I have about 55 months of work experience. 6 months at a major bank in the back office position, 3.5 years are at a prominent rating agency doing research â€“ where I received a promotional opportunity toward the end, and 8 months at a hedge fund conducting buy-side research. Because the market conditions deteriorated, I was laid off from the hedge fund in December 2005. I have taken GMAT several times in the past, (over a year ago), and scored in 650 range. Last week I scored 700 (90% math, 85% verbal). Iâ€™m now applying to Stern, Columbia, HBS, and either Duke or Yale. My college GPA (Loyola College in MD)is 3.445. I have a Russian background but spent last 13 years in US. My long term goal is to lead my own investment firm.
First question, is a 700 score enough for me to be a competitive applicant (with my background) to these schools? Can you single out a few schools from top 14 that especially favor my background?
Second, do you think itâ€™s essential that I get a job, considering that I would like to enter business school in September 2005? Currently Iâ€™m working on business applications, but once Iâ€™m done, I will turn to preparing for CFA level II and increase my volunteering involvement in organization that I have been involved in for years. I'm also considering signing up for some classes at either NYU, Columbia, maybe other NY college just to stay active once I'm done with applications in February.
Let me know if there is anything else I can do now to enhance my chances for Fall 2006 admission.
I don't see HBS in the cards, but you are a competitive applicant at the others, especially Stern, Duke, and Yale. It is not essential if you are accepted. It is certainly important, and probably essential, if you are waitlisted or rejected. If waitlisted, you will want to impress the waitlisting schools with your new responsibilities and growth. Same next year if you are rejected.
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