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Career Switchers - oil/energy to government + optional essay

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Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 37
Schools: Wharton '15 (I)
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Career Switchers - oil/energy to government + optional essay [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2012, 22:17
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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Stratus Prep Admissions Consultant
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Re: Career Switchers - oil/energy to government + optional essay [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2012, 06:15
Expert's post
Hi emmanuelle8,

Thanks for your questions. I am happy to help.

If the work you do for your family business is relevant to your career goals, you could include it in your essays. Otherwise, it may be best to leave it out as it could distract from your overall application and make it look like you are less serious about your own career and long-term goals. Of course, each situation is unique; if Stratus Prep worked with you on your applications, we would be happy to provide you with more personalized advice to your specific situation. If you might like to work with me and my team, please just email me at to set up a discussion about how Stratus Prep could help you.

Many applicants use an MBA to facilitate a career switch, and we have helped many applicants in that situation gain admission to top schools. The political experience you have in your college and in the village association will be helpful in showcasing your interest in and potential for public service leadership. However, it is important that you recognize the extent of your proposed career switch and that you demonstrate that it will likely need to be staged over time (through, for example, your first doing work with the IFC). I would want to see you be more specific about this transition in your applications so it does not seem too abrupt.

If there is a reason for the decline in your GPA, such as an illness or personal issue, you may want to include it in the optional essay. Otherwise, I would not draw attention to this trend.

I think that your current industry would be Energy/Utilities and your current function would be finance. Development finance would probably be financial services or social enterprise.

I hope that this information is helpful. As the Stratus Prep team has extensive experience working with international applicants from developing economies in Asia, we would be happy to work with you if you would like expert assistance on your MBA applications.

Best of luck!


Shawn O'Connor
Founder/CEO, Stratus Prep

Re: Career Switchers - oil/energy to government + optional essay   [#permalink] 21 Aug 2012, 06:15
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