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40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT)

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40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT) [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2017, 11:37
Hello. I am an AA male, 40 years old with the following: STEM PhD (think EE, CE, CS) from top-ranked USNWR program, several years of professional experience, and a student at Yale Law School. The initial plan was to go into intellectual property law, but I've broadened that plan which has now become founding an emerging markets/~private equity firm that deals with advanced technologies. The firm is based in NY, and I have not done much with it because I am still building my network and taking these tough interesting classes at Yale Law School. Anyhow, I want to apply to Harvard business school for 3 reasons: a) to help me with my forthcoming business strategies, raising capital, etc., b) to gain access to the larger pool of already established & deeply connected HBS alumni globally (again raising capital), and perhaps the most important reason 3) I am fully aware of how difficult it can be to raise enormous capital in this field; I have inside information that aside from experience, it greatly helps to have an MBA from a prestigious institution like HBS, simply because fund managers check academic pedigree.

I know HBS tends to trend towards the younger crowd, and some may tell me to get an EMBA. Well, that is not going to happen because I am at YLS, and the plan is to launch this firm by the time I finish the dual Yale JD & hopefully Harvard MBA. Hence, I am NOT looking to be someone's associate or consultant. I am planning to be the CEO, not an associate or analyst or employee; although I know it would be a profound challenge, I am eagerly looking forward to it.

So, any advice on applying to HBS? I think I am a very unique applicant especially since I'll be applying from YLS.

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Re: 40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT) [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2017, 19:15
I would give it a whirl, you have a strong academic background, top notch score, come from an underrepresented background and a unique need for an MBA. The age thing is not great but top schools do have older applicants mixed in with the younger ones as well. How you connect the dots will be key here especially if make it to the interview round. I would go for it!
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Re: 40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT) [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2017, 21:02
jaypress wrote:
Hello. I am an AA male, 40 years old with the following: STEM PhD (think EE, CE, CS) from top-ranked USNWR program, several years of professional experience, and a student at Yale Law School. The initial plan was to go into intellectual property law, but I've broadened that plan which has now become founding an emerging markets/~private equity firm that deals with advanced technologies. The firm is based in NY, and I have not done much with it because I am still building my network and taking these tough interesting classes at Yale Law School. Anyhow, I want to apply to Harvard business school for 3 reasons: a) to help me with my forthcoming business strategies, raising capital, etc., b) to gain access to the larger pool of already established & deeply connected HBS alumni globally (again raising capital), and perhaps the most important reason 3) I am fully aware of how difficult it can be to raise enormous capital in this field; I have inside information that aside from experience, it greatly helps to have an MBA from a prestigious institution like HBS, simply because fund managers check academic pedigree.

I know HBS tends to trend towards the younger crowd, and some may tell me to get an EMBA. Well, that is not going to happen because I am at YLS, and the plan is to launch this firm by the time I finish the dual Yale JD & hopefully Harvard MBA. Hence, I am NOT looking to be someone's associate or consultant. I am planning to be the CEO, not an associate or analyst or employee; although I know it would be a profound challenge, I am eagerly looking forward to it.

So, any advice on applying to HBS? I think I am a very unique applicant especially since I'll be applying from YLS.


Thanks for your post. Do you have any additional information about your firm? You say you have not done much with it, but size would still be important. Sending a resume would be the most helpful. In addition, I would like to see your grades. HBS does accept applicants every year who have been out of undergrad for 10-15+ years, but the numbers are small (1-2% of the class, give or take).

Email your resume to scott@personalmbacoach.com

As mentioned above, you could certainly go for it. If you want a quick review of your resume, I am happy to do so.

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Scott
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Re: 40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT) [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2017, 09:54
Hi there,

I would definitely suggest going for it - you have nothing to lose! You certainly have an interesting background and there is a lot that you could potentially contribute to your class. Since you are on the older side, the key will be crafting a compelling story and explaining why you need the MBA from HBS at this point in life. If you'd like to discuss further through a free consultation, feel free to reach out at info@ivygroupe.com or https://www.ivygroupe.com/contact.

