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Need advice on how to improve application for class of 2017

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Need advice on how to improve application for class of 2017 [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2014, 19:47
Hi all,

First time poster. I've been debating with myself on the value of an MBA to my career trajectory. I've decided to apply to 4 or 5 of the top schools and see which adcoms let me in.

Here's a brief summary of my profile:

White male
Immigrant from Europe
First generation college student
Will be 26 years old when matriculating
Big 10 undergrad
Graduated with degrees in finance and accounting
With honors/distinction and 3.7 GPA
Started career in sell-side research at well-regarded Midwestern investment bank
While at the bank, I learned all the prerequisite financial statement and modeling skills
On my 2-year anniversary, got promoted from junior associate to associate
After 32 months on the sell-side, moved to a the buy side as an equity analyst
10+ billion asset manager
I'm the only analyst that works on our long-only products as well as out newly seeded L/S fund
I source and research all my ideas. I speak directly to CFOs and CEOs.
Completed each level of CFA on my first try. Will get the charter in 4-months.
Will have about 2.5 years of buy side experience assuming a Fall 2015 start date

My target schools are Harvard + Stanford for all the standard reasons and as an opportunity to move outside of the Midwest for at least 2-years. I would also consider Booth, Northwestern, and Wharton, but staying in Chicago or moving to Philly is less appealing.

After grad school, my goal is to find a role as a senior analyst at a top shop, such as ValueAct or Ruane.

I'm still pretty early in the process so I have no idea I how attractive is my profile (been told good enough to try) or what score to aim for on the GMAT.

Any feedback? Advice? Criticism?

Thank you,

KB

Last edited by Karateboy on 28 Jan 2014, 10:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need advice on how to improve application for class of 2017 [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2014, 22:30
Hi there,

You have a remarkable profile. Your wok experience is really impressive. Based on our work experience and area of interest, I would suggest you to apply to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia University and Chicago Booth. Northwestern University is also good but its good more for consulting and marketing, not for finance.

As you are planning to apply for class of 2017, you have enough time to build up your profile. As you haven't mentioned much about your extra curricular, i would suggest you to participate in social activities and groups at your work, join some NGO. For GMAT, I would suggest you to target 730+. As the b schools mentioned above have average GMAT score in between 710-740.

To make your profile stronger, I would suggest you to take some professional help and get your essays reviewed before final submission to the adcom.

For essays and analysis you may visit http://bit.ly/19Y6jKu. You may also send a personal message if you want to discuss in detail about your profile and chances of getting admit to the global b schools.

Cheers!
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Re: Need advice on how to improve application for class of 2017 [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2014, 23:37
Expert's post
Karateboy wrote:
Hi all,

First time poster. I've been debating with myself on the value of an MBA to my career trajectory. I've decided to apply to 4 or 5 of the top schools and see which adcoms let me in.

Here's a brief summary of my profile:

White male
Immigrant from Europe
First generation college student
Will be 26 years old when matriculating
Big 10 undergrad
Graduated with degrees in finance and accounting
With honors/distinction and 3.7 GPA
Started career in sell-side research at well-regarded Midwestern investment bank
While at the bank, I learned all the prerequisite financial statement and modeling skills
On my 2-year anniversary, got promoted from junior associate to associate
After 32 months on the sell-side, moved to a the busy side as an equity analyst
10+ billion asset manager
I'm the only analyst that works on our long-only products as well as out newly seeded L/S fund
I source and research all my ideas. I speak directly to CFOs and CEOs.
Completed each level of CFA on my first try. Will get the charter in 4-months.
Will have about 2.5 years of buy side experience assuming a Fall 2015 start date

My target schools are Harvard + Stanford for all the standard reasons and as an opportunity to move outside of the Midwest for at least 2-years. I would also consider Booth, Northwestern, and Wharton, but staying in Chicago or moving to Philly is less appealing.

After grad school, my goal is to find a role as a senior analyst at a top shop, such as ValueAct or Ruane.

