My chances at a top 10 bschool


Hello. I was hoping that somebody could give me some unbiased feedback about my profile, as I am preparing to apply to some business schools.

I recently took the GMAT and I did not do as well as I expected, I got a 680. However, I am hoping that my work history and background might be enough to offset that.

I graduated from university in 2005, and immediately after went to to a west African country for the Peace Corps, where I worked in community economic development. Since I finished the Peace Corps I have worked with several community organizations here in the US, helping them with loan schemes for low-income people who want to open their own businesses businesses.

I have around 5 years of experience doing that, in a variety of capacities. My goal is now to go into a top 10 US bschool and afterwards start my own social enterprise startup. Stanford is my dream school, but I am planning on also applying to Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley.

My dilemma is this: since some of the round one deadlines for these MBA programs are in a matter of weeks, should I try to quickly retake the GMAT to see if I can get a better score? Or is my background unique enough that I shouldn't worry so much about my GMAT?

Hello. I was hoping that somebody could give me some unbiased feedback about my profile, as I am preparing to apply to some business schools.

I recently took the GMAT and I did not do as well as I expected, I got a 680. However, I am hoping that my work history and background might be enough to offset that.

I graduated from university in 2005, and immediately after went to to a west African country for the Peace Corps, where I worked in community economic development. Since I finished the Peace Corps I have worked with several community organizations here in the US, helping them with loan schemes for low-income people who want to open their own businesses businesses.

I have around 5 years of experience doing that, in a variety of capacities. My goal is now to go into a top 10 US bschool and afterwards start my own social enterprise startup. Stanford is my dream school, but I am planning on also applying to Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley.

My dilemma is this: since some of the round one deadlines for these MBA programs are in a matter of weeks, should I try to quickly retake the GMAT to see if I can get a better score? Or is my background unique enough that I shouldn't worry so much about my GMAT?
quote
ralph

In terms of GMAT scores, you're at the bottom end of the middle 80 percent range of most of these schools. The general rule of thumb is if you think you can do better, then you should retake the GMAT, but if you think 680 is what you are capable of then stick with it.

I think that your background does make you relatively unique, and if you can, through your application essays, convincingly convey your goals and how the business school experience can help you achieve them, then I think you have an above-average chance at the top tier. But a 700+ GMAT score would help seal the deal.

Another strategy could be to apply to a couple of the top tier schools, Stanford and Harvard or whatever, and then also apply to a safety school that you have a better chance at, to hedge your bets. Something like Brandeis' Heller MBA might be worth looking into, in this sense.

In terms of GMAT scores, you're at the bottom end of the middle 80 percent range of most of these schools. The general rule of thumb is if you think you can do better, then you should retake the GMAT, but if you think 680 is what you are capable of then stick with it.

I think that your background does make you relatively unique, and if you can, through your application essays, convincingly convey your goals and how the business school experience can help you achieve them, then I think you have an above-average chance at the top tier. But a 700+ GMAT score would help seal the deal.

Another strategy could be to apply to a couple of the top tier schools, Stanford and Harvard or whatever, and then also apply to a safety school that you have a better chance at, to hedge your bets. Something like Brandeis' Heller MBA might be worth looking into, in this sense.
quote

Thank you for the advice. Yes, I think that I definitely underscored on the GMAT, and since I do have the feeling that I could do better, I am going to take it again. I've registered to do it during the first week of September, I hope that is ok for the Harvard application deadline. Fingers crossed.

Thank you for the advice. Yes, I think that I definitely underscored on the GMAT, and since I do have the feeling that I could do better, I am going to take it again. I've registered to do it during the first week of September, I hope that is ok for the Harvard application deadline. Fingers crossed.
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