1) How do I even enter my early experience into the online applications? My work as a journalist was most definitely full time. I worked long hours and made a full time journalist's living (nothing to brag about). That said, it would be incorrect to list any of my publications (even the primary one) as a full-time job in the traditional sense.
Well obviously you are just gonna have to tell them the story which you just wrote above, which um, kicks ass!
If you are worried about checkable boxes, freelancer journalist will do, of freelance writer.
2) How much should I mention/explain this early work, if at all? I absolutely loved Journalism and learned a great deal from it. Although the path may seem non-linear, it was also instrumental in preparing me for entrepreneurship (a fact, I am sure, is not obvious at first glance). That said, my career goals and reasons for pursuing an MBA are much more closely related to my current position. I am not at a loss for entrepreneurship stories, and these tie more neatly in to the most common essay themes (leadership, team-building, etc). I don't want to ignore the early years, especially if it might spook or confuse the adcom, but I am hesitant to use an entire essay on older stories, less relevant stories.
Tell it! Look dude, you have a 10 million dollar business, for your goals work with that, and that will be convincing enough. For the story, if nothing else, your beginning is great for it's uniqueness and flair, and it would be foolish to drop that off, as it surely will make your application a fun one to read (believe you me, a niiiiice gift when you go through hundreds...)
And dude, best of luck to you!
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