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Profile evaluation: PhD to MBA...

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Intern
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Joined: 24 Mar 2011
Posts: 36
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare
GPA: 3.8
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

Profile evaluation: PhD to MBA... [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2012, 10:13
Hi Jon! As a non-traditional applicant, I am 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 straight from undergrad (but got the PhD 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 turned me down with the advice of going to B-school...

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, general management, marketing. Long-term I'd want to do strategic planning, global business development - is this too ambitious? (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).

Stats:
Female, 27yo.
Graduated from a top uni in Eastern Europe 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)

ECs include:
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 :( Very disappointing.

The schools that I'm interested in are MIT-Sloan, Tuck, Darden, Wharton, Booth, Fuqua, Kellog, INSEAD, and maybe some other European schools, such as HEC, ISE, LBS (for the sake of networking in Europe)... 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! Advice will be very much appreciated.
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Re: Profile evaluation: PhD to MBA... [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2012, 01:05
Expert's post
Hi there!
I like your story and I like your profile. You have awesome greats. Lots of real international experience. You are young for a PhD... all great stuff. I've seen PhD folk is worse positions do well in their applications, so you CAN do it. I would say right now your biggest obstacle is your lack of work experience, and that will need to be dealt with in various manners, not least of which presenting all your PHD work as WORK.

Having spent SOOOOO many years studying something sooo specific however, the KEY to you getting in is making a good and logical story. Read: Logical goals. even though you want to do something else, when you present your story to the ADcom you should be making use of your past experience, and your VERY unique level of knowledge. and you shouldn't be throwing that away. So some kind of Biotech Biobusiness goals would likely make your profile more attractive to the Adcom.

hope this helps for starters. and if you have any further questions, don't hesitate!

_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado.com

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 24 Mar 2011
Posts: 36
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare
GPA: 3.8
Followers: 0

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

Re: Profile evaluation: PhD to MBA... [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2012, 14:20
JonAdmissionado wrote:
Hi there!
I like your story and I like your profile. You have awesome greats. Lots of real international experience. You are young for a PhD... all great stuff. I've seen PhD folk is worse positions do well in their applications, so you CAN do it. I would say right now your biggest obstacle is your lack of work experience, and that will need to be dealt with in various manners, not least of which presenting all your PHD work as WORK.

Having spent SOOOOO many years studying something sooo specific however, the KEY to you getting in is making a good and logical story. Read: Logical goals. even though you want to do something else, when you present your story to the ADcom you should be making use of your past experience, and your VERY unique level of knowledge. and you shouldn't be throwing that away. So some kind of Biotech Biobusiness goals would likely make your profile more attractive to the Adcom.

hope this helps for starters. and if you have any further questions, don't hesitate!


Hi Jon,

Thank you for the insightful (and optimistic) feedback. Some others predict doom and gloom for me... Would you recommend applying to any specific schools? Or should I just apply to a broad spectrum?

I agree about presenting PhD as work. And in reality, it was work (and even paid), I busted my ass doing that research and racing against competitors. Very much the real world.

Thanks again!
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Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Kudos [?]: 496 [0], given: 29

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Re: Profile evaluation: PhD to MBA... [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2012, 04:00
Expert's post
No doom and gloom, sir!
Gotta have the faith to make it into a good program.

If you can pull a GMAT of 720, Id say you can apply in the Top 10-30 range, depending on a few other things.

In the meanwhile: Best of luck on your GMAT!

_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado.com

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