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GPA: 3.3 Finance, Large State School GMAT: 700 48Q (83%)/38V (83%)
I was accepted to my school on a scholarship...then because of a couple of reasons i.e. pre med first two years, 30hr work week, but primarily immaturity (went out too much to compensate for lack of high school social life) I have a low GPA.
Have been working in wealth management for 4 years now, started off in a very sales oriented role, succeeded and did well, but realized I was more interested in portfolio management/asset allocation. Focused on learning as much about portfolio management as possible, caught the attention of a senior broker, who asked me to join his team to focus on allocation/asset management. Am now responsible for $250mm in client assets, and am CFA lvl 3 candidate.
After MBA want to continue to work in asset allocation but on larger scale: ideally for large foundation or endowment, or at investment strategy group at bulge bracket, or larger private banking team.
Volunteer/Extra: Helped start foundation that focuses on mobilizing Afghan Americans (my parents are Afghan) to give back via economic redevelopment and humanitarian relief. Have raised $1mm for efforts. Also...semi professional polo player.
I am mostly interested in finance oriented schools..top stretch choice is Columbia (due to value investing program) also stretch at wharton, Booth,...also interested in Stern, Haas, Ross, Cornell, Yale.
I probably won't apply until R1 next year, what do you think my chances are? How can I improve my profile? I was getting much better verbal scores on practice tests, and think I could get 730-740, would that make much difference? How about alternate transcript? Other weaknesses?
Last edited by msbroker on 01 Jan 2011, 10:13, edited 1 time in total.
I tend to say that the "golden ratio" is scoring at least in the 80th percentile on each half of the GMAT. Since you've done that, I think you can safely put aside the GMAT and not think about it anymore. Said another way, I don't think a 750 will help you much more than a 700. If you're thinking about trying to boost your score because of your low GPA (how low?), I actually might recommend taking a college-level stats/calculus or accounting class right now. Even though you're earning your CFA, the purpose of taking a class is to show that you have the smarts and the discipline to do well in school despite that low GPA.
I think you should apply this coming fall... Waiting another year may make you start to look slightly past the "sweet spot" compared to ideal applicants to top schools. I think your career story and your post-MBA goals make a lot of sense, which will be good for finance-oriented schools like Columbia, which are sensitive to seeing career-switchers who don't know how hard it is to get into finance these days.
Interesting extracurricular work... The more you can show how much of an impact YOU had (rather than just "helping" and being a participant), the better. But I think that will help a great deal.
Hey thanks for the insight. I had a 3.2/3 in finance, below the 80% range for top schools. Quick q on the alt transcript...is it cool to do it online? i.e. ucla extension...or do you recommend actually taking a course as a non degree seeking student from a real university. Online would be much easier with work/cfa/extra c's i already have, but if it makes a difference to actually take a real class i can try to fit it in. Also, would 2 courses one in acct one in stats be enough? or should I throw in some econ in there as well or finance and take 3 or 4 classes?
Last edited by msbroker on 01 Jan 2011, 10:14, edited 1 time in total.
Where are you located? There might be schools with high local prestige that could be a better option than UCLA Extension for you. For example, I see you work in finance and if it's in NYC, Baruch College (a city university) is held in very high regard locally for post-grad business education.