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What would you do if you were me?

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What would you do if you were me? [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2013, 20:50
Hello,
I am in a unique situation and I would love to know other perspectives.

I am a Japanese law grad who is currently living and working in the U.S.
I fell in love with an American exchange student while in law school and we got married last year.

Since moving here 6 months ago, I found a job in an admin capacity for a federal government welfare program.

I graduated from one of Japan's top law schools earlier this year and the job I have here affords me very little sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
My graduate degree is in business (Business administration) and as part of the course I have covered a good amount of accounting, finance and statistics.

I have been trying to get entry-level finance positions in the U.S north east but I have so far been unsuccessful.
I am registered with the biggest staffing agencies in the area. They are initially excited after meeting me but give up very soon when their clients show no interest in my resume. I have so far not gotten a single interview.
The only reason I am employed now is, I believe, because the federal government mandates hiring a certain number of foreign nationals in addition to ethnic minorities.

I am already 25 years old (it takes time and effort to become a lawyer in Japan!) and I have spent a total of 8 years in university.

I recently gave the GMAT and got a score of 720. I am very confident that I can get my score up to 750 if I squeeze in more preparation time. I only managed a few frenzied weekends of preparation. I also got a score of 177 on the LSAT which is a 99.8th percentile rank.

I speak English with a neutral North American accent (I was homeschooled by a Canadian) and I also speak some German I taught myself. I could gain certification and complete fluency in a few months if necessary.

I can pretty much learn anything I want fairly quickly. I am interested in cosmology, linguistics, evolutionary biology, economics, political science and almost everything else under the sun.

At this point, I believe a career in finance would be the path of least resistance for me in the U.S.
I want to get into a top B-school for an MBA in finance.

To sum up, I am 25 years old with, let's assume, a GMAT score of 750+ and I have 6 months of work experience in an admin related position.

What would you do if you were me? I would really appreciate any advice I can get.

P.S: Going back to Japan is not an option. If we could go back, I wouldn't need an MBA. My wife couldn't adjust to the life there.

Thank you so much for reading through my post.
Wish you luck in your endeavours.
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Re: What would you do if you were me? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2013, 21:46
Dear NovayaZemlya:

It is indeed an unique situation.

I am just another new kid in the block fighting to get a good GMAT score so that I can pursue a career with an MBA in the USA.

My situation is similar in way that I have worked in non-profit for 3 years. Now, I am in a bit of confusion about whether to pursue an MBA or a generic masters degree.

I will be following this thread from now on. As responses here may answer my questions as well.

Thanks and regards.

-sadruzzaman
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Re: What would you do if you were me? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2013, 22:52
So what are you long term career goals and interests ? I'm raising this because MBA can be leveraged only when you can plan beforehand and execute well.
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Re: What would you do if you were me? [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2013, 20:57
You have an interesting background. Personally, I think you should go for business school, as long as you have an idea of what you want to do. I know you mention finance, but you mention it as the "path of least resistance." Business schools won't want to hear you phrase your goal that way because it makes you sound desperate. I'm sure, though, that you just meant to use that phrasing here in the forum, and you wouldn't actually right that in your application.

Anyway, I'd advise applying next year and focus the next nine months on building relationships with colleagues/supervisors who can eventually write a recommendation for you (unless you already have some people in Japan) and also perhaps getting involved in an extracurricular endeavor.

Personally, I think your GMAT is fine, but it sounds like it wouldn't be much effort for you to take it again and score higher. Since you have time, I'd go ahead and study and retake the GMAT.
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Re: What would you do if you were me? [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2014, 22:33
NovayaZemlya wrote:
Hello,
I am in a unique situation and I would love to know other perspectives.

I am a Japanese law grad who is currently living and working in the U.S.
I fell in love with an American exchange student while in law school and we got married last year.

Since moving here 6 months ago, I found a job in an admin capacity for a federal government welfare program.

I graduated from one of Japan's top law schools earlier this year and the job I have here affords me very little sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
My graduate degree is in business (Business administration) and as part of the course I have covered a good amount of accounting, finance and statistics.

I have been trying to get entry-level finance positions in the U.S north east but I have so far been unsuccessful.
I am registered with the biggest staffing agencies in the area. They are initially excited after meeting me but give up very soon when their clients show no interest in my resume. I have so far not gotten a single interview.
The only reason I am employed now is, I believe, because the federal government mandates hiring a certain number of foreign nationals in addition to ethnic minorities.

I am already 25 years old (it takes time and effort to become a lawyer in Japan!) and I have spent a total of 8 years in university.

I recently gave the GMAT and got a score of 720. I am very confident that I can get my score up to 750 if I squeeze in more preparation time. I only managed a few frenzied weekends of preparation. I also got a score of 177 on the LSAT which is a 99.8th percentile rank.

I speak English with a neutral North American accent (I was homeschooled by a Canadian) and I also speak some German I taught myself. I could gain certification and complete fluency in a few months if necessary.

I can pretty much learn anything I want fairly quickly. I am interested in cosmology, linguistics, evolutionary biology, economics, political science and almost everything else under the sun.

At this point, I believe a career in finance would be the path of least resistance for me in the U.S.
I want to get into a top B-school for an MBA in finance.

