My profile is pasted below. Can you review and offer thoughts on my chances at the respective schools, my areas of concern, etc.? Any help is greatly appreciated!
Profile: 32 years old, American male, Caucasian
Undergrad:'03 BS Psychology at Big Ten school, 3.56 GPA
Grad: '04-05 Some coursework at Big Ten school of Music, 3.51 GPA
GMAT: 760 (99%), 49Q (83%)/46V (99%)
Work Experience (5 1/2 years):
I started at a Coordinator/Assistant level in Business/Legal Affairs at a small (50 employees) independent home entertainment studio/label in Los Angeles and received two promotions within 3 ½ years, becoming their Director of Digital Business/Strategy. Being at a small company, I’ve gained very broad experience in many areas as a one-person operation, including short/long-term digital strategy, financial projections/forecasts, business development, marketing/promotions, negotiating agreements, content/asset delivery, and managing digital partner/content owner relationships. I’ve grown our annual digital revenue from 5 to 7 figures in 4 years, and our company has been at the forefront of independent studios in launching content for multiple high-level launches (eg Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.). I currently manage one employee and have managed 3 interns in past.
After completing some masters-level coursework at a Big Ten school of music, I decided that the best way to pursue a career in the entertainment business was to move to Los Angeles and take an entry-level job. That job quickly affirmed that my main interests involve formulating a strategy that makes my department as efficient, cost-effective and profitable as possible and then making the moves that put that strategy into motion.
I looked at my move to Los Angeles as an investment in experiences/skills while knowing that my long-term plan would eventually bring me back to the Midwest. I have since married and now my wife and I have a little one that we want to raise near our extended families. In the short-term, my interests have led me into an area where the available strategy work in the Midwest lies in non-entertainment industries such as consulting. These factors, in addition to my discussions with recruiters about my long-term goals, make this the perfect time for me pursue an MBA. An MBA will give me the education, experience and qualifications needed to further my career in strategy.
Extra Curricular/Volunteer Work:
I was heavily involved in helping fellow students while in undergrad. I spent 4 years working at my college’s learning center. 1 ½ of those years were spent mentoring college-level algebra, including leading 3-5 classes/semester of 15-25 students each. I also spent 3 years working at the student resource resource center. I received 2 college leadership awards in addition to being named a top 100 outstanding student at my college as a senior.
While in Los Angeles I’ve done several things. I spent 2 ½ years in a mentoring program for at risk youth from South Central Los Angeles. I’ve done volunteer work for multiple organizations including the Special Olympics, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Rock the Classroom, the Los Angeles Veteran’s Hospital, Heal the Bay, etc. I’m also involved on a special committee at my job that promotes employee morale and involvement. I’ve organized after work social activities, promoted volunteering, organized employee tennis tournaments and co-managed softball teams, and other events.
Post MBA Plan:
Short-term: Placement in a large company with an office in the Midwest in a Strategy/Consulting role. One example is Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co.
Long-term: COO/CEO at a large company.
Work Experience: working for a small company has been an amazing experience, but the infrastructure and amount of work required in my one-person department did not facilitate a need for more employees until recently. Without speaking with various ad-coms, I’m not sure if the management/leadership experience I’ve had in working with clients and extra-curricular activities is adequate or covers the number of employees that I’ve managed.
Academics: I received an incomplete in one of my last graduate-level courses, and that eventually led to an F on my transcript. I’ve read multiple thoughts on how this may affect my application, and my main concern is the timing of the F.
HBS, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, Kelley (IU), Mendoza (Notre Dame)
Your work experience is competitive. You just have the small challenge of educating your reader. It's not insurmountable. And if done well, I think your work experience can be a real strength.
The F is a weakness. Obviously you will need to provide context and present it as an aberration in an otherwise highly competitive and impressive academic career. You'll just need to see which schools decides to overlook it.
You are highly competitive at Kelley and Mendoza. You have a chance at HBS, Wharton, Kellogg and Booth, but those are just tougher schools. I also suggest you consider Ross and Darden.
if you would like help with your MBA applications,
please keep Accepted in mind.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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