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Business Schools--what Do The Top Ones Look For?  
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17824 posts, RR: 46
Posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2977 times:

I've been thinking about going to business school in about two years. I graduated from an Ivy League school in 2002 and I've been working with the same company since, in a fairly high profile position for my age. What do the top business schools look for in applicants? What wins you points? Should I push my gay-latino heritage? Kidding....kinda. I'm also looking at changing jobs--would that help or hinder my profile? Should I stay w/ my current employer? My ideal timeline is to get a new job for two years and then apply to biz school.


E pur si muove -Galileo
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2964 times:

Where are you considering going?

High-school GPA and SAT/ACT scores are important, but they also look a lot at personality and usually they determine this by the essay they make you write.

Some business schools like the Daniels College of Business in DU require a personal one-on-one interview. I had to do it, it was relatively simple.

They look a lot at heritage, that's very important to them in my experience.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2959 times:

Maverick, aside from grades, etc, it is my understanding that work experience is the most important factor. And they don't just want financial types looking to become investment bankers...So if you have an offbeat job (you work for an airline, right?), that will probably work in your favor.

Drop me an e-mail with your screename, we haven't chatted in a while!

Quoting BA (Reply 1):
High-school GPA and SAT/ACT scores are important, but they also look a lot at personality and usually they determine this by the essay they make you write.

For an MBA program? Don't you mean GRE and college grades?

Quoting BA (Reply 1):
Some business schools like the Daniels College of Business in DU require a personal one-on-one interview. I had to do it, it was relatively simple.

He said he wants to know about top schools.


User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2958 times:

the change of job is only regarded as a positive should you move into a position that offers an advancement for personal growth and development--ie you have to have a well rationed argument as to why.

top GMAT scores are as important as is experience. being able to prove success at whatever you chose to do with bonus points for acheiving said success under adverse conditions. there really is no set formula. i have 6 very close friends who started their MBA's this past fall of those 6:

3 got into harvard and not stanford
1 got into stanford but not harvard
1 got into MIT and stanford but not harvard
1 got into MIT, stanford and harvard and chose harvard

they all had very similar work experience, and very similar grades. because i know them very well, i could conjecture that the ones at harvard had excellent essays ok grades and GMAT scores in the meaty part of the curve. you just have to prove beyond a doubt that you could undertake the degree program, which in itself is very challenging.

also, your geographic location helps you out too. yay states with right angles!


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2952 times:

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 2):
For an MBA program? Don't you mean GRE and college grades?

I didn't realize it was for an MBA program.

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 2):
He said he wants to know about top schools.

Which is what the Daniels College of Business is...

http://www.harrisinteractive.com/expertise/bschools.asp

And it happens to be in the same city he lives in for added convenience.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2937 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 4):
Which is what the Daniels College of Business is...

I don't think #8 on a list of regional schools can be considered a top school. Read VSLovers post for what most people think of as top schools.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2932 times:

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 5):
I don't think #8 on a list of regional schools can be considered a top school. Read VSLovers post for what most people think of as top schools.

Top is a relative term. That page allows you to find what you are looking whether you are looking at the top 10 international schools, top 10 national schools, or top 10 regional schools.

I never claimed the Daniels College of Business was a top international school along the lines of Harvard, Yale, and Oxford.

But it's a good school, it's close to where he lives, and I gave him an idea of what to expect should he wish to apply there and that way he can make a rough prediction of what to at least expect should he wish to apply at even better schools.

How about we return to the original topic instead of debating what is a top school and what isn't?



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineIbhayi From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2915 times:

Wharton is a fantastic buss school at Penn.

Harvard offer a number of week-month long courses that would most definitely open doors. A few friends have attended some of them, although purely for interest sake.

One of the easiest ways to get in, contrary to popular belief, ur family making a donation to the school or having come from a successfull background. Although whats the fun in that?

That you have come from an Ivy League school hass already opened many many doors for u.

