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A few words of wisdom?

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Senior Manager
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Joined: 08 Dec 2009
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A few words of wisdom? [#permalink] New post 05 Sep 2010, 21:04
Paul,

Can you see if my story is compelling enough for a chance to get into my dream schools?

age at matriculation: 28
chinese american
work exp: 6 (2 actuary, 4 investment consulting at one of the largest HR consulting firm: associate consultant advising pension plans, endowments/foundations, and define contribution plans)
math major, statistics concentration, 3.1 gpa (low; all Ds last quarter, but for which I have a good explanation)
730 gmat (50, 38) -- retaking later this month; my verbal was suprisingly low, wasn't representive of all my MGMAT and GMATprep timed exams.
couple of finance-related designations: FRM, CAIA, level 3 CFA candidate

recommenders:
current supervisor with her FSA and CFA designations
partner of firm with 30+ years of experience in industry
(both know my work ethic/quality fairly well)

ok extra curricular:
started an investment club
manage $ for family account as well
member of a committee at work
facilitate tai chi exercises with the elderly community
active tennis player (part of tennis club)
my significant other is a social worker (haha does that count? j/k)

career goals per essays (but to be honest, not sure exactly what I really want to do -- something finance related probably):
short term: lead an investment team (equities or alternative investments) within a pension fund
long term: chief investment officer of a pension fund or sovereign wealth fund

I'm applying to Stanford, Wharton, and Booth all first round (Columbia, Hass, Harvard rd2 if I don't get into any rd1s). I'm willing to wait and reapply next year if I don't get into any of these 6 schools. I have decided that it is not worth going to a "backup school."

Thanks again for your feedback. I really appreciate it. Besides answering what are my chances... can you also let me know if my "story" is a compelling one given the limited info above? (i.e., have you seen many who have this similiar experience? I feel that I'm competing against the top finance folks, and that my story/experience is not strong enough). Thank you.
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Re: A few words of wisdom? [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2010, 18:58
Expert's post
Adalfu,

Thanks for reaching out. The short answer is yes, you can be competitive for those "dream" programs. The big key is going to be showcasing maturity. No matter what the explanation for those Ds, the committee is still going to want to see that you've got it dialed in now and that you are totally focused and disciplined. (See the profile request I just responded to before yours for more on maturity and how important it is.)

You will also want to really showcase leadership, especially in places where it is not readily evident in your resume and the basic knowledge people have regarding your experiences. I think you have enough interesting elements and successful steps that you can compete with the best of them, but you have to bring those experiences to life in a way that showcases all of the key traits and themes that admissions officers care so much about.

Finally, I think you are going to need to be very careful about what you pick and choose for inclusion. We have a saying around Amerasia that if the MBA Admissions process had an Oscars, the most prized award would be Best Editor. Knowing what to include, when, and what the takeaway will be are the key ingredients in taking your raw data and turning it into a really winning application that makes an admissions officer sit up and take notice, forgetting about all those other run-of-the-mill finance applicants.

I think we can help a lot with pulling this all together. If you want a free consultation, PM me and we'll set it up.

Respectfully,

Paul Lanzillotti
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A few words of wisdom?

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