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Considering BSchool! Need some help to get started

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Considering BSchool! Need some help to get started [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2006, 16:18
Hi,
Recently I began juggling a few options in terms of my future career. I graduated last year (2005) with a B.S. in Computer Science from UC Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering.

I have been working for over a year as an Engineer at a Enterprise Security company, and have realized that this is definitely not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I began studying for the LSAT to pursue a potential career in Patent Law. After taking the LSAT and doing research, however, I came to realize that law may not be what I’ve been looking for. I talked to some previous professors, my sister who is an Attorney in a large Law Firm in San Francisco, and they all told me that I have always came across as someone who would do very well in business. My professors said that during my project presentations (we had to complete potential high-tech startup company products in our classes) that I was very persuasive and clear about our product’s potential, even though the product we came out with wasn’t even all that great. One professor after one of my presentations told me that I should go into sales or marketing rather than computer science. It might as well have been a joke, but now that I think about it, he was probably serious. A few other factors have lead friends, family, and mentors to point me towards business.

I enjoy organizing many events, have a lot of hobbies that I am very passionate about (which are also extremely expensive I might add), and I combine those two elements and find myself organizing events for all different hobbies. I’ve put together hundreds of car club meets, one of which had a head count of over 50 cars. I am in love with photography, and have put together a few photo shoot outings, including one with over a dozen people. I have also been involved with Circle K throughout college, which is an community service club linked with the Kiwanis Club. Somewhat of an annoyance to my friends, I always point out businesses closing down, trying to figure out why that happened and what would be successful in its place. I think a lot about opening up my own business in the future, a career in law funding that dream.

But all of that is very naïve, and so I’m now doing a bit of research on how business school will benefit me.

I know most schools, such as Haas, require the GMAT. I did a search on Google but came up with many test prep websites, but no general information. I checked out ETS’s website, but somehow they don’t even list the GMAT, though I may be going blind though from staring at monitors all day at work. Where can I obtain information on this?

What kind of career opportunities do I have being a Computer Science undergraduate, wanting to stay somewhere in the high tech field in the future, but not exactly doing engineering work? I’m interested in opening a business, or maybe having a position in a high tech company, or maybe something entirely different, I don’t know.

If you can give me any suggestions, that would be great. As you probably can tell, I’m totally new to all of this and just need a bit of a kick start, and maybe some tips and tricks.

I had a 3.4gpa in my undergrad at UCSB, 1 year of work experience, a handful of professors willing to send letters of recommendations (I asked them previously for law school recommendations, I’m sure they’ll be more than happy for business school apps too) and haven’t taking the GMAT yet. As for a school, I'm looking for a full time school preferably close to home (Berkeley, CA).

Thanks!
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2006, 18:04
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I definitely think you have the makings of a successful business person. Ihave always said that anyone who has good sales skills will never go hungry.

The main thing you need to do -- and you probably know this -- is get some more focus and decide "what you want to be when you grow up." You don't need to know *exactly* what you want to do, but on every b-school application you will have to answer the question, "Why do you want an MBA, and what are your post-MBA career plans?" It sounds like you may very well have the aptitude to succeed in business, and you just need to decide what part of business you want to get into.

I like your extracurricular experience, like the car club and Circle K... Don't discount this! That kind if natural leadership and initiative is what b-schools look for in every applicant.

About the GMAT, check out http://www.gmac.com/. By the wya, Stanford ust announced that they'll also accept the GRE, although pretty much every other school still requires the GMAT. There are all sorts of test prep companies out there. I'll recommend Veritas Prep, which is a partner of ours. You can also study on your own and do fine, but a class may help you if you need help staying on schedule or if you feel like you don't know where to begin.

Keep exploring!

Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 09:52
Thanks for the help!

I have another few questions:
Do I need more work experience before going into business school?
Do I need to know exactly what i want to do before going to business school?
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 10:05
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Yes, ideally you'll have at least 3 years of experience before you enter b-school (so, at least 2 years when you aplpy). Re: knowing what you want to do, schools will expect you to be fairly focused and to have a reasonable plan. You don't need to have a 10-year career plan mapped out, but will need to be able to talk intelligently about what kinds of opportunities you will want to puruse post-MBA.

Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 10:25
quixx23 wrote:
Yes, ideally you'll have at least 3 years of experience before you enter b-school (so, at least 2 years when you aplpy). Re: knowing what you want to do, schools will expect you to be fairly focused and to have a reasonable plan. You don't need to have a 10-year career plan mapped out, but will need to be able to talk intelligently about what kinds of opportunities you will want to puruse post-MBA.

Scott


Hi Scott,
Does 3 years of experience give leverage on school admissions or is it a matter of what you learn in those three years helping with your business school success, and ultimately post business school success?

I'm currently working as a software engineer, should I be continuing with that or should I be looking into more managerial positions?
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 10:37
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Quality definitely matters more than quantity, but most applicants can't get good leadership experience in less than three years. Definitely try to take on leadership roles at work as much as you can.

Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 11:01
quixx23 wrote:
Quality definitely matters more than quantity, but most applicants can't get good leadership experience in less than three years. Definitely try to take on leadership roles at work as much as you can.

Scott


Ah so leadership roles are very important! And I guess those learned at work are the most important. At my current job I don't think I'll be able to have much leadership role opportunities, I may need to find a new job in things such as R&D where I can lead a whole project.

I am thinking of joining the Kiwanis in my area, since I have been in Circle K. This may give me the opportunity to volunteer and take on more leadership roles as well.

I have also read a bit about letters of recommendation. For my law school applications, I have 3 letters from professors from undergrad, but for business school I will need letters from employers? I know the C.E.O. and Vice President of my company, but I never really directly work with them. I have a supervisor who is our "software architect" who manages everyone and is actually pretty darn brilliant. I work very closely with him, but I don't think he has an M.B.A. (a ph.d and a P.E. yes). What qualities am I looking for in a person who I will ask for a letter of recommendation from?

Also, how weird is it for a software engineer to ask for letters of recommendation for business school. Is it often that engineers to want to go that route? I know for law school very few computer science b.s. majors ever applied. What is the range for business schools lately?

Thank you for all of your help so far!
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 11:18
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Not weird at all for you to ask for letters of reco for b-school. Engineers go to b-school all the time. As for who writes your recos, b-schools definitely prefer people you worked with over professors. And try to make it peopel who know you well, not people with fancy titles. It's most important that they be able to give specific examples about why you're great.

Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 11:20
quixx23 wrote:
Not weird at all for you to ask for letters of reco for b-school. Engineers go to b-school all the time. As for who writes your recos, b-schools definitely prefer people you worked with over professors. And try to make it peopel who know you well, not people with fancy titles. It's most important that they be able to give specific examples about why you're great.

Scott


Hi Scott,
Thank you so much! You've definately given me a good foothold on what to do from here on out.

I was wondering if you may have any collegues or friends who were engineers who then went to Business School for the M.B.A. who I may be able to ask more specific questions to?

thank you!!!
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