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MBA Route for unique career?

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Intern
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MBA Route for unique career? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2013, 02:40
Hi Everyone,

Chanced upon this great site while looking for best methods & materials to prep for the GMAT and the information here has been GREAT.

Would appreciate some input from you guys here regarding the possibility of a good MBA programme accepting/considering me & any possible suitable routes/programmes you could recommend.

My Background:

Junior & High School - Did fairly well etc usually always in top 95% & got offers from eg. LSE, Bristol, Warwick, Bath. (I did a UK Foundation programme). Unfortunately family did very bad (financially) just as I was about to go into college and I had to study for my degree at an unknown college (as the better ones did not recognize the UK studies which I did)

Served the Military for 2 years

College/University - RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) BBAcc (Bachelor Bus. Accountancy). GPA of 2.6
I started taking my hobby of poker playing very seriously as I was making $100K-$180K USD annually for the 3years I was in college and did very badly academically

Interned & got offered a job at Ernst & Young (financial services audit)

Chose to be a full time poker player instead. Been doing that since 2008/09 (4-5 years) and have been doing pretty well making $180k-$100k USD annually. I see this money dwindling in the future as it is getting more and more competitive. I am also currently sponsored by the world's largest online Poker site as their ambassador for Asia-Pacific. Rankings wise I have had several achievements eg Regional & Country rankings & records.

I've been very fortunate to have a wide network of contacts & I travel at least 7 months out of a year mainly around the Asia-Pacific region and occasionally to North America & Europe. I speak English, Mandarin, Korean & several Asian dialects. I have a good understanding of the gaming industry in Asia. I am a very sociable person who work very well with people from all walks of life.

My long term goal would be to jump (back) into the professional working world. I ultimately hope to be able to come back into the gaming world with experience attained from outside the gaming world as well as the required skill set I would be able to attain from Business school. My main reason for wanting to go to Business school is simple. I feel that poker playing has no clear career path and despite my years of being at the forefront (& consulting) of the decision making my company makes for the region I have yet to have proper management/business training. This would probably be a huge factor for any gaming company to hire me as an associate instead of an ambassador/marketing/media rep.

My main questions are:
1.) After doing research and speaking to several friends who from several professions I've found consulting to be interesting & a challenge which I would be interested to take up. However my friends have not heard of the local consulting offices (consulting in South East Asia is small probably?) taking up any gaming related projects. Would any of you from other regions be able to shed some light on any consulting firms/office that might have taken on gaming related projects & which schools they prefer hiring from?

2.) Assuming programmes from INSEAD/Kellog/LBS would be the best path to a consulting career, given my poor academic grades & unique background what are the chances of me getting accepted into their programmes? I know I can bring a LOT of life experiences & stories and I will be able to prove myself on the GMAT but from where I am (Asia) playing Poker professionally can be frowned upon.

I apologise for the long post but I had to share as much as I could. I couldn't just say I was working for Company X with $X revenue etc given my unique "Job". Also wrote this quickly while waiting for my wife so please excuse the bad structure.

Truly appreciate all comments & thoughts. :)
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Affiliations: Columbia, Wharton, LBS
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Re: MBA Route for unique career? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2013, 06:39
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Simply put, you do not know if you do not try. I worked with a candidate a few years ago who made some serious personal mistakes during his undergraduate years and had multiple felony charges on his record. Our approach was to cast our net rather wide and see what happened as everything else about his candidacy was very good to excellent. As expected, some top schools took an interest in his candidacy and some even called him to discuss the circumstances and his "recovery". In the end, we applied to ten schools and were admitted to five (if he did not have the felony record, he probably would have gotten into a few more -- but some lower ranked schools did not even interview him).

I am in no way saying that your academic performance or career choice is like this candidates background - but simple that different schools approach non-traditional candidates in different ways. For some, your academic record and career choice will not fit their definition of diversity while at others it will.

My first recommendation would be to expand your list of schools. My second recommendation is not to hide any aspect of your background in your application -- embrace it and the story of you will be compelling.

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review

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Re: MBA Route for unique career? [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 09:45
Thank you for your advice and insight Kimberly!

I'm really curious as to how my "work" experience could considered as "work" experience and how some business schools view such life experiences differently.

Thank you once again for taking time to reply!
Director
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Re: MBA Route for unique career? [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 19:01
From my perspective, being a professional poker player is full-time work. Just because you do not go to an office every day does not mean it is work. In fact, I would say that being sponsored pretty much speaks to how this industry assesses your abilities and potential. Do not be afraid to expose your background -- I found it interesting and I am sure that others will too.

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review

Call for a free candidacy assessment.
_________________

Manhattan Review GMAT Prep & MBA Admissions Consulting
Web: http://www.manhattanreview.com | Phone: +1.212.316.2000
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Re: MBA Route for unique career?   [#permalink] 06 Jan 2013, 19:01
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