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Question re: background

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Question re: background [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2004, 13:10
I've got a question re: minor infraction/criminal background

We all make mistakes....but will business schools look disfavorably on an applicant that has had a small "incident" with the law early in their career? Two and a half years ago I was slapped with a silly little Class C misdemeanor charge for public intoxication. A little too young and immature, a few too many drinks, a little too much rowdiness (no damage, injury, etc...) and there's the infraction. Silly and stupid (believe me, I've learned...the fratboy days are over).

In TX, these records are "no big deal.....they're just like traffic tickets" according to the local cops/attorneys, (and supposedly they dont often show on national background checks, only on city and county checks) but I'm wondering about disclosing it on applications for schools that ask. If I explain what happened, and all that was involved, on the application, would the schools still look disfavorably on me vs. someone who doesnt have a "blemish" like this? My record is pristine, aside from this.

Just curious, as no one has been able to give me a reasonable answer on this as it pertains to going to b-school. Hoping you might be able to give me some insight. I'm really hoping it won't matter, but figured I'd run it by you before I start down the applications "road."

Thanks.
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Re: Question re: background [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2004, 12:56
Expert's post
PaTxGuy wrote:
I've got a question re: minor infraction/criminal background

We all make mistakes....but will business schools look disfavorably on an applicant that has had a small "incident" with the law early in their career? Two and a half years ago I was slapped with a silly little Class C misdemeanor charge for public intoxication. A little too young and immature, a few too many drinks, a little too much rowdiness (no damage, injury, etc...) and there's the infraction. Silly and stupid (believe me, I've learned...the fratboy days are over).

In TX, these records are "no big deal.....they're just like traffic tickets" according to the local cops/attorneys, (and supposedly they dont often show on national background checks, only on city and county checks) but I'm wondering about disclosing it on applications for schools that ask. If I explain what happened, and all that was involved, on the application, would the schools still look disfavorably on me vs. someone who doesnt have a "blemish" like this? My record is pristine, aside from this.

Just curious, as no one has been able to give me a reasonable answer on this as it pertains to going to b-school. Hoping you might be able to give me some insight. I'm really hoping it won't matter, but figured I'd run it by you before I start down the applications "road."

Thanks.

If asked, you must disclose. Remember, many schools will do checks after acceptance. If you have "forgotten" to disclose something they asked for that's grounds for them to withdraw an offer of admission.

With that said, don't give the line that this was really no big deal and just like a parking ticket. Take responsiblity. Say you learned your lesson, as evidenced by the absence of a repeat offense. You will not be the first or the last one admitted to b-school with an infraction.

Good luck!
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One More Question [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2004, 19:22
I agree with you and plan to be completely open and honest about it (and the subsequent lessons learned).

The only question I have is if this can seriously affect my chances. If it could be a major factor in the admissions process, I may just take my chances and not say a word, hoping for the best that it never comes up.

If I know that it wont be a crucial factor to the admissions process I have no problem disclosing it.

Any thoughts? Thanks.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2004, 07:38
This sounds like a straighforward question from an ethics exam:

1) You have an ethical obligation to disclose fully all material information.

2) This incident is almost certainly material

3) Thus, it should be disclosed

Integrity is revealing potentially detrimental information because you know it is the right thing to do.

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Re: One More Question [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2004, 09:59
Expert's post
PaTxGuy wrote:
I agree with you and plan to be completely open and honest about it (and the subsequent lessons learned).

The only question I have is if this can seriously affect my chances. If it could be a major factor in the admissions process, I may just take my chances and not say a word, hoping for the best that it never comes up.

If I know that it wont be a crucial factor to the admissions process I have no problem disclosing it.

Any thoughts? Thanks.


Officially this will not doom your application. Unofficially I suspect it depends on the reader. If the reader has a DUI on his or her record but is otherwise a responsibile, respectable member of society who has also left the frat society behind, then he or she will discount the infraction. If the readers were at some point a victim of a drunk driver, for example, they make take it a little differently.

However I again reiterate, if you are asked about such infractions, you must disclose. Failing to reveal this misdemeanor when asked could doom your application. Responding honestly to the question has its risks but is not the equivalent of application suicide.

Good luck!
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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