Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Accounting
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
WE: Other (Other)
, given: 8
Thanks in advance to anyone willing to evaluate and respond.
25 year old male, international background (grew up in US and Japan), US Citizen
GMAT: 730 (96th percentile) - V45 (98th percentile), Q45 (74th percentile)
GPA: 3.38 overall from a top 20 Liberal Arts College - Double major in East Asian Studies (Mandarin Chinese, 3.67 GPA) and Economics (3.0 GPA)
Work Experience: 2.5 years in Compliance at two top asset management firms
I am concerned about my chances because of two potential weaknesses. The first is my Economics GPA; although my overall GPA is seemingly average (or slightly below average) for top programs, my economics GPA is a bit low at 3.0, and my performance in the two quantitative courses I took (Statistics and Calculus) was not strong (I got a C+ in Statistics and took Calculus Pass/Fail). How much of a problem will this be? I have a strong GMAT score, but my quantitative percentile is not stellar. I am considering re-taking statistics and calculus at a local college to mitigate the damage.
My second concern is that I have very little in the way of ECs and no volunteer work/community involvement. The only EC I have is from my undergrad senior year, when I joined a program that essentially was a “mini business school experience”; I led a team that evaluated and presented a HBS case-study and performed an equity analysis, leading to a buy/hold/sell recommendation. I have no prior volunteer experience; although I realize it may come off as contrived, I have signed up for a few volunteer events over the next several months. I am hoping that having something is better than nothing.
In terms of WE, I graduated in May, 2007 and first moved to Chicago, where I was unable to find a job; I ended up moving to NYC in Feb, 2008 and began working in March of 2008 as a Compliance Specialist at a large Asset Management Firm (~$300 billion AUM). In my first position, I conducted forensic reviews on a wide range of topics, covering areas such as marketing materials, RFPs and trade allocation. I was also responsible for employee Compliance training (covering topics such as Personal Trading, disclosure of accounts, communication with media, etc). I was laid off in February, 2009 and began my current position in March in Compliance at another large Asset Management Firm (~$ 600+ billion AUM), this time focusing on personal trade surveillance/reconciliation and code of ethics administration (disclosure of outside business activity, political contributions, private investments, etc). I am also responsible for employee training at my current position. My current position is more focused than my previous job and is much more high-pressure, fast-paced and full of short-deadline projects.
I am interested in getting my MBA in order to transition from Compliance to Investment Banking; although I enjoy what I currently do, I would like the opportunity to work on the business side in deals and interact with clients. What I enjoy the most about my current job is meeting new employees through Compliance training as well as acting as a resource for employees throughout the firm by handling Compliance-related questions and requests. I am a strong communicator and I feel that I could be more valuable to an employer and more fulfilled on a personal level by working on deals and (eventually) winning over clients.
Any input on my chances at the schools I listed would be greatly appreciated.