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Quit my job to study for GMAT?

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Joined: 12 Apr 2018
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 15:50
YES I KNOW. "Don't quit your job whatever you do".

Hear me out.

I'm at a fork in the roads and have a huge decision to make. I had planned 6 months ago, that I would begin GMAT studying Mid July and Apply to MBA's before Mid October Deadline. So i have a couple months for gmat prep.

The problem is my job is way to demanding. I work from 6am to 7pm, yes 13 hour days. And I drive 1.5 hours to way. I'm currently an engineer, However I'm doing a contract temp job which really sucks. Below average pay, no 401k, barely any decent health insurance. Aside from GMAT studying, i was planning to quit anyways to hunt for jobs (I don't even get time to apply to jobs with this demanding job!). The problem is i'm afraid I would ruin MBA applications if it shows I conveniently quit my job a couple months before GMAT. In reality, there is no physical way I can do my job and gmat prep. I know people can say "well you can try, you squeeze it in". Well I tried this in winter of 2017/2018. During the months of November to February i did GMAT prep while working. I didn't score well at all. Low 600's. And i went to a top 10 engineering university, I know I can do way better. Its just that with my job I'm constantly tired sleeping 4-5 hours a night only to get back up and hit another 13-14 hour day. Problem is since i didn't get time to study in weekdays, every weekend when I began studying I would forget what I learned last week. I need consistent studying. Not 8 hours a day, just a few hours...but consistently everyday.

As far as applications. I recently obtained my realtors license, so i may do that on the side, I plan on applying to many jobs as well. I get calls every day for interviews for engineering jobs now that oil is picking up. My father own his own company so I plan on moonlighting and working part time with that. My plan is to quit, and focus on 3 things: GMAT Prep/applications, Job hunting, side-job of selling houses, side-job of helping family business and moonlighting (engineering and drafting work). I know some people who work in commercial real estate who've offered to mentor me as well so i want to take those opportunities. So its safe to say, I have many opportunities out there. I feel my job is killing all my hopes and dreams at this point. You're only in 20's once and I got to nail this GMAT out the park like I know I can.

I also recently got a really bad herniated disc. So bad that I couldn't walk for weeks to months and still have really bad pain. It is not medically wise for me to sit all day at the job, then come home and sit for more hours studying for GMAT. I already had a sick leave from work for 2 months for physical therapy, and other treatments so I cant do that. Regardless of the fact I'm about to start GMAT prep, if i want to heal fully and live a normal life where I'm not disabled, I think its wise for me to not try to attempt gmat and work at the same time (atleast not this 13hr/day job) - and this was my own doctors words not mine!

Now seeing my situation, and that I DO in-fact have many other things I will be doing once I it a bad idea to quit my current dead-end miserable underpaid temp job? Assuming money is not an issue.

Is there anyone out there, who had been unemployed when applying to MBA's? How'd that work out?

Current GMAT scores: low 600's
Goal: 700

I plan on applying to:

UT Mcombs
Texas A&M Mays Business (did my undergrad mechanical engineering there)
SMU Dallas
and maybe some other out of state schools in the GMAT 650-700 range

Thank you very much for your advice, I highly value it!
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 18:24
Dude, your job sounds horrendous & I'm sorry you're in this situation. That said, it is very difficult to apply to b-school when you're unemployed. Not sure of your demographic - I know you're coming from Engineering & if by chance you're an Indian male the cards are stacked against you. That is the #1 most competitive demographic when it comes to b-school applications, so it's really risky to make things harder for yourself by quitting your job right before you apply or having a big gap in employment.

Even if you are (hopefully) not coming from that demographic though, it's a big risk. Like you said, unfortunately the adcom just won't understand if you say you were too busy. Everyone is busy and b-school is crazy busy, so they are going to be scared off by that argument & honestly just not really respect it.

