I wanted to get some sort of feedback about whether I have a reasonable chance of success with top 10 schools (maybe a couple top 15) if I am applying to 5 of them plus LBS.
Following is my background: good gmat scores (770, 5.5 AWA), good undergraduate school (UVA) with ok grades (3.0) in hard science major (liberal arts degree not engineering), 8 years work experience (software engineering), leadership roles in charity organizations, some international work experience.
I think that the weakness in my application is my age and career direction. I have worked as a contractor for last several years and always do very well, but it hasn't been for any big name companies. Also I am still trying to clearly define my career goals for schools. This I have found the most difficult. Truly I want to go to business school in order to open my career options. I feel like I would like to start or run my own company one day, but probably not immediately after business school. Probably, I will find opportunities for general management in a small/medium company (or possibly a large company with program rotating new mgr throughout company) or marketing/bus. dev. to fit well with my past experience plus bschool. How necessary is it to describe a very specific career path after bschool?
I have been using "how to get into top mba programs as a reference", but I read reviews about your book and I have just ordered "mba game plan" today. Can you recommend any other resources. Especially for help with what adcom is looking for wrt career path. Are there particular career paths that a software engineer would want to avoid describing because it puts application into a category with too many other applicants?