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Need advice for a weird situation

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Need advice for a weird situation [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2006, 13:13
Hey guys,
Through the course of my application process you men have been extremely helpful with your advice and your book so I am coming to you now with something else I need help with.

My brother got into a car accident a few months ago and is about to get a multi-million dollar settlement. He has asked me to leave my research job in the biopharmaceutical industry and help him start a few real estate projects. Now I have applied to B-school explicitly stating that I want to go back to the biopharmaceutical industry but in non-technical, management role. If I get into business school I plan on going but if I do not get in this year I am in a little bit of a dilemma.

Do I stay and continue on with my research job and apply again in the next year or do I leave and help my brother and in the process gain experience managing real estate projects?

Ultimately the decision is mine, I know this, but I would like to know which one of these decisions would be of more value to my application and/or which one would hurt my application more?

I have thought about it some and here are my thoughts:

Staying with the Research Job
Pros
-Another year of experience in an industry I am interested in continuing post MBA
- By the time I apply again I will have 5 years of solid R&D experience (and hopefully two promotions) in the biopharmaceutical industry
Cons
-Since I am in R&D I am not sure that another year adds value to my application or experience as it pertains to MBA
- Working for someone else sucks!

A project management job with my brother
Pros
-Will obtain project management experience
-The experience I obtain will be valuable because it pertains to business and can give me solid entrepreneurial experience which I can leverage in B-school
- I am my own boss
Cons
-This experience is tangential to anything I was planning on doing post-graduation from an MBA program
-I am afraid that the adcomm would look at me as someone without a clear "agenda"

As you would gather from this long post I have thought about this a lot but would like to get a perspective from you guys as to what you think would be a more valuable and less harmful experience as it pertains to my MBA candidature.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2006, 14:08
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I honestly don't feel qualified enough to give you that kind of career advice, but I can share with you my initial, gut reaction. Honestly, if I were an adcomm and saw that everying in your app (including future plans) had to do with biotech, but that you left biotech to do real estate, it would look to me like you just left yor job to try to get rich quick in real estate.

This is very simliar to what I experienced from 1996 to 2001, when a lot of my friends left their jobs to join dot-com startups, and then ended up trying to get into b-school when their ventures failed. Although they had some good stories to tell and were usually smart people, they had a hard time overcoming the look & feel of someone who was just chasing a quick buck. B-schools aren't too interested in that type of person.

So, I'd say stick with biotech. I hope your brother's doing okay!

Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2006, 06:53
Thanks for your advice Scott and your concern about my brother. He just finished surgery yesterday and he should be walking in no time!

The truth is that this really is not about money, or "making a quick buck", it's about not wanting to be a chemist anymore. Being a chemist in a biopharmaceutical company has been a great experience and intially when I joined the learning curve was extremely steep. That made the job exciting. But soon the the day-to-day became boring. Although I have taken on various extra projects where I have gotten a glimpse of the "big picture" on a daily basis my job requires me to think very narrowly (e.g. what solvents do I use, what temp do I run a reaction, etc.) Of course I did not say this in my essays but this is the truth. My desire to get out of my job and into one where I will be building something from scratch and looking at the big picture everyday is really what made my bro's offer appealing. But I think you are right, I have enough to explain on my record to the adcomm and I dont need something else. One more year of being a chemist wont kill me, it will just suck!
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