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Am I being realistic? Need opinions

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Manager
Manager
Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 55
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 710 Q42 V45
GPA: 3.2
WE: Securities Sales and Trading (Investment Banking)
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Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

Am I being realistic? Need opinions [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2013, 15:45
Thanks in advance for any help. I just wanted to see how well positioned I am to start apply to B Schools.

Undergrad:

Well regarded private college

3.2 GPA overall ( I should note that I had a 3.6 in core business classes and got only A's and B's Junior and Senior year. I did not really get serious about school until then)
Weak grades in math/calc classes (taken freshman and sophomore years) but straight A's in finance, advanced accounting, and quantitative methods.

Varsity Athlete - All Conference Academic Team
Active in volunteering through local Mensa Chapter

710 GMAT
45v
42q

Work Experience:

1 year general sales rep with major mutual fund company
2 years Financial Advisor with large international investment bank
Series 7, 63, and 65 certifications

Target Schools:

Yale SOM
Cornell Johnson
NYU Stern (part time)
Vanderbilt Own
UNC Kenan-Flager
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: Am I being realistic? Need opinions [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2013, 18:09
Expert's post
Hi there,

Without knowing why you want an MBA and what you're looking to do, I really can't speak to your school list. I only say that because the list of schools appears to be rather spread out across a few criteria. However - and here's the good news - I don't think you're aiming high enough. The highest ranked school you have there is Yale (I'm excluding Stern PT) and I think you should look higher for some good stretch programs. With your GMAT and GPA trajectory, you don't have much to worry about in that department. Professionally, I don't know what your experiences are like but at face value they seem like they would be conducive to some interesting stories and themes. One big omission here, obviously, is extracurriculars since you graduated. In undergrad, you're covered through athletics and the volunteering.

Overall - I think you should look a little higher. If you could give me a little more information on your experiences (both professional and extracurricular) as well as your goals/passions, I would be happy to discuss potential programs!

Bhavik
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Manager
Manager
Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 55
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 710 Q42 V45
GPA: 3.2
WE: Securities Sales and Trading (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

Re: Am I being realistic? Need opinions [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2013, 18:32
Thanks for the quick response!

To answer your questions, I would like to pursue consulting as a career path. I have in depth experience with this in an academic setting in college. Our senior project was a month of organizing an M&A solution to a real life business scenario and presenting/defending our plan to real executives.

Some more information about my work history. Due to the time I got out of college and my low-ish GPA, I essentially had to start from the bottom. I started as a part time teller and in the matter of 1.5 years made my way up to a Financial Advisor. The only down side to this is that I made this transition through 3 different companies and 3 different job titles. The firm I am with now is a major investment bank with great name recognition. I should also note that I am only 23 years old (graduated a year early) and most of my fellow FA's are in their 30's/40's.

As far as extracurriculars post graduation, I am a volunteer tutor helping local adults get their GED's. Also, I am coordinator for a local sports league.
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Re: Am I being realistic? Need opinions [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2013, 05:46
Expert's post
Hey there,

My pleasure! Thanks for the additional info - it really helps. Now, let's get into it!

Schools/Goals: Consulting is a great path and it's good that you already have some experiences you could speak to from college. It helps with the "why a career change" question inherent for career changers. If that's your goal, I will say this about your school selection: most are either not the best choices for consulting OR feed specific service lines within the top firms. For example, Owen is a fantastic program but a lot of firms hire there for their operations practices.

If your goal is general based consulting, then you really need to look at schools that feed that. Here are some thoughts are stretch, aligned, and safety programs for you:

Stretch: Columbia, Tuck
Aligned: Duke, Ross, Cornell
Safety: UNC, Emory, McCombs

Overall, you want to focus on schools that provide a solid general management curriculum along with the opportunity to become involved in consulting-esque projects either through class exercises or within extracurriculars. Keep in mind, Tuck and Columbia are both competitive programs but if you don't try, you won't know! I think anything 6 and above is going to be quite stretch for you so I haven't included them but if you want to throw a hail mary at a Booth or Kellogg and have the time, go for it!

Work Experience:Don't worry too much about your career progression - that can easily be highlighted through the right story and messaging. The fact that you have that trajectory is something we can work with. Your age may be a sticking point with some of the higher ranked program so please be aware of that. I don't want to mislead you on that point but you still have the work experience so it should mitigate that. Most people at your age are at a disadvantage because they only have a year or two of experience. You graduated early so kudos! And the fact that your last job position has name recognition and pedigree is a plus.

