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Any Suggestions? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2010, 08:12
Hi,
I would like to pursue a MBA but my background seems to be totally out of track considered for most MBA aspirants. I am 24 years old. I did my BA in Architecutre, Masters in City Planning. And I am now purusing a PhD in City Planning with a concentration in Real Estate/Urban Development.

I would like to go back to my home country in Asia and set up a research and civic institute. I see research as the foundation for my future pursuit. Instead of doing academic research which end up only on the library self, I want to take a humanistic approach to my research and parlay my own findings into the actions by myself. Mere being a research doesn't satisfy my dream of being an active changer in the society. In order to that, I would like to gain a whole set of management skills and biz skills from a MBA Program. // Another thing is if I get into top 5, I might be the first one from my home country. My country is pretty isolated and stagnant, and I have never heard of anyone attending one of those top schools.

1. Could you please give me any suggestions on how to position myself and what should I do to prepare to get into top MBA programs?

2. Is there any points I should focus on so that I don't appear as a degree collector?

3. How should I integrate the fact that I might be the first ever MBA student at top 5 schools into my profile?

4. I think I would take GRE again to apply to schools. What kind of GRE score should I shoot for?

Your help would be appreciated!
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Re: Any Suggestions? [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2010, 16:36
Hi Linda, before you answer my questions, I wanted to give you a more complete overview of my profile.

Undergrad GPA: 3.73 from a US national university- ranked 30 (architecture major with design background) - graduated in 2008 // came to the states in 2004 on a full-ride scholarship
Graduate GPA: 3.71 from a top ivy - in city planning/urban development/ real estate // attended on full-ride scholarship
Several Academic Honors throughout my career

2002-2004 --- before I came to US in aug 2004, I worked 3.5 years at my family's construction company as a salesperson as well as a project manger for construction projects.

2005 summer -- volunteered as a camp couselor , taught art classes at a summer camp in US

2006 summer -- back in my country, volunteered as a project manager with an NGO - supervising consturciton of water ponds, laterines...and implemented community development projects-- also working part-time at my uncle's construction company

2007 summer -- worked at an archiecture firm in US as a junior architect

2009 - worked at my graduate school as a research assistant for MBA students to create a business plan

Extracurriculars: volunteered as a tutuor for economically disadvantagd kids from the local community, involved with a school club, co-founded a cultural club on campus, co-founded and co-chaired a committee to help forigen NGOs, volunteered as a UN delegate (became one of the first students in the world to do so in some ways)

================
My goal is to return to my country one day and contribute to the development process. I have a lot of time to work on my applications to MBA programs. I am planning to take CFA level 1 exam and get accredited before I submit my applications.

I really would like to pursue a MBA which has been my professional goal. Pursuing a PhD is my personal goal to satisfy my academic curiosity in urban development, as well as I wanted to attain the highest degree possible in the area of my interest. I see myself as a visionary and civic researcher who will utilize his knowledge and research to the public good.

Thanks!!!!!
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Re: Any Suggestions? [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2010, 13:36
Expert's post
rganini wrote:
Hi,
Thanks for your posts. I read both and will respond inline here.
I would like to pursue a MBA but my background seems to be totally out of track considered for most MBA aspirants. I am 24 years old. I did my BA in Architecutre, Masters in City Planning. And I am now purusing a PhD in City Planning with a concentration in Real Estate/Urban Development.

I would like to go back to my home country in Asia and set up a research and civic institute. I see research as the foundation for my future pursuit. Instead of doing academic research which end up only on the library self, I want to take a humanistic approach to my research and parlay my own findings into the actions by myself. Mere being a research doesn't satisfy my dream of being an active changer in the society. In order to that, I would like to gain a whole set of management skills and biz skills from a MBA Program. // Another thing is if I get into top 5, I might be the first one from my home country. My country is pretty isolated and stagnant, and I have never heard of anyone attending one of those top schools.

1. Could you please give me any suggestions on how to position myself and what should I do to prepare to get into top MBA programs?

I was skeptically thinking "degree chaser" until I actually read why you want all these degrees. Then I thought, "hmm...plausible." However "plausible" won't necessarily get you accepted.
The best preparation would be relevant work experience. If you were to achieve your dream of starting an institute in your home country, what work experience would prepare you to achieve your dream? Consulting? Working in a city planning department? Working for an NGO?

Some form of work experience tied to your long-term goal would help you get into an MBA program.


2. Is there any points I should focus on so that I don't appear as a degree collector?
Leadership in on-campus activities. At some point getting a job preparatory to your long-term goal.

3. How should I integrate the fact that I might be the first ever MBA student at top 5 schools into my profile?
Many schools ask for a background essay, that would be a great place to say it. Others give you an optional. It really depends on the application and the questions, but you should be able to work it in. However, first confirm. We have had clients from a lot of places in Asia that you wouldn't think send people to US MBA schools.

4. I think I would take GRE again to apply to schools. What kind of GRE score should I shoot for?

I don't mean to be flippant, but you should shoot for the highest score possible and then deal with the results.

Your help would be appreciated!


Best,
Linda
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