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I just retook the GMAT for my second time, received my results and have a really tough decision to make and could use the guidance. Before, I continue, I just want to thank you in advance for reading my post and appreciate any feedback that you can offer.
Below I listed a synopsis of my under grad and post grad activities/achievements. While I was a Finance major in college, I currently work in the Marketing Communications industry. Thankfully, I already know what I want to achieve from a MBA program. I want to go back to school for a career shift, not career advancement. My ultimate goal is to work on the desk of a Financial firm and I understand the dedication that it will take to move up the ranks (analyst, associate, etc.). Where I am torn apart is deciding between a full-time or part-time MBA program. I was leaning more towards a full time program as I would be making a career shift and understand that Part-Time programs are geared more towards career advancements.
I currently work in NYC and live in the metro area and have been out of college for about 8 years. With that being said, I plan on applying to the following MBA programs: - Columbia Business School - NYU Stern School of Business - Baruch Zicklin School of Business
In reading my profile below, do you think I have a decent shot at getting into a B-School like Columbia/NYU or am I setting my target too high?
GMAT Scores: June 2012 - 650 March 2013 - 710
Undergrad Profile GPA - 3.56 (Cum Laude) Major - Finance
Activities: Three honor societies (Economics, Leadership and Business) Student Gov. Senior Class Senator Fraternity President
Current Field: Marketing Communications Volunteer: I began volunteering as a mentor a year ago at a very reputable organization. I absolutely love working with the students and will continue mentoring through grad school.
Your academic background is strong, so I think you could be in the running for a top program. What will really decide that is your level of leadership experience. I didn't get a good sense of your leadership capacity -- have you been regularly promoted at work, led projects/teams? Have you taken on more and more responsibility over time? With 8 years full time experience, seems that you might even have direct reports? If all of this is correct, than a top program should be a possibility. Columbia might be a stretch, but NYU would definitely be a reasonable target.
As for whether you go full time or part time, I'd say that full time would make a lot of sense given that you want to make a career shift. It will benefit you to be fully immersed in the finance curriculum, clubs, internships and activities on campus. If you go this route, you wouldn't be limited to NYC programs... you could look at Chicago Booth, Cornell, and others.
Thank you for the feedback, it's truly appreciated. The detail on the full time is a huge help as I've been torn between which route to go and am 99% sure that it will pursue the full time program as it opens me up to many more options.
Regarding leadership experience, I've never had direct reports, however I've had the following leadership experience: - Implementing training programs for new hires, existing employees and clients - Leading large scale projects (both internal and client facing) - One project I lead and implemented for a client won a technology award - Leading policy and procedural changes within a company - Developing and implementing a program that audits projects/company workflows and make recommendations directly to management
In both my current and past roles, as time has progressed I've been given increased responsibility and can show a direct correlation with this.
The only questionable aspect of my resume would be my current title. Even though it was a lateral move in every regard, the title is a bit junior, but I've never been a person to fuss over titles. I went from working at a large corporation to a small privately owned company. The main reason relates to the fact that the company I previously worked for had been downsizing for some time, which had essentially closed the door on further career growth. The current company I work for, while is smaller has given me a great opportunity to work directly with management.
I've only worked for three companies since graduation: - First Job - 9 months - 2nd Job - 6+ years (three promotions) - While I was promoted on multiple occasions, the opportunity for direct reports didn't present itself as. The company went through massive restructuring as the company went through two Mergers and Acquisitions during my 6 year tenor. - 3rd Job - Lateral move from my 2nd job (Working under a year in current role)
I wouldn't worry so much about title/direct reports. Most MBA candidates have not had the opportunity to have direct reports. The kind of leadership experiences you've had are very typical of an MBA candidate, and will show that you have the capacity to lead. For your title - if you're really concerned, you could ask your manager/firm if they'll allow you to change your title (if they know you're applying to bschool and are supportive, maybe they'll say, "no problem!"). Otherwise, your essays and resume will demonstrate that the move was not a demotion (and you can explain it in an optional statement if you're still concerned at that point).