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Advice for a 25 yo Undergrad on H/S/W

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Advice for a 25 yo Undergrad on H/S/W [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2013, 07:39
I am a slightly older undergrad interested in pursuing an MBA, and was wondering if you could give some insight into my chances at H/S/W. I am in my mid-twenties, have taken a rather unusual path to get to where I am today, and am wondering how much (if at all) it would hurt my chances at the top three schools. I am also wondering what time would be best for me to apply - right out of undergrad or after a few years.

A little backstory: I graduated high school in 2005, and pursued a liberal arts degree for ~3 years. My GPA from this time was about 3.55, and I was enrolled in the University's honors program. During this time I helped to found a social issues student group that has thrived at my school for five years now, though I am no longer affiliated with it. Unhappy with my direction in the liberal arts, I took an extended leave of absence for about two years. During this time I worked as an owner-employee of a cooperative restaurant, as well as some other service industry jobs - nothing that would show particular leadership. After figuring out what made me tick and what I was good at, I returned to the same university as before, this time to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering.

At present, I am a junior in my mid-twenties with two more years of school to go. My GPA in my current major is 3.8, and I am very near the top of my class at a university in the top 25 in engineering. I plan on graduating Summa Cum Laude and writing an Honors thesis. As far as extracurriculars go, I am in charge of fundraising for a student group that is designing and implementing a clean water project in Central America. I also have been working for nearly a year as an undergraduate research assistant, and am second author on two publications, one of which one an award for best paper in its venue.

As you can probably tell, I am more or less being groomed to go into research. And while I'm good at it, I really would like to open up my career to strategic management in the high tech industry. I still have a while before I graduate, but am seriously considering an MBA from a top school rather than taking the PhD route.

I have practiced the GMAT, and I think I should be able to get 730/740 at the very least.

Do you think I stand a chance? Also, should I apply to matriculate right out of graduation (I will be 28 then) or hold off and gain some work experience for a year or two but be an even older applicant? I plan on applying to internships at top tech firms next year (Google, etc) to add a little to my work history.
Thanks for your input!
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Re: Advice for a 25 yo Undergrad on H/S/W [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2013, 09:32
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Hello,

Definitely a unique background. I would say some work experience would really help though -- especially if you can get a full time position at a top high tech company. Even though you'll be a bit older at that point, you'd at least have some strong professional experience to show. Without that, even though you've done very well academically, I don't think you have enough breadth or depth of leadership experience to give you a good chance.

Good luck!
Mili

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Re: Advice for a 25 yo Undergrad on H/S/W [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2013, 10:59
That makes sense. Thank you so much for your advice!
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Re: Advice for a 25 yo Undergrad on H/S/W [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 18:55
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No problem - good luck!
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