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Profile Eval (work gap issues)

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Joined: 11 Aug 2013
Posts: 19

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 0

Concentration: Strategy
Schools: Foster '16 (II)
GMAT 1: 720 Q47 V42
GPA: 3.47
Profile Eval (work gap issues) [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2013, 16:09
Hi, I was hoping to get an assessment of my profile. I'm considering applying to UW Foster, UM Ross, CM Tepper, Duke Fuqua, UV Darden. I'm starting to doubt whether I have a shot at any of those schools.

age - 30
undergrad - University of Washington
degree - chemical engineering
gpa - 3.5

Gmat 720

Work experience:
4 years as a process engineer for SNC-Lavalin (Canada's largest engineering firm, but my office was based in seattle)

Here's where things get tricky. I quit my job 4 years ago to play professional poker. I paid my way through college with poker winnings, was making a higher hourly rate playing poker on the side while woking as an engineer and decided to just go for it. Online play was eventually shut down in the US. Tried to wait it out for online to come back by playing poker "live" in casinos, but became really sick of that lifestyle and so here I am. The long term goal however was always to get back into the workforce via an mba and pursue a career on the business side of things, and I plan to have my essays reflect that (i.e - I won't make it sound like I'm going for an mba because I'm sick of poker).

How bad does the poker playing look? I've received mix feedback from non experts. Some have told me it actually looks good, others have told me I need to lower my expectations (as well as my target schools).

Do I have a shot at the schools listed? Should I retake my gmat to overcompensate for other weaknesses in profile?

Very stressed, thank you for any and all feedback.

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 0

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 29 Oct 2013
Posts: 662

Kudos [?]: 55 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Eval (work gap issues) [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2013, 10:37
When you have an idiosyncratic profile, I suggest, aside from turning in great applications, to apply to as many programs as possible. The reason is that the idiosyncratic element will elicit subjective responses all across the spectrum, from “Ugh, gambling, forget it” to “Wow, poker shows highly advanced reasoning and people-reading skills” to “Interesting, he went through a huge personal transformation” – in other words, each adcom reader will have a distinctive and unique response, making it much harder to predict outcomes – at any level of program competitiveness. So your application has to really “click” with adcoms, and doing many applications simply maximizes that possibility.

I consider programs at the level of Fuqua and Darden, although you’re qualified, to be reaches – but because of that idiosyncratic element, I can’t tell how “reasonable reaches” they are. I believe it would make sense to apply to some schools at this level, but also to some target less competitive programs – such as Foster – as long as they meet your needs.

Finally, a stellar application that puts your experience in perspective and demonstrates growth from it is a must.

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Advisor, Accepted
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Kudos [?]: 55 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Eval (work gap issues)   [#permalink] 04 Dec 2013, 10:37
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Profile Eval (work gap issues)

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