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Paul, please evaulate/advice my profile

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Paul, please evaulate/advice my profile [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2007, 05:27
Paul,

I am a 28 years old, Swedish national living in Germany since late 2004 and plan to stay here until 2009.

Currently I work in real estate private equity. Before that I worked briefly in investment banking and transaction advisory services at a Big4 firm. I plan to apply for admission in 2009 (giving me enough time to prepare and "optimize" my profile) and by then I should have accumulated 57 months of post grad work experience. I will be 31 years old when the programme starts.

Directly after high school I worked for a computer retailer/consultant for two year - building/installing computers and networks for consumers and small companies. After that I spent one year in the army as a reconnaissance group leader (leading 5 privates) which was a very valuable experience for me.

After my short stint in the army I went to university in Sweden and Germany and studied for a 3-year BS degree in economics. It took about 4 years because I spent some time abroad and my thesis took 4 months longer than expected. The GPA is not really transferable since we have a strange grade system with fail, pass and pass with distinction and in many courses one can only get fail or pass. But generally speaking my GPA was good but not excellent. I would guess in US-GPA terms in the range 3.2 - 3.5.

Directly after I had received my degree I went to Germany and studied the German language. After that i started to work, first with a Big4 firm and after that with an investment bank, and about a year ago a switched to a real estate private equity firm in order to obtain a better work-life balance and better deal flow and that is where I stand today.

Since my 3-year BS degree is somewhat weak I have decided to further my studies with a 15-months post grad real estate economics degree at a local university (highly regarded in Germany but probably not international) and in spring 2008 I plan to take an LLM in real estate law. Our firm is working with tax advisor in Germany and I hope I will be able to spend some time there in order to get more familiarized of the complicated German tax system. Basically in 2.5 years time I will have knowledge and solid work experience in real estate tax, law, finance and investments.

For the year 2007 I plan to (i) found my own Ltd. company and try some different paths such as buying and fixing residential units, import moose meat, export automotive vehicles. (ii) Join the National Guard and spend 2 weeks with them per year on different exercises and (iii) something else that might be fun

Strong sides:
military leadership training
strong deal/transaction experience
I will receive letter of recommendations from a (well-connected) Harvard MBA alumni and some other "high-fliers"
fluent in 3 languages
semi-international experience
work in a high-profile/top industry
(lot of time to prepare myself, essays and GMAT)

Weak sides:
GPA is not great
little/none extracurricular
only 3 year degree
no pro-bono work such as helping poor children or equivalent
most of my sporting interests has been in skydiving, swimming, tennis, skiing and other sports where you don’t work as a team (although I played soccer for quite a while, I was no good at it so I dropped it)
i do not really stand out from the MBA crowd (or do I?)
although I have leadership experience it is not that great


I have not taken the GMAT yet, but giving the fact I have so much time to prepare myself I belive ~700 should be realistic

1st and only choice:
Harvard



Thank you
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Re: Paul, please evaulate/advice my profile [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2007, 18:03
MunchenCalling wrote:
Paul,

I am a 28 years old, Swedish national living in Germany since late 2004 and plan to stay here until 2009.

Currently I work in real estate private equity. Before that I worked briefly in investment banking and transaction advisory services at a Big4 firm. I plan to apply for admission in 2009 (giving me enough time to prepare and "optimize" my profile) and by then I should have accumulated 57 months of post grad work experience. I will be 31 years old when the programme starts.

Directly after high school I worked for a computer retailer/consultant for two year - building/installing computers and networks for consumers and small companies. After that I spent one year in the army as a reconnaissance group leader (leading 5 privates) which was a very valuable experience for me.

After my short stint in the army I went to university in Sweden and Germany and studied for a 3-year BS degree in economics. It took about 4 years because I spent some time abroad and my thesis took 4 months longer than expected. The GPA is not really transferable since we have a strange grade system with fail, pass and pass with distinction and in many courses one can only get fail or pass. But generally speaking my GPA was good but not excellent. I would guess in US-GPA terms in the range 3.2 - 3.5.

Directly after I had received my degree I went to Germany and studied the German language. After that i started to work, first with a Big4 firm and after that with an investment bank, and about a year ago a switched to a real estate private equity firm in order to obtain a better work-life balance and better deal flow and that is where I stand today.

