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Request for Profile Evaluation - nontraditional backgrond

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Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 16
Request for Profile Evaluation - nontraditional backgrond [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2017, 05:46
I don't see many applicants like myself on these forums (or featured on schools' student profiles pages for that matter) so it's hard to know how within reach a decent MBA program is for me. A few quick facts:

Age (now and at matriculation): 27
Male, Caucasian, American
Applying in Round 3 (March/Feb rounds)
GMAT: Took full length computer adaptive practice test which estimated score between 720-770. ~85% quant and 95-100% verbal. Studying now for test in late Jan '17
Undergrad: Small liberal arts school in american southwest on the lower half of the top 100. Political Science. 3.63 GPA

The story of my professional life is a bit unconventional. I graduated in 2012 to a troubled economy and a very limited personal/professional network to tap into (Unlike my peers at undergrad, I come from really modest background). Having taken a couple classes on Chinese politics/society and having followed the rise of China closely in the news, I took a gamble and moved to an off-the-beaten-path city in China for a year of teaching English. My plan (I regarded it as more of a dream at that time) was to use this as a launching pad for an international sales career.

From here, I joined a media company based in Hong Kong. We produced country-branded business reports which were featured in the the most reputable local paper in the region. (Quite a big brand in Asia but, unfortunately, not well known at all in the states). My job was to spend 15 weeks in each country meeting directly with CEOs and marketing directors from firms of all sizes (blue chip to SME) and from all industries, selling them on buying article space in our country branded section. I consulted with each MD or CEO on how best to leverage the exposure to the very high level business audience of the newspaper. For instance, if we met with, say, a large international law firm in the UK, we would position the exposure as a way to invite partnerships with other complementary law firms in Asia as well as to attract corporate clients. This was a very dynamic role that involved deeply consultative sales as well as media production skills (as I also managed the production of each report through to publication). After about a year, I was promoted to the position of Project Manager and managed teams of 2-3 people in each country. During this time I lived in 6 different countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, spending 15 weeks in each.

After a little over two years, I hit a wall with this firm in terms of professional development (there was no higher position to be promoted to) and, frankly, traveling 100% of the time is tiring. From there, I pursued a more traditional media sales career and things went off the rails a bit. I worked for a very reputable british media brand (think Financial Times) in southeast asia. I managed a small sales territory for a small division of their overall business. It was not what I expected. The work was very mundane and repetitive and, worse, I wasn't learning anything. Despite the very valuable brand name, I left after only 6 months upon finding a more exciting position with a much less impressive international american media brand (the leading travel publication in the world) based in Thailand. In this, my current position, I manage advertising sales for a territory of 5 southeast Asian countries. Though I like this job, I can see the writing on the wall for this company. The great digital disruption has arrived in southeast Asia and I do not know if we are equipped to weather the storm.

Working for three media brands, each dealing with a rapidly and dramatically changing industry landscape in different ways, is what led me to pursue an MBA. I think I have a talent for corporate strategy and want the hard knowledge to back it up. My post-MBA goal is to find a strategy job in a large corporate or go directly into consulting. I'm intent on matriculating in 2017, which means applying in round 3

Here are the schools that I have in mind:

Johnson, Tepper, Foster, McCombs, Said (oxford), Judge (Cambridge), LBS (big reach?)

Would appreciate honest feedback. Do i have a decent shot this late in the game?

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Joined: 18 Apr 2013
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Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Request for Profile Evaluation - nontraditional backgrond [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2017, 17:07
Hi there,

Thanks for sharing your story with us. I think you have a good shot at a few of your target schools. I noticed you're looking at both the US and EU - where is your preference? Where do you see yourself? I think you have to be careful in terms of the story you tell. The essence should focus on your nontraditional path, but it shouldn't be a sob story. You made certain decisions about your career early on, and you're going to have to frame it in a way that demonstrates career progression as well as a unique experience that brings value to the classroom at your target schools. Given that you're still taking the GMAT soon and we're looking at R3 deadlines, I recommend focusing on a school selection strategy that narrows your target schools to 3-4 schools as it's unlikely you're going to be able to put together 7 strong applications in this timeframe. Feel free to sign up for a free consultation below to see how we can help. In the meantime, review our free resources for your upcoming applications.

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Re: Request for Profile Evaluation - nontraditional backgrond   [#permalink] 14 Jan 2017, 17:07
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