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Profile Evaluation - Career Changer

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Author Message
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 27 Feb 2008
Posts: 299
Schools: Kellogg Class of 2011
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 69 [0], given: 15

Profile Evaluation - Career Changer [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2008, 09:33
Paul,

Please evaluate my profile when you get a chance. Also, I look forward to reading "Great Application Essays for Business School" and "Your MBA Game Plan" over the next couple months as I prepare for the upcoming application season.

Brief profile: I grew up in a small rural town in the south, attended community college for a year, and transferred to a large public in-state school (largest in the tri-state area) where I graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Since graduating, I have worked at 2 different companies within the power industry as a mechanical engineer. I plan to pursue an MBA in order to change careers to Investment Banking. My short-term goal is to work for an investment bank, ideally covering the power/energy sector. Long-term, after 3-5 years at an I-Bank, I will possibly go back to work for a power/energy company within their internal finance department. The other option would be to stay in I-Banking long-term. I will be applying to either 4 or 5 programs this fall for admittance in fall 2009.

Program: MBA-FT
Area of interest in MBA: Finance
GMAT: 700 (92%ile), Q: 48 (85%ile), V: 38 (84%ile), AWA : TBD, but expecting 5.0 or greater
GPA: 3.88 overall (3.85 when 44 hours of community college transfer credit are factored in)
UG: BS in Mechanical Engineering from a top-tier engineering school (relatively well-known state school)

Work experience:
- 4.5 years as a mechanical engineer in the power industry at matriculation.
- First company - 2.5 years experience, very well-known and respected Fortune 500 company. I was employed in the power division of this company. Although I was never in a managerial role, I led several high profile projects. Also, no one directly reported to me, but I was responsible for coordinating several people in order to successfully complete the projects. Most of my stories will come from this job experience. I left to pursue a different opportunity within the same industry.
- Second company – 2 years experience, relatively young Fortune 500 company also within the power industry. I had similar responsibilities as the first job, but not quite as much leadership. I received one promotion, which was on schedule for a typical engineering career path.
- I plan to get a solid recommendation from a supervisor at each company.

Nationality: US (Caucasian)
Age: 26 (27 at matriculation)
Gender: Male
Extra-curricular/community:
- In college, my main EC activity was intramural sports (flag football, basketball, and softball). I was also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (no positions held).
- While at the first company, I participated in the company’s volunteer organization, where I helped organize fund raising events (no positions held). I also played on the company softball team.
- While at the second company, I became involved in a local volunteer organization where I tutored GED students. Soon, I will be taking a leadership role within this organization where I will be responsible for a similar tutoring program. There will be approximately 6 volunteers that I will be responsible for leading. I plan to stay active in this until I matriculate. I also participate in Alumni Association events, but I hold no positions in that organization.
- Non-community activities – I stay pretty active: mountain and road biking, amateur auto racing, and organized adult-league sports (softball, kickball, flag football).

Schools planning to apply to: Penn (reach), Columbia (reach), Chicago (reach), Duke (target), UNC (in-state safety). I am also considering replacing one of the reaches with Michigan since it is more of a target level program for me.

Do you agree with my school choices? Do you see anything that I can work on over the next couple months? Do you think the rural southern background will help with diversity? I noticed that people from the south make up less than 5% of their enrolled class at many northern schools.

Thanks in advance.
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Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 4920
Location: Los Angeles CA
Followers: 43

Kudos [?]: 349 [0], given: 66

Re: Profile Evaluation - Career Changer [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2008, 16:02
Expert's post
maverick2011,

Good solid profile, if not breathtakingly unusual. I think the energy career focus, the community leadership, and the Southern Charm angle are your differentiators and recommend that you play them. If you have an interesting personal/family story (overcoming difficulty) that might help too. I agree that Penn, Columbia, and Chicago are reaches, with Chicago as the most feasible and Columbia the least. I do think that swapping Michigan for one of them would improve your odds a bit. I agree with your labels for Duke and UNC. Given your goals you might also consider Rochester Simon (safety), NYU Stern (target/reach), Texas, perhaps Carnegie Mellon (both targets).

--"Do you see anything that I can work on over the next couple months?" Not really, unless you see some promotion opportunities at work or think you could raise your GMAT score 40 points without too much effort.
--"Do you think the rural southern background will help with diversity?" Yes, modestly.

Good luck,

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 27 Feb 2008
Posts: 299
Schools: Kellogg Class of 2011
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 69 [0], given: 15

Re: Profile Evaluation - Career Changer [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2008, 10:23
Thanks for the great advice. Based on your response, I will probably apply to NYU instead of Columbia or Michigan. That way I will have more of a balanced “portfolio” (2 reaches, 2 targets, 1 safety). One question though, is there a reason that NYU is considered more of a target than a reach? They have a very low acceptance rate, just barely above Columbia’s (19.9% vs. 17.1%). Are you saying that my profile is more in line with the people that do get accepted there; that is, there is an overall lower caliber of applicants at NYU vs. Columbia?
Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 4920
Location: Los Angeles CA
Followers: 43

Kudos [?]: 349 [0], given: 66

Re: Profile Evaluation - Career Changer [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2008, 07:46
Expert's post
maverick2011,

No, I wasn't implying that your profile is more of a fit for Stern than for Columbia. As a general rule, I just consider NYU Stern to be more of a doable school than Columbia. But maybe we should consider it a "reach/target."

Good luck,

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 24 Mar 2008
Posts: 18
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 2

Re: Profile Evaluation - Career Changer [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2008, 08:35
How much affect does being in-state affect admissions for MBA? I have read before (regarding law schools) that public universities alot a certain number to instate residents. Similar situation for b-school? I have noticed before that schools ranked highly with low average GPAs are typically public (Michigan, UVA, UNC), I wondered if those pulling the numbers down were typically instate.

Guess i could have started an individual topic, but the question is targeted at Paul, and this guys profile provided a good example (whether he has a disadvantage at U Michigan and an advantage at UNC, and to what extent). Attempted a search, but "in state" returns tons of tuition related posts.

Thanks in advance.
Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 4920
Location: Los Angeles CA
Followers: 43

Kudos [?]: 349 [0], given: 66

Re: Profile Evaluation - Career Changer [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2008, 13:10
Expert's post
GoPanthers,

I have no hard proof to base the following on, but I suspect that at the very highly ranked public schools, like those you listed, the "in-state set-aside" is relatively small. In fact, I would consider being an in-state applicant a negative when evaluating applicants, because you can count on the top public schools being inundated with local applicants, for the lower cost factor if nothing else. It's probably true that public schools set aside a small percentage of their class for deserving underrepresented in-state applicants. Unless you are one of those applicants I would tell an in-state applicant that his odds are better at a top out-of-state (and out of region) school, because he is more likely to be adding something different to the class.

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

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