Joined: 24 Apr 2013
Location: United States (CA)
GRE 1: 333 Q163 V170
, given: 53
Non-trad. background, career changer [#permalink]
01 Dec 2013, 12:18
I'm in the middle of writing application materials, and outside of a core group of 3 schools I'm excited about applying to, I'd like to add a few schools to my list that could be strong targets. I'd appreciate thoughts/advice on where I might be a strong fit based on my numbers, experience, and goals. My short list is below. Basic Info
- Demographics: 31, male, US citizen, white/middle eastern (my name is "ethnic" and stands out)
- GRE: V170 (99th), Q163 (87th), AWA 5.5 (97th)
- Undergrad: graduated from St John's College, tiny and very rigorous program with NO electives. Every student took every class. 4 years math, 3 years lab science, 4 years philosophy, 2 years Ancient Greek, 2 years French, 4 years literature. GPA is 3.47. No major-specific GPA because there were no electives. All seminar-style classes, no lectures.
- Graduate: received a Master's in Education in 2012 from a program that was the first of its kind in the nation-- a graduate school of education embedded in a nationally-known charter school. Grades were pass/fail, and I obviously passed all of them.
- Social-sector consulting for McKinsey or Bridgespan. This would leverage my experience in education and highlight the analytical/problem-solving skills that I've developed as a founder at the school. This work also supports my commitment to social good (supported by work exp. and leadership within work exp.)
- From my research I've determined that social-sector consulting jobs can be hard to come by even from top schools. If that doesn't work out, I can see other consulting work being interesting as well (strategy or human capital). In the long term, I'm interested in entering the for-profit education space, as it's a $4 trillion/year industry worldwide with a lot of room to innovate.
- In 2007 I was selected to be one of 12 teachers to help open a new private school in southern California. We designed the curriculum from the ground up. The student population and faculty have grown over 500% since we opened. Prior to that I worked in a smaller school as a teacher for 18 months. The prior school gets very little attention on my resume.
- I've held a variety of leadership roles in the school: I've led teams, directed a service program, planned/led a community service trip to rural China for 92 9th graders, managed communication when the entire student population (~485 students at the time) traveled to six continents, and was selected to create/deliver a workshop for future teachers at a university in Germany (we were partnering with the school on a teacher exchange).
- I've created five original courses and have been tapped for other curriculum redesign projects by senior administrators.
- My resume shows a clear progression within the organization-- I've moved from inward-facing (team leader/curriculum design) to outward-facing, higher-risk roles (travel management, etc).
- Reason for leaving: I've discovered my strengths lie in problem-solving and analysis. I want more challenges/room to grow than I can find at the school, as I don't want to be an administrator.
School Qualities/Short List
- One is from current supervisor, who is the co-head of the upper school. She and I work really well together and have collaborated on a range of projects. She'll speak to my analytical ability, qualities as a colleague, and potential for leadership.
- Second is from the founding head of school who hired me in 2007 when I was 25 and retired last year. She can speak to the same qualities as my first recommender.
- I'm providing both recommenders with bullet points to help frame my strengths/weaknesses.
- Want an excellent general-management education. Strongly interested in case-method schools, as I thrive in discussion-based classes. I've been a student in one and teach in that style.
- Open to any school nationwide
- Will definitely apply: HBS, Kellogg, Darden. Each of these are a fit based on curriculum, teaching style, and career support/post-MBA feeder companies.
- Am considering: UCLA, Haas, Duke, Stanford. I'm not sure how each of these schools might see someone with my background/interests.
- Where else should I be looking?