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Thread: Profile Eval! Would like some opinions

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Profile Eval! Would like some opinions

    Sponsored Ad:
    Hey guys and girls,

    I am applying to do a PhD at the University of South Carolina in International Business.

    Profile:
    7 years of professional experience at two fortune 500 global consultancies.

    Undergrad GPA: 2.5 from the University of SC (Low.. but a long time ago)

    I have a Master's in Risk Management from Florida State -- William T Hold Scholar, Dean's List - Final GPA 3.53 (Did this while traveling as a consultant 4 nights a week)

    Currently, I am studying at The London School of Economics for a MSc in Management, Information Systems and Digital Innovation.

    I will have two Master's and 7 years professional experience at the time of entry.

    Problem areas:
    GMAT -- I took the GMAT in 2015, one time, without studying, to get a feel for the test and got a 540. I never studied for it again, applied to FSU and got in -- When applying to the London School of Economics, I did not need to submit my GMAT so I didn't retake it.

    540 is obscenely low. I did not have time to retake this test prior to applying to USC. I was working/consulting full time and upon arriving in London my time is better spent working with world class researchers and studying than reviewing for the GMAT.

    Also, before anyone trolls -- I did buy GMAT study materials and attempted to prepare -- but here at LSE, if any of you have attended, you read nearly 12 hours a day. It's just simply not possible, there's not enough time in the day.

    What do you guys think? Is this a killer? I've tried my best to articulate this and point towards my profile strengths in my essays.

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    Re: Profile Eval! Would like some opinions

    I posted a longer response but it must've gotten lost somewhere.
    I think that it will be difficult to get very far in the process with this GMAT score. Do you have any strong ties to USC?
    How is your quantitative background?

    Also, is there any particular reason why you are applying to one school? People generally apply to 10 or so.

  3. #3
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    Re: Profile Eval! Would like some opinions

    You need a higher GMAT. You still have time to prepare, I assume you get Christmas off. I was able to get 700+ with two weeks prep after scoring a 540ish on a diagnostic test.

    If you are worried about deadlines EM Lyon I believe is in January and their IB program is a dual degree with USC. But you will need to get a higher score to be competitive

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    Re: Profile Eval! Would like some opinions

    I do have strong ties to the university -- I did my undergrad there, father/grandfather worked at the university, numerous family members are alumni, etc.

    I have an interview tomorrow at UCL for a PhD supervised by a professor here at LSE, which is a wonderful opportunity (No GMAT required).

    Thanks for the help/responses. I'll never understand (Rhetorical-- they help boost rankings, duh) why a university would prefer you to spend less time on working/researching with world class professors and more time studying for the GMAT. European schools tend to scoff at these tests, despite the correlations between "successful" phd students and high scores.

    At any rate, SC's deadline for funding is the 15th of December - No time to take the test.

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    Re: Profile Eval! Would like some opinions

    It is tough when returning to school as you are older and have more experience. The most difficult hurdle is making it past the cutoffs. The combination of GPA and GMAT are general cutoff markers for most schools. If you have a personal connection with someone at SC or have a faculty member you are working with that does, then you may be able to get your application looked over in more detail. However, that person will still have to pitch to the rest of the committee as to why you should be an exception. Even if you own personal life situations make it difficult to study for the GMAT again, there are most certainty some applicants who have a similar situation who did take the GMAT again.

    Although its late in the application season, you should definitely put out your applications if you were intending to already this year. Since you are also aware of the weaknesses in your profile and if you are committed to a phd as the next step in your life, then also keep your options open and considering if you don't get accepted into a reasonable school of your liking that you may want to retake the GMAT. Also, developing connections with certain people and letting them get to know you as a person may help get your profile looked over.

    Best of luck!

  6. #6
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    Re: Profile Eval! Would like some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by tm_associate View Post
    It is tough when returning to school as you are older and have more experience. The most difficult hurdle is making it past the cutoffs. The combination of GPA and GMAT are general cutoff markers for most schools. If you have a personal connection with someone at SC or have a faculty member you are working with that does, then you may be able to get your application looked over in more detail. However, that person will still have to pitch to the rest of the committee as to why you should be an exception. Even if you own personal life situations make it difficult to study for the GMAT again, there are most certainty some applicants who have a similar situation who did take the GMAT again.

    Although its late in the application season, you should definitely put out your applications if you were intending to already this year. Since you are also aware of the weaknesses in your profile and if you are committed to a phd as the next step in your life, then also keep your options open and considering if you don't get accepted into a reasonable school of your liking that you may want to retake the GMAT. Also, developing connections with certain people and letting them get to know you as a person may help get your profile looked over.

    Best of luck!
    Wonderful response, thanks!

    I reached out to the University, particularly a professor I had been in contact with earlier this year who is aware of my situation. I applied with my old score before the deadline on the 15th -- I am rescheduling the GMAT for January 10th, as I have time over break to prepare. The program coordinator has given me direction and said that they can update my application as late as the 10th.

    So.. time to grind the GMAT study materials and grind for mock exams here in January! Merry Christmas... haha

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    Re: Profile Eval! Would like some opinions

    The GMAT is your problem. The experience is great and LSE is great, but having low GMAT will sometimes render your application non-viable. That said, if you have connections at USC you might as well use them, but depending on how well you're connected it will depend on whether they'll still be willing to forget your GMAT.

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