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How do you find my profile? [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2012, 16:36
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Hi everyone,

I just joined the club, and I am glad that I found out about this community... I have a very unique and complicated profile. I don't think that there is anybody else with such a profile as mine. I would like to talk about it here and ask for your recommendations. It is so much complicated that I don't even know where to start from. Anyway:

I am 30 years old. Graduated from college when I was 24. When I was in college I made a huge mistake since the first year of college. When I saw that I was getting C or even B-. I would ask the professor to fail me so that I can retake that class to get A and have a perfect GPA. However, I didnt realize how big of a mistake it was: 1st of all it left many F's in my transcript. Second, because I had to retake so many classes, it became impossible to concentrate in the new classes that I was taking... In a specific year, I would take some regular classes, and many from the previous years. Basically, it ruined everything and I got lower grades because of heavy load. Toward the end of college time when I got rid of most of the retakes I managed getting higher GPA to finish school with 3.0 GPA.

Another mistake that I did was to take harder classes as electives. While my classmates would choose "apple picking" class to get easy A, I would take Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Higher levels of Statistics etc. which again ruined my GPA.

After the college I got admitted to a PhD in Economics in the USA and attended the program. However, as soon as I started the program I realized that I didnt like it, but it was too late. I already rejected the job offers right after the college, and started the program, so I decided to try my best to finish. But 2 years into the program I saw that I cannot do it with lack of interest, and dropped out. Because I had no interest in the program I didnt get a good GPA. I got 2.67 GPA in that program, and in the second year I did not even complete most of the classes. Some of them are left NP, some are Withdrawal etc. However, someone from HBS admissions told me that I dont have to present my grad school transcript if I dont want to.

After I dropped out of grad school I spent a year with no significant efficiency. After a year, I started an ecommerce project in 2009, and ever since I have been working on it. However, because it required an investment as every start up does, I had to have another source of income. I opened a store, which provided some cash for my living and for the investment for my ecommerce project. But the income was not enough to have a rapid growth with the ecommerce project. I am still working on the ecommerce project. It runs fine, but hasn't started to make profit yet.

To sum up,

I am 30, as I said before; I do not have a good GPA (I even have a transcript with lots of F's); I do not have successful grad school transcript - I am not going to submit it with the application, but that itself will imply that I do not have a good grad school transcript to show; I do not have a solid work experience in one of the big companies - I have always worked on my own project; I do not have extracurricular activities since leaving grad school; Because I never worked in a group environment I do not really have lots of people to ask for recommendation. There are only 3 people that I can ask (and they would write a perfect rec letter), but I wouldnt really choose them if I had other options.

I do not want to spend two years in an average MBA program. But I know that with this profile it is extremely hard to get into one of the top programs.

I would appreciate your suggestion:

Should I take a couple of classes in one of the local universities, take GMAT and try my chances this year, or should I work on my profile until next year and apply next year?

I have already taken two courses in Summer I session to build an alternative transcript, and can take another 2 or 3 and finish them in August. Then I can concentrate on my GMAT and application process.
On the other hand, I can take it slow this year, be more picky in which classes I take to build an alternative transcript, have one full year to study for GMAT and more likely to get a better score than if I have to take it in rush this year, work on my project harder to make it more successful by the time I apply next year, work on my extracurricular activities for the entire year (volunteering etc.) and then apply.

What do you suggest? Should I have a rush application this year or wait until next year? How do you see my chances if I apply this year or if I wait and complete all those that I mentioned above? Note that I am 30 now, and next year I will be 31 during application, and I will be 32 when I start the program.

I know it was too long. I appreciate for taking your valuable time to read it, and thanks a lot in advance for sharing your opinion with me!
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Re: How do you find my profile? [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2012, 12:05
You already took 2 classes this summer? Did you score 4.0's in both courses? If you are confident in your ability to really hunker down and focus for the next 7 months or so, and I mean really invest a significant amount of time daily in studying for the GMAT and honing your essays, I would suggest you apply this year. Like your profile shows, your age is really beginning to work against you for the FT MBA programs and unless you can explicitly prove to the admission committees what about your profile has improved from 2012 to 2013 (other than a better GMAT and essays) than I think your time to move is now.

