Hi guys, I have come to the conclusion that business school is the best way to saving my career at this point. I would like your advice on whether to spotlight,mention, or completely ignore my CPA and passing of CFA level 3 on my grad school apps, as well as a simple profile evaluation. (I am targetting Duke, UVA, Cornell, my dream school is Columbia and Wharton, but I don't think I have a chance based on my work experience)
I am fully bilingual in Chinese and would like to become a porfolio manager specializing in Asian equities, or a head of finance for a multional firm such as Google, Toyota.
26 years old, male
720 GMAT - 47 Q, 42 V
2008 grad from top-2 public school on the West coast - 3.43 GPA
U.S. citizen Immigrated to the US at age of 15, speak/read/write English and Chinese with equal mastery.
CPA licensed, pass June 2011 CFA level 3
I worked 2 years at a small business management firm in LA right out of college. The firm serves as financial nannies for Hollywood moguls, from Russell Crowe, Sam Worthington...to JJ Abrams. We do things from paying bills, depositing checks, to financial statement compilation, investment porfolio summary, legal filings, royalty tracking, expense budgeting...
The firm had no mobility and I thought I needed more GAAP reporting and human, inter-departmental interaction, so I became a staff accountant for a movie theatre company, and have been there since.
I know the CFA 1 is not worth mentioning at all on applications, but what about CPA+CFA 3? Is my background interesting enough for my target schools? Or am I shortchanging myself and I'm actually good enough for top-10 schools?
I also have a suspicion that my lack of opportunities in investment management jobs has to do more with my geographic location than anything else. Is my problem (want an analyst job) easily solved by moving to NY or Boston, where the CFA is more valued?
Thanks to all who reply. Merry Christmas to you all!
I wouldn't say you're short-changing yourself. Sounds to me like your evaluation of yourself is spot-on. Competitive at Johnson, Dardan, and Fuqua. Reach at the Top-10s. Work experience seems average but not weak. I think if you present it right you should be good. Not that I'm an expert or anything as i'm going through the same process, lol.
I've heard over and over that CFA and CPA never really help unless maybe you're using it to overcome a low GPA or Quant GMAT. So I don't think that's going to help you, sir.
It's better to be lucky than to be good.