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Finally admitted...but advice needed

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Joined: 02 Feb 2012
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Finally admitted...but advice needed [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2012, 08:11
Hi all - thanks in advance for any advice you can give on my situation. I'm not sure there's anything to do at this point, and my situation could obviously be much worse, but I'm a little bit nervous and I want to make sure I make the best of the rest of my summer.

As background, I was working in an engineering role and want to make the switch to investment management. I decided last fall to go the b-school route and applied to several schools R2. On top of the stress of applying to business school, I then became unemployed at around the same time I was submitting my apps. At the time, I planned on waiting to hear back from schools, using that time as my pre-MBA vacation, and then when I knew where I was headed contacting alums to try to set up a pre-MBA internship.

Unfortunately, March and April passed without any admits. After coming to terms with this, I shifted strategies and began applying for full-time positions in investment management. That process had not yet culminated in any offers, but miraculously I just got into one of my schools off the summer waitlist.

I plan on starting to contact some alums next week, but with school starting in August I assume there isn't enough time left to set something up other than some informational interviews. I feel that I've otherwise been productive with my time off. I took the CFA level 1 test and have been absorbing as much as I can about the industry.

I guess my question is how will this gap look to employers once I'm actually in school? I'm sure in this economy I'm not the only person to have gone through this, and clearly it wasn't a deciding factor for the school. I'm just worried about the prospect of dropping six figures on school and then having potential employers be turned off by a huge gap right before I started. Any ideas about what to do now and/or how to spin this once I start interview season?
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Joined: 07 Feb 2011
Posts: 389
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V41
WE: Project Management (Computer Software)
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Re: Finally admitted...but advice needed [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2012, 09:01
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I think you'll be just fine..you seem to be over analyzing your situation. I know of folks who were unemployed MUCH longer than you were before starting school..

Besides, you seem to have done a ton of stuff during this time, so that gives you a lot of meat to throw at your interviewers..

Not quite the most helpful reply I know, but yeah..there's not much to tell you..stop thinking and enjoy your pre-mba vacation!! :)
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Manager
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Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 59
Concentration: Finance, Leadership
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45
GPA: 3.3
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Re: Finally admitted...but advice needed [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2012, 06:55
I wouldn't worry too much about it. There are numerous ways you could BS your way through any questions employers might ask, but I have to think, based on my experience talking with other admitted students, that employers are probably pretty used to seeing "gaps" between when a candidate quit work and started B-school. Lots of people quit early and take the opportunity to travel. I think, if anything, it would be more concerning or tougher to explain if you weren't a career switcher. Don't sweat it!
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Schools: Columbia - Class of 2013
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Re: Finally admitted...but advice needed [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2012, 17:31
I think a much more important factor will be your ability to network, get interviews, and then have compelling pitches to present during those meetings. If you can get on people's radars and come up with interesting ideas to show them, this will be the key determinant in your recruiting success.

Start your recruiting process now. Try and do part-time internships while you're at school, if possible (this may depend on the geography of the school you're at). You likely don't have access to your school's alumni database just yet, but focus on your undergrad & personal network. Except for asset managers, the majority of IM recruiting is done off-campus.

Get to work on pitches. If you do get a chance to show your stuff, you need to come correct in a big way.

You can't change your work situation, but I'd avoid bringing it up if at all possible (obviously one doesn't want to stress anything negative about their profile). GL!
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Re: Finally admitted...but advice needed   [#permalink] 23 Jun 2012, 17:31
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