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another profile evaluation

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another profile evaluation [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 19:36
Hi Paul,
I would really appreciate if you could give me your thoughts on my profile.

Italian, 27 year-old male (although I'd be 29 should I start in autumn 2008)

GMAT 760 49Q 45V AWA 5.0

Master Degree in Economics at Venice University, graduated summa cum laude

I have been working in the investment fund industry for 8 years (I started while I was still studying) for three different companies:
- Banca Intesa in Italy for 5 years, joined at an entry level position (I was 19) in shareholder services, and then progressed and eventually supervised 3 team members in the fund accounting department. I was also involved in project management.
- Citigroup in Dublin for 2 years, joined as a senior fund administrator, moved then to the hedge fund team and eventually supervised 2 team members.
- Fortis in Cayman for 2 months now, temping as a senior hedge fund administrator.

Languages
Italian is my native language (along with my regional language but I'm not sure I can count that! hehe), and my English is pretty good since I have been living in English-speaking countries for 2 1/2 years.
I also speak decent French and basic Spanish.

Extracurriculars
- Music/theatre, I (used to) sing and was the frontman of my old band in Italy. I studied for a few years and acted/sang in two amateur musicals.
- Internet, I am involved in a forum for italians loving/living in Ireland and I was asked to join the "editorial staff" of the website. With another guy I started an Italian wiki about living and working in Ireland as well. At the moment with two other guys I am starting a forum for people living in/moving to Cayman.
- I'm a certified PADI diver, not sure if that can help! Smile

Applications
After Ireland and Cayman I would like to live in the USA for a while and I also would like to do an MBA in one of the world's top schools... so killing two birds with one stone sounded as a good idea!
The schools I sent my GMAT score to are Harvard, Stanford and Wharton.
However I am not sure I will be interested in working in the US after the MBA so I am also considering LBS and Insead although, as I said, I would rather do it in the US.
I am definitely willing to find some consultant to help me, especially on the essay side, since English is not my mother tongue.
Getting good recos from my bosses shouldn't be a problem at all, even though I can't really imagine them writing about "amazing detailed leadership stories" about me. To be honest I haven't a clue about what kind of letters the admission guys expect...

After the MBA
To be honest there are a few options that would appeal to me.
The first would be remaining in the same field (financial services) but in a different role, trying to get into management or project management.
I have to say that switching to consulting, investment management or corporate finance would be appealing to me as well, depending also on the kind of jobs that I could get... I'd be quite flexible.
Do you think I should necessarily make up my mind before applying or having a few possible options would still be considered ok?


I am aware that my profile is pretty strong from an academic/GMAT/international point of view but I'm afraid that my extracurriculars are quite poor, I read amazing stories around this forum...
Also I'm afraid that my career path might look a bit incertain since every time I moved country I had to compromise on the job I was getting.

I just would like to understand if I have any chance to be admitted in those schools.
Stanford would be my first choice I suppose (location and "cooperative" atmosphere).

Thanks so much in advance
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Re: another profile evaluation [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2007, 11:48
Lorenzino wrote:
Hi Paul,
I would really appreciate if you could give me your thoughts on my profile.

Italian, 27 year-old male (although I'd be 29 should I start in autumn 2008)

GMAT 760 49Q 45V AWA 5.0

Master Degree in Economics at Venice University, graduated summa cum laude

I have been working in the investment fund industry for 8 years (I started while I was still studying) for three different companies:
- Banca Intesa in Italy for 5 years, joined at an entry level position (I was 19) in shareholder services, and then progressed and eventually supervised 3 team members in the fund accounting department. I was also involved in project management.
- Citigroup in Dublin for 2 years, joined as a senior fund administrator, moved then to the hedge fund team and eventually supervised 2 team members.
- Fortis in Cayman for 2 months now, temping as a senior hedge fund administrator.

Languages
Italian is my native language (along with my regional language but I'm not sure I can count that! hehe), and my English is pretty good since I have been living in English-speaking countries for 2 1/2 years.
I also speak decent French and basic Spanish.

