Basic demographic info:
I was born in former Yugoslavia, lived in Germany as a refugee for a while and then moved to the US when I was 14 . I'm fluent in Serbo-Croatian, German and Armenian and speak Russian as well (not fluent though). I'm 29 years old, I will be 30 next year when I play on applying to schools.
I got a BA in Economics from the University of Washington (Seattle). I had a difficult time as a undergrad, due to a number of different factors, my GPA is very low, 2.59.
2001-2008: Medical Interpreter (Part time and full time)
Worked with medical professionals in providing medical services to non English speaking patients.
I also worked a couple of other jobs, one of which was a fulltime 40hours a week job during my last 8 months as a undergraduate.
2008-2010: Peace Corps
Wrote grant proposals and implemented projects on a national and international level. Managed and supervised the implementation of projects aimed at addressing the issues of government corruption and youth development.
Taught Business planning and budgeting to small business owners and students studying at the National Institutes and Universities.
Established a Career Development Center and provided training to 600 individuals through a Small Project Assistance Grant from the United States Department of International Development.
2011-2012: United States Army Officer Candidate School
Went through a highly rigorous training cycle aimed at producing agile and adaptive leaders for the future Officer Corps in the United States Army. Among other things, the training consisted of being put into leadership positions in high stress situations. Conduct risk assessments, plan and conduct training events, coordinate with others to ensure that quality of training is meeting the standard. Had to be very flexible and adapt to different situations in a fluid environment.
I'm currently a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army National Guard and hold a temporary administrative job.
Short/Long term goals:
I still have not taken the GMAT, I'm actually just starting to study for it and I'm planning to take it, honestly when I think that I'm ready to get a solid 700+, preferably 750+ score. I hope to start applying to schools early next year.
With a good GMAT score, do I have a chance to get into a good program? I realize that the top 10, probably 20 are out of question because of my low GPA. What schools should I be looking at/contacting and researching?
If I can explain some of the factors that played a role in why I have a low GPA, should I try and explain it, or just ignore it and not try to sound like someone making up excuses?
Any other tips - except of course getting a high GMAT score - of what I should do between now and 7-8 months from now when I hope to start applying to schools that will make me a more attractive candidate for schools?
This is an awesome website, thanks in advance!