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There are many benefits to timing your practice, including:
+26 yr old white male...born raised schooled and work in Pacific Northwest
+710 GMAT (taken twice: best V=45, best Q=46...I believe Tuck takes the best individual scores if you've taken it more than once)
+3.65 with double major in undergrad (Finance & Economics): Small Private University (well known regionally, but a no-name to anyone else)
+Played varsity baseball in college, helped run the student investment fund and was a "Certified" academic tutor (got paid to tutor other students in econ and accounting)
+3-plus yrs experience in investment research/analysis at a well-known investment management/mutual fund firm in a unique niche within the industry (while it falls under the general label of "finance," I was actually given an extraordinary view into the buy-side and got to work with some REALLY bright people). Specifically, I work with this firms' hedge fund of funds team analyzing hedge fund managers.
+Authored research notes on capital markets and hedge fund performance.
+Led efforts to innovate how we view/analyze equity factor exposures (in layman's terms, uncompensated risk) in our hedge fund-of-fund portfolios.
+Teach basic "Stocks 101" class to middle school students with Junior Achievement
+Serve on Events Committee of Non-Profit focusing on children's literacy in the Seattle area.
My kicker at Tuck was the interview, which I did in early November. If you want to get in to Tuck and you don't live in Fiji, you should make every effort to do the self-initiated interview and visit. Interviewing with a totally chill 2nd yr student, I spoke about how difficult it will be to leave the close-knit team of junior analysts at my firm when I go back to school (it will) and I was incredibly relaxed the whole time. I kept in touch with my interviewer (for essay advice) and he gave me his buddy's e-mail to give me some insights into the Tuck Investment Club. When I spoke with his friend on the phone, the friend told me, unsolicited, that I had done well in the interview. At that point (before my app was finished) I knew I had a shot. When they called yesterday, they mentioned again that I left the interviewer with a great impression and they are excited for me to come to Tuck.
I am still completely flattered and completely satisfied with my effort. I put some serious time into the GMAT and the apps, and this is sweet vindication.
If anyone has any further questions about Tuck or my experience, please let me know.
You've from now to about August to party. Don't miss this chance of a lifetime! Quit your job ASAP and enjoy leisure for the last time in many years to come (at least until you repay your B-school credit).