Extracurriculars
- Music/theatre, I (used to) sing and was the frontman of my old band in Italy. I studied for a few years and acted/sang in two amateur musicals.
- Internet, I am involved in a forum for italians loving/living in Ireland and I was asked to join the "editorial staff" of the website. With another guy I started an Italian wiki about living and working in Ireland as well. At the moment with two other guys I am starting a forum for people living in/moving to Cayman.
- I'm a certified PADI diver, not sure if that can help! Smile

Applications
After Ireland and Cayman I would like to live in the USA for a while and I also would like to do an MBA in one of the world's top schools... so killing two birds with one stone sounded as a good idea!
The schools I sent my GMAT score to are Harvard, Stanford and Wharton.
However I am not sure I will be interested in working in the US after the MBA so I am also considering LBS and Insead although, as I said, I would rather do it in the US.
I am definitely willing to find some consultant to help me, especially on the essay side, since English is not my mother tongue.
Getting good recos from my bosses shouldn't be a problem at all, even though I can't really imagine them writing about "amazing detailed leadership stories" about me. To be honest I haven't a clue about what kind of letters the admission guys expect...

After the MBA
To be honest there are a few options that would appeal to me.
The first would be remaining in the same field (financial services) but in a different role, trying to get into management or project management.
I have to say that switching to consulting, investment management or corporate finance would be appealing to me as well, depending also on the kind of jobs that I could get... I'd be quite flexible.
Do you think I should necessarily make up my mind before applying or having a few possible options would still be considered ok?


I am aware that my profile is pretty strong from an academic/GMAT/international point of view but I'm afraid that my extracurriculars are quite poor, I read amazing stories around this forum...
Also I'm afraid that my career path might look a bit incertain since every time I moved country I had to compromise on the job I was getting.

I just would like to understand if I have any chance to be admitted in those schools.
Stanford would be my first choice I suppose (location and "cooperative" atmosphere).

Thanks so much in advance


Lorenzino,

Sorry for the delayed response. You are certainly aiming high, but you also have a very distinctive profile. Even your scuba diving and knowledge of your regional dialect (both of which you seemed to downplay) are worth throwing in the pot to accentuate your unusualness. Your community profile is not as strong as the three U.S. schools you mentioned would like to see, but because everything else looks very strong, I would not discourage you from applying there. Your odds are lowest IMO at Stanford (smaller class), slightly better at HBS, and best at Wharton. To be competitive you would need to present your extracurricular and community in as strong a light as possible. I see your odds as being better at LBS and Insead if only because I don't think European schools are as obsessive about community involvement.
I hope this helps. I'd be glad to work with you.

Good luck,
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Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

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 [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2007, 15:33
thanks Paul :)
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2007, 09:02
Lorenzino wrote:
thanks Paul :)


You're welcome.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 May 2007, 18:07
Hi Paul,
I'm so glad I started thinking about applications early as I see how unfocused and naive my approach was only 2 months ago.
Since then, I've made up my mind regarding the fact that I'll be applying only to US schools. My first choice is still Stanford even though I realise it's going to be really tough to get into.
I have decided to still consider rankings as an important part of my choice but on a looser basis. I have also researched the international programs of the top 10 schools since I've realised this is going to be the concentration I want to pursue wherever I end up.

Therefore (beyond Stanford) I'm now considering the following schools:

- Harvard. To be honest it's more because of the strong brand/reputation. My impression about their international program is that it's not as strong as their brand would suggest. Plus grades are disclosed, which I don't like. Plus classes are big. I'm seriously considering not applying but I'm really unsure.

- Wharton. Strong reputation, high rank. My perception is that the atmosphere is laid back although I'm not really excited about the huge size of the class. Their international program seem to be good. I have read contradictory statements about grade disclosure policy, I think I will apply but I'm a bit doubtful at the moment.

- Haas. Great location, small classes, focus on innovation, good international program. I can't see any particular drawback except the lower ranking.