You can potentially say you took a medical leave of absence - if you can legitimately get a doctor's order that allows you to take one. The adcom won't penalize you for that & you can use the optional essay to explain that you will be fine by the time school starts.

Otherwise, you could potentially shift into an easier job but there is risk there too. The adcom will question your commitment - in their eyes either you're not totally committed to b-school or you were not totally above board with your new manager, since it would be unlikely for a hiring manager to hire someone they know plans to leave in a year. One way around that is to take a new job now at the co that is your target for your post-MBA position. Then you can make the argument that you'll go back - only better prepared to make an impact once you have the MBA. All that said, finding a new job still might not give you the time you need to prep for the GMAT since you will be getting up to speed in the new role, etc. You also want to be careful of the idea of multiple side jobs. B-schools want to see a linear story & that is going to be difficult to piece together into one.

It's a difficult place to be in for sure! If you are really feeling desperate & your dr really will order a medical leave that may be your best option!

Jon Frank
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Re: Quit my job to study for GMAT?  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2018, 03:44
Thank you for reaching out and beeing so brutally honest with your situation.

Personally, I think the combination of factors you mentioned is a justifiable reason to quit your job and focus fully on studying for the GMAT. I think you would be able to explain a certain period of unemployment if you detail your situation in a seperate essay and/or talks to the admissions office of a given business school.

However, above is just my personal opinion as a fellow human beeing and I am to no extend an expert with regards to the admissions procces. Although I think such a heartfelt, honest decribtion of your motives behind the decesion would also resonate with them.

All the best with whatever option you decide to go for,

A couple of things that helped me in verbal:

Gmat Prep CAT #1: V42, Q34, 630
Gmat Prep CAT #2: V46, Q35, 660
Gmat Prep CAT #3: V41, Q42, 680

On the mission to improve my quant score, all help is appreciated! :)

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Re: Quit my job to study for GMAT?  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2018, 19:54
I agree with Jon above. It's not optimal, but if you absolutely must take the medical route. And it would be best if you could show how you are taking some time out to handle your herniated disc and that the situation will be rectified by the time you get into business school.

Maybe you can listen to some GMAT prep podcast while you're water walking or something :-)

I would recommend that you get another job in your current line of work ASAP. One of the most important aspects of the application are your recommendations so you will want to have them come from a credible source and have them speak to your abilities. Abilities that will be critical to the post MBA goal job.

So I don't really think working for your dad in real estate is going to get the job done to be quite honest. It would be best if you could find another job that is in alignment with your goals and your experience that is less taxing on you and maybe a full-time job? So that you have a pretty decent reason for leaving?

Last of all I know you probably don't want to hear this but having taught GMAT verbal for 18 years, my most successful students were those who got up an hour earlier, not those who try to fight through fatigue 4 hours after work.

I realize you get up at 6 in the morning so that would really suck in your case but it's time where you have a lot of concentration and focus. The best of you and not the rest of you.

I invite you to consider the possibility that even with more time if you're practicing the wrong strategies and have the wrong approach it won't move you forward. Check into getting a tutor to make the most of the time you have.

Farrell Dyan
"You don't often come across people so perceptive and empathetic." - EM, NYC

Joined: 12 Apr 2018
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Re: Quit my job to study for GMAT?  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 10:02
Thank you everyone for the replies and dealing with my rant from above,

I've decided I'm going to meet my supervisor and ask for a shorter work schedule (Temporarily for a couple months). That way I can "stay on the payroll". If they say no, then i'll have no choice but to quit.

Since I do have a real estate sales person license, one option I have is to quit my job and sell houses under a big name broker like Keller Williams or ReMax while I study for GMAT. It isn't the optimal choice because I obviously don't want to sell houses as a career, but I'll get to set my own hours and have way more time to study for the GMAT and other stuff. Plus I can probably get another rec letter out of it too. And also great client interaction experience (something engineers in my line of work do not get). I will probably spend this time applying for consulting jobs as many people have told me i should look into a consulting role pre-MBA.


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