I am interested in pursuing an MBA, however I have something of a non-traditional background. My question is this: which first tier MBA programs are most open to accept applicants with non-traditional, especially non-business backgrounds?
Here is some more relevant background information on me:
I am currently on fellowship in a Ph.D. program in philosophy at the University of Michigan. This is one of the top philosophy programs in the US, and extremely selective (<4% acceptance rate). Prior to that I taught high school for three years. Prior to that I graduated from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, magna cum laude (3.74 GPA), with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Mathematics. Along the way, during a hiatus from school, I worked 18 months full time in sales and accounts for a construction company, and also started my own small business. At present, I am in the process of incorporating a non-profit to deal with certain diversity and practical issues within academic philosophy.
I have not yet taken the GMATs, but I tend to perform in the 97th percentile or better on standardized tests.
For a long list of reasons, I have decided that I would prefer to pursue an MBA rather than the Ph.D. and intend to apply to MBA programs after completion of my M.A. in philosophy in December 2011. I will apply for admission for Fall 2012. I sincerely appreciate any advice.
You have to be careful about the "long list of reasons" in your "why MBA, why now" essays. It would be a strong case after your non-profit delivers a profound change in dealing with certain diversity and practical issues amongst philosophers. It is important to have a good GMAT to get into the top competitive category. Once you are past 700 on GMAT, it is not an issue anymore and you compete on other factors.
In this regard, being a "non-traditional" helps applicants stand out from the crowd, but this is only successful if the strategy is designed and executed well.
All of the above relates to top schools only. Lesser schools will let almost anyone in.
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