Veteran In Need of Help

jmacx's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 14

I first and foremost wanted to thank anyone who can respond with some advice to my current situation.
I'm a 31 year old veteran who left the military, (Naval Officer), almost a year and a half ago. I have a 2.89 GPA from a top 20 school (English major).

At the time, I felt very strongly about working in the healthcare sector and becoming a doctor, despite the challenge of overcoming a low GPA. I enrolled in a pre-med post-baccalaureate program at a very good university, but left a semester later after I made a B+ in Calc I and a B- in Chem I, (I had to really beg them to let me in). My advisor at the program told me it would be best to "find another path", as I really needed all A's in my post-bacc program to even be slightly competitive.

I realize getting accepted to a good MBA program will be no different, however, I decided on business school for four reasons:
1. Someday I want to start my own business and work for me. I know this sounds very cliche and that I don't need an MBA to do this, but many graduates from the top programs go onto found companies together, mainly because business school is an excellent place to do this.
2. Meet people and form a network of individuals who have similar goals as mine. I know, this is another often cited example, but at the moment, I don't have very many
3. Use business school as a "launching pad" of sorts to break into other areas of business, if I don't choose the entrepreneurial route, (essentially, use business school to change careers).
4. Use my post-9/11 GI Bill. I know this is a bad reason, but I don't want to waste 3 years of free education money from the US Government. Plus, I have the Yellow Ribbon Program, which essentially means private schools would be partially, if not entire, paid for.

The real problem for me is my employment. For the past year, I've worked as a swim coach and at the front counter of an aquatics center while taking Udacity courses in computer programming. I had hoped to land a job at a start-up, but nothing has happened yet. I realize no company cares about my past history as a swim coach, its completely useless in terms of marketing myself for a job in the business sector.

So, my question is, how can I get into a top business program given my current situation. What would you do if you were in my situation? I honestly just want a job that would look good for business school, allow me to practice a valued marketable skill, and pays me enough to live independently.

Anyway, I'm very sorry if this sounds like a sob story. As you can probably tell, I'm super depressed and have nobody else to talk to about this besides my therapist.

Thanks again for reading this and helping me out in this really hard time in my life.

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Comments (6)

Jan 9, 2018

It sounds like you are interested in a lot of stuff, accomplished a significant amount, have some good work ethic/drive, a lot going for you, and maybe need a little bit of focus.

There might be some local groups you could join, alumni groups, incubator groups?

Is there a way you can ramp up the swim instruction? Do privates and build a client base, I don't know where you are located, but I know certain areas have a high demand for swim instruction from MIL hopefuls or high school, college swimmers etc.

Not sure if you identify with this but I know of many veterans who put out tons of content about starting a business/veteran-owned business/entrepreneurship that is great for anyone.
- Also on that, a really simple minor thing to do would be read/listen to Jocko Willink, Tim Ferris, Gary V etc.

Sorry, I didn't answer your Bschool question. I am not sure. But there are a lot of good Bschool resources on here.

Keep at it

    • 2
Jan 10, 2018

It will probably depend a great deal on which MBAs you want to go to. Are we talking M7, Top 15, Top 25, Top 50. I'd say you probably have a shot at a Top 50 based on military experience alone. First step would be to study for and take the GMAT. Then reach out to the veteran groups at the schools you are thinking of. You can kind of compare profiles and determine if you are competitive there or not.

You're definately on the older side of the class and 1.5 years working at a rec center teaching swimming is not going to help your cause. You would definately need to explain this in your apps. Why not try to find a job through a JMO headhunter and do a part time MBA program?

Best Response
Jan 12, 2018
jmacx:

I first and foremost wanted to thank anyone who can respond with some advice to my current situation.
I'm a 31 year old veteran who left the military, (Naval Officer), almost a year and a half ago. I have a 2.89 GPA from a top 20 school (English major).

At the time, I felt very strongly about working in the healthcare sector and becoming a doctor, despite the challenge of overcoming a low GPA. I enrolled in a pre-med post-baccalaureate program at a very good university, but left a semester later after I made a B+ in Calc I and a B- in Chem I, (I had to really beg them to let me in). My advisor at the program told me it would be best to "find another path", as I really needed all A's in my post-bacc program to even be slightly competitive.

I realize getting accepted to a good MBA program will be no different, however, I decided on business school for four reasons:
1. Someday I want to start my own business and work for me. I know this sounds very cliche and that I don't need an MBA to do this, but many graduates from the top programs go onto found companies together, mainly because business school is an excellent place to do this.
2. Meet people and form a network of individuals who have similar goals as mine. I know, this is another often cited example, but at the moment, I don't have very many
3. Use business school as a "launching pad" of sorts to break into other areas of business, if I don't choose the entrepreneurial route, (essentially, use business school to change careers).
4. Use my post-9/11 GI Bill. I know this is a bad reason, but I don't want to waste 3 years of free education money from the US Government. Plus, I have the Yellow Ribbon Program, which essentially means private schools would be partially, if not entire, paid for.

The real problem for me is my employment. For the past year, I've worked as a swim coach and at the front counter of an aquatics center while taking Udacity courses in computer programming. I had hoped to land a job at a start-up, but nothing has happened yet. I realize no company cares about my past history as a swim coach, its completely useless in terms of marketing myself for a job in the business sector.

So, my question is, how can I get into a top business program given my current situation. What would you do if you were in my situation? I honestly just want a job that would look good for business school, allow me to practice a valued marketable skill, and pays me enough to live independently.

Anyway, I'm very sorry if this sounds like a sob story. As you can probably tell, I'm super depressed and have nobody else to talk to about this besides my therapist.

Thanks again for reading this and helping me out in this really hard time in my life.

See if you can't get into a management training program of some kind. Or perhaps a sales training program. Or follow the advice from StaphyBone and turn your swimming instruction into a business that you can tout when you apply.

Also a high test score is going to be really important. Finally, if you can take some graded business classes and get A's in them. Look into accounting, stats for business, econ, etc. Show the schools that when you aren't pre-med and you are taking business related classes, you can excel.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

    • 3
Jan 25, 2018

OP you need to crush the GMAT. Spend the money and do a review course (I used Manhattan and it was awesome) and then everything will fall into place. As a vet who is starting b-school soon, I don't think we can overstate just how much the military experience will help your application. That being said, you need to give yourself a chance and crush the GMAT. I think a 720+ will give you a good shot at T20 schools.

Jan 25, 2018

My opinion, you need to narrow down what you want to do. "start my own business" is very broad. If you go the Bschool route, you want to have clear goals before starting. Even if using the GI Bill, it is a lot of time to waste if you decide halfway through that you want to change goals.

For getting into Bschool, crush the GMAT. I have had good experiences with Manhattan Prep. Their online video format is engaging and doesn't feel like you're studying for hours on end. Also, search for Service to School. It's a veteran assistance company specifically for getting veterans into Bschool. I'm somewhat sure that it's free. If not, it's still something to look into.

You have some hurdles to overcome but you can do it. From one vet to another, don't give up. Civilian life isn't as easy as it seemed while you were active duty but it's definitely doable.

Please PM me if you want to talk to another vet.

Jan 29, 2018
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