I'm still pretty early in the process so I have no idea I how attractive is my profile (been told good enough to try) or what score to aim for on the GMAT.

Any feedback? Advice? Criticism?

Thank you,

KB


Hey there KB,

Sooo first of all sweet profile dude! Looks like you have done some interesting stuff, and so far you've got an excellent trajectory in your career, in a fantastic industry with awesome grades from College.

One thing that I didn't totally get is the length of your work experience. I mean you wrote in one place that you would have 2.5 years by matriculation if you start studying in 2015, but on the other hand that you got promoted on your two year work anniversary (which gives you at least 2 years by this month, and if I do the very complex math ;) I come up with 3.5 years)… Sooooo which is it? Actually in your case it CAN make a difference. I think you have a profile which could get you into Top 10 after 2 years of experience, but with one more you will be a bit stronger.

Other than that, anything interesting in the entrepreneurship/ volunteer work / extra curricular realms?? Your career seems awesome until now, but this stuff can make a difference, and can help you fill out your profile.

Given your goals, and your profile I'd say HBS, Booth (I know, I know Chicago… :) )… Wharton makes sense for obvious reasons (although I get you about Philly) But what about Columbia? Haas? Sloan? All can work preeeeeetty darn good with your goals and experience.

Make sense??

Best,
JF
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Joined: 27 Jan 2014
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GPA: 3.71
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Re: Need advice on how to improve application for class of 2017 [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2014, 08:15
nehasingh1020 wrote:
Hi there,

You have a remarkable profile. Your wok experience is really impressive. Based on our work experience and area of interest, I would suggest you to apply to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia University and Chicago Booth. Northwestern University is also good but its good more for consulting and marketing, not for finance.

As you are planning to apply for class of 2017, you have enough time to build up your profile. As you haven't mentioned much about your extra curricular, i would suggest you to participate in social activities and groups at your work, join some NGO. For GMAT, I would suggest you to target 730+. As the b schools mentioned above have average GMAT score in between 710-740.

To make your profile stronger, I would suggest you to take some professional help and get your essays reviewed before final submission to the adcom.

For essays and analysis you may visit .... You may also send a personal message if you want to discuss in detail about your profile and chances of getting admit to the global b schools.

Cheers!


Thank you for the kind assessment of my profile!

I think that my extracurriculars could be the weakest part of my profile since dedication to my job + studying CFA took a lot of my free time.

Two things that comes to mind is that I used to be on a "special events committee" for the Young Leadership Society, which is a branch of the United Way. I helped spearhead an annual event to improve recruitment of other young professionals who care about networking with their peers and helping people improve their income, education, and health.

I also work with as an alumni mentor for with my undergrad to help students break into Wall Street. Would my adcom committee view that favorable as I demonstrate loyalty to my "network" and willingness to help others with their desired career path?
Intern
Intern
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Joined: 27 Jan 2014
Posts: 7
GPA: 3.71
WE: Asset Management (Investment Banking)
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Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: Need advice on how to improve application for class of 2017 [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2014, 08:24
JonAdmissionado wrote:
Karateboy wrote:
Hi all,

First time poster. I've been debating with myself on the value of an MBA to my career trajectory. I've decided to apply to 4 or 5 of the top schools and see which adcoms let me in.

Here's a brief summary of my profile:

White male
Immigrant from Europe
First generation college student
Will be 26 years old when matriculating
Big 10 undergrad
Graduated with degrees in finance and accounting
With honors/distinction and 3.7 GPA
Started career in sell-side research at well-regarded Midwestern investment bank
While at the bank, I learned all the prerequisite financial statement and modeling skills
On my 2-year anniversary, got promoted from junior associate to associate
After 32 months on the sell-side, moved to a the busy side as an equity analyst
10+ billion asset manager
I'm the only analyst that works on our long-only products as well as out newly seeded L/S fund
I source and research all my ideas. I speak directly to CFOs and CEOs.
Completed each level of CFA on my first try. Will get the charter in 4-months.
Will have about 2.5 years of buy side experience assuming a Fall 2015 start date

My target schools are Harvard + Stanford for all the standard reasons and as an opportunity to move outside of the Midwest for at least 2-years. I would also consider Booth, Northwestern, and Wharton, but staying in Chicago or moving to Philly is less appealing.

