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maverick2011's Profile and School Selection

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Joined: 27 Feb 2008
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Schools: Kellogg Class of 2011
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maverick2011's Profile and School Selection [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 06:19
Brief profile: I grew up in a small rural town in the South, attended community college for a year, and transferred to a large public in-state school where I graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Since graduating, I have worked at 2 different companies within the power industry as a mechanical engineer. I plan to pursue an MBA in order to change careers to Investment Banking. My short-term goal is to work for a bulge-bracket investment bank, ideally covering the power/energy sector. Long-term, after 3-5 years at an I-Bank (VP level), I would like reenter industry and work for a power/energy company, helping them to expand into “green” businesses. I will be applying to 4 to 6 programs this fall for admittance in fall 2009. The number of schools really depends on the willingness of my recommenders since I plan to only have 2.

Program: MBA-FT
Area of interest in MBA: Finance
GMAT: 700 (92%ile), Q: 48 (85%ile), V: 38 (84%ile), AWA: 5.5 (83%ile)
GPA: 3.88 overall (3.85 when 44 hours of community college transfer credit are factored in)
UG: BS in Mechanical Engineering from a top-tier engineering school. It’s a relatively well-known state school in the US News Top 100.

Work experience:
- 4.5 years as a mechanical engineer in the power industry at matriculation.
- First company - 2.5 years experience as an engineer, very well-known and respected Fortune 500 company. I was employed in the power division of this company. Although I was never in a managerial role, I led several high-profile projects. Also, no one directly reported to me, but I was responsible for coordinating several people in order to successfully complete the projects. Most of my stories will come from this job experience. I left to pursue a different opportunity within the same industry.
- Second company – 2 years experience as an engineer, relatively young Fortune 500 company also within the power industry. I had similar responsibilities as the first job, but not quite as much leadership. I received one promotion, which was on schedule for a typical engineering career path.
- I plan to get a solid recommendation from a supervisor at each company.

Nationality: US (Caucasian)
Age: 26 (27 at matriculation)
Gender: Male
Extra-curricular/community:
- In college, my main EC activity was intramural sports (flag football, basketball, and softball). I was also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (no positions held).
- While at the first company, I participated in the company’s volunteer organization where I helped organize fund raising events (no positions held). I also played on the company softball team.
- While at the second company, I became involved in a local volunteer organization where I tutor GED students. I have since taken a project leadership role within this organization where I am responsible for the tutoring program. I am also a member of the Volunteer Council Board, which makes decisions on the direction of the organization. I plan to stay active in this until I matriculate. I also participate in Alumni Association events, but I hold no positions in that organization.
- Non-community activities – I stay pretty active: mountain and road biking, golfing, amateur auto racing (not currently active)

Schools I am currently planning to apply to:
1. Wharton R1 – reach
2. Chicago R1 – reach/target
3. Kellogg R1 – reach/target
4. Darden R1/R2 – target/safety
5. Fuqua R2 – target/safety
6. NYU R2 – reach/target (only apply if able to apply to 6 schools)

What do you guys think of my chances at those schools? Any other suggestions on school selection? Also, I am not 100% that is my final list. Other considerations:

1. Drop Kellogg for R1 and replace with Columbia ED.
2. Replace Fuqua with UCLA or Cornell.

Thanks in advance.
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Schools: Wharton, LBS, UChicago, Kellogg MMM (Donald Jacobs Scholarship), Stanford, HBS
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Re: maverick2011's Profile and School Selection [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 07:04
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Maverick,

applying to Kellogg with a finance goal could be a very smart move, as others pointed out in another thread. There is plenty of evidence that the Kellogg finance faculty and students are on par with other UE schools, and you would be an underdog in the admission process, since many of the applicants will share a career goal in marketing/GM (myself among them).

On the other hand, since you did not offer evidence as for why Columbia should be your #1 choice, I advice not to apply to ED there, since you are clearly competitive in the other UEs.

I think Wharton is a target, not a reach, for you.

Good luck!
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Joined: 11 Mar 2008
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Schools: Chicago (dinged), Tuck (November), Columbia (RD)
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Re: maverick2011's Profile and School Selection [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 09:39
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maverick2011 wrote:
1. Drop Kellogg for R1 and replace with Columbia ED.
2. Replace Fuqua with UCLA or Cornell.



