schools

    AdmissionsConsultants
    703.242.5885

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