Thursday, December 10, 2009

GMAT - pre-MBA , during-MBA and post-MBA

As an applicant, when I started preparing for the GMAT this is what I told myself, "It's the one thing thatz in my hand and I better do the best I can". Unfortunately I didn't do well in my first GMAT. I barely crossed the 80th percentile on quant and was devastated coz I always thought I was good at math. I knew it was not reflective of my actual abilities and hence re-took the test and was satisfied with my new score. I was relieved that the whole GMAT thing was over once for all. But it was surprising to see that GMAT and MBA degree go hand in it for a long long time.
I toured 4 b-schools in the US and what I've observed is that the GMAT ghost haunts you forever. Most of these schools had notice boards roaring with ads of GMAT-tutors, special GMAT coaching discounts for students at that university, Math-tutoring etc etc. I was surprised to see that. I wondered why on earth someone would put thoses notices there? Was it for visitors like me? I was confused. But soon things became clearer. As adcom reps at the information sessions spoke about the job search, job prospects and career profile building they told how GMAT was a 'very important parameter' in job interviews. You see, it doesn't matter if you have a great GPA in your liberal arts class or great verbal scores on your GMAT that boosted your total GMAT score. Companies, especially financial companies and consulting companies, specifically look at your quant score for estimating your analytical ability. Inevitably, the career magmt. centers in most schools have to suggest their low-GMAT students to try and re-take the exam and improve their quant scores.
Much has been discussed about this topic, remember the GMATClub blog post by Linda Abraham of I do wish to add something to what was said in that article. In another instance, I've seen one of my fellow bloggers postpone her application process by one round just because she met with an adcom at a top-3 school who suggested her to retake the GMAT to improve her post-MBA job prospects.
Does all this mean that there is no hope for low-GMAT scorers? I say no.Your GMAT score matters depending on the kind of job you wanna do post-MBA. If you want to work in creative fields like media or entertainmentt and non-traditional fields like non-profit management then a low-GMAT score doesn't necessarily put you at a disadvantage. Also, one can highlight other academic successes on resume such as a scholarhsip or tution waiver from your UG or MBA school. Getting a 100% tution waiver from your b-school tells a lot of positive things about you to your employer.I've seen this atleast with one of my friends who graduated this May.
All said, applicants done with GMAT can't yet forget its implications on their career. Am I out of scope for this?

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