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Profile evaluation please- GMAT 740, work in a small company

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Profile evaluation please- GMAT 740, work in a small company [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2012, 08:02
Profile evaluation:
Background: 30 year-old male Asian American, married, has a 4 and a 5 year-old (does that matter?). Multicultural - Born in China and immigrated to US at age 18. Proficient in both English and Chinese.

GMAT score: 740 (50Q / 39V)

Undergrad School and GPA: SUNY Binghamton, Computer science major, 2.95 GPA (no special reason for the low gpa, it is just due to immaturity)

Post-MBA goal:
Short term: Career change - like to change from working in small business to working in big corporation. Interested in general management and/or entrepreneurship (can i put both as my areas of interest??), like to get into a good management trainee program after MBA.

Long term: Becoming a operational leader, in Asia-Pacific region, of a US or international company (utilize my multicultural background).

Work experience (6 years total):

I started working in a small computer networking company. The company implements internet networks for hotels. I was a team leader in the tech-support department. My work duties include overseeing tech-support staffs, monitoring the client’s networks, and maintaining a good relationship with the clients.

After the networking company, I worked in a small retail business (a chain of two local cellular phone stores). I started as a IT Consultant. In one year, I was promoted as an assistant GM and became a business partner. In two more years, I became the General Manager (my current title). Under my supervision, the company structure was enhanced, new positions and departments were created, the total revenue was significantly increased, and four more new stores were opened in the upstate New York region.

Target Schools: McCombs, Cornell, Darden, Stern, (or something better?)

Questions:
1. Am I getting a good chance get accepted by the above schools? I understand my weaknesses include low under-grad GPA and lack of corporate exposure. Are my working experience and the 740 GMAT going to offset the weakness in my application? I heard about taking courses in community college to offset low undergrad GPA, but I don’t have such time because of work.

2. About recommendations: As a general manager, the only person above me is the business owner. He is going to give me a good recommendation demonstrating my achievement at work. I am planning to have my counselor at Christian fellowship to write me the second recommendation. I worked with her closely as I coordinated a couple music events for the fellowship. She should be able to give me some good words about my leadership skills. Is that a good combination of recommendation letters?

3. About area of interest, i am not so sure about entrepreneurship or general management. can i put both? or if i have to pick entrepreneurship, will it go with my long term goal just fine? I want to put entrepreneurship because i feel like it is closer to what i am doing at my job, therefore increases the change of acceptance.

4. My salary is significantly lower than average. Is that something bad for my application? That is because as business partners, both I and the business owner agreed that it is the best now to reserve the money for the company growth. Should I use the optional essay to make that clear?

5. According to my profile, would it be a waste of money to try one of the top 10? like sloan?
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MBA Admissions Consulting
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Re: Profile evaluation please- GMAT 740, work in a small company [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2012, 09:14
Expert's post
Hi there,

I think your profile is very interesting. Let's break it down:

Academics. As you're aware, your undergrad GPA is quite low. I would suggest that you address this in an optional statement and take responsibility for your immaturity during undergrad (it's a pretty common story!). Point to your GPA as evidence of your analytic capability. I would suggest taking courses in accounting, statistics or finance if possible to show that you can do well in the classroom -- but if you don't have time, you don't have time.

Professional experience: I think your experience, while non-traditional, is very strong. Especially the recent experience as a GM and business partner. Entrepreneurial experience goes a very long way and I think you'll have a lot of strong leadership stories for your essays.

Extracurricular: I didn't see much mention of extracurricular activities - this would appear to be a gap in your profile.

Community work: Seems like you've been involved in an ad-hoc manner in community leadership activities through your church, but not much more than that. Is that a fair assessment?

I think your school list is pretty thoughtful and that you've got a good shot at McCcombs and Cornell. Darden and Stern are great target schools - definitely a possibility that they would overlook your GPA in favor of your GMAT and strong professional experience. I think that it's worth adding one more school in the reach category - Sloan or Columbia or whatever you choose.

The recommendation letters sound good -- I'm not sure what your other options are though! The business owner is an obvious one, but it might make sense to have someone else at the company (a peer?) write a recommendation instead of the woman you worked with on the music events... but it really depends on the depth of the experience and relationship. Difficult for me to say without additional details and options.

I would probably pick either entrepreneurship or general management as your career track. Saying you want to go to a big company and then start your own just isn't a very logical story given that you've already had a lot of entrepreneurial experience. Pick one and build the story one way or the other.

You can include that information about your salary in the optional essay - that would be fine.

Hope this helps!
Mili

Mili Mittal
Senior Consultant
http://www.mbamission.com

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Intern
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Joined: 29 Aug 2012
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Re: Profile evaluation please- GMAT 740, work in a small company [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2012, 09:43
first of all, i really appreciate your detail response.

in response to some of your questions:

Extracurricular:
1. one thing i really proud about myself is my photography skills. I consider my skill matches a "seasonal-pro", just that i don't charge people. i do photo shoot occasionally for some friends and families' special events. i do landscaping photography too, maybe i can include some of my works along with one of the essay that talks about myself?

2. I do magic tricks, but mostly for children at some private parties. I am not as good as profession who can make a living with such skills, but i would say i am experience enough to call myself an amateur magician.

3. I am a guitarist. played in a band in college time (one reason for the low GPA, lol). In college time, i also actively involved with the music worship for the student fellowship group. I am also a worship team member currently in my church (i guess that kind of overlaps with the community work.

4. I like skiing and snowboarding, but i don't think those have anything to do with my MBA application, correct?


Community work: I used to be an interpreter in my church, but I became too busy and didn't continue that role. I am currently a guitarist in the music worship team in my church.

About the person who writes me the second recommendation: besides worked together a couple times during music events, she was also my consular in the fellowship. so i think she should know me well enough to write me a recommendation. Other than her, the only ones i can think of are my subordinates.

about my low GPA: even though my GPA is low, but i think i got good grades in some of the core courses. does it worth to mention that in the optional essay too?

So with the new information, does my profile look a little better?
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Re: Profile evaluation please- GMAT 740, work in a small company [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2012, 13:50
Expert's post
Hi,

Thanks for the additional information. The extracurriculars that you list will definitely help round out your profile, but I'd be careful which ones I focus on. The magician one, for example, may be better suited as something you list on your resume as a hobby and perhaps weave into an essay in the form of a metaphor or analogy (could be very creative and interesting, actually!). The skiing, snowboarding, guitar and photography are all very important to the business school application -- shows that you are well-rounded, active individual. That doesn't mean that you write an essay on each hobby, but you should definitely include them on your resume and if you have stories from these experiences that would be relevant for essays, you should consider them. You need to balance professional and personal stories in your application, but you definitely want to showcase yourself as a multi-dimensional individual and show the adcom WHO you are in addition to what you do/what you are. Make sense? Same for the community involvement with your worship group.

Sounds like the music mentor is a good bet for the second recommendation.

And yes, I'd address that point in your optional statement - can't hurt to point it out, even if it doesn't totally help :)

Yes, I think the additional info shows that you're a well-rounded/balanced candidate. It doesn't really add much leadership experience to the bag, but your work experience should cover that. It definitely shows that you are actively engaged in your community and your interests, and that you pursue them at semi-professional levels.

Good stuff!
Mili


Mili Mittal
Senior Consultant
http://www.mbamission.com

Read the mbaMission Insider's Guides (16 individual school titles)

Download mbaMission’s Free Personal Statement Guide

Visit the mbaMission Blog

Follow mbaMission on Twitter
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