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Hi Paul, Profile Evaluation Please!

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Hi Paul, Profile Evaluation Please! [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2011, 16:32
Hi Paul,

I am a 24 year-old male applying this upcoming Fall in R1 for Fall 2012 matriculation. I have a couple of questions:
-I'm planning on applying to top schools...what are my chances?
-Does the fact that I'm a Canadian/non-American help or hurt me?
-How can I improve my chances? What areas should I improve on?
-What are my strengths?
-How do I "fit" with my Target Schools?

Here is my profile:

Demographics
Nationality: Canadian, Caucasian
Ethnicity: Italian
Son of an immigrant father, immigrant grandparents.
Male, 25 years-old at matriculation
Languages: English (native), French (fluent), Italian (professional working knowledge), Spanish (the basics)
Studied the Italian Language in Florence, Italy in summer 2009 with McGill University - 6 credit course.
I am an English-speaking Canadian living in a very multicultural and very bilingual (French and English) Canadian city and majority French-speaking Canadian Province.

Education
Undergrad: Concordia University's John Molson School of Business, Bachelor of Commerce. Major in Management, Minor in Marketing - Fall 2009
Founder and President: Concordia Italian Students Association
Conceptualized, founded the Concordia Italian Student Association (drafted constitution, collected signatures for petition of support, achieved official student club status).
Coordinated and executed events that initiated interest and spirit amongst Concordia University’s Italian community.
Recruited students on a consistent basis using a variety of strategies such as promotion, external marketing, outreach.
Liaised with the Concordia Student Union’s Vice-President of Clubs regarding grants, funding and space allocation.
President: A mainstream political party's 'University' Chapter
Attended: Sports Marketing Conference, November 2008, featuring prominent and distinguished guests from Canada's Sports Industry
Awarded: Best New University Club - Concordia Italian Students Association
Voted by the students of Concordia University and by members of the Student Union
Awarded: Most Dedicated Club Executive Member - Concordia Italian Students Association
Voted by the students of Concordia University and by members of the Student Union
Organized and Hosted: Italian Day @ Concordia University

I loved getting myself involved with student-run organizations at school, but that was not always the case. My first few years in University were boring; I wasn't performing very well and I did little to integrate myself into its Student Body. That all changed one year; I started an Association, was President of another, started attending Student-run activities, and my grades got better. I would LOVE to be involved in Student-run activities once I'm in Graduate School!

GPA: 2.99
Performed poorly in Accounting and Finance classes. Performed well in Management and Marketing classes.
Can the fact that I currently work in the Finance/Banking industry offset my poor results in Finance and Accounting at School?

Work Experience
Personal Banking Officer - Major Canadian Bank (Spring 2010 - Present)
Managed the needs of clients by acting as their Banking Advisor.
Maintained a level of professionalism consistent with the banking environment.
Provided solutions to day-to-day financial needs and inquiries of clients.
Acted as ‘Ambassador’ of a Nation-wide savings campaign for our branch
License: Wrote and Passed 'Investment Funds in Canada' exam, received license to sell Mutual Funds in Canada
Workplace Committee: Currently holds position on our branch "Excellence Committee", meeting regularly with fellow employees to find ways to ensure excellent Customer Service.
By September 2012, I will have exactly 26 months worth of work experience in this particular position.

Customer Service Representative - Major Canadian Bank (Fall 2009 - Spring 2010)
Performed monetary transactions as requested by clients in a timely fashion.
Demonstrated ability to deal with high-volume work at one of the busiest branches.
Informed clients of our products so as to allow for excellent customer service.
Developed problem-solving skills in dealing with difficult clients.

GMAT: 640 - 75th percentile
Q: 42
V: 35

AWA: 5.5

Leadership and Volunteer Activities
Member of the Board of Directors - Cible: retour à l’emploi, Target: back to work, Montreal (September 2010 - Present)
Non-profit organization located in working-class area of town, funded by the Provincial Government aimed at helping the unemployed return to the job market.
Focus includes determining how to most effectively use government funds to stimulate and encourage employment.

Youth Representative - Italian-Canadian National Congress, Montreal (May 2009-Present)
Recruited by the Congress as Youth Representative for the Province of Quebec.
Planned and organized events relating to the Italian-Canadians in Province of Quebec.
Member of the Board of Directors and attend meetings once per month.

