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Hoping you can help me in my application process. Thank you in Advance.
White Male, 30, Applying now for 2013
Undergrad - BS in Computer Engineering from Kettering University (Formerly GMI) 10/2000 - 6/2006
GPA: 83/100 (For some reason, my college didn't go by the normal 4.0 scale) This has been translated to 2.9 - 3.1 depending on the formula used. My gpa suffered and I have a few failed classes. I attribute this mostly to my father being terminally ill from a rare neurological disease and my having to commute back and forth from school/home/hospital constantly my first two years and then when he died my junior year, I kind of lost focus for a while. Not really sure if I want to, or should, include much of this story on my application. I have gotten past all issues with this in the many years since, but don't know how to reflect that to the adcoms.
GMAT: Total: 750 Verbal: 42 Quant: 49 AWA: 3.5 IR: 8 GRE: Verbal: 161 Quant: 165 AW: 4.0 I'm sure I could raise my GMAT score at least 10-20 on a second attempt if it would make much an actual difference in my application.
Work experience: 10 years to date, all working as a civilian for the US Army. 3 years as a co-op in college and two after graduation doing software development 2 years leading the software development team. No direct supervisory role, but I managed/directed the work of 3 govt and 6 contractors and myself 3 years as customer and capability lead. Worked with customers to determine areas where my team could improve their business practices. Designed software requirements and specificationss, guided the development, deployed new products upon completion and designed the training for their use Volunteered to take a 6 month developmental assignment in Afghanistan, served as the Lead Engineer in SE Asia for a major vehicle system. Led the teams of contractors in diagnosing and assessing systemic issues affecting the vehicles, coordinated with state-side engineering to develop solutions and workarounds to problems, served as the final approver in QA/QC and battle damage repairs. 1 year working under the CIO as the project lead for the development of an enterprise-wide Workforce Planning System that is still in progress. This includes coordinating with the heads of each organization at our location to develop a system that will completely change and improve the culture on how workforce planning, hiring and organizational alignment is conducted.
Career Path: I am primarily interested in persuing an entrepreneurial/general management concentration for my MBA. With my background in computer engineering and software system development, I hope to start my own business doing similar work
More details (do these really help/matter?): I am an avid reader, poker player, triathlete, volunteer referee for youth soccer, serve as the Alumni Advisor to my college fraternity (Sigma Chi), serve on the board of the Detroit Alumni Chapter of Sigma Chi, have completed half of the required classes to be a certified chef at a local community college in the evenings over the past two years
I would like to keep my job while I work because my employer will pay tuition if I do, and I am still paying off a very large debt from my undergrad. Therefore, I am looking at schools that I can attend part-time from the Detroit, MI area. The main schools that I have found so far that fit this and my goals are: Chicago/Booth, Michigan/Ross and MIT/Sloan, with Sloan being the lowest on my list due to the extra, occasional travel requirements. I would love to go full time, but do not think that the cost/benefit makes sense seeing as I would have to take out loans to cover tuition if I were to go to a full-time program.
Are these realistic schools to be applying to, despite my GPA? Are there better programs that I should also be considering? How should I tailor my career goals to be more appealing to the adcoms?
First of all, congrats on that excellent GMAT. This is the single best thing you can do to offset your GPA. (although it doesn't eliminate the low GPA). However, along with your story, I don't feel like it should really harm you (you should let the Adcom's know, in my opinion in a very sober and direct manner, just like you did here). with this GMAT score + your excellent work experience, plus all the nice extras (yes, they do matter... school do for example like athletes), you should do quite well at the programs you have mentioned. If you so desired, you would even have a good shot at getting into the full-time programs of the above schools (and in fact have a profile good enough for any Bschool, if you ask me). The question I would ask myself (and only you can answer this is: would it be worth it for me to apply to fulltime progs anyways? if so, which ones? I'm temped to say Stanford might be worth it to leave your job, because it fits so well into what you do, and you would have a shot.