Some Background info (I'm new, and it always helps to know the full situation):
Age: 23 (24 when I apply)
Undergrad: Top 10 engineering program (Civil and Environmental, Business Minor)
WE: 17m (24 when I hope to apply, 36 at Matriculation)
I started working for a medium sized (500-1000 employees) General Contracting firm 2 weeks after graduation, and have worked on multiple $100M projects. In the process, I was promoted from Field Engineer to Project Engineer. My next promotion won't occur for another 3-4 years, or when I get my PE (2 more years, assuming i pass on first try).
My current project will last for 3-4 more years, and hasn't really placed me in a area of the world I want to be (town of >2000 people, southern WV), and requires a 5-6 hour drive on Sundays and Fridays
Consequently, I've been looking to getting my MBA in the future, so I can get out of this industry. However, given my young(ish) age, I am by no means guaranteed a spot at a top tier program, and really don't want to be sitting it out here in WV. I've made a few good contacts, and have looked into a switch to the design side of engineering. However, this isn't exactly what I want to be doing post-MBA.
After that cluttered sequence
(Please ask if you need me to clarify, I'm having a hard time explaining things today), I'll move on to my questions
1. Do you think switching to design (lateral in terms of rank, but a drop off on the number of people i manage) would hurt my resume? Why or why not?
2. I assume I'll be able to get rec's from my current manager, as he knows my ultimate plan to go get MBA, but I can't assume I'll make as good contacts in my next job in time for apps. Who else can i use for recs?
3. I know if I switch this would be a good use of the extra essay section, but I was already planning on using that for a different weak part of my resume; I slacked off a lot in college
Do you think the combo of a low GPA + a job switch after 1.5 years will be too much to overcome?
I know a lot of these questions are tough to answer, as many of you can't say what the adcom will do with them, but I'm just looking for opinions, not set in stone answers.
Thank you in advance for taking time out of your day to answer - good luck to those submitting apps this year/have submitted already!