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Fresh out of College/ Non-Traditional Applicant Need Advic

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Fresh out of College/ Non-Traditional Applicant Need Advic [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2013, 10:24
Hello

I'm a new member of the forum so please excuse my ignorance. Just hoping for some advice...

I just graduated from an ivy (with a top ugrad business program..) in History (with distinction/honors). My GPA is a 3.94.
The only courses I took that are in any way business related are Calc II, microeconomics and macroeconomics which I received As in.
I actually entered college always with the idea of going into business in the back burner, but somehow got into the law route. I studied for my LSATs knowing it would be not be hard for me to gain acceptance into a top school only to discover that the law industry is a sordid mess at the moment and a huge gamble that I rather not take. Sadly, all this time wasted on preparing for law school, I missed the stream of recruitment and am still in the process of job hunting.

I'm looking into getting an MBA in the future and want to plan ahead.

1- Should I take the GRE or GMAT? If so, should I take it now that I'm still in study mode?
Should I still take the LSATs just to put it on my resume?

2-What should I do to structure my years before the MBA?
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Re: Fresh out of College/ Non-Traditional Applicant Need Advic [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2013, 11:37
gg2 wrote:
Hello

I'm a new member of the forum so please excuse my ignorance. Just hoping for some advice...

I just graduated from an ivy (with a top ugrad business program..) in History (with distinction/honors). My GPA is a 3.94.
The only courses I took that are in any way business related are Calc II, microeconomics and macroeconomics which I received As in.
I actually entered college always with the idea of going into business in the back burner, but somehow got into the law route. I studied for my LSATs knowing it would be not be hard for me to gain acceptance into a top school only to discover that the law industry is a sordid mess at the moment and a huge gamble that I rather not take. Sadly, all this time wasted on preparing for law school, I missed the stream of recruitment and am still in the process of job hunting.

I'm looking into getting an MBA in the future and want to plan ahead.

1- Should I take the GRE or GMAT? If so, should I take it now that I'm still in study mode?
Should I still take the LSATs just to put it on my resume?

2-What should I do to structure my years before the MBA?


Well, the great news is that you came to your senses early on re: law. Better knowing now than later that it's not for you.

As for what you should do:

1. Either one. If you're sure about the MBA, take the GMAT. If you feel you may be open to other grad programs down the road, take the GRE. Most of the top b-schools now accept the GRE, and I don't think they're going to reverse that anytime soon (i.e. reverting to only accepting the GMAT).

2. Quality work experience is key. It's by far the most important thing going forward. As for what kind of jobs, that is entirely up to you. What's most important is that you're at a place that allows you to grow (giving you opportunity to learn and gain increasing levels of responsibility over time) AND just as important -- having colleagues and a boss that are supportive of your growth. Of course there's the reality of taking what offers you can get, but always look out for yourself and know if you're not in a supportive environment so that you know when it's time to look for another job. Again, work experience is key -- no amount of extracurriculars or volunteer activities will make up for the lack of solid work experience.
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Re: Fresh out of College/ Non-Traditional Applicant Need Advic [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2013, 00:33
Expert's post
gg2 wrote:
Hello

I'm a new member of the forum so please excuse my ignorance. Just hoping for some advice...

I just graduated from an ivy (with a top ugrad business program..) in History (with distinction/honors). My GPA is a 3.94.
The only courses I took that are in any way business related are Calc II, microeconomics and macroeconomics which I received As in.
I actually entered college always with the idea of going into business in the back burner, but somehow got into the law route. I studied for my LSATs knowing it would be not be hard for me to gain acceptance into a top school only to discover that the law industry is a sordid mess at the moment and a huge gamble that I rather not take. Sadly, all this time wasted on preparing for law school, I missed the stream of recruitment and am still in the process of job hunting.

I'm looking into getting an MBA in the future and want to plan ahead.

1- Should I take the GRE or GMAT? If so, should I take it now that I'm still in study mode?
Should I still take the LSATs just to put it on my resume?

