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Profile Evaluation / ST and LT goal review

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Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 16 Sep 2010
Posts: 227
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Real Estate
GMAT 1: 740 Q48 V42
Followers: 7

Kudos [?]: 58 [0], given: 2

GMAT Tests User
Profile Evaluation / ST and LT goal review [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2012, 07:04
First off thank you so much for your willingness to do this - it is greatly appreciated.

I was wondering if you could maybe comment on: 1) if my head is in the right place with the schools I am targeting, and 2) if you think I am positioning myself right with my LT and ST goals.

Thanks.

Here are my high level stats:
White male, 25 years old, working for a top-tier venture capital fund in NYC.
740 on the GMAT (Q48 V42)
3.62 GPA from the University of Utah in Honors Finance
Work Experience - 4 years working at the VC fund - was able to bypass the investment banking route (although I did get several offers)
In college I interned with UBS in their special situations group, worked for the University of Utah endowment, worked for the private equity arm of a family office, and helped run the largest student run VC fund in the nation. I have lots of relevant deal experience (the fund has great returns so I can speak to that and how I added real value) and a couple of good stories that come out of this on leadership, failures, etc.
Extracurricular - In college I helped produce the analytics for the bestselling book "Breakthrough" which is a "Good to Great" for startups. Since then aside from the occasional charity race, or occasionally volunteering for the NYC Conservancy, I have spent a significant amount of time volunteering for NYPACE where I do some consulting for NYC based minority entrepreneurs. In addition I am also helping a friend start a business by teaching them how to and helping them to build a model (financial projections) so they can obtain financing from both outside investors as well as a bank.

In addition as an undergrad I was diagnosed and dealt with cancer. I have been able to intertwine this into a decent story on accomplishments, etc.

I want to go to business school in order to build out my network as well as enhance my operational capabilities. To move up in the VC world you need a good network of both VC and entrepreneur contacts. In addition I believe you need to have reasonable operational knowledge so you can offer real value add to the company's boards you are sitting on.

My short-term goal is to obtain a job with a VC firm - continuing what I am doing at present although in a capacity that would give me greater responsibility and would set me up with a definable track record to achieve my long-term goal.
My long-term goal is to create a publicly listed VC fund that would allow retail investors to participate in the world's greatest growth companies. While there are a couple of publicly listed options at present they are horrible and have done nothing but destroyed shareholder value.

The schools I am targeting are as follows:
1. HBS
2. Columbia Business School
3. Wharton
4. University of Chicago
5. Yale SOM

I am already working on essays for HBS and Columbia and plan on applying to all five during round 1. I am going to reach out for letters of recommendation in July with the goal of having them finished by late August. I am also already reaching out to students / alumni and starting to plan campus visits. I have done a decent amount of research on each school and have reasons why each fits for me.

Also on a side note - despite my overall good grades fairly quantitative courses (finance, economics, etc.) I did get a C in a statistics course - do you think I should use the optional essay to address this or since it was really a one-time blip and I have proven myself since then quantitatively its really a waste of time and only hurts me to call it out?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again for both you time and effort.
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Stratus Prep Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 09 May 2012
Posts: 68
Location: United States
Followers: 3

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Re: Profile Evaluation / ST and LT goal review [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2012, 13:21
Expert's post
Thanks for reaching out. I am happy to help.

It sounds like you have achieved a great deal over the course of your life. I was particularly struck by your professional success (avoiding the exhaustion of I-Banking is always great) as well as your overcoming cancer which is an exceptional personal anecdote. Your volunteer work with entrepreneurs and your work on “Breakthrough” are also quite impressive.

I think that your long-term goal is relevant and interesting. Obviously, to truly know if it has what it takes to get into HBS, etc. I would need to see how you will more fully develop it.

In terms of your short term goal, however, I am not convinced. It does not demonstrate a real need for an MBA since it sounds like you are just going back to the exact same type of job you already have. I think you need to come up with a much more compelling short term goal that still aligns with your experience and goals, but seems more inspired. We need the AdComs at these schools to want to give you a spot in the class because they are convinced that you will leverage that to make a significant difference immediately after your time on campus and not just in the short term.

I think that given your work experience and stats that the list of schools you have makes sense. HBS, Columbia and Wharton are all excellent for both finance and entrepreneurship so would represent ideal fits for you and, with the right packaging, you will be competitive at them.

Just keep in mind that it is quite challenging to get into business school (and especially HBS) today as an American male in finance and that, particularly at top 10 schools, your essays and recommendations will be far more important than your numbers. Given Stratus Prep’s location in New York City, we work successfully with numerous individuals with profiles very similar to yours who are applying to HBS/Wharton etc. each year. In fact, we have a near record with individuals from VC backgrounds applying to HBS over the last couple of years. I believe that this is because of our proprietary admissions methodology and our unique experience working with finance professionals and entrepreneurs.

If you would like to schedule some time to meet in person or over the phone to discuss how Stratus Prep might be able to help you maximize your chances at HBS and the other schools on your list, I would be happy to do so. You can either give us a call at 212 307 1788 or message me back here.

Best,
Shawn
_________________

Shawn O'Connor
Founder/CEO, Stratus Prep
shawn.oconnor@stratusprep.com
212-307-1788
http://www.stratusprep.com

Re: Profile Evaluation / ST and LT goal review   [#permalink] 08 Jun 2012, 13:21
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