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 86 Followers 166 Discussions
Oxford, United Kingdom 61 Followers 247 Discussions
Barcelona, Spain 51 Followers 216 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 145 Followers 437 Discussions
Madrid, Spain 105 Followers 355 Discussions
Cambridge, Massachusetts 45 Followers 164 Discussions
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 59 Followers 164 Discussions
Barcelona, Spain 27 Followers 146 Discussions
Boston, Massachusetts 75 Followers 202 Discussions
New York City, New York 156 Followers 239 Discussions
Evanston, Illinois 63 Followers 191 Discussions
Fontainebleau, France 63 Followers 284 Discussions

MBA News

Jul 02, 2020

Corvinus University of Budapest Receives AMBA Accreditation

Jul 02, 2020

More MBA News

More MBA Articles

Blended Physical and Digital Classes the Norm for MBA Programs This Fall

Jun 23, 2020

There will much more digital delivery of MBA programs in the new academic year, but campuses are reopening around the world, albeit with smaller class sizes and social distancing

Crowdfunding and Beyond: Novel Ways to Pay for an MBA

Jun 11, 2020

From income share agreements to the ‘bank of mom and dad’, funding pressure has forced students and startups to find creative solutions to finance MBA degrees

Should you Apply for an Online or Campus MBA When Lockdown Ends?

May 28, 2020

The coronavirus crisis is forcing business schools to bolster their online learning environments, but remote study may involve a trade-off between flexibility and networking

More Articles

Related Top 10 Lists

More Top 10 Lists