To a certain extent, I believe that your lack of formulated goals is related to your lack of extracurricular involvement. I do believe that this is something that can be overcome with a little bit of critical analysis and thinking. I believe that what you ultimately want to do with your career is very much related to passion. However, it is really hard to be as passionate in the workplace as you are outside of the workplace – through a significant extracurricular activity, for example.
Think about all of the varying leadership experiences but you have had in the workplace. Which ones meant most to you? Was there a project or internal group that was particularly formative in your development has not only a professional, but also as a person? Obviously you were maturing as a person, because a significant portion of your professional career was spent during your college years – which are almost always considered among the persons most formative time frame.
My overarching point to you is that you are going to need to extract a lot of personal meaning from your work. In particular, I hope you have led some type of teambuilding or more social initiative network. I do not doubt that you have been able to accomplish much by leading a team – but stress (at least one of your stories) your extracurricular leadership at work. This will help make up for your lack of extracurriculars outside of the office. Remember, extracurriculars are important only because they showcase your leadership and passion for something beyond making money or climbing up the corporate ladder. If you can show this type of personal commitment to your colleagues at work, you are good to go.
With respect to goals, just be conservative, especially with your short-term goals. The goals essay is no place to get creative. Stick with a traditional consulting path where you will be able to use the totality of will work experiences – from hospitality to corporate finance.
If you would like to discuss this further during an initial consultation, please e-mail me at MBA@amerasiaconsulting.com
Please provide an assessment of my profile and give me your honest assessment on my chances at my dream schools. If you think I am missing a school that I should apply to based on my profile/aspirations, please let me know.
My dream school list is: HBS, Booth, Stanford, Wharton & Columbia in that order.
I am a US citizen but I grew up in India and went to High School there. I came back for University and have been here ever since.
I graduated from Temple University in December 2007 with a BBA in Finance with a 3.47 GPA and University Honors and Business Honors.
While in school, I worked fulltime in the hotel industry and got promoted several times and held significant leadership positions within a 4-diamond hotel in Philadelphia including roles managing Front Office Operations, Revenue Management, Food & Beverage Management and Operations Management. I spent 5 years with this company. Since I was working full time, I don't have any college related leadership experience.
After I graduated, I went to work at a Johnson & Johnson (fortune 500) in their Finance Development Program. This was an amazing experience which involved several 8 month rotations in different functions and different geographic regions. During the program I was promoted from Associate Analyst to Analyst. After I graduated the program, I was promoted to the position of Senior Financial Analyst. I was one of the people responsible for starting an Asian Finance Affinity group and had several leadership opportunities related to this. After another 5 months, I helped the company fill a critical need position in cost of goods sold analytics. In this role I had lots of international exposure as well as dotted line direct reports who were right out of school.
After a year of doing this, I got an offer from a Alcoa for a role focussed on analysis and senior mgmt reporting for a business with $2B in sales. I accepted this role and have been in it for around 6 months now. I spent almost 4 years at JNJ and will have around 2 years experience at Alcoa by the Fall of 2013 (when I intend to matriculate).
I intend to take the CMA by June 2012 and may also join a few committees in the IMA to get some broader leadership experience.
I scored a 740 on the GMAT with a 49Q, 42V split and 6 on AWA.
I think my biggest profile weakness is that I don't have any significant volunteering or community experiences.
I also need to think about why I want to get an MBA and what my post-MBA aspirations are. I currently work in Corporate Finance and would be OK with coming back to Corp Finance, but my preference would be to move into Management Consulting.
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