I'm considering applying to MBA programs this coming year, and I am wondering what schools I should target. I've convinced myself that H/W/S are possible, but please feel free to tell me if that is unrealistic.
Demographics: African-American male. 29yo at matriculation. I have an interesting life story that involves overcoming substantial adversity.
Undergrad: Finance major at state school. 3.9+ GPA and leadership positions in campus organizations.
Work Experience: 4 years at matriculation. Attorney in the NYC office of a very well-regarded global law firm (after graduating from an Ivy League law school that is generally considered the nation's best, where I was active in several campus organizations). I represent mostly the major banks and my practice focuses mainly on structuring domestic and cross-border leveraged finance transactions, with some emphasis on acquisition financing. I have the opportunity to manage projects regularly, leading teams of 3-5 paralegals and attorneys.
Extracurriculars: Tutoring, mentoring, and community/economic development activities in undergrad. Community outreach program in law school. Also advised local small businesses on the legal aspects of their operations. Currently involved in mentoring children with incarcerated parents.
Objective: I would like to transition from the legal side of deals, where our role is largely documenting a transaction, to the business side of deals, where I can be a part of making decisions and driving the transaction. Accordingly, I'd like to go into finance post-MBA. I also like the idea of leaving the door open for consulting, as several shops advise law firms and legal department, and could add significant value there. I’m told that lawyers don’t do well in MBA admissions. Perhaps it’s the perceived lack of quantitative skills? I hope that my undergraduate major and GPA (as well as finance courses I took even while in law school) will help to dispel that notion in my case.
Any guidance you can offer would be much appreciated.
I agree with your assessment. H/S/W are feasible and you are applying appropriately if you apply to them. One slight question in my mind is the breakdown of your GMAT score. if it was balanced, that's OK. If one was significantly lower than the other, it could be a slight issue, but not enough of one for me to tell you not apply given your background, URM status, undergrad record, and work experience. You may also want to consider Chicago, Kellogg, and Columbia.
You might be interested in MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips.
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