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Teach for America MBA Candidacy

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Joined: 03 Jan 2018
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Teach for America MBA Candidacy  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2019, 16:25
Hi Everyone!

I am a current second year Teach for America teacher (in Hawaii) and I am planning on staying a third year. I am trying to decide whether to go directly to B-School after my third year or if I need some additional work experience to be admitted to a top program. Here's my profile:

Asian Male, 24 y/o
GMAT: 760 (Q:49 V:46)
Undergrad: Vanderbilt University Double Major in Org. Development & Economics, GPA: 3.78/4.00
Grad School: M. Sci in Education at Johns Hopkins University, GPA of 3.75/4.00 (practicum online degree while teaching), Junior Varsity basketball coach
Experience:
3 Years of Teach for America, started a club at my school, curriculum lead, generated >1.5 years of growth for 9th grade math students
Summer fellowship with an education innovation startup in Honolulu where students participate in STEM projects through entrepreneur-based learning
Several diverse business-related undergrad internships, including quantitative finance (Sales & Trading) at a prop trading firm, consulting at a F500 company (Wrigley), and strategy with an education tech startup.
(Not sure if this matters) Started a non-profit LLC organization in high school centered around teaching students music lessons

Goals after MBA: Mgmt Consulting with a MBB (or hopefully a non-profit oriented firm like Bridgespan)

Long-term Goals: Start my own education organizational consulting firm to work with lower-income school administration and teachers in closing the education gap.

I am trying to decide if I have the profile to be able to jump directly into B-School after my third year of teaching, or if I should find another job for a few years before applying. My target schools are pretty tough (Harvard, MIT, Yale, Stanford, and Wharton), and I will have only had three years of experience following my final year of teaching. Thank you so much for your help!
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Joined: 29 Aug 2010
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Re: Teach for America MBA Candidacy  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2019, 23:30
A few reflections on your predicament helloshangjr:
  1. The academic contours, clubbed with the GMAT score will put you right up there in the ballpark for top schools so no issues there for most purposes.
  2. TFA is a fairly well known brand and the work is truly character building. That being said, most TFA Fellows we've worked with for top schools have gone above and beyond only the teach aspect of the job. It is not clear if the Summer Fellowship was part of that but if not, even if you decide to go after the third year, think of expanding the ambit of your work beyond the classroom.
  3. The above point is even more relevant to make your candidature a stronger one for MBB/consulting firms. Only teaching alone is unlikely to give you the right edge. Look at maybe a year (maybe even forgoing the third year here) or two with a non-profit focused consulting firm if feasible.
  4. For reasons mentioned here, we don't speculate on school selection chances. That being said, with a carefully planned strategy, I do think next year could be doable for you. For more, you may want to explore a detailed Profile Building exercise.

Hope this aids your decision making.

Cheers,
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Re: Teach for America MBA Candidacy  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2019, 16:20
helloshangjr wrote:
Hi Everyone!

I am a current second year Teach for America teacher (in Hawaii) and I am planning on staying a third year. I am trying to decide whether to go directly to B-School after my third year or if I need some additional work experience to be admitted to a top program. Here's my profile:

Asian Male, 24 y/o
GMAT: 760 (Q:49 V:46)
Undergrad: Vanderbilt University Double Major in Org. Development & Economics, GPA: 3.78/4.00
Grad School: M. Sci in Education at Johns Hopkins University, GPA of 3.75/4.00 (practicum online degree while teaching), Junior Varsity basketball coach
Experience:
3 Years of Teach for America, started a club at my school, curriculum lead, generated >1.5 years of growth for 9th grade math students
Summer fellowship with an education innovation startup in Honolulu where students participate in STEM projects through entrepreneur-based learning
Several diverse business-related undergrad internships, including quantitative finance (Sales & Trading) at a prop trading firm, consulting at a F500 company (Wrigley), and strategy with an education tech startup.
(Not sure if this matters) Started a non-profit LLC organization in high school centered around teaching students music lessons

Goals after MBA: Mgmt Consulting with a MBB (or hopefully a non-profit oriented firm like Bridgespan)

Long-term Goals: Start my own education organizational consulting firm to work with lower-income school administration and teachers in closing the education gap.

I am trying to decide if I have the profile to be able to jump directly into B-School after my third year of teaching, or if I should find another job for a few years before applying. My target schools are pretty tough (Harvard, MIT, Yale, Stanford, and Wharton), and I will have only had three years of experience following my final year of teaching. Thank you so much for your help!


Hey helloshangjr!

You've got a very solid profile and an exceptional GPA and GMAT. Your story is one that makes a lot of sense and its clear you've put a lot of time and thought into both your future and the MBA admissions process.

Could you apply to schools next year and gain admittance without something more "corporate" on your resume? Sure. Would having 2 years under your belt at a non-profit or educational consultancy firm boost your profile? Absolutely. There really isnt a "correct" answer here, since I think you have the profile to be competitive at the M7 now.

If you feel you are ready to attend business school then I see no harm in applying - plenty of applicants go right from TFA to an MBA. If you don't gain acceptance to the school of your choice, you have plenty of time to go back to the work force and apply the next year or year after. I'm also not sure you need HSW to accomplish your career goals. Most schools in the 10-12 range will provide the network and opportunities at MBB. Ross is one that comes to mind for educational consulting.

Feel free to reach out at scott@personalmbacoach.com to chat more about your prospective applications!

Regards,
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Re: Teach for America MBA Candidacy   [#permalink] 09 Apr 2019, 16:20
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