Community Involvement: You're good here. It shows you give back and that you make an impact. Once again, it comes down to story as to "why" you do these things and what that means going forward but there's good stuff to work with here!

I hope this helps. The programs I suggested are not only programs who place into consulting, but also those that will help you be successful IN consulting.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Bhavik
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Re: Am I being realistic? Need opinions [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2013, 06:05
CriticalSquareMBA wrote:
Hey there,

My pleasure! Thanks for the additional info - it really helps. Now, let's get into it!

Schools/Goals: Consulting is a great path and it's good that you already have some experiences you could speak to from college. It helps with the "why a career change" question inherent for career changers. If that's your goal, I will say this about your school selection: most are either not the best choices for consulting OR feed specific service lines within the top firms. For example, Owen is a fantastic program but a lot of firms hire there for their operations practices.

If your goal is general based consulting, then you really need to look at schools that feed that. Here are some thoughts are stretch, aligned, and safety programs for you:

Stretch: Columbia, Tuck
Aligned: Duke, Ross, Cornell
Safety: UNC, Emory, McCombs

Overall, you want to focus on schools that provide a solid general management curriculum along with the opportunity to become involved in consulting-esque projects either through class exercises or within extracurriculars. Keep in mind, Tuck and Columbia are both competitive programs but if you don't try, you won't know! I think anything 6 and above is going to be quite stretch for you so I haven't included them but if you want to throw a hail mary at a Booth or Kellogg and have the time, go for it!

Work Experience:Don't worry too much about your career progression - that can easily be highlighted through the right story and messaging. The fact that you have that trajectory is something we can work with. Your age may be a sticking point with some of the higher ranked program so please be aware of that. I don't want to mislead you on that point but you still have the work experience so it should mitigate that. Most people at your age are at a disadvantage because they only have a year or two of experience. You graduated early so kudos! And the fact that your last job position has name recognition and pedigree is a plus.

Community Involvement: You're good here. It shows you give back and that you make an impact. Once again, it comes down to story as to "why" you do these things and what that means going forward but there's good stuff to work with here!

I hope this helps. The programs I suggested are not only programs who place into consulting, but also those that will help you be successful IN consulting.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Bhavik


to add to that, part-time programs should be off your list if you're making the change to consulting (esp. Stern's). otherwise, i think the aforementioned list is a good one although u shld probably seek out a consultant if you're aiming for top tier. and even then it may be difficult given the competitiveness
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Re: Am I being realistic? Need opinions [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2013, 08:37
Expert's post
Thanks old1442 - I didn't explicitly call that out but it's important to note!

@dthollow - I discounted Stern's PT program early on and didn't add any part time programs for that exact reason! Changing careers is difficult enough and to utilize an MBA to do so you really need the benefits of a full time program. The extracurriculars, internship, and experiential learning experiences will be critical in building your resume as you apply to consulting firms!

Bhavik
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Bhavik Trivedi
Managing Partner, Founder

Critical Square | MBA Admissions Services

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Re: Am I being realistic? Need opinions [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2013, 04:52
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Hey dthollow,
I didn't have a strong ug GPA(3.3), similar reasons (although did well in calc/stats) and have the same GMAT score and breakdown. I think since you’ve passed the series 7 and the others, MBA programs will trust your quantitative ability.

I got into Johnson, WL at Duke (withdrew a little bit ago) and Dinged at Tuck. I think with your profile top 15s are totally within grasp, its worth taking a flyer on a top 10, and top 20s should be in there in case. I agree with the schools suggested by critical, although CSB may be a bit out of reach, but if you're applying to 5+ its worth trying.

Anyway, I feel I got in due to showing the type of impact I had during my professional career, and how my experiences and passions truly aligned with my post MBA goals and the culture of those schools.

Since you are only 23, why do you feel this is the right time to pursue an MBA? You may be better served putting a bit more time in at your current role(and a bit more time between you and that GPA)... If you are ready to apply this year, but wouldn’t mind waiting another year if it doesn’t work out, try for a few reaches and maybe 1 match, you may get lucky... If not, you'll be better prepared for next year.

If you have any questions about the app process for Johnson, Fuqua, or Tuck, or any program specific questions about Johnson feel free to reach out.
Good Luck!
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Re: Am I being realistic? Need opinions [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2013, 21:24
Hi Forum Members! I am a SEO Professional and joined the forum to increase & share my knowledge here. Hope Seniors will welcome me.
Re: Am I being realistic? Need opinions   [#permalink] 27 Jun 2013, 21:24
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