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Please review my profile for Fall '12

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Joined: 20 Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V38
GMAT 2: 710 Q49 V37
GPA: 3.55
WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking)
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Please review my profile for Fall '12 [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2011, 23:04
Hi everyone, I just found this site and I absolutely love it! Thank you in advance for your help and advice.

Here is information on my profile.
Demographics:
Age: 21
Gender: Male
Nationality: USA (of Indian origin)

Education:
BS in Economics/Finance with Honors (May 2010)
GPA: 3.55
GMAT: 700 Q47, V38

Work Experience:
Analyst at JP Morgan Chase in the Corporate Development Program (July 2010 - Present)
Owner/Director of Sales of an import/retail company specializing in high end jewelry products (May 2008 - Present)
Internship at CIT Group in Corporate Finance Operations (Summer 2008, Summer 2009)

Extracurriculars:
Involvement with many organizations during college with leadership positions (including governing body for student organizations)
-Organized a conference for 200 students
-Treasurer to oversee allocation of funds to all student organizations
-Founded Debate Society

Recommendations:
I have 2 people in mind to ask for recommendations: my direct supervisor and his boss at JPMC. I may also ask a previous professor. My supervisor's rec should be strong and the other two pretty standard.

Languages:
English, Hindi

Schools I may apply to:
Stanford
Harvard
University of Pennsylvania
MIT
University of Chicago
Northwestern
UC Berkeley
Dartmouth
Columbia
NYU
Yale
University of Michigan
Cornell
Ohio State
London Business School
London School of Economics


So that's all my info. I have a couple questions.
Considering all my information which schools from my list do I even have a chance at? I really just made a list of all the schools I would love to go to, hopefully you can help me narrow it down.

Secondly, is my GMAT score really holding me back? I've only taken it once (last November). I'm fairly confident I could increase my score if I took it again but would it make a big difference if I went from 700 -> 750?
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Re: Please review my profile for Fall '12 [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 08:02
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Wow, that's a huge list. I think it'll serve you best to tell us what you'd like to do post-MBA.

Now, onto the actual review part - I see a couple of concerns that you'd need to address.

A jump from 700 to 750 will certainly help, only because you'll be competing against a pool of applicant who is so strong in their numbers (GPA/GMAT). If you think you make this jump, I'd say do it. Another thing that may be holding you back is your age. You will need to convince the AdComs why you think this is the perfect moment now. Now, Harvard and Stanford are leaning towards a younger applicant, but being 21 now (or even 23 at matriculation) is still quite young. You will also have to describe any sort of leadership skills/ability/experience on your application for you to have a shot at the super top schools. Anyway, first step is to narrow down that list, for which you'll have to tell people what you want to do.
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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 20 Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V38
GMAT 2: 710 Q49 V37
GPA: 3.55
WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 5

Re: Please review my profile for Fall '12 [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 09:34
bakfed wrote:
Wow, that's a huge list. I think it'll serve you best to tell us what you'd like to do post-MBA.

Now, onto the actual review part - I see a couple of concerns that you'd need to address.

A jump from 700 to 750 will certainly help, only because you'll be competing against a pool of applicant who is so strong in their numbers (GPA/GMAT). If you think you make this jump, I'd say do it. Another thing that may be holding you back is your age. You will need to convince the AdComs why you think this is the perfect moment now. Now, Harvard and Stanford are leaning towards a younger applicant, but being 21 now (or even 23 at matriculation) is still quite young. You will also have to describe any sort of leadership skills/ability/experience on your application for you to have a shot at the super top schools. Anyway, first step is to narrow down that list, for which you'll have to tell people what you want to do.


Well currently I am working in project management and project governance. But I would love to utilize my background in Finance and Economics. After my MBA I'd like to go into investment banking specifically M&A or get into options/commodities trading.

In regards to my GPA and GMAT. I know there's nothing I can do about my GPA now but I was thinking about mentioning that it is a little on the low side because I was managing my business while I was at school. (Not sure if that will help) On the GMAT, I was definitely disappointed with my 700. I had taken the Manhattan GMAT course and had scored 750-760 on the official practice exams. I know it's been a couple months but I think I'll sign up to take the exam again in early May so I can do some more heavy duty studying to bring up my score.