After grad school, my goal is to find a role as a senior analyst at a top shop, such as ValueAct or Ruane.

I'm still pretty early in the process so I have no idea I how attractive is my profile (been told good enough to try) or what score to aim for on the GMAT.

Any feedback? Advice? Criticism?

Thank you,

KB


Hey there KB,

Sooo first of all sweet profile dude! Looks like you have done some interesting stuff, and so far you've got an excellent trajectory in your career, in a fantastic industry with awesome grades from College.

One thing that I didn't totally get is the length of your work experience. I mean you wrote in one place that you would have 2.5 years by matriculation if you start studying in 2015, but on the other hand that you got promoted on your two year work anniversary (which gives you at least 2 years by this month, and if I do the very complex math ;) I come up with 3.5 years)… Sooooo which is it? Actually in your case it CAN make a difference. I think you have a profile which could get you into Top 10 after 2 years of experience, but with one more you will be a bit stronger.

Other than that, anything interesting in the entrepreneurship/ volunteer work / extra curricular realms?? Your career seems awesome until now, but this stuff can make a difference, and can help you fill out your profile.

Given your goals, and your profile I'd say HBS, Booth (I know, I know Chicago… :) )… Wharton makes sense for obvious reasons (although I get you about Philly) But what about Columbia? Haas? Sloan? All can work preeeeeetty darn good with your goals and experience.

Make sense??

Best,
JF



Hey Jon,

Thanks for taking the time!

Let me clarify
I already have 32 months of experience on the sell-side...so just under 3-years.
I also have 12 months of experience on the buy-side...AND I expect to have a about 2.5-year at the time I matriculate.

In total, I would have about 5.0-years of experience. One typo I made in the OP is that I'll be 27, not 26 upon matriculation. Makes sense?

As I wrote in the post above, I think that extracurricular could be the weakest part of my resume and I hope to beef that up over the next 9-18 months. What do you think is the most impressive thing I can do?

Do you think that a degree from Haas would add meaningfully to my career trajectory? I got the impression that as great of a school Haas, Darden, et al... are, the HF space is extremely competitive and some student still struggle to find a job. Hence, my goal of only targeting those top 4 or 5 school. Please correct me if I am misinformed.

I debate Columbia a lot. I think NY would be pretty fun place to live, great industry exposure, and I have huge respect for the Value Investor program. That said, I don't like that you need to accept Columbia's offer and THEN apply to the program. I don't know enough about Columbia to say if the school is good enough if I don't get into the program. What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Need advice on how to improve application for class of 2017 [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2014, 02:26
Expert's post
Karateboy wrote:
Hey Jon,

Thanks for taking the time!

Let me clarify
I already have 32 months of experience on the sell-side...so just under 3-years.
I also have 12 months of experience on the buy-side...AND I expect to have a about 2.5-year at the time I matriculate.

In total, I would have about 5.0-years of experience. One typo I made in the OP is that I'll be 27, not 26 upon matriculation. Makes sense?

As I wrote in the post above, I think that extracurricular could be the weakest part of my resume and I hope to beef that up over the next 9-18 months. What do you think is the most impressive thing I can do?

Do you think that a degree from Haas would add meaningfully to my career trajectory? I got the impression that as great of a school Haas, Darden, et al... are, the HF space is extremely competitive and some student still struggle to find a job. Hence, my goal of only targeting those top 4 or 5 school. Please correct me if I am misinformed.

I debate Columbia a lot. I think NY would be pretty fun place to live, great industry exposure, and I have huge respect for the Value Investor program. That said, I don't like that you need to accept Columbia's offer and THEN apply to the program. I don't know enough about Columbia to say if the school is good enough if I don't get into the program. What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance!


