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An Unconventional Path To B-School; Need Advice

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Joined: 17 Jan 2018
Posts: 5
An Unconventional Path To B-School; Need Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2018, 20:47
Hi everyone,

New to this forum and to my MBA journey. I have a few questions and need some advice. Apologize for the length of the email in advance. I put this in Peer Review as well as I wasn't sure where to put it.

I’m currently 28 years old and will be looking to apply to a top MBA program for Fall 2019 (at which point I will have just turned 30 years old). My background is very unconventional and I would like to know if I have a good shot at getting into a top school (Haas, Anderson, Stanford, and Columbia are my top targets). The main reason I want to go is to gain more skills that I currently do not have (such as better financial and marketing skills) and also look to go down the consulting path as I would like to eventually become an outsourced COO for startups (at least that is the current plan).

I started college at a Cal State University, but having come from a family of all University of California graduates, I decided I wanted to follow in their footsteps. So after 1 semester, I decided to “sacrifice a little to gain a lot.” I spent the next year and a half at a junior college in Los Angeles in order to transfer into a UC. I was accepted into UC Santa Barbara, but on deferment and had to spend one semester at Santa Barbara City College. When I graduated UCSB, my GPA from all schools combined (after having calculated between both semester and quarter systems), was ~3.3.

Here’s the kicker, I started off as a Business Administration/Economics major, but was having major difficulty in calculus. I had one class that I could not pass for the life of me (even had my old math teachers from high school as my tutors), and ending up getting an F. It was the only F I have ever received (never even a D) and I was distraught. I eventually decided to switch to majors to History, and from there did very well over the next 2+ years.

So in short, I went to 4 colleges and graduated in 4 years with a total GPA of 3.3 (after having switched between semester and quarter systems, as well as majors). It was a complicated process.

I wanted to go into the entertainment industry and ending up realizing that going back to school would help me land a better job at a talent agency (which is what happened). I went to UCLA Extension for a year long certificate program in Business and Management of the Entertainment Industry and got a 3.7 GPA from the whole program.

After working in entertainment for a few years, a good friend of mine asked me to co-found a startup with him. I ended up leaving entertainment for this and spent the next 14 months on this startup. I then decided to leave and founded my own startup of which I have spent the last 2 and a half years on (and employed numerous people under). It hasn’t gone as I wanted/expected it to and I have decided to shut it down (after having raised investments and generated revenue). My plan was always to go Business School after the startups, but the goal was for one to succeed before I did. The first one is still around, but I no longer have any active involvement in it.

I am looking into taking the GMAT in the next few months and aim to score above a 700 to offset my lower undergrad GPA. My main question is with this whole “story” and proven entrepreneurial experience, if I score well on the GMAT, get good recommendations, and do well in the interview process, do I have a good shot at getting into a top school?
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Re: An Unconventional Path To B-School; Need Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2018, 20:26
You have a few red flags that will make this an uphill battle for you with your wonky academic and career journey. You will really have to piece your story together for admissions. That will be the most important thing for you. Before admissions can judge where you're going they will need to understand where you came from and right now your story will seem all over the place. Scoring high on the GMAT will help reduce the academic concerns admissions will have but it will be up to your application narrative to clear up any questions they will have about your career story. So you do have a chance at the schools listed but you will have to do well on the GMAT and present a clear and compelling career arc for admissions
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Re: An Unconventional Path To B-School; Need Advice   [#permalink] 18 Jan 2018, 20:26
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