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Profile Evaluation Please [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2011, 20:24
Paul,

I was hoping you could help me out and give me an idea of what types of schools I should be targeting as well as any reach schools. I am a finance grad. Villanova Business School (Undergrad). I have a 2.8 gpa overall, but a 3.6 major gpa, and a very strong upward grade trend. Also I pieced together my Bachelor's over the course of 7 years (not sure how relevant that is) but don't have a very strong reason for the extended time but basically the last two years was going full time and did very well. I received a 730 on my GMA, 95% for Verbal, 83% for Quant (I think that's the correct breakdown). I am a Mexican American with dual citizenship. I have 4 years of work experience on a trading desk fixed income sec. (buy side). I really have no idea given my lower gpa and sporadic undergraduate record which schools I should target, and whic schools are potential reaches. I am looking to apply to 4-6 schools given the time consuming nature of the applications. Your advice is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Profile Evaluation Please [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2011, 18:55
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Hey Dtackpat75:

I have a few questions for you. Where did you go to high school? Was it in the United States or in Mexico? were you the first in your family to attend college?
Moving on, you need to have a good story for why your undergraduate performance was so low. There are really only a few reasons for such a lackluster performance overall. Did you have to work full-time in support of yourself financially? did you struggle in a particular subject matter? Did you shift majors? Did you have to drop out and come back?
If you can tell me that you had to basically blaze your own path and that you have no one to rely upon -- financially or experientially -- you may have the beginning of a good reason for why it took you seven years. I know you say that you do not have a strong reason, but I found that most of my clients really do not have a good understanding of what is a good excuse initially. They think they know what one might be or may not be, and they come to the table not mentioning certain factors that are completely acceptable to an admissions committee. That is why I ask my clients weird questions -- such as have you ever been hit by a car? Are your parents divorced? Did anyone in your family die of cancer? When? Did you grow up poor? Were you ever the victim of discrimination?
All these questions may seem very weird, but they evoke the real story of why people do the things that they do. Most of my clients, at the beginning of engagement, do not even know how to think critically about their own self and their own journey. For example -- I would ask you "who are you?" You would probably begin talking to me about your job. That is the wrong way. But I digress. My whole point is that do not discount your experiences by saying you do not have good reasons. Find that reason.

In order for me to tell you what your school short list should include, I need to know what your goals are. It is not one-size-fits-all here. If you want to go back into banking, then there is going to be an issue at the top finance programs. I think Columbia or NYU may be good fits -- meaning, you may have a reasonable chance of getting into those two and they are respected for the most part.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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