So I would be 22 at matriculation (I have a late birthday). But I did forget to mention that a reason I am so young is that I graduated college a year early (so I finished in 3 years). That and having a late birthday made me really young for my class.

I hope that helped, how should I start to narrow down my list of schools? I'd like to have 1 safe, a couple target and a couple reach schools if that makes sense. (Total of about 6-7)
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Re: Please review my profile for Fall '12 [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 09:52
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Pyar wrote:
bakfed wrote:
Wow, that's a huge list. I think it'll serve you best to tell us what you'd like to do post-MBA.

Now, onto the actual review part - I see a couple of concerns that you'd need to address.

A jump from 700 to 750 will certainly help, only because you'll be competing against a pool of applicant who is so strong in their numbers (GPA/GMAT). If you think you make this jump, I'd say do it. Another thing that may be holding you back is your age. You will need to convince the AdComs why you think this is the perfect moment now. Now, Harvard and Stanford are leaning towards a younger applicant, but being 21 now (or even 23 at matriculation) is still quite young. You will also have to describe any sort of leadership skills/ability/experience on your application for you to have a shot at the super top schools. Anyway, first step is to narrow down that list, for which you'll have to tell people what you want to do.


Well currently I am working in project management and project governance. But I would love to utilize my background in Finance and Economics. After my MBA I'd like to go into investment banking specifically M&A or get into options/commodities trading.

In regards to my GPA and GMAT. I know there's nothing I can do about my GPA now but I was thinking about mentioning that it is a little on the low side because I was managing my business while I was at school. (Not sure if that will help) On the GMAT, I was definitely disappointed with my 700. I had taken the Manhattan GMAT course and had scored 750-760 on the official practice exams. I know it's been a couple months but I think I'll sign up to take the exam again in early May so I can do some more heavy duty studying to bring up my score.

So I would be 22 at matriculation (I have a late birthday). But I did forget to mention that a reason I am so young is that I graduated college a year early (so I finished in 3 years). That and having a late birthday made me really young for my class.

I hope that helped, how should I start to narrow down my list of schools? I'd like to have 1 safe, a couple target and a couple reach schools if that makes sense. (Total of about 6-7)


Being young is certainly not a crime; I pointed out simply to let you know that AdComs will be especially curious of your ability to succeed in the corporate world when the lots of your classmate will be at an age of 26 and 27. Again, as long as you have a coherent explaination as to why you're applying at the age of 21 (or 22), you'll be fine. Your GPA is actually fine, believe it or not. A 3.55 would put you in the running for any b-school in the nation, including H/S/W. My earlier post was discussing simply your GMAT and I really only talked about that because you come from a traditional applicant pool; thus, making it harder for any Indians to get in. Again, I stand by the point that if you're able to raise your GMAT to 750, it'll certainly boost your chance at any school.

For finance, and especially the field that you want to get into, the better the school, the better your chance is (ranking-wise).

From Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, I'd pick just 1 (or 2 if you're really keen on going to a top 3 school). Any of them would do the trick for you, but I'd stick to the east coast if you want to work on the east coast, and west on the west.

Columbia and Booth will be the next two that I'd include - both are famously known for their finance programs and placements. Yale and NYU also have some good finance tracks. Then if you want, you can have Ross and Johnson on there as well. Johnson is serving primarily as a backup, though it's still a very hard school to get in. I wouldn't really leave the top 16 b-schools simply because it becomes harder and harder to get in trading for these schools, because fewer top firms recruit at lower-ranking schools. Make sense. LSB is a great school, but if you wish to work in the States post-MBA, I would leave that one alone. However, if you're looking at the Europe market post-MBA, definitely look at LSB (but in this case, you probably want to get rid a whole lot of the US schools). Recruiting for a europe job while attending a US b-school will make your life a living hell. The times you have to travel and the amount of expense you'll accrue is simply not worth it. If you want to be in the states, go to a state school. Last, but not least, the above schools that I picked out are by no means the only schools you should go for. Realize that if you were to attend any of the top schools, you'll have your shot to get into a top firm. So yes, MIT and Berkeley will also do the trick, just as Dartmouth Tuck and Northwestern Kellogg will get you where you want to go. I simply pick the programs that I picked because of their high finance placements post-MBA.
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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 20 Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V38
GMAT 2: 710 Q49 V37
GPA: 3.55
WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 5

