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Some guidance greatly needed

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Some guidance greatly needed [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 13:19
Hi,


GMAT: currently preparing
Undergrad: Currently undertaking - Bachelor of Financial Services, Institute of Bankers, UCD, Ireland. The number 1 business school in Ireland. 2 years to go...
GPA year one: 3.67
Age: 31
Nationality: Irish
Target schools: top 20 US B-Schools

From what I have been reading on the forum I would not appear to rank as a typical business school applicant. Right now I am preparing for the GMAT. Perhaps if I provide some personal history some of you can direct me a little on what business school would be a good match and/or most realistic for me to apply to.

My medium term career objective is to move into another industry. Financial services and property development are my areas of interest. More long term I would hope to run my own business within those industries. In the short term I would hope to acquire the skills to grow my business to sufficient scale that I could exit with enough capital to do something myself, or change industry post MBA and pick up some experience in an area like banking.

Entrepreneurial experience
First off I'm 31. My 12 years of experience have been entirely in the fitness industry. I am a personal trainer by trade but during my career I’ve started several businesses; gyms, a fitness ecommerce site, nutrition education business etc... Up until recently I was running two gyms, both of which I started myself. I have just sold one facility in order to open another larger one, which is 6000 square feet or so. All these businesses have been started on a shoestring budget. The actual story behind some of these would make your hair stand on end. These startups extend all to way back to about the age of 7 and I'm pretty sure that any section on overcoming difficulties in my application letters should blow the socks off any admissions officer: )

Anyway prior to owning my own facilities I was an operations manager for six years with Irelands largest corporate fitness provider (a company that fits out fitness facilities in large corporate offices and provides management thereafter)

For 3 years I was a strength and conditioning coach for the IRFU. That’s the Irish rugby football union here in Ireland, we have a very high standard of rugby here.

I was the fitness and nutrition advisor to the Irish Everest expedition in 2008.

I've spent much time on TV and giving media interviews on the subject of nutrition and exercise. On a professional level one could say I have gone about as far as I can go as a personal trainer and am now really focused on building a business within the industry. One stand out skill can say has attributed to succeeding in the industry has been my curiosity for knowledge, I have done my best to assimilate as much information as possible on the subject.

Academics
I do not hold an undergraduate degree. I do hold a number of diplomas in personal training, nutrition, life coaching and an area called NLP. I over the years have consumed more books, and information on exercise science and nutrition than anyone I know! I really made an effort to create an informational advantage you could say.

Right now I'm doing an undergrad in financial services... 2 years to go. So far my grades have been good. This summer I will complete the ACCA diploma in business and accounting. Its like year one of an accounting degree. I really want to get comfortable with accounting before I enter the MBA.

Sport
From the age of 14 to 19 I competed for Ireland at the sport of archery. I was the number one ranking archer in Ireland for 6 years. I had a good European ranking and still hold many national records today. For the past 5 years or so I have competed at triathlon. Right now I race ironman distance triathlon and have competed internationally. I would tend to place in the top 20 in my category at international races. I really enjoy endurance sports and feel that they have thought me a great deal about work ethic and discipline.

Mountaineering
I have also climbed a number of high altitude mountains in Europe and Africa and had a lead role in preparing the climbers for the Irish Everest expedition in 2008. I trained for 12 months with the climbers both in Ireland and around the world.


Charity work
As a part of the mountaineering the climbers and myself decided to raise money for a Christian charity which was responsible for building school in Uganda. We raised over €70,000 and a new school was completed in 2009. As part of the project I spent some time in Entebbe, Uganda working with the charity.


I did note brevity in the requirements so I apologize for the length here.



I would really appreciate some good honest feedback here. If a personal profile like mine puts me right out of the top 50 just say it! I would really like to have some direction on what is realistic.



Sincere thanks for the help



Kind Regards


Eoin McKenna
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Re: Some guidance greatly needed [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2012, 23:19
[quote="eoinhmckenna"]Hi,




Hi,

You have outstanding achievements and I am sure your essays are going to be a very interesting read. I believe that your work profile will add diversity to any MBA class and that would make you a coveted candidate.
Some concerns according to me are:
1. How and why does the MBA degree fit into your plans? More so as you are already completeing an undergrad course and have another two years to go before you can do an MBA. An executive MBA may be a better bet then, considering your age and work experience.
2. You have solid work experience in the fitness industry and your extra curricular activities strengthen this interest. In this light, your future career goals will sound more reasonable if they are linked to the past experience. A shift to banking sounds far fetched, though you could look at a finance based role within the fitness industry or talk about getting back to the fitness centres, armed with a general management perspective through the MBA education.

Namita
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Re: Some guidance greatly needed [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2012, 03:34
MBAHelp wrote:
eoinhmckenna wrote:
Hi,




Hi,

You have outstanding achievements and I am sure your essays are going to be a very interesting read. I believe that your work profile will add diversity to any MBA class and that would make you a coveted candidate.
Some concerns according to me are:
1. How and why does the MBA degree fit into your plans? More so as you are already completeing an undergrad course and have another two years to go before you can do an MBA. An executive MBA may be a better bet then, considering your age and work experience.
2. You have solid work experience in the fitness industry and your extra curricular activities strengthen this interest. In this light, your future career goals will sound more reasonable if they are linked to the past experience. A shift to banking sounds far fetched, though you could look at a finance based role within the fitness industry or talk about getting back to the fitness centres, armed with a general management perspective through the MBA education.

Namita
http://www.mbadecoder.com




Thank you Namita,

Well the FT MBA is due to a few reasons. One, my partner is a doctor and she is looking at 2 years in the US as a part of her training. It fits into my time frame for finishing my degree and the locations of good hospitals seem to also be where good business schools are. Two, I am really enjoying study and would love a full time experience. And three, I want to move into a different industry. I guess thats the main reason for my choice.

With regard to your second point, is it reasonable to apply with the express purpose on changing career? Would that put me out of the running for a top school?


Thanks

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Re: Some guidance greatly needed [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2012, 02:01
eoinhmckenna wrote:

Thank you Namita,

Well the FT MBA is due to a few reasons. One, my partner is a doctor and she is looking at 2 years in the US as a part of her training. It fits into my time frame for finishing my degree and the locations of good hospitals seem to also be where good business schools are. Two, I am really enjoying study and would love a full time experience. And three, I want to move into a different industry. I guess thats the main reason for my choice.

With regard to your second point, is it reasonable to apply with the express purpose on changing career? Would that put me out of the running for a top school?


Thanks

Eoin


The expression of the intent to change careers is not wrong. It is your personal decision and you would have your reasons for it. In any case, most people do MBA to do something different than what they were doing before.

What the adcom will keenly look for however is whether you have done your homework in evaluating and establishing the feasibility of the transition. Companies have a typical mindset and they want talent with as close a fit as possible in terms of experience and skills to their requirement. Keeping that in mind, a transition to finance/ financial services may be done if you start with financing of fitness equipment. Your domain knowledge if the fitness industry would be put to immediate use there. In some time you can move into something else. After all the same money finances an equipment whether it is for gyms of for a factory. The net of it is that a research based approach in your application such as I described will convince the adcom of your success in acheiving your goals and will be seen in positive light. What you are able to achieve once you are in the b-school is entirely upto your capabilities. Who knows you may change your mind and decide to get back to fitness.


Namita
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Namita Garg
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Re: Some guidance greatly needed [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2012, 09:53
Thanks Namita
Re: Some guidance greatly needed   [#permalink] 23 Jul 2012, 09:53
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