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Please evaluate my very unusual profile!

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Please evaluate my very unusual profile! [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2011, 08:15
Hello,

I need some help evaluating my profile. I have done very well academically but struggled a bit in terms of finding what I wanted to do in life. I finally know which sector I want to be in (Bio medical/ Healthcare/ Nonprofit)
This is my profile
GMAT - 710 ( I have to retake again since my score just expired)
Undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Louisville (GPA =3.75) (I immigrated from a developing country with my family and just joined uni in the first city I landed in)
Graduate degree in Accounting! (I know its hard to believe) from the University of Texas at Austin (Ranked #1 program) GPA =3.43
Work Experience - 1.5 years in a crappy job but a good company, 2 years in Big 4 accounting (I was laid off) and 2 years at the National Institutes of Health as an Auditor (investigating fraud in grants and contracts to Universities, Biotech companies and Research institutions).
Extra-curriculars - Mentorship programs at work, Volunteering at the Clinical Center, Bio-medical Research Funding initiatives, Toastmasters

I have a CPA as well.

I am targeting schools in California because that is where I want to end up living/ working. Want to pursue a career in Healthcare Management, Biotech/ Pharma, Non-Profit (related to healthcare/biotech). I want to get out of being pigeonholed as an auditor though I would not mind a finance related role in one of the sectors I mentioned. Also am I too old for an MBA (31)? Like I said before I had a weird career trajectory which I am most concerned about (getting degrees from the best accounting school after majoring in engineering - I admit I am a little crazy).

Also will my affiliation with NIH help any in getting admitted (since NIH pretty much funds every school out there)? Also how will private employers view my work ex at NIH? Can I target working at a Hospital or University post graduation in a senior role?

Target schools:
1. UC Berkeley
2. UCLA
3. Stanford (I know, impossible)
4. USC
5. Columbia/ NYU

Basically I have strong academics but some issues with my work exp, as a result of a lack of focus and few other factors. What are my odds to get into these schools ? Any recommendations of good schools for my profile ?

I appreciate your suggestions.

Thanks.
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Re: Please evaluate my very unusual profile! [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2011, 09:13
Expert's post
Hmm. you DO have a tough and unusual profile. Basically all the numbers seem good, but the career history is a bit wacky. Really, your key to make a convincing argument with those goals is to show how you got involved in MORE than just accounting in Healthcare. If you were just hacking away at the audits at NIH it's gonna be tough to go with those goals. If you have done more, then it's awesome but you are gonna have to milk that cow to the very last drop!
I do like your extra currics in healthcare. They show a dedication and that you have done SOMETHING concrete already to make that jump and that you aren't just "magically" waiting for the MBA to help you do that.

Calling Stanford impossible is what I call "honest self evaluation". Given your background and age, it's gonna be a heck of a long shot. At the other schools you have a fighting chance. You can also look into Duke, Kellogg and UNC which for various and sundry reasons are all good for healthcare folks like yourself.

The second key (which is hard to see from this point) is to make yourself SHINE. You gotta give them more than "I'm an auditor" but even when you are doing audit work, that you have always given your most and gotten the most in return. That, and building yourself a logical career arc with your goals at the end are the two most important things for you to get those accepts.
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Re: Please evaluate my very unusual profile! [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2011, 10:18
So what are my chances realistically? Where should I apply and where should I not bother?
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Re: Please evaluate my very unusual profile! [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2011, 03:24
Expert's post
Well I think that if you apply to the other five schools you have listed (including NYU) you should pull an admit or two. Your school list is a good one, and your profile is interesting. You have a very sweet GMAT. Just gotta think through that story and those goals reeeeeally well, so that they make sense, so that they seem ambitious reachable and logical all at the same time.
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Re: Please evaluate my very unusual profile! [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2011, 09:20
Anyone else??? Please Help!
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Re: Please evaluate my very unusual profile! [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2011, 10:55
Expert's post
Hi roaringtiger,

Thanks for posting. You do have a non-traditional background, and there are several factors you will need to address in your application. I recommend you read these case studies for help addressing these points:

1. Termination From Big 4: http://www.stacyblackman.com/2011/09/15 ... -a-layoff/

2. Transition from Audit to other career: http://www.stacyblackman.com/2011/09/08 ... eer-goals/


Here is some school specific advice for some of the programs you are looking at:

Haas: http://www.stacyblackman.com/category/u ... as-advice/
UCLA: http://www.stacyblackman.com/category/u ... on-advice/
Stanford: http://www.stacyblackman.com/category/stanford-advice/


Best,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Please evaluate my very unusual profile! [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2011, 12:04
Also is 32/33 too old to pursue an MBA program? I mean I look much younger than my age!
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Re: Please evaluate my very unusual profile! [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2011, 08:37
Also is 32/33 too old for an MBA program?
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Re: Please evaluate my very unusual profile! [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2011, 22:23
roaringtiger wrote:
Also is 32/33 too old for an MBA program?


No if you can tell the adcom why is the right time for you to do an MBA. Moreover, you will find a lot of MBA students in that age range so you are definitely not going to be an outlier. On the higher side of the average age? Yes.
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Re: Please evaluate my very unusual profile! [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 05:04
Hi,

Regarding the age concerns this article would help you http://futureworks.co.in/knowledgecente ... ondays.htm
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Re: Please evaluate my very unusual profile!   [#permalink] 23 Nov 2011, 05:04
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