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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 maybe you could 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.