Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 29 Aug 2014, 04:16

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

Profile Evaluation for A Career Switcher

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 15 Aug 2013
Posts: 7
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.89
WE: Science (Health Care)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Profile Evaluation for A Career Switcher [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2013, 23:31
Hi I have spoken to two consultants who had different opinions about schools that I should target.

I am here to seek another opinion.

Current Profession: Cancer research at one of the large and well-known medical centers in New York City for 11 years trying to come up with new ways to treat breast cancer. Our team work has generated several new clinical trials for patients who have not responded to conventional therapies. I have co-authored 11 pubications in scientific journals along the way.

Leadership Experience: Tutured fellow undergrad students as an undergrad, taught undergrad courses as a teaching assistant when I was a grad student, now oversee the projects of newly joined people in our lab.

GRE Math 163, GRE Verbal 157 but I am taking the TOEFL because English is my second lanaugage (grew up in Japan).

Undergraduate GPA of 3.9 and Graduate GPA of 3.8, both US State schools


Long-term goal: Social enterprise to promote healthcare access in the underdeveloped regions of the world
Short-term goal: Management consulting (strategy) in order to learn about business development. I plan on leveraging my R&D experience and selling myself to consulting companies with life science engagements.

The reason for the career change: I love the problem solving aspect of research activities and the impact that it creates, but there are many in this world who cannot benefit from what I do at all, and I would like to be able to do something about that. I feel business is the vehicle that allows me to create even greater imapct.

Ideally, I would like to go to Columbia or NYU since NYC is really the best for what I would like to do.



Consultant 1's Evaluation
Having co-authored scientific publications is a major accomplishment. Combined with my good undergrad /grad GPAs, I have a good chance of getting into those schools I am interested in. I should also consider other top schools such as Wharton and Sloan.

Consultant 2's Evaluation
I have zero business experience at this point, and it would be a challenge for me to not to look like I am trying to get out of what I have been doing because I cannot link what I have been doing in the past to my next career goal. Candidates like me often get wait-listed and do not get in at popular schools. I should consider NYU/Columbia as reach or out of reach schools; I should seirously consider applying to other schools with the GMAT average of 650 / GPA of 3.0-3.2 etc.

The same resume, same story, but the two Consultants focused on the different aspects of my profile, and therefore, the different evaluations. I think Consultant 2 may be more realistic and cautious though I disagree with her that there is nothing that ties what I've been doing to what I aspire to do post MBA.

I'd appreciate a 3rd evaluation.

Thanks!

Last edited by NoriNYC on 22 Aug 2013, 12:03, edited 1 time in total.
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
Expert Post
1 KUDOS received
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
avatar
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 1050
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 109 [1] , given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation for A Career Swticher [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2013, 16:56
1
This post received
KUDOS
Expert's post
Hi there,

Thanks for posting. Let me first start with my opinion without focusing on either of the prior consultant's views.

My general impressions are, you have a unique profile and background for b-school, which can actually be a plus in that if nothing else, it helps you stand out from the crowd and 'be remembered' so to speak. ;) Doesn't mean you're a shoo-in, but it helps. And Japanese applicants are less common than other nationalities.

Your research topic, impact, and experiences will all be of interest, to an admissions committee as well as, if you think about it, to your fellow classmates.

Career changing PER SE does not have to be an issue as it's fairly common in b-school, but it IS important to demonstrate what you've learned and gained from your past experiences that you'll carry over to your new career. Generally you can explain that in your essays and interview, something to prepare for. You'll also need/want a strong, clear and concise explanation for the WHY for the career change, and WHY the MBA, and WHY now. ;)

Your extensive experience could actually raise some q's.... much higher than the average applicant, so it becomes even more important that you truly can make a case for needing the MBA and needing it at this point in your career, and that you have really well-thought-out and realistic goals, fyi.

You may need to brainstorm about how you can build upon your leadership experiences to ensure you showcase that side out of all of your experience... have you spear-headed projects or initiatives? Persuaded others in any way? Motivated, encouraged, mentored? Anything you can think of during your professional experience would help.

You may have a chance at the schools you listed, and if you can make a good case for why NYC as you started to describe, that will help. Be sure you really do your research at both programs (NYU and Columbia) and know their differences, strengths, culture, etc so you can include compelling reasons of the WHY for each program.... they want to be sure people know how they are different from one another and truly want to attend there! ;) Given your goals, you could also look into Yale or Haas, or even Fuqua (I know, not in NYC).

