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Advice and Suggestions Needed

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Manager
Manager
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Joined: 22 Dec 2017
Posts: 56
Location: Canada
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 650 Q47 V33
Advice and Suggestions Needed   [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 21:02
Hi everybody, I decided to post this here after not being able to decide where else to post it. This is a bit off topic but still related to GMAT and MBA admissions but maybe just a lot broader in context. If anybody thinks this post would do better in another sub forum please let me know and I'll relocate it there.

So basically I am just looking for some advice from people who are much more experienced than me in the whole GMAT and MBA process. This is going to be a long and in-depth post.

My story:

I sat for the GMAT last week and scored 60 points below my realistic target. Target was 650, score was 590 (cancelled). I am retaking it in 4-6 weeks and I will be making the necessary adjustments to hit my target.

Scoring this low came as a shock because my practice scores were strong and I had put in a lot of work. However, this failure at reaching my goal really opened my eyes as to how much work this whole process requires.

My background in detail:

-22 year old male

-Canadian national, ethnically Italian and starting process to get Italian passport as well. Might be interested in studying/working in Europe so EU passport is extremely useful.

-languages: English, French, Italian

-recently completed all credits in an undergraduate degree in humanities (major history) from a Canadian university. Will officially graduate at end of winter 2018 semester.

-overall GPA should come out to 3.4, possible that I will graduate with distinction. GPA over last 2 years is 3.67. My first year in university was very hard for me and was a huge learning curve. I adapted well after that and was always 1.0-1.3 grade points above the class average in both lower level and upper level classes.

-GMAT: N/A, aiming for 650

-E/C: not much, fundraiser in a major cancer fundraising campaign. Community representative for mini documentary segment done by national TV station, aired on tv twice. Some volunteering in past.

-WE: no work experience post graduation as I am only graduating now. However, I have three years of mixed part time and full time work experience in cancer clinical research under the same employer. Started off as full time summer job at 19 years old to do basic data entry. Within 2 weeks of starting there was a need for somebody to coordinate some clinical trials. Employer decided to give me a shot even though I was young and inexperienced. Immediately had to start dealing with oncologists and pharmaceutical stakeholders. Not what I signed up for but a great challenge. Later moved into a more research based role for a leading cancer researcher in same organization. Managed some of the most important clinical research databases in the country. Dealt with research teams and projects. Next and final move was towards more finance oriented role. Employer knew of my ambitions to do an MBA. Offered me the opportunity to work with the finances in the research unit. I developed a unique and completely custom invoicing system to increase revenues and decrease human errors. Reported directly to manager and made revenue and expense analysis reports for manager's use in decision making. Consulted with manager on pharma contract budgeting issues.

My plan was originally to get a Bachelors degree with decent grades then start an MBA immediately. Target schools were Dalhousie, McMaster Co-op, Sprott. All solid Canadian b-schools with strong reputations in the country. Though not the best, graduating salary is good and amazing employability. All these schools accept students without work experience. Prospect of graduating with an MBA at 24 years old and entering workforce at a higher level is very exciting.

Now that my GMAT didn't turn out the way I expected I'm starting to have second thoughts and seeing some downsides of the schools I originally targeted. These schools are all decent but I think that by strengthening parts of my profile over a couple years could help me get into some even better programs. I would like to one day work in some sort of consultancy role with a focus on the food production industry. My dream is to either one day start my own food production company or even work in some executive capacity at a well established one. I will be redoing the GMAT in 4-6 weeks regardless, but I have outlined some possible options and I want to get some advice/suggestions from the community.

-Apply to target schools, graduate MBA at 24 and start working at lower level consultancy positions and move my way up.

-Do Masters in history, research topics focusing on history of food industry/food commodity economics. Use this as a way to get into consultancy or gov roles as an expert in this field. Do an MBA later.

-do another undergrad degree, options include joint economics/finance degree that I could complete in 2 years due to already holding bachelors degree. Get top grades and apply to MBAs from there.

