Can you cut it at Stanford or Harvard? The high-level answer is "yes". In fact, both schools would love to have a look at your application, so I definitely encourage you to apply.
Really your only challenge is going to be clearly laying out why someone with your background wants to pursue an MBA. And it seems like you have a very good grasp on formulating your goals. I would caution you to make sure that there will be a role that exists for you upon graduation. Look for others who graduated from the same institutions who have pursued the path you wish to take. This may be a challenge and require you to think more tactically about your short-term post-MBA career goal. Whatever you state in the short term, must be a path that will lead you towards your long-term goals – which last in educational executive administration.
personally, I think it would be interesting to address the challenges that online and private educational institutions face going forward. In the future, I imagine that they will be faced with an increasing number of legal threats (lawsuits and legislation). It would be interesting to have a conversation with you regarding how trends, and the MBA program in question, to be able to get you to where you want to be and ultimately solve a societal issue.
Not having financial services experience is not a nail in your coffin. With Harvard's renewed emphasis on nontraditional candidates, I think you stand an excellent chance at the program. Read my blog post on this subject - https://educated.posterous.com/our-anal ... ion-change
If you would like to speak about your background over the phone, please e-mail me at MBA@Amerasiaconsulting.com
Posted this on peer review, thought I'd add it here as well. A bit of an unorthodox profile:
- 24 years old, white male
- 720 GMAT
- BA from top public school (Berkeley/Michigan/UVA) in politics, 3.9 GPA, high honors, award-winning thesis
- PhD candidate (ABD) in top philosophy PhD program (Harvard/Princeton/Stanford)
- One year AmeriCorps in between BA and entering PhD program - creating and managing volunteer program for large ($50M endowment) NYC non-profit
- Named to Board of non-profit after Corps year and recognized by AmeriCorps for success of volunteer program
- Also on Board of small, third-tier college
- U23 world top-5 triathlete, now racing professionally while in school
Tentative career goal is university president, especially want to be involved in online higher education (hence desire for MBA) and develop both the academic and management background to be part of that wave.
Interested especially in Stanford GSB, because of tech/online education interests. Also like HBS, and would consider Wharton and Columbia, but would likely forego the MBA if I can't get into one of these schools.
Can I cut it at Stanford and Harvard? Particular concerns: will not having much experience (and NONE in financial services) be fatal? Are my career interests too tangential to most MBA-types to make me a compelling applicant? Anything I need to emphasize, downplay or change about my profile?
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