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Please review my profile. [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2006, 13:56
Hey, guys. I see a lot of good advices from everybody. Just want to check how my profile stack up.

Is there anything you guys think I should be able to improve on or some other weakness I missed? What about my school choices? Any help or opinions are greatly appreciated.

Background:

- A 27 years old Chinese male working in financial services sector in New York City (US citizen).
- Graduated with BS in CompSci with low GPA, 2.8 at SUNY-Binghamton (my major GPA is fairly decent). Part of it because I had to work so many jobs, part of it was my fault (thanks to Jack and Jim and Johny) :oops: .
- I like sushi and steaks.

Experience:

- A ton of jobs during college, from internship to computer labs tech to TA.
- After graduating, nine months at a web development firm.
- Five years at my current financial software firm. My work involves building complete equity trading solution for brokage firms.
- I went from Specialist to Sr. Specialist to now TeamLeader/PM. From implementing other people's spec to writing my own spec to implement to writing spec that others can implement.
- My current team handles our some of the most crucial and high-profile clients, and I've been getting very good feedbacks.

GMAT:

- In progress. My pratice tests average is around 690-700. I am shooting for 730.

Recommendations:

- I have a very solid reputation at the firm, most if not all my managers are more than happy to write my recommendations.

Why do I need an MBA?

- I'm looking for international development (finance/business). I'm very interested in working in Europe and South America. I don't want to be the next Bill Gate, I want to enjoy my work, and I see the value of current work to be very ephemeral. I like to travel, having an MBA from a top school will definitely help me better market myself to the global companies.

Why MBA now?

- I'll be 28 if I get accepted for September 2007. If not now, probably never. My girl would kick my butt if she doesn't get a ring by the time I turned 30. :kiss The serious answer is this, in the next 3-5 years, global competition will really heat up. China/India/Russia/Brazil will become major players in world's market. I want to be prepared for the next wave of business revolution.

Military:

- I spent 8 years in the Marine Reserve, (Honorable Discharge). My job was Weapon Repair and battalion armory operation (Non-Commissioned Officer in charge). :m16
- Awarded twice for Navy/Marine Achievement Medal. It's a very good award actually. "Professional achievement which merits the award must clearly exceed that which is normally required or expected, considering the individual's grade or rate, training and experience, or be an important contribution of benefit to the United States and the Naval service." Most of my commanding officers didn't even have it :king .

Extras:

- Nothing really special here. Working in financial service sector in NYC doesn't leave much time.
- I'm a scuba diver, enjoy diving a lot. I also swim, not Olympic or anything like that, just swim laps.
- I speak Chinese and obviously English. I'm also learning Spanish at the moment. French or Italian towards end of the year.
- My father and I owns a real estate company, mostly rentals. I work on it a lot. From installing boilers to carpetry to plumbing, and a lot paper work as well.
- I don't know if sponsoring Children's Internationl counts much?
- What about riding motorcyles? Does that count :moped ? Planning on a trip from NYC to San Francisco and then Alaska (? questionable at this point) and back to NYC.

My "OMG, my son got into <XXX>, he's smarter than your stupid son" schools: Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Tuck.
My "I would love to attend your school, Mr Adcom" schools: Columbia, IESE, LBS, Chicago.
I will also considered NYU as my somewhat "safe" school, a lot of pretty girls in NYU.

I think I have a decent shot at NYU :ouch, everything else is a toss up.

I have several concerns/weaknesses:

1. My low GPA in college. Nothing I can do here, just hoping my work experience will back me up.
2. My lack of community services. I have absolutely no time to do, or ideas on what to do.
3. My ethnic background is Chinese, that puts me in a bracket against other asians with much better grades and much better schools.

I think my strong points are:

1. My work experience is strong, particularly in getting things done, taking initiatives, and leading teams. (See how I use parallelism here :twisted: )
2. My leadership exp is strong, both civilian and military.

Thanks,
-Adrian

"The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves."
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2006, 19:17
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You definitely have a good sense of humor! Here are some high-level thoughts:

* Yeah, your GPA is kind of low. Usually the way to compensate for this is to 1) show that you have the brains to do well in b-school (the GMAT and maybe a college course in accounting/stats/calculus can help) and 2) convince adcomms that you will be more serious/disciplined this time around.

* It sounds like you don't have a lot of true leadership experiences on the job. It does sound like you've done very well and are well regarded, but you haven't necessarily been leading teams. This struckme as a weakness. But, your military experience is terrific... Definitely play up the leadership aspect of this! (Quick plug: If you're wondering "What exactly do you mean by leadership?" check out our book.)

* Your entrepreneurial experience with your father is also great. Tell adcomms what this has taught you and what you have gained from it (other than just making money).

* It sounds like you've given it some thought re: why you want an MBA, but try to sharpen this even more. "I want to travel internationally," may not be enough. :-)

* All of your other hobbies are great ways to separate yourself from the pack. Take advantage of these. Re: the motorcycle trip, my advice is to write about stuff that you've DONE, rather than stuff that you're merely thinking of doing. If you do it by the time you appl, a cross-country motorcycle trip could be an awesome essay topic.

* It is a weakness that you don't have much in the way of community service. Any ways that you have gotten involved and made a difference (rather than just donated money) are what adcomms are looking for.

* I think your choice of schools is appropriate, but don't think of NYU as a safe school. That's not necessarily that much easier to get into than the others. You also may as well consider Wharton if you want finance.

Good luck!

Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2006, 12:03
Thanks a lot, Scott!

As for your comment on my profile,

*) GPA:
1) Alternate transcript. I can take some classes in NYU. In fact, NYU offers a professional certificate in "International Business and Finance", total of four classes. Would that help me? Or should I just stick with calculus and statistics.
2) How do I go about doing that? Consider the amount of money I am given up for two years of school, that should be sufficient enough. My current salary is pretty good.

*) Leadship in my job. I just took over a team that handles most of our high-profile/pissed-off clients. I directly manage/train two junior members. I also provide guidance for members from other teams. So far, the team has been doing very good. In fact, if we keep going at this rate, we would make ourselves redundant.

*) Community service, I'll try to see if I get start tutoring again, I did that right after college. I had to stop because work was just too much.

Thanks,
-Adrian

"The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves."
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2006, 17:57
Expert's post
That's great leadership experience at work. Be sure to not only mention your results (using the "SAR" method in our book), but also how you've coached your junior team members.

I'm not sure that I understand your question about classes at NYU (re: your salary), but I'd stick with the basic stats and calc classes. Those would be very valuable to your app, given your low GPA.

Scott
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