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Hi Guys - your opinions are much appreciated

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 10
Concentration: Economics, Strategy
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V46
GPA: 4
WE: Business Development (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 1

Hi Guys - your opinions are much appreciated [#permalink] New post 14 May 2012, 22:02
First post - and I decided I'd firstly see how far my profile can take me. Here it is:

Background
I was born and brought up in the UK, to Moroccan parents. Very much in touch with both British and Moroccan culture. I am [almost] trilingual in Arabic, French and English, with knowledge of a local language, Tamazight (spoken by around 4million people in and around the Atlas Mountain region).

Academics
Did a Mathematics degree at King's College, London. The GPA translates to a 3.5-3.6, I believe.
GMAT: 760.

Experience
I graduated in 2009, and I decided that London was not going to be kind to me on the job front. I thus decided to work in Dubai for an emerging markets focused bank working for and on behalf of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. I went through the following functions in my time there:
1. Credit Risk (9 months) - Managed the risk of a portfolio of African and Middle Eastern Financial Institution Clients. Witnessed quite a few interesting moments (for instance, frantically cutting off lines after receiving the news that the Central Bank of Nigeria had nationalised five banks in a major fraud case), and all in all helped to ensure we extended credit to institutions that others would not dare to touch!
2. Relationship Management (5 months) - Assissted the Relationship Manager to maintain and solidfy relationships with North African Clients, particularly in Morocco and Algeria. I was also part of a landmark deal that helped us achieve clearing bank status when Nasdaq first set up shop in Dubai. I had the privelige of taking part in some fact finding missions in Casablanca and Tripoli (this was prior to any disruption in the Middle East).
3. FX, Rates and Commodities Structuring (14 months) - The fun part. Here, I was responsible for pricing and idea generation of hedges for African, Pakistani and Middle Eastern Corporates. I had the pleasure of pricing and helping execute trades for a major Saudi Dairy company, pitching White Sugar hedges for a Kenyan Brewery and presenting simple Interest Rate hedges for a Jordanian pharmaceutical amongst others. I also educated some of our clients on a range of FX hedging topics (I even had the pleasure of meeting members of the Central Bank of Egypt and discussing Non-Deliverable Forwards). I also helped pitch and create a new "FX-Swap Implied Interest Rate Fixing". Whilst the idea was not new, I worked with the Swaps desk to pitch this for gulf currencies (UAE Dirham, Saudi Riyal etc.) when the political situation became hairy, to help protect our clients.

In amongst this, I had extensive training in Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai (totalling 3 months worth of training), and I have covered for various desks in Singapore (a total of 5 weeks) and Doha (a total of 3 weeks). I've also visited clients in Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar.

I then moved to New York in November, to work in Business and Development Strategy for the group's Americas piece. I am so far working on the following:

1. Leading a team comprising Operations, Compliance, Legal and Sales to formulate a Dodd-Frank (derivatives legislation introduced by the Obama administration) compliant onboarding process.
2. Writing strategy papers on which businesses to target in North America, and how to consolidate our positioning in South America.
3. Tracking risk weighted asset effeciency and ensuring return on risk weighted assets remain above our target threshold.

So far, I have been very lucky to come across a very easy going boss who is very happy for me to take the lead and run with things as I see fit.

EC's
I don't consider this as much an "EC" in the vernacular sense. My family owns 3 hectares of land on which grows the Argana tree. The nut that the tree bears fruit is used to produce Argan Oil. The land was unused, so I decided to put it to good use and started an Argan Oil business. With some investment I bought all the required machinery and I've employed a good portion of the local youth population there. It is a profit making venture, but I have reinvested every penny back into the community. We've built a protective wall around some of the most dangerous parts of the mountain roads, and we're currently in the process of renovating the local football team's pitch. Hopefully there'll be more to come, and I would absolutely love this project to set an example of empowering local communities in Morocco to improve their quality of life.

I have also been involved extensively in charitable projects in Dubai; I was a volunteer for "adopt-a-camp". Any of you in the UK would have seen some of the truly squalid conditions that some of the Dubai workers live in. We help to provide some basic amenities to those at the camps we can access, and we also provide food and water in the month of Ramadan.

Finally, a little venture (which perhaps doesn't fit directly into the current thread) is a small real estate investment trust myself and some colleagues created from the proceeds we created in fund's investments. Our maiden project is just underway - we're rennovating a 3-bedroom house in NJ, hopefully to sell off at 3 times the buying value.

My Aim
I strongly believe in the empowerment of all those in unfortunate or mal-informed positions. In the long run, I hope to use my Structuring and Relationship management skills to set up a Commodity Trade Adviser business for African businesses - where I would offer impartial advice on risk management. I also want to try to set up a charity in which Morocco's best and brightest students are offered a scholarship to study at the finest institutions in the UK, US or France, where they would then return to Morocco and offer their skills to in turn empower others. In the short term, I want to return to the Commodities fore as a Structurer and work my way into a management position.

Some of my misgivings
- Not sure if any US schools would know much about the bank I work for (it is a FTSE 100 company, you might probably be able to guess which it is). I'm not sure if that might hold against me.
- GPA is not the greatest in the world.


Where I would love to attend
1. Wharton
2. Chicago
3. Yale
4. Cornell
5. Columbia


Thank you all - apologies for the almighty posting!
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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 10
Concentration: Economics, Strategy
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V46
GPA: 4
WE: Business Development (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 1

Re: Hi Guys - your opinions are much appreciated [#permalink] New post 16 May 2012, 10:11
Could anyone provide some insight?