If you put your story together well, it could work. I must say, I think a lot of the decision rests on those essays... if you think about it, the essays are the one part of your application where you create something from SCRATCH to represent who you are!! Lots of opportunity there, and can make all the difference.

B-school admissions is more an art than a science, and there is subjectivity inherent in it. Admissions officers do not use a given formula per se, they really look at the applicant holistically and assess what they'll bring to the program, and what they'll gain from the program, and aim to create a diverse class with interesting experiences to learn from one another. Focus on your people and project management skills, leadership, teamwork, communication skills, and how any or all of those, as gained from your work experience, will contribute to the classroom.

For the reasons of the subjectivity and holistic approach, you can hear different feedback from different consultants, and keep in mind we (well at least I) haven't seen your essays which are SUCH a crucial component to the overall impression you are providing. Hence the differing views. I would lean toward consultant 1's assessment with caveats that you NEED a compelling overall story, showing that your PAST + MBA = your FUTURE goals, and to overcome the fact that you could be considered over-experienced etc. If you put it all together right, I think you'd have a chance at strong programs. It's still a good idea to add a 'safety' school option though, so keep researching!!

Please let me know what other q's you have and how we can help! And would love to hear what happens. ;) If you're interested in an more in-depth profile eval and q&a we do have a 30 minute free consult, if you're interested you can register at http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php. You can still post here too of course. ;)

Good luck to you!
_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

Image

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 15 Aug 2013
Posts: 7
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.89
WE: Science (Health Care)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Re: Profile Evaluation for A Career Switcher [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2013, 20:45
Hello JenK!!! :-D :-D :-D

Thank you very much for your independent assessment! Your post made me think deeply about my essay strategy and what soft skills to convey. :-D


Here are some thoughts, and I'd really appreciate your input.

First, my past + MBA = my future goals.

It's definitely been a challenge for me to fit in the allowed 500 or even 750 word space how I am going to use my past and MBA toward my ultimate goal of starting a social enterprise and improving healthcare access in the underdeveloped world. There is simply not enough space if I want to be clear about it especially because I probably have more explaining to do about my past than say an investment banker applicant does. So....., I am considering to change my essay strategy and present my long-term goal as what I previously considered as my mid-term goal or step which is to help biotech startups develop business strategies as an consultant.

I have broken down "my past + MBA = my future goals" into two components.

1. Transferable skills bewteen my past and desired post MBA professions as schools must be concerned about their applicants' employability.
2. How my knowledge in biology, R&D experience and MBA toghether will enable me to create impact in a way that few can.

Regarding #1, I will explain operations involved in research activities in order to showcase some of the transerable skills. My work involves data-driven decision making regarding future directions, strategizing ways to test hypotheses while being aware of each method's strengths and weaknesses, executing the tests, analyzing and interpreting the data that we collect, and reporting. Managing research projects through these operations has trained my analytical and problem-solving skills.

Regarding #2, I have the understanding of molecular biology, neurology, immunology and translational research experience, which allows me to read about and understand the concept behind different biotechnologies and their potential use for treatments and R&D activities. Now I would like leverage this ability to go to the business side of science.

However, I lack knowledge on and experience in business development. I inted to get the knowledge through an MBA program and real world experience in developing busineses by working for a management consulting company before becoming an independent consultant for biotech startups.

Do you think the connection is clear enough for people outside my field?

Regarding Why Now - inspired by recent advancement in biotechnologies dramatically transforming the prospect of fighting deadly diseases including aggressive cancer. I think this is an exciting time for those who want to cure diseases. I have been thinking about this for a while, but I now have more concrete steps to take after consulting with a career coach. Business eduction is the next step on my to do list.



And what are some good ways to combat the perception that I may be over-experienced? :?: This is really diffcult for me because from where I am standing, yes, I have the significant amount of experience in what I do, but when it comes to business, I have less knowledge and experience than say a recent graduate with a BA in Business. I do not know anything about accounting, finance, ecnomics, let along how to figure out the feasibilty of a business plan, how to pitch a business plan to a venture capital, how to hire talented individuals to do finance for a company and so on. :oops:


Thanks for raising the importance of soft skills in business. Yes, I have had my own projects, research projects, that I take care of from start to finish. That's the nautre of reseach activities and authoring publications. Mentored fellow undergrads as an undergrad, mentored in research and taught undergrad courses as a grad student, now supervise new people's projects while I work on my own. I have also worked with people from all over the world, from which I learned that my common sense was actually not "common" sense. :lol: I have worked with someone with a female authority issue, for instance, which is kind of rare in our culture or at least for our generation...and learned to focus on producing results no matter what.

