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Profile Evaluation, please. Goal to attend Columbia U

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Profile Evaluation, please. Goal to attend Columbia U [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2013, 04:01
Thank you for reviewing my profile. Any advice would be much appreciated.

I am aiming to attend a top-tier b-school for a 2-year full time MBA for Sept 2014 entry.

My goal is to get into Columbia, but am also interested in Wharton, Harvard, LBS, Stern.

At present:
Age: 25yrs (turning 26 later this year), male, asian, Canada

Work Ex: 4+ years in total
-2+ years sell-side equity research
-Previously at small value fund in ops

Graduation: CGPA 3.8/4.0 Health Sciences with Minor in Business
Summa Cum Laude, Dean's list all years
-Originally aimed for med school, but realized towards the latter half of undergrad that I wanted to go into finance. I'd say it took me so long to realize due to cultural pressures.
GMAT score: 680 (48q, 35v)

Extra Curricular:
-Completed CFA Level 3
-Attended Columbia investing conference in each of the last 3 years
-Attended Berkshire Meeting for the first time last year
-Basketball/volleyball league
-Avid investor (generated +20% per year over last three years); started investing during undergrad using technical analysis. I got really hooked and eventually got burned. Since then, I have fully embraced value investing and read anything and everything on the topic (hence why I have been attending Columbia conference and Berkshire meeting, all of which has been on my own dime).

Post MBA goals:
Short-term: Work for value-focused hedge fund
Longer-term: Start my own fund back in Canada where there is a very limited number of reputable value oriented funds. I would want to start a mutual fund to provide retail investors with a way to earn a decent return on capital. What I've learned in the industry is that retail investors are highly disadvantaged; I would like to change this in Canada.
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Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Profile Evaluation, please. Goal to attend Columbia U [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2013, 22:46
Expert's post
Well, my first piece of advice would be: retake the GMAT. You are aiming high, very high... and with just a 680, the cards are stacked against you. You are young, and have what seems to be good work experience (Although I'm missing a wee bit of detail there - who you work for exactly, and what you do), but basically for your schools a 680 is enough to make things difficult to impossible. So I'd think about retaking and applying with 30+ points more on the GMAT.
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Re: Profile Evaluation, please. Goal to attend Columbia U [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2013, 04:02
JonAdmissionado wrote:
Well, my first piece of advice would be: retake the GMAT. You are aiming high, very high... and with just a 680, the cards are stacked against you. You are young, and have what seems to be good work experience (Although I'm missing a wee bit of detail there - who you work for exactly, and what you do), but basically for your schools a 680 is enough to make things difficult to impossible. So I'd think about retaking and applying with 30+ points more on the GMAT.


I think you are right about needing to retake. As for work experience, I am a sell-side equity research associate (involves lots of modelling and report writing i.e. initiations, earnings notes), working at the 6th largest bank in Canada. I think I have a good background etc. that would make me competitive candidate for working on the buy-side. My major flaw, I believe, is the GMAT. Your thoughts?
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Re: Profile Evaluation, please. Goal to attend Columbia U [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2013, 22:43
Expert's post
I would agree. I mean everything else looks good. You are in a fantastic industry, have great grades, CFA level 3. Basically things look pretty good, only that darned GMAT is sticking out! But the nice thing is that the GMAT is one of the easiest "problems" to fix...

So go to it! And good luck on your retake. With 30 points higher, (or more) you will be more in line with their expectations. (Still have to write fantastic essays of course! :) But one thing at a time)
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Re: Profile Evaluation, please. Goal to attend Columbia U [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2013, 03:47
JonAdmissionado wrote:
I would agree. I mean everything else looks good. You are in a fantastic industry, have great grades, CFA level 3. Basically things look pretty good, only that darned GMAT is sticking out! But the nice thing is that the GMAT is one of the easiest "problems" to fix...

So go to it! And good luck on your retake. With 30 points higher, (or more) you will be more in line with their expectations. (Still have to write fantastic essays of course! :) But one thing at a time)


Thank you for your feedback. Much appreciated!
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Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Profile Evaluation, please. Goal to attend Columbia U [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2013, 00:47
Expert's post
gr33ngi4nt wrote:
JonAdmissionado wrote:
I would agree. I mean everything else looks good. You are in a fantastic industry, have great grades, CFA level 3. Basically things look pretty good, only that darned GMAT is sticking out! But the nice thing is that the GMAT is one of the easiest "problems" to fix...

So go to it! And good luck on your retake. With 30 points higher, (or more) you will be more in line with their expectations. (Still have to write fantastic essays of course! :) But one thing at a time)


Thank you for your feedback. Much appreciated!


You got it dude. See you back here soon with your fantastic GMAT!
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