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1) Basic demographic info: 26yrs, Male, French Been living in the US/UK past 7yrs
2) Educational Background: Undergrad: Univ. of Sth Carolina BBA, major Finance and International Business... GPA 3.98 Exchnage program 1yr: Barcelona... fluent in spanish Interned Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley
GMAT 720 (Q48, V41, 4.5)
3) Work experience: 3yrs full time at Morgan Stanley: European Equities Trader. Promoted to associate last summer. Traded 3 sectors, Emerging markets, industrials, telco/media/tech
4) Extracurriculars Univ stuff: President of Investment for Carolina finance club. Event director for foreign student association. Since working: Fund raiser for an organization. Planning a mission for one laptop per child but still "work in progress"
5) Short/Long term goals: Change field for a more entrepreneurial career focused on new energies... lithium.
6) Schools: 1. HBS 2. Stanford 3. Wharton 4. Columbia 5. MIT 6. Kellogg 7. Chicago 8. Berkeley 9. Stern
As you know, Stanford and HBS are incredibly challenging target schools for even the most talented applicant, but, with that said, I think you have an interesting profile and a good shot at being accepted to a school on your list. I would suggest that you apply to no more than five schools (and you may want one of those to be "safer" than the current targets - keep NYU and then do 3 others that you really like).
WIth applicants of your caliber, the LORs and essays are really what set you apart and make the difference between being accepted and being rejected. Your undergraduate grades and your GMAT both demonstrate that you have the ability to handle the work at any of the top business schools, you now just need a compelling story!
Focus not only on why you need an MBA and what you plan to do with it, but, also explain why you would be a good addition to the starting class (the unique perspective that you will bring/share with your classmates).