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Applying for 2009 or 2010.. What to do now?

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Applying for 2009 or 2010.. What to do now? [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2007, 09:12
MBA Game Plan.,

I already posted this thread in the other forum. But I want your expert opinion. If you have time, any feedback would be very much appreciated. By the way, I purchased the book in Amazon, and it was very helpful.


http://www.gmatclub.com/forum/t52743

GabrielRodriguez wrote:
I am thinking of applying to business schools next year (2008) for 2009 OR the year after that (2009) for 2010. I know most of you guys are in the process of applying already, and there are probably some "I should have __ a few years ago" in your minds. I hope you could share a few advice or your personal regrets that I could learn from, and eventually help me in my future application.

Let me first introduce myself. I am 21 years old, still in college, and I am in my senior year. I am part of the "minority". I have strong organizational/volunteer work, but a weak grade point average. Although I am likely to average above 3.0 in my senior year, my grade point average in the first three years of college are lower than 3.0 (but it is ascending). I have no post-graduate work experience. However, I do have a small but considerably growing microfinance business. From a portfolio of around $2,000 two years ago, it has grown to almost $10,000 (with a lot of help of course:)) The main reason I want an MBA is to learn how to expand this business, and create a firm or a consultancy that will help other entrepreneurs in this line of work. I also have an internship with a big international agency.

I am giving myself one to three years to prepare myself for the b-school application. Here are the things I plan to finish next year, upon graduating college in February 2008.

1. Study for the GMAT
I have already started (hovering in the low 600s,) and will continue again in March. I plan to allot the whole month studying the GMAT, and start working in April. I will not take the test until I see a score of around 700 in my GMATprep.

2. Extra Curricular Activities

I guess I will just continue what I am doing now. Other activities such as sports should not be a problem. But I am wondering, should I be attending as much forums and seminars as I can? Would that help?

3. Classes
This will help make up my low grade point average. I think I had a D or C in College Algebra, a C+ in Stat, and a C in calculus. I believe I can ace those classes if I take them again. I never took finance/accounting. So which classes should I take? Calc, Algebra and Stat, for sure. Should I take finance/accounting as well?

4. Work experience.
Ok, this is where it gets complicated. I know what I want to do after my MBA. I want to expand my business and promote microfinancing in my country. Ideally, I should be working in a similar field, right? But the small business I currently have does not require me to work 8 hours a day. So I got a lot of time in my hands, and I could get additional work.

I know job responsibility is as equally important as working for a big named company. So should I be looking for a job with lots of responsibility? Should I look for something similar to my small business?

Also, I would like to ask about international experience. I am thinking of studying Chinese in Guangzhou. Will this help me? This will surely lessen the number of months of my job experience. Will this kill my chances of applying in 2009?

Oh, and if there is anything else you guys want to add, feel free to do so!

THANK YOU SO MUCH.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2007, 18:27
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First, I think it's great that you're starting to think about this now. That will give you a HUGE advantage over other applicants in a couple of years.

You sound like you have an interesting background. Your plan is generally a good one, although job-wise, I recommend that you focus on your microfinancing business or a more typical job in a large firm. "Straddling" and doing both will make you appear less focused and may hold you back from doing very well in either.

Definitely take some additional classes, esp. in calculus and statistics. Mastering these is more important than mastering business-specific courses right now.

Attending those seminars and forums won't help that much. If you stick with your own business and still have a lot of free time, then I recommend getting more involved with some kind of community service opportunity. Remember that quality matters here much more than quality. Focus on just 1 or 2 things and do them very well.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2007, 03:28
quixx23 wrote:
You sound like you have an interesting background. Your plan is generally a good one, although job-wise, I recommend that you focus on your microfinancing business or a more typical job in a large firm. "Straddling" and doing both will make you appear less focused and may hold you back from doing very well in either.

Scott


Scott,

In my b-school application, I will definitely focus and talk about my microfinance business. Not only because it is my passion, but it is also probably my best ticket to business school (so to speak.)

Upon graduation, I will definitely need an 9-5 job. I am from a poor family and the extra income will most likely help. Assuming I do get a job, would it still be "straddling" if I hardly write about my 9-5 job on my essays? I don't know what kind of job I should take, or if I should even take any at all.

Lastly, I would like to ask your advice on what schools will suit me the best. I am already very excited and I look forward to chatting with students and alums.
-Reasons to go to business school are to improve managerial/quant skills and have a better international perspective and experience
-My post-MBA goal is to create an international social enterprise (microfinance and consulting)

Hence, I am looking for schools that focus on general management, international business, finance or maybe even entrepreneurship. I'm not very particular on teamwork, but I really don't want to go a school where students are cut-throat competitive. I also do not want to go to schools where the average age is 30. I'll be more comfortable working with people near my age.

I heard that my minority status will greatly boost my chances. So recommending schools that will give minorities better opportunity would really be appreciated.

My target schools so far: Cornell, Thunderbird, UC Berkeley, Georgetown, Any suggestions? US-schools only please :)

THANK YOU. :-D
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2007, 18:17
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The age thing won't change much from school to school. Some top schools liek HBS and Stanford have recently put a little more emphasis on attracting younger applicants, but the average age from one program to the next will still generally be in the 25-29 range. So, I can't help you much there.

Honestly, your goals sound very general ("improve managerial/quant skills and have a better international perspective and experience"), and nearly any top school meets these criteria. If you're very serious about boosting yoru quant skills, though, add MIT Sloan and U. Chicago to your list.

Scott
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