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Just Graduated: Long term plan for an Elite MBA School?!

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Just Graduated: Long term plan for an Elite MBA School?! [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2011, 11:30
Hey guys,

I have a quick question. The last 5-6 years I have been making a "solid" amount of money online. This enabled me to pay off my school loans, and travel the world for a bit.

Unfortunately, the economy crashed, and I was forced to work a corporate job when I graduated.

Now, I am alright with my current job, but it certainly is not even close to being "prestigious" as an Ibanker. Additionally, the company I work for is only well known by its real name. EG. Altria is the company who owns PMUSA aka Marlboro (But I didnt take a job with them).

I would like to get into an "elite" (top 10) MBA school within the next 3-4 years.

What should I do to prepare myself to make myself a solid candidate?!

------------------------------

Current Job: Assistant Buyer at a relatively big retail company. Typical white collar job for those who majored in marketing. Its alright, not very challenging, but still I am in charge for an 8 figure business. I don't like it though, not a long term future, sometimes I find myself completely intellectually bored.

GPA / School: 3.5 in Kelley School of Business

Side Job: My own internet passive income (still making low four figs a month doing relatively little).

----------------------------

My Thoughts:

1) Study for the GMAT slowly over the next couple of years

2) Get promoted from Assistant to the next "level"

3) "Legitimize" my internet income, build a website, formally start a LLC, and put a "front" so they can "see" something.

(I've made six figures total from this, its pretty much internet marketing)

How would one handle the situation on one's resume?! I would have to make a LLC this year, but I had a sole proprietorship from way back in the day. How would one list this?!

XX
"Owner / Founder of "LLC Name / Proprietor"

----------------

I hear the top business schools love entrepreneurs, and I've made my "fair" share of cash... the trick is how to impress the admins when they see it. I know my best chance of getting into a real elite school is focus on my own business, how does one show that off. I feel like making a "front" is the easiest way to put a face on my business...
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Re: Just Graduated: Long term plan for an Elite MBA School?! [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2011, 12:06
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Well the fact that you're looking so far into your future, shows that you already have a few characteristics of what it takes to get into a top 10 Bschool.

Now, I must say that it sounds like you have a strong profile. Something that will really help you put together a strong application. There are a few aspects you should concentrate on:

Your company:
I would definitely legitimize your online company as much as possible, because it sounds like you are less of an entreprenuer, but more of site administator. So you have a few websites, that drive traffic, and you get some advertising money. This is not a good story. If you could manage to create a website and business name, entity, clients, etc... you could really knock it out of the park with this one! I don't think it would take a ton of work to legitimize the appearance of the company while still just collecting income. This way you can really have something to talk about in your essays and resume. On your resume, I would put "Founder/CEO/Owner (whatever you like best) of XXXX, LLC" and explain what work and initiatives you use to get the company rolling. The more legit it looks, and the more you've put into it to show its legit, the more you'll have to discuss.

Your Work Experience:
So even though what you're doing isn't as prestigious as an Ibanker, it does sound like what you're doing is somewhat nontraditional which can help in its own respect. I would work on trying to get promotions, take on special projects, and create situations where you can bring on some type of leadership. Showing leadership and strong job growth is always beneficial. You don't have to be a manager to create leadership experience, but instead you can "shape" the projects your working on, or take leadership type initiatives. For instance, look for improvements in processes, see if you can take on some new project or work without being asked. Something like this would definitely help boost your application.

Extracurriculars:
I would recommend that you get online and look around your city for volunteer opportunties, or community business groups. Do you have a desired industry? Join one of those industries networking groups, and eventually try to take a position if possible. A lot of times there are "Young Leadership Societies" or groups like this, where you could be a member for a couple years, and maybe even get a board position. This initiative on your part would help round you out. Also, see if you can do a volunteer activity or two every few months, just to make sure that you have a few things to add. These are a few ideas of ways to round out your app.

GMAT:
So as much as some people try to downplay this aspect of your application, we all know that it's very important. The long term study plan never seems to be the most promising way to study for this test. It would be smart of you to familiarize yourself with the test, question types, and topics you will need to cover... but studying for 2 years wouldn't be the best idea. I would recommend that you wait until the year before you plan on applying. At that point you should do a 3-4 month intesive study period. Its hard to give you a study plan, b/c who knows what the test will look like that point. But come back, and start your studying however you see fit. Throw down a top score!

After you've done all this, I think you will be the type of applicant a top business school would love to have! Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.
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Re: Just Graduated: Long term plan for an Elite MBA School?! [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2011, 14:22
Thanks GMATLA for your reply.

