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Marketing [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 16:15
Hi all!

I'm an odd ball, I have an undergrad in biology and work in a pharmacy. When I was an undergrad my passion was the biological sciences, but I've lost interest in that because there's not much opportunities out there for a biological scientist who doesn't want to go to the doctoral level.

I work for a large chain retail pharmacy and now have decided I want to get into marketing. Working in the retail industry I've come to appreciate the marketing displays and signage that draw customers into a store. I consider myself a creative individual and catch myself day dreaming about designing unique displays to market products and brand.

My question for all you marketing professional is how you got started? Am I just dreaming or can a pharmacy tech with an undergrad in biology with no management or leadership experience (besides being a VP of a science club in college) get into a MBA program.

I want to leave the pharmacy and climb up to corporate into the marketing sector and see that an MBA in marketing will help me reach my dream.
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Re: Marketing [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2011, 21:43
Xng wrote:
Hi all!

I'm an odd ball, I have an undergrad in biology and work in a pharmacy. When I was an undergrad my passion was the biological sciences, but I've lost interest in that because there's not much opportunities out there for a biological scientist who doesn't want to go to the doctoral level.

I work for a large chain retail pharmacy and now have decided I want to get into marketing. Working in the retail industry I've come to appreciate the marketing displays and signage that draw customers into a store. I consider myself a creative individual and catch myself day dreaming about designing unique displays to market products and brand.

My question for all you marketing professional is how you got started? Am I just dreaming or can a pharmacy tech with an undergrad in biology with no management or leadership experience (besides being a VP of a science club in college) get into a MBA program.

I want to leave the pharmacy and climb up to corporate into the marketing sector and see that an MBA in marketing will help me reach my dream.


Hey there, while I can't speak for marketing directly, I can say that "yes" that you can make it into a top MBA program. I graduated with a Biology degree and have since worked at a pharmaceutical company (more on the R&D side). Surely though, you will have to look for ways into gaining some sort of leadership ability; however, leadership is not all about "leading people". You can showcase leadership by taking initiatives at work, or around your community. Chances are, your work is not going to provide much leadership/manamgenet ability unless you have a grad degree (Pharm.D., Ph.D., etc), so I'd look into volunteering your spare time with some community projects, such as soup kitchen or red cross. AdComs look for people with a well-rounded background, and assuming that you work a regular 40-hour work week, AdComs will begin to question what you do on your spare time. Volunteering not only gives you a chance to discuss what you do outside of your professional setting, but it also gives you a chance to lead teams and develop strong bonds with the community. I would definitely look into that if I were you. Also, you're going to have to couple this thought with a kickass GMAT score. As you probably know, most top b-schools have an average of 700 on GMAT, with the top three b-schools (H/S/W) well into the 720-730 range. Shoot for that score, gain some extracurricular activities, and have stellar essays/recommendations, there's no reason why an adcom will reject you then (even with a Bio degree).
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Re: Marketing [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2011, 05:29
Thank you so much for your insightful response. It's so reassuring to know that someone else with a biology degree has obtained a MBA. The majority of people I know who've gotten a MBA come from "business" degrees and rather than giving me helpful advice they just question my reason for wanting to do such a 'drasctic' career change.

I've actually just signed up for a volunteer project so I'm happy to know that I'm heading in the right direction. I want this career change so bad that I actually enjoy studying for the GMAT as I know it'll help me score high.

Once again, I appreciate your response. Have a nice day.
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Re: Marketing [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2011, 06:43
You're very welcome. And just for clarification, I haven't finished b-school, but have just gotten into Darden. If you have any questions or concerns along the way, don't hesitate to ask on this forum, on this very thread, or pm me. I'll be more than happy to help you. =D
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Re: Marketing [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2011, 06:10
just some advice here to be really-really sure that marketing is the kind of job you really want, because as far as I feel - have the background from engineering myself and jump straight to marketing after graduated - is that the job really contrast with the demand in engineering.
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Re: Marketing [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2011, 03:11
Hello buddy thanks for posting.
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Re: Marketing [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2011, 05:11
Xng wrote:
Thank you so much for your insightful response. It's so reassuring to know that someone else with a biology degree has obtained a MBA. The majority of people I know who've gotten a MBA come from "business" degrees and rather than giving me helpful advice they just question my reason for wanting to do such a 'drasctic' career change.

I've actually just signed up for a volunteer project so I'm happy to know that I'm heading in the right direction. I want this career change so bad that I actually enjoy studying for the GMAT as I know it'll help me score high.

Once again, I appreciate your response. Have a nice day.


If you look on the class profiles of the top 30 schools, there are a lot of people with hard science backgrounds (not just engineering either). Adcoms want diversity in their classes as well, so coming from a non-traditional undergrad could even help you.
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Re: Marketing [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2011, 09:14
I have heard it a few ways, but I think adcoms don't give preferential treatment to business degree undergrads. Think about it, the MBA would largely be a reeducation for these individuals, so likely to help the student and the institution less. Not saying it's dingable, but it certainly wouldn't elevate one above the rest.

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Re: Marketing [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2011, 13:25
Xng wrote:
...I work for a large chain retail pharmacy and now have decided I want to get into marketing. Working in the retail industry I've come to appreciate the marketing displays and signage that draw customers into a store. I consider myself a creative individual and catch myself day dreaming about designing unique displays to market products and brand.



I have a BFA in Graphic Design. Looking to get an MBA in Marketing. If you want to design store signage, an MBA is far from what you should be going for. You need to go to art school and get a degree in Graphic Design, and work your way up in an Ad Agency. This is very hard to do. It's really easy to get laid off from an Ad Agency because they client list is so easily effected by the economy. Also you have to be REALLY good to get a job with them. Being a Graphic Designer doesn't pay much. You would take a serious pay cut I would imagine. If you can work your way up to Creative Director with a company, then you can make some good money.

I'm getting out of Graphic Design to make more money. I also what to be more on the marketing planning side of things with a company. I can almost guarantee that the large chain retail pharmacy outsources the signage work to an ad agency or a similar company. Or they may have an in house marketing department which will have a marketing director and graphic designers. Most Marketing Directors have no clue how to design or layout anything.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Marketing [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2011, 14:02
Given how hot health care is right now, and how it is an ever-increasing part of the US economy, I think you should be able to tie something together involving Pharma and Marketing. Your background can be a strength rather than a weakness: "Now more than ever the health care industry needs to orient itself towards consumers. With my experience on the front-lines of this marketplace blah blah blah." Have you considered programs with strong ties to Health Care mgmt sector, rather than just Marketing writ large? A place like Duke might do just as much for you as a Kellogg, considering the alumnae network.
Re: Marketing   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2011, 14:02
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