Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 21 Aug 2014, 18:24

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

Profile Review- Military Officer

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 183
Location: United States
Schools: Haas '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 3

Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2009, 05:28
1
This post was
BOOKMARKED
GMAT: 750
GPA: 3.15 in electrical engineering from Top 10 school
Current Occupation: military officer (deployed to Afghanistan)
Applying to: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Northwestern, and UCLA
Extracurriculars:
Post Grad: Fundraising and Community Service Chair for a 600 member junior officer organization. Garnered a community service award and title of Top Junior Officer Council in the Western U.S. for my organization. Also, I'm my base representative in a two-year community leadership development program. I'm also an alumni interviewer for undergrad admissions for my school.
During College: Heavily involved in ROTC (10-15 hours per week). Ultimately, served as Cadet Commander of my ROTC detachment. Responsible for training junior cadets to become military officers. Also, very involved (~10 hour per week) with a student-run company. Served on the executive board as the Assistant CFO and then the CFO. Company had annual sales of around $1M.
Career Goal: Couple my experience managing defense aerospace programs and overseeing contracts with my interest in finance to pursue an investment banking career focused on M&A in the aerospace/defense sector.
Why Now/Why MBA: I'm coming towards the end of my military service-commitment and would like to transition to civilian life. Since my career goals involve working in finance and I have no formal finance training, I plan to use the MBA to address this gap in my skillset.
Primary Concerns:
Low GPA- I've built an alternate transcript of 2 accounting classes and an econ class (All A's). I've also won numerous military training awards for academics. Lastly, I've won several awards for my job performance and have increasingly been given more responsibility. I plan to address my GPA in the optional essay.
Career Switcher- Being a career switcher into I-banking might raise a red flag, so I plan to present a "Plan B" in the career goals essay. My plan B will probably be to seek an internal compliance/government affairs in an I-bank or perhaps a regulatory position with a government agency (SEC, Fed Reserve, etc.).

I'd appreciate a general profile evaluation. Also, are the schools I'm targeting realistic? Are my career goals feasible? Have I properly addressed my weaknesses? Are there any other weaknesses in my application that I haven't mentioned? Thanks!
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesManhattan GMAT Discount Codes
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 18 Jul 2009
Posts: 112
Schools: MIT
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 5

Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2009, 17:41
I think you have a really good profile and an interesting story. Plus your goals sounds logical and reasonable to me.
I don't think your GPA is low but the fact that you have other academic credentials is also good.

Maybe you should just think about your career progression in the military. One of the consultants I spoke with said B schools always want to know how you performed compared to your peers. I don't know if that is something that is naturally implied in your title?

Good luck!
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 183
Location: United States
Schools: Haas '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2009, 20:55
That's actually a very good point and something I left out in my profile. I was the Junior Officer of the Year (#1/20) this past year and also Junior Officer of the Quarter (#1/50) during the past two years at a higher unit level. I'm also highly rated compared to my peers in my performance reports. Didn't want to overwhelm you guys with details :)

gmatbschool wrote:
I think you have a really good profile and an interesting story. Plus your goals sounds logical and reasonable to me.
I don't think your GPA is low but the fact that you have other academic credentials is also good.

Maybe you should just think about your career progression in the military. One of the consultants I spoke with said B schools always want to know how you performed compared to your peers. I don't know if that is something that is naturally implied in your title?

Good luck!
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 212
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 14 [0], given: 2

GMAT Tests User
Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2009, 23:30
Nice to see another military officer planning on transitioning to bschool. I've been doing a lot of research about military applicants to the top schools, and from what I've learned you shouldn't sweat your GPA too much. It might seem low when looking at the class profiles, but majoring in EE coupled with your work experience should offset that, regardless of where your undergrad was. Also, I wouldn't consider being a career switcher into I-banking a red flag at all, after all just by leaving the service you're pretty much a career switcher no matter what. I think that before the crash I-banking was a pretty popular field for former junior officers to go into. For myself, the hard part won't be why I'm transitioning from the military, but clearly explaining future career goals. Is your Plan B intended to be a more specific goal within finance or are you going to break it out separately?

