Thanks for sharing your detailed profile, and congrats on your impressive GMAT score!
So far, based upon the info you provided, you have a strong profile for most top MBA programs.
Your strengths so far based on profile:
-strong GMAT, above average at top programs
-solid GPA and outstanding grad-school GPA which is more recent/relevant
-solid quantity and quality of work experience
-less-common industry background (aerospace/defense) (you'll probably have a variety of interesting experiences to draw from both for your application and in b-school classes)
-lots of determination, leadership, project management, entrepreneurial experience as demonstrated by the companies you have started
-activities outside of work demonstrate that you have other interests, will likely be involved at b-school
No glaring weaknesses; but "questions" that may come up in the mind of the admissions committee--
- "WHY?"--- why do you want to shift careers? why management consultancy? how do you see the whole picture fitting together-- your past, plus the MBA, leading to your short and long term career goals? (things to think about/prepare to answer in essays/interview)
- be prepared to be asked in an interview about the businesses you started and how you juggled it all
(as you said, sounds like lack of sleep! while for the most part these are positive and impressive achievements, there is sometimes a slight concern about being able to manage it all-- and one q would be, are you going to put all of those businesses on hold during b-school? since b-school is very time-intensive if going full time...)
- just a note that engineering is a common applicant background, and it's always important for engineers to demonstrate the balance of having strong people and communication skills
As for schools, a lot of it is personal-- depends upon what you are looking for in terms of geographical location, class size and profile, curriculum, school philosophy, etc. We have a free downloadable e-book on choosing schools here that might be useful: http://info.mbamission.com/Selecting-Yo ... ram-E-Book
Your profile would qualify you for a shot at most top b-schools, the decision would likely be based upon your essays and interview since most of your profile is strong. You will need to convince the admissions committee that their b-school is right for you, and that you need the MBA from their program to reach your career goals.
If you are set on management consulting right after b-school, you may want to focus on schools that are known for lots of consulting hires after graduation, including Harvard, Kellogg, Wharton, Booth, Columbia, Duke, MIT, Stanford.... generally most top-ranked programs do have a lot of grads go into consulting. This Vault.com article has lists of top programs for consulting in different geographic regions of the US if you have any thoughts on where you'd like to start a post-MBA career. http://blogs.vault.com/blog/admit-one-v ... -get-into/
. By the way this assumes you are looking at US programs, but international programs such as INSEAD are strong for consulting as well.
Hope that is helpful, please keep us posted on everything and good luck with the upcoming admissions cycle.
How should I be going about selecting a recommender? I have to decide between current boss or my boss from previous project a year ago. One is a good salesman and good talker but I am not too sure how he feels about me. The other is your vanilla manager who cares about his people but isn't really eloquent but I feel that he likes me alot. Which would you pick and what criteria should I be considering in choosing?