Sunday, November 09, 2003

Reading too many MBA forums is bad for your mental health. I've been reading a lot of forums this weekend and now I'm depressed. This is how many of the threads read: "Hi I'm wondering about my chances to get into X top school. I have a 3.85 GPA from MIT and a 720 GMAT. I was a top associate at Smith Barney for the last 4 years. Should I retake the GMAT?" "Yes you should retake to try because your GMAT is quite low (since when was the 95th percentile low? But I digress!) and you will never get in anywhere with this profile. Your chances are quite hopeless..." So I'm not reading some of them ever again.

I have a theory that people inflate their profiles to intimidate others and I also believe the "your stellar profile is not good enough" responses are an attempt at intimidation as well... or just a poor attempt at sarcasm. If you read those forums it sounds like everyone scores above 700, which is statistically impossible. But whatever. Just read those things with care... there are a lot of bitter people out there. Don't let them bring you down.

Besides from what I've read and heard from admissions people, admissions decisions are not just about your statistics. Otherwise the guy who worked at Smith Barney for 4 years with a 770 GMAT would always get a spot over the artist with the 640 GMAT (I know its a shocker but people with a 640 GMAT do get in to top schools...). Your profile is only part of the assessment of whether you'll fit into a particular program. Admit Committees want to create a diverse student body so the students can learn from one another. Your ability to articulate your compatibility with a program, your readiness for the MBA program, and the direction of your career are just as important (if not more so) than your statistics. I think people focus too much on "what stats will get me in" and don't focus enough on "where am I going and what school will be the best fit for me." But that's just my opinion.

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