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I'm a very weird MBA applicant, should I even apply?

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Prometheus Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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I'm a very weird MBA applicant, should I even apply?

Post Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:51 am
Ok, so I have a somewhat strange background which I think might either work in my favor or completely against it. I'm an American who grew up in Brazil, but moved to the US back in 2005 for college. I got a degree in International Relations from a school in DC, but did horribly (2.25 GPA) because of depression and alcoholism.

After I graduated, I moved back to Brazil and and worked for an ethanol company where I was an entry level analyst for a year. I moved back to the US and got another undergrad degree in Physics/minor in Math (3.2/3.7 major GPA) at an unranked state school. While in school I got grants from NASA, the DOD, the Air Force, and the NSF to conduct research that resulted in 5 first name papers in math and physics related subjects. Won multiple national competitions and some small/medium sized awards.

I then went to graduate school at an Ivy institution to get a masters in applied math (4.0 GPA), and while I was there I worked full-time as an employee with 2 different National Labs under the DOE in their green energy research.

After that I went on to get another masters from a different Ivy (3.8 GPA) in Environmental Science. While there I worked full-time in the finance department of a much larger private sector energy company, did the whole suit and tie thing. Also was a DOE Fellow (for masters) during this time.

So if that's not weird enough for you, here we go... After graduating I went to conduct solar research in the Antarctic with the NSF for 4 months. While I was there I applied to a fairly prestigious Fellowship at the White House, where I've been for the past few months, doing stuff with "innovation" in green energy and mostly learning to hate politics/bureaucracy.

In my prep for an MBA program, my narrative is that I want to return to south america and help hybridize (traditional + green) their infant energy industry. I got a 770 on the GMAT, 168V,165Q,6W on the GRE, and I'm 29.

My cons are obvious, I'm older than the average at the top MBA programs, I haven't worked at any large financial firms, and my GPA in my first degree is abysmal. No matter what I do, I can't escape it. I have to explain it on every application. It's like acne scars that never go away, even though I've gone through puberty and I'm an adult. The damage is done.

My question is, given how strange all of this is, what are my chances of getting into a top program? Where should I be applying? How do I even spin this narrative to make it appealing?

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Alexbr@ClearAdmit Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:34 pm
I think I have helped respond to this on reddit. I will add: "I haven't worked at any large financial firms" this is NOT a problem. Your experience will ADD to your profile, it is not a negative. cheers, alex

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