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How do I deal with the unusual profile?

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How do I deal with the unusual profile? [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2004, 22:56
Hello guys,

I've just passed my GMAT (720) and am getting down and dirty with the applications. My GPAs are good - I have 4.0. I'm a consultant, currently based in Canada with 7 years in international development/microfinance working mostly with the NGOs in developing world (most of work in the Balkans, Central Asia, Indonesia, India, some in Africa - Kenya and Uganda). I also developed and managed a training/consulting division of the regional Non-Profit think-tank and membeship-based resource centre based in Poland before starting my own consultancy. I do a lot of training, capacity building etc. for microfinance institutions (these are usually non-profits that give tiny loans to support enterprises run by poor people) in areas such as risk management, credit appraisal, operational risk management etc.

My profile is out of whack compared to the 'typical' MBA candidate. I lack corporate background and when I look at the student profiles that schools flash out in their marketing materials, it scares me to see all of the big Fortune 500 names flying around, and people talking about multi-million projects, being karate champions and such.

How can I best sell my unusual background/experience?

Your advice would highly appreciated

hala
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Nov 2004, 08:47
I would not construe the presence of so many students with Fortune 500 backgrounds as proof that such students are strongly preferred. Many schools go to great lengths to assert that they are interested in students with backgrounds in govt., military, education and other "non-business" fields. One reason that schools might show so many students from more traditional fields is that these students represent the majority of applicants i.e. they appear more frequently not so much because they are favored but because they are more common in the applicant pool.


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 [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2004, 07:34
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Definitely don't be shy about coming from a different background. Business schools absolutely need unique students in their classes to make the discussions and learning richer. I think that when they see your app they will see an entrepreneurial person who's already done and seen more than the typical applicant coming out of a bank or consultaing firm with 2 or 3 years of experience.

I don't think your profile looks "too unique" at all, but if you're nervous that it is, don't be. The one thing that schools look for with more unique applicants is evidence that they'll fit in -- i.e, that they'll understand the business concepts, have something to offer in class discussions, be a valuable teammate on projects, etc. You have enough business experience that I doubt this will be an issue.

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Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Nov 2004, 22:29
Thanks a lot for the ideas - I will try to work them into the essays. I guess that showcasing the difference rather than freaking about it is a better solution.

hala
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