-work for 2-3 years, have good connections in commercial banking, manufacturing and investment banking. Use this 2-3 years to maximize GMAT score. In this option I would be able to apply to a variety of programs compared to having no post grad work exp.

I am just overall pretty confused and not sure how to proceed other than retaking the GMAT. I think I have options but at the age of 22 I feel like I'm rushing myself for some reason. any advice and guidance is appreciated .

Thank you very much
Intern
Intern
User avatar
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Joined: 15 Oct 2017
Posts: 11
Location: United States
Schools: CBS
GMAT 1: 750 Q51 V40
GPA: 3.6
Re: Advice and Suggestions Needed  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2018, 06:33
Emilio95 wrote:
Hi everybody, I decided to post this here after not being able to decide where else to post it. This is a bit off topic but still related to GMAT and MBA admissions but maybe just a lot broader in context. If anybody thinks this post would do better in another sub forum please let me know and I'll relocate it there.

So basically I am just looking for some advice from people who are much more experienced than me in the whole GMAT and MBA process. This is going to be a long and in-depth post.

My story:

I sat for the GMAT last week and scored 60 points below my realistic target. Target was 650, score was 590 (cancelled). I am retaking it in 4-6 weeks and I will be making the necessary adjustments to hit my target.

Scoring this low came as a shock because my practice scores were strong and I had put in a lot of work. However, this failure at reaching my goal really opened my eyes as to how much work this whole process requires.

My background in detail:

-22 year old male

-Canadian national, ethnically Italian and starting process to get Italian passport as well. Might be interested in studying/working in Europe so EU passport is extremely useful.

-languages: English, French, Italian

-recently completed all credits in an undergraduate degree in humanities (major history) from a Canadian university. Will officially graduate at end of winter 2018 semester.

-overall GPA should come out to 3.4, possible that I will graduate with distinction. GPA over last 2 years is 3.67. My first year in university was very hard for me and was a huge learning curve. I adapted well after that and was always 1.0-1.3 grade points above the class average in both lower level and upper level classes.

-GMAT: N/A, aiming for 650

-E/C: not much, fundraiser in a major cancer fundraising campaign. Community representative for mini documentary segment done by national TV station, aired on tv twice. Some volunteering in past.

-WE: no work experience post graduation as I am only graduating now. However, I have three years of mixed part time and full time work experience in cancer clinical research under the same employer. Started off as full time summer job at 19 years old to do basic data entry. Within 2 weeks of starting there was a need for somebody to coordinate some clinical trials. Employer decided to give me a shot even though I was young and inexperienced. Immediately had to start dealing with oncologists and pharmaceutical stakeholders. Not what I signed up for but a great challenge. Later moved into a more research based role for a leading cancer researcher in same organization. Managed some of the most important clinical research databases in the country. Dealt with research teams and projects. Next and final move was towards more finance oriented role. Employer knew of my ambitions to do an MBA. Offered me the opportunity to work with the finances in the research unit. I developed a unique and completely custom invoicing system to increase revenues and decrease human errors. Reported directly to manager and made revenue and expense analysis reports for manager's use in decision making. Consulted with manager on pharma contract budgeting issues.

My plan was originally to get a Bachelors degree with decent grades then start an MBA immediately. Target schools were Dalhousie, McMaster Co-op, Sprott. All solid Canadian b-schools with strong reputations in the country. Though not the best, graduating salary is good and amazing employability. All these schools accept students without work experience. Prospect of graduating with an MBA at 24 years old and entering workforce at a higher level is very exciting.

Now that my GMAT didn't turn out the way I expected I'm starting to have second thoughts and seeing some downsides of the schools I originally targeted. These schools are all decent but I think that by strengthening parts of my profile over a couple years could help me get into some even better programs. I would like to one day work in some sort of consultancy role with a focus on the food production industry. My dream is to either one day start my own food production company or even work in some executive capacity at a well established one. I will be redoing the GMAT in 4-6 weeks regardless, but I have outlined some possible options and I want to get some advice/suggestions from the community.

