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Engineering to Finance (iBanking) - Profile Evaluation

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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 19 Jul 2011
Posts: 24
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
WE: Investment Banking (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Engineering to Finance (iBanking) - Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2011, 15:27
I am 24, turning 25 this year.Thanks for your help.

1) Work Exp: 1.5 years at an IT Audit / Internal Audit Company, 1 year as a Corporate Accountant at large public Silicon Valley gaming company, just started an investment banking analyst position at a mid-market boutique investment banking firm.
2) Gmat: Have not taken it yet, but assuming I will get somewhere in the range of 700-730
3) College info: UC Berkeley, 3.0 GPA, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, I had a lower GPA because I studied EECS and had a major injury that prevented me from going to class for the first 2 semesters, ended up having to switch majors and forced myself to take 5,5,5, and 6 engineering classes my last 4 semesters at CAL. I also received an A.A. degree in Accounting after my undergrad and graduated with a 3.9 (not sure if this will help or if it's even relevant).
4) Post college EC: I was heavily involved with a micro-finance organization called Wokai as well as a pro bono consulting non-profit called The Taproot Foundation.
5) Certifications: CPA, Certified Info Sys Auditor (CISA) and Real Estate Brokers License
6) Schools: Penn, Columbia, NYU, Booth, MIT, UCLA
7) PostMBA Career: Corporate Development in a large Gaming firm or Tech focused VC / PE shop

Apologies for the brevity of my responses. Typed this up pretty quickly. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Stacy Blackman Representative
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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1443
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Re: Engineering to Finance (iBanking) - Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2011, 18:02
Expert's post
Hi liupatrick68,

Thanks for posting. Hope the following is of help.

You do have a strong candidacy. Regarding your GPA, I recommend you read this case study of a candidate with a sub 3.0 GPA who was accepted into Columbia and Chicago Booth. Particularly given what happened to you, this will be relevant:

http://www.stacyblackman.com/comprehens ... ies/case5/

Although you have not taken the GMAT yet, make sure to focus on your prep. We normally recommend 2-3 months of studying. Aim to score a 700 at a minimum. For Chicago Booth The Class of 2008 had an average GMAT of 703, with 80% of the class scoring between 640 and 760.

One question an admissions team is going to be looking for an answer to is, "Why business school?" They are particularly going to be looking for an answer because you already have a CPA. Make sure to have a clear answer for this.

Are you interested of the schools you listed in particular?

Hope this was of help.

Cheers,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
_________________

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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 19 Jul 2011
Posts: 24
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
WE: Investment Banking (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Re: Engineering to Finance (iBanking) - Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2011, 19:35
Hi Conrad,

Yes, that was very helpful. I appreciate your quick feedback.

The story behind my CPA is that, I was an engineering major, with little to no knowledge in finance or accounting, but I've always had an interest for both technology and business. After working in IT Auditing for a while I realized that it wasn’t a challenging / intriguing enough career path for me. I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in finance with a focus in the technology sector, but I knew it wasn’t going to be as easy. It was obvious I had gaps to fill, so I decided to go the accounting route because in my mind it was the “stepping stone” towards finance. I managed to network my way into a Corporate Accounting job and realized that getting a CPA would prove to investment banks that I would be an ideal candidate with both an analytical engineering background and a CPA. I also wanted to prove that I was a quick learner, because I got my CPA in less than 10 months.

Long story short, I obtained my CPA to break into iBanking and now I’d like to take it to the next level by getting my MBA.

I consider myself “unique” in the sense that it is close to impossible to break into iBanking unless you it's directly out of undergrad, MBA, or you've had a related finance background such as restructuring. Not sure if you agree or if you’ve experienced any story similar to mine, but would love to hear about it if you have.

I guess I haven’t really answered your question about “Why business School”? In all honesty, I think I’m still trying to figure this out… In my mind, I kind of feel like I’m a jack of all trades master of none because I’ve hopped around so many different jobs. I feel like going to business school will help solidify all I’ve learned over the years and hopefully provide me some inspiration as to what I want to do for the rest of my life. I know this sounds weird because most people think you should go into bschool knowing what you want to get out of it, but I kind of feel like I need to go to bschool to figure out what I want to do for the rest life. Sorry if it’s a little too philosophical, but like I said, I’m still trying to pin-point the exact reason of “Why business school?” And I think over the years I’ve gotten closer and closer to an exact reason, but I’m probably not quite there yet… I think I will know for certain as my tenure here at this investment bank gets closer to maturity... Hopefully this all makes sense… :-D
Expert Post
Stacy Blackman Representative
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Re: Engineering to Finance (iBanking) - Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2011, 12:13
Expert's post
Hi liupatrick68,

Thanks for responding. I certainly can see how challenging receiving a CPA and breaking into the investment banking industry can be (outside of undergrad and MBA programs). Congrats on everything you have accomplished in your career thus far.

The reason it is important to identify your goals for business schools is because different opportunities will arise based on the school you attend. As an example, your experience post-grad from a university such as Haas may be very different than in Columbia. If you are interested in technology, than a school such as UCLA may not be the best fit. This is not to say you will not build a strong network, or that companies will not recruit from the program, but if you do speak to the career center and see which companies recruit, you will see a difference in the careers that graduates pursue. Inevitably, a large percentage of graduates from NYU and Columbia work on Wall Street post-graduation given the programs and proximity, and it is important to know if your goals align with this.

Fortunately for schools such as Columbia and NYU, the tech scenes in NYC are growing (although still not as prominent as Northern California), so more tech opportunities are arising for business school graduates.

Hope this was of help.

Cheers,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

Expert Post
Stacy Blackman Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1443
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 27

Kudos [?]: 73 [0], given: 0

Re: Engineering to Finance (iBanking) - Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2011, 12:14
Expert's post
Hi liupatrick68,

Thanks for responding. I certainly can see how challenging receiving a CPA and breaking into the investment banking industry can be (outside of undergrad and MBA programs). Congrats on everything you have accomplished in your career thus far.

The reason it is important to identify your goals for business schools is because different opportunities will arise based on the school you attend. As an example, your experience post-grad from a university such as Haas may be very different than in Columbia. If you are interested in technology, than a school such as UCLA may not be the best fit. This is not to say you will not build a strong network, or that companies will not recruit from the program, but if you do speak to the career center and see which companies recruit, you will see a difference in the careers that graduates pursue. Inevitably, a large percentage of graduates from NYU and Columbia work on Wall Street post-graduation given the programs and proximity, and it is important to know if your goals align with this.

Fortunately for schools such as Columbia and NYU, the tech scenes in NYC are growing (although still not as prominent as Northern California), so more tech opportunities are arising for business school graduates.

Hope this was of help.

Cheers,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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