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best use of gap year

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best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 13 Nov 2008, 23:13
I am a senior in college and I have an offer with M/B/B after college
However due to timing issues I will have 6-9 months prior to start date after graduating from college

What is the best way to spend this gap time for app at Harvard/Wharton/Stanford after 3 yrs of consulting work

1) Travel to South America where my family lives and work there
2) Take a non-profit role in US
3) Take a light internship/paid work at a investment management/research firm
4) Take an intense internship/part time job at trading/banking boutique
5) Work at Starbucks
6) Any suggestions?

Problem is I would prefer this to have some sort of pay because I dont want to spend more of my parents money...

Thanks~!
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 03:40
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I'd echo Alex Chu's words "Do what you want to do, don't live your life to get into H/S/W."

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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 06:46
LevFin7S wrote:
I am a senior in college and I have an offer with M/B/B after college
However due to timing issues I will have 6-9 months prior to start date after graduating from college

What is the best way to spend this gap time for app at Harvard/Wharton/Stanford after 3 yrs of consulting work

1) Travel to South America where my family lives and work there
2) Take a non-profit role in US
3) Take a light internship/paid work at a investment management/research firm
4) Take an intense internship/part time job at trading/banking boutique
5) Work at Starbucks
6) Any suggestions?

Problem is I would prefer this to have some sort of pay because I dont want to spend more of my parents money...

Thanks~!


Other than starting a company that saves babies from earthquakes while solving the energy crisis and turning a profit I doubt anything you do in 6 months while waiting for your job to start is gonna have much of an impact. Especially since you're an international student so you can't even be like "I spent the 6 month gap traveling the world to get exposure to foreign cultures"

Learning a language might be useful.
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 07:00
Out of that list, #1 or #2 would look most impressive to me and probably provide you with the most material to write about in your essays.
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 07:17
Getting business exposure of South America r any other country than where you will eventually work with M/B/B) will definitely add to your candidacy and make for good essay material.
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 08:38
My vote is for #1 or #2...they could be interesting points for you to speak to during interviews, could be highlights for your essays as well.
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 09:18
LevFin7S wrote:
I am a senior in college and I have an offer with M/B/B after college
However due to timing issues I will have 6-9 months prior to start date after graduating from college

What is the best way to spend this gap time for app at Harvard/Wharton/Stanford after 3 yrs of consulting work

1) Travel to South America where my family lives and work there
2) Take a non-profit role in US
3) Take a light internship/paid work at a investment management/research firm
4) Take an intense internship/part time job at trading/banking boutique
5) Work at Starbucks
6) Any suggestions?

Problem is I would prefer this to have some sort of pay because I dont want to spend more of my parents money...

Thanks~!



1 & 2 will be an added advantage not only in M/B/B but also your applications. However, may be learn an instrument or dance...something.

End of the day, enjoy life...coz H/S/W is not the end of the world, however, they can be the beginning too :)
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 09:25
pawan203 wrote:

1 & 2 will be an added advantage not only in M/B/B but also your applications. However, may be learn an instrument or dance...something.

End of the day, enjoy life...coz H/S/W is not the end of the world, however, they can be the beginning too :)


I would go with #2.How will learning a instrument help? I did learn one classical instrument but did not include it in the app.
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 09:43
i think no matter what you do there will be opportunity to make an impact (even if it's only for 6 months). perhaps the question is not so much "what do you want to do?" but "who do you want to be?" Think of each of the scenarios and choose the one that gets you the most excited. ultimately you will be faced with the question (either in an essay, or asking yourself) "why did i make that decision? what value(s) of mine does that show?"

fall09 wrote:
How will learning a instrument help? I did learn one classical instrument but did not include it in the app.

(fall09 - it's for playing during your interview when you get a really tough question :P)
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 09:55
Quote:
How will learning a instrument help? I did learn one classical instrument but did not include it in the app.


You could talk about it in your interview? Funny story though: a friend of mine during her Kellogg interview actually sang for her interviewer....the guy apparently said something like "you put that you're a mezzo soprano on here, can you tell me a bit more about your interest in singing?" So she spoke about it a bit and then sang him a verse from her favorite song.

Though I'm not sure how easy it would be to do something like that with an instrument...it could be really funny though :P
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 09:59
fall09 wrote:
pawan203 wrote:

1 & 2 will be an added advantage not only in M/B/B but also your applications. However, may be learn an instrument or dance...something.

