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3 questions - French applicant

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Joined: 19 Nov 2010
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3 questions - French applicant [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2010, 01:15
Hi Alex,
Like many others, I read often your answers, and I would like to have
your opinion about my profile.

Quick resume (not exhaustive :-) ) :
- French guy, 28 years old
- 4 years of pro exp in France : 3 years at one audit Big 4 (external audit, managing teams of 3-5 people after 2 years), and about 1 year at one world leader of cosmectics products (internal audit, having audited subsidiaries in
America, Asia, and so on)
- Graduated of one of Top 5 BS in France, including 6 months in Sweden (exchange program) and 6 months in Thailand (exchange program). GPA : average, nothing exceptionnal
- Main personal achievements : 1 month in Ivoiry Coast for scholarship sensibilization with a theatre play I wrote, 2 years in a college society helping poor children in France, 6 months as theatre teacher at university, and curretly having a blog of theatre critics
- GMAT : not yet obtained, I started to study and first evaluation from Kaplan test online : 620. I think I can get 700
- Other assets : I have 2 friends in Harvard, 2 in Insead, 1 in Columbia, I speak a bit Thaï

MBA wanted : Harvard, Columbia and Stanford
Pro aims : to work in Private Equity/hedge funds/venture capital for some years in the USA and then open my own fund in France (many retired people will sell their business in the coming years)

Questions :
- what are my chances to be taken in these schools ?
- what are my chances to be taken in these schools while applying in March 2011, which means 3rd round ?
- Do you have any information about financings (ferllowships) that we can really get in these schools ? Apparently for Columbia fellowship deadline is 5th January, but can we apply after ?

Thanks !!
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Re: 3 questions - French applicant [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2010, 16:04
First, applying Round 3 is useless since you likely won't get your immigration visa in time for school. That's why US b-schools require international students to apply by the Round 2 / January deadlines.

Secondly, forget about fellowships -- from the school's perspective, you're wanting to attend their b-school so you can hope to get a job where you're making a shi*tload of money, and you want them, an American school to give you a non-US citizen a free education? That's asking a bit much. It's not going to happen, unless you are an exceptional candidate with a unique background (also, it's not like the schools have fat endowments at this point, since a chunk of the market value got wiped away after the credit crisis in 2008). While you have a solid professional profile that won't be out of place at all at most top b-schools (Columbia, Booth, Kellogg, etc), the chances of a top b-school giving out free money to accountants in this kind of economy is slim to none.

Thirdly, I think you're underestimating your chances in reaching those career goals right after school. Unless you from a wealthy family with connections (i.e. you have access to family who have the means to invest millions in funds as LPs/investors), your chances of getting into PE/VC/HF (when these very different three sectors are mentioned in the same breath, it's code word for "buyside jobs that pay a sh*tload of money) straight from accounting are pretty much zero, unless you're planning on working purely as their accountant (i.e. you're not the one actually doing the deals). If you want to work in any of these sectors, you need to work in the US first in traditional finance jobs - for PE, it's investment banking (M&A or lev fin groups). For HF, it's sales/trading or investment banking. For VC, it's being an extraordinarily successful entrepreneur and/or having a lot of executive experience at a tech company. You have a solid background, but given your professional background, you'll have very little to offer any of these funds at this point compared to the slew of other MBA candidates with relevant pre-MBA experience. Of course, if you have personal connections and/or you're blue blooded, then that's a different story.

Finally, you need to focus on the GMAT before asking what your chances are. If your GMAT is below 700, your chances are going to be a stretch at any top b-school. If it's above 700, schools like Columbia, Booth and Kellogg are stretches, and schools like NYU, Yale, Cornell, Ross, Duke, Darden, UCLA and Haas are more sweet spots. Harvard and Stanford are going to be long shots - of course, your chances are zero for sure if you don't apply at all, but just note that should you apply, just know that it's going to be a lottery ticket.

Alex Chu

Re: 3 questions - French applicant   [#permalink] 23 Dec 2010, 16:04
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3 questions - French applicant

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