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Entrepreneur/Non-Profit Background - Hinders admission? [#permalink]
22 Jan 2013, 17:07
My family has been involved in construction my home country for over 3 decades - we also ran a construction company for a few years and sold it. I was a co-founder and worked there while in college.
A few years ago, I've started a charity (along with my father and friends) focussed on providing housing to the poor. I've also started a software company that delivers architecture based services. Primary funding for the charity comes from my pocket and a few patrons - and we have helped provide housing to over 50 families. The software company is just starting to find traction too but it's been slow going so far on both fronts.
And I believe going to a good business school would help me learn better ways to get to my goal - provide housing to a set number of families ,while developing my company - I hope the company becomes sustainable and help me put food on the table. (money is one of the primary reasons I'm still here - student loan, etc)
Now, the two things I'm worried about are:
1) Employability/Internship Question - I hear business schools value employable students, students who can get good internships to begin with. Given my goal, does it make me less desirable to top schools? (FWIW, I work at a boutique trading shop and I'm highly valued here - Personally, I think I will be highly employable in the financial industry. Based on what I learn at business school, I might want to work a few more years here, for capital purposes etc. And I am going for schools that I consider are the 6 best in the US)
2) While I am passionate about my charity and love my job here, I am planning to make my charity work the lynchpin of my applications - because that is what I'd like to do long-term. Will that be frowned upon, given I've been working in the US full-time? (I run the charity from the US and I go back for 3 weeks every year).
Some schools value non-profit work more than others, but on the whole it's not going to hold you back. Entrepreneurship has been a huge business school push in the last decade. So, having experience in the area will be a big plus. Additionally, your experience running a charity will differentiate you from much of the competition.
Assuming you have a decent GMAT score and undergrad grades, you should be able to get in pretty much anywhere. Write compelling essays demonstrating why you want an MBA and how it will help you on your path and you'll be good to go.
I'd think you have a very interesting background, so that shouldn't be a problem.
The only thing I'd recommend you to think about is who will be writing your recommendations. You said you were involved in your family business and recommendation letters from family members are generally not welcome in b-schools. Hence, I think you should start listing business partners, associates or anyone familiar with your work who is not a family member or subordinate who you can ask to write them.