sounds like you have your heart set on the big apple, but one thing to consider is your post MBA industry is heavily concentrated in Houston and Dallas. Have you thought about UT Austin for MBA? You could do an internship in NYC if you really wanted to, but likely your connections you'd make in Texas would go far in helping you achieve your energy trading goals. Not trying to rain on your plans, but just a thought. As for what you are doing to become eligible for NYU or Columbia, it sounds like you are indeed doing all you can. One of the hurdles will be where you went to undergrad, which will be more heavily scrutinized by Columbia. As an ivy league school, they can be a bit snobbish about a non-pedigreed background (academically speaking). Make sure you visit these schools too to ensure you are going to school with people you will like and get along with. Remember, one of the biggest advantages of b-school is the network and it will be with you the rest of your life. Make sure you do your due dillgence on how many alumni from your target institutions end up in energy industry. If you like ivy league type atmosphere and can get over your desire to go to school in the big city (where frankly the bonding with your classmates is not nearly as strong because everyone scatters to the four corners of Manhattan after class), you might take a look at Duke, where they have a great energy concentration too.
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