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Mr. Small Biz Leader

About Me:

Life long learner, business owner, executive manager, and small business consultant. I have successfully managed three small business acquisitions and recently took on the role of CEO of a mid-size business. Board member/spearheading project within community development non-profit with a goal of $5 million downtown revitalization.


Undergrad School: University of Illinois

Undergrad Major: History

GPA: 2.61

GMAT: 700

Age: 33,  Ethnicity: White

Extracurriculars: Community Civic/Economic Development, University of Illinois Men's Rugby Alumni Foundation

Work History:

Title: CEO

Industry: Food Retial/Wholesale

Company: Boutique Firm

Length of Employment: 6 mos

Title: CEO

Industry: Food Retail

Company: Boutique Firm

Length of Employment: 4 yrs

Big Life Wins:

As COO, I grew a small CPG firm threefold in 4 years before venturing on my own for solo acquisition of successful specialty grocery retail in 2016. Faced business failure in the rapidly changing food retail space. Working to pivot from brick and mortar to e-comm business model. As new CEO, restructuring organization/strategy of 100-year-old business.

Post MBA Goal:

Gain alternative perspectives and further develop my skills in business management/leadership. Using refined skills to push the business I’m running into new spaces and markets. Much further down the road, get into a large business corporate leadership position. Lifetime goal of local, state, or federal political career.


Target School: Wharton

Status: Open


The Experts Rate The Odds At: 43%

  • Gatehouse Admissions | Odds Assessment: 40%

    My first question for you: are you thinking the Exec MBA? That’s what I’m basing my assessment above on. And if you’re not thinking the Exec MBA, I think you should! You’re the perfect Exec MBA applicant in my mind – you’ve got clear, strong leadership skills and a track record of results behind you. Working in your favor is that Exec programs are in general more open to less-than-stellar stats: in the 2 year programs, the stats are on equal footing with your professional experience (which most applicants only have had several years to acquire); in the exec programs, the schools weigh the experience much more. I’ve worked with several EMBA applicants with either a low GPA …

    2 years ago Read the full review

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  • mbaMission | Odds Assessment: 45%

    Hi Mr. Small Biz Leader! This is Kate Richardson, Senior Admissions Consultant and fellow Illinois grad! With your age and CEO title, I’m going to assume like Liza that you’re looking at the Exec MBA at Wharton. I agree that the Exec format would be a great fit, given that you’ve recently taken on a CEO role and are looking to grow the business, not switch careers (2 year programs are more geared towards career switchers). For the Exec MBA, I think your work experience, progression, and experience in CPG and retail would be a great fit. I also really like your community involvement at the board level. My successful EMBA clients at Wharton all have very different functional/industry backgrounds but share a strong track …

    2 years ago Read the full review

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  • Stratus Admissions Counseling | Odds Assessment: 45%

    Hi, Lisa Cummings of Stratus Admissions here and a former rugger myself. I loved the game but a broken nose and several broken fingers (and perhaps age?) eventually pushed me out of the sport. But I still love to watch! Given your background I agree with my peers that an EMBA may be the best way to go. I really like the fact that you chose to highlight your failure along with your success; schools know that you often learn so much more from a failure than you do from a raging success. Happily, it seems you have also been able to move on and enjoy true success as well. While your GPA won’t necessarily be a dealbreaker, your quant …

    2 years ago Read the full review

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The Community Currently Rates The Odds At: 50%

  • 50% | 2 years ago

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