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 Post subject: Applicant Profile? "old" Military Pilot, LOW GPA
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:47 am 
I am a US Navy Pilot planning to retire from the military in 2011, ending 11 years of experience with 2 diplomatic tours (Germany, Japan). I had three years computer software (programming) experience AND one year of software project management experience before joining the Navy.

My Goal: Top 20 school that will facilitate re-entry into Business-tech management from the military. Focus: Tech or other Brand Mgmt, Tech Marketing, IT Mgmt/Consulting or Logistics, perhaps any new business field that is NOT I-Banking. Ready to work internationally or in any climate.

- 10 years since I was in undergrad (Business BBA)
- Undergrad performance: 2.4, 2 D's, 1 F.
- I will be 35 upon starting an MBA program.


+ Military performance as an officer and as a Pilot have been stellar.
+ Consistent, officially documented top performance in all areas among peers.
+ I have a solid 3 years left to devote to the GMAT, the application process and further coursework.
+ Near completion with a Master's Cert. in Project Management, 4.0 average.
+ Currently attending Manhattan GMAT's prep course. 680+ possible GMAT (based on 100pt increase).


Concerns:
1. LOW undergrad MBA
2. Military experience won't translate to schools (or jobs).

Is a top-20 or even top-10 school a possibility? If so, what do I need to make my focus on admission?

Thanks


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:42 pm 
Keep in mind that most military applicants are older anyhow (many are 30+), so I think you're overstating the importance of your age. Of course, if you were a 30+ IT engineer, that would be different story. In other words, age matters more for those who are bankers, consultants, engineers and other "traditional" MBA applicants.

Also keep in mind that b-schools love military applicants - probably more so than any other applicant. They believe that you have extensive leadership experience, which is something no one can really teach (but only can learn through experience). It's easier to teach someone accounting, finance, marketing, etc. than it is to teach them how to develop strong interpersonal and leadership skills.

So what you have to really demonstrate in your application is this:

(1) That you have the analytical abilities to handle the academic rigors of b-school. They know you are probably good with people - the question is, are you good with numbers and analysis? Since your GPA is spotty (but the flipside is that it was ages ago), you really have to ace the GMAT. If you're in the high 600s, you should be competitive for a top 20. However, to be competitive for a top 10, you should really get above 700 given your GPA.

(2) That you know what it will take to transition from a military to a civilian career. In plain English, they want to know that you know what aspects of your leadership experience are transferrable to the b-school environment and to the civilian sector (and what aspects aren't). They also want to know that you have a pretty good idea what it is you want to do post-MBA -- that you've really thought through what it is you want to do as a civilian, and what it will take to make that transition as successful as possible. This will all have to come through in your essays as well as your interviews.

Good luck

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
www.mbaapply.com
http://mbaapply.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Applicant Profile? "old" Military Pilot, LOW GPA
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:09 pm 
Thanks so much for your reply; this is very helpful. I hope other military applicants can benefit from this post as well.

Would it be worthwhile to pursue additional coursework in math or other, similar courses in addition to the Project management extension program? I wonder if I should do the "secondary GPA" you have mentioned in other posts.

By the way, have you personally assisted military applicants, and if so, any like my profile describes? Thanks again.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:14 pm 
If you have time, sure by all means take some additional coursework. However, it shouldn't take away time from your GMAT prep. If you had to make a tradeoff in terms of time commitment, focus on the GMAT - that will help you far more than anything else.

Having worked with military applicants, the common Achilles' heel I've seen is academics -- it's not uncommon at all. If you can ace the GMAT, that will go a long way to quell concerns about your ability to handle the rigors of b-school.

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
www.mbaapply.com
http://mbaapply.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Applicant Profile? "old" Military Pilot, LOW GPA
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:48 pm 
Thanks, those were my hopes as well. Have military applicants used your service, or, do you have a specific guide in your book for this "military applicant" profile?

On to the MGMAT prep..


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:32 am 
To answer your questions, yes and yes.

Good luck!

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
www.mbaapply.com
http://mbaapply.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Applicant Profile? "old" Military Pilot, LOW GPA
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:52 pm 
Thanks, I took took your advice and attended the Jan 08 MGMAT Prep Course and courses at UC Davis. Unfortunately I had to cut my GMAT prep and UC Davis short for deployment orders in May.

GMAT- started at 550 on the MGMAT CAT, up to 680 on Kaplan's CATs, then a 640 on the real thing. Not quite the 700 I wished for but I plan to retake one [last] time in the next 12-18 months.

I took Project Management classes, (2 quant), with UC Davis online, 3 classes to go for the PM cert. GPA 4.0 x 5 classes.

It has been a year and now I'm back in the MBA game for the fall '11 Adcom. What is the best use of my time until fall 2011 school year? Quant classes online? More MGMAT Prep (planning on it). Skip the UC Davis PM certification?

My favorite schools list has been reduced to southern california due to my wife's work and the kids' relatives. However my earlier "best match" Emory is still not totally out of the question.

USC, Emory, Vanderbilt are my regular schools.
UCLA my reach school.
Wharton my fantasy school.
Pepperdine, USD, SDSU my safety schools.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:24 pm 
If you're doing the PM certification strictly for b-school admissions, don't bother with it.

Best thing to do is to focus on the GMAT again and see if you can bump that score up. Your score isn't crippling for the schools you've mentioned (aside from Wharton) so consider the re-take an optional thing if you have (or are willing) to spend the time.

Aside from that, not sure what else I can tell you in terms of non-academic stuff. If you're still deployed, then it's just focusing on doing the best job you can I suppose. If you have any time off starting in January, it may be worth visiting a few of the schools if you haven't already. Oftentimes you'll get a far better handle on what the schools are like for you that no website, brochure or second info can provide. Some schools that may not seem like much of anything to you on paper may be exactly what you want after chatting with some current students, sitting in on some classes and getting a general feel of the place.

Good luck

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
www.mbaapply.com
http://mbaapply.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Applicant Profile? "old" Military Pilot, LOW GPA
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:17 pm 
Thanks. I plan to forgo the remaining PM certification courses and focus on the GMAT retake and the alternative transcript you mentioned in another post. I plan to visit schools this May (unfortunately my only chance this year to be back in the U.S. and it is right before most programs quit for the summer). Still on track to apply for Fall 2011.

Would you still recommend that I do the stats/college math/accounting to bulk up the GPA or focus entirely on the GMAT now?

As mentioned I have the 5 A's from the Project Management online ended 2008 and I just graduated AA with honors before this current deployment from the military's 9-month DLI Foreign Language School in German (no stats/math/accounting at either).

I feel like I still have this 10 year-old 2.4 GPA dark cloud over my head.

Thanks


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:57 pm 
Take one or two math-type classes.

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
www.mbaapply.com
http://mbaapply.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Flight
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:39 pm 
This message is for the U.S. Navy pilot....I know this is an odd question concerning the nature of the site but ill shoot: I am a recent college grad who has always had a passion for serving his country AND flying. What can I do to prepare myself to pass the qualifying tests and obtain that coveted pilot spot?

Thanks,

Jason Evans

jevans21@unm.edu


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:22 pm 
I'm not the Navy Pilot (I don't think anyone would want me to fly any plane haha).

Anyhow, you can try here as well:

http://forums.military.com/

I have no affiliation with the site, but you will probably get some good answers to your questions there.

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
www.mbaapply.com
http://mbaapply.blogspot.com


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