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Please Evaluate my profile

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Manager
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Please Evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2008, 11:37
Hi, I'm not sure what to expect from my applications and thought I might as well post here and see what people think.


Age: 25 (26 at matriculation)
White Male american
GMAT: 750 (41v. 50q)
GPA: 2.54 UG from #1 Liberal Arts college, 3.23 in 3 post grad classes, 3.5 in one summer semester while taking a year off from college. Theres a story here. Basically I was way ahead of the curve at my high school, to the extent that I left after my junior year without ever really learning to study. I got to college and made it through freshman year mostly on inertia, not great, not terrible. Sophomore year I hit the wall and my grades spiked downwards rapidly. I decided to take a year off to figure out what I'd gone to college for in the first place. had some interesting work experiences, returned and realized that I had no idea how to study/succeed. Senior year I got it together and made dean's list.

Work Experience: 3+ years, 4 if you count the internship year, but that was pregraduation so I tend not to. 1 year corporate finance at small network search company, 2 years project level finance at large federal contractor. Initially I was assigned to a training group where I completed the 18 month course in just 12 months. In the later stages of my time there I was responsible for interviewing and training new team members. Since being promoted in July I now manage the finances on 6 federal contracts, it's a very surreal experience because some of the contracts are classified so I have no idea what the people are doing or who they're doing it for, just that they generate expenses and revenue.

Extra Curriculars: I helped found a young employee's club at work to try and aid in the creation of a more coheisive youth culture. I now sit on the executive board and help plan, organize and run events for ~100 members.

I play adult ice hockey at a high level and have been playing since I was 4 years old. I also volunteer as a coach for a local youth ice hockey league and spent time as a volunteer referee for another youth league.

I've been involved off and on with adult kickball and ultimate frisbee leagues in my area since graduation as well.

In college I completed two National Outdoor Leadership School courses and was elected to student government. I helped found an ice hockey club, a magic:the gathering club, and was a student instructor/monitor for the campus climbing wall. My sophomore year, about the time I burned out on school, I began the process of trying out for the varsity hockey team but eventually quit before cuts took place.

Post School Career aspirations: my long term goal is to become a top executive at a small to mid-sized company. In order to make this transition I'm looking to go into management consulting for the typical "finishing school" period of 3 years or so to gain experience with the kinds of problems I will face once I move back into industry and to see a few different industries.

Schools: My dream school is Tuck. I went to a small liberal arts college in the middle of the woods. Once I figured out how to be successful there I loved it. I love ice hockey, mountains and snow. I went up to visit and it felt like going home. Hopefully I've made that clear to them. I've found over the past few years that I'm the most comfortable when I'm extremely involved.

Johnson is a close second for me, in many ways it's similar to Tuck, they share a lot of the same benefits of a small program with a community approach.

Kellogg - great MC placements, collaborative culture, highly involved student body. Slightly larger than I'd like but I think I'd be pretty happy here

Georgetown is my safety, my girlfriend could keep her current job, my cousin is a recent graduate and his experience sounds similar to what I'm looking for. He is following the same career track I am looking to get into.
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Manager
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Re: Please Evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2008, 19:41
I am a first year applicant so I have really no experience, this is just my opinion :wink:

I think you have an interesting profile and your low GPA is obviously offset by your high GMAT score. The one thing I'd be concerned about, especially with the fact that you want to go to into management consulting (which is a pretty intensive job, both professional and personal since you travel so much), is if you'd be able to hack it, with everything that happened with your undergraduate experience. I think if you spin what happened in undergrad, you have an interesting application- one thing you wrote, about "once you figured out how to be successful in school", is interesting and definitely needs some more elaboration- did you mature, get a new viewpoint, etc? The schools are going to want to know that what happened in undergrad doesn't happen again, I knew lots of brilliant people in HS who went off to university and just couldn't handle that sort of environment. They were smart but in the end they still weren't employable. But if you spin it as growing up/maturing/overcoming adversity I think it could definitely work for you. I'm not too familiar with Tuck's admission requirements but it seems like you show them lots of love and they are a school that particularly is partial to that. Hopefully somebody with more experience w/ Tuck can give you feedback. Good luck!
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Schools: Simon '11
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Re: Please Evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2008, 04:21
I agree with Meow that you sound like you have a very interesting profile. I'm also relatively new to this process so this is just my opinion.

You really need to explain how you turned around the GPA. If you can demonstrate how you've matured through the years you should be all set, there are plenty of people who had a hard time adjusting to college and showing that you had the maturity to take a year off could actually end up benefitting you. You sound like you have a convincing story, just show that in the essays. The GMAT score and post grad classes should show how you can hack it academically and make up for the GPA.

Your W/E and Leadership profiles also sound very solid so there should be no issue there at all.

Tuck is tricky sometimes, but since you've shown it love hopefully it will show you some. As you said, hockey is huge there. I'm a novice player myself, my parents didn't let me play when I was younger so I'm still learning, and was told that it's a huge part of the campus culture when I visited so that will definitely help you out with that process. I'd say you have a pretty good shot though. They are certainly also strong in MC.

