Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Today is Judgment Day

Today I will find out if I got into USC ... sorta.

Courtesy of Aimee

At some point today (tomorrow at the latest) I will find out if I got an interview at USC. Getting an interview doesn't mean that I automatically get in, however not getting one basically means that I'm fucked. Last year, they interviewed 60% of applicants and admitted around 25%, so the chances of me getting at least an interview are high. To be honest, I am not sure if I'm going to get an interview. When I submitted my application, I thought my chances were super high. I had awesome recommendations, a good GMAT score, and wrote some amazing personal essays. However, the more I research, the more I realize how mediocre my application packet really is. My GMAT score is about average for USC, so I won't be able to use my GMAT score to compensate for my low undergradutate GPA. Most applicants have about 4-7 years work experience doing real business stuff like management and finance. I have like 2.5 years working as a pseudo video game test lead that has been unemployed for the last year and a half. My resume definitely can't compete. If I get an interview, it will entirely on the strength of my essays. Speaking of which, if anyone wants to read any of my essays, hit me up and I'll share.

So what happens if I don't get this interview? I have two options, I could retake the GMAT and apply to UCLA and Berkeley, or I can just go to LMU. I had originally considered applying to both Berkeley and UCLA, but I had missed their deadlines for Round 1 of applications. I believe that the Round 2 deadline for both schools is in February. The problem with applying to these schools is that they are both ranked higher than USC, and if I didn't get an interview for USC, then I probably won't get into these schools. Luckily, since their deadlines are a couple of months away, I could try and retake the GMAT to get a higher score and thus have a better chance of getting in. There is no guarantee I could get a significantly higher score on the GMAT to really matter, plus it is harder to be accepted when applying to Round 2.

Alternatively, I could just go to LMU. Here are the pros and cons:

- I could start as soon as next month. This is huge for me since I'm getting a little bit bored lately.
- LMU has some ties to the video game industry. They get a lot of people from EA and Activison that go there and thus a lot of alumni at those and other game companies.
- Cheaper than USC/UCLA/Berkeley
- I would get to have a more intimate relationship with my professors than at USC. When I heard I got into LMU, it was because the Dean of Admissions called me personally to talk to me about my personal statement because she liked it so much. I don't think I will get that level of attention at USC or any other top tier school.

- Its not top tier, which means employment opportunities post graduation could be shaky. This is a big one. I don't want to end up like a lot of my friends who went to tier 3 law schools and can't get a job for the life of them.
- Less known outside of LA. If Luke and I moved to the Bay Area, it might be harder for me to get a job.
- Worse international studies program.

Honestly, if I don't get into USC I think I'll just go to LMU. Regardless, I'll obviously let everyone know what happens within the next few days.


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