2-What should I do to structure my years before the MBA?


First question: What is your goal??

"Business" is not a goal. Neither is "get a job". But what do you want to do? Where do you see yourself in 2 years? in five? in ten? What are your interests and passions?

Before you take any test, figure out what you want to do, so you know which one you should take (although the LSAT, if you are really sure you don't want to do law, seems pointless).
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Last edited by JonAdmissionado on 03 Jul 2013, 22:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fresh out of College/ Non-Traditional Applicant Need Advic [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2013, 07:03
Thanks for all the advice!

Just a clarification: I originally thought of applying to an MBA as a non-traditional applicant after doing some public policy or NGO work for a few years and after getting my degree maybe entering management consulting.

Of course, I'm still in the midst of realizing that my 4 years of "law school prep" have gone down the drain and failed to develop marketable finance/business skills which is killing me in the job search now.

I'm such a newb at this so any suggestions of alternative plans would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Fresh out of College/ Non-Traditional Applicant Need Advic [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2013, 07:07
gg2 wrote:
Thanks for all the advice!

Just a clarification: I originally thought of applying to an MBA as a non-traditional applicant after doing some public policy or NGO work for a few years and after getting my degree maybe entering management consulting.

Of course, I'm still in the midst of realizing that my 4 years of "law school prep" have gone down the drain and failed to develop marketable finance/business skills which is killing me in the job search now.

I'm such a newb at this so any suggestions of alternative plans would be greatly appreciated.


If NGO or public policy is something that genuinely interests you, go for it! Incidentally, having an Ivy + non-traditional background will be an asset for b-school admissions especially when you'll be up against other Ivy alums, many of whom will have come from finance, consulting, etc.
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Re: Fresh out of College/ Non-Traditional Applicant Need Advic [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2013, 22:58
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I agree. If you can build a good solid career in NGO, you can be a far more unique candidate than many others. Good luck!
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Re: Fresh out of College/ Non-Traditional Applicant Need Advic [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2013, 10:43
I say take the GMAT if you decide an MBA is the best option. Although all major schools accept the GRE now, only a small fraction of students apply with GRE scores. So a strong GMAT score would help you more since schools have more familiarity with evaluating applicants who have taken this exam.

If you are not sure of what you wish to do you might look at Leadership Rotational Programs in which you gain experience in multiple areas/regions by participating in multiple rotations.
Here is a list of some of these programs: http://www.mbaprepadvantage.com/blog/le ... -programs/.

Best of luck,
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Re: Fresh out of College/ Non-Traditional Applicant Need Advic [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2013, 15:40
Expert's post
There is no need to take the LSAT, and perhaps don't rush to take the GMAT vs GRE yet. You went to a great school, performed solidly, and now it's time to start thinking less about what do I need to do to get an MBA, and more about what do you want to try! And trust your instincts and don't follow the herd.

You are at such a great time in your life to test and try directions that appeal to your instincts and not to your head. Public policy, NGOs, teaching…and other directions can be very rewarding and very managerial by the way. MBA programs are high on public sector candidates and HBS even gives stipends of $50K to graduates to pursue public sector opportunities. But in trying a job, you may realize that what you thought interested you might not. Some folks find they don’t have the patience for the public sector and are then keen to try an industry job. As long as you try to stick it out in your choices and don't jump around from job to job, you can still protect your MBA viability if you so choose to pursue that or another advanced degree. By the way, my pre HBS experience included teaching English in Spain for a year, and it helped me get a position in Johnson & Johnson's International Development Program---which then had me in Madrid for another 2.5 years in brand management.

So get cracking on finding a job that you feel could be a great fit, and don't worry about what others are trying---but learn from what others are trying! Nobody can answer the question for you of what you should be doing---but also don't be afraid to talk to others, even a career counselor, about avenues. There is no shame in self exploration.
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Re: Fresh out of College/ Non-Traditional Applicant Need Advic   [#permalink] 09 Jul 2013, 15:40
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