1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
We have various private businesses. In some of those I am the general manager. I am also running a private equity fund that we have set up. So basically evaluating investing and partly-managing various investments is my main occupation.
2) Your GMAT.
I haven't taken it yet. I will study for a total of 1 month and then take it once before applying end of Dec (to not miss the Jan deadlines). I believe I could catch a score of 690, maybe 700.
3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
1) University of Miami B.Sc. (Honours) Computer Science (& minor in Mathematics) 2001-2003
2) Cranfield University (in the UK) M.Sc. Air Transport Management 2003-2004
Grade: 60% (quite low but I was working for our private family businesses full-time). Q: Will this low grade in the M.Sc. significantly hurt my chances?
(side note: very high grades in high school)
4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Captain/player of an amateur soccer team for the last 4 years which takes part in local tournaments
Chess Player (master level) and volunteer tutor for younger students at my local chess club
Last 5 years volunteer (once a week) at a center for mentally disabled people (my brother is also attending that)
Lots of free time spent on self-improvement and studies of other disciplines (100s of hours of seminars on Finance and Legal studies)
other activities: gym, tennis
5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
I have studied for the CFA Level 1 but I haven't taken the exam yet.
6) Your target programs.
Top 5, i.e. Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, MIT etc
7) Your post-MBA goal.
Go back to my home country and expand the existing family businesses and/or start-up a new business I have in mind
Age: almost 29
Work experience: about 9 years
There are quite a few things I haven't included so please let me know which areas don't look so good, so I could improve them.
Many thanks in advance!
I think you are aiming high if you are just applying top 5 and end up with a 690-700. While your experience is good and I'm guessing you're from Greece, which doesn't send tons of applications to top bschools, I am concerned about your MS grades and the GMAT being on the low side for the top 5. Also, frankly, nine years of full-time work experience is on the high side for traditional MBA programs. However the good news, is that you intend to return to your family business so they may overlook your experience level since they don't have to place you.
Basically, apply to 2-3 schools in the top 5 and then apply to 3-4 strong general management programs outside the top. Consider Cornell, Yale, Ross, Darden, and Fuqua.
You may want to consider Kellogg which has a lot of resources for an MBA going back to a family business.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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