Okay dude, now things are making sense (at least I get what happened with all those lost years). for "Extra curriculars" just make sure you have ONE constant solid interesting volunteer work. (like you go once a week for an hour to three to do X), it should ideally be something you would ENJOY (do it doesn't feel like a chore) and somewhere you can make a true IMPACT (great in stats or for stories... quant or qual...)

You are right about Haas and Darden that there is a bit less space in HF. I don't debate that it's less good than say HBS ;), but nonetheless on the West Coast it IS the place, and it will I feel add lots of value. Same thing for Darden. It's the question of how much "Level 2" schools will impress as much as level 1 (answer:less) but can it still advance you massively on your way, I think so... But it's up to you, dude, those are some suggestions, so have a school or two that is a bit "Safer" (NYU would fit the bill too). I totally get what you say about Columbia, but it should STILL be on your list. If it's not your number one choice, don't apply in the Early Action round (you're just giving them free money), apply the first regular round and see what happens.
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Re: Need advice on how to improve application for class of 2017 [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2014, 19:02
JonAdmissionado wrote:
Karateboy wrote:


Okay dude, now things are making sense (at least I get what happened with all those lost years). for "Extra curriculars" just make sure you have ONE constant solid interesting volunteer work. (like you go once a week for an hour to three to do X), it should ideally be something you would ENJOY (do it doesn't feel like a chore) and somewhere you can make a true IMPACT (great in stats or for stories... quant or qual...)

You are right about Haas and Darden that there is a bit less space in HF. I don't debate that it's less good than say HBS ;), but nonetheless on the West Coast it IS the place, and it will I feel add lots of value. Same thing for Darden. It's the question of how much "Level 2" schools will impress as much as level 1 (answer:less) but can it still advance you massively on your way, I think so... But it's up to you, dude, those are some suggestions, so have a school or two that is a bit "Safer" (NYU would fit the bill too). I totally get what you say about Columbia, but it should STILL be on your list. If it's not your number one choice, don't apply in the Early Action round (you're just giving them free money), apply the first regular round and see what happens.


One thing I've consistently done since graduation is help current student with breaking into Wall Street via mentoring, networking, giving advice, etc... How do you think that sounds? I worry that my "extracurricular" is too related to my career, and doesn't show me off as a well rounded person. I'm actually incredible funny, charming, and handsome. Oh shit...almost forgot to say that I'm modest too!

I was also hoping to get some advice on "how to frame my background" for school like Harvard vs. Stanford?

The future goals things is something that I struggle with too - from an application perspective. I genuinely want to learn how to be a manager/run a business so that I can be a better investor. I want to be in a position where I can have a relationship with the management teams of my portfolio companies and give them capital allocation and strategy advice, as one day I may want to pursue an activist strategy. But, I wonder if that sounds too "small" for the MBA application. Maybe I should say something along the lines of "leveraging the financial analysis skills I learned from my career with the managerial skills I hope to learn during my time at [insert B school] to open up my own [insert entrepreneurial idea]."

Thanks again,

KB
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Re: Need advice on how to improve application for class of 2017 [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2014, 15:16
Please do not just "join some NGO". Volunteer work resume padding is easy to spot in writing and incredibly easy to work out in an interview - admissions officers are not stupid. If it has no meaning to you, it is very, very difficult to convince someone else that it does.
Given your background however, your problem will be differentiating yourself, as there will be hundreds of others competing with you with similar backgrounds and high scores too. Think outside the box about what makes you unique - so many people I've worked with have found the thing that ties their application together is something that they thought was stupid or small, or not worthy of being mentioned, but in the end made all the difference.
I would also suggest not making something up in regards to your future plans. Exaggeration is fine, but real passion for something (especially in an interview) is going to take you a lot further than the "right" answer (there isn't one btw) that you express with little enthusiasm.

Alex
Re: Need advice on how to improve application for class of 2017   [#permalink] 11 Feb 2014, 15:16
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