Funny thing is I had my own site "with customers", in fact a group of 3 sites when I was in high school. It made me minimal profit, so I just dropped the whole network. That was the last time I dealed with "real customers". Seems like money is easier made via online advertising then dealing with online customers :lol: :lol:

I just googled the name of it, and it still exists in google cache in various forums. I wrote just a bit more "unprofessional back then", kind of cracks me up how bad my writing style was back in high school. :-D

Extracurricular: They still look at that stuff?! :shock: :shock: Maybe I'll join the local professionals club and try and get in there. I am decent friends with a couple of guys who run this sort of thing as a job, perhaps get in there for some "side stuff".

Now regarding the racial issue. Yes, I am Chinese but I was born here in the US. It seems like a lot of top schools tend to be more restrictive towards Asians. However, am I correct to assume this policy ONLY applies to non us citizens?! I hope I am on equal footing with the rest of my US peers.

Final question: Does your ACT score matter? I scored pretty well, and dunno if this is even relevant for grad school.
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Re: Just Graduated: Long term plan for an Elite MBA School?! [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2011, 14:35
Haha, I know what you mean. Sometimes I look back at my old writing, cracks me up...

I'm really not sure about the race thing. I don't know much about how adcoms look at diversity and other things. That is something you can't personally help, so I wouldn't worry about it, especially being a US citizen.

As far as your ACT score is concerned, it is useless now. The good thing is though that if you've done well with standardized tests in the past, you have a better chance of doing well on the GMAT. But of course, you still have to put hard work in. I didn't do great on the SAT, but worked 10x harder on the GMAT, and pulled out a 710 (which I'm very happy with). If you're shooting for a top 10 school, you should shoot for a 700 or above. That will put you right on par with your peirs.

And the extracurriculars are just another way to help round yourself out. They aren't imperative, but top 10 school applicants are going to have EVERYTHING going for them. It is crazy competative. I would want as much to put in my application as possible. Espcially if you can get a leadership position it is a way to show leadership without a management position at work.

Good luck!
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Re: Just Graduated: Long term plan for an Elite MBA School?! [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2011, 15:49
MBAHopeful2015 wrote:
Now regarding the racial issue. Yes, I am Chinese but I was born here in the US. It seems like a lot of top schools tend to be more restrictive towards Asians. However, am I correct to assume this policy ONLY applies to non us citizens?! I hope I am on equal footing with the rest of my US peers.


I am an Asian American as well, and I have to admit that it did worry me in the beginning. I went to school in Southeast Asia, and finished a program that is known for grade deflation. When I submitted my application, I had already been living in the US for over five years. And so, I wasn't sure as to whether I would be compared to the international Asians due to my education and upbringing, or to the domestic Asians due to my career background. Either way, I knew that I would have to knock it out of the park if I wanted to get accepted.

In hindsight - and I guess this is all clear to me now because my application season is over - I shouldn't have let my background get me so anxious. The best way to deal with this process is to only worry about the things that you can change and affect. There is really nothing that you can do about being an Asian American, but you can certainly study for the GMAT (use this forum as a resource, which is something that I failed to do), write exceptional essays (after doing as much research as you can about the schools to which you want to go), and use your resume as a tool to sell yourself (by quantifying your career achievements and adding significant community/volunteer experiences). In addition, don't forget to ask for help. Applicants tend to (1) underrate the value of having a fresh set of eyes read through their essays/resume, or (2) be too proud to have other people critique their work. Swallow your pride and pick a couple of people to help you. In fact, the less they know about your story, the better. This way, it would be easier for them to identify the gaps and ask you the right questions so you could fill these in. If you do all these, you should feel good about your applications no matter what the results turn out to be.

Good luck!
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Re: Just Graduated: Long term plan for an Elite MBA School?! [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2012, 11:10
My take is below, but first, I'm going to move this to a more appropriate forum.

How many years out of undergrad are you right now? If you have 3+ years of full time experience and you're bored with your job, why don't you take the GMAT this spring and put in applications next year?

You don't need to be an IBanker to get into a top b-school. If you have strong post-mba goals, strong work experience (which it appears you do...especially with your entrepreneurship venture), and a strong GPA + GMAT score (720+), you should be a competitive candidate for a top 10 school.

The only thing that seems lacking from your profile is extracurriculars. Regardless of when you apply, I would recommend that you start building extracurricular leadership experience immediately. This will matter at some schools more than others...but it's nonetheless important to some degree everywhere.
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Re: Just Graduated: Long term plan for an Elite MBA School?!   [#permalink] 02 Jan 2012, 11:10
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