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Entry Level Currently (Only Way To Go Is UP!)

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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 11
Location: Clairton, PA
Schools: Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Atlantic University
WE 1: Escrow accountant - title insurance industry
WE 2: Accounting assistant - CPA sole proprietorship
WE 3: Management technician - higher education
Followers: 0

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

Entry Level Currently (Only Way To Go Is UP!) [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2010, 23:56
Hello,

I just joined the forum, and it looks like a great place so far. It also seems that the majority of the forum is focused on (or students at) the top graduate B-schools that there are. It is very cool to read about all of your experiences, and seeing you share your knowledge with those who are thinking about getting their MBAs.

I do not know if there is anyone on the board like me however. I consider myself a relatively intelligent person. However I wasn't born into the greatest circumstances....and I've had many (many, many) setbacks both professionally and academically. I graduated in the top 5% of my high school class of 403, so I knew that I was going to college (in spite of having no money at all to do so). I opted for a private university far from home (not too smart) at first. However my family was really, super low income (I think my mother made $14K per year...back in 1997), and I opted to transfer to a larger public university closer to home. Even with that, I worked 3 jobs to stay afloat. My grades were mediocre and I didn't have a clue what I wanted in life. So I dropped out.

I worked some odd jobs until I got an opportunity to work in the real estate/insurance industry. Not only did I learn a lot, but I gained a lot of confidence in that I worked with attorney's, CPAs, MBAs, etc. Not on their level obviously...but to the point where they trusted and respected my opinion. Most were surprised to find out that I did not graduate from college. I was promoted pretty rapidly and went from making $25K as a legal assistant to $42K as an escrow accountant over the course of 3 years. I was not rolling in money, but I was able to support and take care of myself. I thought I was on a good trajectory :)

However I was on my way to work one day, and was involved in a very serious car accident. I was in the hospital for 5 weeks. My job was very gracious and kept me "on the books" until they made the determination for a long-term disability payout. From there, I collected unemployment...for over a year. :cry: Since doing nothing at all was driving me up the wall, I decided to go back to school...albeit online. However, after working with some amazing advisors, they worked me through getting a BA in liberal arts before the year was finished. I was pretty amazed. That and college was an entirely different experience for me this time around...being that I did not have to work. My dismal previous GPA was brought up significantly (GPA in my last 30 cr was 3.8!).

Although I had a liberal arts degree, I opted for a minor in business. Working for small businesses had exposed me to all of the different ins and outs of a company and the business curriculum covered most of these areas. So I opted to apply for MBA programs. However I also needed to deal with the prospect of going back to work. My unemployment was running out and I would need to do something for income. So I called a temp agency and started work part-time as an administrative assistant. Eventually, that led to the position I have now...which is called 'management technician'...but I am really an admin assistant.

My lackluster academics and GMAT score presented me with some limited choices in regards to MBA programs. I read and read reviews and rankings anywhere; however my final decision rested on the fact that it would be hard to do worse than what I am doing right now. Although I work full-time, my monthly take home pay just barely clears $1500. :!: Also I live on my own so what I make is all there is. Full-time MBA programs, for all that they offer in regards to opportunities and networking, still don't guarantee jobs. I had to think about the return on investment here. The MBA program I opted for will ultimately cost less than $20K, is AACSB accredited, and online.

If there are any other out there who are still on an entry-level work level, unemployed or lacking experience, it would be great to hear your stories as well. This also goes for those who are in online programs. :)

I will say that although my program is online and 'unranked'...the professors do assume that you are coming from professional experience. Luckily in my case I did have this experience in the past. Also I am the National President of a sorority so I can offer a lot of experience and antidotes there...with managing a multi-branch non-profit (no one needs to know that we are small...and that my position there is unpaid). My peers also are working professionals. So I would imagine that it would be very tough for those who have no work experience whatsoever.
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Intern
Intern
User avatar
Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Atlanta, GA
Schools: GA Tech
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 1

Re: Entry Level Currently (Only Way To Go Is UP!) [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2010, 13:43
Hi MissShona,

Thank you for sharing your story. Although we don't share the same background/experiences, we are in the same position. I made some bad decisions after college which led me to where I am today. I was determined to move to Atlanta, GA and limited myself only to certain recruiters on campus. After 3.5 years of working, I still consider what I do entry-level.

But I am optimistic because as you stated, Only Way To Go is Up! I am currently pursuing my MBA at a decent school so hopefully it will work out as planned. You seem very determined so I hope it works out for you as well! I guess there is no point to my post, but I just wanted to say "Hi"! Goodluck!
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 11
Location: Clairton, PA
Schools: Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Atlantic University
WE 1: Escrow accountant - title insurance industry
WE 2: Accounting assistant - CPA sole proprietorship
WE 3: Management technician - higher education
Followers: 0

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

Re: Entry Level Currently (Only Way To Go Is UP!) [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2010, 13:58
ntatlmba wrote:
But I am optimistic because as you stated, Only Way To Go is Up! I am currently pursuing my MBA at a decent school so hopefully it will work out as planned. You seem very determined so I hope it works out for you as well! I guess there is no point to my post, but I just wanted to say "Hi"! Goodluck!


Neat; I actually looked into Georgia Tech's WebMBA program, but ultimately did not apply. Are you working full-time, doing the MBA part-time?
Intern
Intern
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Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Atlanta, GA
Schools: GA Tech
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 1

Re: Entry Level Currently (Only Way To Go Is UP!) [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2010, 14:42
I am working full-time while doing my MBA Part-Time (Evening Program).
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Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 231
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Re: Entry Level Currently (Only Way To Go Is UP!) [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2010, 15:01
Great stories!
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"Only by going too far, can one find out how far one can go."

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Re: Entry Level Currently (Only Way To Go Is UP!)   [#permalink] 28 Sep 2010, 15:01
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