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PhD the MBA - unconventional profile evaluation request...

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PhD the MBA - unconventional profile evaluation request... [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2010, 15:19
Buon giorno gentle people.

So, as you may have gathered from the title of this thread, I have quite an unusual background for a MBA wannabe and would be most grateful for any feedback on my chances of getting into a top school.

Before I ramble on any further, here are my vital statistics:

Nationality: British.

Age: 28/29 on matriculation.

Education: 1) BSc Maths at top UK university (think Cambridge, Imperial, LSE, Oxford, UCL) - 1st class, graduated top of class (we don't have a GPA system here, but I would guess that my classification translates to a 4.0). Won various departmental, university wide and national awards for my academic performance. 2) MSc Maths at a different top UK university (mainly because they 'bribed' me to join them) - distinction, graduated top of class again and also broke the record for the highest ever aggregate score in this particular program (so I guess it would be a 4.0 GPA again). 3) PhD Maths at the same top UK university where I did my masters - it was a research only program so there is no GPA to report, but I published two papers in a top mathematics journal (acceptance rates are less than 10%) and my supervisor (a world renown academic who can be one of my references) openly regards me to be the best student he's ever had.

Work experience: 1) Following my PhD, I began work as a postdoctoral researcher in mathematics at a top Australian university. The main reason for making this move was because I wanted to do the whole 'Australia thing', but also because I loved being a student and was hoping that a career as an academic would resemble the experience that I had during my glory days. Needless to say it didn't, and, after 6 months of faffing around with the convicts, I ended up coming back to sunny England. Which leads me to... 2) Two years of work experience (to date) at a bulge bracket investment bank in London, working in a group which falls under the very general umbrella of structuring. I joined as an associate and was promoted to VP recently. They have actually offered to sponsor me for a MBA program (full fees plus stipend) in exchange for my soul.

Extracurricular stuff: During my studies, I was vice-captain of the university football team (1st X1) in my final year, volunteered as a widening participation representative, President of a large society, founded a (fairly profitable) student events company, a volunteer tutor for students in the lower years, plus a few more bits and bobs which I won't bore you with. I'm also a qualified football coach and regularly volunteer at a local football club. I still write academic papers when I get time and have published two more papers in decent mathematics journals over the last couple of years. I've been back to both of my alma mater's on several occasions to give talks about careers for science PhD's in the big, bad world of investment banking and am currently mentoring three PhD students.

GMAT: Not taken it yet. I did take the GRE a few years ago and scored 800, 620 and 5 in the quantitative, verbal and analytical writing sections, respectively. The verbal bit is incredibly tedious so I didn't study as much as I should have, but do you think such a score would be enough? I think it's valid for another year, so I'd really have to get a move on with my applications if I am to go forward with this score.

References: Pretty solid. As I stated above, I can get my former PhD supervisor to be one of them and there are also two MD's in my group who value me quite highly and have offered to chime in too.

Career objectives: If I do decide to take my current employers sponsorship offer, I will be committed to them for another two years upon graduation. I like my job and team a lot, so I have no objection to this. But eventually I would like to move into a high level management position at a large investment bank as opposed to staying 'on the floor' for the rest of my career. What I think I'm lacking at the moment is that little bit of business savvy that may or may not come with time, but I genuinely believe that doing an MBA at a top school will push me into the right direction.

Dream school: Harvard.

So what do you guys reckon? I'm concerned that admissions committees may not think that I have the right motivation, since I've already bummed around in uni for seven years and am doing ok in my career to date. Yes, a big part of me wants to go to business school for the whole experience, but that's by no means my primary driver.
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Re: PhD the MBA - unconventional profile evaluation request... [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2010, 11:52
If you can achieve a competitive GMAT score (700+) then you should be in good shape for business school from a pure "numbers" standpoint. Your challenge will be to convince adcom that applying to business school is not a decision you're making on a whim. Be very clear about your short and long-term goals and also tie your current work experience into your future plans. Though many business school grads change their career trajectory upon graduation, it is important to appear like you at least have a solid plan.

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