- Chicago. I like the flexible curriculum plus they have a specific IMBA program, which seems really interesting. I don't like the fact that their reputation is that they're a bit less laid back and people are a bit more competitive. I'm not particularly excited about the location either.

- Stern. Small classes, good international program, chances in the media field as well. seems a good fit for me. Really excited about the location. This is a top 10/15 rather than a top 5 though.

I have also given a good thought about my career and I've definitely ruled out consulting. I don't even know why I ever included that in my options! Self assessment is really important!
I think i'll stay in finance/banking and I'll try to get into one of those rotational programs in which you rotate among different functions in different countries. I also might try to explore some opportunities in the media field, but just as a backup plan.

So Paul, would you mind giving me your opinion about those schools I've listed above? Except H and W they're lower ranked but the fact that for instance classes are smaller at Stern and Haas makes me wonder if I stand any solid chance applying there. Any advice/comment will be much appreciated, especially if you think that any of my comments/impressions do not reflect the reality. Unfortunately I'm not sure I'll get the chance to visit the schools before applying. Thanks A LOT! :)
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 [#permalink] New post 19 May 2007, 16:15
Lorenzino wrote:
Hi Paul,
I'm so glad I started thinking about applications early as I see how unfocused and naive my approach was only 2 months ago.
Since then, I've made up my mind regarding the fact that I'll be applying only to US schools. My first choice is still Stanford even though I realise it's going to be really tough to get into.
I have decided to still consider rankings as an important part of my choice but on a looser basis. I have also researched the international programs of the top 10 schools since I've realised this is going to be the concentration I want to pursue wherever I end up.

Therefore (beyond Stanford) I'm now considering the following schools:

- Harvard. To be honest it's more because of the strong brand/reputation. My impression about their international program is that it's not as strong as their brand would suggest. Plus grades are disclosed, which I don't like. Plus classes are big. I'm seriously considering not applying but I'm really unsure.

- Wharton. Strong reputation, high rank. My perception is that the atmosphere is laid back although I'm not really excited about the huge size of the class. Their international program seem to be good. I have read contradictory statements about grade disclosure policy, I think I will apply but I'm a bit doubtful at the moment.

- Haas. Great location, small classes, focus on innovation, good international program. I can't see any particular drawback except the lower ranking.

- Chicago. I like the flexible curriculum plus they have a specific IMBA program, which seems really interesting. I don't like the fact that their reputation is that they're a bit less laid back and people are a bit more competitive. I'm not particularly excited about the location either.

- Stern. Small classes, good international program, chances in the media field as well. seems a good fit for me. Really excited about the location. This is a top 10/15 rather than a top 5 though.

I have also given a good thought about my career and I've definitely ruled out consulting. I don't even know why I ever included that in my options! Self assessment is really important!
I think i'll stay in finance/banking and I'll try to get into one of those rotational programs in which you rotate among different functions in different countries. I also might try to explore some opportunities in the media field, but just as a backup plan.

So Paul, would you mind giving me your opinion about those schools I've listed above? Except H and W they're lower ranked but the fact that for instance classes are smaller at Stern and Haas makes me wonder if I stand any solid chance applying there. Any advice/comment will be much appreciated, especially if you think that any of my comments/impressions do not reflect the reality. Unfortunately I'm not sure I'll get the chance to visit the schools before applying. Thanks A LOT! :)


Lorenzino,

Sorry for the delayed response. I've been having some problems with the GMAT Club site. Regarding the schools you mentioned, I think HBS would be a longshot, but it sound like you're not too crazy about it anyway. I already said you would have a decent chance at Wharton, and I think you would have an even better shot at Haas, Chicago, and Stern. You can aim reasonably high.

Good luck,
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Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

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 [#permalink] New post 19 May 2007, 17:42
thanks Paul! I'm actually reading your book at the moment, I'm sure it'll help me with the essays! :-D
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 [#permalink] New post 21 May 2007, 12:50
Lorenzino wrote:
thanks Paul! I'm actually reading your book at the moment, I'm sure it'll help me with the essays! :-D


You're welcome.
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Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

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