-Apply to target schools, graduate MBA at 24 and start working at lower level consultancy positions and move my way up.

-Do Masters in history, research topics focusing on history of food industry/food commodity economics. Use this as a way to get into consultancy or gov roles as an expert in this field. Do an MBA later.

-do another undergrad degree, options include joint economics/finance degree that I could complete in 2 years due to already holding bachelors degree. Get top grades and apply to MBAs from there.

-work for 2-3 years, have good connections in commercial banking, manufacturing and investment banking. Use this 2-3 years to maximize GMAT score. In this option I would be able to apply to a variety of programs compared to having no post grad work exp.

I am just overall pretty confused and not sure how to proceed other than retaking the GMAT. I think I have options but at the age of 22 I feel like I'm rushing myself for some reason. any advice and guidance is appreciated .

Thank you very much


Hey,

If you are serious about the MBA...
-work for 2-3 years, have good connections in commercial banking, manufacturing and investment banking. Use this 2-3 years to maximize GMAT score. In this option I would be able to apply to a variety of programs compared to having no post grad work exp.

... would be your best bet.

-GettingInMBA
_________________

Sincerely,
GettingInMBA - Boutique Admissions Consulting Firm
http://www.gettinginmba.com

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Re: Advice and Suggestions Needed  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2018, 02:31
1
Hey dude,
Good to hear from you. so first and foremost, for the vast majority of MBA programs in Canada, the US and worldwide, they will expect you to have at least three years of experience, so an MBA is not an option, really. There are Masters in Management programs which are designed for zero-experience candidates, but then you might actually be better off doing an MBA a few years down the line.

As for doing a Masters, that is always an option if you aren't ready to enter the job market. Probably something "Technical" which would lead your path to your goals (Biochem or Food science, or whatever it is) would be something good to have as a compliment for an MBA.

Or if you feel like you are ready and don't need any specialized knowledge, then yes, working for 2-3 years and then planning an MBA after that makes tons of sense if you feel like that would be the best and most productive way for you.
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Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 22 Dec 2017
Posts: 56
Location: Canada
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 650 Q47 V33
Re: Advice and Suggestions Needed  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 08 Jan 2018, 05:51
JonAdmissionado wrote:
Hey dude,
Good to hear from you. so first and foremost, for the vast majority of MBA programs in Canada, the US and worldwide, they will expect you to have at least three years of experience, so an MBA is not an option, really. There are Masters in Management programs which are designed for zero-experience candidates, but then you might actually be better off doing an MBA a few years down the line.

As for doing a Masters, that is always an option if you aren't ready to enter the job market. Probably something "Technical" which would lead your path to your goals (Biochem or Food science, or whatever it is) would be something good to have as a compliment for an MBA.

Or if you feel like you are ready and don't need any specialized knowledge, then yes, working for 2-3 years and then planning an MBA after that makes tons of sense if you feel like that would be the best and most productive way for you.


Hi and thanks for the advice. The programs I was actually aiming for were programs made for 0 exp candidates. They include serious internship components, often 8+ months. I spoke to their directors and admissions staff in person and they said that I would be very competitive to get in with my 3.7 GPA in my last 2 years and a ~620 GMAT. My issue is more related to the fact that while these programs are respected in Canada and lead to strong jobs post grad they are not even close to being top programs and nobody outside of their regions know of them. I am concerned with almost selling myself short at this age and being limited to 3 programs. So I am still not sure if I should go out and get 3 years exp, work hard over that period to score a 700 on my GMAT and then have so many more options. I am not necessarily suggesting that 3 years down the line I will be applying to Harvard and Stanford per se, but I am confident that by that point I will be a great position to apply to many 30-50 ranked American schools like Merage and Mason, along with top Canadian schools like McGill and Rotman. Now that we are on the topic I have a more specific question:

I enjoy being in school but I also enjoy working while I am in school. An option I was considering was doing another more technical undergrad (the one in question is a joint Economics-Finance degree from McGill that I could complete in 2 years full time or 3-4 years part time), while working full time in something related to banking etc. Generally, how would an admissions committee look at my record if they saw that I worked full time for 3-4 years but completed a second undergrad degree during that period?

