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Profile Review - Korean male, 35 years old

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Joined: 16 Feb 2020
Posts: 13
GMAT 1: 730 Q50 V39
Profile Review - Korean male, 35 years old  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2020, 18:21

I've wanted to get my profile evaluated but had not have a GMAT score until yesterday. Now that I finally have one, I would like to ask you to review my profile.

· Demographics: South Korean, Male, 35 years old

· Education: University of Pennsylvania, 3.62 GPA, Economics (Math minor)

· GMAT: 730 (Q50, V39, IR8)

· Work experience
9 years, Family business (Textile trading), Director
I have worked in a company my father founded about 30 years ago and have been a part of each side of jobs possible in this relatively small company. Right now, my role is mostly sales, production control, and accounting. As a trading company, I
travel many times a year to China, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

· Extracurricular activities: Founded a baseball club (25 members) and run for 8 years / Low-handicap golfer, Assistant manager in a golf club for 3 years

· Post-MBA goals: I would like to find a way to enhance our family business by either strengthening the current business or employing a new business model, or both. (+ comment#2 below)

· Target schools: Wharton, CBS, Haas, Stern, Sloan

1. My biggest concern/curiosity is about my age as I have heard many negative comments about being 35+ years old. I know my target schools are set too high, but these are the ones, of which I want to know my chances of admission. I am also considering Fuqua, McDonough, USC, UCLA.

2. Regarding the post-MBA goals, I have another controversial thought in mind. I also want to explore ways to get into sports industry if I get into MBA, but I'm not sure if I should leverage this in my application because my work experience is not at all related even though I put a lot of time outside of work. Having the age as a concern for admission already, I'm worried about whether this will further increase adcom's conern about my candidacy. So, I'm wondering if I should just not mention any of it and focus on more realistic goals.

3. Do you think it's worthwhile to take another GMAT? I'm asking because I already registered for two exams a month ago, one of which I took yesterday and another expected in 17 days from today. I can only get $75 refund out of $250 if I choose to cancel now, so I thought I might as well take it and see if get any better score, and if not, cancel. Or do you think it's not worth the time and effort and I should rather focus on other parts of application?

4. Regarding letters of recommendation, I heard the best resource would be my direct supervisor, but in my case, it's my father. I also heard that a letter from a family member is something I should avoid. That leaves me with no candidate in the company, and next possible sources are our customers. Though this is the only option I'm left with, I think asking customers to write recommendation is too much to ask and somewhat risky for the sake of the business.

Please give me your thoughts on above, and anything you provide would be much appreciated.
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 05 Jun 2018
Posts: 80
Re: Profile Review - Korean male, 35 years old  [#permalink]

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New post 11 May 2020, 09:51
Hi there, kimchuri!

1) Overall, you've got an attractive profile but yes, as a 35 year old applicant, you'd face some hurdles applying to 2 year programs...mostly because the schools would find your experience to "fit" better with EMBA or mid career MBA programs, especially since your story is that you are looking to enhance your family business (and therefore don't need a summer internship). I won't say it's impossible, but you'd be an outlier and they would wonder if you wouldn't be frustrated by the difference in experience level of your peer group in the program. Wharton, Stern, Sloan and CBS do show some friendliness toward older applicants, but it still will potentially be tough to break through (except maybe J-Term at CBS). I think Fuqua, McDonough and UCLA would fall in this friendly-to-older-applicants category too, but similarly, they'd have questions about fit.

Have you looked at other types of MBA programs like EMBAs or 1-year programs? You're based in South Korea? EMBA programs come in all different configurations --depending on your travel flexibility/location, some may be better for your than others. So, in the names you list, programs that you might consider include the globally-focused Columbia Global EMBA programs or Duke's Global EMBA, one-year intensive programs like MIT's Sloan Fellows (you need 10 years for that but you'd have it when the program started) and USC's I-Bear program (or even Stanford MSX), or more traditional EMBA programs like Wharton's SF EMBA and Berkeley's EMBA (those might have more challenging travel demands for you as I think they might meet more frequently than the global ones but I am not 100% positive on that). Look at the schedules/demands and see if any of these would be of interest, and maybe check out a webinar or two. EMBA programs are also happy to chat with you and give you an individual profile evaluation, so if a program interests you, reach out!

2) A career pivot this late in the game, especially to one that attracts many high achieving candidates, will likely be challenging. You'd need to articulate why you'd be successful in accomplishing this, and suggest how they'd be interested in your skill set and experience at this stage of life. How important is an internship for this pivot, and what are the profiles of those they hire? Do you match? You'll need to do some research here.

3) Since you just took it and did well, another GMAT sounds like it won't take away your time too much. You have a good score, but for the very top programs, esp. if you are targeting the 2 year programs, a higher score can help if you are right at the average. It's hard to say whether it's worth it or not, given everything else going on in your profile, but my sense is that you are leaning toward taking it again just to see, and I think that's fine.

4) This is tricky and you can't use your dad. Maybe you can find a lawyer, board member, advisor of some kind. It's time to get creative here.

Hope this helps and best of luck!
Julie-Anne Heafey
Senior Consultant

Best of luck,
Julie-Anne Heafey
Senior Consultant

Profile Review - Korean male, 35 years old

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