Re: Please review my profile for Fall '12 [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 12:26
bakfed wrote:
Being young is certainly not a crime; I pointed out simply to let you know that AdComs will be especially curious of your ability to succeed in the corporate world when the lots of your classmate will be at an age of 26 and 27. Again, as long as you have a coherent explaination as to why you're applying at the age of 21 (or 22), you'll be fine. Your GPA is actually fine, believe it or not. A 3.55 would put you in the running for any b-school in the nation, including H/S/W. My earlier post was discussing simply your GMAT and I really only talked about that because you come from a traditional applicant pool; thus, making it harder for any Indians to get in. Again, I stand by the point that if you're able to raise your GMAT to 750, it'll certainly boost your chance at any school.

For finance, and especially the field that you want to get into, the better the school, the better your chance is (ranking-wise).

From Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, I'd pick just 1 (or 2 if you're really keen on going to a top 3 school). Any of them would do the trick for you, but I'd stick to the east coast if you want to work on the east coast, and west on the west.

Columbia and Booth will be the next two that I'd include - both are famously known for their finance programs and placements. Yale and NYU also have some good finance tracks. Then if you want, you can have Ross and Johnson on there as well. Johnson is serving primarily as a backup, though it's still a very hard school to get in. I wouldn't really leave the top 16 b-schools simply because it becomes harder and harder to get in trading for these schools, because fewer top firms recruit at lower-ranking schools. Make sense. LSB is a great school, but if you wish to work in the States post-MBA, I would leave that one alone. However, if you're looking at the Europe market post-MBA, definitely look at LSB (but in this case, you probably want to get rid a whole lot of the US schools). Recruiting for a europe job while attending a US b-school will make your life a living hell. The times you have to travel and the amount of expense you'll accrue is simply not worth it. If you want to be in the states, go to a state school. Last, but not least, the above schools that I picked out are by no means the only schools you should go for. Realize that if you were to attend any of the top schools, you'll have your shot to get into a top firm. So yes, MIT and Berkeley will also do the trick, just as Dartmouth Tuck and Northwestern Kellogg will get you where you want to go. I simply pick the programs that I picked because of their high finance placements post-MBA.

Ok I'm glad that my GPA is ok. I'll be sure to explain why I'm applying at 21 instead of waiting a few years. I feel like I've already had success in the corporate world and I have experience running my own business all at such a young age. So I think the next step for me would be to enrich those experiences with an MBA which would further increase my value to companies.

I've decided to sign up for the GMAT once again with the goal of getting 750 or higher. Does it look bad to schools if I take it twice though?

I'm looking to work on the East Coast after my MBA (not in Europe or the West Coast). So based on your advice I am definitely taking these schools off my list: Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, Dartmouth, London Business School, and London School of Economics.

These are the ones I'm pretty sure I'll stick with (split by tier):
1. Harvard
2. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

3. University of Chicago (Booth)
4. Columbia

5. NYU (Stern)
6. Yale

7. Cornell (Johnson)

I’m still unsure about these ones: MIT, Northwestern, and Ohio State. The reason I still have Ohio State on my list is that both my parents went there for undergrad so I’m not sure if that helps my chances but I’m pretty sure I will get in. Northwestern would be wonderful as I currently live in Chicago minutes away from the campus but is it worth it if students don’t get finance placements afterward? And same thing with MIT, I’m not sure how well Sloan is known in the finance world.

