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Profile Evaluation Request (thank you in advance!)

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Profile Evaluation Request (thank you in advance!) [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2012, 16:40
Hi,

Thank you in advance for your time in viewing my profile. Please let me know if I need to add relevant information.

Profile:
25 year old Asian-American female (US citizen)
BSc Carnegie Mellon University, majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance (3.69 GPA)

GMAT:
700 (Q45/V41)

Professional Experience
2 years - Leadership Rotational Program at a large insurance company. Program entailed 4 six-month rotations across various groups in the company, mostly in roles with a business/IT collaboration.
1 year (and counting) - Directors and officers insurance underwriter for financial service companies (in same insurance company). Essentially, the job requires evaluating financial service companies (banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, investment advisors, REITs) in depth from financial health, risk management, corporate governance, and operational perspectives in order to potentially provide directors and officers (D&O) insurance. D&O is purchased by individuals who are named executives in these companies, as well as those who sit on the Board.

I obtained my current underwriting role through contacts made (and positive feedback) during one of my rotations in rotational program noted above. The move to a financial/underwriting role was definitely lateral (foregoing promotions/higher pay I could have earned had I stayed on the business/IT path), but I wanted to seek a financial role that was more in line with my educational background, as well as my future aspirations. I really enjoy the financial analysis required in my current role. However, I am seeking new opportunities that are both more challenging and quantitative, which is why I plan to pursue an MBA

Community Involvement
Advisory board member at a local school in NYC (current)
Board member of a community college (previous, due to location change)
Volunteer tax preparer for low and middle income families (2 seasons)

Main Requests for Evaluator
1) What are your thoughts as to my candidacy at my top schools (schools known for strong graduate presence in investment banking / private equity): Wharton, Harvard, Booth, Columbia
2) Should I retake the GMAT? I heard that the top schools like at least a 80th percentile for the quant score. My score printout states that my Q45 score is only in the 72nd percentile. Given that it is currently July 2012, I technically do have time to retake the test (note this is already my second try), but the effort will most likely cut into availability to put toward the other parts of my application.
3) Any other thoughts / suggestions?

Thanks so much!
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request (thank you in advance!) [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2012, 05:20
Expert's post
You have to remember that when applying to b-school, you are placed in buckets according to your profile traits, background and work experience. You are unique in this respect in that you will be placed in the female bucket and you also have ethnicity to offer. What this means is, you may not have to deliver quite as highly on the GMAT as the general applicant because you offer "something more." Since your GMAT score is really good, it's unlikely you would need to retake unless you think you can indeed achieve the 80th percentile. If you think it would be reasonable to achieve the 80th percentile or better, you should retake just to add a bit more insurance. While there is still no guarantee you can hit your target schools, I think your demonstrated leadership both in and out of work coupled with your unique offerings as an Asian female from Carnegie Melon should set you up for a good shot. There is always a shortage of females applying to business school.
Let us know if we can be helpful.

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Re: Profile Evaluation Request (thank you in advance!) [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2012, 05:09
Thank you so much!
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Joined: 02 Jul 2012
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request (thank you in advance!) [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2012, 05:17
Hi,

Can I actually ask you one more question? I know how important school visits are, both from a personal point of view of being able to get to know the schools themselves, but also from an application point of view (something you can reference in your essays/app, getting on the adcom's radar, etc.). However, most schools don't have many events or visits available during the summer. I haven't visited previously, and am applying this fall for a Fall 2013 entry date.

I had hoped to apply to my target/reach schools in R1. Do you recommend waiting (given that many of the large events take place a week or two before R1 deadlines, and that's not really enough time to edit essays, etc., if needed?

Thanks!
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request (thank you in advance!) [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2012, 18:28
Expert's post
My recommendation would be to get everything ready, then visit in the fall prior to submission, that way, if you want to tweak anything based on your visit you still have time to do so. A visit likely won't radically change your application strategy, but might give you some subtle insight into how to fine tune the application.

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Bryant Michaels
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