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Assistance Please on best course of action..

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Affiliations: CFA Charterholder
Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 25
Schools: EWMBA Haas
Assistance Please on best course of action.. [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2010, 16:39

Currently a financial analyst with bank(non-investment bank)
36 years old(I know this will raise an eyebrow with admissions--best way to address?? I planned on being 100% honest--had been lazy academically knowing I could skirt by with minimal effort--now I want no regrets in life at giving my best. Thus the late start in pursing higher education--I know Im about 8 years behind, but my innate desire to succeed will ensure I do not fail--something to that effect)

GPA @ Cal Poly San Luis 2.7--admitted lack of effort(knew I could get by w/minimal effort) and I plan to address that on essay portion of application.
Have great reference letter from professor @ Cal Poly--PHD from Northwestern...stating my collegiate courses were MBA level( engineering-2nd in class) along with his endorsement of my capability to complete top 20 mba program.

Passed all 3 levels of CFA--hopefully this will show intellectual curiosity.

Previously a manager of 9 employees within a bank. Ranked #1 branch out of 99 within copmany in California2009 based on various profitability/sales metrics.(shows experience to effectivley manage??)

Wondering what is needed on GMAT to increase hopes of attending a top 20(if possible institution) Along with anything else I can do to bolster resume....

Intangibles/Oddities(was told they look at this)
Volunteer @ local Food bank.
Drafted by 2 professional baseball teams--played collegiate sports Division 1(not sure how this would help-but Im throwing the kitchen sink to get a complete diagnostic)
Ferocious appetite for knowledge(albeit late in life).

Why I want MBA? I have no desire to make partner at Goldman....I dont want to be the next CEO of a major tech firm...Money is not my motivation...although nice. I want to make a difference in people lives(perhaps non-profit) and I need the best possible management/business skills to be effective. In the end, I will judge myself not by how much $$ I make, nor the toys I've amassed, but rather the number of lives I've influenced and assisted at their most basic level. Food/shelter/clothing/education etc.....

Thanks for taking the time to read...
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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 994
Re: Assistance Please on best course of action.. [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2010, 21:43

Thanks for reaching out and for throwing the kitchen sink - it's always better to have more info rather than less and I can appreciate anyone who takes the time and effort to get out there and get feedback. Your willingness to do what it takes and to take a "no holds barred" approach is good, but right now that energy is misplaced. You don't need to spend a single word explaining your approach to college. For starters, it was light years ago. A ton of water has passed under that bridge and the light bulb has come on since. Instead, what you want to do is tell that story - the light bulb came on when X happened and you've been a machine ever since. Mature, focused, disciplined.

I won't be the first or last person to tell you that part-time programs are probably going to more feasible for you. You yourself say that you are about eight years behind, which would mean that you are 28 in "MBA terms." But will the school see that? Sure, if you hammer that point in your career goals essays. However, that's not the only challenge. The school has to ask: will the recruiters see that? Are you going to fit the hiring mix? I think you can make the case, but it's more of an uphill battle with full-time programs, which are slavishly devoted to placement rates and employment reports. Part-time programs give you all that knowledge and networking that you crave in order to make a difference, but without the burdens of employability expectations. Not sure if you are in a metro area where there are good PT programs (Chicago, LA, the Bay are the best), but that's certainly something to consider. That said, if full-time programs are your aim, I'm not going to be part of the crowd of naysayers. I've seen people get into b-school at ages ranging from 21 to 41 and it's not for me or anyone else to say how various schools will perceive your candidacy. Hey, age is nothing but a number. All you can do is put the best application together that you possibly can (and a 700+ GMAT is critical in that, the CFA helps a ton, clear career goals will be vital, showcasing maturity is key, getting some mileage out of athletics will be nice, etc.), choose the best fit for schools, and let the chips fall where they may. Booth strikes me as a place to look, because they might even help you determine which offering is best. Kellogg, Duke, Anderson, and Vandy are other places at which to take long looks.

I hope this is helpful. Yours is a very interesting case and if you want to get into a bit more, feel free to PM me.


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