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Welcome and good to have you abroad. I would appreciate your input on my non-traditional candidacy. Academic: GPA 3.3, GMAT 690 Professional: Male, international, aged 31, 12 years "work" as professional athlete (unfortunately not in cash rich sports). Strong career/athletic development from junior, reserve to first team and called to national squad ranked top 5 in the world. Competed internationally (in 27 countries) representing my country, won titles and Olympic medals (admittedly not gold). Received recognition awards from federation and national sports media. Commercially, I supplemented earnings from federation stipend and competition with a few sponsorship deals, modelling & teambuilding work.
Extracurriculars: Elected to represent athletes’ interests in Sports Council, volunteered outreach programme to coach children in after school activities, media relations work to promote participation and mentored junior athletes. Mix of teamwork, negotiation, leadership and mentoring skills.
Post MBA career goal: move from brand ambassador to product management with sports apparel/equipment company. Volunteer as business adviser to sports community and evaluate personal investment opportunities. Preferred programmes with strong general management & marketing courses and active sports business student clubs. Michigan, Duke, Cornell, LBS, Kellogg, Wharton.
Some self assessment website suggests more realistic schools: Emory, USC, UNC, Kelley. What is your view, should I go for outside Top15?
Am I realistic as I am not consultant/banker/Blue Chip engineer. Does the adcom see a sports pro’s experience as valuable to the MBA programme.
1) There is a catch, I turned pro at a young age. Completed BA degree (Econ and Mod. Languages) through distance learning programme and private tutors at an accredited lower ranked university. Training camps and constant travel to competitions did not allow formal full time study. I wonder if adcoms would count my less formal academic background against me. On the other hand, should I spin challenge of earning degree while working full-time? 2) Any idea in which pool I will be allocated: a) non-traditional pool by profession with military and non-profit folks or b) simply all other internationals
Unique story, solid ECs and strong professional accomplishment. But mature age, softish Gmat and total lack of corporate work. Is my new coach suitable as referee? He knows my athletic abilities, not so much commercial skills and is a weak writer. A sports federation executive and another manager with sponsor offered to be referees.
You have a very interesting profile and a lot of accomplishments. Your GMAT is solid, though not stellar. Given what you were doing at the time, your GPA will be evaluated in that light. The AdComs will be looking at what you want to do with your MBA, so tying your goals to their program will be important.
I'd definitely say go for the top tier schools you targeted, especially Kellogg, Michigan (which values experience), Duke and Cornell. You might choose two of your second tier schools as safety.
As an international candidate, that's your pool. Remember, though, that the AdComs are interested in crafting a diverse class, and your non-traditional background will likely be considered a plus.
For references, your sports federation sponsor and commercial sponsor appear to be excellent choices.
thanks for your constructive comments. Interesting to know that I would be grouped by region in the international pool and my non-traditional background will likely be considered a plus (I initially thought oddball would be a liability in my application). Good call on the referees.