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seniors in college...advice needed as a future applicant

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seniors in college...advice needed as a future applicant [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2009, 13:06
Hello,

First, this is NOT a "what are my chances question".
Currently I am a senior at a top 50 public university, where I major in Marketing. While I do have a solid GPA, 3.8/4.0, it is quite obvious when looking down my transcript that I have many A's, however those classes that I did not get a "A's" in tend to be those course that are rigorous, such as Accounting, Finance, Art History, Statistics. I had a bad work ethic in college, in the fact that I choose to take "easy" courses so make my GPA look very good, when in fact all of the hard courses I evidently didn't perform amazing in but rather just recieved B's or B+'s. After doing more research into top MBA programs, I noticed that they pay close attention to the rigor of your curriculum and particular university.

After graduation, I plan to work in a boutique consulting firm focusing on business risk and real estate advisory. However in the long term I plan to switch over into Real Estate. I want to get into Real Estate investing. As a side note, I noticed that most of the top MBA programs have an extremely small percentage of people who come from the Real Estate sector. Often time 1-2% of attendees come from this sector.

I plan to apply to business school in four years. I already know that I am not a good standardized test taker, judging by my struggles with the SAT's. Therefore I was curious to know what advice you can give me, to help distinguish and make myself a unique applicant? ... so that possibly my decievingly "high GPA", and my likely sub-par GMAT score will not be weighted as heavily.
I plan to exit consulting within 1-2 years, and switch into a more formal real estate career, thus avoiding the run down cookie-cutter MBA applicant that is from consulting/banking. My family has begun investing in Real Estate, therefore I plan to start that after consulting, hopefully opening my own business prior to attending business school. I was thinking of possibly taking core business courses over again, to earn better grades, however I wasn't sure if this is only good for applicants who come from non-business majors, or if this is a good thing to do for people who did not perform as well as they could in college.
What do you suggest I do over the next four years, to prepare myself as a competitive applicant given my high GPA in "easy courses" from an "okay" university, and my "average" standardized test taking abilities, and my unique and underrepresented real estate ambitions as a entrepreneur.

Finally, I also want to note, that I want to attend MBA school to build a global network of leaders, something that I don't have coming out of my undergraduate school. I'm not going to MBA school to switch careers, or to land a McKinsey/Goldman Sachs gig. I want to go to learn and grow with a powerful network I can hold for life. I know that people often talk about how every school has a different vibe, such as quant heavy Wharton, entrepreneurial MIT....etc. I want to go someplace that's focused on attracting a very diverse crowd of people both racially, career backgrounds, geography..etc.

I appreciate your advice, I know I'm not the typically forum poster, who is in the midst of applications. I am many years away, however when I do apply to MBA school I want to feel like I made the right decisions in my career, so that I don't have to find application strategies to cover up my career mistakes after the fact.

Thanks. Anyoneelse who is also knowledgeable also feel free to comment.
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seniors in college...advice needed as a future applicant   [#permalink] 16 Feb 2009, 13:06
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