Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 11 Jul 2014, 08:01

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

Career Vision advice for Older Applicant

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 20 Dec 2011
Posts: 54
Location: United States
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, International Business
GMAT 1: 750 Q46 V48
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 13 [0], given: 0

Career Vision advice for Older Applicant [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2011, 20:38
I am a 30-year old entrepreneur in the dreaded “older applicant” bracket. I would love some advice on how best present my career goals/vision, and how (if at all) to explain what may seem like an odd career progression.

My relevant stats are as follows:
GMAT- 750
GPA – 3.43 (from top five liberal arts college)
Work Experience (all in China) in order – One year on prestigious teaching fellowship, 3 years as a business journalist for top publication, 4 years as an entrepreneur in the private education sector.
Background – American, Caucasian

I founded my company in 2007/2008. We began as a test prep program for Chinese students hoping to go to school in the United States (TOEFL, SAT). We have since diversified and most of our current growth comes from managing the international divisions of Chinese high schools (we handle test prep, counseling, and non-math/science curriculum). We now operate in 14 Chinese cities and are expecting a valuation of around 10 million dollars later this month. I manage a staff of around 40.

My post MBA goal is very specific. I want to expand our enterprise to the United States. This would not be test prep/counseling for the US market. Rather, it would be US-based academic immersion programs for Chinese students. This may seem like a niche market, but its potential is staggering (as in worth well over 1 billion dollars per year in the near future).

My contacts in China will provide me with channels for student recruitment from the first day of operation. However, I do not have access to American investors. More importantly, I do not have a community of savvy American businesspeople to help me hone and improve my plan. While I am a competent manager of my small team, my present management skills are insufficient for the scale I envision for this enterprise.

I think that this is the right time for me to pursue an MBA for three reasons 1) I think that the timing is right for this particular venture, 2) My business in China has reached a point of stability such that my Chinese partner can handle operations without my hand in all day-to-day operatons, 3) I am old, and yet, somehow getting ever older.

With that long preamble, here are my questions:

1) When it comes to career goals, how specific is too specific? My sense is that given my advanced age, specificity my assuage concerns about employability since 1) I will not be switching sectors, 2) I will be creating my own job, and 3) if worst comes to worst, I can return to my company in China….. My concern, however, is that I may give off the impression that I am too rigid or set in my ways. This is not the case at all. I am both very open to new ideas and learning new things, and am constantly overwhelmed by the sheer tonnage of what I still don’t know. I am not being disingenuous to claim that I both need the guidance of business school and would approach the experience with great humility. What do you think of how I should tow this line?

2) How, if at all, should I address my career switch from Journalism to Entrepreneurship. In China, it is not rare for Americans to start by working in fields that afford them a broad view of the market before launching their own enterprises. From the outside, however, I sense this seems like a less logical progression. In my case, I wrote a series of features about China’s booming education sector. The experience gave me a strong network of contacts and insights into opportunities in the market…. How should I explain this decision? Given that my future goals relate to my current position and not my past work, does it make sense to explain the transition at all?

3) Does the way in which I am presenting either of these vary greatly depending on the school in question? I am applying to pretty much the entire top ten. Would Yale or Fuqua view these issues significantly differently than Booth or Wharton? Are the ways to frame my goals that might make Stanford or Harvard less concerned about my age? Any thoughts?
Kaplan Promo CodeKnewton GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
Expert Post
Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant
User avatar
Affiliations: Veritas Prep
Joined: 25 Jul 2010
Posts: 1297
Followers: 34

Kudos [?]: 121 [0], given: 3

GMAT Tests User
Re: Career Vision advice for Older Applicant [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2011, 08:50
Expert's post
jonny-

