Hello! Already posted on peer-review, but looking for some professional advice:
So, here it goes. I made a bad decision when I was younger and got a PhD in molecular biology (but did so in just 3.25 years, haha, clearly some talent there). In my second-third year of grad school I realized that I didn't want to do research, and definitely not in academia. Industry might have been OK, but the catch comes here - turns out it's nearly impossible to get a PhD level position at a company without doing an academic post-doc for 3 years (read: more misery). I'm just not thrilled about publishing more papers that no one reads. And not getting paid for it. So at the time I graduated with the PhD I was set on going into consulting, and conveniently M/B/B recruits PhDs. I made it to the final round at McKinsey and then they told me to go to B-school first... Ever since it's been a struggle for me to prepare myself for a top B-school and start doing something I would actually enjoy.
In terms of career goals, I would still love to go into consulting, it thrills me. Otherwise I would stick to what I'm familiar with - Pharma/Biotech, but in a management role - like brand/product manager, manufacturing, logistics. Long-term I'd want to do strategic planning. (From informational interviews I gathered that with a purely research background it's only possible to get a management position if you are already inside the company, or have some amazing connections; hence I'm looking to get a business education).
Graduated from a top uni in Russia with Honors (GPA 4.8/5.0) in Biophysics - 2007
Graduated from a PhD program at a top-tier uni in US (GPA 3.8/4.0), and did research at a Cancer Center - 2010
Post-doc at the same Cancer Center 2011-2012 (1yr)
And finally just started a (post-doc) position at a well-known amazing Biotech company, but this is a purely research role with close to zero opportunity to do "business" or "leadership" stuff.
I never took the GMAT, but my GRE was Q 800 and V 610, which converts to around 700-710 on the GMAT (if I can pull it off again). But I would probably try to target 720-730.
International experiences include living-working in Russia, USA and Japan (won a fellowship to do some research in Tokyo)
Board member on the Student-postdoc advisory committee at my past institution - 1yr
Co-chair/Board member on a Women in Science Organization - 1yr (and hope to continue)
Volunteering at a Science Museum for 3-4 yrs.
Random hobbies such as playing piano, swimming, competing in equestrian sports, scuba diving (but who cares about these!)
Oh, and I was on the wait-list at Darden last year (after interview). This cycle they were not interested in me, even though I felt that I improved my application multiple times
The schools that I'm interested in are MIT-Sloan, Tuck, Darden, Fuqua, Kellog, INSEAD, and maybe some other European schools, such as HEC, ISE, LBS... May be willing to go to UW-Foster for local networking in the Seattle area (but from what I heard I can cross off a career in pharma/biotech if I do that).
Tips/suggestions/advice?? Should I try applying again this year? Or wait to get more work-experience? Is it even valuable in a purely research role? Apply to 15-30 ranked schools?
Thanks for your time!