A-typical applicant. Should I retake the GRE? (please say no)


MBAaaaaaa

Are the target school within reach? Is there a smart way that I should approach my applications that maybe isn't obvious?


GRE Score: 320

- Quant: 156, Verbal: 164

- AWA: Pending


Academic Background:

- Undergrad: University of Houston 2008 - 4.0 GPA, Majored in International Relations, English, with a minor in Entrepreneurship

- Grad: Law School, UCLA 2012, Specialization in Business Law - (have to double check GPA/rank)


Professional Life:


Note: I'm going to share some background that I don't openly discuss. My intention is not to brag here. I want to get a better sense whether what I'm trying to accomplish is within reach, and I think this background will help evaluate that.


Current: in-house counsel at a major energy company. Distinguished as the youngest hire in the company's history. I am thriving in the company and am well regarded at a high level. I primarily focus on the acquisition, registration, and sale of aircraft. I've handled billions in transactions for the company without oversight. I also assist with the company's VC division. I have been practicing for 8 years (I'm currently 35).


Current: Co-founded a business in my last year of law school. The business helps address the food desert issue in the city that I am residing. The business currently has annual sales of 17 million, and we have 90 employees on staff. By next year (when we open our third location), we expect to have 150 employees. The majority of our employees have criminal backgrounds, including several convicted of murder. We provide career opportunities for these men and women. We are also an African American and female-owned business. My partner (I am one of three founders) is African American, and a key motivator for her joining us was the significant amount of community-focused work that we do. This work has been acknowledged by the city, and we are hoping to partner with them on our next location.


Previous: I used to be a professional web developer. I started an attorney referral service during my undergraduate career, and that experience is what made me decide to go to law school. After volunteering on Skid Row during my final year of law school (UCLA has a legal assistance program), I learned about food deserts. I then applied the profits from the attorney referral service and co-founded the business described in the prior bullet point. I handle the technical work for the business  (eg, app development, database work, design, etc.), in addition to legal work for the company.





Why business school:


The business is of course something that I am very proud of, and I have been able to nurture it without compromising my work as in-house counsel for the energy company. I see a great deal of potential for the business, as well as the opportunity to do good. Currently, the business is being increasingly confronted by challenges  that my partners and I do not have the sophistication or knowledge to address. Business school has always been something that I wanted to attend, but it's only now that it is feeling like something that I could directly apply to my professional life.





That said, considering the work involved and the fact that I will continue juggling my legal work with the energy company (unless I can take a sabbatical), as well as my obligations to the business, I really only want to go to an elite university. The brand-recognition of the university/school is also very important, as it will help me develop my in-house counsel role into other areas of the company. I recognize that these are reaches:





Target Schools (note, I would prefer not to go the executive MBA route, but I am open to online if available):


- Harvard Business


- Stanford Business


- Columbia


- Yale


- NYU





If you've made it this far, thanks. Your honest thoughts/suggestions are appreciated.

[Edited by MBAaaaaaa on Feb 14, 2021]

