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Profile evaluation... mine's a bit complex. :/

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Profile evaluation... mine's a bit complex. :/ [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2010, 11:45
So, I'm in a kinda interesting spot. I graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2006 with a 3.25 from the honors department with my degree in Political Science, and I studied my Junior year abroad in England. Grades my Junior year abroad were pass or fail. Also, I have seven B+'s on my record, which is VERY disappointing. :x I worked my way through college, and had an internship my Senior year. I took the GMAT once a couple years ago, and I scored a 580. 37 on verbal (80%) 33 on quant (37%) and a 6 on the essay. I'm planning on retaking the GMAT in a month, and my test scores have consistently been high 600's and low 700's. So with any luck, I'll score a 700 or higher on the actual test. Presuming that's the case, this is where my profile gets a bit interesting.

I have a long history of unemployment. Not due to my own choice, but due to the economy. Upon graduation, I moved from Albuquerque, NM to Portland, Oregon for a change of scenery and pace. I obtained a retail job and an internship with a State Representative. Realizing that Politics wasn't for me, I quit the internship as I knew that Politics was not the direction my life was headed. In regards to the retail position, I often took a leadership position, in terms of training, being proactive, etc. I figured out the direction I wanted to go in and moved to San Francisco around a little over a year later to work for Electronic Arts, where I expected to work my way up the ladder to my dream job. I gained a small amount of leadership experience working for EA. They laid me off 5 months later, due to the economy. I moved back to Oregon for cost of living/support system reasons, and was unable to find decent work for 7 months. At this point, EA hired me back, and I moved back to San Francisco to give it one more go. This time, they laid me off 6 months later, in addition to the entire department I was working with. Back to Oregon, where I have been unemployed for approximately 5 months.

I've attempted to find jobs or internships, but all the available jobs are flooded with way too many applications, and I can't even get an internship due to the fact that most companies want people who are in college, presumably for tax break reasons. At this point, I want to go to B School for many reasons, one of which is so I don't have to ever be put in a position like this ever again. However, my history of unemployment concerns me greatly. I'm not afraid of taking risks and dropping what I have to go after what I want; which I feel is a strength. I have a firm goal in mind and I know what I need to accomplish it, business school being a part of it. I also can get very strong letters of recommendation from my previous employers. However, my fearlessness has left me unemployed for approximately a year, due to the state of the economy. I think I can make my profile seem fairly strong, but this still concerns me. The school I'd LOVE to get into, but I know is a major stretch is Haas. Outside of that, I'd like to stay on the west coast if at all possible; I'm also looking at UCLA and U of Washington. Yeah. Thank you so much for your help!
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Re: Profile evaluation... mine's a bit complex. :/ [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2010, 15:25
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Dartastic wrote:
So, I'm in a kinda interesting spot. I graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2006 with a 3.25 from the honors department with my degree in Political Science, and I studied my Junior year abroad in England. Grades my Junior year abroad were pass or fail. Also, I have seven B+'s on my record, which is VERY disappointing. :x I worked my way through college, and had an internship my Senior year. I took the GMAT once a couple years ago, and I scored a 580. 37 on verbal (80%) 33 on quant (37%) and a 6 on the essay. I'm planning on retaking the GMAT in a month, and my test scores have consistently been high 600's and low 700's. So with any luck, I'll score a 700 or higher on the actual test. Presuming that's the case, this is where my profile gets a bit interesting.

I have a long history of unemployment. Not due to my own choice, but due to the economy. Upon graduation, I moved from Albuquerque, NM to Portland, Oregon for a change of scenery and pace. I obtained a retail job and an internship with a State Representative. Realizing that Politics wasn't for me, I quit the internship as I knew that Politics was not the direction my life was headed. In regards to the retail position, I often took a leadership position, in terms of training, being proactive, etc. I figured out the direction I wanted to go in and moved to San Francisco around a little over a year later to work for Electronic Arts, where I expected to work my way up the ladder to my dream job. I gained a small amount of leadership experience working for EA. They laid me off 5 months later, due to the economy. I moved back to Oregon for cost of living/support system reasons, and was unable to find decent work for 7 months. At this point, EA hired me back, and I moved back to San Francisco to give it one more go. This time, they laid me off 6 months later, in addition to the entire department I was working with. Back to Oregon, where I have been unemployed for approximately 5 months.

