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Peer review for former enlisted soldier:

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Peer review for former enlisted soldier: [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2009, 17:02
Hi everyone,

After reading all these impressive member profiles I'm quite intimidated, but nevertheless I'll put myself out there (after all, if I can't even do it here, there is no way I'm getting into a top school). I've posted my profile on the admissions consultants' sub-forums too, but a few peer reviews could never hurt. Thanks in advance.

1) Basic demographic: 27 y/o male, Chinese-born US citizen; will be 28 by the start of my MBA program (Fall 2010).

2) Education: BA, double major - International Affairs & Foreign Languages, GPA 3.5 (GPA for I.A. major 3.6); studied overseas in Vladivostok; GMAT 710 (Q44 V44 AWA6.0).

3) Work experience: Total - 5+ years. My last title was Client management supervisor/business development manager for a small Russian financial consulting firm in Moscow. Prior to college I enlisted in the US Army for 4 years (promoted to Sergeant after about 3 years in service, but I had a first line supervisor position after about 2 years), I did supply management and human resources administration in the army. I supervised subordinates in both my Army and civilian jobs. Other minor gigs during college include summer internships at a small local NGO and at a gigantic state-owned company in Beijing (Sinochem).

4) Extracurriculars: Model UN, treasurer for student government, teacher's assistant and tutor for the Chinese language department, gaming society, & honor board.

5) Career goals: helping to finance and increasing the profitability of renewable energy enterprises; promoting renewable energy cooperation/trade between the US and China; or as a backup, become a financial analyst.

6) Academic pursuits: I want a joint degree in MBA and international relations/studies (fall '10 enrollment). My academic concentrations will be finance, international business, and Sino-Russian relations (on the IR side).
I've shortlisted a few desirable dual degree programs:
1. Wharton/Lauder (dream program) MBA/MA int'l studies
2. Yale SOM MBA/MA IR
3. Chicago Booth MBA/MA IR
4. Ann Arbor Ross MBA/MA regional studies
5. Foster - U. of Washington (backup school) MBA/MA int'l studies

6. Monterey Institute of International Studies (extra back up - hopefully it won't come to this)

BIG RED FLAGS:

1. CURRENTLY UNEMPLOYED: I left my company in Russia because they failed to get me a work permit. I've been unemployed for more than 3 months (prepping for GMAT during that time); I accepted a scholarship to do some independent studies in Beijing for a year, but I'm not sure how well that offsets the unemployed bum factor.

2. INADEQUATE WORK EXPERIENCE: This inadequacy does not stem from overall length or lack of leadership experience, but rather from the short length of time working in the financial services industry. I worked at the Russian firm for less than 1 year, and I wasn't even an accountant/auditor/lawyer (just a glorified customer service manager).

3. JACK OF ALL TRAITS: I have not stayed in one field for too long. I've jumped from logistics to HR to financial services (although the army job switches weren't my decision). This could show a lack of focus and career uncertainty.

Any advice on how to mitigate these potential flaws would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Peer review for former enlisted soldier: [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2009, 20:38
Hi everyone,

After reading all these impressive member profiles I'm quite intimidated, but nevertheless I'll put myself out there (after all, if I can't even do it here, there is no way I'm getting into a top school). I've posted my profile on the admissions consultants' sub-forums too, but a few peer reviews could never hurt. Thanks in advance.

1) Basic demographic: 27 y/o male, Chinese-born US citizen; will be 28 by the start of my MBA program (Fall 2010).

2) Education: BA, double major - International Affairs & Foreign Languages, GPA 3.5 (GPA for I.A. major 3.6); studied overseas in Vladivostok; GMAT 710 (Q44 V44 AWA6.0).
Do you mind telling us what school you meant to? Or atleast what tier? Also, what percentile does a Q44 correspond to?

3) Work experience: Total - 5+ years. My last title was Client management supervisor/business development manager for a small Russian financial consulting firm in Moscow. Prior to college I enlisted in the US Army for 4 years (promoted to Sergeant after about 3 years in service, but I had a first line supervisor position after about 2 years), I did supply management and human resources administration in the army. I supervised subordinates in both my Army and civilian jobs. Other minor gigs during college include summer internships at a small local NGO and at a gigantic state-owned company in Beijing (Sinochem).
International experience... very nice. Were you deployed at all while you were in the Army?


