My background: South Asian US citizen in NYC. Six years work experience:
Trading floor software developer at top ibank (some project management)
Trading strategy software dev at high-frequency algo-trading prop trading fund (followed by layoff / 1 month gap)
Software dev at a major financial analytics & media firm (current)
GPA: 3.62 in biomedical engineering, UT Austin, 2008
Extracurriculars during school: member of community service frat (led some projects), and member of competitive running club/team.
Extracurriculars after graduation: member of a few competitive running teams for 5+ years, and volunteer at races occasionally.
When I'll apply: R1 2013-2014
Where I'll apply: Three years ago, I applied to HBS, Stanford, Kellogg, and MIT. I struck out at all of them. I was still at the ibank at the time in a junior role. This time, I'm aiming for Booth, Kellogg, Wharton, Michigan, UVA, and Tuck. I'd be really interested to hear which schools might be good "safety" schools for me. I'm quite set on not striking out this time.
Potential goals: I'm open to two paths. Path 1 would be to move into an investment management role in the buy-side using my prior financial experience. Path 2 would be to move into a management/strategy role at a product-focused tech company, using my prior technical experience.
I'm reluctant to call any of the schools you are applying to "safety schools," but if I have to I would say that Ross and UVA come close to it given your qualifications. You may also want to consider Cornell Johnson. It would support either of your goals and is an excellent program that historically has been a little easier to get into. If you want to focus on the investment banking part of your goals, you may want to add NYU Stern to your list. It has excellent ties to Wall St.
If you would like help with your MBA applicatio
n, please let me know.
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