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Profile Evaluation (Military Transition)

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Profile Evaluation (Military Transition) [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2007, 11:02
If you have time to review my basic profile, I would appreciate it. Coming from the military, there are no MBAs around to help, mentor, or provide feedback.

1. Demographics:
White Male, currently 25 (will be 26 at matriculation in Fall '08)
Originally from CA, but went to school in NY, and have lived/worked in GA, HI, and Iraq.

2. Undergrad:
3.77 from West Point (US Military Academy) (BS degree)
Major: Engineering Psychology (aka Human Factors Engineering)
Minor: Mechanical Engineering
Distinguished Graduate (Highest graduation honor WP gives; roughly top 5% of class)
2 Honor Societies and earnedthe highest score in several classes
Selected for several high ranking leadership positions
Competed and placed in an international military skills/athletic competition

3. GMAT: 700 (92%, 45/78% Q, 40/90% V, 6.0 AWA)
Not sure if this mitigates anything, but I received at least an A- in all undergrad math classes, which included Calc II and Advanced Stats. Also earned high marks (mostly As) in my engineering courses, which included partial differentials and all that fun engineering stuff. It also hurts that the last time I used math (besides counting soldiers and bullets and calculating rates/distances) was in undergrad.

4. Work Experience:
4 years (5+ years at matriculation) in the Army. Specifically, I am an infantry officer (for non0military types, the infantry is the ground combat force with rifles; think Platoon or We Were Soldiers Once), airborne and ranger-qualified. I have over 2 years of primary leadership/command time, having been responsible for 40+ soldiers, to include a tour in the Sunni Triangle of Iraq as a platoon leader. I've also solved unique problems (secured a city of 85,000 for national elections, ran that cities police and Iraqi Army assets, and been heavily involved in international diplomacy working with tribal leaders and sheiks). I also was responsible for approx. $20 mil worth of equipment as maintenance officer. I now work at a senior military headquarters that "owns" about 75% of the army, specifically working with the sister services in planning exercises for deploying units. I was always rated above my peers and placed in senior positions even though I was often junior to my peers or ranked lower than other officers. I also was always selected for the most difficult/important/sensitive assignments, which often meant I was gone (destroyed my chances for many extracurriculars). I could go on about work, but I want to both be brief and find a better way of phrasing everything to make it more readily accessible by non-military people.

5. Extracurriculars:
These are the bane of my existence. In 4 years in the army, I've moved 5 times. It's been hard to put out roots. However, I did my best. I flew home twice a year to speak to seniors at local (my hometown in N. Calif.) high schools about different perspectives on Iraq and other underlying issues I work with. I also volunteered in Hawaii with an elementary school in the poorest, most crime ridden area of Oahu, to include set up and fund a competition to improve literacy among some of the classes. I continued this when I moved to GA. I also give speeches and hold talks and discussions about Iraq and the war on terror with local groups, to include groups such as the Kiwanis Club.

6. Why MBA:
Easy: switching careers in a drastic way and an MBA will give me a better perspective and supplement my analytical and quantitative skills.

7. Post MBA Goals:
This is more difficult, coming from a non-traditional background. I initially think consulting or investment banking. Consulting because it would give me the opportunity to learn a lot fast, adding significant breadth to the depth I will have acquired during my MBA. Investment banking seems exciting and fast paced with huge upside potential. For my mid-career goal, it would be to be a partner at a private equity or VC firm. Both seems to require both an excellent analytical mind, but with strategic thinking and creativity wholly necessary. Another option would be to be an executive at a company, managing people and resources and working to increase the well-being of shareholders. For long term, I would love to go into politics/government, especially setting policy (perhaps at a think tank) or working on projects with governmental agencies, such as the plan to freeze terror assets around the world. Basically not much money, but truly continuing to serve the greater good.

8. Target Schools:
Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Kellogg.

9. Weaknesses:
GMAT, though I travel so much, it's hard to find time to retake it. My extracurriculars seem a bit weak. Maybe I don't spin them correctly, but it's really hard to find time, especially since I am generally traveling two weeks per month. My last concern is that my "wow" factor isn't there.

So, what do you guys think? Any thoughts, ideas, or help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2007, 19:09
You're in good shape. I wouldn't worry about the GMAT again. 700 is strong. As you said, I think you need to spend some time doing a deep dive on your career goals. I graduated with a fair number of military guys and a lot of them had the same perspective as you -- go consulting or i-banking since you get a broad business perspective. Not a bad idea, but I wouldn't just explore that since it's kinda the path of least resistance.

Rather think beyond those. If I told you couldn't do either, what would you consider? There's a bunch of cool stuff that could be done with a background in human factors. Not sure if that interests you any more. Point is, explore the other potential areas first and if you end back on consulting and i-banking so be it. It just makes for much better essays, when the writer is passionate about his career goals.

I wouldn't sweat the extracurriculars. You've been serving you country for the last several years -- you get a pass. BTW, thanks for your service!
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2007, 07:47
Thanks for the advice. And no problem, it's a pleasure to serve!
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