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GE Experience / Peace Corps

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 06 Oct 2010
Posts: 18
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.01
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

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GE Experience / Peace Corps [#permalink] New post 28 May 2011, 19:43
Hi Paul,
Do you mind reviewing my profile please? I appreciate your time and input.

Industrial Engineering, Top 15 Engineering School, GPA 3.01
GMAT: 680 (Q49, V 34) (might take again to try and get a 700)
Work Experience:
General Electric - Commercial Leadership Program (6 month sales training program)
General Electric - Account Manager 2 years
division of GE got sold so I left
Sales Director - Capital Medical Equipment (2 years)
US Peace Corps, Africa (current) - Teaching Business Skills to students, working with local small businesses to grow their businesses, Water Conservation Project

Extracurricular: Before joining the Peace Corps I volunteered as a CASA. Court Appointed Special Advocate. I mentored a child in the foster care on a weekly basis for 4 years. Represented and attended his court hearings on his behalf. Also led a large fundraising effort on the organizations behalf.

Age: 27, 28 at matriculation

I finish the Peace Corps in 2012 and want to get my MBA. I am currently thinking about coming back to Africa and doing some non profit work after my MBA. I might want to join the corporate world again to gain some more relevant experience that I can learn from and bring to Africa. Not sure fully.

I would love to go to one of the top 3 but realize my GMAT and GPA are well below average. Do any of the top schools care more about and value the Peace Corps than others? What are my chances at the top 3? I am also looking at Darden and Duke.

Thanks!

utlnghrn34
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Re: GE Experience / Peace Corps [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2011, 18:19
Expert's post
UT,

I'm so sorry I missed this post. It got pushed down to where I didn't see it. Are you still in need of some help? Very cool story you have here. Are you a Ricky Williams fan? (Given your handle.)

The biggest thing I will stress to you - and this is not necessarily the news you want to here, I suppose - is that you won't be getting a ton of extra credit for all the humanitarian efforts. Meaning: the good deeds won't offset your academic profile as much as they should. That said, not that many applicants come from the Peace Corps and so the diversity you bring to the class will probably be your calling card. That might have read as confusing, so let me rephrase: it will be the fact you did something different - more than what you did - that gives you some separation from your peers.

Once you understand that fairly subtle, but very important, distinction, you will know how to attack the application, which is: MBA that thing to death. Highlight leadership, teamwork, innovation, management skills, business goals, etc. etc. Do NOT fall into the trap of reinforcing the one thing they know about you - helps people - by telling all your stories about helping people. I probably sound like a cynical bastard right now, but the trick to this game is leverage. Take the points they will already give you (unique, cool, hey check out what this guy has done) and then show them that you also fit in, while standing out.

So you will want to write more about your time at GE than you might have thought and you will definitely want to talk about your plans post-MBA as much as possible. If you can bridge traditional and nontraditional, you will really have something working.

I think your academic profile increases your degree of difficulty, but doesn't put you on the sidelines. 3.0 and 670 are the big cutoffs in our experience, so long as you are above those, you are in the conversation. Make sure innovation (intelligent and creative thinking) is on full display to ease any fears about your horsepower. Otherwise, aim for bigger schools (I would add Ross to your working list) so they can more easily absorb your scores.

I wish you good luck. Sorry if this post was delayed and/or confusing. I'm playing catchup and working fast!

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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