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What Can I do NOW (5 year plan)

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What Can I do NOW (5 year plan) [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2012, 14:09
Some background on me:

- 3.34 GPA from an SEC school. Major in accounting
- After college I attended Officer Candidate School for the United States Navy and I am now a Naval Officer


What can I do NOW to help my odds of getting into business school in the future? I took a very demanding first tour on a minesweeper where I will be in charge of roughly 15 people. Because of this, I don't have a ton of time to volunteer.

The only volunteer opportunity that is of interest to me is the First Tee program (a program that teaches inner-city children how to play golf).


What else should I be doing? Should I join other clubs/community service stuff? I don't have a ton of time right now, but in my spare time I workout and read (mostly finance/non-fiction literature)

Thanks for the help guys
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Re: What Can I do NOW (5 year plan) [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2012, 16:06
Instead of joining lots of different extra curriculars, I would pick 1 or 2 that really peak your interest and work with them for years. I would work towards gaining a leadership position. It is much more meaningful to have a leadership position at 1 or 2 EC's than having a membership at 5 of them. So don't think of it as building your application through extra names of organizations, think about building your application through positions that you've held.

You are already way ahead of the game b/c veterans are looked favorably upon. So if you are able to make any extra time for EC's that is awesome! Find one you really like, with growth potential into a leadership position, and jump on it. It might take a 1, 2, or 3 years to gain that position you are looking for, but that is why Adcoms will look so favorably upon it. And this is also why it is smart to start early. People that do best in business school understand how to dedicate to something, grow within it, and be a leader. I think you're well on your way!

Good luck to you and your future!
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Re: What Can I do NOW (5 year plan) [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2012, 12:53
As a soon to be ex-SWO :-D and recent admit to both Ross and Johnson I wanted to throw my thoughts out there.

Unlike you, I didn't have the foresight to think ahead and try and get into some EC's. That said, even if I had, I don't think I would have had anytime to actually get involved. I feel that ADCOM's understand that with deployments and moves it is very hard for military members to have a solid EC background equivalent to many civilians.

So, I would focus on being very good at your job (1 of ?? JO's) and building relationships with your CO's and DH's so that you have some very trustworthy people to reach out to when it comes time for recommendations. Additionally, try and get a second tour job where you are growing the amount of personnel you supervise, traino probably isn't the best route to go.

Just my opinion, hope it helps. PM me if you want to discuss more.
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Re: What Can I do NOW (5 year plan) [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2012, 12:59
Oh yea, forgot to mention, use Tuition Assistance to your advantage while you still can. I used it for a Six Sigma cert. I have no idea if it helped my app's but it definitely didn't hurt.
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Re: What Can I do NOW (5 year plan) [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2012, 13:14
1. One of the most important things at this stage is for you to map out what career path you're interested in, and start doing some research and networking. It will come in handy in your essays and interviews to have specific knowledge of what your goal is and how you will achieve it.

2. You can also start researching schools. Figure out where you can get in, where you will fit in, narrow down your list and learn a lot of details about each school and all of its academic and extracurricular programs. Getting a head start on this will give you a huge leg up on applications and there's no reason you can't do most of the work way in advance.

3. Once you've spent some time on 1 and 2, start thinking about big picture questions like why MBA, what are your career goals, why school X, what are your strengths and weaknesses, and other things that are commonly asked as part of the application process. Start taking notes that you can eventually work into an essay.

On extracurriculars, think of it this way- Your advantage vs. other candidates is leadership experience, your disadvantage is business experience. Keep that in mind as you try to build a balanced profile. Extracurriculars can be an opportunity for you to demonstrate some interest in your post-MBA career field- for example if you like marketing, you could help a local charity run a fundraising campaign. If you like finance you could start an investing club. Doing something relevant is more important for you than getting more leadership or community service experience in my opinion. Obviously the more you can do the better, but you have to be judicious with your time.

You have the time, so budget 6 full months to study for the GMAT. No need to rush it.

This isn't a step-by-step five year plan, as in complete task 1, then task 2 and so on. You'll have to continuously work and develop each of these things until application time. But once you begin applications, it helps to be very organized and structured.
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Re: What Can I do NOW (5 year plan) [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2012, 08:35
As Alex Chu would say: build your life, not your MBA app. Having said that:

1) Get involved in 1 or 2 ECs that you like and can make a contribution in. This is a gold mine for essays.
2) Take extra responsibilities at work.
3) Get a good score on the GMAT
4) Figure out your post-MBA career. If you want to be in banking, then start reaching out to ex-military folks in banking. This way you start building a network. Of course you can do the same thing with consulting or whatever field you are interested in post-MBA.
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Re: What Can I do NOW (5 year plan)   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2012, 08:35
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