I've attempted to find jobs or internships, but all the available jobs are flooded with way too many applications, and I can't even get an internship due to the fact that most companies want people who are in college, presumably for tax break reasons. At this point, I want to go to B School for many reasons, one of which is so I don't have to ever be put in a position like this ever again. However, my history of unemployment concerns me greatly. I'm not afraid of taking risks and dropping what I have to go after what I want; which I feel is a strength. I have a firm goal in mind and I know what I need to accomplish it, business school being a part of it. I also can get very strong letters of recommendation from my previous employers. However, my fearlessness has left me unemployed for approximately a year, due to the state of the economy. I think I can make my profile seem fairly strong, but this still concerns me. The school I'd LOVE to get into, but I know is a major stretch is Haas. Outside of that, I'd like to stay on the west coast if at all possible; I'm also looking at UCLA and U of Washington. Yeah. Thank you so much for your help!


Hi Dartastic:
This is pretty interesting situation and one (at a high level) that I have seen a few times over my past 8 years as an admissions consultant.

What you are asking for is a framework to help organize all of the disparate experiences that you have. The question you are trying to address is how or what you are going to contribute to any MBA class.

    So, have your unique work experience(s) helped you develop and how will they help your MBA classmates develop leadership as well.
    The key here is to demonstrate leadership even though you have had a number of jobs and a number of employment gaps.
    Demonstrating leadership means showing professional and personal progression. Professionally, you have not been able to do so. My major questions are around if you have been able to do this on a personal level. Have you? That is, have you been maximizing your time out of the office to show leadership development? This will help alleviate your gaps but will not address them enough for a top MBA program. However, if you have been doing this, it is a start.

Unfortunately, at this point you have been out of school for 4 years and it is going to be unrealistic to detail a story that you have been desperately seeking employment.

    The admissions committee is going to think that you are looking for an escape hatch - a way out of your current situation.
    I know the EA route may be a dead end at this point, but is there any other career that you can pursue out of gaming and politics?
    I would create a 2-year plan that involves a defined work role - find your groove, build leadership during this time and in one job and then apply.

I hope this helps and please ask me to clarify any of the above points.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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Re: Profile evaluation... mine's a bit complex. :/ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2010, 11:12
Thank you very much for your input Paul, I realize the problems that I have and I am trying to remedy them. One of my major problems is that I live in Portland, Oregon where the unemployment rate is extremely high, especially with people in my age range (20-30). I face the problem of being over-qualified for many things, yet under-qualified for many positions as well. I've literally gone into cafes and restaurants, shown them my resume, and been laughed out of the building because of my large amount of experience in the restaurant industry. Meanwhile, there are so many younger applicants flooding the market that it's incredibly difficult to find a job almost anywhere else.

As far as job progression, I actually did progress fairly well within my longer standing positions (in retail at Bose where I worked for close to two years and at EA) and I will be able to obtain letters from former supervisors that will be able to demonstrate this.

An MBA is definitely not meant to be an escape hatch; I want to try and continue my career in the gaming industry. My goal is to become a producer, which essentially performs the role of team leader/manager. My mode of thinking was that an MBA would assist me in obtaining this goal, as it seems that I am unable to obtain the necessary work experience within the industry due to the economy. I will take your advice about establishing a plan; I have already started researching volunteer opportunities within the community. Hopefully these endeavors and the others that I am following through on will strengthen my application enough to the point where I can get into a school for next fall.
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Re: Profile evaluation... mine's a bit complex. :/ [#permalink] New post 06 May 2010, 22:42
Expert's post
Dartastic:
Best of luck. Please let me know when you get things squared away w.r.t the job situation.
Also, please feel free to ask me any questions along the way.
-Paul
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Re: Profile evaluation... mine's a bit complex. :/   [#permalink] 06 May 2010, 22:42
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