:-D

p.s. Yes ,I will definitely look into the schools you suggested also, perhaps for Round 2. :wink:

Last edited by NoriNYC on 22 Aug 2013, 12:04, edited 1 time in total.
Expert Post
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
avatar
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 1050
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 109 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation for A Career Swticher [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2013, 11:14
Expert's post
Hi again!

Thanks for your detailed feedback... it sounds like you are on the right track in thinking through important questions and lines of thought that will be crucial to nail on the application to have a shot at acceptance. By the way if you are a female applicant (don't want to assume but you mentioned the 'female authority' conflict), that is another small plus in that schools are looking for strong, qualified female applicants.

Yes I think your points on #'s 1 and 2 about the past+MBA = goals are all good and relevant. And I think what you'd draw into it in addition are even more of the leadership and teamwork skills-- these are pretty important in the b-school world! So, I would say, schools will assume you're great at the research and knowledge side given your background, but they may wonder about your skills as a leader, manager, working on a team project etc... all of which it sounds like you have great experiences with, it's just that those will be very important to highlight, especially with stories and examples in your essays. And working with others from different nationalities/backgrounds is a great point to include too!

To your point on your goals, it may work better if you can be more confident in your goals to focus more on the consulting, BUT depending on how you explain it or how much thought you've put into it, the bigger-picture goals could still be interesting too.... what we do with our consulting clients for example is have a thorough brainstorming process, written and verbal, to really draw out key themes and see what works. Even if you don't work with a consultant, you could try brainstorming key themes on your own, or even put together outlines or rough drafts of 2 different versions of your essays, one with the bigger picture social enterprise goals, one without, and run them by colleagues who know b-school well or other respected friends for opinions.

Keep us posted with q's and progress!
_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

Image

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 15 Aug 2013
Posts: 7
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.89
WE: Science (Health Care)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Re: Profile Evaluation for A Career Switcher [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2013, 18:18
mbaMissionJenK wrote:
By the way if you are a female applicant (don't want to assume but you mentioned the 'female authority' conflict), that is another small plus in that schools are looking for strong, qualified female applicants.


Yes, I am a girl. How much I love the color pink won't be in my essay. :wink: :-D

mbaMissionJenK wrote:
Yes I think your points on #'s 1 and 2 about the past+MBA = goals are all good and relevant. And I think what you'd draw into it in addition are even more of the leadership and teamwork skills-- these are pretty important in the b-school world! So, I would say, schools will assume you're great at the research and knowledge side given your background, but they may wonder about your skills as a leader, manager, working on a team project etc... all of which it sounds like you have great experiences with, it's just that those will be very important to highlight, especially with stories and examples in your essays. And working with others from different nationalities/backgrounds is a great point to include too!


Indeed, thanks! :wink:

Edited

NoriNY wrote:
1. Transferable skills bewteen my past and desired post MBA professions as schools must be concerned about their applicants' employability.
2. examples showcasing my leadership skills, project and people management experiences, working on a team project with a diverse group of people
3. How my knowledge in biology, R&D experience and MBA toghether will enable me to create impact in a way that few can.


I guess for #2, can I list only two short stories as the space is limited? drawing on my work and/or extracurricular activities? Would two be enough?

mbaMissionJenK wrote:
To your point on your goals, it may work better if you can be more confident in your goals to focus more on the consulting, BUT depending on how you explain it or how much thought you've put into it, the bigger-picture goals could still be interesting too.... what we do with our consulting clients for example is have a thorough brainstorming process, written and verbal, to really draw out key themes and see what works. Even if you don't work with a consultant, you could try brainstorming key themes on your own, or even put together outlines or rough drafts of 2 different versions of your essays, one with the bigger picture social enterprise goals, one without, and run them by colleagues who know b-school well or other respected friends for opinions.


I concur. It's something I would like to include granted that 1. it fits, and that 2. I can make sure not to come across as lacking focus or trying hard to say something that I think the adcom wants to hear. That basically means I should either explain it well or not include it at all. 8-)

I will try brainstorming for a few sentences to see how it goes as per your advice. It might work for NYU as they give 250 extra words. I am not sure if you feel the same way, but I get the sense from talking to their adcoms that Columbia is more concerned about applicants who seem to lack focus than Stern is, so, it'll be slightly more risky for me to try this in their essay, aside from the space issue. It'd be a good idea to talk about the big picture if this were for some other schools such as Wharton or MIT.


