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European science PhD with no industry WE - Top5 MBA?

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European science PhD with no industry WE - Top5 MBA? [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2010, 12:53
Hi ManhattanReview,

first of all welcome to the forum! Here is my situation and I would greatly appreciate your feedback:

My ambition: Top 5 for General Management

I can do it, but I would like some first feedback on my weaknesses so I can start addressing them while there is still ample time. In particular, how will my WE be judged?!?

Male, will be age 28 at matriculation in the Fall of 2011 (plan to apply R1 2010)

European (non-native English speaker), getting his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at a U.S. Tier1 Research University - currently a 4th year.

Graduate GPA: 3.75

Undergrad GPA: 3.8 (graduated from a small Michigan liberal arts college, with my initial 2 years of College being in Europe with soso GPA!) Dual Degree B.A. Biochemistry and B.S. Applied Biology.

GMAT: 700+ (not taken it yet, but having taken the GRE before and after the first round of CATs a 700 score is reasonable)

Workexperience: My Ph.D. dissertation research (and I would like to know here, how schools typically view this) will be 5 years once I am finished, after my undergrad and before grad school 6month internship with a leading pharmaceutical, during my graduate studies a 3month internship with the world leading biotech company. By the time I graduate I will have manifested that I was a very successful graduate students with 3 first author publications in reputable international journals.

Work/Dissertation related Honors/other things of interest: American Heart Predoctoral Fellow - a competitive, peer evaluated research grant that covers my entire stipend/salary. Multiple smaller fellowships.

Job related leadership: Student representative on the Admissions Committee, responsible for applicants while here on interview. Implemented student internship program with a small group of students. Oversight of 1 research technician. Quasi project lead on one multi-university project - responsible for in essence all actual experiment coordination.

Extracurricular: Currently undergoing voluntary fire fighting training. Volunteer with our schools international during new student orientation and have been on the tax assistance for internationals staff for the past 2 years. Used to be active in youth organization of major political party (back in Europe). Used to be Treasurer of undergrad international student organization. Very active blood donor. Flipped 3 houses (maybe project management skill relevant?)

Other skills: 3 languages fluent

Motivation for my MBA: 1. Career Change. While I am a good scientist, my strengths really are in coordinating and managing an 'event' - be that organizing the progress on a research project, day to day research operations, or communicating findings across multidisciplinary audiences. 2. I feel - esp. after my industry internships - that there is a vibrant need for a more fluent interaction of the business side with the scientific side in many biopharma companies and who better to fill that gap than someone that can speek the lingo of both worlds. To be precise, who better to fill that gap than the Ph.D. me who could count his pocket money before spelling his first name.

Fears I have: I see myself disadvantaged as I do not have 2-3 years of work experience outside of academia. Thus I will not have a strong 'classical' leadership profile. But hopefully above at least hints at my profile and I can certainly describe scenarios in detail where I lead. As for waiting 2-3years and getting extra work experience first, this is unfortunately not an option, due to family plans.

What do you see as my weaknesses? What suggestions do you have for me to address those before the R1 deadline in the fall of 2010?

Please be brutally honest, a reality check now may be better for me than ‘wasting’ a year chasing after a dream that is unrealistic to begin with.

Thanks so much!
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Re: European science PhD with no industry WE - Top5 MBA? [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2010, 08:35
Thank you for the welcome! We are happy to be on the forum.

We would be glad to help out. We'll be sending your profile to one of our consultants and he should be posting within a few days. In the meantime, if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to call us.

Which country are you in? Our phone number is in the signature below for your reference, but if you're in another country, let me know and we can provide that information for you.

Feel free to private message us your details and we'll reach out to you with more info.

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Manhattan Review US
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Re: European science PhD with no industry WE - Top5 MBA? [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2010, 14:50
Hi, This is Chris from Manhattan Review.

The key issue for you will be to make clear through the essays that you have a very clear ambition and career plan in mind (much clearer than is described in the posting - actual potential employers and job titles/positions would be good) and that you are not simply doing the MBA in response to frustrations. The tone of the application must be entirely sunny and positive, with a very clear focus on collaboration, people focus, management, leadership and influencing skills (ie everything NOT academic!)

The publishing record is good evidence of achievement, tenacity, willpower, but the application should acknowledge that the skills that were needed to achieve it are a CONTRAST with those needed for the desired career goal. It must come across that the decision is motivated by careful introspection and self-awareness (ideally with some triggering event to give it credibility) not an unrealistic dream at all.

More questions, email us or call us directly. Click on the coupon link here at Manhattan Review and visit our Web site directly.
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Re: European science PhD with no industry WE - Top5 MBA? [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2010, 18:08
Hi Chris,

you pointed out some very valid aspects there, quite a few of those I have thought about before, the CONTRAST you mentioned I had not thought about yet, but it is growing on me what you mean. Luckily I'll have plenty of time to map out my strategy. I have one more question for you: you mentioned "that you are not simply doing the MBA in response to frustrations," were you really able to pick this up in between the lines I previously wrote? If so, wow I am impressed. It is certainly not my primary reason for pursuing an MBA, but I'd be lying if I said it doesnt contribute. Anyhow, back to the sunny and positive: I really appreciate your feedback, it will aid me greatly in mapping out my letters and my overall strategy!
Thomas
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Re: European science PhD with no industry WE - Top5 MBA?   [#permalink] 13 Jan 2010, 18:08
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