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Career Switchers - oil/energy to government + optional essay

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Career Switchers - oil/energy to government + optional essay [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2012, 22:07
Hi All!

I'm applying for app season this 2013.

(1) CAREER OBJECTIVE: I am currently in corporate finance for MNC Oil/Energy and would like to make the switch to work for government in the long-term (i.e. Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry). My current work exp includes four years in energy - 2years in sales, 2 years in Finance. I have been working for four years in the rural areas/province (depots and refineries). I am a CPA.

To prepare me for government, however, would like to work in a development bank i.e. IFC or Asian Development Bank first.

I also have a family business, and because of my obligations for my family, will probably have to work there part-time (Saturdays). Should i mention this in my career goals essay or just mention my "main" career objective?

How would adcoms view this career switch? In college, i was in the student council and involved in political organizations. Also have some extras like working for our village association, etc.

I live in a third world country in Southeast Asia.

(2)OPTIONAL ESSAY: I have a 3.65 GPA but declining. Should i explain in optional essay? Or leave as is? Thanks!

(3)OTHER DUMB QUESTIONS: What do you call development financing in the dropdown lists that you often have to put in updating your profile in places like MyWhartonMBA?
Is that "financial services" or banking? Not sure at all.
Also, would my current industry be corporate finance or say, Energy/Utilities?

Thanks so much! Any insight would be most appreciated.
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Re: Career Switchers - oil/energy to government + optional essay [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2012, 10:23
Expert's post
Hello!

Great questions (none of them are dumb :)). Here are my thoughts:

As for your career narrative, I think it is a fine narrative as long as you link the desire to work in government to your past experience. Think of your career narrative as an equation: a+b+c = d, where a = all the skills/experiences you've gained to date, b = all the skills/experiences you'll gain in business school, c = all the skills/experiences you'll gain in your short term career, and d= your long term goal. Your story should be so tightly woven that you could not reach "d" without any of the other variables, a, b, or c. They should build upon each other and ultimately lead to d, and your desire to get to d should be grounded in your experience to date. For example, it would make a lot more sense to say you want to work in the Department of Energy...

I would leave the family business bit out of your career narrative, though you can definitely include it on your resume, make a separate essay of it if you have a good story from it that fits, and discuss it in your interview. But it doesn't fall into your ultimate career plan, so I'd leave it out of that particular essay.

As for your GPA -- I think I need a little more clarity there. You started undergrad with a high GPA and then it went lower over the years? I don't really think you need to explain it since you ended up with a pretty strong GPA anyway, but if there is a very drastic drop in grades or a particularly bad grade (D/F) to explain, then you should explain that. Otherwise it probably isn't necessary.

I would probably categorize development financing as economics or development work if those are options? Let me know what other categories it could possibly fall into and I can help a little better. I'd put energy/utilities as your current industry, and current function as corporate finance. Make sense?

Hope this helps!
Mili Mittal
Senior Consultant
http://www.mbamission.com

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Re: Career Switchers - oil/energy to government + optional essay [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2012, 17:02
Hi!

Yup, in my current essays I leave the family business part out of my MAIN career essay, but mention it in passing in like the more personal essays and simply mention that I find it is a personal obligation to ocntribute there one day at least in part time.

On the GPA, it is a marked decline. I began with a solid 4.0 in my first three years and then in 4th year a 3.0 and in 5th year around 3.5 I'm thinking of explaining only the 4th year? What do you think?

Thanks for all your help :)
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Re: Career Switchers - oil/energy to government + optional essay [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2012, 06:26
Expert's post
Yes, sounds like that sudden drop to 3.0 needs some explaining. Go ahead and address in an optional statement!

Good luck,
Mili
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