Given your profile, I would imagine that if you do a good job of answering "Why MBA" and "What do I hope to accomplish with a MBA", that you'll have an above average chance at your target schools. Btw, I was thinking of resurrecting the Calling all 2009 military applicants thread to see if last year's group has any good advice to share or maybe seeing if there's interest in starting a new thread. Any thoughts?
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 183
Location: United States
Schools: Haas '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 00:38
Yeah to be honest, I'm really on the fence about attending biz school next year. I think I will still apply and see what happens.

Are you an academy guy or ROTC?

I think for my Plan B, I'm just going to state that in this economic environment, I understand it may be tough to break into banking and as such, I'm also looking at compliance/regulatory positions as a backup. For me this makes sense, since my plan B ties in with my interests (finance) and my past experience.

It might not be a bad idea to start a 2010 military applicants thread and invite last year's group to post any advice they have. Have you checked out this blog:

http://militarytobusiness.blogspot.com/

It's about an army guy who's attending Harvard this fall. Pretty good stuff.

gregarious wrote:
Nice to see another military officer planning on transitioning to bschool. I've been doing a lot of research about military applicants to the top schools, and from what I've learned you shouldn't sweat your GPA too much. It might seem low when looking at the class profiles, but majoring in EE coupled with your work experience should offset that, regardless of where your undergrad was. Also, I wouldn't consider being a career switcher into I-banking a red flag at all, after all just by leaving the service you're pretty much a career switcher no matter what. I think that before the crash I-banking was a pretty popular field for former junior officers to go into. For myself, the hard part won't be why I'm transitioning from the military, but clearly explaining future career goals. Is your Plan B intended to be a more specific goal within finance or are you going to break it out separately?

Given your profile, I would imagine that if you do a good job of answering "Why MBA" and "What do I hope to accomplish with a MBA", that you'll have an above average chance at your target schools. Btw, I was thinking of resurrecting the Calling all 2009 military applicants thread to see if last year's group has any good advice to share or maybe seeing if there's interest in starting a new thread. Any thoughts?
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 15 May 2009
Posts: 172
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 10:06
RE: swbluedevil:

I skimmed through your profile, and did not find anything about what your job function was in the Army, I noticed you emphasized the leadership development aspects of your military experience. What branch were you in? Did you have any business-applicable jobs?
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 183
Location: United States
Schools: Haas '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 10:30
I am in the Air Force. And most of my experience has applicability to the business world: I've managed launch programs where I've worked with the likes of Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon and I'm currently in Afghanistan overseeing contracts.

GMATaddict wrote:
RE: swbluedevil:

I skimmed through your profile, and did not find anything about what your job function was in the Army, I noticed you emphasized the leadership development aspects of your military experience. What branch were you in? Did you have any business-applicable jobs?
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 15 May 2009
Posts: 172
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 11:35
swbluedevil wrote:
I am in the Air Force. And most of my experience has applicability to the business world: I've managed launch programs where I've worked with the likes of Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon and I'm currently in Afghanistan overseeing contracts.

GMATaddict wrote:
RE: swbluedevil:

I skimmed through your profile, and did not find anything about what your job function was in the Army, I noticed you emphasized the leadership development aspects of your military experience. What branch were you in? Did you have any business-applicable jobs?


Well, I stand corrected. I shouldn't have automatically assumed army.

I was wondering whether you considered Olin (Washington University, St. Louis, MO) as a backup school? You might not need a backup given your work experience & GMAT scores, but Olin stood out to me as a biz school that tries to cater to ex-service members. It has a military alumni association, gives full ride/nearly full ride veteran scholarships, enrolled in the yellow ribbon program, and is also ranked in the top 20s.

I considered their joint degree (MBA/East Asian Studies) program, but it appears that they require BOTH the GMAT & the GRE for the joint degree, and I think East Asian Studies is interesting but a little redundant for me, given my background & experience.