4) Extracurriculars: Model UN, treasurer for student government, teacher's assistant and tutor for the Chinese language department, gaming society, & honor board.
Any extracurriculars/hobbies/community service after college?


5) Career goals: helping to finance and increasing the profitability of renewable energy enterprises; promoting renewable energy cooperation/trade between the US and China; or as a backup, become a financial analyst.
You're career goals could be a little more specific- what exactly do you want to do after your MBA (i.e. what position, what function, what industry, what company)?. Also, I don't see anywhere in your background where you've been involved in the renewable energy field. Why do you want to do renewable energy? You career goals should logically tie your past experiences with your future goals. The MBA should fill in the gaps in your skillset.

6) Academic pursuits: I want a joint degree in MBA and international relations/studies (fall '10 enrollment). My academic concentrations will be finance, international business, and Sino-Russian relations (on the IR side).
I've shortlisted a few desirable dual degree programs:
1. Wharton/Lauder (dream program) MBA/MA int'l studies
2. Yale SOM MBA/MA IR
3. Chicago Booth MBA/MA IR
4. Ann Arbor Ross MBA/MA regional studies
5. Foster - U. of Washington (backup school) MBA/MA int'l studies
Makes sense considering your past experience. Just make sure it ties in with your future goals


6. Monterey Institute of International Studies (extra back up - hopefully it won't come to this)

BIG RED FLAGS:

1. CURRENTLY UNEMPLOYED: I left my company in Russia because they failed to get me a work permit. I've been unemployed for more than 3 months (prepping for GMAT during that time); I accepted a scholarship to do some independent studies in Beijing for a year, but I'm not sure how well that offsets the unemployed bum factor.
Are you currently in Russia or the US? Also, what else have you been doing with your time besides studying for the GMAT?

2. INADEQUATE WORK EXPERIENCE: This inadequacy does not stem from overall length or lack of leadership experience, but rather from the short length of time working in the financial services industry. I worked at the Russian firm for less than 1 year, and I wasn't even an accountant/auditor/lawyer (just a glorified customer service manager).
Well it seems like you had a legitimate reason for leaving your company. I wouldn't let it get you down too much.

3. JACK OF ALL TRAITS: I have not stayed in one field for too long. I've jumped from logistics to HR to financial services (although the army job switches weren't my decision). This could show a lack of focus and career uncertainty.
I'm currently in the military so I know all about the job switching. I wouldn't worry about it too long. As I said above, it appears you have legitimate reasons for the frequent job switches.

Any advice on how to mitigate these potential flaws would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Peer review for former enlisted soldier: [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2009, 23:38
RE: swbluedevil,

Thanks for the quick response. To continue the discussion...

Quote:
Do you mind telling us what school you meant to? Or atleast what tier? Also, what percentile does a Q44 correspond to?


I'm not too familiar with ranking of my school or the ranking system commonly used on this forum, but I went to Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR) - a small liberal arts college with a decent reputation in the social sciences; I graduated in May '08.
My GMAT percentages: 710 (92%), Q44 (69%), V44 (97%), AWA 6.0 (90%).

Quote:
International experience... very nice. Were you deployed at all while you were in the Army?


I deployed to Kuwait & Iraq to start the war, but I consider enduring El Paso TX for 3+ years a greater accomplishment. :roll:

Quote:
Any extracurriculars/hobbies/community service after college?


I have hobbies, but nothing that involves any serious organizational or leadership opportunities... could I explain this away by saying I haven't been out of college too long?

Quote:
Your career goals could be a little more specific- what exactly do you want to do after your MBA (i.e. what position, what function, what industry, what company)?. Also, I don't see anywhere in your background where you've been involved in the renewable energy field. Why do you want to do renewable energy? You career goals should logically tie your past experiences with your future goals. The MBA should fill in the gaps in your skillset.