End of the day, enjoy life...coz H/S/W is not the end of the world, however, they can be the beginning too :)


I would go with #2.How will learning a instrument help? I did learn one classical instrument but did not include it in the app.


It helps to answer - what apart from work you do, what are you passionate about or your extracurricular activities? but it boils down to "how you present your story".

It can be funny though :) but its perceptions with perspectives.
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 10:04
You're probably between the ages of 21 and 23. If you can afford it, take the time and travel. Do odd jobs in Europe. Just live life. This experience will give you SOOOO much to write about on your application essays. You can say "I had a great opportunity to travel and experience the cultures of the world and work with different people around the world. While some may see this as a vacation, it was much more than that. I loved every minute of it, but when we discuss SE Asian business in one of my classes, it's not just text on a page. I've lived and worked in that culture, even though for a short time. Rather than just reading about shipping and maritime business in these cultures, I can remember what it feels, sounds, and smells like to stand on the dock in Malaysia."

Just an idea. Even if you just discuss it in an interview, you may get more questions about that trip and what you learned / experienced than anything else. You could get an interviewer that did the same thing and wants to swap stories, or you could get an interviewer that wanted to do it, but didn't have the guts to set off across the world alone and chickened out so they admire your courage and independence.

LevFin7S wrote:
I am a senior in college and I have an offer with M/B/B after college
However due to timing issues I will have 6-9 months prior to start date after graduating from college

What is the best way to spend this gap time for app at Harvard/Wharton/Stanford after 3 yrs of consulting work

1) Travel to South America where my family lives and work there
2) Take a non-profit role in US
3) Take a light internship/paid work at a investment management/research firm
4) Take an intense internship/part time job at trading/banking boutique
5) Work at Starbucks
6) Any suggestions?

Problem is I would prefer this to have some sort of pay because I dont want to spend more of my parents money...

Thanks~!

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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2008, 10:09
jallenmorris wrote:
You're probably between the ages of 21 and 23. If you can afford it, take the time and travel. Do odd jobs in Europe. Just live life. This experience will give you SOOOO much to write about on your application essays. You can say "I had a great opportunity to travel and experience the cultures of the world and work with different people around the world. While some may see this as a vacation, it was much more than that. I loved every minute of it, but when we discuss SE Asian business in one of my classes, it's not just text on a page. I've lived and worked in that culture, even though for a short time. Rather than just reading about shipping and maritime business in these cultures, I can remember what it feels, sounds, and smells like to stand on the dock in Malaysia."

Just an idea. Even if you just discuss it in an interview, you may get more questions about that trip and what you learned / experienced than anything else. You could get an interviewer that did the same thing and wants to swap stories, or you could get an interviewer that wanted to do it, but didn't have the guts to set off across the world alone and chickened out so they admire your courage and independence.


Although RTW trips are a lot of fun and many people tend to do them the summer before enrolling in B-School (especially the financier types with deep pockets), I'm really not sure that they would add much value to a business school application. B-School essay questions are generally looking for leadership, impact, and development stories - tourism will not provide this. There are plenty of kids from wealthy families who have traveled the world while they were growing up - yes, this is great and fun experience, but in my opinion, not really what the admissions committee cares about. Personally, when I see a resume and someone lists that they have traveled to over 50 different countries at age 22-25, I tend to just think that they grew up in a priviliged background and don't give it much more thought than that. This does not and should not impact admissions. Additionally, LevFin7S mentioned that he wants to keep his expenditures as low as possible during this time.
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 17 Nov 2008, 18:07
Between the choices you presented, I would favour (1) - it seems like it could help define you and solidify your story the best in your essays. (the other choices could apply to thousands and thousands of others).

imho, it's the lessons you learn from the experience that's the most important so any of the choices could end up working well for you but taking a wild guess, it seems like (1) would connect most at a personal level with you. Ideally, your family business has some function that is related to your long term future goals.
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Re: best use of gap year [#permalink] New post 17 Nov 2008, 18:52
sfwon wrote:
Between the choices you presented, I would favour (1) - it seems like it could help define you and solidify your story the best in your essays. (the other choices could apply to thousands and thousands of others).

imho, it's the lessons you learn from the experience that's the most important so any of the choices could end up working well for you but taking a wild guess, it seems like (1) would connect most at a personal level with you. Ideally, your family business has some function that is related to your long term future goals.


Good logic and I totally agree.
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Re: best use of gap year   [#permalink] 17 Nov 2008, 18:52
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