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Late bloomer - Profile evaluation request

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Late bloomer - Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2014, 19:07
30/Male/White

720 GMAT 6.0 AWA

3.5 cumulative GPA BS in Finance (3.8 from the school I graduated from)

Education and work history

2001-2007 - Attended one year at well regarded Midwest engineering school where I was unmotivated, did poorly, and dropped out. Went home and joined the family business (very unusual business) that has since expanded greatly and started a couple of my own real estate ventures that blew up when the real estate market crashed.

2008-2011 - Went back to school and graduated from local state school with a decent business program with a 3.8 GPA on the +/- system (had to achieve a 95%+ to get an A). Worked full-time throughout school, board member for campus ministry, Judo team member, Beta Gama Sigma, various local non-profit work

2011-present - Went through highly selective rotational program for a big name tech company (<1% offer rate) with rotations in Finance, Corporate Strategy, and Product Management. Promoted once, with another likely before application. Lead a team four tasked with the creation of new product ideas that resulted in several new products in development and four patents (I am the primary inventor on 3 of them). Currently working on the team that puts together all the partnerships for data licensing and third party services used in our products. Consistently rated in the highest bucket with multiple awards received for innovation and other success.

EC’s - Heavily involved in career coaching inmates at local state prisons, started a successful sales training program for inmates near parole, active in foundation that fosters local innovative solutions in African High Schools, long term involvement in mentoring high school and college business students, competitive martial artist

Recs - Great rec’s from boss and offers from multiple high level VP’s to provide recs (alums from Booth and Stanford)

MBA goals - Move into a more product management focused role, business development for tech, or potentially consulting

Schools: Reach - Harvard/Stanford/Wharton, Target - Kellog/MIT/Booth

I would love feedback on my profile, if my school selection is realistic, and suggestions on where else I might target.
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Re: Late bloomer - Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2014, 07:37
Expert's post
Hey there,

Thanks for posting and sharing all that info! You're quite right, that's a pretty unconventional path. So I'll provide my thoughts on each of the main sections and then we'll go from there, sound good?

Academics: Great GMAT and a decent GPA. While your undergrad institution isn't exactly pedigree that isn't the end of the world. Your Finance major will be a plus because it requires a bit more quant than other concentrations so that'll be good. Overall, however, your academics are kind of a wash. The GMAT and GPA against your undergrad institution and the drop out component, etc.

Professional Experience: Well, now this is an interesting path. Your pre-2008 experience is going to have to be carefully portrayed. It's sufficiently in the past such that you won't have to necessarily use it as a source of stories, but it'll be a big part of your resume and history. Especially given the issues with some businesses failing, you'll have to make sure it supports your story. Your experiences post graduation are really strong. There are a lot of key themes that folks in innovation/product development can tap into that others can't as easily. Also, like the fact that you lead the team and, more importantly, that your team's ideas have actually been implemented (which means NUMBERS!). Sorry, I get excited when it comes to impact :)

EC: This is the first time I have ever read these types of EC activities. Not a lot of folks work with inmates. Even fewer enact successful programs for them. That's pretty impressive! Your involvement in undergrad is noticeable as well and I like that you're a martial artist. It seems to be something you're passionate about and probably fairly good at! It adds a "cooler" dimension to your personality and that's important.

Personal & Goal: Ok, you're a little bit on the older side. Nothing disastrous, but the top tier programs, especially Stanford, value youth. However, having recs from Stanford alum is KEY. As for goals, I'd stick with product management. Consulting is a dime a dozen. You can pursue that when you get there, but for story purposes, product management/biz dev is stronger.

I think you have a pretty interesting and strong profile but you do have a few yellow flags. Nothing that will derail your application but it'll make some of the schools you think are "reaches" or "targets" harder than you believe. I don't say that because I don't think you should apply there - but I think your school list could use two things. One, it could use a little diversification. You've listed the top 5 programs and nothing outside of that. You should really consider looking outside of just the ranks to find the schools that fit your goals. For example, Ross is fantastic for Product Management. Secondly, I'd suggest you narrow the list based on what's important to you. The schools you've listed are really different from one another in a lot of ways.

I hope that helps and if you want to talk about any of this in more detail or want to ask more questions, we'd love to chat with you so just let us know!

Cheers,

Bhavik
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Re: Late bloomer - Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2014, 09:36
Adam,
Aside from your shaky academic start, your profile is strong, with a good GPA and GMAT, good leadership and career progress, and interesting extracurriculars. The key for you will be not only explaining your early false start but turning it into an asset (e.g., in Stanford's what matters most essay) as a journey of self-discovery. Your chances at your reach schools will depend on how well you do this and how deep/meaty the impact you've sketched out below really is. You might also consider schools like Haas, perhaps Duke, and INSEAD (if you're open to non-U.S. schools). I'd be glad to give you more focused feedback if you send me your resume/CV: paulsbodine@gmail.com.

--Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, www.paulsbodine.com/outcomes

adamksanders wrote:
30/Male/White

720 GMAT 6.0 AWA

3.5 cumulative GPA BS in Finance (3.8 from the school I graduated from)

Education and work history

2001-2007 - Attended one year at well regarded Midwest engineering school where I was unmotivated, did poorly, and dropped out. Went home and joined the family business (very unusual business) that has since expanded greatly and started a couple of my own real estate ventures that blew up when the real estate market crashed.

2008-2011 - Went back to school and graduated from local state school with a decent business program with a 3.8 GPA on the +/- system (had to achieve a 95%+ to get an A). Worked full-time throughout school, board member for campus ministry, Judo team member, Beta Gama Sigma, various local non-profit work

2011-present - Went through highly selective rotational program for a big name tech company (<1% offer rate) with rotations in Finance, Corporate Strategy, and Product Management. Promoted once, with another likely before application. Lead a team four tasked with the creation of new product ideas that resulted in several new products in development and four patents (I am the primary inventor on 3 of them). Currently working on the team that puts together all the partnerships for data licensing and third party services used in our products. Consistently rated in the highest bucket with multiple awards received for innovation and other success.

EC’s - Heavily involved in career coaching inmates at local state prisons, started a successful sales training program for inmates near parole, active in foundation that fosters local innovative solutions in African High Schools, long term involvement in mentoring high school and college business students, competitive martial artist

Recs - Great rec’s from boss and offers from multiple high level VP’s to provide recs (alums from Booth and Stanford)

MBA goals - Move into a more product management focused role, business development for tech, or potentially consulting

Schools: Reach - Harvard/Stanford/Wharton, Target - Kellog/MIT/Booth

I would love feedback on my profile, if my school selection is realistic, and suggestions on where else I might target.

_________________

Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

Follow Paul Bodine on Twitter

Re: Late bloomer - Profile evaluation request   [#permalink] 16 Feb 2014, 09:36
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