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What career change should I make to increase my chance?

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Joined: 27 Apr 2014
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What career change should I make to increase my chance? [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2014, 10:18
I have been working for a mid-sized (~20,000 employees) IT consulting company for a bit over a year. I actually applied for various Financial Engineering programs last year and got admitted to Columbia University. I debated whether I should pursue this opportunity for weeks, but I decided that MBA will allow me to follow my dream in the long-run. I plan to apply for MBA schools in two to three years, but wanted to gauge where I stand currently. I want to improve my candidacy as much as possible to get into top 12, or even M7. My profile is shown below.

UGPA: 3.93/4.00, Top 5 engineering school, mechanical engineering, management minor
Graduate GPA: 3.55/4.00, same engineering school, mechanical engineering

GRE: Took the old GRE, 720/800/4.0 V/Q/AW
GMAT: Have not taken it yet, but I am aiming for 750+

Internship experience: Three summer internships at a top 10 Fortune 500 company. Each role was very different from one another (engineering, operation, IT).

Work experience: Have been working as an IT consultant for enterprise voice/business intelligence for a year. Mid-size IT consulting firm with 20k employees. Promoted once. Currently managing three people for the project.

Certification: CFA Level 1 Exam, FRM Level 1 Exam, Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Server 2012

Language spoken: English/Korean, both fluently

Future goals (prior to MBA): I am debating if I should go work for a smaller software consulting firm to take more responsibilities and hopefully move up the ladder more quickly. I don't plan to move to a bigger consulting firm as of now, but I am open to suggestions.

Career goals: There are three possibilities. First option is to join a startup company. I like to learn business from bottom-up and grow a business at an exponential rate (hopefully). More details on why I would like to join a startup company is explained in Speical Note section below. Second option is to join management consulting. I am interested in giving strategic advice to various clients. Lastly, I am willing to join technology firms such as Google and Facebook.

EC: I like to tutor people. I used to serve as a teaching assistant for a long time (for 9 consecutive semesters) while in school. As of now, I am not doing anything in that sense, but I want to get involved in voluntary tutoring. Also, I have been involved in some leadership roles at church.

Hobbies: Nothing spectacular. Running, working out, reading, and writing. One thing I plan to do is finish a half marathon before I submit my application. This will be a significant achievement because I received an ACL reconstruction surgery one year ago. My injury was so severe that I could barely walk for first two months and I could not exercise at all for six months. I want to deliver positives messages that everything is possible with determination to those people who suffer from major injuries.

Special note: One of biggest personal accomplishments I had was losing 110 pounds of weight in less than a year. This required serious determination and I managed to maintain healthy weight for more than six years. I am looking for a way or an idea to share my stories and impact other people's lives in some way.

Stretch: H/S/W, Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, and maybe MIT
Target: Haas, Stern, Tuck, Darden

Besides these schools, I am open to suggestion for schools. In fact, I am joining an online conference on 5/14 to see which schools will be a good fit for my background.

Do I have any chance? What do I need to do to improve my candidacy? My main concern is that I do not have as solid work experience as other candidates do (a random IT consulting firm). Would I be better off by moving to a smaller consulting firm where I can have more impact or should I try to join a big consulting firm? I think Deloitte or Accenture is within the reach, but I am not sure how long it will take me to join either. I would sincerely appreciate your evaluation. Thank you so much.

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Re: What career change should I make to increase my chance? [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2014, 08:47
Hi Changexpert,

Thanks for your post. Nothing about your story makes me think there is any reason why you cannot be admitted, but nothing stands out telling me why you should be admitted. All of the reasons why a top program would admit you are in the details of your work experience, personal experiences, personality, values and overall story.

For your candidacy, I recommend you read this case study of an engineer who was accepted into a top MBA program. It should provide insight for your application:

One of the things to remember is that MBA programs are looking to cultivate future leaders, so any leadership/management experience you can point to is important. If you'd like, we provide free school specific advice for the programs you are considering here:

Harvard: ... ss-school/
Kellogg: ... n-kellogg/
Haas: ... -business/

We also provide free 30 minute phone consultations here:

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here:

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Re: What career change should I make to increase my chance?   [#permalink] 21 May 2014, 08:47
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