1) Work experience: 6 years at major Canadian pension company. I’ve worked in 8 departments during this time (including a rotational program) - experiencing broad and (quite) privileged exposure to different aspects of the industry/company. Currently senior researcher for global investment portfolio team (portfolio AUM is >$20 billion).
2) GMAT: 730
3) Schooling: Top Canadian university (U of Toronto/Queen's/McGill); GPA=3.4/4.3, 2007 graduation. I take full responsibility for my mediocre grades.
4) Extra-curriculars: university (rowing, study abroad program in South Africa - volunteered in townships); after graduation (improv classes; volunteering for youth mentoring program; started intra-company group for young employees to network and discuss various business issues). Have read 110 books over last 2 years.
5) Designations: CFA
6) Target programs: Harvard, Wharton, Columbia
7) Applying when: R1 2013 (2014 admission)
8) Post-MBA goals: Work for a prominent hedge fund. A friend/colleague at that hedge fund has written a letter of recommendation for me.
Other: Both of my letters of recommendation are pretty solid. I’m a good essay writer. To cut to the chase, I have a pretty stereotypical - one might say unremarkable - profile, but I think my rapid career advancement (and hedge fund letter of recommendation) and character (which stands out in my other letters of recommendation) set me apart. I’m more than happy to elaborate on anything further. Please be brutally honest in your assessment.
Thank you (!),
Your grades are the wild card here, but everything else looks good for your target programs. Harvard is a stretch because it's Harvard. If you don't have significant leadership, I would skip it. You may also want to consider Booth, LBS and NYU Stern. Because the competition is so intense and your undergrad grades were mediocre, I don't recommend applying to only Harvard, CBS, and Wharton unless your future employer insists upon one of those schools.
If you would like help with your apps
, please let me know.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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