Thank you, it is much appreciated
Personal MBA Coach Founder
User avatar
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Status: Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting from a Wharton graduate - Helping applicants get into top global business schools since 2008
Affiliations: Wharton, MIT
Joined: 11 Sep 2010
Posts: 1450
Location: United States (NY)
Overall Client Admit Rate: 96%
Re: Advice and Suggestions Needed  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2018, 08:49
Emilio95 wrote:
Hi everybody, I decided to post this here after not being able to decide where else to post it. This is a bit off topic but still related to GMAT and MBA admissions but maybe just a lot broader in context. If anybody thinks this post would do better in another sub forum please let me know and I'll relocate it there.

So basically I am just looking for some advice from people who are much more experienced than me in the whole GMAT and MBA process. This is going to be a long and in-depth post.

My story:

I sat for the GMAT last week and scored 60 points below my realistic target. Target was 650, score was 590 (cancelled). I am retaking it in 4-6 weeks and I will be making the necessary adjustments to hit my target.

Scoring this low came as a shock because my practice scores were strong and I had put in a lot of work. However, this failure at reaching my goal really opened my eyes as to how much work this whole process requires.

My background in detail:

-22 year old male

-Canadian national, ethnically Italian and starting process to get Italian passport as well. Might be interested in studying/working in Europe so EU passport is extremely useful.

-languages: English, French, Italian

-recently completed all credits in an undergraduate degree in humanities (major history) from a Canadian university. Will officially graduate at end of winter 2018 semester.

-overall GPA should come out to 3.4, possible that I will graduate with distinction. GPA over last 2 years is 3.67. My first year in university was very hard for me and was a huge learning curve. I adapted well after that and was always 1.0-1.3 grade points above the class average in both lower level and upper level classes.

-GMAT: N/A, aiming for 650

-E/C: not much, fundraiser in a major cancer fundraising campaign. Community representative for mini documentary segment done by national TV station, aired on tv twice. Some volunteering in past.

-WE: no work experience post graduation as I am only graduating now. However, I have three years of mixed part time and full time work experience in cancer clinical research under the same employer. Started off as full time summer job at 19 years old to do basic data entry. Within 2 weeks of starting there was a need for somebody to coordinate some clinical trials. Employer decided to give me a shot even though I was young and inexperienced. Immediately had to start dealing with oncologists and pharmaceutical stakeholders. Not what I signed up for but a great challenge. Later moved into a more research based role for a leading cancer researcher in same organization. Managed some of the most important clinical research databases in the country. Dealt with research teams and projects. Next and final move was towards more finance oriented role. Employer knew of my ambitions to do an MBA. Offered me the opportunity to work with the finances in the research unit. I developed a unique and completely custom invoicing system to increase revenues and decrease human errors. Reported directly to manager and made revenue and expense analysis reports for manager's use in decision making. Consulted with manager on pharma contract budgeting issues.

My plan was originally to get a Bachelors degree with decent grades then start an MBA immediately. Target schools were Dalhousie, McMaster Co-op, Sprott. All solid Canadian b-schools with strong reputations in the country. Though not the best, graduating salary is good and amazing employability. All these schools accept students without work experience. Prospect of graduating with an MBA at 24 years old and entering workforce at a higher level is very exciting.

Now that my GMAT didn't turn out the way I expected I'm starting to have second thoughts and seeing some downsides of the schools I originally targeted. These schools are all decent but I think that by strengthening parts of my profile over a couple years could help me get into some even better programs. I would like to one day work in some sort of consultancy role with a focus on the food production industry. My dream is to either one day start my own food production company or even work in some executive capacity at a well established one. I will be redoing the GMAT in 4-6 weeks regardless, but I have outlined some possible options and I want to get some advice/suggestions from the community.

