Along with the many frothy and celebratory emails that EssaySnark gets around this time — beyond the ones wishing holiday cheer, we’re talking here about ones where our clients are reporting acceptances by their schools of choice — we also get a few that feel like they come loaded with bricks: “They put me on…
Another rare Saturday post, but what the heck. We know you LUUUUUV any excuse to not be writing your essays. You surfed on over to check us out (you procrastinator) so EssaySnark is obliging. Yesterday we had a post titled “What is a low GMAT?” But that post was actually semi-insulting to someone who actually…
The title of this post should really be, AM I HOT OR NOT? Because that’s what he’s asking. Primpin’ and preenin’ in the mirror, and asking over his shoulder, “Does this 720 GMAT score make my butt look big?” In response to a Brave Supplicant’s query on our who-should-not-apply-in-Round-1 post, about his “friends” who are…
This post is not meant to refute or debunk all the other advice we’ve offered before:
If your GMAT score is within the 80% range of current students at your target school, you have a shot of getting an offer (based on all the other factors in your profile lining up). This is a true statement. We’re not going to change our tune on this.
But, Brave Supplicant, consider this:
If your GMAT score corresponds to the “average” GMAT score reported by the school — so, for Chicago Booth, your total score is, say, 710 (the average for the Booth class of 2012 is 715, but you know that GMAT overall scores are only reported in increments of 10). OK, so if your GMAT is right around the average for the school, you should be fine, right?
Well, theoretically, sure. If you want to be seen as “average.” But we don’t know many “average” candidates who get offers from these very best schools.
Schools look for overachievers. Heavy hitters. The big shots.
(Just don’t act like a big shot, or you’ll be coming away from the dance solo.)
Is “average” really going to cut it?
You probably should take a hard look at this — ESPECIALLY if you’re in the finance industry now (or you aspire to be). If you’re a finance guy*, it’s gonna be hard(er) for the bschool adcom at whatever F’ING AWESOME SCHOOL that you are slobbering over to be impressed by an “average” GMAT score.
Unless you did not-great on the verbal, which brought down your overall score, but your quant is >= 49. Then maybe you’re going to be OK. Though balanced scores are also appreciated. So maybe you should just shore up your verbal side and retest and get the overall score into the stratosphere. Since we know that you can!
* Call us sexist; but we’re really just reflecting reality. There are a helluva lot more finance guys than finance CHICKS trying for these top programs. It’s easier for the adcom to give a little leeway to a woman coming into their program. Yes, she still needs a superlative GMAT score, but she doesn’t need to be in the upper atmosphere of scores to stand out. Because there just aren’t that many other chicks to compare her to. So, yes, you finance GUYS have a little more to prove if your GMAT — esp the quant — is low. Sorry.
Two pretty decent schools have deadlines for some pretty decent MBA programs coming up next week. On Wednesday, May 1st, applications for both Columbia (EMBA Friday/Saturday) and Duke (Fuqua Cross-Continent MBA) are due.
Yes yes yes, we know that we’ve told you not to apply in the last round for a school. But these programs are exceptions. One is the original Columbia EMBA — they introduced a second EMBA track this year, the Saturday-only option, thereby increasing the capacity at the school (and making it harder to fill the entire EMBA class, we think). The other is a still fairly new MBA innovation at Duke, which combines both on-campus (in North Carolina and around the world) and virtual learning, designed for working professionals, but NOT an EMBA.
Whenever anyone talks about how competitive bschool admissions is, they’re typically referencing the standard full-time two-year programs at the best schools. Many of those good schools have these outlier programs that, well, just aren’t as competitive. When most people consider getting their MBA, they want the full monty, the whole enchilada, the immersive devote-my-life-to-it real-time experience. These other programs are often left scrambling to fill their entering classes. This definitely happens at schools when they expand into new territory — particularly the very innovative (as-yet-unproven) territory such as what Duke is doing with the x-con thing.
Don’t believe us? Look at the stats.
Exhibit A: In a BW online chat with Duke admissions director Megan Lynam this week, we were told that the demographics for the Cross-Continent student are similar to the full-time program (meaning age/gender/etc) and she also said that career tracks tend to be similar. This program is designed for those interested in an international career, and so we believe that it does attract a more diverse, non-US-weighted cohort (this is just EssaySnark’s guess; the rest of that was from Megan). But the most interesting part was when we asked Megan the average GMAT and she said the 80% range for the Cross-Continent program is only 540 (!!!) to 720. Wow on both sides!! The top end of the range is lower than some schools’ AVERAGE! That definitely tells you they’re willing to be flexible in order to fill the class.
Columbia doesn’t publish GMAT ranges for their EMBA programs that we’ve seen, however we know from firsthand experience (well, through a client) that they are most definitely flexible in considering motivated candidates with what would be subpar GMAT scores in the context of their full-time program.
For the Columbia EMBA Friday/Saturday, you obviously need to live in commuting distance of Manhattan to make this work. And you have to have employer sponsorship of time (not necessarily financial support, just authorization and permission to participate). Average age of EMBA students tends to be mid-30s (8 years work experience or more).
For Duke Cross-Continent, you need not be in the North Carolina area though you do need to get buy-in from your employer since there are multiple on-site residencies through the program that will take you away from your job for week(s) at a time. Many Cross-Continent students are in their late 20s.
These could be viable programs for the right candidate, and they’re definitely open! Of course, one weekend, even a long Memorial Day weekend, is not much time to put together really strong essays, but you could give it a shot…
Some Brave Supplicant found our erstwhile blahg with that question, plugged into the trust ol’ Google machine. The short answer to this is: No. Or, maybe we’ll qualify it with the ever-unhelpful It depends. The thing is, there really isn’t much of a “reason” you can offer for why you didn’t do well on the…