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Prof eval, college senior

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Prof eval, college senior [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2010, 02:45
Hi Alex,

First of all thanks loads for your help on this forum and in advance, i have tried (yet failed, miserably) to keep this as short as possible. Please forgive how long it's become. I was looking for an opinion on my chances at an MBA straight from college:

Age at matriculation: 22
Undergrad: Oxford, Law
Finalist and Winner in several debate competitions at university

Expec GMAT: 700+

Work Exp:
- top tier international law firm (one month)
- top tier IB (less than a month)
- Conducted market research on middle east
- Legal Advice Centre help with a City law firm
- Goldman Sachs/Uni of Warwick Entrepreneurship Scheme at age 15
- Recently founded community organisation to help underachieving schools with university and internship applications. hired and managed 15 staff/volunteers and are now mentoring 60+ students. an expansion to double/treble size is very likely by the end of 2011.

Member of Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (while it existed..lol)
Featured in documentary on British Muslims, screened at National Theatre
Sports Leaders Level 1 Award in Community Sports Leadership

Lang: Arabic and Farsi, fluent
Career ambitions: Islamic finance/social enterprise

I also maintain a blog on politics, which doesn't have a huge readership but gives me an outlet at least.



My main choice is harvard because:

a) they have a strong Islamic studies department i can explore alongside the MBA program
b) they're more inclined to younger students than other colleges
c) case study method is exactly how I've studied law for the last three years

I want to do an MBA, and do it now, because:

a) masters in finance or economics almost always require quantitative undergraduate degrees which i dont have
b) an MBA helps me make a career transition i plan on making anyway, so why not now. my thinking is though i could gain more from an MBA after some work experience, i could also gain more from my early career with an MBA under my belt.
c) MBA helps social enterprise aim
d) in islamic finance, whether a deal is islamically valid or not is decided by advisory boards of banks or islamic institutions. appealing those decisions is possible, and to do so would require a thorough grounding in business; i can build on my law degree and debate experience to develop a sharp edge in that role.
e) my law degree combined with an MBA can help me to tackle the regulatory challenges islamic finance will inevitably face its early years, as well as helping to draft new types of financial instruments (e.g. tahawutt master agreement 2010, aka creation of islamic derivatives)


the story sounds slightly forced when put in bullet points and i apologise for how long this e-mail has become any help on my chances you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks again for your time and your efforts.

fizel
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Re: Prof eval, college senior [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2010, 11:27
To be honest, your chances are going to be slim. You have the foundations for a very promising career, but you have no full-time work experience. Even the 2+2 program is predicated on giving college juniors deferred admission - meaning that they matriculate *after* having gotten 2 years of full-time work experience after college.

Also, to be blunt, you will have a much harder time getting a job post-MBA. The reason is, as a young 20-something college grad, you may value educational credentials as the most important thing -- and value it way more than recruiters will. For most recruiters, it's just one line item on a resume that should have a body of work (i.e. full-time professional experience). Even if you get into the almighty Harvard, a lot of recruiters would more likely hire more experienced classmates (or MBAs from other schools with more experience) for MBA level positions. You will still more likely get placed in positions that aren't much different than what most college grads will get.

I know it may be hard for you to appreciate the value of full-time experience - because you don't know what you haven't really experienced yet (and summer internships don't really count because the mindset is totally different from actually working full-time - and the expectations in the office with your colleagues are also different; as an intern, people will treat you as a kid even if they won't ever say it to your face; as a full-time employee, the expectations are much higher).

Again, get some full-time experience. You have a promising future and an impressive college experience to date -- but you will be in way over your head in an MBA classroom at this point.

Also, no matter how mature you may feel you are, you are going to be in a classroom with people who have had a few years of experience, and who will be at a different stage in their lives. They will have a different set of priorities and perspectives that comes with their own personal experiences and growth/maturation that comes with having to be a working professional in the real world on a full-time basis. Those first few years are formative in many people's growth as a young adult. As a result, you will feel a bit out of place -- maybe even socially at times -- and even if you don't notice it, your classmates will overtly or subtly treat you with kid gloves - they won't see you as a true equal.

No amount of raw potential can compensate for perspective that comes from real world experience.

You may be ready in a few years, but not now.
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Re: Prof eval, college senior [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2010, 11:44
thanks for the advice. do they not offer deferred admission as i've heard they do sometimes? or what if i asked for it?
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Re: Prof eval, college senior [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 09:33
That's what the 2+2 program is for -- but you have to be a junior (one year away from graduating college) to apply. If that is who you are, by all means go for it.
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Re: Prof eval, college senior   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2010, 09:33
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