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Little work experience because I'm self-employed...

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Joined: 05 Mar 2012
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Little work experience because I'm self-employed... [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2012, 19:55
Hi, I was wondering how admissions would view someone who is self-employed.

A little background on me:
I'm a 28 year old white male. I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering from a small state school (GPA: 3.5/4.0)
While in undergrad, I had two summer engineering internships and a semester of research experience.

After I graduated, I worked 2 years as a design engineer. While at that company, I started making some websites for extra income. I got laid off when the company I was working for went out of business, so I decided to go to grad school.

I went for an MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering and while there, the income from those websites really took off. Instead of getting an internship during the summer like my classmates, I continued to work on my business. I was passionate about my field of study, but felt that I should take advantage of the growing traffic to my websites. I registered an s-corp and continued to grow the business while in school. I ended up graduating with a 3.65/4.33 GPA and didn't look for a job because my business was still thriving. That was one year ago and the business has really started to trail off. It was an awesome learning experience though and I'm proud of my success. My websites have had over 1 billion visitors since I began three years ago.

Now I'm interested in going to business school, but I'm worried that admissions will think I'm not as passionate about my field of study as I actually am. I'm interested in renewable energy, but have no work experience to show for it.

Should I gain some work experience in renewable energy before applying or will the admissions committees understand? Can I include my self-employment as work experience on the application?

I'm planning on taking the GMAT, but based on my GRE scores (800Q, 730V), what schools should I be aiming for?

Last edited by lightyears on 07 Mar 2012, 12:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Little work experience because I'm self-employed... [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2012, 17:08
How much work did these websites require? Or was it just websites that drove traffic b/c of the website name, topic, trending fad, or website optimization? If you were only making money off of adds then it probably did not require that much work at all. 1 billion views is impressive, but what really made the money here and why are they trailing off?

The problem is your zig zagged experience and goals. It seems that you got side tracked by website work when it really wasn't what you wanted to do. If you can show that the skills that you gained have given you insight into yourself, and now you want an MBA, it might be doable. For example, I've seen members that decided to play professional poker. They took 3 years off to go pro, made $100,000s or whatever, and now want an MBA. Although impressive, they did not gain any valuable skills that will help them get to the next level.

It would be really helpful to know exactly what you did for your company, and how you monetized it to see if valuable experiences were actually gained. If not, it might be worth while getting some business experience in the field that you want to get into, so you can show that this is what you want to do. Your path just seems a little haphazard to me, and adcoms don't like that.

Orrr, you could also try to get into business school with a technology focus, more showing that these past years in what you've been doing have made you want to be an internet entrepreneur, and get into bschool that way. Once you are in, you can do whatever you want. They will just wonder why you want another masters degree now, and why you weren't an active member (internships, jobs, etc) in your previous program.

All this aside, I think you have a very unique story and I'm sure there is a way to put this together to really make something flow. You just have to show you your past, coupled with an MBA, will take you to your future. The more haphazard the story, the harder it is to impress an adcom. But there might be a way that you can frame it, so that you can get into school, and then you can decide what you want to do once you're in!

Good luck!

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Re: Little work experience because I'm self-employed...   [#permalink] 06 Mar 2012, 17:08
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