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Italian male, 25 years old
Management engineering (3 years degree), GPA 4.0/4.0
Financial engineering (2 years degree), GPA 4.0/4.0
GMAT 770 (Q50, V45)
Little working experience as a consultant (e-finance strategic consulting).
I would like to apply for a PhD in finance in one Ultra-Elite schools. How many chances do I have? My numbers seem strong, but I know the selection process is very competitive... I'm worried because of my little work experience and because my university is not a well-known one internationally (Polytechnic University of Milan).
My opinions: your gmat helps to overcome to any concern of your GPA from a 'not well-known' school . another strength is your quant background. work experience is less of a concern. I think you will be a very competitive applicant.
you did not mentioned your research interest and LOR, which may be important at the later stage of the selection process.
having said that, as you have acknowledged, the process is very competitive. you may in the final pool for consideration but beyond that it is anybody's guess what will happen. If your research interest in aligned with the faculty's, than your chance is better.
you may hence want to identify some schools outside the ultra-elite group that are also very strong in finance or your research interest.
My research interests are in corporate finance. At present, I collaborate with my university (it is a not well known one internationally, but it is the first and the most selective - that's to say GPAs are generally low - technical school in my country). I'm researching (a bit, of course, my job is very time consuming) about Neural Networks applications in banking and finance, but I would like to research about corporate finance (enterprise valuation, M&As, private equity, and so on).
I have three LORs, from a full professor of banking and finance, from a post-doctoral research fellow in banking and finance, and a non-academic one from one former reseach fellow (he holds a PHd) - in another discipline - who decided to run his own business (I collaborated with him on a couple on projects). Of course, since my university is not well known, my professors are not well known too.
In september I'm going to take the TOEFL test too.
I decided to apply to the following schools (Ultra Elite + "Safety schools"): MIT, Wharton, Stanford, Berkeley, New York Stern, Kellogg (Northwestern), Harvard, Michigan (Ross), Simon (Rochester), Warrington, Purdue, Krannert (Indiana), Cornell (Johnson).
I don't really see many safety in your school list...
One note on your LORs. From what I understand, it is best to get at least 2 recommenders, if not all, who are in academia. From the ad comm's perspective, they rely on your recommenders comment to testify whether you will make a good student and researcher. Hence the recommenders need to have interacted with many other students to draw conclusion on you. I'm not sure if the comments from the post-doc research fellow and the entrepreneur will be weighted heavily by the ad comm.
In case you do not know, I am applying for Fall 2007 intake too. So all these comments are not from my own success story, but from what I have gathered over the last 1.5 years.
Best wishes to both of us. haha.. _________________
All my reccomenders have interacted with many students, they lecture in many courses (MBA ones too) and support many students in writing their final dissertation (in Italy such final thesis is very important to determine the final GPA). On the contrary, they didn't published a lot of papers on international journals.
Would you mind to give me a piece of advice about a couple of safety schools, please?
Hope to meet you in an ultra-elite school in fall 2007
I am not familar with the field of finance hence I'm not in a good position to suggest any safety schools. One more thought on safety schools - make sure these are schools that you would go to if they are the only ones that accepted you. Don't waste your time, effort and money in applying to schools that you won't go to.
I am applying to 2 of the schools in your list - hope to see you at one of them. _________________
I am familar with the field of finance hence I'm not in a good position to suggest any safety schools. One more thought on safety schools - make sure these are schools that you would go to if they are the only ones that accepted you. Don't waste your time, effort and money in applying to schools that you won't go to.
I am applying to 2 of the schools in your list - hope to see you at one of them.
Can u pls tell me what are the safety schools u have in mind? I am trying to find 1-2 of these schools, on the East Coast, as close to a city as possible...