Your reasoning for wanting to attend, where you currently work and how long you have been working for is the ultimate determinant unless you are a brilliant salesman and can talk on ur feet and sell yourself to them.


User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2907 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Thread starter):
I graduated from an Ivy League school in 2002 and I've been working with the same company since, in a fairly high profile position for my age.

 checkmark  You're off to a good start, already

Quoting MaverickM11 (Thread starter):
Should I push my gay-latino heritage?

 checkmark  And you're "diverse"...again, from their perspective, it will help show a diverse student body.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Thread starter):
I'm also looking at changing jobs--would that help or hinder my profile?

Depends...if it's a move up, then go for it. If it's a lateral move, then maybe not.

-High GMAT and GPA will help
-Clearly state your goals and objectives...schools want someone who has a proven track record and knows where they want to go.

I started my MBA at Seattle Univ. last fall. Not Ivy League, but I love it. Hard work, but worth it.

I'd say you're on the right track, man. Good luck to you!


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17824 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2868 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 1):
Where are you considering going?

Haven't really narrowed that down yet. I think I want to go somewhere that I can attend fulltime with a campus, rather than commuting or going part time after work.

Quoting VSLover (Reply 3):
i have 6 very close friends who started their MBA's this past fall of those 6:

What kind of GPAs did they have in undergrad? I gotta admit I slacked off in undergrad primarily for reasons I absolutely don't regret but I can understand if b-schools aren't interested.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2863 times:

What's the use of an Ivy League education if you can't figure out how to get into grad school by yourself?

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17824 posts, RR: 46
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2862 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 10):
What's the use of an Ivy League education if you can't figure out how to get into grad school by yourself?

Well if you didn't already know Ivy League undergrad is a sham. You don't learn anything you couldn't find out at the library, Devry, or your local community college. But for the low low price of $30K+/year you have a piece of paper that says you went there and that does open up a lot more doors than Devry.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinePdpsol From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1120 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2860 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Thread starter):
Should I push my gay-latino heritage?

I had no idea you are a gay latino; I hope this isn't some kind of joke...

Schools are interested in unique personal characteristics; I would emphasize this if it has been relevant in your professional career.

I graduated from the Graduate School of Business at The University of Chicago eight years ago. I absolutely loved my experience at the school and developed very strong friendships while there. The academic experience is unbeatable, especially if you are interested in pursuing a career in finance [corporate finance, wealth management, investment management, investment research, corporate advisory, equity or fixed income sales, etc.]


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17824 posts, RR: 46
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2858 times:

Quoting Pdpsol (Reply 12):
I had no idea you are a gay latino; I hope this isn't some kind of joke...

Well...I'm being facetious. I *am* gay and my mother *did* spend most of her life in Peru.

Quoting Pdpsol (Reply 12):
I would emphasize this if it has been relevant in your professional career.

Can't say it has...other than maybe the fact that I can speak four languages to varying degrees.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7811 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2853 times:

From the sounds of it I think you are on the right track and doing the right things now as opposed to doing this stuff in September when you should be filling out apps.

Start writing a personal statement now. A strong statement can only help you. The more focused and goal-oriented you are the better.

Make sure you have people that can write a strong letter of support. Hopefully you have a supervisor, maybe a mentor or two, that can write on your behalf. and can say more than you are a good worker and a bright kid. It wouldn't hurt if some of your letter writers were alums of the particular school/program you are applying for.

and obviously a strong undergrad GPA and high GMAT scores will help, but everyone applying to top tier schools will have that. Which is why the above stuff is so important.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2842 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 9):
What kind of GPAs did they have in undergrad? I gotta admit I slacked off in undergrad primarily for reasons I absolutely don't regret but I can understand if b-schools aren't interested.

with the exception of one guy, we all had graduated with honors of some type--some were magna, some were summa, and some plain old cum laude. the cutoffs the year i graduated were a GPA of 3.82 and above to graduate summa cum laude, between 3.67 to 3.81 to graduate magna cum laude and between 3.47 and 3.66 to graduate cum laude.

