Very Non-Traditional/ Career Switch - Moving to NYC. What are my options?

Lucky Luciano's picture
Rank: Baboon | 171

Hi everyone,

I am moving to NYC this summer and I am interested in attending b-school there (not this fall of course). However, I have a background which is probably unlike most b-school applicants and I am curious as to what some of my options are - both for MBA programs and jobs. Any advice is much appreciated. Here's a breakdown of my background:

Age: 27
Undergraduate University: State school ranked in the top 100
Undergraduate Major: Geography/Geographic Information Systems (GIS). [I wanted to major in Urban & Regional Planning but they didn't offer that major]
Undergraduate GPA: 3.5 (Cum Laude)
Experience: Worked in the public sector for a year doing planning & zoning work. Then worked in the private sector for 3.5 years with a publicly-traded Communications Tower company doing project management.

Here are my thoughts:

-The elephant in the room is that I lack a quantitative background. I didn't take tough math classes in college because I didn't need it. Could a high score on the Quant section of the GMAT make up for this?

  • Although my undergrad major isn't related to business in any way - I did take some courses in economics, business law, marketing, and accounting (and did well in them). Does that matter at all?
  • I'm thinking that because of my lack of business experience and atypical undergraduate major, this would essentially put Columbia and NYU out of reach. Would a high gmat score give me a chance at one of these elite schools (or any other Top 20 for that matter?) Would a more realistic program for me be something like Baruch or Fordham?
  • It's also worth noting that I don't have any meaningful extracurriculars that could enhance my chances. I didn't volunteer for the Red Cross in a third-world country or anything interesting like that. I have only spent the last 10 years studying and working.
  • I am open to any type of MBA-related jobs: IB, PE, Hedge Funds, Consulting, Real Estate, etc. I figure once I am in the program and start networking and talking to recruiters I can start to hone in on specific jobs/firms/industries. I understand that I would be at a disadvantage with some of the highly-competitive IB and consulting jobs since I would be competing with people with impeccable resumes. I am thinking I would probably have to settle for jobs with less-competitive firms and/or less-competitive industries, which I am ok with. Just being realistic.
  • My motivations for getting an MBA are 1) to open doors to the business world that are more-or-less closed for me right now and 2) maximize my return on investment