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Self-Employed/Family Business Experience on CV/App?

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Joined: 06 Dec 2016
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Schools: CBS '17
Self-Employed/Family Business Experience on CV/App?  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2016, 11:01
Hi All,

I am currently applying to MBA programs, specifically targeting CBS as my primary. In doing so, I am redrafting my resume, and was wondering if someone could please help me understand how business schools such as Columbia view family business experience. I have been working at our growing company (a chain of urgent care facilities in the DC Metro area, roughly a ~4 million dollar operation) for upwards of 10 years, however only roughly 4 are post graduate.

In the years that I've been working, I started as an assistant and have worn hats in every facet of the business including but not limited to: IT/Health IT, Marketing, Customer Relations, Accounts & HR. I'm having trouble determining how best to translate my experience at the family business and the knowledge I have picked up over the years into a resume form that will be viewed as favorable on the application.

I have done my past 3.5 years and am currently still working specifically in business administration as a director of operations. I am seeking an MBA to further advance our business and to gain insight into an entrepreneurial mindset. I should also note, that I have since founded and am working in another company of my own, however it is still rather small and about a year old.

My main question is how should I mechanically write out this experience/skill set I possess in an appealing way, should I split my roles into several positions on the CV or just try to bullet the things I have done over the last several years?

In addition to the resume, I am preparing to give the GMAT along with my undergraduate transcripts(3.3 GPA from a top a public university in Biology) within the next few weeks and finalize my application! Hoping for the best :)

Thanks!!
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Re: Self-Employed/Family Business Experience on CV/App?  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2016, 11:11
1
Thanks for sharing.

You may list them in bullets, but be sure to substantiate results and projects you have led or been involved in. It would be good to show how you have been involved across functions, and how these have grown your skills.

In your essays, you can share the challenges and joys of being in the family business, it would help to play up the unique insights you can share to your peers at the MBA program, and define how the target program will help you towards your post-MBA goals. Identifying the specifics regarding courses, and the school community, and how you will fit will be essential, as well.

All the best!
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Re: Self-Employed/Family Business Experience on CV/App?  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2016, 11:14
1
You may also find the blog entry below helpful:

From the Family Business to Business School (and Back)


“You’re going back to the family business?”

If you’re planning to attend business school with the ultimate intent of working for your family’s business, some of your friends will probably wonder why you would consider pursuing an MBA when they feel that a clear path has already been (very well) paved for you with the power, privilege, and prestige of your family’s business handed to you on a silver platter. Some will envy you, some will resent you, and even more will wonder if you really need an MBA, while you yourself doubt how stating this post-MBA goal will affect your odds of admission.

Interestingly, articulating your personal story towards convince your friends of this decision may also be the same formula towards strengthening your case to getting admitted to your target schools. Let’s examine three ways you can best explain to the Admissions Committee your plans to go from your family’s business to business school, and back:

1) Win Admiration from Peers
Displaying your competence through your strong academic and job accomplishments, demonstrating your character through your work ethic and values, or showcasing how you have gotten involved with interesting and worthwhile activities will help show you as someone who can make it on their own. In turn, this display of independence – that you don’t completely rely on your family to succeed – will work towards winning admiration and respect from your peers, and even your subordinates.

Imagine, sometime in the near future (perhaps your late 20’s or early 30’s), being introduced as the new General Manager of your family’s business. Some whispers from your employees would surely be, “She’s the daughter of the boss, that’s why…” From your side, you would want them to also recognize how you have also excelled outside of the family business environment, whether it is at another company, or towards a specific social cause or interest. Similarly, explaining this desire to find your own success, independent of your family, will be a great way to explain your MBA aspirations to the Admissions Committee.

2) Acknowledge Your Good Fortune
In discussing your history in relation to your family’s business, you would do well to be grateful for the circumstances you have been blessed with. This gratitude will serve as a good point to highlight the knowledge, exposure and network you are equipped with – attractive qualities that can benefit your future business school community, as well.

Mentioning specifics about your family’s business to demonstrate its scale and potential impact not only shows your awareness and interest in the business, but also helps the Admissions Committee realize the impact you can make in the business world. Providing details on the products this company provides, or on its business model, will also help them visualize what you are involved with now, and how it can influence you as a future MBA.

3) Articulate Your Passion
Tell the Admissions Committee what you are excited to do after business school, such as leading the entry into a new market, launching a product line, building a distribution channel, or formulating new company plans. You can also share the challenges your family’s business is currently facing – perhaps it is the need to modernize its systems and processes, or its struggle with the more personal aspects of succession planning or even family politics. Showing your focus and drive to achieve these specific post-MBA objectives – and explaining how attending business school will help you attain these goals – will further demonstrate your substance and maturity.

Relate these future plans and current challenges to your need for an MBA at your specific school of interest by identifying exactly what you aim to gain at their program and how you plan to bring it back to your family’s business. Doing this will help convince the Admission Committee that you are the right fit for their program and deserving of a spot.
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Re: Self-Employed/Family Business Experience on CV/App?  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2016, 15:05
brashid2 wrote:
Hi All,

I am currently applying to MBA programs, specifically targeting CBS as my primary. In doing so, I am redrafting my resume, and was wondering if someone could please help me understand how business schools such as Columbia view family business experience. I have been working at our growing company (a chain of urgent care facilities in the DC Metro area, roughly a ~4 million dollar operation) for upwards of 10 years, however only roughly 4 are post graduate.

In the years that I've been working, I started as an assistant and have worn hats in every facet of the business including but not limited to: IT/Health IT, Marketing, Customer Relations, Accounts & HR. I'm having trouble determining how best to translate my experience at the family business and the knowledge I have picked up over the years into a resume form that will be viewed as favorable on the application.

I have done my past 3.5 years and am currently still working specifically in business administration as a director of operations. I am seeking an MBA to further advance our business and to gain insight into an entrepreneurial mindset. I should also note, that I have since founded and am working in another company of my own, however it is still rather small and about a year old.

My main question is how should I mechanically write out this experience/skill set I possess in an appealing way, should I split my roles into several positions on the CV or just try to bullet the things I have done over the last several years?

In addition to the resume, I am preparing to give the GMAT along with my undergraduate transcripts(3.3 GPA from a top a public university in Biology) within the next few weeks and finalize my application! Hoping for the best :)

Thanks!!


Absolutely include it! Business schools, especially CBS, really appreciate family businesses. I have gotten multiple applicants with family business experience in this year so far at CBS. They even have a family business program you can get involved with: http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/familybusiness/

Reach out if you want any help with your applications and see a blog post about the CBS essays I wrote earlier this year: http://www.personalmbacoach.com/single- ... ss-of-2019

Best,
Scott
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Re: Self-Employed/Family Business Experience on CV/App?  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2016, 00:15
Family business experience is extremely valuable, and it will not put you at a disadvantage, as long as you demonstrate that there's proper company governance, ie your your dad shouldn't really be your boss, and also that you have had to learn and work and go up the ranks just like anyone else. Personally I think that it's best to demonstrate the different jobs that you've held and accomplishments within those jobs, just like anybody else. Like I think it's best to make sure that you handle the whole application just like someone who would be working for an outside employer.

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Re: Self-Employed/Family Business Experience on CV/App?  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2018, 10:41
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Self-Employed/Family Business Experience on CV/App? &nbs [#permalink] 08 Aug 2018, 10:41
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