The F's on your transcript are certainly no easy blemish to hide, but I personally don't think there will be much of a difference to the adcom's if you take 2 classes this summer as opposed to having completed 4 by next year but being that much closer to your mid 30's. Hopefully, you aren't necessarily aiming at the ultra-elite business schools either. Best of luck!
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Re: How do you find my profile? [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2012, 12:26
OjilEye, thank you so much for taking your time to read it!

Yes, I completed two classes with A in both. However, as I do more research I find out more hints. For example, my approach was to start taking those classes that I had the worst grade in college. So, I took Financial Accounting 1, and Intro to Sociology. But then, I see that first of all intro classes are not really going to save you, second, quantitative classes are more important rather than sociology. So, I feel like I may have to take another two Calculus or Statistics classes. I also do not know if I should take more advanced Calculus and Statistics classes, or to retake those that I had in college and had C's and B-'s.

The last sentence in your post caught my attention. I am actually willing to do whatever that I need to do to get into one of the top schools. If I dont get admitted to them, then I dont think that I am going to spend 2 years in an average school. So, I really need to know my chances for the top schools.. (this year vs next year)

Thanks again!
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Re: How do you find my profile? [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2012, 19:41
thatboy, to be honest I don't think that taking additional classes is going to help your profile enough to get into a top school. From your original post it seems as though your work experience is solely in self-funded businesses that have yet to be profitable. While many people get into school without working for a big name company, they do at least have solid work experience with either a non-profit organization, a growing start-up, or with their own profitable venture. More than your age or GPA, your work experience is the biggest thing that's going to keep you out of a top school. If I've misunderstood your experience then please do clarify.
In regard to whether you should take more classes I do recommend that you take a calculus, economics, finance, stats (i.e. quantitative) class. You've already taken one so you only need one more. It doesn't have to be an upper level course. Intro or intermediate level will be fine.
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Re: How do you find my profile? [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2012, 20:00
cheetarah1980 wrote:
thatboy, to be honest I don't think that taking additional classes is going to help your profile enough to get into a top school. From your original post it seems as though your work experience is solely in self-funded businesses that have yet to be profitable. While many people get into school without working for a big name company, they do at least have solid work experience with either a non-profit organization, a growing start-up, or with their own profitable venture. More than your age or GPA, your work experience is the biggest thing that's going to keep you out of a top school. If I've misunderstood your experience then please do clarify.
In regard to whether you should take more classes I do recommend that you take a calculus, economics, finance, stats (i.e. quantitative) class. You've already taken one so you only need one more. It doesn't have to be an upper level course. Intro or intermediate level will be fine.


Thanks for your input Cheetarah1980,

I am also concerned with my work experience. I am estimating that if I put my full effort, I can turn my business to a profitable company within 12 months. Do you think that if I make that happen I can break the obstacles?
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Re: How do you find my profile? [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2012, 23:48
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thatboy, based on the information you have provided, your will have a very tough time getting into a top school. Of course that depends on your definition of "top", but if you mean top 10 to top 15 schools, then my opinion is that you may be disappointed.

Lets look at what an adcom might see in your profile: a 30 year old with a low GPA and lots of F's who dropped out of graduate school and is now a store owner and runs a small loss-making e-commerce project. On top of that this candidate does not have great ECs or recommendations. For top schools you will be competing with 26 year olds with high GPAs from top schools (NO F's), jobs at blue chip firms or successful entrepreneurs, with strong ECs and recommendations. And great GMAT scores. I think you can figure out who they are going to admit. In fact many of these great applicants will also be rejected from the top schools.

Barely breaking even your company now isn't going to have a huge positive effect on your profile either. Unfortunately your chances at a top school are going to be low this year, and probably even lower next year since you will be an year older.

I am sorry if this is coming off as a bit harsh, but I am just giving you my honest opinion. I think you need to get a great GMAT score and reassess your expectations.
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Re: How do you find my profile? [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2012, 06:14
Gokhra wrote:
thatboy, based on the information you have provided, your will have a very tough time getting into a top school. Of course that depends on your definition of "top", but if you mean top 10 to top 15 schools, then my opinion is that you may be disappointed.