You bring up good questions; I didn't want to get into too much detail so as to keep the profile short and readable. Also, to be honest, these are questions I can't articulately answer with great specificity yet (especially since its midnight & I'm unusually tired for some reason).

Quote:
Are you currently in Russia or the US? Also, what else have you been doing with your time besides studying for the GMAT?


I'm currently in the US. Unfortunately, besides the GMAT, I've done practically NOTHING since I left my job in Mid-April '09. However, I accepted a scholarship to do some independent studying in Beijing starting Sep 09; but for the next month, its campus visits & application essays. I wonder whether this will be a red flag factor as well...?
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GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
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Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 3

Re: Peer review for former enlisted soldier: [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 00:25
Quote:
Quote:
Do you mind telling us what school you meant to? Or atleast what tier? Also, what percentile does a Q44 correspond to?


I'm not too familiar with ranking of my school or the ranking system commonly used on this forum, but I went to Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR) - a small liberal arts college with a decent reputation in the social sciences; I graduated in May '08.
My GMAT percentages: 710 (92%), Q44 (69%), V44 (97%), AWA 6.0 (90%).


I do know that Wharton prefers to see an 80th percentile or higher in the quant portion of the GMAT. Based on your major, I'm guessing you haven't taken too many quant classes (stats, microecon, calculus, etc). If you have the time, it may not be a bad idea to take some quant classes through extension or at a local community college.

Quote:
Quote:
International experience... very nice. Were you deployed at all while you were in the Army?


I deployed to Kuwait & Iraq to start the war, but I consider enduring El Paso TX for 3+ years a greater accomplishment. :roll:


Deployment experience- that's good! Might be some good material for your essays.

Quote:
Quote:
Any extracurriculars/hobbies/community service after college?


I have hobbies, but nothing that involves any serious organizational or leadership opportunities... could I explain this away by saying I haven't been out of college too long?


No, I don't that would be a good explanation, especially since you are currently unemployed. What hobbies do you have exactly?

Quote:
Quote:
Your career goals could be a little more specific- what exactly do you want to do after your MBA (i.e. what position, what function, what industry, what company)?. Also, I don't see anywhere in your background where you've been involved in the renewable energy field. Why do you want to do renewable energy? You career goals should logically tie your past experiences with your future goals. The MBA should fill in the gaps in your skillset.


You bring up good questions; I didn't want to get into too much detail so as to keep the profile short and readable. Also, to be honest, these are questions I can't articulately answer with great specificity yet (especially since its midnight & I'm unusually tired for some reason).


Understood. Keep in mind that a clear idea of what you want to get out of your MBA is very important, especially in this economy. I feel this is especially true for joint degree applicants since you'll need a very convincing reason to justify the additional opportunity cost (more time in school, more time out of the work force, etc).

Quote:
Quote:
Are you currently in Russia or the US? Also, what else have you been doing with your time besides studying for the GMAT?


I'm currently in the US. Unfortunately, besides the GMAT, I've done practically NOTHING since I left my job in Mid-April '09. However, I accepted a scholarship to do some independent studying in Beijing starting Sep 09; but for the next month, its campus visits & application essays. I wonder whether this will be a red flag factor as well...?


Yeah, I think it may be a red flag...but it's definitely good you have something lined up. Although, it'd be better if you had a job lined up. Maybe you can say you spent this period looking for employment (totally understandable in this economy) and academic pursuits. I really don't think it will be looked upon favorably to have spent 5 months mostly working on the GMAT, visiting schools, and working on application essays. I say this not to be mean or harsh, but because there will be plenty of candidates in highly demanding careers who are doing those things in addition to working 60+ hours a week.

These are just my candid opinions... hope you don't take offense to anything. Just trying to help a fellow vet out...
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Re: Peer review for former enlisted soldier: [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 10:25
Quote:
I do know that Wharton prefers to see an 80th percentile or higher in the quant portion of the GMAT. Based on your major, I'm guessing you haven't taken too many quant classes (stats, microecon, calculus, etc). If you have the time, it may not be a bad idea to take some quant classes through extension or at a local community college.


You're right, maybe I could get some math classes in while I'm in Beijing.