Anyway, I think Olin could be a very safe backup school for you. Its adcom is probably not nearly as demanding in terms of GPA & GMAT as the ultra-elite. Financially speaking, if MBA w/o debt is one of your priorities, their vet scholarship presents an attractive opportunity, especially when used in conjunction with the post 9/11 GI Bill. If you want to stay in the defense industry, their military alumni organization might open some doors that even the top schools cannot.

Again, its not ultra elite, but its up there so don't dismiss it automatically.

By the way, you do qualify for the post 9/11 GI Bill right?
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 212
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 14 [0], given: 2

GMAT Tests User
Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2009, 13:14
swbluedevil wrote:
Yeah to be honest, I'm really on the fence about attending biz school next year. I think I will still apply and see what happens.

Are you an academy guy or ROTC?

I think for my Plan B, I'm just going to state that in this economic environment, I understand it may be tough to break into banking and as such, I'm also looking at compliance/regulatory positions as a backup. For me this makes sense, since my plan B ties in with my interests (finance) and my past experience.

It might not be a bad idea to start a 2010 military applicants thread and invite last year's group to post any advice they have. Have you checked out this blog:

http://militarytobusiness.blogspot.com/

It's about an army guy who's attending Harvard this fall. Pretty good stuff.


I'm an academy guy, so had a five year commitment which already passed. I wasn't even aware of it at the time, but taking another tour that went past the commitment was a good thing for the GI Bill. The militarytobusiness blog is definitely a good one, in fact I think that he may have been one of the posters in the 2009 military applicants thread. If you haven't seen it already check out this site too:

http://www.mba.com/mba/WhyBSchool/MilitaryCandidates/MilitaryFriendlySchools.htm

If you're on the fence about this year, it could be worth applying and then asking for a deferral if your situation changes. (the service based reason on the mba.com page is pretty broad)

I like GMATaddict's recommendation of Olin as a school that might give you a scholarship; I've seen them come up before a vet friendly school. Also, if you're interested in finance and don't mind the location, take a look at the Park Fellowship Program at Cornell, it's a full ride with a leadership emphasis.

http://www.johnson.cornell.edu/park/
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 183
Location: United States
Schools: Haas '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2009, 05:27
GMATaddict wrote:
swbluedevil wrote:
I am in the Air Force. And most of my experience has applicability to the business world: I've managed launch programs where I've worked with the likes of Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon and I'm currently in Afghanistan overseeing contracts.

GMATaddict wrote:
RE: swbluedevil:

I skimmed through your profile, and did not find anything about what your job function was in the Army, I noticed you emphasized the leadership development aspects of your military experience. What branch were you in? Did you have any business-applicable jobs?


Well, I stand corrected. I shouldn't have automatically assumed army.

I was wondering whether you considered Olin (Washington University, St. Louis, MO) as a backup school? You might not need a backup given your work experience & GMAT scores, but Olin stood out to me as a biz school that tries to cater to ex-service members. It has a military alumni association, gives full ride/nearly full ride veteran scholarships, enrolled in the yellow ribbon program, and is also ranked in the top 20s.

I considered their joint degree (MBA/East Asian Studies) program, but it appears that they require BOTH the GMAT & the GRE for the joint degree, and I think East Asian Studies is interesting but a little redundant for me, given my background & experience.

Anyway, I think Olin could be a very safe backup school for you. Its adcom is probably not nearly as demanding in terms of GPA & GMAT as the ultra-elite. Financially speaking, if MBA w/o debt is one of your priorities, their vet scholarship presents an attractive opportunity, especially when used in conjunction with the post 9/11 GI Bill. If you want to stay in the defense industry, their military alumni organization might open some doors that even the top schools cannot.

Again, its not ultra elite, but its up there so don't dismiss it automatically.

By the way, you do qualify for the post 9/11 GI Bill right?