Lets look at what an adcom might see in your profile: a 30 year old with a low GPA and lots of F's who dropped out of graduate school and is now a store owner and runs a small loss-making e-commerce project. On top of that this candidate does not have great ECs or recommendations. For top schools you will be competing with 26 year olds with high GPAs from top schools (NO F's), jobs at blue chip firms or successful entrepreneurs, with strong ECs and recommendations. And great GMAT scores. I think you can figure out who they are going to admit. In fact many of these great applicants will also be rejected from the top schools.

Barely breaking even your company now isn't going to have a huge positive effect on your profile either. Unfortunately your chances at a top school are going to be low this year, and probably even lower next year since you will be an year older.

I am sorry if this is coming off as a bit harsh, but I am just giving you my honest opinion. I think you need to get a great GMAT score and reassess your expectations.


Gokhra,

Would you still find my chances very low even if I spend a very productive one year?

Specifically,
1-) Having a significant progress with my company and turning it to a profit making business.
2-) Spending the whole year to build a very strategic alternative transcript with smart choices of courses
3-) Filling it with extracurricular/volunteer activities (Not that I want to do it to impress adcom, I have always wanted to go to Africa to volunteer in wildlife for example, but never found time for it. I guess can do it this coming year)
4-) Spending the full year to study for GMAT and get an exceptional score
5-) Spend whole year to do research on the schools that I am going to apply
6-) Spend the full year to work on essays

I understand that by waiting one year I get a year older. But if you had to scale loosing age vs gaining all these above, would you find my chances relatively better this year or next year or do you think that even accomplishing all of those above would not save me?

Thanks!
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Re: How do you find my profile? [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2012, 09:15
thatboy wrote:
Gokhra wrote:
thatboy, based on the information you have provided, your will have a very tough time getting into a top school. Of course that depends on your definition of "top", but if you mean top 10 to top 15 schools, then my opinion is that you may be disappointed.

Lets look at what an adcom might see in your profile: a 30 year old with a low GPA and lots of F's who dropped out of graduate school and is now a store owner and runs a small loss-making e-commerce project. On top of that this candidate does not have great ECs or recommendations. For top schools you will be competing with 26 year olds with high GPAs from top schools (NO F's), jobs at blue chip firms or successful entrepreneurs, with strong ECs and recommendations. And great GMAT scores. I think you can figure out who they are going to admit. In fact many of these great applicants will also be rejected from the top schools.

Barely breaking even your company now isn't going to have a huge positive effect on your profile either. Unfortunately your chances at a top school are going to be low this year, and probably even lower next year since you will be an year older.

I am sorry if this is coming off as a bit harsh, but I am just giving you my honest opinion. I think you need to get a great GMAT score and reassess your expectations.


Gokhra,

Would you still find my chances very low even if I spend a very productive one year?

Specifically,
1-) Having a significant progress with my company and turning it to a profit making business.
2-) Spending the whole year to build a very strategic alternative transcript with smart choices of courses
3-) Filling it with extracurricular/volunteer activities (Not that I want to do it to impress adcom, I have always wanted to go to Africa to volunteer in wildlife for example, but never found time for it. I guess can do it this coming year)
4-) Spending the full year to study for GMAT and get an exceptional score
5-) Spend whole year to do research on the schools that I am going to apply
6-) Spend the full year to work on essays

I understand that by waiting one year I get a year older. But if you had to scale loosing age vs gaining all these above, would you find my chances relatively better this year or next year or do you think that even accomplishing all of those above would not save me?

Thanks!


@thatboy

I think you really need to re-consider what you are trying to say. Just read carefully what you wrote - you say you are gong to spend THE WHOLE year on doing 6 completely separate things. How can you, at the same time, restructure your business, take hard quantitative courses (pass them with A), go to Africa, and ace the GMAT (provided you didnt do well at all at quant courses) ?
Other members were too soft in their comments. I would say, without offending you, even a top 30 school is going to be a stretch with your profile. For instance, I have a close family friend who went to Imperial college London (top 3 sch in the UK), graduated with a 1 class degree honors (3.80+), scored 760 in GMAT and then worked 4 years in Morgan Stanley in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A lot of international and multicultural experience . He was rejected by some top business schools. Of course he get into a great business school but the point is it is extremely selective.
However, consider these things.