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Re: 40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT) [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2017, 03:12
jaypress wrote:
Hello. I am an AA male, 40 years old with the following: STEM PhD (think EE, CE, CS) from top-ranked USNWR program, several years of professional experience, and a student at Yale Law School. The initial plan was to go into intellectual property law, but I've broadened that plan which has now become founding an emerging markets/~private equity firm that deals with advanced technologies. The firm is based in NY, and I have not done much with it because I am still building my network and taking these tough interesting classes at Yale Law School. Anyhow, I want to apply to Harvard business school for 3 reasons: a) to help me with my forthcoming business strategies, raising capital, etc., b) to gain access to the larger pool of already established & deeply connected HBS alumni globally (again raising capital), and perhaps the most important reason 3) I am fully aware of how difficult it can be to raise enormous capital in this field; I have inside information that aside from experience, it greatly helps to have an MBA from a prestigious institution like HBS, simply because fund managers check academic pedigree.

I know HBS tends to trend towards the younger crowd, and some may tell me to get an EMBA. Well, that is not going to happen because I am at YLS, and the plan is to launch this firm by the time I finish the dual Yale JD & hopefully Harvard MBA. Hence, I am NOT looking to be someone's associate or consultant. I am planning to be the CEO, not an associate or analyst or employee; although I know it would be a profound challenge, I am eagerly looking forward to it.

So, any advice on applying to HBS? I think I am a very unique applicant especially since I'll be applying from YLS.


Hey dude,
Well look, you have an awesome profile in many respects, African America, ridiculous GMAT (congrats!), Phd, Yale law... etc. etc. etc.

Okay so the facts and numbers are pretty good. Except that one thing your age.

Now if I were on the AdCom of HBS the first thing I would say to myself is "Hey, this dude is awesome, but does he really fit? does he really need an MBA? Will it really help him at this point?" There are enough prestigious programs out there int he EMBA, one-year etc, in which you would better fit naturally. so what that means is that if you apply (and I think you should give it a shot if you desire) you have to have a REALLY REALLY good story. Why MBA? Why now? Why EVEN more studies? Why HBS and not somewhere else? Why a regular MBA and not a program geared to older/more experienced people.

Basically you are on the defensive here, and you need to positively explain your reasons.


It would also be wise to come up with a list of other programs you would be interested in applying to.

I hope this helps! And feel free to drop us a line for a free consultation.

Best,
JF
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40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT) [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2017, 07:49
Thanks for all the input, it has been rather helpful.

I did explain, although briefly, the reasons why I am in need of an MBA. Do you mean to say that my reasons for wanting an MBA is not valid? The venture that I've chosen to embark upon is a very profound one, and unlike most MBA candidates that are simply hoping to become someone's employee, the path I have chosen is a fairly unique one. Like I said in my prior post, I am not just trying to get an MBA from HBS because I want to work for someone, my dreams are much larger than that. From speaking with some people in the venture capital/PE world, academic pedigree is of the utmost significance if you are planning to lead an investment firm. Furthermore, the firm that I have founded is intended to have a global reach, particularly in Africa, which is where primary investments will be targeted. So, yes I do believe that I need an MBA, especially from HBS, to run a global investment firm that is based in New York.

As to why get an MBA now, I couldn't think of anyone with a better reason that the path I have chosen. Moreover, as a YLS student, I cannot arbitrarily apply to any b school while in law school to cross-register. It has to be with a school that YLS allows their students to cross-register; Stanford and Harvard business schools are two that I currently know of.

I am a big dreamer, and I plan to get this firm going by the time I graduate with a JD & an MBA.

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Re: 40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT) [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2017, 23:35
jaypress wrote:
Thanks for all the input, it has been rather helpful.

I did explain, although briefly, the reasons why I am in need of an MBA. Do you mean to say that my reasons for wanting an MBA is not valid? The venture that I've chosen to embark upon is a very profound one, and unlike most MBA candidates that are simply hoping to become someone's employee, the path I have chosen is a fairly unique one. Like I said in my prior post, I am not just trying to get an MBA from HBS because I want to work for someone, my dreams are much larger than that. From speaking with some people in the venture capital/PE world, academic pedigree is of the utmost significance if you are planning to lead an investment firm. Furthermore, the firm that I have founded is intended to have a global reach, particularly in Africa, which is where primary investments will be targeted. So, yes I do believe that I need an MBA, especially from HBS, to run a global investment firm that is based in New York.

As to why get an MBA now, I couldn't think of anyone with a better reason that the path I have chosen. Moreover, as a YLS student, I cannot arbitrarily apply to any b school while in law school to cross-register. It has to be with a school that YLS allows their students to cross-register; Stanford and Harvard business schools are two that I currently know of.

