I know this is long, but here goes nothing....
Here is the situation. I graduated with a 3.81 from a top 40 public university. I was a political economy major (mixture of political science and economics). I had a 4.0 in all of my econ classes (21 credits Actually received two A+'s), and a 3.92 overall in my major and minor. I graduated in 2000. My gmat score is a 690 (40 V, 44 Q) 6.0 AWA. My quant was usually a 47, but I freaked out and missed two problems toward the end. I took calculus and 3 accounting courses after undergrad to supplement my degree. Got all A's. Also took a few marketing courses, all A's.
I wanted to go for my MBA right out of undergrad because I know
getting a decent job with that degree would have been difficult, but at the time, any quality school wanted 3-5 years of experience so off I went and at the time... I worked for the finance end of a large automotive finance company. I excelled and received a promotion, but then I was laid off.. and now I have worked for a large multinational insurance company as a claims rep for the last 4 years. However, the amount of time spent there was not by choice. I wanted to leave sooner to go back to school to change careers.
Basically, I had to put off going back to school for the last 3 years, from 2004 to 2006) because of family issues. My mother is bipolar, and I am an only child..parents are divorced. She got sick again in spring of 2003 after 10 good years, and finally got better last early fall (2005). She was a constant worry, and I had to help her out in a number of ways, including financially, so I couldn't go back while she was not well. Right after she got better (and as I was preparing my application), my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December of last year (2005) and his prognosis was initially not good so there goes another year (he is since in remission). My uncle with whom I was very close became paralyzed due to a freak accident in late summer of 2003 (disc burst in his neck), and I had to handle alot of his affairs and take my grandmother to visit him since there was no one else to do those things and then he passed away in late 2004... On top of that, my grandfather and my aunt passed away and both of my grandmothers became seriously ill (both almost died). Needless to say, I had alot to deal with over those 3 1/2 years, and my professional and my educational situation took a major hit. I couldn't relocate for job opportunities which appealed to me with in my organization. I tried looking for a more "MBA" friendly position in the local area, but I was so emotionally burned out and bruised, I think that it came through during the interviews so I gave up.I was basically in a pseudo-purgatory..not sure what to do and didn't know when the way out was coming. I honestly became depressed. I really wish I were making that stuff up.
So it appears I have been drifting along in this mediocre job and seem aimless, but that was not by choice. I really wanted to make the career change sooner. I just had a lot of issues to deal with which were beyond my control.
My passion is finance (not sales), and would like to be an analyst, nothing too exciting. My application is in at Katz (was a Pitt undergrad)Any other schools which may look at someone like me? Any way to spin this? I know that schools are considering younger applicants, could I be considered in that bunch due to the family situations? I would be looking in the top 40-50 range in terms of schools. I know that may even be a stretch. I would really like to go back so I can move on
Thanks in advance
Schools will cut you some slack for your personal difficulties, which you should address in your essays, though not in extraordinary detail. The focus should be on how you handled the setbacks not the depression, etc. You may also be able to use the family stories as examples of leadership, and they should help take you off the hook for lack of community involvement. If you can find some ways in your essays to show leadership and impact in your work then you can partially compensate for the career side track. Also, your GMAT score is good, so you most definitely can consider top 40-50 schools. I think Katz is probably about the kind of program you would be competitive at -- i.e., your GMAT is significantly higher than their average so they may want you even with your "negatives." Other schools you might try are Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Boston College, Maryland, Michigan State, Washington Univ., and Vanderbilt -- all good programs.
Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance
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