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Seeking a frank profile evaluation, thank you!

This topic has 1 expert reply and 0 member replies
doriangray Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
01 Dec 2008
4 messages

Seeking a frank profile evaluation, thank you!

Post Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:11 pm
Profile Evaluation:

Sorry if this is a bit long-winded but I am a 30 yr old very non-traditional student and want a realistic evaluation. I am interested in attending a Top 5 program, specifically HBS or Wharton's dual MBA/Int Studies program with the Lauder Instituteand I want to know if I have any chance at all.

I am not sugar coating this; I am accurately describing what I did with my life the last 10 years and would appreciate an equally frank and direct appraisal.

High school - all honors classes, 1420 SAT (older, non-recentered version), many honors, blah blah

Following high school, I received elite scholarship from the German Bundestag, which paid for me to attend the 13th grade in a German high school. I was one of 15 Americans nationwide. I then stayed on for a few years in Europe, polishing my German and studying at a German university.

At roughly age 21, I returned to America, attended Vanderbilt University for a year, dropped out to goof off and bartend in Nashville.

Later I reentered college at a small state school in Tennessee. After 2 years, this school offered me a scholarship to be first student in their new Hamburg exchange program - they sent me back to Germany where I received a monthly stipend of $1000 as part of a scholarship for Young Entrepreneurs, plus housing, plane tickets, tuition etc. This scholarship was primarily funded by the German government to encourage entrepreneurial ties ties with American universities/business students.
That year, I founded a company that year selling designer clothing and watches in Germany. My first year, the business did $100k in sales, a business I operated off a laptop and the garage of my apartment in Hamburg.

I then moved back to the USA, and further developed the business for 2 years while still in school. Expanded to serve 20+ countries with sales of $250,000 my final year, at which point I closed the business in order to move back to Europe. Ran the business from my laptop and my Dad's garage.

My final year of undergraduate studies I spent in Spain. I speak relatively fluent Spanish now as well as German. I have restarted my import/export business in the 3 languages I speak. I am also part-owner in a few small businesses.

Graduated in May 2006 with double major in Economics and Foreign Languages, minor in International Studies. Bad GPA - 3.35 or 3.40 with the degree from a small state university. Actually my grades were relatively decent, but have a number of F's, etc on the transcript from semesters I started and just never bothered to withdraw. This is basically because I spent the last 10 years of my life traveling all over the world while enrolled in school, literally while enrolled and taking these classes - ie Lived in Brazil for a few months volunteering at an eye clinic - in Ecuador taking Spanish lessonswent to China to climb along the Great Wall, Australia to dive the Great Barrier Reef and through the Middle East - not to mention dozens and dozens of trips through Europe and South America. All of these trips were self-financed - my business was successful and my classes easy, so I basically just took off all the time to see the world while I was young. Was not motivated academically and so took a very immature attitude toward my grades.

I was and continue to be very entrepreneurial - and I had to be to finance all this traveling - and I have enormous amounts of foreign experience, not just the typical semester abroad of so many American students. Other random honors etc: Mensa - Eagle Scout -

I just took the GMAT last week for the first time,
Scored 720 (95%). My essay was scored 5.5

MY QUESTIONS, specifically:

----Knowing this basic information, do I stand a chance at the schools I mentioned (Top 5 MBA programs, specifically Wharton/Lauder Institute and Harvard)??

---When I took the GMAT, I actually felt I could have done a bit better. Nerves and lack of prep. I think if I crammed for two weeks and did it again, I stand a decent chance to get a 750 or higher. Of course, any given day one could also score lower. But feel relatively confident I could improve. Should I try? Or is it inconsequential?

THANK YOU FOR YOUR FEEDBACK, I am posting this question to all four admission consultants here on the forum.

While I am seeking the experienced opinion of an admission consultant, if anyone else wants to chime in with their two cents, I am all ears

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Eliot MBA Admissions Consultant
18 Sep 2008
193 messages
Followed by:
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Post Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:02 am

Thanks for your note. You clearly are smart and well travelled. I am also pleased that you have finally completed your college degree. You also seem to have some good entrepreneurial flair for starting small ventures.

Having said this, i am very worried about your ability to complete tasks on time. You seem to have trouble working on things that don't interest you (F's in classes, 10 years to graduate college, etc). Perhaps you are a different person now than you were 5-10 years ago.

Basically, I worry that the adcom might think that you won't have the tenacity and discipline to complete their rigorous program on time. For example, the adcom might wonder what you will do when you are enrolled in a mandatory business class that you don't want to take - they might worry that you will just drop out of the class or quit and go traveling, like you did in college.

In addition, I noticed that you have not mentioned any full time work experience since you graduated in college in 2006. Full time employment post college is a very important aspect of your MBA application. Have you been self employed? If so, what have you accomplished in the last two years?

When business schools are seeking non traditional applicants, they tend to mean applicants from non traditional fields (let's say professional photographer or chef). However, they still expect that you have distinguished yourself in this field and taken a leadership role. For example, perhaps a chef has risen to become head chef and aspires to run a restaurant.

In conclusion, your GMAT score and your raw intelligence is not the issue - I am more worried about your ability to accomplish things with others in a business setting. Of course, if you have a nice track record of work success and leadership since college, then you can successfully argue that you have turned a new leaf. But I would need to learn more about your recent work experience in order to determine if you can make this point.


Eliot Ingram
Clear Admit LLC

Eliot Ingram
Clear Admit, LLC
215 568 2590

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