Any particular issues that I should address in optional essays? Here are a few things that come to my mind.

1. Do you think that these New York City schools will be concerned about my age for instance? Around me, age is just a number (as you may know if you are in a large city), but I am reading online how internships are for twenty something. I am 36 / will be 37 by Fall 2014. On the other hand, where I work, I've seen some PhD students in their 30s go off to i-bank internships for full-time associate positions, and I think i-banking tends to gravitate toward younger people compared to management consulting. I've also seen one post-doc (she had a PhD plus 3 years of post doctoral training in research) get picked up by McKinsey.

2. Career progression - I was promoted two ranks to the highest possible title one year into my job. Since then, there has been no title-changing promotion because the institution sets specific titles for each educational level, and I am already at the highest title allowed for those with Masters' level education. But the concern is that they could think I am trying to get out of a stagnant career. Is the optics of this bad enough to the point that I should proactively address this in an optional essay?

If so, the challenge is that I have difficulty demonstrating increased responsibility the way that I might be able to in a regular business career. Normally, increased responsibility means managing more people or taking care of more types of things, which does not happen in my field. In my field, growing professionally means acquiring more knowledge in the field that I am in, becoming capable of identifying things to test through integrated reasoning, seeing pitfalls of experimental methods and choosing proper strategies to test hypotheses depending on the case. I cannot quantify my growing knowledge or ability in integrated reasoning. I manage my own projects and others', but I only supervise one person at a time because working on my own projects takes a lot of time. I would like to think that conveying that business school is my next career progression (as opposed to getting on a completely different career track) will make them not put too much focus on this, but I am still worried that they might not get a correct impression about why I want to switch my career. :shock:
Expert Post
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
avatar
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 1050
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 109 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation for A Career Switcher [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2013, 08:19
Expert's post
Hi again!

Let's see if I can answer a few more of your q's.

Re: number of experiences you describe, it really depends on how you lay out your essays and overall set of essays... you can generally include more than just 2 examples though. Some may be described in more depth than others.

I guess I'd very slightly agree with your point about NYU vs Columbia, but that said I'd also say that all top b-schools would rather not accept an applicant that they feels 'lacks focus' to use that phrase. ;) And I'd say the best essay/s will be and therefore come across as pretty genuine in terms of both short and long term goals with good rationale for your choices.

#1: most schools will say that age does not matter. That said you can also look closely at class profiles of any school online and see what the ages or years of work experience are for their admitted class. It is true that you will be a good deal older than most applicants and admitted students. What that usually means is you have to make an even stronger case for why you do still need the MBA, why it will still work for you and your career, why NOW. At this point you may have already done so but can't hurt to reach out to admissions offices and get their take on a q like that as well.

#2: It's true that progression over time in your job is preferred. I wouldn't say change of title is always required; within your resume you can detail increasing responsibility, leadership, management of teams, accomplishments, etc. Any way in which you go beyond the expected role and responsibilities is a plus. I would think though that you can manage this within your resume and potentially essays to an extent; wouldn't see this as optional essay requirement. Even if you only manage one person. Think about ways that anything you did, made a difference in some way to someone or to outcomes or to results, etc. I think your biggest challenge is making a really compelling case for why you need the MBA... but you should be able to do so based on genuine reasons, not something you say to get accepted.... i.e. if you're not sure about the MBA, then it will be difficult to get accepted. If you know you need it and want it for xyz reasons and now is the right time etc, then explain all of that and see what happens.

If you're interested in additional Q&A with a consultant at any point we are always offering the free 30 min profile review sessions, http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php. Just in case you would find that useful.
_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

Image

    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
Experts publish their posts in the topic Career Switcher - Profile Evaluation Request phillypointgod21 4 12 May 2010, 07:14
1 Profile Review Please -- Career switcher JZino 1 29 Nov 2009, 02:09
career switchers isa 1 05 Aug 2008, 20:49
Career switcher hosam 1 14 Dec 2006, 14:48
Career switcher hosam 0 14 Dec 2006, 14:45
Display posts from previous: Sort by

Profile Evaluation for A Career Switcher

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.