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Looking for some advice! Newbie to business school process

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Looking for some advice! Newbie to business school process [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 11:19
Sorry for the length...

I graduated in 2010 from Northeastern University with a BS in architecture. Post-graduation I chose to take time off from school and get some work experience before going back and getting my MARCH, partially due to emotional burnout and frustration with a field. I've since decided that I would like to forgo the advanced architecture degree and pursue an MBA.

I have a few goals in obtaining an MBA, thought they're not exactly related. The first, most immediate goal is to open and run a microbrewery with my boyfriend and our family. It's something I've been extremely passionate about the last two years - homebrewing, reading books on craft beer and brewing, volunteering at many local, large scale craft beer conventions and helping out with local nanobreweries and general becoming familiar with the local players on the vibrant craft beer scene in Boston. So why not just start a brewery? While I know beer, I'd like to have some ability to know what I'm doing in running a business in order to be successful. I'm excited about using my time in business school to help develop the business plan and expose myself to different kinds of entrepeneurship to maximize my education and experience.

I also like the idea of having a degree other than architecture as a safety net. Going to work for an aid organization with an MBA and a background in architecture is an attractive option that I don't mind having as a backup plan. I guess I feel kind of weird coming from an architecture background and saying I want to open a brewery when (in my mind) so many people apply to business school to work in finance or or change the world in some way.

My undergrad GPA was 3.295. I am taking the GRE next month and feel very confident about my ability to do well on the test (since the decision to do business school was recent I was already well into preparing for the GRE so I' am sticking with that instead of doing the GMAT). I have 2 years of post grad experience as a project manager in a small general contracting firm, plus 3 6-month co-op work experience in architecture firms while in my undergrad.

I'm planning to apply to Babson, Boston College Carroll School, and Boston University School of Management. I'm very familiar with what it takes to get into pretty much any architecture graduate program in the country but have just starting learning what it takes to get into business school. Am I an attractive candidate? Should I emphasize by passion and entrepeneurial ambition to start a brewery or downplay it by highlighting how I could use the MBA to complement my architecture background to find a way to work within and alter a field which I've become disillusioned with?

Thanks in advance, I'd appreciate any feedback!
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Re: Looking for some advice! Newbie to business school process [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 12:55
In only my opinion, I think you have a very interesting backround and would be welcomed at many business schools. Maybe if you do really well on the GRE, I wouldnt consider an MIT out of the question.

From what Ive read, business schools love unique perspectives, passions, and stories. And your story is fairly unique. If you can demonstrate the academic potential (top 10% GRE score) to go with your uniqueness, I dont see the schools you've listed giving you much of a problem.

Dont downplay your dreams, embrace them. If the school wants to turn down the next great microbrewer, its on them. Obviously just dont write that you love geting wasted so why not make a career of it.. I also love beer and even tried making my own website dedicated to it (this failed miserably, but I will pick it up again after my MBA).

What kind of beers are you making?
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Re: Looking for some advice! Newbie to business school process [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 23:51
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Hmmmmm. if you are gonna go with the microbrewery goals when you apply, you DO need to make them seem realistic and plausible. I'm afraid "going with your dream" might be a bit naive... cause lots of people dream to win the lottery, but then... you have to deal with the statistics.

I would say go with the brewery goals if you can PROVE knowledge and experience. Have you already started? Are you selling a few barrels a month from stuff you make in your home? Have you patented a new formula??

If, however you are still on the level of the idea, it may sound too much like a pipe-dream, and you may be better off presented more "logical" goals to the Adcoms - something where you could draw on your previous experience (even if it that you are trying to leave)...
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Re: Looking for some advice! Newbie to business school process [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2012, 07:44
Thanks for the feedback, both the confidence boost and reality check of sorts. In synthesizing both of your comments my response is to embrace the brewery path and just make sure I can back it up - which I feel strongly that I can. Dbalks, I think you're right that instead of being intimidated by not being like the majority of MBA students I should see it as an advantage. It's just on me to make sure the admissions board also see's it as an advantage. JonAdmissionado, you make the point that I have to defend my ambition as a legitimate business endeavor not just as a cool hobby and that I'm not pursuing an MBA on a whim.

While I don't have much hard evidence of my entrepeneurial ability (unfortunately in the US it's illegal just about everywhere to sell beer unless it's through a distributor), I think I can craft an essay showcasing my entrepenerial spirit and drive. I don't have incredibly impressive leadership experience that I can point to, but I was President of my undergrad chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students and as such attended leadership events through that organization, as well as instituting new programs at my school and bidding to host and subsequently running a regional student conference.

And I can definitely prove I know beer, and I know the industry. I don't think the statistics on starting a brewery are any worse than other start ups. I mean, I can throw around statistics and make impassioned arguments all day on why craft beer is a good investment - but should I sound like I'm writing a business plan in my essay?

Thanks!
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Re: Looking for some advice! Newbie to business school process [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2012, 02:48
Expert's post
danibabs wrote:
(unfortunately in the US it's illegal just about everywhere to sell beer unless it's through a distributor)


Ohh! you can get a great story here, about your cabin in the woods, and the dangers of beer-running, Dukes of Hazard style
:)

danibabs wrote:
And I can definitely prove I know beer, and I know the industry. I don't think the statistics on starting a brewery are any worse than other start ups. I mean, I can throw around statistics and make impassioned arguments all day on why craft beer is a good investment - but should I sound like I'm writing a business plan in my essay?

Thanks!


This is good. And a good start. If for example, they feel that you have already a very solid business plan developed, this also makes things more realistic... This says "It's not just an idea, but I've worked on this for two years.. I've ran taste tests... I've conducting marketing studies... negotiating with distributers.." etc. To show that your beer knowledge is not just in drinking it!
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Re: Looking for some advice! Newbie to business school process   [#permalink] 21 Sep 2012, 02:48
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