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post-mba entrepreneurial goals? (essay help)

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post-mba entrepreneurial goals? (essay help) [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2012, 17:31
Hi,

I'm wrestling with my essays here and would like some advice. I'm applying to some b-schools and listing entrepreneurship as my post-MBA goal. It seems to me that most of the advice out there says that (A) this is usually not a good idea unless you're a previously successful entrepreneur and (B) either way you need a solid business plan to discuss in the goals essay.

First of all, is this true? Secondly, please consider my thoughts: I've been working in IT for the past 5 years and studied it in undergrad I've had lots of ideas for businesses, even (very) briefly tried/failed at one, and given my lack of formal business training, I'm not surprised. I'm looking for an MBA to teach me the ins and outs of business planning, of financial analysis, of identifying winning ideas, sourcing funding, etc. The business stuff that I believe is separating me from success.

Is this not valid for a goals essay? I'm trying to take my career in a new direction. I recently quit my job at the big fortune500 and am working my dad's very small family business (in an IT/marketing capacity) to get more exposure to small business/entreprenurial environment. My thoughts are that the MBA will give me the skills that I've been missing which have held me back from achieving success.

I've also heard that AdComs are concerned about post-MBA employment for entrepreneurs. Given that I have access to family business, would it be advisable to list, say, continued development of the family business as a short-term and a long-term one of starting my own?
I've also heard advice saying that I could write that i envision achieving my long-term goal [of startup] in one of two ways: either by starting a new business straight out of school or by continuing to gain business-starting expertise at family company until I'm able to strike out on my own. I've heard this characterized as indecisive-sounding. Is this advisable at all in your opinion?

Thank you in advance for your help,
-Ed
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Re: post-mba entrepreneurial goals? (essay help) [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2012, 05:05
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Working at the family business in a way that will allow you to contribute at a higher level is a much better play than to say you are going to launch a business out of undergrad. Note that I say play because your story must make sense to the commitee and not carry unnecessary risk. The risk comes in your saying you are going to start a business out of the program which in most cases would make you technically unemployed and ding them on their stats (unless you incorporate as something other than an llc or sole proprietorship, in which case you could be an employee of your own company). Plus most entrepreneurial efforts fail, so there's risk there too in making the school look bad. While it's certainly understandable that you want to take your career in a new direction (this is a common theme with applicants), you could appeal to every person's empathy when you pull the family business into the mix and explain how you are needed there and why you want to help. Passionately conveying these very personal stories is usually a good bet.
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