Thanks for your post and for the details. I think you are wise to apply to a large number of schools because your story is unorthodox, and therefore could be hit or miss. The good news is, I think it is so unique, that not only could it be appealing on any given day to a top school depending on their needs at the time to diversify the student body with international entrepreneurs with American citizenship, but also you could find yourself in a situation to be offered scholarship money. One thing to also consider would be executive programs. These are more forgiving on the admissions side, and target candidates with 10 years experience, which you have, albeit in different industries. EMBA would also be a good networking platform, especially in Asia if you target key west coast schools with good EMBA programs. HBS and Stanford typically admit fewer older applicants than other schools like Booth and Fuqua, so you should not get your hopes up too high for them, but who knows? Every year HBS has a few older applicants who stand to offer something special, and you story might just be that unique. The only challenge I see is that R2 deadlines are fast approaching and you would want to get at least a handful of applications in for R2. R3 is challenging, but again, your story may be just the thing to feel a niche in that round for some schools. Certainly your GMAT and academic record helps. As for presenting your story, I wouldn't worry about being too specific. Frankly the older you are, the more specific you should be. I myself was 31 when I went to a top 5 b-school and was very specific in my application. Let us know if we can help you pull everything together.
_________________

Bryant Michaels
Veritas Prep | Admissions Consultant

Enroll now. Pay later. Take advantage of Veritas Prep's flexible payment plan options.

Veritas Prep Reviews

1 KUDOS received
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 20 Dec 2011
Posts: 54
Location: United States
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, International Business
GMAT 1: 750 Q46 V48
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 13 [1] , given: 0

Re: Career Vision advice for Older Applicant [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2012, 01:23
1
This post received
KUDOS
bryantmichaels wrote:
jonny-

Thanks for your post and for the details. I think you are wise to apply to a large number of schools because your story is unorthodox, and therefore could be hit or miss. The good news is, I think it is so unique, that not only could it be appealing on any given day to a top school depending on their needs at the time to diversify the student body with international entrepreneurs with American citizenship, but also you could find yourself in a situation to be offered scholarship money. One thing to also consider would be executive programs. These are more forgiving on the admissions side, and target candidates with 10 years experience, which you have, albeit in different industries. EMBA would also be a good networking platform, especially in Asia if you target key west coast schools with good EMBA programs. HBS and Stanford typically admit fewer older applicants than other schools like Booth and Fuqua, so you should not get your hopes up too high for them, but who knows? Every year HBS has a few older applicants who stand to offer something special, and you story might just be that unique. The only challenge I see is that R2 deadlines are fast approaching and you would want to get at least a handful of applications in for R2. R3 is challenging, but again, your story may be just the thing to feel a niche in that round for some schools. Certainly your GMAT and academic record helps. As for presenting your story, I wouldn't worry about being too specific. Frankly the older you are, the more specific you should be. I myself was 31 when I went to a top 5 b-school and was very specific in my application. Let us know if we can help you pull everything together.



Hey,

I just wanted to send an update and my thanks. As you predicted, I was dinged at Harvard/Stanford, but went 5/5 with my other schools and received scholarships at both Fuqua and Stern. I wanted to express my appreciation for your insights and let the others on this board know that you really know your stuff.
Expert Post
Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant
User avatar
Affiliations: Veritas Prep
Joined: 25 Jul 2010
Posts: 1297
Followers: 34

Kudos [?]: 121 [0], given: 3

GMAT Tests User
Re: Career Vision advice for Older Applicant [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2012, 13:24
Expert's post
Super! Congratulations! And thanks so much for being thoughtful enought to update the board on your successes. Let me know where you end up deciding to go.
_________________

Bryant Michaels
Veritas Prep | Admissions Consultant

Enroll now. Pay later. Take advantage of Veritas Prep's flexible payment plan options.

Veritas Prep Reviews

    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
Experts publish their posts in the topic Career Vision advice for Older Applicant jonnyh 1 20 Dec 2011, 20:38
Career Vision advice for Older Applicant jonnyh 1 20 Dec 2011, 20:37
Experts publish their posts in the topic Career Vision advice for Older Applicant jonnyh 7 20 Dec 2011, 20:37
Career Vision advice for Older Applicant jonnyh 0 20 Dec 2011, 20:36
Experts publish their posts in the topic Career Vision advice for Older Applicant jonnyh 1 20 Dec 2011, 20:36
Display posts from previous: Sort by

Career Vision advice for Older Applicant

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.