I would be very thankful if you can help in evaluating my profile for a finance PhD and to which range of schools that I am qualified to apply to. My profile is listed as follows:
MS, Economics, Kuwait University(AACSB accredited) GPA:4.00/4.00
BS, Finance, Gulf University for science and technology, Kuwait, GPA:3.62/4.00
GMAT: 780 Quant: 99th percentile
Completed all three levels of the CFA as well as the FRM.
Additional coursework: Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Calculus 3, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Real Analysis, Econometrics and time series analysis, Probability Theory,Mathematical Statistics and Stochastic Calculus. Got straight A's in all of them except Mathematical Statistics (A-).
Awards: Best MS thesis Award.
Publications:Currently working with one of my professors on a research paper concerning Asset Pricing.
LOR's: Pretty solid I guess. One of them is from my postgrad University' Dean of Business Administration and another from the professor im curently working with for the research, he's a Princeton Ph.D
Work Experience: 3 years as an equity research analyst in IB.
What really worries me is my undergrad record. Although the GPA doesn't look bad, I had to deal with some repeats during my first 3 semesters. I received 2 F's and 2 D's, and ended up with an embarrassing 2.4 GPA during freshman and early sophomore class. I managed to make it up though within the last 5 semesters with almost straight A's. The question that always haunts me is, how far can these bad grades hurt my application? given that I aced all of my courses after freshman. And to what range of schools I am qualified to apply to? Would my profile seem competitive for a school like Berkeley?
Sorry for the awfully long post and annoying questions. I just hope I can get some input from you guys. Thanks a bunch.