DL BS to Top-tier B&M MBA?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Fortunato, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    So, I finally finished the BS in Business Administration program at the University of Wyoming in December, and I'd like to pursue a full-time, bricks and mortar MBA. Prior to my dl program, my grades were awful (read: sub 2.0), but I maintained a 3.94 GPA over my 48 hours at UW and graduated with honors (magna cum laude, ranked in the top 5% of my graduating class). I took the GMAT and scored 750 (47 quant, 47 verbal), have almost 9 years of full-time work experience, and three very enthusiastic recommenders, including my current supervisor.

    I feel like I have a lot to offer an MBA program, and I'm shooting really high - I've applied to both Harvard Business School and the Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania. Do I have a realistic shot, or have I just contributed $415 to the schools' endowment funds?
  2. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    I think you have a very good shot. I'd be surprised if you don't get in. Let us know what happens.
  3. DTechBA

    DTechBA New Member

    I too think you've a good chance...

    However, both schools have a lot of very qualified people applying to them. Most of the people that don't get in are more than qualified for admittance. I think a good rule of thumb would be to apply to at least 3 schools minimum, especially when you are shooting for the top. I don't think it is too late to apply to some of the other premier schools. Yes, it is expensive but it is better than missing out on a year...
  4. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    Re: I too think you've a good chance...

    I'm applying to five. It feels weird to say it, but Yale is my safety school.

  5. DTechBA

    DTechBA New Member

    You should be ok then.

    Surprisingly, your background could work in your favor when schools start looking for diversity. Five graduate schools is the number my daughter has applied to. When she groused about the hundreds of dollars of application fees I just told her to look at it as an investment in her future. Look at it this way, $400 is less than a price of a good suit.
  6. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    Update on the MBA Application Saga

    I'm not in anywhere yet, and won't be until mid-March at the earliest, but I did receive some positive news last Friday, when I was invited to interview with Wharton! Because the on-campus interview slots that were still available were not good for my schedule, I've decided to interview with a local alum, and visit the campus a little later.

    I've also got an interview pending with the Chicago GSB, but the alumni interviewer in this case has not contacted me, so I'm going to have to talk to the school and reschedule.

    I've received no response from Harvard Business School thus far, but it's my understanding that interview invites only began to trickle out last week. Hopefully there is one in there for me somewhere.

    I know that I mentioned I was going to apply to five schools, but I ended up limiting it to the three above. Since then, I've had the application fee waived for me by several schools, but I haven't taken anyone up on their offer yet. I've also received a few scholarship offers from second and third-tier schools based solely on my GMAT score!

    I'll post to this thread occasionally to let everyone know how the saga is proceeding. I guess one important lesson to take away from this is that even the top schools are beginning to take DL programs and their graduates seriously. I recognize that I'm still a long way from a seat at Wharton, Chicago, or HBS, but I've made the first cut with Wharton, and a lot of brick and mortar grads can't say that. Let's just hope I make the next one!

  7. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Re: Update on the MBA Application Saga

    Now there's a question. Would it be better to pay out the nose for Wharton, Yale, or Harvard, or get a free ride to a lesser prestigious school ?

    I say go for the more prestigious school, but for other people already set solidly in their careers it probably wouldn't matter.
  8. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    You have a realistic shot, so long as you have a very good rationale for that UG GPA--although your subsequent track record should do a lot to make up for it. Your GMAT is outstanding, higher than the avg of any B-school in the world. Yale's a great "safety". As strong as they are in other fields, they're still considered a weak MBA program, at least vis-a-vis their overall university reputation. (Of course, weak is a VERY relative term here, they're still top 15, and likely on their way up).

    Best to you, congratulations.
  9. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    Re: Re: Update on the MBA Application Saga

    Since I'm looking to transition out of IT, I am aware that the more prestigious the school, the easier it will be to change careers. I will probably put in a backup app with one or two of these schools, but my focus right now is on the three I've already applied to.
  10. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    Yet another update

    I had my Wharton interview last Saturday! I met my interviewer at Starbucks, in a shopping center off Church Street in Greensboro. She had set the dress code for the interview to be casual, but she was a lot more casual than I was, wearing jeans and a long-sleeve t-shirt. She suggested we get something to drink, and then decided she didn't want anything after I ordered. No biggie.

    Once we sat down, the interview began in earnest. We went over my resume, talked about my career progression, and discussed how I had been lucky enough to move from one thing to another without much downtime. (Although some, especially my wife, might consider the long, slow death of my wireless ISP startup "downtime") Then, she asked me about my style of management, how I dealt with people, and what I thought my weakness were.

    We moved on from there to what I felt were my two greatest accomplishments. Both were relatively recent, but disparate experiences. She then asked me what I did for fun, and I talked about my dogs and my volunteer work with the SPCA, especially my time on the adoption event and training committees.

    Surprisingly, the distance nature of my degree was barely touched on. She said it was impressive that I had made the commitment to go back, and that my grades showed dedication. I (silently :)) sighed a *big* sigh of relief after that one!

    My only disappointment was that I let the interview run over, something that Wharton supposedly hates. I had set my phone on the table with the idea of glancing at its clock every few minutes, but I completely forgot once we started talking.

    Overall, I think the interview went really well. I could have done better, but I feel like I did a good job playing up my strengths as well as addressing my weaknesses. I've done the last thing that can affect my application - from this point, all I can do is wait. D-day (decision day or ding day if you're a pessimist) is March 24. I've got basically a month, and then I know whether I'm headed to one of the world's top business schools, or whether I'm headed to the local commuter college at night.

    I really, really, really want to get into Wharton.

Share This Page