Best of bad options

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Best of bad options

by deathspank » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:48 pm
Hey everyone, I'm writing because I am in a bit of a touch situation.

Bottom line is that I'm looking to transition from military into institutional finance (Corp Finance at a minimum, preferably ER or AM roles....also open to the right Fin. consulting opportunity) but I've run into a roadblock.

I'll begin by outlining profile and stats:

The Background

710 GMAT, 3.0 GPA from a no-name military college. A short resume follows. I've scrubbed it with the exception of my current Master's program, as that is going to be important later on.


"¢ Denver University, March 2015 - August 2016
o Masters in Finance candidate
o Key Courses: Financial Accounting

"¢ North Georgia College and State University , [2010 Graduation]
o B.S. Political Science/Computer Science.
o Key Courses: Statistics, Data Structures and Analysis, Database Administration, Legal Research.

"¢ Wall Street Warfighters Foundation,
o Receiving financial valuation and advisory training.

"¢ Syracuse University, Veterans Career Transition Program,
o Receiving training for PMI's PMP exam sponsored by JP Morgan.

"¢ United States Army [OMITTED] Officer's Basic Course,
o Received intensive training in operations management, personnel management, and
mathematical analysis and computation techniques.



Facilities Manager DATE OMITTED
"¢ Closed facilities to support a branch closure. Brought 5 office buildings and 1 vehicle storage and maintenance facility in line with federal, state and local environmental and facility standards while managing stakeholders and controlling costs.

Project Officer DATE OMITTED
"¢ Saved the organization over $400,000 in supply costs. Established a parts warehouse from scratch, with the assistance of two direct reports. Created digital systems for storage and inventory tracking.
"¢ Developed organizational process asset baselines for construction/environmental project managers.

Operations Director DATE OMITTED
"¢ Implemented organizational strategy for an Artillery Battalion consisting of 4 subordinate offices and 500 personnel. Responsible for assignment and completion of all administrative tasks.
"¢ Supervised a 24/7 command center with 12 direct reports.
"¢ Published operations directives and unit calendars, assigned tasks to subordinate units, and determined timelines for required tasks.

Military Advisor/Operations Consultant DATE OMITTED
"¢ Selected to serve under a Special Forces mission commander on a 6-man advisor/mentor team.
"¢ Managed financial requirement forecasting, procurement, infrastructure improvement projects, and related construction contracts.
"¢ Responsible for analysis of regional intelligence resources and assessing impact on team operations.
"¢ Led joint missions with the Afghan National Police Force.

Organizational Involvement

Combined Federal Campaign DATE OMITTED
Fundraising Coordinator
"¢ Ran a charity campaign for a unit of 500 soldiers, supervising the efforts of four subordinate fundraising coordinators and managing donations with the result of exceeding fundraising goals by 20%

Toastmasters International DATE OMITTED
"¢ Earned Certified Toastmaster award. Voted in as the club's Sergeant at Arms.
"¢ Working on project to pair nonprofit organizations with free speakers from Toastmasters.


The Dilemma

The catch is that I have, as of now, not been able to break into any top 30 program.

I'm in the situation where I have two options. The first is to attend a state Master's in Finance Program, listed above. I'm not horribly optimistic about the program as it is a non-name state school, and a non target. To give you an idea of how bad the brand name is, the MBA's place with 62% having job offers, for an average base salary of 62k. The catch is that I'm reasonably certain of being able to get part time internships (the classes run full time, continuously, for 15 months). It's also extremely unlikely that I'm going to have a GPA below 3.8 or be below the top 2-3% of my class. The only way that's going to be happen is if I get extremely lazy or piss off all my professors. I've managed to successfully network my way around some Denver firms and could likely work through multiple 20hr/week internships for course credit with Denver IB and AM firms.

The other option is that I have good reason to believe that I have a job that pays 100k+ base salary on the table, as I had extremely good results from the interview. Sounds fantastic, except that it's managing operations for a top performing high speed shipping company. It's a great job if I wanted to go on the general management track but my interest is strongly towards more analytical finance type jobs. I would however, most likely come out of the job with 6Sigma and PMP certifications 2-3 years from now.

Another key fact: I only have 29 months of Post 9/11 GI bill, which means that after completing the MSF I will be ineligable for any Yellow Ribbon programs unless I go to a 1-year MBA. I'm also 29 now. By the time I complete the MSF I will be 30, add on 2 years work experience I wouldn't be starting an MBA program until age 33.

What is everyone's thoughts on the matter? I'm looking towards an MBA in the end game but I'm not sure if either option would position me for that. Would a 3.8+ GPA at the mSF program in question work in my favor and even out the weaknesses on my profile, or would I just be wasting my time?

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by Kaneisha Grayson » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:50 am
Hi Deathspank,

Please excuse the brevity of my response (especially in light of how much information you provided), but I just wanted to chime in and say that you should not be having as much trouble as you have been getting admitted to a top 30 MBA program with a 710 GMAT and 3.0 GPA as an accomplished veteran-even if you are 29. Something is going terribly wrong with your application process.

If a Top 30 MBA is really what you're interested in, you should have your previously submitted applications evaluated for what went wrong. You can approach any admissions consultant you feel comfortable with and ask if they will do this as part of a free consultation or if they have a "Ding Report" type service, use that.

If my understanding is correct, you've already applied to MBA programs, and you were rejected. If that is the case, here's what likely went wrong:

1. You wrote boring, vague, insufficiently ambitious, or otherwise unmemorable essays.

2. Your recommendation letters were not specific or glowing enough. Perhaps they said nice things about you, but did not back up those claims with specific examples.

3. You failed to make a compelling case for why you need to go to business school-why you, why the school, and why now.

4. You didn't take supplementary coursework to make up for your low GPA. More about that here: h[url]ttp:// ... 07701.html[/url]

Please correct me if I'm misunderstanding your situation, but I've worked with lots of veterans with lower GMAT scores and similar GPAs with great results. Don't give up on your MBA dream just yet!

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by [email protected] » Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:53 pm
That's really surprising. It seems like you have a pretty decent profile. Business schools love military veterans. Your GMAT is perfectly fine for most top 30 schools. And while your GPA isn't high, it certainly isn't embarrassingly low. How do you feel about your essays? Do you think your writing is strong enough to compete? Do you think you are making a good case about why you need an MBA especially after another masters degree? I don't think your age is an issue.