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 (!),
brutally honest, eh???
No problem (I'll still be nice though). Basically to cut to the chase - you come from the right business, and if you really have advanced fast, then that will help you out a lot (and it will also depend HOW fast.... the B-schools know the hedge funds and how they work, so they will know, if you present it in the right way. You have pretty good volunteer work. Can you get into HBS? You have a shot, I think. I mean you have the pedigree, and only (from what I can see anyhow) one black mark against you (two and you're out).. and your grades aren't even that bad. Are you gonna just walk in? Not likely... there are a lot of fantastic candidates out there.
So my main advice to you would be to expand your list. I take it you want to continue in your field? So you probably know which schools are good as well as I do - Besides the ones you listed - NYU, Booth, Sloan, Johnson, Haas if you like the West Coast... So I'd say the best thing you could do right now is add some more schools. And even if you feel that your career has been unremarkable, it's probably not true... so make sure you find a way to MAKE yourself seem remarkable... you don't have to be Spiderman, dude... but at least have a Mister Clean sparkle on your forehead, if you get my drift.
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