Quote:
Deployment experience- that's good! Might be some good material for your essays.


Well... I might have to leave out the best material though: "field sanitation", hehehe...

Quote:
No, I don't think that would be a good explanation, especially since you are currently unemployed. What hobbies do you have exactly?


Well, most of my hobbies are not group/organization based (i.e. swimming, hiking, Go, chess, etc). The closest thing I could think of as far as "community service/volunteering" goes would be a recent neighborhood cleanup of a huge drainage area which needed some serious work so as to comply with county inspection standards.

Quote:
Understood. Keep in mind that a clear idea of what you want to get out of your MBA is very important, especially in this economy. I feel this is especially true for joint degree applicants since you'll need a very convincing reason to justify the additional opportunity cost (more time in school, more time out of the work force, etc).


The joint degree will not be hard to justify for me.
1. Regardless of my MBA concentration, given my language abilities and past experiences, I will inevitably be a valuable asset in the field of international business - I must have proper knowledge of assessing int'l political environments.
2. The extra investment in time (& by extension, money) does not apply to all schools; Wharton & Booth have 2 year joint degree programs. Even if I spend an extra year, in the grand scheme of things, I still haven't fallen too much behind, since I finished my undergrad in 3 years instead of the usual 4.
3. The second IR degree is a logical extension of my undergrad academic pursuit/interest, I want to study it because I truly love it.
4. Its always good to cultivate multiple career options and remain flexible, especially in this market.

Quote:
Yeah, I think it may be a red flag...but it's definitely good you have something lined up. Although, it'd be better if you had a job lined up. Maybe you can say you spent this period looking for employment (totally understandable in this economy) and academic pursuits. I really don't think it will be looked upon favorably to have spent 5 months mostly working on the GMAT, visiting schools, and working on application essays. I say this not to be mean or harsh, but because there will be plenty of candidates in highly demanding careers who are doing those things in addition to working 60+ hours a week.

These are just my candid opinions... hope you don't take offense to anything. Just trying to help a fellow vet out...


Please remember, I served in the Army - that is not an institution which takes people's feelings into strong consideration, so you (& anyone else reading this thread) can be as harsh and unforgiving as you want. I need the close scrutiny and skeptical questions now just so I can be prepared to deal with it come essays/interview time. I deeply appreciate the fact that you're helping me out as a fellow vet, and no offense will be taken.

But to answer your question, yes, as a matter of fact I have been searching for jobs, the scholarship was a backup plan, which, unfortunately, I would have to resort to at this point.
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Re: Peer review for former enlisted soldier: [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 10:44
Quote:
Quote:
Yeah, I think it may be a red flag...but it's definitely good you have something lined up. Although, it'd be better if you had a job lined up. Maybe you can say you spent this period looking for employment (totally understandable in this economy) and academic pursuits. I really don't think it will be looked upon favorably to have spent 5 months mostly working on the GMAT, visiting schools, and working on application essays. I say this not to be mean or harsh, but because there will be plenty of candidates in highly demanding careers who are doing those things in addition to working 60+ hours a week.

These are just my candid opinions... hope you don't take offense to anything. Just trying to help a fellow vet out...


Please remember, I served in the Army - that is not an institution which takes people's feelings into strong consideration, so you (& anyone else reading this thread) can be as harsh and unforgiving as you want. I need the close scrutiny and skeptical questions now just so I can be prepared to deal with it come essays/interview time. I deeply appreciate the fact that you're helping me out as a fellow vet, and no offense will be taken.

But to answer your question, yes, as a matter of fact I have been searching for jobs, the scholarship was a backup plan, which, unfortunately, I would have to resort to at this point.


Oh good... keep in mind I come from the Air Force... we tend to be more in touch with our "softer" side.
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Re: Peer review for former enlisted soldier: [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 12:36
Quote:
Oh good... keep in mind I come from the Air Force... we tend to be more in touch with our "softer" side.


Ah yes... that softer side is reflected by the fact that you guys kill people from a distance of at least 5-10 miles. 8-) :twisted:
Re: Peer review for former enlisted soldier:   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2009, 12:36
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