Thanks for reaching out to me. Sometimes I get tired of answering same questions again and again – especially when no thought is put into them. Any person with a hole and a heartbeat can spout off advice so general that everyone in the room becomes dumber. I like to provide specific advice, based on critical thought. So I hope I do give it to you straight, or even perhaps – stared straight. But whenever I do get frustrated I reflect on what my abusive stepfather would tell me as held his belt, and I quote "there is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people that ask questions."
Moving on, I would say that your chances that Columbia and NYU are very, very good. I especially like your chances at Columbia. It seems you have the experience and attitude they looking for. Case in point, you're definitely making the right moves to present yourself as a respectable citizen. The homeless mentoring volunteer thing that you are going to do is touching. It's that type of meaningful involvement that Columbia really likes to see from their investment bankers and finance professionals. I am slightly kidding, only because I actually do believe you are well qualified for Columbia and NYU.
I think a better way to approach a relevant answer is to examine the current essays – we shall use Columbia as an example in this case. examining the goals essay, you are very aligned with Columbia. By the school's definition, you are adding diversity to the mix, pinstripes and cowboy boots. Over the last few years, Columbia started asking about community building in their essays, along with what you would bring to the school from a teambuilding standpoint. This is where that voluntary experience comes in. I hope that you have some type of community involvement as an undergraduate, so that it looks a little more consistent and not as (possibly) contrived. Of course Columbia also asks a more personal type question. This is really asking you about your values and how they have formed. So hopefully you had some type of tragedy happen in your life. I am slightly kidding about that last point but you really need to dig deep and determine how things – good or bad – have affected who you are today, and most importantly how you think. Think of it this way – they really want to know why you are actually volunteering right now. Were you ever homeless? Ever go camping? I think that counts – but not really.
One more thing – I know you have a big hard-on for New York City. I can appreciate that. But will the admissions committee appreciate that? Make sure if you speak highly of the New York City location you address it as being an advantage – "given the dominance of Columbia's alumni on Wall Street, I can think of no other school and location that would suit my future goals better." The wrong way to talk about this is to say – "who would not want to live in New York City? It's the center of the universe. Oh yeah, and some school named Columbia is there as well." I'm exaggerating for effect, but I have seen people write things literally like that close at the essay. Do you really want the admissions committee to remember you in your essay as "Balki Bartokomous goes to the Big Apple"? Nope.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Give it to me straight...
3.3 gpa from non target public uni in finance/accounting. GMAT: aiming for 720 (let's keep this a variable). 20 months at a fortune 5 oil company in their finance rotational program; I've been moved to jobs with greater responsibility 2 times in these 20 months (considered move ups at my company). I intend to begin business school in the fall of 2014 (will have 3.5-4 yrs of experience by then).
I have just started working with a refugee organization in Houston that does teenage mentoring for a few hours per week. I am also very close to joining a non-profit organization that specializes in consulting Houston area small business on how to run an efficient and profitable business.
I have started an alternative transcript at UCLA Extention...I have taken one class, Corporate Finance, got an A+ in it...I will be taking Calculus and maybe Statistics next year to prove that I can do my math. Also, I am sitting for the CFA level 2 in June...I definitely have a tight schedule for the next 1-2 years.
I am really trying to bust my butt to make it into Columbia/NYU. The reason I am choosing these schools is not only because of their academic rankings but also because they are in NYC....2 years in the City would be pretty badass.
If I can't get into these schools then my next choice would be to go to Rice in Houston. I am not interested in going out west or any other area besides NYC..
My post-MBA goals are to get into Energy IB. I am working as a finance/performance analyst on the trade floor of this oil company, i am learning the business well...i think I can transfer this technical knowledge to an Energy IB firm...that's my angle.
Any advice is appreciated..
On a side not; you must really get tired of answering the same questions over and over and over again....but yeah please answer mine
Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | email@example.com | 877.866.9251
Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog
Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton