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I apologize for the length, but I felt it appropriate. My target school is Tuck (Early Action).
I grew up in a single parent household in Philadelphia and attended three high schools. The first was closed after a riot during my freshman year. The second had metal detectors and x-ray machines for our bags. The third, and final, was a small private school- I worked as a janitor after hours in lieu of tuition.
My peers had no aspiration. Of my mother's twelve brothers and sisters, three graduated high school. Given my environment, college was never on my radar. One day, I had a revelation, and decided to take my SAT's.
I did well enough without study to get into the common Philadelphia schools, but ultimately decided to chose a lesser ranked University that I had visited last-minute on the recommendation of a mentor. This was a pivotal moment in my life.
I chose Eastern University for what would seem an odd reason to most. When I visited, I felt extremely out of place. Think Beverly Hillbillies, except Suburban City Boy. Having been a boy scout, the "camp" feeling was familiar to me. That is how I felt every single day. I knew, though, that removing myself from the urban environment would be key.
Uprooting myself was a painful experience. I did not fit in. I was extremely bored, and it was difficult to relate to my new surroundings. I had set my sights on a goal however, and my emotional reactions were not going to stop me; I was going to better position myself to take care of my mother and sister, and it did not matter how painful of an experience that meant enduring.
I graduated a semester early with a B.S. in Accounting & Finance, a minor in Psychology, a 3.9 GPA, and I did so while employed (I did not have outside financial help). I landed a position with Edward Jones a few months after graduation, passed my Series 7 and 66, and knew that things were going to change for my family and I.
But that didn't last. The economy upended, and I did not agree with the way that I was taught to advice clients. I backed out of brokerage and ended up at a small company as a Junior Staff Accountant. Two years later, I leveraged this experience into my current role: I work for American Infrastructure, a large heavy civil construction company (bridges, highways, excavation). My position is unorthodox- I am a "Financial Career Partner". My program consists of 4 to 8 month inter-company rotations in Job Cost, Finance, Audit, Equipment, Estimating, Purchasing, and Aggregates. The goal is to graduated into management at the end, as an employee that they have trained from top-to-bottom. My program ends in December 2013 (I extended Job Cost from 8 months to 16).
Most people would be content. I came from nothing and am doing well for myself now, with a solid career and guaranteed advancement. I believe that I am capable of more however, and that's where the idea of an MBA began dancing around my mind. I sat for my GMAT this prior Thursday and 690'ed (Q46 V38). I was a bit disappointed after 740'ing both GMATPreps, but I believe I've made myself competitive.
After months of research, I am absolutely in love with Tuck. It fits the construct of small-school, strong-relationship, amazing-people, style learning that I have thrived in. I have asked to be put into contact with a current Tuckie to ask a few questions:
I am afraid that regardless of a compelling story, that my background just isn't competitive enough. Is there any insight/advice that you could offer? I know that given a shot, I will succeed.. I just don't know how much faith others will have in that.
You definitely have a distinctive story, one that admissions officers can warm to, if executed well. Tuck is the kind of school that responds to applicants who understand its uniqueness and show that. Early Action would help, but I would need to get a better idea of your leadership experience (including extracurricular) to give you my take on your odds of admission. If you send me your resume/CV, I can give you more focused feedback: email@example.com.
Thank you for your response. I have sent you an email, which I have posted below in case others are following. I have also uploaded a copy of my resume for other consultants.
I have attached the resume that I used to secure my most recent position. As I have just finished taking my GMAT, it is not updated to reflect the last 2 years of my career. Bullet points are as follows:
Currently employed in what amounts to an accelerated management program for a large construction company. It consists of 4-8 month rotations in a variety of business functions. The goal at the end is a large promotion (think "graduation") into a senior/managerial role.
I have completed the following rotations:
Materials (4 months)- Took over the role of a senior accountant that had left recently.
Job Cost (16 months)- Originally an 8 month rotation, I recognized it as the core of the business and voluntarily extended it by another 8 months.
Purchasing/Estimating (4 months)- Self-explanatory. Was asked to manage a co-op from Drexel University. Trained her to take over some of my responsibilities.
Equipment (2 months)- Began this rotation last week. I will be involved with the business decisions regarding our heavy machinery (which are, in their own way, our revenue stream).
As for extra curriculars, I worked close to full time in college to pay for my degree and did not have the space to invest myself in clubs. The majority of my free time now is spent on one of my many hobbies. Of these, it is dietetics and exercise that I am most passionate about. I am a bit confused as to how to present this as leadership experience though; I can deadlift more than double my body weight, which is commendable, but what truly excites me is the impact that my efforts make on those around me. I am directly attributable for more then 100+ pounds of weight loss, and field a constant stream of questions as to which foods to eat, how to exercise, ways to maintain motivation, etc. That being said, I have no paper evidence- how do you jump this hurdle?