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700 Gmat 3.6 gpa but my work experience won't shine

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700 Gmat 3.6 gpa but my work experience won't shine [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 18:52
So as the topic says, I got a 700 on the GMAT, my GPA was a 3.6 with a BA in philosophy, but the problem is my work experience doesn't shine. I'm a lead rep for a major cell phone carrier, which pays decent and I'm considered management but I don't feel like it looks very good on paper. By the time I apply for B-school about 8-9 months from now, I'll have 1 year experience as a personal banker and 2 years in cell phone sales/management, so my resume will probably read 3 years in sales...

Anyways, I'd just like to get some feedback. Do you think it'd be better to get a ms in finance because it's easier to get into without experience or do you think I should/could pursue an MBA at a top 50 school. I'm just worried an MBA would be wasted, since I don't see my experience changing too much besides being a manager or a business rep for 6-12 months before I went to school, but that's not a guarantee by any means.

Any input would be appreciated, thanks.
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Re: 700 Gmat 3.6 gpa but my work experience won't shine [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 19:08
MBA programs accept people from all different types of backgrounds. From what you presented, I see you as a fairly standard candidate (in terms of your experience). I would not try to read into the mystery of the admissions office just yet - you have not idea how they will view your candidacy -- however, if you present it in the manner you did in the posting -- they will look down on it just as you seem to do. I am sure that there are many compelling, interesting and unique aspects to what you do -- however, you just are too involved in your work to really see them.

I would recommend pursing an MBA degree over a speciality finance masters. In short, the MBA degree is more universally accepted and will buy you a lot more diverse opportunities as your career progresses. You will not simply be viewed as a finance person - but as a MBA.

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Re: 700 Gmat 3.6 gpa but my work experience won't shine [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 20:33
My friend got his masters in economics and finance. It took him two years to find a job, simply because the MBA is the more accepted and his degree pigeonholed him into the 'finance guy' set. I spoke with one of the deans at Duke and he said that that story is very common. People with the MS come out with 'technically' a better and more in-depth degree, but don't get looked at by hiring companies solely because there's so many master's degree types and degree programs, it's easiest to hire an MBA because you know what you're getting. So take both of those anecdotes for what they're worth.

You have more robust work experience than me and have similar numbers and I got into some great programs with scholarships and am waiting on a few others. You can definitely do Top 50 with your background, probably Top 20.
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Re: 700 Gmat 3.6 gpa but my work experience won't shine [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2013, 08:09
krudget wrote:
My friend got his masters in economics and finance. It took him two years to find a job, simply because the MBA is the more accepted and his degree pigeonholed him into the 'finance guy' set. I spoke with one of the deans at Duke and he said that that story is very common. People with the MS come out with 'technically' a better and more in-depth degree, but don't get looked at by hiring companies solely because there's so many master's degree types and degree programs, it's easiest to hire an MBA because you know what you're getting. So take both of those anecdotes for what they're worth.

You have more robust work experience than me and have similar numbers and I got into some great programs with scholarships and am waiting on a few others. You can definitely do Top 50 with your background, probably Top 20.


Agreed with everything said here. I only have 2 years of work experience currently and in my division of my firm, MBAs are few and far between (and often from regional, part-time programs), so I battled some of the same insecurities about my work experience.

As I reflect on my application process (I began researching schools/preparing for the GMAT about a year ago & applied to schools for round 1 and 2 deadlines), I think that what helped me overcome these insecurities was to make connections with other applicants and students/alumni from programs I was interested in. Many of these people--most began as strangers or acquaintances--were phenomenally helpful, giving me advice on everything from campus culture to program content to essay reviews to interview advice.

Since I didn't have contacts at work who went to the programs I was applying to, I had to be a bit more creative and resourceful in finding these connections. Here are some of the avenues I used to make connections:
-Contacted students at specific MBA programs--some had "admissions ambassadors", while others had students' emails listed on different club's websites
-Used LinkedIn to find alumni from my college who had attended specific programs
-Asked friends and family to connect me with MBA students/alums
-Met MBA alums who had common interests through my volunteer activities

In addition, I visited every single school I applied to, which was really helpful for me to form my own impressions.

In sum, the MBA research process isn't unlike searching for a job--network, network, network. And once you build that network, you'll have people you can ask for advice when you begin the applications. I promise you will find many, many people whose pre-MBA work experience wasn't some posh consulting/IB gig. With those numbers, you absolutely have a chance at a top 10-20 program as long as you have a solid application that shows careful reflection and research.

Good luck!
Re: 700 Gmat 3.6 gpa but my work experience won't shine   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2013, 08:09
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