Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Schools: Kellogg '10
, given: 15
Profile evaluation and input, please! [#permalink]
17 Sep 2007, 09:50
First off, thanks for this valuable service. I am early in the process and think that this objective input will be very helpful in plotting my strategy.
To preface, I'd really like to go to HBS or MIT because (a) the schools are fantastic, and (b) I live in Cambridge with my girlfriend who is getting her neuroscience PhD at Harvard. However, I'm a reasonable person and understand that this is a long-shot especially since I am not the greatest standardized test-taker.
American, white, male, will almost be 27 when applying
Undergrad: 3.7 from NYU/Stern
GMAT: haven't taken yet but 680 is reasonable - but pushing hard for 700+ (verbal is in the bag, just need to bring up the quant score)
Extra-curricular: press liaison and one of the key managers for a non-profit brain cancer patient advocacy group. I've led PR and fundraising efforts with decent success. The organization has an affiliated club at MIT. I'm also a non-student member of Harvard's biotechnology club.
Work experience: have worked 3.5 years (so far) at a small NASDAQ-listed biotechnology company and experienced significant advancement. I interned there for 2 years during college, then joined as a strategic planning analyst, focusing on M&A, financings, technology licensing, market research and overall corporate strategy.
1 year later I was given a 2-level promotion to Manager of Strat Planning/Corp Dev and 6 months later another 2-level promotion to Associate Director. Throughout this I took on significantly expanded responsibilities, such as:
- Manage/lead strat planning and financial analysis: create 12-month tactical plans and a 5-year strat plan, drive annual budget process, sold $1.7M private equity holdings on surprisingly good terms, efforts have led to >15% decrease in annualized company cash burn (huge in biotech!) and realignment of company development pipeline, developing business plan for international expansion project
- Lead the investor relations function, responsible for ~$250K budget, draft most external communications, participate on earnings calls, draft and make corporate presentations at investor conferences, cultivate relationships with major investors (personal efforts led to single largest unaffiliated investor), member of management disclosure committee for drafting/review of SEC filings, #3 "face" of the company externally (after CEO & CFO)
- Manage almost all board of directors related activity: prepare quarterly board updates, including chairman's executive letter to BOD, create BOD presentations for meeting; additionally I've presented to the BOD 4 times on various projects
- Manage M&A/in-licensing group; run weekly meetings with senior management on the activities; run company-wide due diligence; do all financial modeling; draft/negotiate agreements
- Contribute strongly to fundraising: I've been key in 3 financings of >$80M, negotiating documents, managing due diligence, performing financial analysis
I do a number of other things and I'm generally viewed as a jack of all trades. I work most closely with the CEO and CFO, and I've been told that I am seen as a potential replacement for both of them in time. The only negative with my job is that I don't have anyone formally reporting to me, which is not unusual in a crunched biotech. While I don't have any direct reports, almost every project I work on requires coordination of senior people from almost every functional area.
Why an MBA?
I'm not getting an MBA to make more money. I already make more than any school's average starting salary. I'm doing it as part of a plan for my future in the biotechnology field, particularly cancer. An MBA provides a foundation of skills and relationships that you can't get anywhere else, at least in 2 years. After an MBA I'll pursue experience back at my old company (they may sponsor the degree), or in biotech consulting or management at big biotech, in order to gain more operational expertise in the industry. Ultimately I'd like to utilize my academic/science and business contacts to start one or more ventures of my own.
Beyond the pipe-dream of HBS and MIT, I also really like Dartmouth (pipe-dream #3), Ross/Michigan, Darden/UVA and maybe some 1-year international programs like Cambridge and Oxford. I'm more interested in receiving a general management education than one focused specifically on entrepreneurship. Please give me your thoughts, as well as any other school recommendations.
Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
P.S. My best recommendation (the CFO, my boss) is a Harvard BA and MBA.