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Please evaluate my profile: Real Estate Professional

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Please evaluate my profile: Real Estate Professional [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2012, 18:56
Hi, I am a 30 year old male. Taiwanese/American (Grew up between Taiwan and the U.S.). For the past five years, I have worked in the commercial real estate industry in China and quit my job about a month ago to move back to the U.S. I thought going to B. School could be a transition back to the U.S. so I took the GMAT less than a month ago and scored 620. The thought is either to continue in the real estate industry or to try a different industry. I do have a passion for real estate and would like to work for real estate funds or REITs. The following are some of my concerns:

1) Since I am 30 now, I’ll probably be 31 when I attend grad school, the cost and benefit is something that I am concerned about. Since my GMAT score (consider retaking in a month) and GPA aren’t of top tier. How much of a difference would a first tier school vs. second tier school have on my employment prospect and career?

2) The past 5 years in China was a great experience for me. As a real estate development consultant, I was involved in several large scale investment/development projects (Urban planning projects of over 10 million sqft in GFA) as well as a number of investment due diligence (also in the range of 3 to 7 million sqft in GFA). How much of this experience would help in the application process, given my lower GMAT/GPA score?

3) I am interested in the Cornell Real Estate Program. However, after reading a few posts from various forums, it seems like Ibanks tend to prefer MBA candidates rather than MSRE. Since both real estate funds and REITS are not limited to a certain geographical region, would attending a real estate program help me less to get into a real estate fund or investment trust? Is it better to have a top tier real estate degree or a less prestigious MBA degree?

4) Based on my profile, what are my chances in the following schools:


Target Schools:
Cornell Baker Real Estate
Duke Fuqua
Pepperdine MBA
Notre Dame MBA
Boston University MBA
Vanderbilt MBA

GMAT:
620 (Q:44/V:31) Considering to retake the GMAT in a month.

Undergraduate:
San Diego State University- Business (Accounting), overall GPA 3.1

Work Experience:
Senior Manager(Project Manager) at CBRE Industrial Advisory Services (1 year)
Manager (Project Manager) at Savills Development consultancy (3 years)
Accountant at GMS China (1 year)- My one year contracted ended and the company went under shortly after I left.
Property Accountant (Asset Management)Pan Pacific/Kimco Realty (7 months) The company had a merger and I took the opportunity with GMS to work in China.
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Re: Please evaluate my profile: Real Estate Professional [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2012, 01:47
Expert's post
1) Since I am 30 now, I’ll probably be 31 when I attend grad school, the cost and benefit is something that I am concerned about. Since my GMAT score (consider retaking in a month) and GPA aren’t of top tier. How much of a difference would a first tier school vs. second tier school have on my employment prospect and career?
Retake the GMAT! Absolutely! 100% For sure! I think in all of your profile, it's your weakest point, so any improvement here will be totally worth your while, even if it means you have to delay some of your applications to R2.

2) The past 5 years in China was a great experience for me. As a real estate development consultant, I was involved in several large scale investment/development projects (Urban planning projects of over 10 million sqft in GFA) as well as a number of investment due diligence (also in the range of 3 to 7 million sqft in GFA). How much of this experience would help in the application process, given my lower GMAT/GPA score?

It should help a lot. In general, the rule of thumb is the bigger the better, and the better results, the better (okay, it's a bit of a no-brainer, but it's important)


3) I am interested in the Cornell Real Estate Program. However, after reading a few posts from various forums, it seems like Ibanks tend to prefer MBA candidates rather than MSRE. Since both real estate funds and REITS are not limited to a certain geographical region, would attending a real estate program help me less to get into a real estate fund or investment trust? Is it better to have a top tier real estate degree or a less prestigious MBA degree?

Probably Top Tier Real Estate. There is something about being the best that you are, or coming from the best school, which is super helpful. I don't care if you study Japanese Art, Psychology, Business or Cheese-making, you come out of the best school it WILL be recognized.


4) Based on my profile, what are my chances in the following schools:


Target Schools:
Cornell Baker Real Estate
Duke Fuqua
These will be tough if you don't get a higher GMAT.

Pepperdine MBA
Notre Dame MBA
Boston University MBA
Vanderbilt MBA

These schools are within range.

But like I said totally totally retake your GMAT if you can get 40 or better yet, 70 points higher, it's a whole new ballgame (and one which you will come out winning)

_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado.com

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Re: Please evaluate my profile: Real Estate Professional [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2012, 18:15
Thanks for posting. From someone who majored in Real Estate at Wharton, I understand your perspective and what looks good to both the Real Estate industry and to banks.

1) Since I am 30 now, I’ll probably be 31 when I attend grad school, the cost and benefit is something that I am concerned about. Since my GMAT score (consider retaking in a month) and GPA aren’t of top tier. How much of a difference would a first tier school vs. second tier school have on my employment prospect and career?

Yes, retake the GMAT - you want to do as well as you can on this test and there is plenty of time to retake the GMAT and put together quality applications for this year.
The difference all depends on what you are trying to do after school. There is something to be said about being a big fish in a small pond, as long as your small pond is not too small. This is to say you should look at the second tier schools that interest you and see what their career placement stats are. If the firms are hiring then you just have to be stronger than others to get those jobs and in a second tier school this will be easier. Often everyone wants to go to HBS, Wharton, Stanford but at the end of the day companies still only want the best students from HBS. Yes they take MORE of them, but there is still a limit.


2) The past 5 years in China was a great experience for me. As a real estate development consultant, I was involved in several large scale investment/development projects (Urban planning projects of over 10 million sqft in GFA) as well as a number of investment due diligence (also in the range of 3 to 7 million sqft in GFA). How much of this experience would help in the application process, given my lower GMAT/GPA score?

This is all really good and can make for some very convincing essays talking about the impact of working in a booming real estate economy while watching the rest of the world go through a real estate recession, only to see China start to move in that direction. This does not replace GMAT, however, but it will make for some good essay material.


3) I am interested in the Cornell Real Estate Program. However, after reading a few posts from various forums, it seems like Ibanks tend to prefer MBA candidates rather than MSRE. Since both real estate funds and REITS are not limited to a certain geographical region, would attending a real estate program help me less to get into a real estate fund or investment trust? Is it better to have a top tier real estate degree or a less prestigious MBA degree?

In general finance prefers MBAs, so I would advise you to obtain an MBA. Unless you want to learn the material in the Real Estate program, the program itself won't help you as much since you have the Real Estate experience already so they know you are well versed in the topic. Once again though, check out placement stats just to make yourself comfortable with the decision to go for an MBA because at the end of the day, the Cornell program is excellent and you cannot go wrong either way.

4) Based on my profile, what are my chances in the following schools:


Target Schools:
Cornell Baker Real Estate: OK/Good chance, though competitive, would need to see your whole profile (same goes for most of these. Without seeing your full resume, undergraduate grades etc, it is hard to make assessments)
Duke Fuqua: OK
Pepperdine MBA: GOOD
Notre Dame MBA: GOOD
Boston University MBA: VERY GOOD
Vanderbilt MBA: VERY GOOD

Please reach out for any additional advice or if you would like professional help to put together your applications.

Scott Edinburgh
scott@personalmbacoach.com
http://www.personalmbacoach.com
--Free application strategy discussion & initial essay review
--Insider tips and mock interview preparation
Re: Please evaluate my profile: Real Estate Professional   [#permalink] 08 Aug 2012, 18:15
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