UG: International Business Major at good liberal arts school (GPA: 3.6, +1 year study abroad in Hong Kong)
GMAT: 680 (slightly higher quant) AWA - 6
Post-Grad: Attended Intensive Mandarin Chinese Language School for 1 Year in Taiwan after 2 years working in Finance in USA (now proficient to business level)
-4.5 years at tiime of enrollment in Fall 2011
- First few months spent at Morgan Stanley ( where I had been a intern 20 hours/week my last year of college)
-1 year at Morgan Stanley (Foreign Exchange Operations) - not many stories coming from here, first FT job and left after a year
-1 year at JP Morgan ( Foreign Exchange Trading) - more substantial accomplishments with one of my Rec letters coming from supervisor
- 1 year (so far) teaching English in Hong Kong - current job, lots of stories, good leadership and impact
Extracurricular Activities/Leadership Experience
-Intern at Morgan Stanley for 20 hours/week during senior year, turned into a FT job after graduation
-Volunteer in Hong Kong at an After-School Centre (10 hours/week) good impact on people, org.
- Acculturation Mentor in Baltimore, MD, not consistent time-wise, but helped two families get used to life in USA
- Chapter member of China based Microfinance organization, helped organize events, do Chinese translation work, raise money
Have spent a total of 3 years in Asia (currently) + strong Asia focus with Mandarin ability
Moved away from home at age 13 to do acting in Los Angeles (cast in network TV show, commercials)
Applied last year to INSEAD but was dinged without an explanation why
1. I haven't held one job for more than 2 years. Not a result of poor performance, but of me pursuing better opportunities and my strong desire to start my career in Asia. After two years in Finance in the USA, I moved to Taiwan to study Mandarin and then to Hong Kong where I currently teach English (the goal was to get back into banking, but the market has been pretty tough). How will my career progression affect my candidacy?
2. My "stats" are pretty average. Will my somewhat unique background be enough to distinguish me at top schools?
3. Could you suggest some safety schools that would be relevant internationally and aide in connecting me with employers in Asia?
4. My goal after MBA is to launch a financial career in Asia. I have been considering retaking the GMAT or starting the CFA exam. Do you have any advice here?
Thanks very much for your time!
Thanks for your inquiry. To respond to your questions:
1) I think you will have to connect the dots for the adcom (and ultimately for a future employer.) Your job changes caught my eye immediately, especially the switch from IB to teaching English. If you explain the changes in terms of progress, growth, you could turn it into a positive. But if you leave them wondering, it is a negative.
2) Your background is distinctive and will distinguish you. The top schools will still need to overlook a a below average GMAT.
, and maybe Georgetown.
4) If you want to have a shot at the top programs, like Wharton
, and you think you can raise your GMAT
, then retaking is a good idea. If you that doesn't work, go for the CFA, but a higher GMAT will do more for you.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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