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Need Your Advice for my MSF plan please

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Need Your Advice for my MSF plan please [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2014, 19:10
Hi, that is my first post after reading hundreds of posts here, and I want to say I really learned a lot. I am writing this because I have few questions regarding to which MSF programs I should apply and what is the chance for me to get into one of them. Here is my profile:

I am graduating in May 2014 from a non-target state University (San Jose State Unversity) with business administration major with concentration in finance.

Status: a domestic student (I am Chinese and hold a green card)

My GPA: Overall GPA = 3.494, but I feel I am in an awkward position. I transferred from a community college to my current school with a GPA of 3.226 and then I worked extremely hard once I made my transfer. The GPA for my last two years, all of which are upper divisional courses, is 3.941. When I apply MSF, will I be competing with other candidates based on my overall GPA or the GPA of my last two years?
And is my GPA competitive at all since I come from a non-target school?

GMAT: I have not taken yet, but I do plan to study for GMAT after graduation and take it on November so that I can apply MSF this December. And I am aiming 700.

Work Experience: In 2007, I worked in a Japanese restaurant for a year as a waiter. As far as related work experience is concerned, I do not have any formal one. But, I am currently enrolled in the second semester of Gary J. Sbona Honors Programs in my school, where I work together in a team on a real world business project. In this project, we meet our project sponsor, a company in Silicon Valley, regularly meet with them and present our findings to their panel at the end of the semester. But, I do not get paid. I understand that it is not FT or internship, but do you think the administration would regard this as work related experience? And what is the best way for me to highlight this in the interview when I am asked about my work experience?

Extracurricular and achievements: I have been a member in an investment club for two years and 2X Dean’s schorlar, and I won a finance department scholarship. And I will graduate with an honor from the college of business and Cum laude from the school.

Weakness: English is my second language so that I speak with a Chinese accent. Also, my math is not that strong. I have not taken Calculus I, but I got A- on elemental statistics & probability, B on Finite Math, A on pre-calculus, A+ on quantitative business analysis (Linear programing). And I plan to take Calculus I, if possible, during winter or spring 2015 before I enter a MSF program. But what is my chance if I don't take calculus I?

Goals: I am mainly aiming for IBD as my first choice, but I am willing to compromise for VC or PE. Although I am living in San Jose CA, I would like to work in NYC – Hopefully Wall Street. But, if I can’t make to NYC, I am willing to settle for San Francisco or Palo Alto as an alternative.

Schools to apply: USC, MIT ( Do I really stand a chance for this one?), Boston College ( Do I need calculus I completed when I apply or before I enter the program?), Vanderbilt, WUSTL (Do I need calculus I completed when I apply or before I enter the program?), Vanderbilt, UTA, and Villanova. As far as these schools are concerned, I am really concerned about their placement and prestige.

Questions: Again, my first choice is to work in IBD in NYC – Wall Street. If I cannot make, I am willing to settle for IBD, VC, or PE in SF or Palo Alto. So which school has a better placement for NYC? And which one has the best reputation in Asian (Hong Kong or China)? And what is my chance for these schools given my unique situation? And do I really need Calculus I? Do I need an internship?
Thanks. I really appreciate your time and efforts.

Last edited by oglibrary2000 on 01 May 2014, 10:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need Your Advices for my MSF plan please [#permalink] New post 01 May 2014, 01:45
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Try to get as high a score on GMAT as possible, preferably 750. This will serve you several purposes

- Getting admitted to school such as USC, UTA etc.
- Getting scholarship

If all fails and you don't get admitted to your top choice schools then you can apply to MBA after 2-3 years where your GMAT score will be still valid.

Regarding Calculus requirement you can contact the Admissions of respective schools and inquire. I believe they would have this information on their website.
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Re: Need Your Advices for my MSF plan please [#permalink] New post 01 May 2014, 10:14
You have a good point, and I will definitely keep it in mind. By the way, which school in my list would give me a best placement to NYC?
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Re: Need Your Advice for my MSF plan please [#permalink] New post 03 May 2014, 23:01
I believe MIT is a notch above the rest. The rest are all very good as per my limited knowledge. You may consider asking on Wall Street Oasis (google it) forum to get more targeted advice. You can also consider Univ of Virgnia Masters in Commerce as another option. There is a website called MSFHQ.com. It has information that is useful to you.

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Re: Need Your Advice for my MSF plan please [#permalink] New post 05 May 2014, 23:44
1) GPA is fine. Go with whatever GPA your final university has on their transcripts. You want what your resume represents to match what is on your transcripts.

2) You have a lot of EC's and honors is good. Assuming you get a good GMAT (650 or above) I see you getting into a variety of MSF programs.

3) You have a green card and that will be a big benefit. Requiring sponsorship is a hurdle that is tough for many.

I would advise to temper your career goals or at least research them more. No one "compromises" for PE/VC. Banking is usually the path before those careers and IB is difficult to break into. I would suggest reading up on the industry and learning exactly what investment banking does and entails. It will help you when you network and get interviews.

Also, have a back up. Not everyone gets banking, but there are a ton of jobs with similar skill sets. If banking is your goal make sure you have those back ups that will help you eventually get that job. Think valuation groups, corporate banking, stuff like that. Also, realize that your current network is west coast focused. You'll be brand new on the east coast. You might want to look at Claremont, USC, UC Santa Barbara, etc. All good, WC schools.
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Re: Need Your Advice for my MSF plan please   [#permalink] 05 May 2014, 23:44
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