My biggest concern with my list now is that it is so heavily stacked towards the top and I won’t get in anywhere. How should I make sure that doesn’t happen? By including lower ranked schools? Or should I just take a chance and see what happens.
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Re: Please review my profile for Fall '12 [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 12:58
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Regarding GMAT, no, two times is probably the average for most folks anyway. However, I'd like to emphasize that a 700 is already good for all the schools, but as you mentioned, if you're able to reach 750, you'll greatly increase your chance of admission. I think your list is definitely ambitious, but not impossible. The thing with finance and consulting is that most well-known firms only recruit at top schools. I can't speak for finance directly, but as a consultant-aspirant, McKinsey doesn't really recruit many people outside of the top 20 schools, and if it does, only a very few and selected persons would be able to get in the door. And that's why I mentioned that you want to try to attend a top b-school. The higher the ranking (in the grand scheme of things), the better it is. Then when you enter the top 10, law of diminishing returns hit and you'll have your shot whether you went to Harvard or Columbia. So with that said, MIT, Kellogg will both get you to where you want to be. And no, you won't have "smaller" chance of entering the top firms if you went to MIT, but just traditionally speaking, more people choose to enter consulting at MIT than finance. If you choose to attend Kellogg, be not worried that you won't get a good shot at, say, Goldman Sachs. Your last concern, regarding only applying to top schools, is sort of how you should play this game. If you want to enter finance and management consulting (and you want to join the best firms out there), you're limited to only the top schools. And of course, with the number of applicants who want to attend b-school each year, it's becoming harder for anyone to get in. There's really no true "shoo-in" for these schools anymore, but that's really just the nature of the beast. You can choose to put a true safety, such as Ohio State, on your list, but you also should think about your return on investment, and "utility" (or happiness). Would you be satisfied to join a lower-tiered firm and pay the same amount of tuition by going to a lower-ranked school? All in all, what it comes down to is how you choose to spend your money and how you perceive yourself.
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Joined: 20 Mar 2011
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Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V38
GMAT 2: 710 Q49 V37
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WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 5

Re: Please review my profile for Fall '12 [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 18:23
bakfed wrote:
Regarding GMAT, no, two times is probably the average for most folks anyway. However, I'd like to emphasize that a 700 is already good for all the schools, but as you mentioned, if you're able to reach 750, you'll greatly increase your chance of admission. I think your list is definitely ambitious, but not impossible. The thing with finance and consulting is that most well-known firms only recruit at top schools. I can't speak for finance directly, but as a consultant-aspirant, McKinsey doesn't really recruit many people outside of the top 20 schools, and if it does, only a very few and selected persons would be able to get in the door. And that's why I mentioned that you want to try to attend a top b-school. The higher the ranking (in the grand scheme of things), the better it is. Then when you enter the top 10, law of diminishing returns hit and you'll have your shot whether you went to Harvard or Columbia. So with that said, MIT, Kellogg will both get you to where you want to be. And no, you won't have "smaller" chance of entering the top firms if you went to MIT, but just traditionally speaking, more people choose to enter consulting at MIT than finance. If you choose to attend Kellogg, be not worried that you won't get a good shot at, say, Goldman Sachs. Your last concern, regarding only applying to top schools, is sort of how you should play this game. If you want to enter finance and management consulting (and you want to join the best firms out there), you're limited to only the top schools. And of course, with the number of applicants who want to attend b-school each year, it's becoming harder for anyone to get in. There's really no true "shoo-in" for these schools anymore, but that's really just the nature of the beast. You can choose to put a true safety, such as Ohio State, on your list, but you also should think about your return on investment, and "utility" (or happiness). Would you be satisfied to join a lower-tiered firm and pay the same amount of tuition by going to a lower-ranked school? All in all, what it comes down to is how you choose to spend your money and how you perceive yourself.



Thank you so much for you advice. I will definitely keep it in mind as I begin my applications. I think I'll stick to my list of 7 that I decided and then apply to MIT and Kellogg if necessary in later rounds. Also I agree with you, I would not be satisfied by going to a lower tier school like Ohio State so there's really no point in applying.

I know there is no way to be a shoo-in for any of these schools per se but one good way to really improve my chances is to bring up my GMAT score so I will focus on that. Also I will start thinking about the essays so my application can be very strong as well.
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Re: Please review my profile for Fall '12 [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 18:53
Good luck, buddy.

And one last thing - I'm by no means an expert. If you want, you can also copy and paste your very first post into one of the many admission consultants we have on this site, such as Alex's and Accepted.com's forum.
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Joined: 20 Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V38
GMAT 2: 710 Q49 V37
GPA: 3.55
WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 5

Re: Please review my profile for Fall '12 [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2011, 07:24
Thanks! I posted to Alex and Accepted.
Re: Please review my profile for Fall '12   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2011, 07:24
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