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Non-traditional GMAT applicant

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Joined: 19 Jan 2012
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Non-traditional GMAT applicant [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2012, 21:19
Some basic stats first:

age: 23

top 50 undergrad.--3.71 GPA in Political Science.

grad school: went and did a semester at a T30 law school and finished top 1/3 and realized that I didn't want to do that with my life.

I've worked on several campaigns managing and recruiting volunteers to execute various tasks, I've worked in a law office getting to know certain parts of health care law pretty well. I started a state-wide college political organization where I established a State Senator as the chair of the organization. I have overseen the financial and membership growth of that organization as well.

I only have a very broad idea of what I want to do, and that is to create (I learned you never create anything in law school, all you do is learn how to process the creations of others). My dad is a CEO of a company and he works ridiculous hours but loves his job. I've talked a lot to him about it. The competitiveness of it. The risk, the strategy, the extreme hard work. I finally grew a set and decided that that is what I really wanted to do, and that I wasn't going to wuss out anymore by staying in law school.

obviously I would need a GMAT score to determine place, but am I totally screwed in applying to B-Schools?
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Director
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Status: Go Blue!
Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 685
Location: United States (MO)
Concentration: Nonprofit, General Management
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2015
GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V45
GRE 1: 336 Q169 V167
GPA: 3.22
WE: Information Technology (Manufacturing)
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 145 [0], given: 249

Re: Non-traditional GMAT applicant [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2012, 06:54
Can you be more specific about your work experience? Full-time or internship? How long?

It seems like you have very little actual work experience to be considering a top tier MBA, which isn't a knock against you personally, it's just the timing of life which makes for an uphill climb in the admissions process. Some schools will recruit people in your situation, but even many of those schools will tell you that it's probably wise for you to work more before applying. Other schools are aware of situations like yours and offer a different path. Duke, for example, offers a 1Y MMS degree designed for less experienced candidates. The MMS will help you get into business, you work a few years, and then you come back and apply for the MBA.

If you are set on a MBA, I think you'll have to decide between getting one at a school outside the Top 15, or following a different path for a bit, and coming back with enough firepower to land inside the Top 15. Depending on the work experience you can get, Top 7 would sound possible as well.

You have all the rest of the pieces. Interesting story, great undergrad, entrepreneurial goals!
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Joined: 19 Jan 2012
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Re: Non-traditional GMAT applicant [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2012, 11:16
The campaign work was full time work. It was campaign work, so I was getting paid crap, but in total it lasted about 4 months between the 2008 and 2010 campaigns; campaigns move pretty quickly but you work 110 hour weeks.

The rest of my experience with government and politics has been on an internship basis, so I understand that is not my strong suit.

I know B-School is expensive, so I don't know if it is worth it to try to go the military route and try to get financing for it through the GI bill. I'm also not sure if B-schools consider officer positions in the military to be work experience. My background is Political Science so I'm not sure what other ways there are for me to get work experience under my belt. Suggestions are appreciated.

I know I ultimately want to be in management for a large corporation, operations or something similar and ultimately to be able to be a CEO.
Director
Director
User avatar
Status: Go Blue!
Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 685
Location: United States (MO)
Concentration: Nonprofit, General Management
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2015
GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V45
GRE 1: 336 Q169 V167
GPA: 3.22
WE: Information Technology (Manufacturing)
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 145 [0], given: 249

Re: Non-traditional GMAT applicant [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2012, 11:31
windsor36 wrote:
The campaign work was full time work. It was campaign work, so I was getting paid crap, but in total it lasted about 4 months between the 2008 and 2010 campaigns; campaigns move pretty quickly but you work 110 hour weeks.

The rest of my experience with government and politics has been on an internship basis, so I understand that is not my strong suit.

I know B-School is expensive, so I don't know if it is worth it to try to go the military route and try to get financing for it through the GI bill. I'm also not sure if B-schools consider officer positions in the military to be work experience. My background is Political Science so I'm not sure what other ways there are for me to get work experience under my belt. Suggestions are appreciated.

I know I ultimately want to be in management for a large corporation, operations or something similar and ultimately to be able to be a CEO.


Military is definitely considered strong work experience, if you want to go that route. But don't do it just for MBA purposes, you know? Because even though MBA programs are expensive, there's a metric ton of scholarship money floating around and many jobs pay so much money that you'll have your loans paid off in no time.

I'm assuming you graduated fairly recently (maybe last May?), so perhaps you can check jobs under your school's job board? With your undergrad, I would think you have a chance at landing in a business consulting/advisory position. A masters in accounting might be doable quickly, and land you in Big 4 auditing or advisory which is also good pre-MBA work with excellent placement in the economy.

These are just a few thoughts, but work experience is definitely your hurdle right now and it's perhaps the most significant hurdle of them all in the admissions process.
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Re: Non-traditional GMAT applicant   [#permalink] 20 Jan 2012, 11:31
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