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Aiming high or just right?

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Aiming high or just right? [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2005, 12:36
Hi-
Was wondering if you guys could guage my chances before I waste a lot of money on applications for schools I don't have a dream of getting into.

Here's my stats:
1. 3.1 GPA from a top 30 Undergrad (had a REALLY bad junior year in some classes in my major- business....Got a D in Quant 1 but a B in Quant 2 and have more than proven I have sufficient Quant skills- keep reading!) School is known for the opposite of grade inflation, often making classes more difficult in order to improve overall school rep.

2. First job out of undergrad was crappy- only stayed 18 months. Left to take on a highly quantitative role at large Investment Bank (not i-banking position though)
3. 2.5 years at that bank and then switched to similar role at even more prestigous investment bank
4. Passed Global Association of Risk Professionals Financial Risk Management exam (Quant heavy exam similar to CFA but only 1 annual exam instead of 3 - had under 50% passage rate globally I believe).

5. Am white female, been working 5 years, have decent recs from 1 manager at each of the banks, well-written essays, self-financed my education with loans and grants and many jobs as my father passed away when I was 9, brother is kind of a convict - I wrote another thread about this already, looking to go into international economic development in hopefully the non-profit sector.
6. Gmat is not strong right now but I am retaking and hope to land around 680.

7. Big Sister volunteer, former girl scout leader, volunteered at other charities over time.

Am I kidding myself to hope for these schools:

-Stanford
-Columbia
-U. Michigan
-Tuck
-Duke
-Berkeley

thanks so much guys!!!
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2005, 13:24
As you probably know, GMAT is absolutely critical to your case. Study like crazy. If you pull 680/700, then I say the following:

- Michigan = best chance
- Duke = decent chance
- Tuck / Berkley = okay chance
- Columbia / Stanford = stretch.

I'd pair down your list. Keep one stretch. Get rid of one okay and add another "best chance".

What are your career goals -- interested to know given your current list.
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answers [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2005, 13:39
Just wondering-
what makes me so border line? Just the Bad GPA?

I'm gonna do everything in my power to get the Gmat up- last practice test had me at a 730 but who knows.

I really want to leverage my current risk/quant skills into some sort of international development role. I need to research this further as the only potential employers I know of right now are places like the World Bank- which I'm not sure I'd want to work for anyway. A former boss used to take trips to places like Kazakstan and speak at conferences held to help better develop the banking system there. I would find something like extremely interesting but obviously I need to have a more solid story for my essays than I do right now.

Also, my bad GPA all took place in one semester when I was running back and forth to funerals and other crises: my brother's first arrest, and 2 friends and a close aunt all died that semester. I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses for a poor performance- but should I attempt to explain these things on the open-ended essay?
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2005, 04:40
The bad GPA + (what sounds like) a so/so GMAT right now. With a higher GMAT 700+, your chances increase a good amount.

Yes, it sounds like your case merits using the open/ended essay to describe your situation. As you said, you don't want to come across as whiney. State the facts, what you've learned and how you make sure that something like that (academic decline) doesn't happen again.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2005, 14:33
So Hjort,
With a 700 now, where do you think i stand? Should I bother w/ a Stanford or Harvard?
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2005, 14:46
Jenn apply to HBS and other top schools they are more inclined to pick up women in their programs...dont know what the break out is...but I recently saw HBS president talk with charlie rose...and it sounded as if HBS needed more younger female students...
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2005, 16:03
I saw that inteview too! It's actually a few months old- that's the outgoing president. surprisingly he's a mormon and the head of the mormon church asked him to leave HBS to go be president of a mormon college. thanks for the vote of confidence! I'm might just try- all I've got to lose is the app fee.
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