Linda and Paul,
I'm considering applying to business school in 2012 or 2013. I'm somewhat of a non-traditional applicant, and was hoping you could gauge the caliber of my profile and suggest what range of schools I should target. (I'm interested in both US and international full-time programs.) I'm also receptive to any advice you have to boost the caliber of my profile during the next year or two. Many thanks.
Demographic: 29 / Male / Chinese-American
Work Experience: 17 months as a patent attorney at a large patent litigation firm in NYC. 18 months as a patent attorney at a patent prosecution boutique in NYC. Current position as of 3 months as a senior contracts negotiator for a F500 medical device company in Silicon Valley. Admitted to practice law in NY and CA and before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
GMAT: 740 (49Q, 47V, 6.0)
B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan, GPA: ~3.4.
J.D., Vanderbilt University, GPA: ~3.1, Law & Business concentration.
EC / Volunteer: None relevant, although I have a handful of hobbies I'm passionate about that keep me well-rounded. This is one area I certainly have to shore up and I plan to seek out opportunities that allow me to demonstrate leadership, initiative and innovation.
Languages: Taishanese-Chinese, French (basic), Mandarin-Chinese (learning and hope to reach some level of fluency when I would apply).
I've worked as a patent attorney for a large law firm, and then in a very small firm, and realized that I prefer working on behalf of one company, rather than in a firm servicing multiple clients. At my current F500 company I have somewhat of a hybrid role; I am officially in the finance group and I negotiate the sales contracts for the sale of capital equipment and also work on a variety of legal projects.
My reasons for going to business school are:
(1) I foresee a lot of growth within my company in the foreseeable future, and want to be positioned to take advantage of newly created, higher level roles in the company (legal or non-legal), particularly on the international level. Given my current role and skill set, I feel I may not be positioned to take advantage of higher level roles.
(2) If I sense that I am not reaching higher level roles in the company, I want to gain more business skills and leverage them with my current skills to make a career change. Most of my education / career path has been very narrowly tailored to IP law. B-school would give me exposure to other sectors to help facilitate a career change.
Thanks for your inquiry.
My first thought is "why are you waiting until 2012 or 2013?" You will have almost 4 years of work experience by Fall 2012 and you will be 30 years old. Wait another two years and your level of experience could actually hurt you in the admissions process.
It may be that your passionate involvement in hobbies and work has allowed you to show leadership. yes schools like to see community service, but community is very much how you define it. It could be your community of co-hobbyists -- if you have shown commitment and leadership.
In any case, I recommend you apply to top-tier MBA programs
with higher average age at acceptance. Among them would be Kellogg
, London Business School
, and IMD
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