To sum up, I am 25 years old with, let's assume, a GMAT score of 750+ and I have 6 months of work experience in an admin related position.

What would you do if you were me? I would really appreciate any advice I can get.

P.S: Going back to Japan is not an option. If we could go back, I wouldn't need an MBA. My wife couldn't adjust to the life there.

Thank you so much for reading through my post.
Wish you luck in your endeavours.


An experience of 6 months is very less for any top school. Your GMAT score of 720 is good. If you can manage to get 750+ it will definitely help you. If I were you, I would seriously apply to positions in the law industry and work for few years and build up a profile. Network hard. Use Linkedin. Write to Japanese CEOs or Managing Directors and request them for an appointment for a coffee. Don’t ask for a job. Ask for a coffee in your email. Your email should be short and crisp and showcase your achievements (German is also one).

You have time for an MBA. Decide on some target schools and talk to some alumni of those schools.You will have to create a stellar application to get into any school. Download the free ebook – How to get into top a business school at http://www.interviewbay.com/mba/how-to- ... -ebook.php.

Good Luck!
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Re: What would you do if you were me? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2014, 09:52
I really appreciate all the replies.

The program I was working on ended just before Christmas and I have been unemployed ever since.
I have personally visited two dozen staffing agencies in a 50 mile radius since then.

I am not terribly picky about what industry I wish to work in. As I mentioned, I have a wide variety of interests and at this point when I have very little professional experience, it wouldn't matter as much where I start. After a few inquiries, it seems to me that working in the legal field while being based in the U.S. in my particular case would be difficult and futile in the long term.

Something I found very peculiar to the tri-state area, and rather disturbing for me, is that recruiters and employers are not straightforward. They would rather string you along without giving you any meaningful information about your prospects. It also seems to me that the acceptable method of informing you that they are no longer actively trying to find you interviews is to simply let all your calls go to the voice mailbox. It seems to be the eventual fate of every contact you make.
I have also found that it is important to be able to make jokes, be animated and generally affable in order to get entry-level positions sometimes at the cost of efficiency or suitability.

I apologize if I offended anyone with my observations. It is possible that American students who are academically-inclined get hired straight out of universities and thus employers who are recruiting candidates outside of university campuses are looking for a different set of individuals.

With only 6 months of professional experience and no light at the end of the tunnel, I am having to give up on the MBA. I have come to the conclusion that if I want to work in the U.S. I would have to study in an American university and to that end I have researched all options I have.
Since doing a UG course all over again would be time consuming even if I was allowed to transfer half my credits, I have decided to pursue a masters program.

I have finally zeroed in on the M.S. in Business Analytics programs. It is also variously known as marketing analytics, consumer intelligence or any such combination thereof.
It is a fairly new program in an emerging field called big data and involves using statistical techniques in conjunction with specific information systems. It is also a designated STEM program.

On a happier note, I scored a 760 on the GMAT on my second attempt last week. I got a scaled score of 47 in the verbal and 48 in the quantitative section. I realize I could have scored higher if my quantitative score was in the top 99th percentile but I have thrown in the towel.

Again, I would like to thank everyone who posted replies for their time.
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Re: What would you do if you were me? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2014, 21:26
Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great path given your experience and goals!

P.S. Your written English is impeccable. Kudos!
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Re: What would you do if you were me? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2014, 22:24
kingfalcon wrote:
Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great path given your experience and goals!

P.S. Your written English is impeccable. Kudos!



Thank you! I should confess that I'm half Jewish-American on my father's side. (I even have a natural red tinge to my facial hair even though my eyes are brown)
In my defense, I was born and brought up by my mom in Japan and have only been to the U.S. a few times a week or two at a time.
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Re: What would you do if you were me? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2014, 23:05
Expert's post
Very Interesting story and I have seen many! Nice nickname too! You have an amazing profile, an amazing story but a few things working against you (overqualified for entry level positions, too old for them too, lack of work experience for a managerial role). Ideally you would have someone vouch for you.

By the way, great job on the GMAT and attaining a law degree. Why not pursue law in the US and leverage both degrees? I know it is a long hike with 3 years, but you would be leveraging a base and have something others could not really get so easily. Any company doing deals in US/Asia/Japan would be interested in speaking with you.

Also, not sure how feasible but one strategy could be to leverage your Japanese background and connections (if any)... it will be tough to get hired for an entry level position because anyone knows and understands you will jump ship the minute you can (and you can't blame them for not wanting to train you and invest time into someone who is getting a job just because they want a job).

On the other hand, if you could pick a specific area/job/profession that you would like to pursue - as specific as possible (e.g. Quantitative marketing in beer industry) that would also help you get ahead. Staying general is good but being interested in something specific gets you connected and often hired much faster.

You could be a tutor if you are interested - that's a good position for someone wanting freedom for their endeavors while making decent money on an hourly basis (Veritas Prep and MGMAT pay $100 per hour for their tutors/teachers). PM me if you would like to learn more.

P.S. I don't know much about a master's degree but I would want to ensure you can get a job after graduation not having much of work experience.

P.P.S. It sucks to have a law degree and work an admin position - that's really annoying and depressing... have to break that somehow.
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Re: What would you do if you were me?   [#permalink] 03 Feb 2014, 23:05
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