I received some comments about my school list, and how it's a very large number to apply in one season. Well, I'm not crazy, I didn't actually think I would apply to all nine! They're broken down into several layers, which I will discuss in a moment.
I picked a fair number of schools, because a) I really want to gain admissions to a solid program, and I feel that spreading a wide net would hopefully yield a positive result at least once, and b) I understand my undergrad GPA will be a hindrance, and I feel a large sample is best. The schools I picked all have solid brand recognition, are in warm climates (except NYU), and have good reputations in the programs I am interested (marketing, consulting).
Here's my breakdown:
UCLA: Tough, given the fact that my GMAT/GPA are sub-standard for them. Ideal location for The Dream Job. Solid marketing, and the contacts within the entertainment industry are excellent. I'm debating whether to apply, as this is the longest shot I'd take. Maybe App
NYU: Another tough one given my stats. Stern has a great marketing program with an emphasis on entertainment, and even has a class based on Cannes. Expensive (aren't they all?) and a cold-climate winter are some negatives. Maybe App
Duke: Good brand management program, although the Health Sector Management option intrigues me a great deal. High ranking would mean my stats stand out at the bottom of the barrel. Loved living in NC so location would be nice. Definite App
UNC: Strong brand name, good brand management/consulting concentration. Feasible with my stats, NC location. I think my non-traditional background would help me. Definite App
UVA: Great consulting program, though might be tough to gain admission. The stories of workload are a bit scary, but the case method approach is something I like. Decent location. This is another program I'm not sure I'm 100% committed to applying. Maybe App
USC: THE perfect choice for The Dream Job. USC has amazing contacts within the entertainment industry, has a great alumni network, and its marketing/entertainment programs are a perfect visit. Only school I've visited so far. Definite App
Wake Forest: My undergrad alma mater. I wouldn't mind returning, as I took a great deal from my Calloway experience. Love the international business aspects, and I'm more than familiar with the environment. Not as good brand recognition, and heavily finance focused, but consulting is still good. Definite App
Texas: Great consulting opportunities, with emphasis on technology (another passion of mine). Stats line up well enough here that I'd be a little surprised if things didn't go well. Definite App
Emory: The more I read up on this program, the more I like it. Small, community based, good consulting background, tons of top firms have headquarters in Atlanta. Stats are fairly ok here also. Definite App
Bottom line, nothing is a sure thing in MBA admissions. I know my GPA could kill me if I don't do a good enough job explaining it away. I feel this list is pretty good, and I've identified the definites and the maybes. Thoughts?