-Apply to target schools, graduate MBA at 24 and start working at lower level consultancy positions and move my way up.

-Do Masters in history, research topics focusing on history of food industry/food commodity economics. Use this as a way to get into consultancy or gov roles as an expert in this field. Do an MBA later.

-do another undergrad degree, options include joint economics/finance degree that I could complete in 2 years due to already holding bachelors degree. Get top grades and apply to MBAs from there.

-work for 2-3 years, have good connections in commercial banking, manufacturing and investment banking. Use this 2-3 years to maximize GMAT score. In this option I would be able to apply to a variety of programs compared to having no post grad work exp.

I am just overall pretty confused and not sure how to proceed other than retaking the GMAT. I think I have options but at the age of 22 I feel like I'm rushing myself for some reason. any advice and guidance is appreciated .

Thank you very much


Emilio,

Thank you for the detailed post. I am sorry that the GMAT attempt did not go as planned. Best of luck as you study and try to retake the test. Let us know if you want help with private tutoring as well. We have 4.0 MIT grads who tutor. As far as your plan, I would advise you to get a bit of work experience before going to school, even just a small amount. The reason is not because it is absolutely required to get in (as you pointed out that some schools do take folks without experience), it is because your exit opportunities will be better with some experience. If you have an MBA and no experience, employers will be hesitant to give you an actual post-MBA role, so you will end up with more of an analyst level role. Plus, as you pointed out, some experience and a good GMAT may open the door to higher ranked schools.

I don't think another undergrad degree is worth it at this point. The ROI would not be there. Good luck and check out our early planning program!

https://www.personalmbacoach.com/early-mba-planning

Best,
Scott
_________________

Personal MBA Coach
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting
scott@personalmbacoach.com | +1 617 645 2424
http://www.personalmbacoach.com | http://www.personalmbacoach.com/blog

Sign up for a free consultation!

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Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 22 Dec 2017
Posts: 56
Location: Canada
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 650 Q47 V33
Re: Advice and Suggestions Needed  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 08 Jan 2018, 10:40
PersonalMBACoach wrote:
Emilio95 wrote:
Hi everybody, I decided to post this here after not being able to decide where else to post it. This is a bit off topic but still related to GMAT and MBA admissions but maybe just a lot broader in context. If anybody thinks this post would do better in another sub forum please let me know and I'll relocate it there.

So basically I am just looking for some advice from people who are much more experienced than me in the whole GMAT and MBA process. This is going to be a long and in-depth post.

My story:

I sat for the GMAT last week and scored 60 points below my realistic target. Target was 650, score was 590 (cancelled). I am retaking it in 4-6 weeks and I will be making the necessary adjustments to hit my target.

Scoring this low came as a shock because my practice scores were strong and I had put in a lot of work. However, this failure at reaching my goal really opened my eyes as to how much work this whole process requires.

My background in detail:

-22 year old male

-Canadian national, ethnically Italian and starting process to get Italian passport as well. Might be interested in studying/working in Europe so EU passport is extremely useful.

-languages: English, French, Italian

-recently completed all credits in an undergraduate degree in humanities (major history) from a Canadian university. Will officially graduate at end of winter 2018 semester.

-overall GPA should come out to 3.4, possible that I will graduate with distinction. GPA over last 2 years is 3.67. My first year in university was very hard for me and was a huge learning curve. I adapted well after that and was always 1.0-1.3 grade points above the class average in both lower level and upper level classes.

-GMAT: N/A, aiming for 650

-E/C: not much, fundraiser in a major cancer fundraising campaign. Community representative for mini documentary segment done by national TV station, aired on tv twice. Some volunteering in past.

