I studied, I studied so hard. But I realize after taking the test, and in my opinion bombing the test, that I needed to time myself more while I studied. Most people already KNOW everything on the GMAT exam, the placement exam to apply for business schools, but most people cannot problem solve efficiently enough to score competitively on the GMAT.
I’m not ready to tell the people in my life my score. I studied for a long time (about 6 months), and now I realize I might have done better had I just taken the test cold. My practice exams were much stronger by an average of over 100 points over my actual test score.
So I figured it might be helpful to chronicle my journey while I study to re-take the test. So let’s start at the beginning:
I want to go to business school. I want to get into management consulting actually, and business school is the best way to secure employment in that field at one of the best firms. Getting into a competitive firm requires a competitive MBA from a top 15 school, and getting into a top fifteen B-School requires a 700+ GMAT score. Before taking the exam, I was testing around 650, and ultimately, I tested at 510, which is just barely over the median score of 500 for all test takers.
In fact, I’ve lied a lot to myself about this exam and “how serious” I am about it. I’ve even lied to others about my scores and my progress; I would pretend I was performing better than I actual was performing. While I’m ready to honest with myself, I’m not ready to be honest with the people in my life until I have a score over 700. I’m fully capable of this score and more.
Why do I want to put myself through all of this? Because my standard career path is at a halt with the current state of the economy, which means I’m underemployed as an independent digital marketing consultant. I look back and the pessimistic devil on my shoulder says, “you’ve made terrible career decisions which have led you this point of hopeless underemployment,” while the optimistic angel on my other shoulder says, “you’ve learned so much and experienced so much by self-directing your career outside of the standard corporate limitations.”
Cons: I’m young, I have a BA in Poli Sci from a sometimes, but not always #50 ranked university, my GPA is almost competitive at 3.3 (depending on my study abroad courses), I jump or create new jobs for myself on a yearly basis, I have a problem with contentment in my life, and I’m realizing how little I know about anything.
Pros: I’m young, I have a BA from at #50 ranked university, I loved my university and college experience, I’ve worked 1-4 jobs non stop since I was 15 (and even earlier when counting my extensive babysitting years beginning at age 11), I have an amazing lifestyle in San Francisco, I know a lot about digital marketing, I have a passion for learning languages with a corresponding aptitude, I have a passion for Africa, I have a passion for physical fitness, I have a passion for proper eating habits for longer living, I’m fun, I’m funny in a very corny way, and I’m easy on the eyes.
Conclusion: I’ve worked on most goals in my life as lifetime projects except for my career.
I’m ready for a lifelong project that I can interpret into my career. Management consulting will basically give me a “free pass” to travel, to change companies (or projects really), and to command people to act. My existing lifestyle and passions fit the bill! I know I can make many companies successful with digital marketing, especially companies who are new to the space. I also know that I don’t want to do digital marketing for the rest of my career even though I find it fascinating. However, digital marketing and management consulting have a similar characteristic: using metrics to improve performance.
What I want to do with the rest of my life is to use all of the concepts from management consulting and more broadly, concepts from effective businesses, to help create and implement inspired ideas in the developing word. Specifically Africa, although it’s a mighty big continent, so for now I tend to focus on West Africa (Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Guinea in that order) and East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania in that order). To begin with I will need to master the concepts of management consulting and learn successful case studies for high performing businesses and organizations.
I also feel that what I lack most is the confidence to persuade and to influence people. People tell me I exaggerate this quality, but I really want to build something that people believe enough in that they are inspired to help build it too.
I also realize that, I think about the topics in this essay ALL THE TIME. While I can think about ways to change that, so that I can live a more “full” life and enjoy my underemployment, I can’t help but think that I’ll miss out on a great opportunity if actually enjoy my free time off. So what I usually tell people when a large aspect of their life is forcing a time of “patience and waiting” that such a time is meant for dreaming big. So that’s what I’m going to do…I’m going to dream and I’m dreaming BIG!
Throughout my journey, I will also list my daily progress, metrics, and materials used!