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Job Seeker

According to a recent article in Business Week titled: “GMAT: The MBA Job Seeker’s Best Friend” – it appears that many schools are encouraging students to take the GMAT time and time again.  A very eye-opening article by Anne VanderMey, it seems the GMAT is not only important for MBA admittance, but also for job recruiting after graduation.

According to VanderMey, with companies being flooded with resumes due to the recent economic recession, it appears recruiters are using GMAT scores to weed out applicants.  This is unusual, as never before has the GMAT taken on such added weight, but it appears for some companies, your score could very well be the factor that gets you an actual interview.

Due to this, professors and career services directors are encouraging students to retake the GMAT time and time again thanks to the tough recruiting climate.  VanderMey profiles several schools that are taking this advice seriously and putting it into practice:

  • University of Texas’s McCombs School of Business: Stacey Rudnick, director of MBA services is advising recent admits with mediocre GMAT scores to consider retaking the test if they think they can score higher.
  • University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business: Mendoza sent a letter to its 2011 class reminding students of the importance of the GMAT when applying to prestigious firms.  The school has offered a four-day crash course for students who wish to retake the test.  Mendoza’s director of MBA career development claims: “We see a large number of consulting companies, some investment banks and a couple of corporations all looking at both GMAT and undergrad MBA GPAs.  These companies are looking for a sustained record of academic excellence.”
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management: Kip Harrel, president of the MBA Career Services Council, claims that students’ average GMAT score is a primary factor in deciding where companies choose to recruit.
  • Darden School of Business: Jack Oakes, director of career services, claims that he sometimes advises candidates with scores in the mid-600s to retake the test if they are looking to land top-shelf consulting or banking positions.
  • Goizueta Business School: Wendy Tsung, executive director of MBA career services, states: “Because the economy is so bad, and there’s so many people applying for positions, companies are looking for different ways to reduce the number of resumes that they go through.  Of the reasons to throw out an application – GPA, undergraduate institution, years of work experience – the GMAT is an ‘easy one.’”

As suspected, a person’s quantitative GMAT score does seem to be linked to salary while some GMAT scores appear to be linked to managerial status. However, VanderMey informs us that not every company considers GMAT scores to be important when considering new hires.  At the University of Connecticut’s School of Business, for example, the executive director was never even asked for GMAT scores from its student body.

It appears, however, that a high GMAT score simply helps you get your foot in the door for the actual interview.  A high score, in general, won’t get you the job of your dreams, but it will get you into speaking with someone face-to-face.  VanderMey quotes Mareza Larizadeh, the founder of Doostang, a career networking site popular with MBA students: “The GMAT isn’t going to get you in.  But it’s something that can prevent you from getting in the door.”

While it seems the GMAT is becoming important for more than just MBA admittance, VanderMey concludes (along with the above schools) that ultimately, the personal elements of the job search – interviews and references, primarily, will always be more important than test scores.

Posted on November 28, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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