-WE: no work experience post graduation as I am only graduating now. However, I have three years of mixed part time and full time work experience in cancer clinical research under the same employer. Started off as full time summer job at 19 years old to do basic data entry. Within 2 weeks of starting there was a need for somebody to coordinate some clinical trials. Employer decided to give me a shot even though I was young and inexperienced. Immediately had to start dealing with oncologists and pharmaceutical stakeholders. Not what I signed up for but a great challenge. Later moved into a more research based role for a leading cancer researcher in same organization. Managed some of the most important clinical research databases in the country. Dealt with research teams and projects. Next and final move was towards more finance oriented role. Employer knew of my ambitions to do an MBA. Offered me the opportunity to work with the finances in the research unit. I developed a unique and completely custom invoicing system to increase revenues and decrease human errors. Reported directly to manager and made revenue and expense analysis reports for manager's use in decision making. Consulted with manager on pharma contract budgeting issues.

My plan was originally to get a Bachelors degree with decent grades then start an MBA immediately. Target schools were Dalhousie, McMaster Co-op, Sprott. All solid Canadian b-schools with strong reputations in the country. Though not the best, graduating salary is good and amazing employability. All these schools accept students without work experience. Prospect of graduating with an MBA at 24 years old and entering workforce at a higher level is very exciting.

Now that my GMAT didn't turn out the way I expected I'm starting to have second thoughts and seeing some downsides of the schools I originally targeted. These schools are all decent but I think that by strengthening parts of my profile over a couple years could help me get into some even better programs. I would like to one day work in some sort of consultancy role with a focus on the food production industry. My dream is to either one day start my own food production company or even work in some executive capacity at a well established one. I will be redoing the GMAT in 4-6 weeks regardless, but I have outlined some possible options and I want to get some advice/suggestions from the community.

-Apply to target schools, graduate MBA at 24 and start working at lower level consultancy positions and move my way up.

-Do Masters in history, research topics focusing on history of food industry/food commodity economics. Use this as a way to get into consultancy or gov roles as an expert in this field. Do an MBA later.

-do another undergrad degree, options include joint economics/finance degree that I could complete in 2 years due to already holding bachelors degree. Get top grades and apply to MBAs from there.

-work for 2-3 years, have good connections in commercial banking, manufacturing and investment banking. Use this 2-3 years to maximize GMAT score. In this option I would be able to apply to a variety of programs compared to having no post grad work exp.

I am just overall pretty confused and not sure how to proceed other than retaking the GMAT. I think I have options but at the age of 22 I feel like I'm rushing myself for some reason. any advice and guidance is appreciated .

Thank you very much


Emilio,

Thank you for the detailed post. I am sorry that the GMAT attempt did not go as planned. Best of luck as you study and try to retake the test. Let us know if you want help with private tutoring as well. We have 4.0 MIT grads who tutor. As far as your plan, I would advise you to get a bit of work experience before going to school, even just a small amount. The reason is not because it is absolutely required to get in (as you pointed out that some schools do take folks without experience), it is because your exit opportunities will be better with some experience. If you have an MBA and no experience, employers will be hesitant to give you an actual post-MBA role, so you will end up with more of an analyst level role. Plus, as you pointed out, some experience and a good GMAT may open the door to higher ranked schools.

I don't think another undergrad degree is worth it at this point. The ROI would not be there. Good luck and check out our early planning program!

https://www.personalmbacoach.com/early-mba-planning

Best,
Scott



Hi Scott, thank you for the feedback, it is much appreciated. The reason why I was thinking about another undergrad is because at this point in my education I am much more mature than when I started so I could easily see myself getting a 3.7 to 3.9 GPA in a economics or finance program at McGill here in Montreal. Moreover, another undergraduate degree would only cost me a 5-7 thousand dollars here in Montreal so financially wise it really isn't anything to think about. I could also see myself working full time during that degree. I know that graduating with a humanities degree put me in a much harder position to find any sort of employment that is directly relevant to doing an MBA. I do have a pretty good network as I have prominent businessmen with MBAs in my family and they have already offered to help me find a job if I want to go work for 2-3 years pre-MBA. The problem is that they are hesitant with this plan as they are scared that I will kind of forget about the MBA. The connections are mostly in Commercial banking and manufacturing. I have also met twice with the VP of a boutique investment bank who is a family friend. He knows I want to do an MBA and I said that I was interested in interning there or just taking any opportunity to learn and build connections in the business world. He was a bit hesitant due to my background but that has been on hold for almost a year now as i just recently finished my degree.

