Please see my response to your friend's post. Thank you. J/K!
Kidding aside -- your profile is so similar to your friend (MT11, I presume) that my advice is going to be very similar.
Instead of rehashing what I wrote there -- and trying to pretend it is somehow different -- I will try to add a little to it. However, please recognize that my response may not be as long as MT11's answer I provided.
I love the background. I am not sure if you are a mix of ethnicities, but I do see the beginning of a very interesting story for any type of personal essay -- such as Stanford's "What Matters Most to You and Why?" essay. In this essay I would talk about how, at a young age, you were able to perhaps see the world, witness a clash of cultures as well as reconcile differences of opinion, lifestyle -- in order to form a greater appreciation for the way people live their lives. As a result, he became a more well-rounded person. This propelled you to success at the college level and now as a professional. as an aside -- I love Stanford's first essay. Most people struggle with it, but I love talking to people about their individual backgrounds -- of course, some people more than others.
if you currently manage a portfolio -- what does that mean? Is that what you are doing as your full-time role (in the rotation program)? so you are in investment management as an analyst or associate? or is this something that you are doing on the side -- like an investment club?
Regardless, your work experience is excellent. I honestly believe that will serve as a springboard into more entrepreneurial finance -- such as private equity or even venture capital in the longer-term.
I think your chances are great at Columbia and NYU. I would never call a shot -- as that is lunacy -- but I am pretty sure that you work with me you will get the interview at Columbia and NYU. I do not want to sound too overconfident, but Columbia is a school that I have an excellent grasp of.
Wharton is a no-brainer with your international and finance experiences ..... by the way, Columbia has about a 40% international population as well. You do not see Columbia emphasize the international aspect as much as Wharton, or maybe people just do not talk about it as much, but it is there trolling in the background like a boss.
HBS/GSB is always a little bit of a gamble -- even for the best applicants, which I would place you in. You are basically an international player, with great diversified experience within a bank and a dash of leadership thrown in (gained through the rotation program -- which is inevitably a leadership oriented program). although you are relatively young -- even for business school -- I would argue that your upbringing and even your undergraduate experience (i.e. starting a business) has made you mature faster than perhaps your colleagues at that level.
I think that Harvard would especially like to see your application from them. They like the mavericks and the smart risktakers. They look for that, and now apparently, more of an overt commitment to your fellow man.
So again -- like with your homey MT11 -- I cannot put an exact percentage on "chances." However, I will say that your chances are 22.5%. Kidding aside, you will be better than 70 or 80% of the applicants applying. Keep in mind -- depending on around you apply -- there is only a certain allotment for candidates of your background (i.e. banking, international) -- so "chances" is a dynamic term that tends to change as the rounds progress.
Just as my friend wrote you earlier, I'm also planning on applying to top US MBAs for fall 2012. Here's a brief intro:
Age: 21 (Will be 23 by matriculation in 2012)
Undergraduate Education: American University of Beirut (Semester exchange at UCLA)
Degree and Result: BA Economics (international), Second Upper Class (81/100)
Work experience: Will have 2 years of experience by matriculation at Standard Chartered Bank (Dubai office), in the Wholesale Banking Graduate Rotation Program, where I have completed rotations in Financial Markets, Investment Banking, and FX Trading.
- While at University, opened a private tutoring business with 3 teachers, 10-15 clients.
- Currently starting an internet marketplace
for Lebanon and the Middle East. It's similar to Craigslist, is registered with a corporate structure, employees..
- Manage an investment portfolio
- Co-founded the International Literacy Foundation in 2010, an international not-for-profit organization focused on literacy promotion. Have completed projects in Canada, Pakistan, and Kenya (with a view to a few more in China, Nigeria and Lebanon) thus far which have revolved around refurbishing, renovating, and expanding libraries at orphanages and insufficiently funded schools.
- Head of Student Council in university and Class President several years in High school and Middle school.
- University varsity football team.
- Model United Nations
Post-MBA Career Goals:
(Short-term): Private Equity / Trading / Venture Capital
(Long-term): Starting my own Private Equity / Venture Capital firm.
Essentially, I was wondering what my chances were of admission to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and Columbia are? Separately, NYU?
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