I received a ding from CBS yesterday. My profile is as follows-
GMAT- 760 (Quantitative 51 Verbal 41)
Undergraduate- B.Tech Indian Institute of Technology Delhi GPA 6.72/10 ( Five Economics Electives 7.83/10; three failing grades- computers, an 8/10 the second time, a core engineering course 10/10 the second time, biology elective: did not retake)
Passed the CFA Level 1 and 2 Exams.
Work experience- 46 months discretionary macro prop trading US and European rate derivatives at a relatively unknown but upcoming prop firm. Good track record: ranked first in my batch of joiners in my second year of trading, ranked second firm wide in rates during my third year of trading amongst 100 traders.
A number of math olympiad certifications, top 200-300 All India ranks in engineering exams. 99.70 percentile in IIM Common Admission Test 2007
Have some leadership examples, strong philanthropic tendencies.
Long term Goal- global macro, fixed income, credit and distressed investing. leadership roles in economic policy and international finance.
Was offered the Head of Trading position but firm backtracked as there was a risk that I was going to apply for an MBA.
I hence left 3 months back, unemployed since then, employers want the brand name of a bulge bracket desk and I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that I can't find a job without an MBA. Constantly exchanged emails with a former head of prop trading at a top IB (was one of the biggest macro traders in the 90s and early 2000s) and a relative value/ macro PM at a top US hedge fund. In the latter case I was discussing and recommending trades for about 6 months. So I learnt doing macro without any help from my firm by reading books, global macro research. I am really good at it.
I am now applying to the full time MBA at NYU. I don't think I will have a chance at the top MBA programs. Now that I got rejected at CBS, Booth will be equally difficult as per me. I need help deciding whether I should apply to Booth in Round 2.
Is my undergraduate performance hurting my chances?
I am not looking at any schools other than NYU and Booth now.
Yes. Your undergrad performance is hurting your chances. I can't definitely say that it caused your rejection from CBS. Your unemployed status, if you were unemployed when you applied, could also have an impact, as could the effectiveness of your application. If you didn't present your qualifications well, that too could hurt you. It certainly isn't your GMAT, which is excellent. It probably isn't your work experience, which sounds good.
I think you have a competitive profile for NYU and Booth, other than the issues I raised above. You need to address those poor grades, provide a non-defensive reason for your current unemployed status, and wow them with your qualifications. I know you say you only want to apply to NYU and Chicago, but it might make sense to widen your choices. Have you considered LBS, Duke, UCLA, or Cornell?
Also, if you did present yourself poorly in your CBS application, you need to know it before you send in your Chicago and NYU Stern applications. You don't want to make the same mistakes. I encourage you to have your CBS application evaluated.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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