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MBA in next 2 years - family business experience?

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MBA in next 2 years - family business experience? [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2013, 20:01
Hello!

While I haven't taken the GMAT yet, I would like to know your opinion about my chances of being accepted into an MBA program at this stage of my career.

Profile: 24 years old, Male, USA

Academic background: Graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.9GPA) in 2010 with a degree in Financial Economics from state university. University experience also includes one semester spent at top university in China. Extracurricular involvement includes being president of school's investment club (60 member organization).

Work experience: ~2 years working in Corporate Finance at one of the world's most recognized retail companies (F200). Recently moved to Hong Kong to expand family's business here. Primary responsibilities here are focused on business development (sales and marketing) as well as operations. Was eager to get international and operations experience, which was the primary driver for leaving retail company for my family's much smaller firm.

Post MBA goals: Either move into management consulting or join a retail / consumer products in a corporate development (strategy) function. Plan to eventually return to family business.

Interested Programs (Apply R1 2014):
Said
Rotterdam
Cass
Judge
Columbia

My main concern is that working for my family's company will hinder my chances. Any thoughts? I know it's hard to handicap this given my lack of GMAT score, but any input would be very helpful. Thanks!
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Re: MBA in next 2 years - family business experience? [#permalink] New post 08 Feb 2013, 00:44
Expert's post
So far things look pretty darn good! 3.9 experience in china, a family business. True that I can't give a real evaluation without more detail and your GMAt, but let's just say that things look good.

As for the family business thing, on the contrary, family businesses are even better than a regular job sometimes. It depends a bit on how big the business is, how much potential it had for growth, what you have done, and what your plans for it in the future are. So feel free to post a bit about the industry, turnover, number of workers, etc, so that I can get a better idea, and maybe evaluate your profile in a more precise manner.
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Re: MBA in next 2 years - family business experience? [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2013, 00:47
Hi Jon,

Thanks so much for the quick response. It's heartening to know that family businesses aren't always a detriment to a business school application. To give you a little perspective into the business - it's a wholesale seafood distributor headquartered in the northeastern part of the US. We have around ten employees (varies depending on the season). I'm here in Hong Kong to both extend our current products to Asia (it's a new market for us), begin sourcing products here as well as to develop more direct to consumer lines. I'll be working on this project through at least the end of this year. Ultimate goal (likely after business school) is push further into the branded products space.

Given the above information - do you still think there is potential to tell a story compelling enough to get accepted any of those target schools I listed? Leaving a F200 company might seem like a strange decision, but I believe the potential to develop both my family's business and my career were both well worth it.
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Re: MBA in next 2 years - family business experience? [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 06:30
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Happy to help good sir, and thanks for the detail.

Now, with your specific family business you aren't gonna get any bonus points like someone whose family runs a 500-person operation, and in the scope of things 10 people is relatively small. So what you gotta do, where possible is PROVE its potential. WE would want to see first of all change that happened since you arrive on the scene, and then any other additional info (like market studies or whatever) that SHOW that this business has the potential you say it has...

You've already made your first step by making your choice, and now you need to show that you are gonna keep at it. And when you present the reasons for this change, focusing on the passion interest and family legacy can all help you out narratively
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