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Please evaluate if MBA timing is right

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Please evaluate if MBA timing is right [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2013, 11:27
Hi everyone,

I really need someone's opinion on whether it is the right time in my life/career to go for an MBA.

Here is my story:

I'm a 26-year-old male, non-native English speaker from Eastern Europe. I came to the United States at the age of 20 and it took me 4 years to complete my bachelor's in the US (I already had 3 years of the university in Europe under my belt but had to start all-over again here). I graduated from San Francisco State University in 2011 with a BS in Business Administration with Marketing concentration. GPA 3.85, Magna Cum Laude, top 5% of my class. While in school was a VP of Marketing at a student club, worked full-time, did some volunteer work at Upwardly Global (helps newcomers adapt to American business culture/teaches career skills, etc).

2 months before graduation I accepted an Assistant Operations Manager position with a local transportation/parking company. While it was not exactly a "dream job", a full-time job offer 2 months before graduation was viewed by me as a good option compared to the uncertainty of looking for a better (more corporate, with more potential - this is how I think about it now) job. My major functions in the job were HR, recruiting, operations, inside sales, and some business development.

However, I always felt that I want to do something different....but was not sure how to get there. I did some attempts in searching for jobs, but didn't find anything that I thought could lead to a career. Had few interviews at recruiting companies (thought it was a good idea to utilize my HR experience), but none of them lead to an offer...At the end of my first year with the company (9 months after graduation) I started thinking about the possibility of getting an MBA. Why MBA? I thought it could lead me to where I wanted to be in terms of a career progression which at that point meant (and still means now) finding an entry-level position at a global company where I can utilize my international background and knowledge of the foreign language. At that point I did just minor research on MBA candidate requirements, and decided to start GMAT preparation.

Official GMAT test scores:
1) June 2012: 570
2) November 2012: 600
3) December 2012: 640

After 1.5 years with the company (in October 2012) I was promoted to the Operations Manager of a large account at Stanford Hospital, managing 35 employees, salaried position, etc...However, the company is small and this is the highest I can be promoted to (unless the owner/president vacates his position:)

Here is the most important part:

I don't mind operations, I just don't want to stay with my current company/industry. I will be 27 in less than 3 months and I feel the clock is ticking every day...I feel like I'm in the dead-end job and hope that MBA enrollment can at least give me a chance to start everything all over again. As you know, most corporate jobs' recruiting is very structured, and I feel like I missed the train after my undergrad...I realized it lately when I almost made it to JP Morgan Chase's Credit Underwriter Program but was rejected last minute because the program was designed only for this year's college graduates.

After a thorough research I realize that I don't have the experience nor GMAT score required to get into a top 20 school (and yes, I have read tons of forums where people suggest not to waste time/money on less prestigious programs). But at the same time I don't have a luxury of time because I got my bachelor's at the age when some people already start thinking about their MBA having some solid experience. My MBA goal is not to lend a 100K/year job; 65-75K would be enough to start with. I just want to get a job in the industry/company (marketing/operations, may be some corporate finance) where I can grow, I guess a rotational program could be a great start.

I also consider other options, such as getting a specialized master, a certificate, or quitting my job and start looking for an entry-level internship (which are primarily reserved to matriculated students) . But at this time I need to decide on whether to go forward with MBA applications for Fall 2013.

Again, my goal for an MBA is to re-brand and give my-self another chance landing a job in a more corporate environment with potential for growth. Preferably, I would like to do an MBA in New York, as I have always wanted to try to live there at least for a couple of years).

My target schools are:

1) NYU - yes, because it's in New York. Small chances to get in, but want to give it a shot in Round 3.
2) Zicklin School of Business in NYC, seems like a good deal @ $50,000 for an entire program.
3) Boston College/Boston University - my GMAT is within their ranges; Boston seems like a possible alternative to New York.
4) Thunderbird - very interested in international exposure and a possibility of landing a job with a multinational.

As I have been going crazy last couple of months trying to juggle multiples ideas and plans in my mind, ideally I would appreciate that if someone who reads my post can put it straight and conclude: 1) "Yes, give it a shot as you have a chance"; or 2) "No way you can get in a program this year, forget about MBA at this point in your life and find other ways to accelerate/change a career trajectory". If someone can share his/her similar experience, would be much appreciated as well.

Thank you in advance to all readers and responders!
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