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Changed Jobs, Apply in Round 2 / Wait for Round 1 Next Year

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Joined: 01 Mar 2010
Posts: 106
Location: United States (FL)
Concentration: Finance, Nonprofit
GMAT 1: 640 Q36 V41
GMAT 2: 630 Q42 V34
GMAT 3: 640 Q42 V35
GMAT 4: 620 Q42 V34
GMAT 5: 700 Q45 V40
GPA: 2.71
WE: Underwriter (Other)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 20

Changed Jobs, Apply in Round 2 / Wait for Round 1 Next Year [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2011, 20:03
I was a round 3 applicant last year, ultimately going without an admit. The general feedback that I got was that my work experience was the weak point in my application package. (My undergraduate GPA was low, but somewhat mitigated by my GMAT score and a few quantitative courses that I have since taken and gotten A's in.) I worked for 5+ years in various positions for a small community bank in Chicago. In June, I decided to relocate to Florida for personal reasons and left my job in Chicago in July. I recently found a job in Florida but by the time I start in November, I will have gone about three months without a job. I took two online courses this summer to not only continue building an alternative transcript but to also demonstrate that I wasn't just sitting around doing nothing during that jobless period. The job I will be starting in November is with a large multinational bank and although it is in the same industry that I was working in, it does represent a step forward in terms of my own career.

When I decided to make the move from Chicago to Florida, I was still hoping to reapply by the round 2 deadlines, most of which are in January. However, the fact that I won't be starting my new job until November has given me some pause, as I will be avoiding round 3 this year. While I think that I definitely will be able to paint a picture of career / professional growth in my essays, and this job is certainly a step up from where I was last time around, I will only have been there for two months before I send in my applications. I highly doubt I could get a recommendation from my new employer and would have to rely on recommendations from my previous employer. (I left on good terms, so obtaining them wouldn't be too difficult.)

My question is how would this impact my chances? Would two months into a new job demonstrate enough profess career / professional growth? If I were to apply to one or two new schools, how would they view this?

Maybe I've got the wrong idea, but I felt that I built up some solid credibility with the schools I applied to last year, (and I would love to attend each one of them,) so I would hate to sort of throw that away by waiting until the following year to apply again. Any thoughts on reapplying vs. applying two years after I originally applied?

I guess my options are to go ahead with applying this year in round 2, or holding off and shooting for round 1 next year, with the added bonus of potentially getting promoted at this new job and being able to tell that story as well. Complicating my decision is the fact that I will be 30 in January. If I were to hold off until round 1 of next year, I will be 31 by the time I enroll in MBA program, (two to three years over the general median age of applicants.) Personally, if it doesn't impact my chances too much, I would like to apply in round 2, but if I'm at any type of disadvantage because of it, I would then hold off.

Sorry to flood this post with all these questions, but I'd be very interested in hearing anyone's opinions.

Thanks

Last edited by doggdetroit on 25 Oct 2011, 10:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Changed Jobs, Apply in Round 2 / Wait for Round 1 Next Year [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2011, 23:39
My gut instinct says you should go for it. You've done the research on your schools before, you're on good terms w/ your old company so you can get letters of rec, and your new position will show career advancement which is awesome.

On top of that you've picked up classes in the meantime. For b-school and for many of us, I don't think there will always be a time when all of the stars align and say it's a go, start on your apps! Promotions will come up, family issues, etc. If you delay it yes you may "lose a year" but I would also say don't think of it so much as losing a year, but gaining a year of real world experience.

My only advice would be to consider adding a safety school to your list. Your app will be stronger this year + you're applying in r2 which should increase your odds, but having an extra safety may help calm nerves in the event you really really want to start this year.
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Re: Changed Jobs, Apply in Round 2 / Wait for Round 1 Next Year [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2011, 03:19
I would pull the trigger and apply this year. I think you've checked the requisite boxes enough to be able to make a compelling case for why you're a better applicant this time. Plus, schools figure that we will use the time between applying and starting to continue building experience. Even though you are just starting this new job, you'll have at least 6-8 months in the role before you have to leave for school. That's a pretty good chunk of time.
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Joined: 01 Mar 2010
Posts: 106
Location: United States (FL)
Concentration: Finance, Nonprofit
GMAT 1: 640 Q36 V41
GMAT 2: 630 Q42 V34
GMAT 3: 640 Q42 V35
GMAT 4: 620 Q42 V34
GMAT 5: 700 Q45 V40
GPA: 2.71
WE: Underwriter (Other)
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Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 20

Re: Changed Jobs, Apply in Round 2 / Wait for Round 1 Next Year [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2011, 10:10
Thanks for the input. My gut is also telling me to go ahead and apply in round 2. I've been pursuing this MBA dream of mine for almost two and a half years, (spent a year and a half studying for and taking the GMAT,) and it would just kill me to have to wait even longer. On the other hand, I want to make sure I'm giving myself the best chance at success this time around, something that I didn't do by applying in round 3 last year. (Interestingly, I spoke with an admissions officer at USC Marshall who gave me some feedback on my application and she told me that 85% of the incoming class was full by the time round 3 arrived.)
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Re: Changed Jobs, Apply in Round 2 / Wait for Round 1 Next Year [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2011, 11:03
Well, I'm not as confident as the other two responders..

My concern stems from the fact that I don't know how accurate the "general feedback" you refer to is..Did the schools specifically state that your work ex was weak compared to other applicants in R3 last year or was it just weak overall? I understand that very few applicants get through R3; you've got to be really strong to get through it..But this question would in my opinion, be critical to deciding where n when to apply...

Case 1- If the schools specifically stated that your overall work ex was weak, I think you would be better off applying to these schools in R1 next year. As you rightly pointed out, you would've only 2 months of experience at your new job and that is just not enough for you to show accomplishments or for you to get enough data to write out your reapplicant essay. While the fact that you took summer courses is commendable, if the feedback you received was specifically regarding work ex, writing about your new courses is not going to help your case much..

Case 2- However, if the schools stated that your work ex was weak relative to the R3 applicant pool, I would say you have a decent shot this year in R2. You can show good personal and professional progression and make a good case.

In either case, and especially the first one, applying to new schools would be greatly beneficial to you. Your life story, if written up well in essays, could be very interesting and pique the interest of some b-schools that have never seen an app from you...

Don't mean to discourage you at all...Just trying to help by sharing my frank opinion..Good luck to you!!
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Re: Changed Jobs, Apply in Round 2 / Wait for Round 1 Next Year [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2011, 11:09
I think there are a few things to consider here.

1. You just got this job. Have you told them you are applying for an MBA or planning to? Leaving in less then 8 months may burn a few bridges. This maybe a non-factor if this job is really just a bridge job to get you from moving to the MBA program.
2. Recommendations. Most schools want current managers. If you wait a year you can work with your current managers to position yourself to get good recommendation, work experiences, etc over the next year and apply in R1 the following cycle
3. Appearance to B-School. For the same reason as you don't want to pick-up EC's right before you apply, I think switching jobs runs the same risk. If you do decide to apply this year, you may want to explain the job change reason in the optional essay

I would say if you honestly think you are ready go ahead and apply. If you only applied R3 last year and are submitting first set of apps for R2 last year, I think another year might be helpful. It will give you time to develop your story and prepare to submit strong apps in R1. Again waiting a year for a non-guaranteed admission is never fun so it comes down to a personal decision. Plus if you wait a year you may not have to do the pesky re-app essays for the schools you applied to in R3 :).
Re: Changed Jobs, Apply in Round 2 / Wait for Round 1 Next Year   [#permalink] 25 Oct 2011, 11:09
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