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I don't have a full undergraduate degree (BS). However, I have completed part of a degree and received a diploma for it. My grades in Accounting/Econ/numerate subjects were good (A's mostly, very few B's). My grades in some other subjects like HR were quite dreadful.
I'm thinking of applying to business school for an MBA. I have good acquisitions experience (2-3 years Private Equity: Real Estate - US, UK & Europe). I basically do the financial and market analysis, due diligence, drafting of internal investment proposals & Private Placement Memoranda. It's the typical role of an Analyst and I've been taking up more of an associate's role recently as well, review of legal documents (JV docs), etc...
Assuming that I score well on the GMAT, what are my chances of getting into a decent (top 15) school? And what can I do to improve them? I'm not sure that it is worth it for me to go to a lesser ranked school, as a professional designation would probably add more value in that case.
I intend to continue working in the investment industry post MBA.
I know of an older (55+) gentleman who went to Chicago GSB without an undergraduate degree. He said they didn't require an undergraduate degree at the time, so you might want to research to see if they have since changed that requirement.
Hmm, it's not impossible, but most top schools do require an undergrad degree. (For executive ed. programs, it's probably more lax.)
Probably the two questions that come to my mind are: 1) Why didn't you finish? If you had a good reason, that would help with your application "story" a lot. 2) How far are you from completing a degree? Are you close enough that you could take a year's worth of night/weekend classes and get your undergrad degree? It may be worth it if you want to get into a top-10 school.
To answer your questions:
1- I was an emotionally immature neâ€™er-do-well kid. Didn't do some coursework (because I had girlfriend issues & issues with my father, who was funding my education) and left university without enough credits for a BS.
2- I am very close to getting a BS. I have been in contact with my university and they are currently reviewing my situation. I am keen on getting my degree. I hope to be able to finish it within the next 6-10 months. I have no doubt that I will score well in the remaining subjects (A - B at the least) as I have performed well in a few professional exams since graduating.
I have matured greatly in the past couple of years. I am confident that I am able to perform at the MBA level. Many of my peers & superiors at work graduated from good schools (Wharton, Amherst, etc...). They have been my benchmark for the past few years.
The strongest part of my application will probably be my work experience (my current work seems to be the goal of some MBA students) and recommendations. My academic past and personal essays are the areas that I am working on right now.
(Apologies for the long post - I would appreciate your comments)
My intention was to apply for the 2007/08 academic year. By then I will have completed my degree together with some related professional exams and have had some more work experience (hopefully I'll make associate by my next performance review in a couple of months).
It seems that most of the people in my industry did extremely well at the undergraduate level, worked for a couple of years as analysts, then attended a top 10 business school for their MBA before returning as associates.
My path is a bit unconventional. I was starting to think that it would be impossible to get into a good school having bungled my initial undergraduate studies.
Is this reasonable this for a summary of achievements (I would elaborate on these points):
- Enrolled in University to complete degree while working (A-B grades). [Overcoming past failures]
- Worked on over a $1 billion of real estate acquisitions in the US, UK & Europe. Was responsible for investment analysis (including DCF Modeling involving complex financial structures), preparing investment proposals to the executive and investment committees and due diligence.
- Worked on acquisitions in the Hotel, Office and Retail sectors.
- Wrote PPM's & made presentations for the firm's investments.
- Liaised closely with joint venture partners and property managers internationally in relation to current investments.
- Responsible for reviewing the annual budgets for the properties and making recommendations to the real estate team.
- Raised $X million from high net worth investors for acquisitions. [This is an additional achievement - not part of my job. I might be able to close an institutional investor during this year as well]
- Raised $XX k for orphans education fund. [I'm currently working on this]
- Memberships: ULI (Urban Land Institute).
These are pretty good. Remember that "I did this specific thing and achieved that" is more powerful than simply "I worked on this." Show what you specifically accomplished. We talk about this a lot in our book.