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So So GPA and left Big 4...

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So So GPA and left Big 4... [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2014, 07:50
27/M/African American with CPA

Currently I am a financial analyst at a medium sized company and have regularly gotten high ratings. I stayed at a Big 4 firm for 1 year (actually 9 months) and absolutely hated it and left.

GMAT: 730

Northern Illinois University: 3.25/4.0 GPA with 3.95/4.0 in major (3.25 is a result of premed classes at different school while playing college football, A's in nearly all finance and accounting classes)

Started online network/forum for accounting and finance career advancement and help (site makes significant profit also). I started tutoring services for kids needing help with accounting (all free) and volunteer with inner city kids helping one get to and through college.

I have ran a probono social media marketing firm for nonprofit organizations (They will be my letters of recommendation)

Any top 25 but specifically Ross, Farqua, Stern, Booth, Kelley would be great (#1 is Ross) and looking to apply R1 2015

I want to use the MBA as a career change into a brand management role with the long term goal of starting a hands on charity helping inner city kids get motivated for college.

My concern would be that I left Big 4 and now my job doesn't scream out "prestigious", not that a Big 4 job did. My overall GPA also isn't amazing by any means. I think my strengths will be things I did outside of work with charities. What do you guys thin
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Re: So So GPA and left Big 4... [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2014, 12:47
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Hi there,

Thanks for your post. Yes you have some strengths and weaknesses, as you describe and are aware of, but you seem to be able to further explain the reasons behind your past (grades, leaving the job etc though you may have to focus on your reason to choose the next job vs hating the prior one!), which shows a certain level of maturity, and you have a lot going for you profile-wise.

Your GMAT is excellent; higher than average at the top b-schools in the world. You have successful entrepreneurial experience with the website for finance career advancement, so that is unique and something you'd bring to a b-school classroom. The tutoring kids and the pro-bono social media campaigns are all interesting and worth highlighting in the applications. Your overall GPA is low, yes, but your GMAT does help and you can at least briefly explain the situation and why you don't feel that is fully representative of what you'll be able to accomplish in b-school.

Your school list sounds appropriate, and I think you'd have strong chances at those programs, with Booth & Stern being the most competitive on the list. (And I assume that was Fuqua at Duke you mentioned??). You could even add another top 10 program if interested, I wouldn't rule it out with what you've accomplished. Given that your long term goals sound close to the concept of social entrepreneurship, you could look into schools like Yale and Haas which are known for that (and of course there's always HBS, though challenging for all applicants.). ;)

I would work on how you'll explain the short term post-MBA (brand management) transition into the long term goal of starting the charity. I think you can build that link of why brand management given the long term goal.... but make sure the story makes sense as it could raise some questions as it stands now. It does sound like you may have a knack for brand management though.

Good luck and keep us posted! If you'd like to chat further we have a free consult link at http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php, or just post back here.
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So So GPA and left Big 4...

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