MBA Applicant Profile: Luis David Sena

Sena, who’s from the Dominican Republic and has experience in the public sector, wants to apply to top-tier schools like Harvard and Stanford. Three MBA admissions consultants analyze his chances

Luis David Sena

This is the first in a series of profiles on the winners of FIND MBA's recent MBA application advice contest.

Luis David Sena has over five years of work experience, mainly in the public sector. He’s also founded his own business. He did two bachelor’s degrees, one in Business Administration and the other in International Relations, both at the University of Evansville; he also has an MSc in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics. He got a 680 on the GMAT and wants to do an MBA from a top-tier school like Harvard, Stanford, MIT – Sloan, or London Business School, in order to help learn how to design new innovative strategies for businesses in the Latin American market.

FIND MBA spoke with three admissions consultants about Sena’s MBA applications, as well as what he can do to help improve his profile.

Work experience

In general, the admissions consultants found that Sena’s work experience, which spans several domains in the public sector, was solid, and adequate for the schools he is considering applying to.

“His work experience looks really great, and it connects really well with his post-MBA goals,” says Dollaya Chaibongsai, the managing director of The MBA Exchange.

“That will speak very well to admissions committees. They'll be able to connect the dots and see the value that their MBA could have for him, and accelerate the path to his goals.”

Stacy Blackman advised that Sena use his application essays to really flesh out what he’s done during his career, and connect his past positions with future career goals. “Really make that story come alive,” she says. “If he wants to these schools, Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg, and Wharton, he needs to show how he was a leader in his various roles.”

“I think the story could jump off the page, but he's got to dig a lot deeper.”

GMAT score

With a 680 GMAT score, Sena is batting well below the averages of the schools that he’s applying to. The median GMAT of the incoming class at Harvard, for instance, is 730; it’s 732 at Stanford. This, the admissions consultants agreed, could be an issue, especially if one part of the score—the verbal or the quantitative—was substantially higher than the other.

“He actually needs to look at his GMAT score and see whether one half of his GMAT score is out of balance with the other,” says Duncan Chapple. “Because a small improvement in the low half of an unbalanced GMAT score can produce a big increase in the final score.”

“The GMAT is below average,” says Stacy Blackman. “But it's one piece of the puzzle, so if he can pull together the rest of the puzzle, then he definitely might be ok.”

School selection

Besides Stanford, Harvard, MIT - Sloan, Booth, and LBS, Sena is also considering the University of Oxford’s Said Business School, INSEAD, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, New York University’s Stern School of Business, and the Wharton School.

Dollaya Chaibongsai says that these schools would definitely help Sena along his career path. “The schools that he's targeting are very global in reach,” she says, and “are top ranked, and I think that's the right way to look at it.”

However, Duncan Chapple advises that, since Sena wants to work in the Latin American market, he should look more closely at schools with more robust connections to the region. “If he wants to be credibly serving the Latin American market, he has to be looking at the US schools with the best implantation in Latin America,” Chapple says.

“That definitely means Harvard, that means Stanford. I would certainly put Kellogg on that list,” since Kellogg’s Executive MBA program in Miami gives the school base there.

“And obviously, if you're looking at entrepreneurship in the Spanish-speaking countries, IE in Madrid has to be on top of your list. IESE and ESADE, these also have to be at the top of the list.”


Participating Admissions Consultants:

Comments


Related Business Schools

Stanford, California 90 Followers 167 Discussions
Oxford, United Kingdom 63 Followers 267 Discussions
Barcelona, Spain 49 Followers 226 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 160 Followers 453 Discussions
Madrid, Spain 107 Followers 341 Discussions
Cambridge, Massachusetts 50 Followers 169 Discussions
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 63 Followers 164 Discussions
Barcelona, Spain 28 Followers 160 Discussions
Boston, Massachusetts 80 Followers 201 Discussions
New York City, New York 169 Followers 242 Discussions
Evanston, Illinois 71 Followers 199 Discussions
Fontainebleau, France 66 Followers 298 Discussions

MBA News

Dec 10, 2021

French Business Programs Dominate 2021 Ranking

Dec 10, 2021

More MBA News

More MBA Articles

MBA Programs in Arts Management Take Center Stage

Jan 19, 2022

Some business schools have created courses that appeal to leaders of artistic and cultural institutions

MBA School Choice: MIT Sloan Vs. Berkeley Haas

Jan 10, 2022

Close community defines both programs and enables an environment of innovation, ideas and impact.

At Elite MBA Programs, GMAT Scores are Soaring to Record Highs

Dec 06, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic drove a surge in demand for MBAs, enabling schools to be far more selective in admissions

More Articles

Related Top 10 Lists

More Top 10 Lists