Canadian/ male/ 25
1) Having graduated in 2011, I have been employed full time at Canada's leading telecommunications provider, Bell Canada, for nearly 3 years now. I initially started off in the marketing division, had a brief stint in auditing, and am currently a Strategy and Planning Manager, supervising a team of 2 analysts.
2) Total 710. Q49 (81%), V37 (82%).
3) University of Toronto, Honours Bachelor of Science - Biology, 2.72 cumulative GPA. 3.4 and 3.5 in last 2 years respectively.
Long story short, I had no idea as to what I wanted to do with my life when I first entered university and was forced into a Neuroscience program by my parents. My grades were poor in my first year but got incredibly worse in my second year despite me putting in a lot of effort into my studies. The fact that I had to work part time to partially fund my tuition did not help either. My declining grades caused a lot of issues family wise: my dad became very ill, my mom blamed his declining health on my abysmal grades, and my family seemed to be falling apart. At the end of second year, I knew a drastic change had to be made so I dropped out of Neuroscience and took on Biology. I knew it was still not the program for me but I decided that I didn't want to waste the money my parents had already put into my education so I chose a field that would allow me to carry over the majority of my neuroscience credits, while eliminating the courses that I was having significant trouble with.
4) Extracurricular involvements:
Elected as the alumni chair of my fraternity shortly after my graduation. Role involves providing professional networking opportunities to young brothers and providing advice to the active house from an alumni's perspective.
Canadian Blood Services - One Match Stem Cell Network. Served as a promoter for Canadian Blood Services by raising awareness of stem cell research and enlisting community members into the donor database.
Canadian Cancer Society - Relay for Life. Developed innovative fundraising campaigns to raise awareness of breast and prostate cancer while raising funds for research.
Assisted in the execution of the annual 12 hour overnight carnival style fundraiser that brought the Toronto community together to raise over $10 million CAD in 2013.
University of Toronto - Student Mentorship Program. As a mentor for first year students, I was expected to counsel and advise incoming first year students on various aspects of university life including but not limited to course selection, time management and career counseling.
University of Toronto - Student Residence Council. I was elected to the student residence council as a community representative during my two years living on residence.
This primary functions of this role were to advocate changes to residence policy based on evolving student needs and to assist in organizing biweekly events for the resident population.
5) No other qualifications.
6) I've been in love with Stanford ever since I visited its campus last year but I realize I might be overreaching here. Any Ivy leagues school would basically be a dream come true. It's already April and my choices are very limited at this point for September enrollment. I'm contemplating Cornell/ Yale/ Cambridge currently but have no idea how competitive my application is. Where should I be applying currently and where would you recommend I apply if I waited till the 2015 admission cycle?
7) Need advice on when to apply. Should I try this year or wait till the 2015 cycle? I don't have any strict personal timelines.
8) I'd like to work in a strategy consulting capacity at a leading firm such as Deloitte/ Bain & Co./ KPMG.
Any advice on where I should be applying considering my profile and shortcomings (GPA) would be greatly appreciated.