Cornell should also be solid and is another school that tends to like it when you visit and show that you want to go there. Again, during my interview I was told that "ice hockey is the sport of choice" and that community is huge. But I'm sure you already know these things.

Otherwise I think you should be good to go...

I'm also applying to the same two schools so hopefully we'll both have some good luck this cycle.
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Re: Please Evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2008, 05:37
Thanks guys, I've been so worried about the GPA thing I'm afraid I set my sights too high. I can't fix the GPA now, but I've tried to do what I can to mitigate it. if college had gone on for another 3 or 4 years I would have been rock solid. Figuring out how to be successful was basically a matter of learning that I couldn't do it all myself. I needed to go to professors, form study groups, etc. I'd never had to do that before and it took me a while to get over myself.
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Re: Please Evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2008, 10:51
Sleepy wrote:
Thanks guys, I've been so worried about the GPA thing I'm afraid I set my sights too high. I can't fix the GPA now, but I've tried to do what I can to mitigate it. if college had gone on for another 3 or 4 years I would have been rock solid. Figuring out how to be successful was basically a matter of learning that I couldn't do it all myself. I needed to go to professors, form study groups, etc. I'd never had to do that before and it took me a while to get over myself.


Those are all good learning experiences though and would be excellent essay material in my opinion!
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Re: Please Evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2008, 13:02
I will just add that there's a lot of potential in your overall profile, but in my opinion, your reason to pursue an MBA sounds a lot like you want to go just to get your "ticket punched" and move on to an executive position in industry. While there's nothing wrong with that in itself, I strongly recommend fashioning a more pithy response to the "Why MBA?" question every school's application is going to ask of you.

And careful how you explain managing the finances on contracts where you "had no idea" (red flag!) what people were doing. I'm sure that's actually quite impressive that you're doing something like this, but be wary of the fact that it may come across differently to someone (such as an application reader) who's not intimately familiar with your industry.

Good luck, Sleepy.
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Re: Please Evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2008, 16:40
solaris1 wrote:
I will just add that there's a lot of potential in your overall profile, but in my opinion, your reason to pursue an MBA sounds a lot like you want to go just to get your "ticket punched" and move on to an executive position in industry. While there's nothing wrong with that in itself, I strongly recommend fashioning a more pithy response to the "Why MBA?" question every school's application is going to ask of you.

And careful how you explain managing the finances on contracts where you "had no idea" (red flag!) what people were doing. I'm sure that's actually quite impressive that you're doing something like this, but be wary of the fact that it may come across differently to someone (such as an application reader) who's not intimately familiar with your industry.

Good luck, Sleepy.


Just to be clear, I don't have no idea what they do because I'm not aware of what's going on at my job, I have no idea of what they do because it would be illegal for them to tell me.

I have a more indepth explaination of my career goals in my essays, but basically i want to switch career tracks to get out of the finance progression and get into the management progression, to be successful at that I need to pick up some new skills, school and a short stint consulting are the path to that. If wanting to go to school to want to learn things and advance my career in the direction I want counts as wanting to "get my ticket punched" then I suppose that is my motivation...I'm confused, why would you want to go to school other than learning things?
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Re: Please Evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2008, 17:49
I think you would really benefit from creating an alternative transcript.

Enroll in a few business related courses, get a high GPA and you should be good to go.

RF
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Re: Please Evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2008, 15:57
Sleepy, the "ticket punched" comment was in response to your "finishing school" remark in your original post - at least in my opinion, business schools like to think the education they offer is significantly more technical and insightful than one at a "finishing school." That's all I wanted to point out. Your third post outlines your motivations to go to business school more in depth and that's great.

And I understand at the classified nature of the work you do, but you may want to consider just talking about managing the finances for 6 federal contracts and leave it at that. To someone unfamiliar with your work, talk of "surreal" experiences managing finances for contracts so classified even you don't know much about them makes things a bit confusing.

Sleepy wrote:
Just to be clear, I don't have no idea what they do because I'm not aware of what's going on at my job, I have no idea of what they do because it would be illegal for them to tell me.

I have a more indepth explaination of my career goals in my essays, but basically i want to switch career tracks to get out of the finance progression and get into the management progression, to be successful at that I need to pick up some new skills, school and a short stint consulting are the path to that. If wanting to go to school to want to learn things and advance my career in the direction I want counts as wanting to "get my ticket punched" then I suppose that is my motivation...I'm confused, why would you want to go to school other than learning things?
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Re: Please Evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2008, 07:04
sorry solaris, I think I took that the wrong way. :oops:

I've been discussing the weirdness of my job in interviews instead of in essays. I've mentioned that working for a contractor that handles mostly classified contracts can be very isolating for employees in the context of discussing the recent graduates network I helped found, but other than that I haven't talked much about it. I think it's a differentiating factor, because I don't want to get lumped in with the other "finance" guys. My experience is kind of unique for finance because I work in such a strange industry. I'm not sure it that was the right way to handle it but that's mostly what I've done.
Re: Please Evaluate my profile   [#permalink] 27 Oct 2008, 07:04
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