I am a big dreamer, and I plan to get this firm going by the time I graduate with a JD & an MBA.


I hear you man. And I don't doubt your reasons, but do realize that applying at 40 makes you a HUGE outlier. There are two issues here that I feel still need to be addressed:
1. Why THIS program? I mean you're gonna be hanging out with 25 year old kids with zero experience, who are totally green. Wouldn't a program like Stanford MSx fit better? (or similar?) Again, this is not to actually question your motivation, but these are "devil's advocate" questions to make sure your story is watertight!
2. Another thing to watch out for is the belief in the necessity of an education to do this. You are very very well educated. Maybe too well educated, int he sense that the school might be wary and be like "Well, if he didn't get his goals with THAT, one more degree isn't gonna help.

I think the important thing is that by being critical of your own motivations, you will come up with a better story.

Also, I would really not recommend applying ONLY to HBS and banking on getting in. Of course I DO think you should apply, and with a great application you should have a chance, but applying to HBS should be a part and parcel of a greater strategy.

Best,
JF
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40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT) [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2017, 09:21
Hi jaypress,

Pedigree works if you’re seeking opportunity in an established VC/ PE firm. (That’s the reason why HSW sends many more to the industry than other schools. But another reason is that many more with that experience join these schools.)

But if you’re looking to start such a firm, pedigree will be a distant fourth, fifth, or may not even matter. Before loosening their purse strings to a new fund, Limited Partners (LPs) expect General Partners (GPs) to have a track record (successful entrepreneur or investing track), deep understanding of industry verticals, and understanding of markets. If you don’t have the relevant experience, it’s going to be extremely, extremely hard to raise those tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. And an MBA, even if it’s from HBS, won’t plug these gaps.

If you want to pursue an MBA with this goal in mind, think thrice. You don’t want to climb a hill, and later realize that it was the wrong one. Remember, all this has nothing to do with age.

You can of course apply, but, in my opinion, this goal is too big a leap of faith (unless you’ve the relevant experience, in which case you don’t need an MBA), which is likely to leap out as a big red flag. Age is another big issue, which others have pointed out.

All that I’ve said is not to discourage you, but only to point few realities which you should think about if you haven’t already.

P.S. If you want to test whether you need an MBA or not, talk to few LPs, asking for their honest, honest answer to your unbiased questions. That’s a small effort to make. And you can make the beginning at Yale endowment fund.
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Re: 40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT) [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2017, 12:36
jaypress wrote:
Hello. I am an AA male, 40 years old with the following: STEM PhD (think EE, CE, CS) from top-ranked USNWR program, several years of professional experience, and a student at Yale Law School. The initial plan was to go into intellectual property law, but I've broadened that plan which has now become founding an emerging markets/~private equity firm that deals with advanced technologies. The firm is based in NY, and I have not done much with it because I am still building my network and taking these tough interesting classes at Yale Law School. Anyhow, I want to apply to Harvard business school for 3 reasons: a) to help me with my forthcoming business strategies, raising capital, etc., b) to gain access to the larger pool of already established & deeply connected HBS alumni globally (again raising capital), and perhaps the most important reason 3) I am fully aware of how difficult it can be to raise enormous capital in this field; I have inside information that aside from experience, it greatly helps to have an MBA from a prestigious institution like HBS, simply because fund managers check academic pedigree.

I know HBS tends to trend towards the younger crowd, and some may tell me to get an EMBA. Well, that is not going to happen because I am at YLS, and the plan is to launch this firm by the time I finish the dual Yale JD & hopefully Harvard MBA. Hence, I am NOT looking to be someone's associate or consultant. I am planning to be the CEO, not an associate or analyst or employee; although I know it would be a profound challenge, I am eagerly looking forward to it.

So, any advice on applying to HBS? I think I am a very unique applicant especially since I'll be applying from YLS.


With all respect, I see you have virtually no chance at HBS given your age and now you are already back in school at an advanced MBA age. The why you want an MBA argument--for the network/capital raising--will not resonate, and though you may have this dream of starting a PE fund, you don't have the background for it. Of course, you may raise it from family/friends, but from an HBS story perspective, I don't think they will get very excited.
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Re: 40 Year Old YLS Student wants to apply to HBS (770 GMAT)   [#permalink] 22 May 2017, 12:36
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