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Chances? 1st post-looking to give back from app exp, too

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Joined: 16 Sep 2013
Posts: 3
Concentration: Finance, Real Estate
GMAT 1: Q V0
WE: Underwriter (Insurance)
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Chances? 1st post-looking to give back from app exp, too [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2013, 18:56
Been holding off to gain work experience to make up for low GPA:

GPA: 2.63 - Last 60 credits - 3.31 (big upward trend my last few semesters), pretty involved on campus for most of my college career
GMAT: 720 - lower quant, higher verbal (94%), don't remember the exact breakdown because I took it in Sept. 2010 (aka I have to apply next year)

Work experience at time of app (2014) - 3.5 Years - 4.5 at Maltrication
1 Year Retail Banking (6 months client service rep/small regional bank, 6 months personal banker/ Fortune 100 bank)
2.5 Years - Insurance (2.5 years as an Underwriter/ Fortune 100 company) - 3.5 at Maltrication

Prof Designations:
Currently working toward my CPCU (premier designation in our industry), will have it by time of application
Already completed Associates in Insurance since college, but I'm not sure if it carries weight

Age at time of app - 26

Looking to break into IB, 2nd choice would be insurance consulting

Schools to Apply:
CBS
Booth
Stern
Kellogg
Darden
Johnson
Owen
Smeal

This list can of course change, but my main factor in choosing a school is trying to land an IB job AND make enough to payoff the debt. Am I aiming too high?

Yes, I have a "story," but it's not as extreme as being abandoned by my parents at age 7 or similar. Going through some things with my dad having heart surgery (he's stick kickin', though!) and some people close to me dying. I feel like that's WAY too morbid to touch on in an essay, though. Not looking for pity, or making excuses, but that's what distracted me when I started college.

Thanks ahead of time for making it through this wordy post!
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Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 24
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Operations
GMAT 1: Q V
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Re: Chances? 1st post-looking to give back from app exp, too [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2013, 08:57
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A couple thoughts. I had a low-ish GPA and I applied to a bunch of schools that I shouldn't have because they didn't give me a shot. I think Booth, Stern, and Kellogg are real stretches for you, and I would probably focus elsewhere. CBS is in there too, but I know a couple people with middling GPAs that were interviewed/accepted. Your low quant score on GMAT will be the death knell of your Booth application.

The bottom half of your list is where you should focus most of your time. I'm not saying you shouldn't apply to a dream school, just don't focus all your time on that and neglect the great schools that you have a good shot at.

I would add McDonough and Tepper to your list to look at. They both do pretty well with IB and are in your range (especially MSB).

Lastly, get some managerial experience if at all possible. You're on the low-ish side of WE, and that is the easiest way to supplement it.

Best of luck.
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Re: Chances? 1st post-looking to give back from app exp, too [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2013, 16:15
Thanks hooverd. Congratulations on getting into McDonough, btw. I almost applied the schools I mentioned straight out of undergrad because of the gmat, thank god I didn't, because it would have been a waste of time.

I talked to some recruiters from various schools, explained my career goals and was surprised by the response. A few programs that were my safety schools (top 40-60) straight up told me they didn't think that I was a good fit, mostly because they focused on operations, rather than finance (these are the same schools that were trying to recruit me back in 2011). I really appreciated the honesty, though.

A lot of my semi-reach schools (ranked 30 or better) were very positive with the response, though. They liked my aspirations and acknowledged that I was building a good bridge between my undergrad to my semi-math oriented career to something involving actual risk analysis. It's definitely about finding the right fit.

Your GPA is lightyears ahead of mine (relatively, at least you fell into the 80% range, where I would certainly be an outlier), but I'm not throwing in the towel. What kind of networking did you do? I've got MBA group recruiting events coming up, looking to make contact with admissions/plan visits in spring, then apply next fall.
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Re: Chances? 1st post-looking to give back from app exp, too [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 21:14
A little comment about those "morbid" stories - You can mention them to talk of a time that was tough on you, but it was also a time for deep-thinking/ analysis/ emerging stronger/ or growing personally. Tragic setbacks can lead a person to soul seraching and finding deep hidden meanings in life. B-schools like to know that aspect about applicants.
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Re: Chances? 1st post-looking to give back from app exp, too [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2013, 17:03
MBADecoder wrote:
A little comment about those "morbid" stories - You can mention them to talk of a time that was tough on you, but it was also a time for deep-thinking/ analysis/ emerging stronger/ or growing personally. Tragic setbacks can lead a person to soul seraching and finding deep hidden meanings in life. B-schools like to know that aspect about applicants.


Thanks, MBADecoder. That's ultimately what ended up happening through all of it.

Also, very sorry for the late response, work has been practically round-the-clock lately.

I went to an MBA recruiting event recently and was stunned by the amount of people trying to game their quantitative profiles and resumes toward the top schools. I want to avoid that completely. I've always had the mentality that if you pretend to be something you're not, it will eventually catch up with you.

In a simple sense:

I started my undergraduate career with the idea that I would play music while "getting that piece of paper" to make my parents happy. I didn't understand the value of higher education until my friends and family began to rely on me for support and realized the importance of finance. Namely, by the creation and destruction of wealth as the events of the recession unfolded.

I'm hoping my test scores and work experience (considering where I came from) will overshadow my GPA and know that I will have to dominate the essays and the interviews to even be put into consideration from a top school.

Are there any threads that you can suggest where I can share and bounce ideas off people that are similar to me?

I want to avoid the "gamers." I do understand the weakness is the first half of my undergraduate career and know my strengths come from my intelligence and work experience (to an extent). I really need help with telling my story and would like to give feedback on other MBA hopefuls.
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Re: Chances? 1st post-looking to give back from app exp, too [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2013, 05:20
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Re: Chances? 1st post-looking to give back from app exp, too   [#permalink] 15 Oct 2013, 05:20
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