Much appreciated.
1 KUDOS received
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Re: Hi Guys - your opinions are much appreciated [#permalink] New post 16 May 2012, 17:25
1
This post received
KUDOS
Hello,

Sorry for delay in reply.

I strongly believe that you are a perfect candidate for the schools mentioned.

Comments on your concerns

1) GPA - Do not worry much about GPA, you have strong GMAT that proves your academic excellence. If you can find our how you performed in comparison to your peer classmates e.g. were you among top 10% or top 5% of the class etc., mention it in your application.

2) Bank (you are working for not known to adcom) - Do not worry at allll, you can mention a brief one liner with the name of your bank in your essays and CV (e.g. XYZ bank listed at ABC exchange with XXXX branches and XXXXX employees, the bank ranks no X in XXXX) , and you will be fine. The admission officers review applications flowing in from across world, so they are bound to come across names they might not have heard.

I would suggest you to highlight below mentioned points

1) Diverse experience across regions (helps you to exhibit flexibility in dealing with people)
2) Your leadership - both at work and at your EC ( believe me you have such a great story for your EC )
3) I would suggest you to work on your goals - short term and long term (your goals must be very clear, you have mentioned your goals, but i still believe that you can work on the same more)

For any other help, feel free to revert. If you need help in crafting your story, I will be happy to help. Please refer my signature thread for the free essay review services.

all the best
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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 10
Concentration: Economics, Strategy
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V46
GPA: 4
WE: Business Development (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 1

Re: Hi Guys - your opinions are much appreciated [#permalink] New post 16 May 2012, 21:40
Thanks a lot for your response; you've put me at ease about some of my concerns.

I agree that the details of my goals need to be worked on a bit more. What pointers would you give about communicating a strong set of ambitions?
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Joined: 18 Jan 2012
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Kudos [?]: 55 [0], given: 11

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Re: Hi Guys - your opinions are much appreciated [#permalink] New post 19 May 2012, 20:49
HTale wrote:
Thanks a lot for your response; you've put me at ease about some of my concerns.

I agree that the details of my goals need to be worked on a bit more. What pointers would you give about communicating a strong set of ambitions?


Hello,

I like this question :)

Pointers for ambitions :

1) Your essays about your goals must scream of your passion for the same.
2) Your concrete actions to achieve your ambitions (e.g. if you took some special course to improve a specific skill set that helped you to achieve your ambition/goal)
3) If any sacrifices given by you to achieve your ambition

there could be many more depending on your story :)

Hope this helps
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Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 82
Detail: MBA admissions help
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 2000
GMAT 1: Q V
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

Re: Hi Guys - your opinions are much appreciated [#permalink] New post 22 May 2012, 05:05
Hi HTale,
I agree with most of the advice that's already been given. Of the schools you mention, however, which ones are your top? There seems to be a pretty decent spread among them, so I was curious. Also, is there a reason you're not applying to Stanford, HBS, or Kellogg? Your credentials seem pretty strong, so I wondered if there was a reason for that.

IMO, your GPA is solid. Not a big concern. Strong program, and good (quant) major. Any concern here is offset by your quant work history and solid GMAT score.

Your focus needs to be your focus. There's something about the trajectory of your work and ECs that is difficult to follow. Prbly b/c you've done so much! Just make sure there's a "story" to what you've done and where you're going. The numbers are in-line. It's the storytelling that will get you in.
_________________

http://www.TheFirstRead.com
Former Kellogg adcom member, offering a new approach to MBA Admissions Consulting.

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 10
Concentration: Economics, Strategy
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V46
GPA: 4
WE: Business Development (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 1

Re: Hi Guys - your opinions are much appreciated [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2012, 18:23
Youngjames wrote:
Hi HTale,
I agree with most of the advice that's already been given. Of the schools you mention, however, which ones are your top? There seems to be a pretty decent spread among them, so I was curious. Also, is there a reason you're not applying to Stanford, HBS, or Kellogg? Your credentials seem pretty strong, so I wondered if there was a reason for that.

IMO, your GPA is solid. Not a big concern. Strong program, and good (quant) major. Any concern here is offset by your quant work history and solid GMAT score.

Your focus needs to be your focus. There's something about the trajectory of your work and ECs that is difficult to follow. Prbly b/c you've done so much! Just make sure there's a "story" to what you've done and where you're going. The numbers are in-line. It's the storytelling that will get you in.


Hi Youngjames,

Thanks for your response. To be honest, I never gave Stanford or HBS much thought, but on consideration I think I will give HBS a shot. My real focus is on Wharton and Chicago. I have a pre-conceived notion that Kellog is a fantastic school, but that Chicago edges it in terms of the number of finance placements. As an alum, you'll be in the best possible position to either confirm or dispel that misgiving. :)
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Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 82
Detail: MBA admissions help
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 2000
GMAT 1: Q V
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

Re: Hi Guys - your opinions are much appreciated [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2012, 11:45
Hi HTale,
I think your perceptions are still accurate re: Chicago v. Kellogg. Personally, I think both programs are very strong on quant and financial courses. Kellogg has made a strong focused, and concerted effort to improve in this area. And I think even the new dean is a former Finance prof, which goes to show you how seriously they take it. The reality, however, is that among recruiters, there's still a perception that Kellogg is where you go for mktg and gen mgmt students, but chicago is where you go for finance and acctg candds. I actually went to chicago as an undergrad, so consider myself pretty unbiased about it. But I think that remains the perception.

Hope that's useful,
-james young
_________________

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Former Kellogg adcom member, offering a new approach to MBA Admissions Consulting.

Re: Hi Guys - your opinions are much appreciated   [#permalink] 02 Jun 2012, 11:45
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