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Should I post-pone?

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Should I post-pone? [#permalink] New post 12 Dec 2004, 21:18
Hi guys,

I would greatly appreciate your advice on the following matter. I am 27 years old, and I have five years of experience as a software engineer, four of which I lived in a different country (France) than my birth one (Romania). GMAT 720 (51Q, 35V, 3.5 AWA), Toefl 283 with 5.0 on the essay. I want to change my career, and I would like to earn an MBA from a top US school in order to have more career options. I have recently moved to Canada to improve my conversational English, and I’m planning to take a writing course to address my weak verbal GMAT score, too. The problem is that I’m still not sure what I would want to do with the MBA, and I’m afraid this will be very visible in my essays and during the interviews. Plus, I didn’t have the chance to visit any of my target schools…
I’m thinking about waiting for another year, but instead of taking another programming job I would like to spend this time volunteering.
Do you think this will weaken my chances of being accepted to a top school next year? Will this be seen as a gap in my professional experience that I will have to explain?

Thanks a lot in advance!
Lucas
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Re: Should I post-pone? [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2004, 22:01
Expert's post
lucas wrote:
Hi guys,

I would greatly appreciate your advice on the following matter. I am 27 years old, and I have five years of experience as a software engineer, four of which I lived in a different country (France) than my birth one (Romania). GMAT 720 (51Q, 35V, 3.5 AWA), Toefl 283 with 5.0 on the essay. I want to change my career, and I would like to earn an MBA from a top US school in order to have more career options. I have recently moved to Canada to improve my conversational English, and I’m planning to take a writing course to address my weak verbal GMAT score, too. The problem is that I’m still not sure what I would want to do with the MBA, and I’m afraid this will be very visible in my essays and during the interviews. Plus, I didn’t have the chance to visit any of my target schools…
I’m thinking about waiting for another year, but instead of taking another programming job I would like to spend this time volunteering.
Do you think this will weaken my chances of being accepted to a top school next year? Will this be seen as a gap in my professional experience that I will have to explain?

Thanks a lot in advance!
Lucas


Waiting a year to clarify your goals, improve your English, and research the schools is a good idea. The value of the volunteer experience would depend on its nature and quality. If you take on serious responsibility, work close to full time, can demonstrate leadership and organizational skill, then the volunteer position could add toyour profile, especially if somehow related to your long-term goals or life-long personal interests. If it means you spend a few hours a week volunteering at a fairly low level, then the experience will not be competitive with the work experience of other applicants and could hurt you.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2004, 16:11
Hi Linda, and thank you so much for your answer!

Of course, I was talking about volunteering at a higher-than-a-few-hours-a-week level. I’m interested in a career in non-profit management, and there is no way I could back this up right now. You said “work close to full timeâ€
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2004, 19:13
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[quote="lucas"]Hi Linda, and thank you so much for your answer!

Of course, I was talking about volunteering at a higher-than-a-few-hours-a-week level. I’m interested in a career in non-profit management, and there is no way I could back this up right now. You said “work close to full timeâ€
_________________

Linda Abraham
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310-815-9553

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

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