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Hi – I would really appreciate some feedback regarding my profile and choice of target schools. Should I be lowering my sights or am I being realistic? My target schools are: Columbia, Harvard, Stamford, Northwestern, MIT, NYU, Berkley, Booth
I’m from London (where I live and work currently) and will be 29 a matriculation.
Undergrad: 2:1, equivalent GPA is about 3.3 – 3.5, in physics from the University of Bristol, US equivalent is probably something like MIT.
GMAT: 760 (99th percentile overall, V 99th M 96th). I only took this once but I don’t think I did myself justice on the math side as I hadn’t got below 99th on any of my practice tests (I ranked in the top 0.01% in maths during high school). Is it worth retaking this? I am pretty certain I could get higher. Work experience: 6 years (7 at matriculation) total. First 5.5 years were in finance at several top tier investment banks and for the last year I was a VP managing a team of 5 business analysts looking after finance change functions for structured issued debt.
6 months ago I started my own consulting company and am currently working with another top tier investment bank on a large regulatory reporting project.
Extra-curricular: I have been appointed as one of two volunteer team leaders on Saturdays for 8 hours at one of London’s busiest tourist attractions. In this role I am responsible for ensuring adequate volunteer staffing of the various events and co-ordinating the volunteer activities with the events managers. My team of volunteers consists of 20 volunteers.
In the past I have tutored math and physics to several high school seniors and juniors to prepare them for their national exams.
Apologies for this being poorly written and a bit rushed, I am a bit pressed for time. But any feedback on my profile would be greatly appreciated.
Sorry all. Should have mentioned - my long term goal is to be the CFO of a global investment bank. My short term goal is to get a role at director level in finance in such an organization and I want to get an MBA to help me learn to be an effective manager of people and resources as well as gaining some exposure to managerial and financial practices outside of banking.
The main reason is to learn how to be a more effective manager to accelerate my progression but I would also like to get some exposure to professional ideas and techniques from outside of banking.
I guess the other part of it is to learn how to think more strategically - the banking crisis has created a lot of flux (particularly for finance) which means there are opportunities to be grasped if only one can see them and fit them into the strategy of the firm / department.
All in all I would say it is primarily about self improvement - sort of evolution rather than revolution.
I'll probably not come out knowing much more about the industry but I will know more about management and strategic planning etc. all of which can only help going forward.
Looking at the 2012 class profile at Columbia the students scored in the range of 680-760 in their GMAT. Similarly at Wharton’s MBA class of 2012 the students scored in the range of 650-770 in their GMAT and the median GMAT score being 720. Hence a GMAT score of 700 plus is advisable if you are aiming for top institutes abroad. So congrats on your GMAT score.
However it is not just the academics but beyond the academics that will help you in determining your candidature. Generally most of the applicants have a good 4-5 years of full time work experience apart from part time work exp or internships. Although it is not just the work experience that counts but also what you did there like-what were your achievements, what initiative you took, what changes you drove in your workplace etc. So if you can show that in 6 years you have demonstrated the skills business schools are looking for you can put in a strong set of essays.
Make sure you follow the ‘show rather than tell’ principle so that the admissions committee could really understand your strengths and differentiating factors.”
Well my GPA is actually the second highest available in a UK school as there are only 5 grades (1st, 2:1, 2:2, 3rd and fail). So I am not sure it is actually that low that I need to address it - especially as I was only 2% from getting a 1st 0, which would have been a 4.0.