Now that we are on the topic, what do you think an admissions committee would think of a candidate who has two undergrad degrees? Considering that if I were to do a second one I would like to work full time during the semesters. At this stage in my educational maturity I am confident that I will be able to handle both, 3 years ago this would have been impossible.

thank you for taking the time, it is much appreciated.
Personal MBA Coach Founder
User avatar
P
Status: Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting from a Wharton graduate - Helping applicants get into top global business schools since 2008
Affiliations: Wharton, MIT
Joined: 11 Sep 2010
Posts: 1450
Location: United States (NY)
Overall Client Admit Rate: 96%
Re: Advice and Suggestions Needed  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 08 Jan 2018, 14:43
Emilio95 wrote:
PersonalMBACoach wrote:
Emilio95 wrote:
Hi everybody, I decided to post this here after not being able to decide where else to post it. This is a bit off topic but still related to GMAT and MBA admissions but maybe just a lot broader in context. If anybody thinks this post would do better in another sub forum please let me know and I'll relocate it there.

So basically I am just looking for some advice from people who are much more experienced than me in the whole GMAT and MBA process. This is going to be a long and in-depth post.

My story:

I sat for the GMAT last week and scored 60 points below my realistic target. Target was 650, score was 590 (cancelled). I am retaking it in 4-6 weeks and I will be making the necessary adjustments to hit my target.

Scoring this low came as a shock because my practice scores were strong and I had put in a lot of work. However, this failure at reaching my goal really opened my eyes as to how much work this whole process requires.

My background in detail:

-22 year old male

-Canadian national, ethnically Italian and starting process to get Italian passport as well. Might be interested in studying/working in Europe so EU passport is extremely useful.

-languages: English, French, Italian

-recently completed all credits in an undergraduate degree in humanities (major history) from a Canadian university. Will officially graduate at end of winter 2018 semester.

-overall GPA should come out to 3.4, possible that I will graduate with distinction. GPA over last 2 years is 3.67. My first year in university was very hard for me and was a huge learning curve. I adapted well after that and was always 1.0-1.3 grade points above the class average in both lower level and upper level classes.

-GMAT: N/A, aiming for 650

-E/C: not much, fundraiser in a major cancer fundraising campaign. Community representative for mini documentary segment done by national TV station, aired on tv twice. Some volunteering in past.

-WE: no work experience post graduation as I am only graduating now. However, I have three years of mixed part time and full time work experience in cancer clinical research under the same employer. Started off as full time summer job at 19 years old to do basic data entry. Within 2 weeks of starting there was a need for somebody to coordinate some clinical trials. Employer decided to give me a shot even though I was young and inexperienced. Immediately had to start dealing with oncologists and pharmaceutical stakeholders. Not what I signed up for but a great challenge. Later moved into a more research based role for a leading cancer researcher in same organization. Managed some of the most important clinical research databases in the country. Dealt with research teams and projects. Next and final move was towards more finance oriented role. Employer knew of my ambitions to do an MBA. Offered me the opportunity to work with the finances in the research unit. I developed a unique and completely custom invoicing system to increase revenues and decrease human errors. Reported directly to manager and made revenue and expense analysis reports for manager's use in decision making. Consulted with manager on pharma contract budgeting issues.

My plan was originally to get a Bachelors degree with decent grades then start an MBA immediately. Target schools were Dalhousie, McMaster Co-op, Sprott. All solid Canadian b-schools with strong reputations in the country. Though not the best, graduating salary is good and amazing employability. All these schools accept students without work experience. Prospect of graduating with an MBA at 24 years old and entering workforce at a higher level is very exciting.