Are the target school within reach? Is there a smart way that I should approach my applications that maybe isn't obvious?<br><br>
GRE Score: 320<br>
- Quant: 156, Verbal: 164<br>
- AWA: Pending<br><br>
Academic Background:<br>
- Undergrad: University of Houston 2008 - 4.0 GPA, Majored in International Relations, English, with a minor in Entrepreneurship<br>
- Grad: Law School, UCLA 2012, Specialization in Business Law - (have to double check GPA/rank)<br><br>
Professional Life:<br><br>
Note: I'm going to share some background that I don't openly discuss. My intention is not to brag here. I want to get a better sense whether what I'm trying to accomplish is within reach, and I think this background will help evaluate that.<br><br>
Current: in-house counsel at a major energy company. Distinguished as the youngest hire in the company's history. I am thriving in the company and am well regarded at a high level. I primarily focus on the acquisition, registration, and sale of aircraft. I've handled billions in transactions for the company without oversight. I also assist with the company's VC division. I have been practicing for 8 years (I'm currently 35).<br><br>
Current: Co-founded a business in my last year of law school. The business helps address the food desert issue in the city that I am residing. The business currently has annual sales of 17 million, and we have 90 employees on staff. By next year (when we open our third location), we expect to have 150 employees. The majority of our employees have criminal backgrounds, including several convicted of murder. We provide career opportunities for these men and women. We are also an African American and female-owned business. My partner (I am one of three founders) is African American, and a key motivator for her joining us was the significant amount of community-focused work that we do. This work has been acknowledged by the city, and we are hoping to partner with them on our next location.<br><br>
Previous: I used to be a professional web developer. I started an attorney referral service during my undergraduate career, and that experience is what made me decide to go to law school. After volunteering on Skid Row during my final year of law school (UCLA has a legal assistance program), I learned about food deserts. I then applied the profits from the attorney referral service and co-founded the business described in the prior bullet point. I handle the technical work for the business&nbsp; (eg, app development, database work, design, etc.), in addition to legal work for the company.<br><br>
<br><br>
Why business school:<br><br>
The business is of course something that I am very proud of, and I have been able to nurture it without compromising my work as in-house counsel for the energy company. I see a great deal of potential for the business, as well as the opportunity to do good. Currently, the business is being increasingly confronted by challenges&nbsp; that my partners and I do not have the sophistication or knowledge to address. Business school has always been something that I wanted to attend, but it's only now that it is feeling like something that I could directly apply to my professional life.<br><br>
<br><br>
That said, considering the work involved and the fact that I will continue juggling my legal work with the energy company (unless I can take a sabbatical), as well as my obligations to the business, I really only want to go to an elite university. The brand-recognition of the university/school is also very important, as it will help me develop my in-house counsel role into other areas of the company. I recognize that these are reaches:<br><br>
<br><br>
Target Schools (note, I would prefer not to go the executive MBA route, but I am open to online if available):<br><br>
- Harvard Business<br><br>
- Stanford Business<br><br>
- Columbia<br><br>
- Yale<br><br>
- NYU<br><br>
<br><br>
If you've made it this far, thanks. Your honest thoughts/suggestions are appreciated.
quote
Duncan

I am intrigued by the account you've given, especially since I'm one of UCLA Alumni's career counsellors (Anderson '02).  I suspect your admission chances are NYU > Columbia >  Harvard > Yale > Stanford. 

Your low Quant score and age are an issue with some schools: you are a classic EMBA applicant. Ross and Fuqua would be less concerned about your Quant score. However, it's your seniority that is the challenge: you are not targeting the roles that full-time MBA students target, and you would take the seat of someone much more suited for one of the school's strategic hiring partners. THat's why taking the GRE won't help much: it's your fit with the rest of the cohort's career goals that's the issue. 

[Edited by Duncan on Feb 14, 2021]

I am intrigued by the account you've given, especially since I'm one of UCLA Alumni's career counsellors (Anderson '02).&nbsp; I suspect your admission chances are NYU &gt; Columbia &gt;&nbsp; Harvard &gt; Yale &gt; Stanford.&nbsp;<br><br>Your low Quant score and age are an issue with some schools: you are a classic EMBA applicant. Ross and Fuqua would be less concerned about your Quant score. However, it's your seniority that is the challenge: you are not targeting the roles that full-time MBA students target, and you would take the seat of someone much more suited for one of the school's strategic hiring partners. THat's why taking the GRE won't help much: it's your fit with the rest of the cohort's career goals that's the issue.&nbsp;
quote
MBAaaaaaa

I am intrigued by the account you've given, especially since I'm one of UCLA Alumni's career counsellors (Anderson '02).  I suspect your admission chances are NYU > Columbia >  Harvard > Yale > Stanford. 

Your low Quant score and age are an issue with some schools: you are a classic EMBA applicant. Ross and Fuqua would be less concerned about your Quant score. However, it's your seniority that is the challenge: you are not targeting the roles that full-time MBA students target, and you would take the seat of someone much more suited for one of the school's strategic hiring partners. THat's why taking the GRE won't help much: it's your fit with the rest of the cohort's career goals that's the issue. 


