Took a different path to Corporate Strategy and have since exited (see below). AMA.
* Grew up in suburb of tier 2 US city
* Underachieved in HS - B student (generous), ~1200 SAT, lazy
* Pretty good at basketball, helped me get into top 20 college - WHEW
* OMG COLLEGE - GIRLS, DRINKING, etc
* SHIT - almost failed out...
* Cleaned up last 5 semesters - 3.7 GPA during that period, started a small company ($), got two okay IT internships
* Graduated during recession. (Luckily) landed econ consulting gig at a small firm in a crappy city - WHEW. Only pays $35k, but whatever, it's a job
* SHIT - Dad diagnosed with terminal illness two weeks after starting new job. Want to move home, but can't w/o a paycheck (student loans)
* YIPEE - got a new job at a niche consulting firm in my hometown a few weeks later; lived at home during last few months of Dad's life - important time
* Promoted twice, on partner track, but consulting sucks and I'm only making $65k right now - F that - leave for Product Management role at F100 company
* Got engaged to college sweetheart; won all expenses paid wedding via website contest - LET'S GOOOOOO
* Not in consulting = lots of free time: took the GMAT, CRUSHED (mid 700s)
* Lots of free time (part 2): volunteered for org that fights against terminal illness my Dad had, led event that raised $500k - FEELING GOOD
* Got promoted after a year - now making $90k all-in
* Applied to 3 MBA programs in R1 - 1 of H/S/W - ding; 1 of B/K/S - ding; 1 outside top 30 (one year program) - FULL RIDE; scholarship feels great, but getting denied by 2 of the m7 STINGS (still does)
* Excited about b-school, focused on academics/career not social. Got offer from corp strat group from the same F100 I had been working for - BIG TIME LEVEL UP - $150k salary+bonus and $20k signing
* Promoted after 18 months - $175k salary+bonus - only ~45-50 hrs/wk - feels good
* OOPS - accidentally got my wife pregnant; ECSTATIC, but some PANIC - need to leave our city apt., find house, get daycare, etc.
* Month 8 of pregnancy - get Director level job offer at F500 in small city (pop
* BABY'S BORN - WOW - INCREDIBLE - TRULY THE BEST THING EVER
* Baby's four months old - moved to new city, bought a house, full kitchen reno + cosmetic fixes - INSANE, SO STUPID, SO TIRED, NEVER AGAIN
* Today: I'm 30, baby's 1, Grandma daycare saves $$, settled in new city & job, 9-5 schedule allows for lots of time with baby - probably plateau on career front for a bit, but FEELING BALANCED