Now that my GMAT didn't turn out the way I expected I'm starting to have second thoughts and seeing some downsides of the schools I originally targeted. These schools are all decent but I think that by strengthening parts of my profile over a couple years could help me get into some even better programs. I would like to one day work in some sort of consultancy role with a focus on the food production industry. My dream is to either one day start my own food production company or even work in some executive capacity at a well established one. I will be redoing the GMAT in 4-6 weeks regardless, but I have outlined some possible options and I want to get some advice/suggestions from the community.

-Apply to target schools, graduate MBA at 24 and start working at lower level consultancy positions and move my way up.

-Do Masters in history, research topics focusing on history of food industry/food commodity economics. Use this as a way to get into consultancy or gov roles as an expert in this field. Do an MBA later.

-do another undergrad degree, options include joint economics/finance degree that I could complete in 2 years due to already holding bachelors degree. Get top grades and apply to MBAs from there.

-work for 2-3 years, have good connections in commercial banking, manufacturing and investment banking. Use this 2-3 years to maximize GMAT score. In this option I would be able to apply to a variety of programs compared to having no post grad work exp.

I am just overall pretty confused and not sure how to proceed other than retaking the GMAT. I think I have options but at the age of 22 I feel like I'm rushing myself for some reason. any advice and guidance is appreciated .

Thank you very much


Emilio,

Thank you for the detailed post. I am sorry that the GMAT attempt did not go as planned. Best of luck as you study and try to retake the test. Let us know if you want help with private tutoring as well. We have 4.0 MIT grads who tutor. As far as your plan, I would advise you to get a bit of work experience before going to school, even just a small amount. The reason is not because it is absolutely required to get in (as you pointed out that some schools do take folks without experience), it is because your exit opportunities will be better with some experience. If you have an MBA and no experience, employers will be hesitant to give you an actual post-MBA role, so you will end up with more of an analyst level role. Plus, as you pointed out, some experience and a good GMAT may open the door to higher ranked schools.

I don't think another undergrad degree is worth it at this point. The ROI would not be there. Good luck and check out our early planning program!

https://www.personalmbacoach.com/early-mba-planning

Best,
Scott



Hi Scott, thank you for the feedback, it is much appreciated. The reason why I was thinking about another undergrad is because at this point in my education I am much more mature than when I started so I could easily see myself getting a 3.7 to 3.9 GPA in a economics or finance program at McGill here in Montreal. Moreover, another undergraduate degree would only cost me a 5-7 thousand dollars here in Montreal so financially wise it really isn't anything to think about. I could also see myself working full time during that degree. I know that graduating with a humanities degree put me in a much harder position to find any sort of employment that is directly relevant to doing an MBA. I do have a pretty good network as I have prominent businessmen with MBAs in my family and they have already offered to help me find a job if I want to go work for 2-3 years pre-MBA. The problem is that they are hesitant with this plan as they are scared that I will kind of forget about the MBA. The connections are mostly in Commercial banking and manufacturing. I have also met twice with the VP of a boutique investment bank who is a family friend. He knows I want to do an MBA and I said that I was interested in interning there or just taking any opportunity to learn and build connections in the business world. He was a bit hesitant due to my background but that has been on hold for almost a year now as i just recently finished my degree.

Now that we are on the topic, what do you think an admissions committee would think of a candidate who has two undergrad degrees? Considering that if I were to do a second one I would like to work full time during the semesters. At this stage in my educational maturity I am confident that I will be able to handle both, 3 years ago this would have been impossible.

thank you for taking the time, it is much appreciated.


Emilio,

Yes another degree would be considered so you can certainly try to do that if it works out on your end. That said, your existing grades still count, so you cannot erase it entirely. I can see doing that while working. In fact if you did not do that, I would advise at least taking a few graduate level courses to try to offset the grades.

In terms of working and forgetting the MBA, that is not likely to happen as most people work first anyway.

Best,
Scott
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Re: Advice and Suggestions Needed &nbs [#permalink] 08 Jan 2018, 14:43
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