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I'm considering going for an MSA in 2013. My background: 26 yo / male. Did Psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. 3.4 GPA. I haven't taken either GRE or GMAT yet. I'm not too worried about them as I've always done well with standardized tests and have time to prepare. I have a strong math back ground for a psych major - I took multivariable calc, linear algebra, 2 quaters of real analysis, a bunch of lower level stat and comp sci classes - although I got a C in my 2nd quarter of analysis and I took a 'W' in a freaking hard probability class my final quarter.
Here's my odd situation (my troubling situation). I have no traditional work experience (after I graduated) as I've spent the last 3 years playing poker professionally. Everything was very official, I payed taxes on my earnings (filed as a "professional gambler") have tons of documentation to verify my income claims. Also, I spent 2 of the last 3 years living outside of the United States. I played poker online about 95% of the time. Honestly, I chose to live abroad for tax reasons and because I could (played online) so...why not? But I didn't really do much traveling. So, how bad will this look prospective schools? Is this something I can put a positive spin on? Or should I not mention what I was doing for a living and maybe just say I was traveling and had odd jobs?
Thanks so much. If I decide to pursue an MSA, I'll probably become an active member of this forum - it looks very helpful.
Absolutely - I have heard of professional golf players getting admission in the top 5. I think the adcom on the MBA side can see you as a very interesting candidate. As to the MSA - I think you have a great chance as well (remember the movie about MIT students who were playing cards in Vegas based on a true story). I think there is a lot to explore in this work experience. You can have only so many guys from Deloitte in the program.
I would not doubt this by a bit at all. Your international experience could be very helpful too. _________________
Your story is super-cool. Stacked up against more traditional green eyeshade applicants, you'll look like James Bond International Man of Mystery.
I imagine your challenge will be on the softer side of the application: teamwork, leadership, community involvement, etc. Schools might see you as a computer-wiz poker-jock, but they'll be concerned that you have no social skills and just live in a dark cave by the blue light of a laptop. Make sure not to come off as a robot or John Galt. Between now and application time, you really should find something teamy to get involved with, to demonstrate a capacity for human interaction.