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Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT

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Intern
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Joined: 18 Sep 2011
Posts: 37
Location: United States (CA)
WE: Asset Management (Mutual Funds and Brokerage)
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Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT [#permalink] New post 18 Sep 2011, 16:25
Hi,

I have the following application profile and was wondering if the schools below are reasonable? I will be focusing on management.

Highest GMAT
Total: 680 (85%)
Quant: 46 (75%)
Verbal: 36 (78%)

Second Highest
Total: 660 (82%)
Quant: 42 (62%)
Verbal: 39 (87%)

Work Experience: 3 years when I enroll
Current Job: Municipal Analyst for mid-market firm with $60 billion AUM. Here are my responsibilities:

• Co-manage $3 billion in municipal assets spread across 180 institutional and individual accounts
• Analyze municipal market, trends, yield curve, and credit spreads to identify strategic opportunities
• Assist in management and strategy of two tax-exempt municipal bond mutual funds
• Manage account positions and duration based on client guidelines, risk tolerance, and goals
• Perform bond credit analysis to determine strength of debt service cash flow and legal covenants
• Analyze and create portfolio structures ranging from money market to long term strategies according to client requirements
• Write weekly municipal market update for clients and company website

Undergrad University: Washington University in St. Louis
Undergrad GPA: 3.59/4.00
Undergrad Major: Economics

I also have a family business that's been around for over 112 years and over $70 million in annual revenue that I'll eventually go back to run and is a big reason I'm pursuing my MBA. I'm hoping this combined with well thought out and researched short / long term goals I'll be able to make my application a lot stronger.

Schools I'm planning to apply to:
UCLA
USC
NYU
Berkeley
Columbia
Northwestern
Harvard (as a long shot)

If there's any additional information you need please let me know, thanks!
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Expert Post
Stacy Blackman Representative
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2011, 13:01
Expert's post
Hi eplusk,

If you are able to craft your application well (personal essays and letters of recommendations) you have a chance at those schools. One concern I have is your GMAT score. Have you considered taking the test for a 3rd time? Your score is self-reported on your business school application, so schools will only focus on your highest score.

The reason I mention this is, for example, let's consider Chicago Booth (which has a similar profile to the schools you listed). The 80th percentile of test scores is 660-760. This means that if you applied with a 660, you would be in the bottom 10th percentile. This doesn't mean you will not be accepted, but it is not a preferable situation to be in. Although your score is higher, if you believe you can improve your score by 40 points I would recommend you take the test again.

Here is some free GMAT advice:

http://www.stacyblackman.com/tag/gmat/


Hope this was of help.

Cheers,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Intern
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2011, 13:04
Conrad, I appreciate the help. I've actually already taken the GMAT three times and scored the following: 650, 660, and 680. I'm done at this point but believe I have a convincing story to tell. Hopefully it'll be enough to get me into one or two of the schools. Thanks a lot for your time!
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2011, 13:12
Expert's post
Normally, I would tell you that your profile was a tough one given your school list, until I read that little line about a 70$ million family business!!!!
Holy cow man! That is like having gold burning a hole through your pockets.
:)

Make amazing essays and a clever career plan that includes your family business and you have the potential to get in anywhere.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2011, 13:16
precisionessay wrote:
Normally, I would tell you that your profile was a tough one given your school list, until I read that little line about a 70$ million family business!!!!
Holy cow man! That is like having gold burning a hole through your pockets.
:)

Make amazing essays and a clever career plan that includes your family business and you have the potential to get in anywhere.


Haha thanks! The plan is to eventually go back to run it, so my short/long term goals are very much family business related. I've spent my whole life thinking about this, so the goals essay comes very naturally to me since I've had 24 years to think it through. I'm in finance right now but am looking to switch to management/strategy consulting since this would be more in line with my future goals. I appreciate the support!
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2011, 23:56
Expert's post
Man, I'm jealous...
:)
Well good luck to you.
If you need any help, you just let us know!
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2011, 05:06
precisionessay wrote:
Man, I'm jealous...
:)
Well good luck to you.
If you need any help, you just let us know!


Actually... I am curious about one thing. I'm having trouble deciding who to get my second recommendation from. Here is my situation:

I, like many people, can't ask my current supervisor for a letter of recommendation because they don't support my decision. They're currently trying to make me take the CFA so my studying for the GMAT and applying to grad schools is the exact opposite of what they want.

As such, I'm kind of in a bind over who to ask for my second letter of recommendation. My first is coming from an old boss, who I know will write me a good one, but the other choice is very shaky and I was hoping you guys could help me evaluate a couple options I have. I haven't had any other supervisor-employee type relationships and have been going through my options but can't figure out which will be the strongest for my applications. I work with people on Wall Street every day but none of the relationships are very deep, as they're salesmen who just try to push bonds on me. I also haven't worked closely enough in my volunteer work to get a recommendation from that either. None of my options seem to stand out as particularly strong, so I'd love to hear your opinion or any insights you may have.

1. My current boss and hope this isn't grounds to lose my job. This recommendation would be strong, but I haven't heard of anyone else at my company leaving for a MBA.

2. An indirect supervisor from my old job who I worked loosely with each day. I'm not sure that this angle would be very different that my old supervisor who is already writing me a recommendation though.

3. My mentor who I have known since I was a child. He's President and CIO of a small investment management company and I interned for him about 4 years ago. He's been giving me advice on the application process and knows me pretty well, but we haven't worked together in a long time and even then that was only an internship. I'd assume this would be more of a recommendation based on character than anything else.

4. A coworker (peer level, no supervisory) from my old job that I trained and worked with on a daily basis. I trained her, worked on a project with her that we eventually presented to the partners of the firm, and continued to guide her during my time at the company. She's now one of the most productive employees of the group.

Thanks a lot!
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2011, 13:54
Expert's post
Well, I think risking to lose your job or getting a recommendation from someone who doesn't want to give you one is a poor idea. Choice 2 would actually be your best bet cause even though the person may write the same things (although they can be guided to write different things), it's the only one that would carry any weight. Choice three is not a bad option for an additional recommendation, if you like. Buuut you also may have more options: Have you got anyone who was a "manager" in either volunteer/social/military or religious spheres??
They can be great options too.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2011, 23:46
When aiming for top institutes abroad a score above 700 is advisable. Looking at class profile of your aimed institute students on their GMAT scored-
1. Northwestern/Kellogg: GMAT score 640 - 750 with mean score715
2. Fall 2011 NYU: 680-760: average GMAT 719
3. 2012 USC Marshall: 640-740: average GMAT 690
4. 2011 Columbia: 680-760: average GMAT: 716.
5. 2013 Harvard: 490-790 : average GMAT score 730

Hence a score above 700 is advisable to secure your position GMAT wise. Although GMAT alone determine your chances- The quality of your work (what you did there like-what were your achievements, what initiative you took, what changes you drove in your workplace etc), your academics and beyond academics will play an important role in determining your candidature.
If you could improve your gmat score you would be in a much better position. Also generally candidates have around 4-5 years of full time experience in spite of several term time projects or jobs; so you may be competing with other candidates who have 4-5 years of full time experience and have started significant initiatives at college. So you will be competing with these students. However if you are confident that you can create a stellar application then take a chance else we would suggest retaking GMAT.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 680 GMAT   [#permalink] 21 Sep 2011, 23:46
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