Founder and President - Youth Wing of the Italian-Canadian National Congress (December 2010 - Present)

Awards
Entrepreneur of the Year - Student Stock Exchange, Spring 2004
Acted as Chief Executive Officer, oversaw the creation of a student-built company and executed the selling of company shares on the trading floor at school. Established an executive committee, marketed the company, produced and sold product at the educational institution. Competed against student-run companies from across the city of Montreal. This was a High-School competition but is one that affected me very positively.

Global Experience
Traveled and studied abroad. As I mentioned earlier, I studied the Italian Language in Italy during summer 2009. I consider myself an extremely worldly person. Expert in Geography. Have visited the United States on countless occasions, France, Italy, Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Netherland Antilles.

Target Schools: I love studying in an urban environment. I hope to eventually work and live in the city I study in. I'm looking for schools that offer strong Management, Marketing or Entrepreneurial Programs.
1) UCLA - Anderson
2) USC - Marshall
3) University of Texas at Austin - McCombs
4) UCI - Merage
5) Georgetown - McDonough
6) Vanderbilt - Owen
7) University of Maryland - Smith

Other slightly possible candidates
Emory
Duke
UNC
Boston College
Stanford

Goals
I guess you can say that I didn't really chose my current career; rather, it chose me! What I mean by that is that I was working at the Bank part-time while in school. After I had graduated, a promotion opportunity was presented to me right off the bat. Despite the fact that the position had little to do with what I studied (Management and Marketing), I liked the idea of engaging people on a daily basis; I consider myself a very charismatic and sociable "people person" the idea of being a Personal Banking Officer didn't seem to foreign to me.

My passions include Marketing and Management but, to be quiet honest, I have the entrepreneurial spirit in me and I would love to run a company in the travel/transportation industry. I don't know how I can elaborate on that, or where I can go from there. How specific do I need to be when stating my post-MBA goals?

Thank you!
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Re: Hi Paul, Profile Evaluation Please! [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2011, 11:36
Expert's post
Hi there, thanks for reaching out. We are working with a client right now with a similar profile and I think what we are learning from that experience is that you have to really be in the business of "pushing" the narrative. What I mean is that you can't just lay out your life and experiences and have an adcom come to you and interpret why that adds up to an MBA. It's going to be about extracting thematic strengths and personal experiences/perspectives from your resume and then forwarding them as proof of your ability to thrive in business school and beyond.

Examples:

- Don't just talk about personal banking. Talk about how working in that field has put you on the front lines for dealing with the economic crisis across the globe, how it has shaped your perspective (one that you will bring with you to the classroom and to group projects) that isn't at a remove or based on broad-based studies, how it has made you resilient and a team player and a leader.

- Don't just list those EC activities. Talk about how they were transformative. How you found your voice and how passion. How your learned that true leadership is only possible through a place of empathy and team building. How you developed innovative thinking and problem solving skills. How you made impacts on each organization.

That's the kind of work that you will need to perform. Because if I'm being honest, your profile is too disposable at first blush - you give the admissions officer too many outs. Your GPA is less than ideal (although not prohibitive), your GMAT is a bit low (I would recommend trying to get it up at least 30 points), and your work experience is underdeveloped. You've been involved and you seem to have a great spirit about you, but unless *that* becomes the story, you will get swept aside, even at programs that are not top 10. But if you can bring that spirit front and center, and show value and the appropriateness of the degree for your aims, you can win the day.

It will seem daunting at times and it won't be an easy task, but if you commit to perfect applications, I think you can find success.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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Re: Hi Paul, Profile Evaluation Please! [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2011, 18:12
Hi Paul,

Thanks, I appreciate the honesty. Looking at my profile, would you say that my application is inherently handicapped because of deficiencies in certain areas? Or would improving the way I "present my case" help matters? I'm actually in the process and studying for the GMAT again as I plan to be rewriting it this spring...aiming for 700+.

I want my application to stand out...I want schools to WANT me.

Am I screwed?
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Re: Hi Paul, Profile Evaluation Please! [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2011, 21:02
Expert's post
No, you're not screwed, especially if you can get your GMAT above 670 or so. But the pressure is on to present your case. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but with a 670, we (or another elite consultant) could get you into a strong program. Without assistance, you will probably have a harder time. I'm not in a position to say whether that reality is a good thing or not, but applying to MBA programs without a vetted consultant - especially when you don't have a completely flawless profile - has become a little like running for office without a campaign manager. I'm totally aware that it's a self-serving statement, but given how many reapplicants we work with, I think it's also a true statement.

So it's a good news, bad news thing. You're not screwed, but you are probably looking at a bit of a financial investment in this process.

How's that for honesty, ha.

Seriously though, good luck to you.

-PL
_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

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