I've looked at Olin and even met with some of their admissions reps at the World MBA Tour. I definitely got the impression they were military-friendly, but the school doesn't excite me that much and neither does the location. Olin's definitely a good school, but I don't think I'd go there if I were accepted. I think Darden would be a good safety for me... and maybe Duke.

As for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, I don't start accruing time towards it until after I finish my service-commitment. That's one of the main reasons I'm on the fence about going to biz school next year. It's a lot of money I'd be passing up. And the thing is, I don't feel the rush to apply since it's acceptable for military candidates to be a little older. I'd be 28 at matriculation, which I don't think is too bad.
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 15 May 2009
Posts: 172
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 13:10
RE: swbluedevil

According to the school stats I've looked at, the average age of MBA students (for most of the schools I looked up) are usually 27-28, so I think age is the least of our concerns.

I'll be 28 at matriculation as well.
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 216
Location: Evanston, IL
Schools: Kellogg '11 (MMM)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 2

GMAT Tests User
Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 19:43
swbluedevil,

Based on your profile I think you have a legitimate chance at all the schools you listed. One thing that may actually work to your favor is that you are Air Force and not Army, Navy or Marine Corps. Seems like most of the other prior military guys I've met along the way were everything but Air Force.

Also, I really wouldn't worry too much about your GPA. My GMAT was "low" and I still managed to get into Kellogg.

I think for HBS, you really have to be able to show that you did something spetacular, leading some kind of team that just about saved the world. Or for us military folks, served as provincial mayor of somewhere in Afghanistan or something to that effect. Kellogg, I think you really need to focus on how you have both been a team member and a team leader is a work setting. Don't know too much about Stern. If you are interested in finance, perhaps Wharton would be your best target. I know that they are military friendly and age does not really seem to be a factor.

Also, have you considered Darden? Extremely military friendly. Last year they waived the application fee for military applicants. I imagine they are probably doing the same this year.
Plus, they have about seven half scholarships specifically for military applicants.
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 183
Location: United States
Schools: Haas '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 22:55
domtri33 wrote:

I think for HBS, you really have to be able to show that you did something spetacular, leading some kind of team that just about saved the world. Or for us military folks, served as provincial mayor of somewhere in Afghanistan or something to that effect.


I'm not sure I necessarily agree with that. According to this blog by a former military guy starting at HBS this year the vast majority of the Class of 2011 military folks are from non-combat support backgrounds (~80%):

http://militarytobusiness.blogspot.com/ ... itary.html

Also, from what I've seen here in Afghanistan, military guys don't serve as "provincial mayors" or anything like that. A company commander will have his areas of responsibility and will interact with Afghan mayors, district governors, and/or provincial officials. But again, these individuals will fall under the Combat Arms/Combat Support roles mentioned in the blog, which means the vast majority of those with military backgrounds will not have that kind of experience.
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 216
Location: Evanston, IL
Schools: Kellogg '11 (MMM)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 2

GMAT Tests User
Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2009, 08:00
swbluedevil wrote:
domtri33 wrote:

I think for HBS, you really have to be able to show that you did something spetacular, leading some kind of team that just about saved the world. Or for us military folks, served as provincial mayor of somewhere in Afghanistan or something to that effect.


I'm not sure I necessarily agree with that. According to this blog by a former military guy starting at HBS this year the vast majority of the Class of 2011 military folks are from non-combat support backgrounds (~80%):

http://militarytobusiness.blogspot.com/ ... itary.html

Also, from what I've seen here in Afghanistan, military guys don't serve as "provincial mayors" or anything like that. A company commander will have his areas of responsibility and will interact with Afghan mayors, district governors, and/or provincial officials. But again, these individuals will fall under the Combat Arms/Combat Support roles mentioned in the blog, which means the vast majority of those with military backgrounds will not have that kind of experience.


Okay, I was being a bit tongue in cheek with my post. I understand that not everyone served as a provincial mayor, I know that I never did. The point that I was trying to make is that I no longer think its enough just to be a veteran of OEF/OIF. I mean, schools will respect that and look favorably on it, but you have to really think about the competition you are against.

