30+ Applicant: How I Got into MIT Sloan and INSEAD:
Today I would like to share the success story of another MBA applicant from this cycle. While I’ve worked with applicants of all ages, this particular gentleman just happens to be over 30 just like the previous applicant who got into HBS at over 30 years old, further proving that a full time MBA at a top tier program can be, while a challenge, a very realistic goal for people with many years of experience.
Another special fact about this applicant is that he has also blogged through his experience at TopDogMBA. As my time as an active blogger wanes (though I will continue helping applicants get accepted into top MBA programs), I see this guy as the “New Dog in Town” for candid, no-BS straight talk about business school and the MBA application process; an heir-apparent, if you will. If you’re looking for fresh insights on this MBA journey, his blog is the new #1 place to get them.
It was really a pleasure working with this guy; and while he is yet undecided, he has some world-class options to choose from and I am super proud of him and what he has accomplished.
Here’s his incredible story:
My profile stats
British male. Undergrad at University of London. 720 GMAT. 12 years’ experience in corporate and investment banking. Plan to leverage my background in finance to make a career switch to social enterprise financing.
Extensive international professional experience in difficult environments: collapsing economies, sensitive political waters and cultural divides. Senior executive responsible for large multi-billion dollar portfolios, demonstrating personal growth and bottom line contributions. Solved tough problems using my industry expertise and interpersonal skills, convincing senior management to implement my solutions. Demonstrable passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. Managed small team of individuals in my professional role up to 200-person volunteer bases as a leader in charitable organisations in my community.
Wanting to make a major career switch that could be perceived as a backward move. Too senior—difficult to tackle the questions “why I need an MBA and why I need it now.” Male candidate in a heavily over-represented industry.
Having been dinged by five top business schools in the previous year I put a lot of effort into researching my schools and deciding my shortlist (INSEAD, MIT Sloan, and Wharton), as well as figuring out what went wrong and then re-building my application from the bottom up. I brought in Lawrence/MBAOver30 and another professional consultant to give me a strong dose of reality and then get to work on building killer application strategies for my chosen business schools
My story defined why I needed an MBA (to expand my network in a new industry/market and gain marketing and operations skills so that I could better understand the business side of smaller companies) and my short- and long-term goals (to follow my passion and experience working with community organizations to start my own social enterprise fund).
I applied to all three business schools in Round 1 (as a re-applicant for MIT Sloan and Wharton).
MBAOver30 also inspired me to about my experiences (this post in particular). I established my TopDogMBA blog on May 1st 2015 with my first post acknowledging his sterling work in helping many other MBA applicants.
Admitted to INSEAD and MIT Sloan. (Still) waitlisted at Wharton (I wrote an insightful post about how I’m handling the waitlist process here).
My decision (so far)
I’m working full speed ahead on my move to Boston in the fall having withdrawn my application to INSEAD. Read more about my decision between those two schools here. I’m still in the race at Wharton and expect the upcoming Round 3 decision date to be the next (and final) important milestone, after that I’m not sure I will change my plans!
Work on your strategy and then own it! I dug deep to identify the key things that went wrong in my first attempt at getting into a top MBA program here. I also wrote some recent posts about my plan of attack for the GMAT, total application strategy, and school-specific strategy. Also check out my interview reports from INSEAD, MIT Sloan, and Wharton.