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EJ's Profile

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Joined: 08 Aug 2008
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EJ's Profile [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2008, 17:19
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Thank you in advance for reading my profile and offering your thoughts.

Personal
Age: 26 (27 at matriculation)
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Caucasian

Academic
Undergrad Institution: Washington University in St. Louis
Undergrad Majors: Finance & Marketing
GPA: 3.85
GMAT: 760 (Q49, V44, AWA6.0)

Professional
I spent two years working in New York in the media and marketing world: first working through the Directors Guild in a selective program on large budget tv and movie production sets and secondly in a more traditional role as an account executive at a digital marketing agency on their American Express account. Spent about 13 months in both of these jobs. I was looking to do something more strategic and entrepreneurial and found a job working for a business incubator/very seed stage private equity company. I was given the option to delay the start of that job and spent 5 months (one semester) working at a Business University in Zagreb Croatia as an assistant lecturer teaching a marketing course before starting my new job.

I have spent 1.5 years in my current role working for the business incubator. I've worked on the evaluation of a number of business ideas but have primarily concentrated my efforts on one business, which is a health beverage that has recently launched in the US. I'm one of 3 people who runs this business for our parent company, so my roles and responsibilities are quite varied but in general, I'm responsible for all the operations and product development. I also do quite a bit of work on the beverage's marketing and sales management. I will spend the next year before starting business school continuing to work on this brand and grow it.

Extracurriculars
I currently volunteer twice a week at a local community center tutoring immigrants and mentoring a high school student. I take Spanish classes once a week and other less time consuming involvements include working events for an environmental group and the alumni committee which is planning the 5th year reunion for my university.

In my previous advertising job I was on the community service board which planned office community service efforts.

I've never held a leadership position in an extra curricular activities I've participated in post college but was very active in leadership roles during college.

Goals
I'm hoping to pursue an MBA to sharpen my business skills. I would definitely like to concentrate on learning the more quant aspects of finance but do so within a general management program if possible. I enjoy the business development work that I currently do and would like to have that be a aspect of my post MBA career. Refining ideas and developing strategies is something that I really enjoy. I am also quite interested in social entrepreneurship. In the past I have toyed with the idea of applying to a MBA / MS Environmental Science program and pursuing a career in business development for a green tech company. Most of the programs which offer this degree do not require that you apply until you are actually a student in MBA program, so I will certainly apply to at least 2 of these schools.

Outside of that path, the two careers that I'm most interested in post MBA would be doing venture capital in the health and wellness space or working for an investment fund that concentrates on socially responsible businesses and ideas. There are two non-profit investment firms in New York which do this called Acumen Fund and Endeavor Global which I find to be extremely interesting.

Schools
Round 1: Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, and one more school (still undecided on the last school but the list is Wharton, Yale, Michigan, Duke, MIT, and Tuck)

Any thought on the school choice would be appreciated and also do you think that I should be adding at least one more school in Round 2?

Self Assessment
My strengths are a strong GMAT and academic record and an interesting work history with quite a bit of leadership and responsibility at my current role. I also believe that I will have strong recommendations from my current managers based on their reactions to telling them I am planning on applying (they are Kellogg and Stanford grads). That being said, I know there is a lot of chance involved when you are talking about the selectivity rates at the schools I am planning on applying to. I know that I need to present my work history correctly because it could be seen as a weakness that I have worked in several different industries and functions rather than sticking with one thing particularly at the beginning of my career. This is something I plan to give much thought and effort in the application process. Additionally, I am not 100% set on a particular career path as there are a couple that I have interest in. I realize you must present yourself to the admission committees as having a more clear idea of post mba goals and targeted careers than I may have. I hope and believe that the process of self evaluation that you need to go through while doing your MBA applications will cause me to refine the avenues I am hoping to pursue.


Your thoughts and advice are really appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I also am curious if any of you have any thoughts on whether using an MBA consultant is worth it. A couple friends have pointed me to particular websites. The services seem like it would be a useful thing but is quite pricey at some places. My plan is to start working seriously on some of the application materials this weekend. --EJ
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Joined: 05 Aug 2007
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Re: EJ's Profile [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2008, 20:23
Very compelling profile, ej. In fact the kind of profile that makes me question what I've really accomplished in my 4 years since graduating college. :)

If I had to play armchair admissions consultant, I would say the goals need just a little more work. Maybe talk about one specific short-term career goal, either the venture capital gig or the social enterprise thing? You don't want to give out the impression that you're heading out into several different directions at the same time. My recommendation would be to pick one and stick to it. Once you're in a good MBA program, pursue whatever career your heart desires.

Would suggest Wharton as your fourth R1 school - you certainly have a very good shot at it and I think it will open more opportunities for you than any of the other schools you're still on the fence about.
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Re: EJ's Profile [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2008, 20:35
write compelling essays and you will get into at least 2 out of your 4
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Re: EJ's Profile [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2008, 22:02
solaris1 wrote:
Very compelling profile, ej. In fact the kind of profile that makes me question what I've really accomplished in my 4 years since graduating college. :)

If I had to play armchair admissions consultant, I would say the goals need just a little more work. Maybe talk about one specific short-term career goal, either the venture capital gig or the social enterprise thing? You don't want to give out the impression that you're heading out into several different directions at the same time. My recommendation would be to pick one and stick to it. Once you're in a good MBA program, pursue whatever career your heart desires.

Would suggest Wharton as your fourth R1 school - you certainly have a very good shot at it and I think it will open more opportunities for you than any of the other schools you're still on the fence about.


I'll second whats been said about focusing in on 1 short term goal.
You have a very strong profile - the only weakness I can see is the one you've already identified, your diverse work experience. As long as you can string togther the reasoning behind your career choices you'll be a competitive candidate anywhere.
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Schools: Chicago (dinged), Tuck (November), Columbia (RD)
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Re: EJ's Profile [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2008, 22:10
As far as your school selection, I would definitely do the following:

Round 1: HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Kellogg

Round 2 (November submit date): Tuck

Put in those 5 applications - see what happens, and then evaluate your choices. If I were to guess, you should get into 2-3 of these schools.
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Re: EJ's Profile [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2008, 10:44
I think your profile is strong, but to me you seem very unsure about where you want to go in life and why you need an MBA. You have to answer these two questions convincingly or it will be very tough to gain admission at any top business school, much less Stanford or Harvard. I suggest thinking long and hard about what your true career goal is and why an MBA is necessary to get you from point A to point B and beyond. Good luck to you!
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Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010
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Re: EJ's Profile [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2008, 16:31
If you follow JB's advice and solidfy your why an MBA, why now, and what you want to do post MBA...connect that to what you do now and what an MBA will give you then you will be competitive at HBS and Stanford. You have the raw stats, interesting background, and honestly being a white female definitely is in your favor...especially if you have any interesting angles to your background (first college grad in family, small town, etc..). I would say your chances at those two are very good with good execution and you should be a lock for a Kellogg admit.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Re: EJ's Profile   [#permalink] 11 Aug 2008, 16:31
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