Can you please evaluate my profile and give your valuable suggestions. I am looking to apply for R2 this year.
GMAT Score: 730 (Q49, V40) 5.0
Under-grad: Engineering from a Premier Institute in India
CGPA : 6.9/10 (CGPA in the last three semesters is much better than the average, if it helps)
Extra-curricular: secretary of a 400-member association, part of a magazine's editorial team, placement volunteer
-52 months as a Business Analyst (functional expert) for a team that develops s/w tools for Brokerage Firms in US Equity Trading space.
-Working for a Fortune 500 company for the last 27 months
-Promoted twice in the career spanning 4 years
-Received Performance Award this year
-Can talk about initiatives taken in the office & leadership role played at different instances
-Fund-raiser for Scholarships to needy students
-Financial controller of a non-profit Leadership Program spread across three continents
-Cleared CFA Level I
Post MBA goals:
Investment Management. Does this sound like a plan? I have spent more than 4 years absorbing the intricacies of Equity trading, how sell-side firms work, etc as part of my job as a functional expert. Also, I am pursuing CFA to get grip over buy-side of the market. Will this help me convince that I did substantial work towards my goal of becoming an Investment Manager? Does my need for an MBA evident in this story?
Top 20 US BSchools (excluding the Top 5). Please help me narrow down the list.
Your profile looks good in terms of GMAT score, academics and extracurricular activities.
Regarding your plans for the MBA in Investment Management, I think you are in the right path. With your current background as Business Analyst and developing s/w tool for brokerage firm, you can convincingly write about getting nuances of the working of equity firms. And your getting your CFA in parallel can also be showcased as the step in the right direction towards your plan.
The real deal would be how convincing you sound in your essays showcasing your proven leadership instances and knowledge gain through different stages for your profession towards your goal of going into Investment Management.
I think you should target the following US B-Schools - Chicago Booth, Columbia, Duke, Harvard, Stanford, Michigan Ross, Kellogg, NYU Stern and Cornell.
And yes in the end, I don't think you have to exclude top 5. Apply to 1-2 top 5 schools. If your essays are good then we have seen people with similar profile going in top 5 as well.