Since my 3-year BS degree is somewhat weak I have decided to further my studies with a 15-months post grad real estate economics degree at a local university (highly regarded in Germany but probably not international) and in spring 2008 I plan to take an LLM in real estate law. Our firm is working with tax advisor in Germany and I hope I will be able to spend some time there in order to get more familiarized of the complicated German tax system. Basically in 2.5 years time I will have knowledge and solid work experience in real estate tax, law, finance and investments.

For the year 2007 I plan to (i) found my own Ltd. company and try some different paths such as buying and fixing residential units, import moose meat, export automotive vehicles. (ii) Join the National Guard and spend 2 weeks with them per year on different exercises and (iii) something else that might be fun

Strong sides:
military leadership training
strong deal/transaction experience
I will receive letter of recommendations from a (well-connected) Harvard MBA alumni and some other "high-fliers"
fluent in 3 languages
semi-international experience
work in a high-profile/top industry
(lot of time to prepare myself, essays and GMAT)

Weak sides:
GPA is not great
little/none extracurricular
only 3 year degree
no pro-bono work such as helping poor children or equivalent
most of my sporting interests has been in skydiving, swimming, tennis, skiing and other sports where you don’t work as a team (although I played soccer for quite a while, I was no good at it so I dropped it)
i do not really stand out from the MBA crowd (or do I?)
although I have leadership experience it is not that great


I have not taken the GMAT yet, but giving the fact I have so much time to prepare myself I belive ~700 should be realistic

1st and only choice:
Harvard



Thank you


MunchenCalling,

I think you do stand out, in several dimensions. There are any number of good schools where you would have a chance of admission, but since you are applying to Harvard you must be close to flawless. With a 700 or higher GMAT, your undergraduate grades etc. will not really be all that important. I think your biggest flaw is the leadership in community involvement. You need to work on this in the coming months. You want a high-impact leadership role outside of work to strengthen your professional profile. Perhaps start a community type organization of your own if you can't find an existing one that will give you a leadership role. The military experience and general unusualness of your profile will help you stand out. You're not that far from HBS territory, but you need to strengthen your profile in the coming months.

Good luck,
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Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

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Re: Paul, please evaulate/advice my profile [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2007, 04:50
Thank You Paul,

As you said I don’t have any community leadership involvment, actually I dont have any community involvment at all. Could you please be more specific and perhaps recommend some sort of leadership involvement that would up my HBS admission chances?

Due to my recent interest of law, I have also considered a joint MBA/JD degree but that might be overkill for me and I am not sure how my chances stand at the law school. I guess they have totally different admission criterias (i.e. less focus on leadership and work experience and more on LSAT and grades)

Thanks a million
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Re: Paul, please evaulate/advice my profile [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2007, 16:42
MunchenCalling wrote:
Thank You Paul,

As you said I don’t have any community leadership involvment, actually I dont have any community involvment at all. Could you please be more specific and perhaps recommend some sort of leadership involvement that would up my HBS admission chances?

Due to my recent interest of law, I have also considered a joint MBA/JD degree but that might be overkill for me and I am not sure how my chances stand at the law school. I guess they have totally different admission criterias (i.e. less focus on leadership and work experience and more on LSAT and grades)

Thanks a million


MunchenCalling,

You are correct about the different emphases in law school vs. business school admissions. You need to satisfy each program's (differing) citeria and also explain why you need both degrees for your goals.

Regarding the community involvement, there is no right activity that unlocks the HBS door. It's a question of the level of your leadership and impact. I would recommend that you find some organization or activity outside of the usual United Way, Red Cross involvements since they see alot of these. Find an activity that aligns with your passions or deepest interests/concerns and then seek as passions or deepest interests/concerns and then seek as high a leadership role as you can get.

Good luck,
_________________

Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

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 [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2007, 06:39
I have been involved in the local ex-pat community where I live – mainly helping out with advice for housing, insurance, cars and other things one need to know when moving to another country but I have not taken on a â€
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2007, 10:29
[quote="MunchenCalling"]I have been involved in the local ex-pat community where I live – mainly helping out with advice for housing, insurance, cars and other things one need to know when moving to another country but I have not taken on a â€
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