Hi Duncan, thanks for your reply (especially considering your an Anderson counselor!). You raise an excellent point regarding taking the spot of a more conventional applicant. 






My aversion to the EMBA route is that I've been told that it doesn't hold the same prestige/weight. 





[Edited by MBAaaaaaa on Feb 17, 2021]

[quote]I am intrigued by the account you've given, especially since I'm one of UCLA Alumni's career counsellors (Anderson '02).&nbsp; I suspect your admission chances are NYU &gt; Columbia &gt;&nbsp; Harvard &gt; Yale &gt; Stanford.&nbsp;<br><br>Your low Quant score and age are an issue with some schools: you are a classic EMBA applicant. Ross and Fuqua would be less concerned about your Quant score. However, it's your seniority that is the challenge: you are not targeting the roles that full-time MBA students target, and you would take the seat of someone much more suited for one of the school's strategic hiring partners. THat's why taking the GRE won't help much: it's your fit with the rest of the cohort's career goals that's the issue.&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>Hi Duncan, thanks for your reply (especially considering your an Anderson counselor!). You raise an excellent point regarding taking the spot of a more conventional applicant.&nbsp;<br><br>
<br><div><br><br>
</div><div>My aversion to the EMBA route is that I've been told that it doesn't hold the same prestige/weight.&nbsp;<br><br>
</div><div><br></div><div><br><br>
</div>
quote
Duncan

The EMBA doesn't hold the same weight for the hiring managers you don't care about: the ones hiring 29-year-olds for associate roles in MC and IB sweatshops. However, the EMBA is a real MBA and, if you compare the market value of EMBA using salary data, then the market as a whole obviously does value top EMBA graduates more highly than MBAs from the same schools. 

I think you should consider the very best EMBAs: Chicago, Penn, Columbia, as well as UCB and UCLA. Food deserts are especially problematic in NYC, SF and Chicago, and your project will strike a chord there. UTA could be an option if you have returned to Texas. 

The EMBA doesn't hold the same weight for the hiring managers you don't care about: the ones hiring 29-year-olds for associate roles in MC and IB sweatshops. However, the EMBA is a real MBA and, if you compare the market value of EMBA using salary data, then the market as a whole obviously does value top EMBA graduates more highly than MBAs from the same schools.&nbsp;<br><br>I think you should consider the very best EMBAs: Chicago, Penn, Columbia, as well as UCB and UCLA. Food deserts are especially problematic in NYC, SF and Chicago, and your project will strike a chord there. UTA could be an option if you have returned to Texas.&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

I would also suggest: the OPM at HBS (it's an alumni-status executive program). Northwestern, Michigan and Duke EMBAs might be worth considering if you are closer to them. 

PS Yale, Cornell and Georgetown would be interested in you, but you can do better. 

[Edited by Duncan on Feb 16, 2021]

I would also suggest: the OPM at HBS (it's an alumni-status executive program). Northwestern, Michigan and Duke EMBAs might be worth considering if you are closer to them.&nbsp;<br><br>PS Yale, Cornell and Georgetown would be interested in you, but you can do better.&nbsp;
quote

Reply to Post

Related Business Schools

Boston, Massachusetts 78 Followers 199 Discussions
Stanford, California 88 Followers 166 Discussions
New York City, New York 152 Followers 241 Discussions
New Haven, Connecticut 41 Followers 60 Discussions
New York City, New York 162 Followers 240 Discussions

Other Related Content

Nov 04, 2020

The Financial Times Updates Executive MBA Ranking for 2020

News Nov 04, 2020

MBA Admissions Test Choice: GRE or GMAT?

Article Feb 16, 2016

More schools than ever are offering applicants a choice between taking the GRE and taking the GMAT. But many admissions directors say they still prefer the trusty old GMAT.

Hot Discussions