1)If you are able to make a profitable business why bother spending 150k on business school when you can invest this in your business ?
2) Why don`t you try to apply in a good regional school which places great in the region ?
3) Why not consider business school in Europe ? They are much less interested in your ECs , and experience. In fact, if you can pull a GMAT of 650 you will have no problem getting into a tier 2 school in Europe.
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Re: How do you find my profile? [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2012, 10:29
Ivan91 wrote:
thatboy wrote:
Gokhra wrote:
thatboy, based on the information you have provided, your will have a very tough time getting into a top school. Of course that depends on your definition of "top", but if you mean top 10 to top 15 schools, then my opinion is that you may be disappointed.

Lets look at what an adcom might see in your profile: a 30 year old with a low GPA and lots of F's who dropped out of graduate school and is now a store owner and runs a small loss-making e-commerce project. On top of that this candidate does not have great ECs or recommendations. For top schools you will be competing with 26 year olds with high GPAs from top schools (NO F's), jobs at blue chip firms or successful entrepreneurs, with strong ECs and recommendations. And great GMAT scores. I think you can figure out who they are going to admit. In fact many of these great applicants will also be rejected from the top schools.

Barely breaking even your company now isn't going to have a huge positive effect on your profile either. Unfortunately your chances at a top school are going to be low this year, and probably even lower next year since you will be an year older.

I am sorry if this is coming off as a bit harsh, but I am just giving you my honest opinion. I think you need to get a great GMAT score and reassess your expectations.


Gokhra,

Would you still find my chances very low even if I spend a very productive one year?

Specifically,
1-) Having a significant progress with my company and turning it to a profit making business.
2-) Spending the whole year to build a very strategic alternative transcript with smart choices of courses
3-) Filling it with extracurricular/volunteer activities (Not that I want to do it to impress adcom, I have always wanted to go to Africa to volunteer in wildlife for example, but never found time for it. I guess can do it this coming year)
4-) Spending the full year to study for GMAT and get an exceptional score
5-) Spend whole year to do research on the schools that I am going to apply
6-) Spend the full year to work on essays

I understand that by waiting one year I get a year older. But if you had to scale loosing age vs gaining all these above, would you find my chances relatively better this year or next year or do you think that even accomplishing all of those above would not save me?

Thanks!


@thatboy

I think you really need to re-consider what you are trying to say. Just read carefully what you wrote - you say you are gong to spend THE WHOLE year on doing 6 completely separate things. How can you, at the same time, restructure your business, take hard quantitative courses (pass them with A), go to Africa, and ace the GMAT (provided you didnt do well at all at quant courses) ?
Other members were too soft in their comments. I would say, without offending you, even a top 30 school is going to be a stretch with your profile. For instance, I have a close family friend who went to Imperial college London (top 3 sch in the UK), graduated with a 1 class degree honors (3.80+), scored 760 in GMAT and then worked 4 years in Morgan Stanley in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A lot of international and multicultural experience . He was rejected by some top business schools. Of course he get into a great business school but the point is it is extremely selective.
However, consider these things.

1)If you are able to make a profitable business why bother spending 150k on business school when you can invest this in your business ?
2) Why don`t you try to apply in a good regional school which places great in the region ?
3) Why not consider business school in Europe ? They are much less interested in your ECs , and experience. In fact, if you can pull a GMAT of 650 you will have no problem getting into a tier 2 school in Europe.


Ivan there is absolutely no reason for me to get offended. In fact, I think one of the great values of this forum is that different people show you the different perspectives that you cannot realize about yourself. It is common to overestimate or underestimate your potential. And it is very valuable to have others' feedback. So, I am glad that you brought this up. Thanks!

However, hypothetically speaking, imagine that all of those projected plans have been completed in a year. Would you still find the profile very weak for top programs or would it bring a green light?
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Re: How do you find my profile? [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2012, 10:45
thatboy wrote:
Ivan91 wrote:
thatboy wrote:
[
Gokhra,

Would you still find my chances very low even if I spend a very productive one year?