I think both of these are excellent ideas.
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Re: maverick2011's Profile and School Selection [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 12:05
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I would keep Kellogg for a few reasons. 1) during the downturn in banking competition at traditional finance schools will be much fiercer. I would bet money far more people coming from bulge bracket banks go to Columbia than Kellogg. So as a career switcher all the banks will be recruiting there but some might be career switchers might decide against attempting IB and will go with MC or some other roll in GM or Marketing. 2) Kellogg is putting a lot into their energy stuff lately. Talking with some other folks it seems to be a growing interest at the school, more companies are recruiting for it or talking to students about jobs. I must say that as a person targeting energy after finishing school, Kellogg was the school that impressed me the most for that field.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Re: maverick2011's Profile and School Selection [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 13:58
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riverripper wrote:
I would keep Kellogg for a few reasons. 1) during the downturn in banking competition at traditional finance schools will be much fiercer. I would bet money far more people coming from bulge bracket banks go to Columbia than Kellogg. So as a career switcher all the banks will be recruiting there but some might be career switchers might decide against attempting IB and will go with MC or some other roll in GM or Marketing. 2) Kellogg is putting a lot into their energy stuff lately. Talking with some other folks it seems to be a growing interest at the school, more companies are recruiting for it or talking to students about jobs. I must say that as a person targeting energy after finishing school, Kellogg was the school that impressed me the most for that field.


Yeah but on the flip side when banks start cutting back from recruiting they cut way less from their core schools like Columbia than they do from less core schools like Kellogg. I say less core because Kellogg is still a core school and all the big banks recruit there, but when they start making cutbacks they're going to cut offers from Kellogg before they cut from Columbia, IMO. These banks do not want to hurt their relationships with the big finance schools like Columbia, Chicago and Wharton because they are such heavy feeders into the big banks associate programs.

Maverick -

Kellogg is a great school so I'm not going to reccomend cutting it. But I do think that Columbia ED is a great option for your career goals and you should give that option serious consideration. Have you visited the campus? You'll want to be confident you really like the place before putting in an ED app.

Duke, Darden, Cornell and UCLA are all great options for target/safety schools and they all have similar rank/reputation. I would just pick the 2 that are the best fit for you.
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Re: maverick2011's Profile and School Selection [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 15:16
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I really like your choice of schools for your goals. It is a good mix from an admissions perspective and culture perspective and will allow you to feel out things a bit through the process (we are all more informed at the end than the beginning and am a big proponent of diversity in the schools applied to).

As for your story and application - engineering to banking to industry is a lot of big switches - you are going to want to take great care in crafting how it all fits together (I think the banking to industry jump will be toughest to merge consistently into your app, as you already need to spend time on going from enigineering to banking via MBA). The question of "why banking" vs. Energy compsny corp finance, or energy consulting, etc. Comes to mind. Easier to explain in an hour interview than in 200-500 words.

My advice is to use energy as the unifying theme. It will be more compelling given passion for the industry. When mentioning ibanking/finance, be very specific why that job (and the MBA in giving you specific skills) will help you to achieve your goal in the energy industry.
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Re: maverick2011's Profile and School Selection [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2008, 04:35
Thanks all for the opinions and insights...definitely some food for thought! I'll try to keep everyone updated as I make my final decisions.
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Re: maverick2011's Profile and School Selection [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2008, 18:48
I tend to believe you should play your strongest hand. And honestly Mav, saying you will be returning to the energy industry would be the most convincing career move. Energy is a rapidly growing area, they are increasing MBA hiring and they really like prior work experience in some areas. There are few applicants coming out of it, so saying you want to return even if you dont definitely will improve your odds. Not doing a total career switch is always more convincing, especially in the current economic situation where IB is taking a huge hit. One important factor for schools is employability when you graduate...they want happy grads so they want you to reach your career goals. The more "realistic" your goals the easier it is to get in.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Joined: 03 Jun 2007
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Location: SF, CA, USA
Schools: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA 2010
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Re: maverick2011's Profile and School Selection [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2008, 15:54
for your short term goals, Haas is probably not a top school for you (though I'm looking for IB people to talk to terp06, so if you're interested in Haas at all, I can try to get them to help you answer some questions). But long term in the power/energy/green business, you might want to consider Haas in R2 or a late R1 app (they're due November 4th for R1, one of the latest R1 deadlines).

Otherwise, I would drop Fuqua and Darden for UCLA (R1 as a "safety" and you may find out before Xmas, reducing lots of nervousness) and Columbia RD.

BTW, if you get into Columbia, you can always go for the Berkeley-Columbia exchange program and get some green energy focus that way. :)
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Re: maverick2011's Profile and School Selection   [#permalink] 25 Jul 2008, 15:54
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