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Escape from Non-Profits

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Escape from Non-Profits [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2008, 07:42
I recently got accepted to Tepper, and I am very excited. I love their emphasis on quantitative analysis, the small class sizes, and the location. At the same time, I am a bit reticent to accept due to the program cost and my background.

I finished undergrad with a degree in economics, but then went on to do two years with Teach for America. After finishing this program, I was unable to find a traditional business job. I have been stuck working for a non-profit since then. It's not that the work is bad, as I am definitely doing some things that are helping others. It's more that I love working with numbers and I love challenges, and neither of these are particularly present in my line of work.

I want to transition into a position in consulting, and I want to make sure my background won't hold me back (what will recruiters say when they see my resume?) and Tepper can get me there. Due to my work background, I do not really have much in the way of savings and I would have to take out loans to pay for most of my living expenses and tuition.

I suppose I am just looking for some insight into how my background would affect my ability to get an internship and a job after graduating. Thanks in advance for any help!
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Re: Escape from Non-Profits [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2008, 07:56
Teach for America will look great on your resume and non-profit is nothing to sneeze at.

I think if you prepare well for the case interview and focus your time you shouldn't have any problem getting into a consulting job post-MBA. The top consulting firms may be tougher to get into, but CM will prepare you well to compete.

Besides, most people go back to b-school because they're not happy with where they're at and their previous experience is unrelated to where they want to be. An MBA from a great school is how you overcome that obstacle. I think most of us are in the same position as you.
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Re: Escape from Non-Profits [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2008, 08:19
http://www.mbajungle.com/main.cfm?inc=i ... template=1

read this. i know it is satire and that you are not exactly a poet, but it shows that the move is possible (and it's really funny). there is no question that you will be at a disadvantage relative to people that have more relevant experience, but you should be able to overcome this by doing well at Tepper. you could also do yourself a favor by trying to get a pre-MBA internship in consulting. also, you might start going over some cases in your spare time so that you can get into a consulting mindset and really hit the ground running once you start school. part of your success will depend on the economy during recruiting, but you can't control that.
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Re: Escape from Non-Profits [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2008, 09:55
Thanks for the replies and the article. It was a good read. I am just a bit worried how recruiters will view a resume that does not have any traditional business experience. I suppose a lot will depend on my ability to get a solid internship that will initiate me as a member of the tribe.
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Re: Escape from Non-Profits [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2008, 09:57
Also, I do not want people to think I am denigrating non-profits. I think we do a lot of great stuff, but it's just not my thing.
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Re: Escape from Non-Profits [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2008, 15:33
My background is nonprofit: a year of AmeriCorps*VISTA and then five years at a community development credit union.

Recruiters have liked my resume. I've gotten lots of GM recruiting emails, but also a bit of consulting. One of the top firms that is known for liking people with quirky backgrounds recruited me pretty hard. And after doing ZERO networking with another, I threw in my resume at the last second and got on their closed list.
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Re: Escape from Non-Profits [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2008, 16:41
My perception is that people at non-profits get to do more "big-picture" stuff earlier on in their careers, and this is a good reason why they're marketable as MBAs. Is this true at all?

aaudetat wrote:
My background is nonprofit: a year of AmeriCorps*VISTA and then five years at a community development credit union.

Recruiters have liked my resume. I've gotten lots of GM recruiting emails, but also a bit of consulting. One of the top firms that is known for liking people with quirky backgrounds recruited me pretty hard. And after doing ZERO networking with another, I threw in my resume at the last second and got on their closed list.
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Re: Escape from Non-Profits [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2008, 17:10
msday86 wrote:
My perception is that people at non-profits get to do more "big-picture" stuff earlier on in their careers, and this is a good reason why they're marketable as MBAs. Is this true at all?

aaudetat wrote:
My background is nonprofit: a year of AmeriCorps*VISTA and then five years at a community development credit union.

Recruiters have liked my resume. I've gotten lots of GM recruiting emails, but also a bit of consulting. One of the top firms that is known for liking people with quirky backgrounds recruited me pretty hard. And after doing ZERO networking with another, I threw in my resume at the last second and got on their closed list.


I would say so. At 24 I was managing two programs, with direct reports (leading and training and supporting a team of over 60 - ok, most of them volunteers, but some paid staff and full-time interns too). I managed our budget, wrote grants, did reporting, marketing, hiring, firing, training, marketing, operations, IT, set strategy, and created partnerships, both local and national. You don't get paid a lot, but instead you get a lot of responsibility. I dug it. It was a bit of a downer to realize that my work world is actually going to shrink a lot now that I'm an (in-progress) MBA.
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Re: Escape from Non-Profits [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2008, 17:33
this is great post for many people with unusual backgrounds. I, like many here have an unusual background in that I have not had any formal job experience till now because all I have done is run my own small businesses. Coming from a small country, the small businesses are like really small but I am happy with the experiences that I have gathered. Now, I am also thinking of transitioning into consulting for a few years. Even I am a little anxious about what I am going to get in B school and how I am going to land that job in consulting but reading this thread has made me realise that there are quite a few like me here. Thankx for this thread and I hope we have more contributors here!!!
Re: Escape from Non-Profits   [#permalink] 26 Mar 2008, 17:33
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