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Please help evaluate my profile

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Please help evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2007, 00:29
Hello,

I'm planning to apply to MIT, Tuck, Stern, Columbia and Yale with the below stats and activities:

Vietnamese national, 26 years old

GMAT: 750 (V:46, Q46, AWA: 4.5)


Undergrad degree in political science from Amherst College.
------------------------------------------------------
Work Experience: 2 years by the time I submit my application including:

1 year in structured finance investment banking at a boutique, relatively unknown investment bank
1 year as an associate in the IBD at one of Vietnam's leading investment banks.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Activities:

Several student union activities while at Amherst
Been actively involved in helping to establish an internship program that brings Vietnamese students to work for leading Vietnamese corporations
------------------------------------------------------------------------

My GPA is weak for those schools. I lost my focus due to various personal reasons. Planning to address and hopefully make up for that with good reasons in the optional essay. Do you think it will be a big issue for my application - potentially leading to a immediate ding? I hope the GMAT score helps somewhat...

My work experience is limited, particularly because I've been working only in investment banking, opportunities to show leadership potential are rare and examples might not be very impressive.

But I have a very interesting story that I hope to benefit from. I come from Vietnam, went to the public, unknown University of Montana for 3 semesters then transfer to and graduate from elitist private Amherst College, worked in New York as well as in Vietnam - one of the hottest in Asia's emerging markets. Finance is a totally new concept here in Vietnam and I'm one of the few younger people who get to work in the field - and at one of the leading firms... Am hoping to show that I have a plan to position myself to become one of the leaders in the future.


I would really appreciate your opinion about my chances at those schools.

Thank you.

Last edited by longatum on 26 Nov 2007, 05:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Please help evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2007, 19:12
Expert's post
longatum wrote:
Hello,

I'm planning to apply to MIT, Tuck, Stern, Columbia and Yale with the below stats and activities:

Vietnamese national, 26 years old

GMAT: 750 (V:46, Q46, AWA: 4.5)


Undergrad degree in political science from Amherst College. My GPA was not good :-( slightly lower than 3.0.
------------------------------------------------------
Work Experience: 2 years by the time I submit my application including:

1 year in structured finance investment banking at a boutique, relatively unknown investment bank
1 year as an associate in the IBD at one of Vietnam's leading investment banks.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Activities:

Several student union activities while at Amherst
Been actively involved in helping to establish an internship program that brings Vietnamese students to work for leading Vietnamese corporations
------------------------------------------------------------------------

My GPA is weak for those schools. I lost my focus due to various personal reasons. Planning to address and hopefully make up for that with good reasons in the optional essay. Do you think it will be a big issue for my application - potentially leading to a immediate ding? I hope the GMAT score helps somewhat...

My work experience is limited, particularly because I've been working only in investment banking, opportunities to show leadership potential are rare and examples might not be very impressive.

But I have a very interesting story that I hope to benefit from. I come from Vietnam, went to the public, unknown University of Montana for 3 semesters then transfer to and graduate from elitist private Amherst College, worked in New York as well as in Vietnam - one of the hottest in Asia's emerging markets. Finance is a totally new concept here in Vietnam and I'm one of the few younger people who get to work in the field - and at one of the leading firms... Am hoping to show that I have a plan to position myself to become one of the leaders in the future.


I would really appreciate your opinion about my chances at those schools.

Thank you.


longatum,

I think you are over-obsessing about the GPA. First, it was at Amherst, a great school that adcoms know is tough, and second, your GMAT sort of wipes the slate clean--it's high enough to eliminate doubts. If there were specific time commitments in college that affected your GPA then mention those in optional essay, but it's not a big negative.

A bigger potential negative is lack of leadership. They will understand that it's hard to get leadership chances in IB, but they won't understand why you couldn't show leadership outside of work. Perhaps the internship program you mentioned can come to your rescue here.

Your Vietnamese "profile" is a real asset IMO. I see more and more Vietnamese B-school applicants these days but it is still a bit unusual, so make the most of it. The IB + Vietnamese combination is especially distinctive.

I would not discourage you from applying to any of those schools but understand that MIT, Columbia, and Tuck will be fiercely competitive so give your applications (and reco letters!) everything you've got.

Good luck,

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 [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2007, 20:22
Hi Paul (just learned your name after reading other posts... sorry I didn't know in my first post)

Thanks so much for your comments... I will do my best to showcase some leadership examples...

I have decided to add Chicago and probably HBS to my list... HBS will be real tough, I understand, given the lack of leadership exp... but Chicago has been known to be friendly to (young) Vietnamese applicants. I have been networking like crazy and spoken to a few alums from MIT and hopefully HBS. Will be in the US in Dec and will try my best to get an informal session with some adcoms from these schools :-)

Anyway, thanks again, Paul... feeling a lot more confident after reading this.

L.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2007, 17:00
Expert's post
longatum wrote:
Hi Paul (just learned your name after reading other posts... sorry I didn't know in my first post)

Thanks so much for your comments... I will do my best to showcase some leadership examples...

I have decided to add Chicago and probably HBS to my list... HBS will be real tough, I understand, given the lack of leadership exp... but Chicago has been known to be friendly to (young) Vietnamese applicants. I have been networking like crazy and spoken to a few alums from MIT and hopefully HBS. Will be in the US in Dec and will try my best to get an informal session with some adcoms from these schools :-)

Anyway, thanks again, Paul... feeling a lot more confident after reading this.

L.


You're welcome. I also have some anecdotal evidence of Chicago's "Vietnam-friendliness."
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Re: Please help evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2008, 13:49
Dear Paul,

As I really appreciated your comments on my profile, I'd like to seek your advice on a rather unusual situation... I recently submitted my applications to Tuck and, unfortunately posted an essay that was not yet finalized... The good thing is that the final wording for the essay is all there, the bad thing is that if they scroll down a page, they will see a portion of the previous version of the essay, which I intended for omission (there's a gap of 1 page between the essay's main body and the leftover portion)

I'm at a loss as to what I should do to remedy this. Should I write to them and explain (there's really not much to explain except I was careless)... or should I just keep it quiet? Would this damage my chance? (it most definitely doesn't look good, but do you think it looks particularly bad?

Thanks so much again, Paul.

Also, re: Chicago's interest in Vietnam, I confirm that they have admitted at least one for this year... he also got into Columbia.
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Re: Please help evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2008, 23:21
Expert's post
This will have no impact on your admission chances. It's a bit sloppy, but if it's the only instance of sloppiness, they will cut you slack. It will be perceived immediately as an unintentional error and they'll move on. No need to point it out to them. If they like your profile they will not hold you back because of it.
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Re: Please help evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2008, 07:03
Thanks so much, Paul. Will keep you posted as things go.
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Re: Please help evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2008, 13:27
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