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please help with my dilemma

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please help with my dilemma [#permalink] New post 08 Feb 2006, 11:04
Dear Linda:

In may 05, I graduated from a small college in Boston with a B.A. in finance and economics. My GPA:3.98, my GMAT: 750, AWA: 4.0 . I have 6 years of part-time work experience running my B&B (I am still doing it), 2 years experience of part-time work with a financial advisor, a 6 month internships in financial research, lots of volunteer work experience, and 2 years of being a co-president of an investment club. I am planning to apply to HBS, Yale, and Wharton in in October 06 (1st round). My long term goal is to open my own financial research and analysis company.

In august 05, I took a job as a mutual fund accountant. I quit that job in Dec. 05, because I was really unhappy there. Since then I have been working with a small network telecommunications company doing financial analysis, researching potential client and working on developing a new business idea and business plan with the company’s CEO. I really like working there. However, this job is unpaid. I thought I can get a paid position there after a few months, but they are not able to offer it to me. I also began to do some volunteer work because I have a 3-hour window one day a week.
So, since the company cannot offer me a paid position, they proposed that I continue working there as an apprentice. They promise to give me a very good recommendation and a good title, but my work is going to be unpaid.
I talked to my husband, and he is ok being the only breadwinner for the household.
However, I am not sure what to do now. Should I look for a paid job or should I continue to work with this company? If I start a new paid job, I will probably need to give up my volunteer work and my actual work experience is not going to be as good. The new job is probably going to be an entry level mindless job, as the one I quit. My main concern is how the school will look at an unpaid job. Is an interesting unpaid job better than a paid one? What should I do???? :(

Thanks, N
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Re: please help with my dilemma [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2006, 10:25
nadia0410 wrote:
Dear Linda:

In may 05, I graduated from a small college in Boston with a B.A. in finance and economics. My GPA:3.98, my GMAT: 750, AWA: 4.0 . I have 6 years of part-time work experience running my B&B (I am still doing it), 2 years experience of part-time work with a financial advisor, a 6 month internships in financial research, lots of volunteer work experience, and 2 years of being a co-president of an investment club. I am planning to apply to HBS, Yale, and Wharton in in October 06 (1st round). My long term goal is to open my own financial research and analysis company.

In august 05, I took a job as a mutual fund accountant. I quit that job in Dec. 05, because I was really unhappy there. Since then I have been working with a small network telecommunications company doing financial analysis, researching potential client and working on developing a new business idea and business plan with the company’s CEO. I really like working there. However, this job is unpaid. I thought I can get a paid position there after a few months, but they are not able to offer it to me. I also began to do some volunteer work because I have a 3-hour window one day a week.
So, since the company cannot offer me a paid position, they proposed that I continue working there as an apprentice. They promise to give me a very good recommendation and a good title, but my work is going to be unpaid.
I talked to my husband, and he is ok being the only breadwinner for the household.
However, I am not sure what to do now. Should I look for a paid job or should I continue to work with this company? If I start a new paid job, I will probably need to give up my volunteer work and my actual work experience is not going to be as good. The new job is probably going to be an entry level mindless job, as the one I quit. My main concern is how the school will look at an unpaid job. Is an interesting unpaid job better than a paid one? What should I do???? :(

Thanks, N


Nadia,
I'm not sure if Linda replied to your post, so I'll take a stab at it. You definitely have an unusual dilemmma. The fact that your work is unpaid is not a deal-breaker, but given that your job is not "social impact" the fact that you are not paid diminishes the value it adds to your application. I think the reasons why the company can't pay you could be significant--could help you or hurt depending on what they are.
I would not advise you to give up this position for a "lesser" paid position, but I would advise that you explore ways to enhance your application given this job, for example, exploring (or continuing) entrepreneurial ventures, perhaps a part-time paid job, or a community position with unusual leadership or responsibility.
You obviously have some excellent qualifications for the schools you are targeting, but you also have (at least) three "blemishes" that many other applicants to these schools won't have: (1) comparatively brief work history, (2) an unsuccessful / aborted job experience, and (3) now an unpaid position. Given this, you may want to consider waiting to apply until you have a stronger profile or adding some less competitive schools to your list (though Yale is doable).
I hope this helps.
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