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Nontraditional Applicant Thread

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Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 09:22
So I'm looking at the class profile for UCLA, one of my top choices, and I see that less than half of the class comes from a Finance/Consulting/High-Tech background. But it seems like those three industries get a lot of airtime around here. So, any nontraditional applicants around here? Coming from health care? Nonprofit? Arts? Education? What's your story and why are you looking for an MBA? What schools do you think are best for nontraditional people?

Since I'm asking, I guess I'll start - I have an extensive background in music (actually was accepted to grad school in composition last year, but rethought it) and spent a year running a business as a private piano teacher. Now I work as a university admin for the creative writing department, coordinating admissions for the graduate program, working out scheduling for undergraduates, maintaining the website, and planning events. I'm hoping to go into arts management, probably in music - I want to do general management for a symphony, jazz festival, arts prep school, etc. Eventually, I'd like to start my own school or non-profit arts organization. Alternately, depending on the direction of the music industry, I'd consider working for or starting a record label. My top choices are probably Stanford and UCLA for their location, appropriate programs and curricula, and opportunities for entrepreneurship.
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 13:01
I'm a non-traditional applicant as well. I currently teach elementary school with the Teach for America program. I'm also non-traditional in that I will have only two years of work experience when I hope to start my MBA. I'm hoping that I'm not too non-traditional to get accepted at a top-15 business program.
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 14:14
I'm non-traditional!!

I'm a chemist at a pharmaceutical company.

RF
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 14:22
Semi-non-traditional......I come from the publishing industry in a global sales & marketing role.
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 14:52
refurb wrote:
I'm non-traditional!!

I'm a chemist at a pharmaceutical company.

RF

Same as above, except replace 'pharamaceutical' with 'biotech' and 'RF' with 'YW', lol... :rotate
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 20:13
I am not sure if I will be categorized as non-traditional. But I am a database administrator/technical trainer.
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 20:30
I am as non-traditional as you can get: language education and applied linguistics (translation and interpretation) and I am already doing an MBA at a top school.
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2008, 13:14
Hey xerox, that's a terrific blog! I like that Dan Gilbert video a lot. Do you hope to stay in linguistics after Wharton?
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2008, 14:08
Semi-non traditional here too. I do project management at a healthcare IT company. woo.
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2008, 14:14
I have a traditional background(IT). :(
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2008, 17:35
Strategic planning at a biotech.

I'm not sure if healthcare can be considered non-traditional these days.
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2008, 21:56
Woo nontraditional! I'm working on a PhD in science/engineering now. I strike out on the bio factor (which b-schools seem to love) but I'm hoping to cash in on the alternative energy factor (my research area) :)
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2008, 23:04
rca215 wrote:
Strategic planning at a biotech.

I'm not sure if healthcare can be considered non-traditional these days.


I agree, almost every school seems to have a healthcare/biotech club. I do think there are less healthcare orientated folks then I-Bankers though :-D .
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2008, 23:08
rjacobs wrote:
My top choices are probably Stanford and UCLA for their location, appropriate programs and curricula, and opportunities for entrepreneurship.


You might want to consider Haas (Berkeley), its an excellent program too...
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2008, 06:29
Also quite a bit non-traditional -

Used to own and operate a full service painting company
Now I help design and manage incentive and recognition programs for large businesses seeking to motivate their employees.

Also hoping it is not too non-trad. to get accepted!

~Sam
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2008, 08:15
Non-tradi also... I was in the Peace Corps and now work for a non-profit doing international development. I'm going for social entrepreneurship and general management stuff - I'd like to start my own organization. Woot woot!
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2008, 00:37
Non traditional. Print Media Brand Manager
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2008, 06:25
Are all of these really "non-traditional?" If by "traditional" paths to business school you mean banking/finance, consulting and IT, perhaps... but reading all of these posts, I can't say I'd be surprised to see many folks here in B-school... Engineers. Project managers in big companies. So forth.

When I think "non-traditional," I think non-profit do-gooders, artists/musicians or something truly off the wall (pro athlete, maybe an astronaut, etc.). Obviously, given my background, that's a self-serving preconception, I know. But am I wrong here?

What advantage do y'all see in being non-tradi? Are we thinking that some schools have loose/de facto quotas for the banking/consulting set, and set aside some spots for folks like us?
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2008, 10:36
Ntang wrote:
Are all of these really "non-traditional?" If by "traditional" paths to business school you mean banking/finance, consulting and IT, perhaps... but reading all of these posts, I can't say I'd be surprised to see many folks here in B-school... Engineers. Project managers in big companies. So forth.

When I think "non-traditional," I think non-profit do-gooders, artists/musicians or something truly off the wall (pro athlete, maybe an astronaut, etc.). Obviously, given my background, that's a self-serving preconception, I know. But am I wrong here?

What advantage do y'all see in being non-tradi? Are we thinking that some schools have loose/de facto quotas for the banking/consulting set, and set aside some spots for folks like us?


Agreed, if your job in any way involves sitting at a desk/computer, working 9-5, or having to wear something with a collar, I can't see it being *that* different from other MBA applicants. I think non-traditional helps your cause, but only in conjuction with:

1-a good GMAT will really help you out here, will show you aren't just a 1 trick pony in your field of choice.
2-you've still got to show you can fit into the MBA environment. Aka if you're a successful musician/artist, that's nice, but no good if you turn into a drama queen when your fellow group members challenge your ideas/creativity.

It seems that a recurring theme of top Bschool's 'opening weekends' is when, after bragging how their avg gmat / diversity stats went up, to list some specific examples of the types of students they accepted, very often those of 'non traditional' backgrounds. So it's definitely in demand.
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2008, 04:45
xerox wrote:
I am as non-traditional as you can get: language education and applied linguistics (translation and interpretation) and I am already doing an MBA at a top school.


I might have you beat....language education and applied liguistics...

...in Taiwan!

:lol:
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Re: Nontraditional Applicant Thread   [#permalink] 26 Nov 2008, 04:45
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