so again they were all applying with A- to B+ averages and one guy had a 3.2 but four years out of school, a low GPA wont necessarily keep you out. a bad GPA and bad GMAT will...but with a weak GPA your scores, and especially experience will make up a lot.

and i dont agree with you fully on the ivy-sham. i think aside from the many open doors resulting from graduating from my ivy the sheer resources available make the academic experience vastly superior to many non-ivy school that arent as highly funded. not to say you cant get a better experience at some schools, i'm just saying in general--because this could be debated ad naseum dependent on specialties, research, sciences, arts blah blah blah blah


User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4518 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2828 times:

I am at Oxford's Said Business School (pronounced Sayeeed - I'm getting sick of having to say that) and I'm not in the MBA programme but I had to go through similar pain to get in (to the MFE).

Overall I think that a couple of things are important for the top ones:

1. Having the "taken for granted" stuff taken for granted

2. Either a prestigious undergrad background, a prestigious job or something alternative which will differentiate you and therefore them when you graduate. All of the above can't hurt.

3. Their perception of what you will do to their reputation after you graduate

http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk

[Edited 2006-01-13 22:41:29]


PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17824 posts, RR: 46
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2824 times:

Quoting VSLover (Reply 15):
and i dont agree with you fully on the ivy-sham.

Well I am a little biased since I'm particularly disappointed with the lack of interest the school showed me. I'm looking forward to turning down their invitation to speak after I start my airline Wink.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2815 times:

Most ivy league schools, Stanford, MIT, Duke, et al., groom their undergrads for top business schools. I'm sure that many of your classmates have gone on to top tier business schools. Ask them, or ask the placement office of your school. They're in the business of putting their graduates into top professional schools. A decent GPA from an ivy (3.3+), high GMAT scores, great recommendations and a good reason to get the MBA (starting your own airline seems like a winner since most MBA candidates just want to go work for McKinsey or Bain Consulting or the like) will win the admissions committee over.

User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2811 times:

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 18):
(starting your own airline seems like a winner since most MBA candidates just want to go work for McKinsey or Bain Consulting or the like) will win the admissions committee over.

Either that or they'll call the mental institution and have you hauled away in a straight-jacket! Starting an airline...not something I would ever want to do.


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2808 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 19):
Either that or they'll call the mental institution and have you hauled away in a straight-jacket! Starting an airline...not something I would ever want to do.

Perhaps.
But then they may see it as pluck, passion, and risk taking. And remember that most Business Schools worship Richard Branson and David Neeleman.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17824 posts, RR: 46
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2806 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 19):
Starting an airline...not something I would ever want to do.

Well commercial aviation is obviously my passion (duh, look at where we are), and starting an airline is a dream but not necessarily one that I'll be upset if I don't achieve. It at least puts me on a track, in a direction, with some drive, and I know a lot of jobs and schools appreciate that in applicants. On the other hand, the school I went to for undergrad completely missed it, and I literally fell over myself trying to get their attention, taking classes for no credit, emails galore, interviews, etc., to no avail and that really irritated me.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2798 times:

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 20):
But then they may see it as pluck, passion, and risk taking. And remember that most Business Schools worship Richard Branson and David Neeleman

And of course WN...everyone's darling company. I'm at the start of MBA program, and I assume that I will hear about them and B6 every quarter going forward until I graduate.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 21):
and starting an airline is a dream but not necessarily one that I'll be upset if I don't achieve

Times change. The pendulum used to be on one end, now it's near the opposite end. Perhaps things will change again. You never know...

Good luck to you all the same!


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17824 posts, RR: 46
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2767 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 22):
The pendulum used to be on one end, now it's near the opposite end. Perhaps things will change again. You never know...

This is true, although most of my ideas are already in play, which could be a good thing when I start applying/writing essays/interviewing.



E pur si muove -Galileo
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