As I'm sure you know, admissions statistics are misleading, in that you really aren't "competing" directly against all 7000+ applicants. You're really just competing against the rest of your demographic for however many spots the admissions committee want to fill with people of that back ground. So in your case, you are competing against all the other military officers (many of them combat veterans) who are applying. So the point I was trying to make, is that if most of the other military folks that are also applying are vets, then that no longer really differentiates you within that demographic. Therefore, if you are trying to use your deployments as a "wow" factor in your application, you need to find something about your deployments that really stands out as unique, thus my comment about being a provincial mayor.
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 57
Schools: Wharton (WEMBA East)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 15 [0], given: 1

GMAT Tests User
Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2009, 11:24
IANAAC, but I thought you could make a strong case at your target schools. Your score, undergrad and additional courses seem to answer the "can they do the work" question. The next hurdle is "why you". If you nail your essays, you look like a solid candidate to me. I do the exec route so ymmv, but recent classmates are current or ex-service from three different branches. All were combat roles (we're a tactically capable MBA class I suppose...), but our group is older and a small sample, so I wouldn't think you have to worry about your service role.

If you're interested in Northwestern but want a career in finance, I think someone is obligated to suggest Booth as well. :)
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 183
Location: United States
Schools: Haas '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Review- Military Officer [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2009, 06:01
Good tips... I'll keep that in mind when I'm doing my essays. Best of luck to you. Where are you applying?

EDIT: Never mind, I see you're at Kellogg.

domtri33 wrote:
swbluedevil wrote:
domtri33 wrote:

I think for HBS, you really have to be able to show that you did something spetacular, leading some kind of team that just about saved the world. Or for us military folks, served as provincial mayor of somewhere in Afghanistan or something to that effect.


I'm not sure I necessarily agree with that. According to this blog by a former military guy starting at HBS this year the vast majority of the Class of 2011 military folks are from non-combat support backgrounds (~80%):

http://militarytobusiness.blogspot.com/ ... itary.html

Also, from what I've seen here in Afghanistan, military guys don't serve as "provincial mayors" or anything like that. A company commander will have his areas of responsibility and will interact with Afghan mayors, district governors, and/or provincial officials. But again, these individuals will fall under the Combat Arms/Combat Support roles mentioned in the blog, which means the vast majority of those with military backgrounds will not have that kind of experience.


Okay, I was being a bit tongue in cheek with my post. I understand that not everyone served as a provincial mayor, I know that I never did. The point that I was trying to make is that I no longer think its enough just to be a veteran of OEF/OIF. I mean, schools will respect that and look favorably on it, but you have to really think about the competition you are against.

As I'm sure you know, admissions statistics are misleading, in that you really aren't "competing" directly against all 7000+ applicants. You're really just competing against the rest of your demographic for however many spots the admissions committee want to fill with people of that back ground. So in your case, you are competing against all the other military officers (many of them combat veterans) who are applying. So the point I was trying to make, is that if most of the other military folks that are also applying are vets, then that no longer really differentiates you within that demographic. Therefore, if you are trying to use your deployments as a "wow" factor in your application, you need to find something about your deployments that really stands out as unique, thus my comment about being a provincial mayor.
Re: Profile Review- Military Officer   [#permalink] 06 Aug 2009, 06:01
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
Military Officer - Profile Review Duff 0 09 Feb 2013, 11:59
Experts publish their posts in the topic Profile Eval - Military Officer swbluedevil 1 26 Nov 2011, 09:06
Experts publish their posts in the topic Profile Eval - Military Officer swbluedevil 1 26 Nov 2011, 09:04
Experts publish their posts in the topic Profile Eval - Military Officer swbluedevil 1 26 Nov 2011, 09:01
Profile Review- Military Officer swbluedevil 1 25 Jul 2009, 05:44
Display posts from previous: Sort by

Profile Review- Military Officer

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  

Moderator: OasisGC



GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.