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Profile Evaluation - Thoughts?

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Manager
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Joined: 02 May 2012
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WE: Account Management (Other)
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Profile Evaluation - Thoughts? [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 04:23
Hi GMATers

I'm hoping to apply in the October admission rounds and was hoping for some members to critique my profile. I'm looking at either heading to one of the good US schools, but there are a handfull of EU schools I'm quite interested in too.

Background:
I'm pretty sure I come from what would be considered an unusual background. Born in Canada, I attended university in New Zealand with an undergrad in Biology and a Masters in Forensic Science (1st Class Honours) after writing my thesis on novel DNA profiling system I designed. I then worked as a scene examiner for about 3 years before leaving NZ to travel and ended up living in the UK. I've been here for 3 and a bit years working in the commercial management of some of the forensics companies, in which time I have managed a team of 10 (come through a redundancy process) and seen the forensics market go from a public service to a completely private competitive market. I sit on a few strategy teams for bringing new technology to the market too.

Outside of work I've always been involved with team sports and have had some representative honours. As I mentioned above, I've travelled extensively and have lived in three different countries now.

Short comings:
I think my short coming are going to be the fact that I don't have and really edgy commercial experience, nor any formal business qualifications. I'll also be 31 this year, which in some MBA terms is quite old. I've set myself a goal for 730 in the GMAT in 2 months, but realistically I'll be satisfied with 700 or above. However some of the schools I'm looking at have average entrance marks of 710-720 so if I come in under that, I'm concerned that my non-business profile may hinder me further.

I'd appreciate any members thoughts / comments on my profile, in particular any areas where you think I can improve or areas that I'll need to address in my applications.

Cheers!

B.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Thoughts? [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 11:36
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Believe it or not, your profile and work experience may actually end up being a real asset in the process. For one, you won't really have many people to compete against when they start stacking up applicants according to background. Secondly, your having lived in some unusual places (New Zealand!) will help you stand out and add a certain amount of exotic flavor to an incoming b-school class. If you can spin your story in a compelling way which incorporates all your have learned from these travels and how your experience will be of value to your classmates, you will have a solid shot at garnering the attention of your schools. Passion is king, so instead of having an apologetic attitude about your background, think of it as an ace in the hole, backing it up with reasons why in your essays!
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Expert Post
1 KUDOS received
Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant
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Affiliations: Veritas Prep
Joined: 25 Jul 2010
Posts: 1350
Followers: 35

Kudos [?]: 128 [1] , given: 3

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Re: Profile Evaluation - Thoughts? [#permalink] New post 25 May 2012, 05:37
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With an undergrad and MS in the sciences, I would assume there was mathematics in your coursework, particularly statistics? Sometimes adcoms will concern themselves with non-traditional applicants' ability to handle the rigors of the quant analysis in b-school. You want to make sure you demonstrate aptitude for accounting, stats, calculus, etc. to innoculate these concerns. You might consider taking a correspondence course in accounting if you have never had any. This can not only demonstrate commitment to b-school in general, but will also be a real help once you matriculate, particularly if you have not ever taken such courses. Of course if you end up doing well on the quant portion of the GMAT that will also help assuage any concerns. Beyond that, I don't really see any glaring holes in your profile, although admittedly, you do not give all the details. Hopefully you have some community involvement in your past--it's always good to show leadership not only at work but outside of work as well. The core essentials you definitely seem to posess: teamwork, leadership, innovation (your thesis alone will go far to demonstrate this), and maturity (age in your case will speak for itself). Avoid HBS and Stanford, who notoriously snub older candidates and you should be good (although there are always a couple of older candidates at those schools who slip through). When you apply as an older candidate, expect more scrutiny over your career achievements and be prepared to speak to why it "took you so long" to get back to school. Definitely throw in for a few top 10 schools, though. no reason why you should "settle" with such a unique profile.
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Bryant Michaels
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Manager
Manager
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Joined: 02 May 2012
Posts: 109
Location: United Kingdom
WE: Account Management (Other)
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Kudos [?]: 14 [0], given: 34

Re: Profile Evaluation - Thoughts? [#permalink] New post 24 May 2012, 02:02
Thanks Bryant, I really appreciate your thoughts. I'm sure I'm not the only non-business person on this site to feel a little bit intimidated by some of the backgrounds and experience being touted. It's comforting to know that this may not be a disadvantage after all.

May I ask where you think the disadvantages to my profile lie? I guess I'm really asking what the other side of the same coin looks like.

Kind regards

B.
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Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 02 May 2012
Posts: 109
Location: United Kingdom
WE: Account Management (Other)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 14 [0], given: 34

Re: Profile Evaluation - Thoughts? [#permalink] New post 29 May 2012, 10:57
Thanks very much Byrant, I certainly do have a community leadership activities I can include. I'm pleased that you think my profile is competitive. It's been niggling me for a month or so now so it's reassuring (and uplifting) to hear that it may actually play to my advantage.

Kind regards

B.
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