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Poor GPA, Gaps but Solid Work Ex , GMAT

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Poor GPA, Gaps but Solid Work Ex , GMAT [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2011, 05:44
I have a very unique profile. Basically, I come from a very poor farming background where I had to work my way up while feeding my family. As a result, I got to attend university 6 years after I finished high school. I worked for a year after graduation and then enrolled for a Masters degree in Economics. At the university (ies), I was working odd jobs to support my studies, tution and living while studying and as a result my grades were very low.
However, I am a fighter and persist in life and now here I am, 30 years old, with a Masters degree in Economics, a GMAT Score of 690, with around 4-5 years of solid work experince at the top level in development/ Multilateral development agencies (some of which overlaps with my Masters), including investment and finacial analysis for Social businesses.

Please see my history and background chronologically at the end of this message.

My questions are as follows:
1. What are my chances at the top schools?
2. I have worked for 6 years as a grassroot worker even before my Bachelors. When I write my essays, should I just focus on the time from graduation onwards OR should I talk about the time before graduation. As I see it, the pros are- Helps explain why I went to late to University, Adds work experience to my profile, co curricular activities, motivation and tenacity. The cons are- It just opens up a can of questions, shows inconsistency...
3. Should I talk about my economic situation in my application to Schools in order to explain my low grades and delays in higher education. Or will it sound undignified and opportunistic.
4. Any top schools that you recommend (Country does not matter) and would think would encourage such profiles and accept them
5. As I was a consultant in my last job for a Multilateral agency, I was able to work full time from home and took this opportunity to enroll and finish Masters in Economics. When I prepare my application, will the schools accept the fact that I was working full time and studying at the same time and would they count the work experience?
6. Any other suggestions/ comments/ feedbacks are most welcome
7. How can you help me?

-------Profile------------
Basic demographic info
Age- 30, Gender- Male, Nationality- Indian

History
1998- Completed High School
1998-2004- Worked on my family farm and was a volunteer for a NGO working on rural development
2004-2007- Decided to study further. BA in Economics 2007 (GPA- 55/100) fron a well known University in India
2007-2008- Worked for 1 year in Delhi (Development and Policy making)
2008-2010- MA in Economics (GPA- 59/100) from a less known but recognised University in India
2008-Feb 2011- (Yes overlapping with Masters)- Worked in an International agency as a country level consultant on Development and Poverty Eradication. Solid work experience and references.
GMAT: 690

Aims
Short/Long term goals: Focus on a career in Social businesses and Social enterprises that have impact on poor and rural communities
Schools: Aiming for someof the following- Haas, LBS, Oxford, Cambridge
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Poor GPA, Gaps but Solid Work Ex , GMAT

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