Specifically,
1-) Having a significant progress with my company and turning it to a profit making business.
2-) Spending the whole year to build a very strategic alternative transcript with smart choices of courses
3-) Filling it with extracurricular/volunteer activities (Not that I want to do it to impress adcom, I have always wanted to go to Africa to volunteer in wildlife for example, but never found time for it. I guess can do it this coming year)
4-) Spending the full year to study for GMAT and get an exceptional score
5-) Spend whole year to do research on the schools that I am going to apply
6-) Spend the full year to work on essays

I understand that by waiting one year I get a year older. But if you had to scale loosing age vs gaining all these above, would you find my chances relatively better this year or next year or do you think that even accomplishing all of those above would not save me?

Thanks!


@thatboy

I think you really need to re-consider what you are trying to say. Just read carefully what you wrote - you say you are gong to spend THE WHOLE year on doing 6 completely separate things. How can you, at the same time, restructure your business, take hard quantitative courses (pass them with A), go to Africa, and ace the GMAT (provided you didnt do well at all at quant courses) ?
Other members were too soft in their comments. I would say, without offending you, even a top 30 school is going to be a stretch with your profile. For instance, I have a close family friend who went to Imperial college London (top 3 sch in the UK), graduated with a 1 class degree honors (3.80+), scored 760 in GMAT and then worked 4 years in Morgan Stanley in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A lot of international and multicultural experience . He was rejected by some top business schools. Of course he get into a great business school but the point is it is extremely selective.
However, consider these things.

1)If you are able to make a profitable business why bother spending 150k on business school when you can invest this in your business ?
2) Why don`t you try to apply in a good regional school which places great in the region ?
3) Why not consider business school in Europe ? They are much less interested in your ECs , and experience. In fact, if you can pull a GMAT of 650 you will have no problem getting into a tier 2 school in Europe.


Ivan there is absolutely no reason for me to get offended. In fact, I think one of the great values of this forum is that different people show you the different perspectives that you cannot realize about yourself. It is common to overestimate or underestimate your potential. And it is very valuable to have others' feedback. So, I am glad that you brought this up. Thanks!

However, hypothetically speaking, imagine that all of those projected plans have been completed in a year. Would you still find the profile very weak for top programs or would it bring a green light?


Even if you had the perfect year and were able to accomplish all of this I still think you would not be competitive at top 10-15 schools. These schools look for a track record of success, not just one year.

Since I started on the MBA I have encountered maybe one perfect applicant (ugrad pedigree, GPA, GMAT, work experience, ECs) out of the hundreds I've come across. Most people have at least one weakness in their profile. An admissions committee can overlook a low GMAT or low GPA or lack of ECs, etc. if everything else is on point. The problem with you is that nothing seems to be on point right now. Even if you scored a 760 on the GMAT you would still need to overcome the low GPA, and even though an alternate transcript helps it doesn't erase those F's. Schools don't factor your alternative transcript or grad GPA into the class average that gets reported to BW, USNR, etc for ranking purposes. Your work experience, leadership, etc. don't offer them enough of an incentive to absorb your GPA (which actually isn't horrible). The PhD detour just makes the story worse. The problem with your candidacy is that you come across as someone who NEEDS bschool to be successful instead of as a successful person who can use b-school to be even more wildly successful. At your age you can't afford to be viewed in this light.

To apply as an entrepreneur you need to have SUSTAINED a successful business. 1 year of profits doesn't show a sustainable business model. Besides most entrepreneurs either had small ventures which they already sold and also have blue-chip backgrounds. I recommend that you take the year to improve your candidacy and seriously assess where you would be a competitive applicant. I won't tell you not to apply to any top schools, but I strongly suggest that you apply to Tier 2 schools and maybe 1-2 schools on the lower end of the top 25. If you build a stronger candidacy over the next year you may have an outside chance of one of these schools taking a chance on you, especially if you're from an under represented pool.
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Re: How do you find my profile?   [#permalink] 09 Jul 2012, 10:45
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