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Undergrad: IIT Roorkee (2008 batch), CGPA: 6.5 / 10 (relative grading, still not particularly good) FRM (both levels) Passed CFA Level - 2
GMAT: 700 (Q50, V34) and AWA: 4.5 (took on Oct 31,2011) Work ex 1: Marketing analytics KPO (2 years) Work ex 2: Financial Management (Process consulting) and Shared Services & Outsourcing Advisory with KPMG Management Consulting International work ex: None, however have extensively worked with US and European clients / colleagues
Total work ex by Aug'13: 5 years and 1 months (expected) Extra curricular: Have been involved with an NGO and worked in North India. Did a lot of stuff during the college, for example, was the General Secretary of the elected students body. Involved in managing technical festivals etc.
Major reason for MBA: Get into the finance domain (corp. finance, I - banking etc.) with direct client exposure (I have worked in an offshore model for a few years now)
My criteria of schools selection is as follows: 1. Global rank less than 30 (I generally refer to FT rankings for the Global ranks) 2. Good finance focus 3. Total expenditure of less than $100k (including everything). I understand that this is a makes things very difficult and I might have to go for lower ranked schools to meet this criteria. I am sure a scholarship / grant would be necessary to meet this criteria.
Based on the above, I have shortlisted a few schools and grouped them as follows:
Category 1 (Dream) - admit would be a good thing, expecting a scholarship / grant would be a stretch 1. Booth 2. Haas 3. Stern 4. LBS
Category 2 (Reachable) - expect an admit, might also get a scholarship / grant if I am lucky 1. Yale 2. Tepper 3. Anderson (UCLA) 4. Ross
Category 3 (Good chance) - expect an admit as well as a scholarship / grant 1. Georgetown 2. Emory
Apart from these I am also looking to apply to major Asian schools (HKUST, NUS and ISB), I would not need to depend on a scholarship / grant for these schools. However, I will have to make a tough call of choosing between the Asian and Category 3 schools in case I get a scholarship / grant in Category 3 schools only.
I would just want you to please validate / suggest changes to the schools that I have shortlisted above. Also, it would be great if you can provide some guidance around choosing between the Asian / Category 3 schools given my long term objective.
This is a very thoughtful query. Here are my thoughts:
Your dream school list is pretty good, though I might swap Haas out for something else or cut it out all together. Cost of living in the Berkeley area is very high and it would be very difficult to get your total cost at Haas down to less than $100k (unless you were sponsored by your company). Also, while I am the biggest fan of Haas myself, I wouldn't say it stands out as a top finance program relative to the other schools on your list.
In Category 2, you might consider UVA and Cornell as strong fits given your criteria.
There are a number of programs to choose from for Category 3 - you'll have to do your research to see which have strong finance programs as I am less familiar with their profiles.
As for whether you ultimately choose a school in Asia vs. a Category 3... that is really tough for me to say. It's a very personal decision at the end of the day, but if you are trying to get into a U.S. or international bank, then it probably makes sense to be in the U.S. or U.K. I would also target schools based on location (Chicago, NY, London, etc.) -- being based in a major financial center will improve your recruiting efforts and chances.
I just wanted to know you if you can suggest me a few schools based on their 'generosity' taking my profile into account.
Regarding replacing Haas, I guess you are right though it would be difficult to replace, I can think of Sloan and Columbia but I guess both of them might be a stretch considering my GMAT and general profile. Also, the only reason I did not put Darden (UVA) and Johnson (Cornell) not there was that I was not sure how good their finance courses were.
As far as the Category 3 vs. Asia question is concerned, I think Hong Kong (and Singapore also to an extent) does offer good exposure as far as the major financial services organizations are concerned. In-fact, I know a friend of mine who is doing is MBA from Yale and is currently doing his intern in Hong Kong. Moreover, with all the China story and Asian century thing going around, I think in the long term it would be prudent to bet on an excellent Asian school (such as HKUST or NUS) than going for a lower US school. Does this make sense? Any thoughts?
I'm not sure what you mean by "generosity" of a school... can you clarify?
Darden has a pretty strong finance program - perhaps not quite like Wharton or Chicago, but still strong with 19 finance related courses and 12 faculty members in this department. Do some more research and see what you think! Cornell definitely identifies itself as a finance school and is continually adding courses in this department - I'd count it as a very finance-oriented program that you should consider/do more research on.
Hong Kong is definitely a financial center, so from that perspective makes sense. It's difficult for me to say where you should place your bets - your logic makes sense, but it just depends where you want to build your career. If you pick an Asia school, you'll likely build your career in Asia as it will be more difficult to get U.S. opportunities (not impossible, but more difficult). It's really a personal choice at the end of the day - wish I could help more!
By 'generosity' I meant, a school's general trend / probability of providing scholarship or a grant given my profile, background etc. For example there might a scholarship for CFA candidates / charter holders in one of the schools. This can be an additional criteria for selecting a school and prioritizing the application to that school.
I would definitely do some more research on Johnson and Darden (I guess both of these would fit somewhere between category 1 and 2), thanks for providing your inputs regarding these schools. In the mean while, just wanted to take your opinion regarding my chances at Sloan and Chicago, I think they might be a stretch given my GMAT / general profile.
Finally, I understand that the Asia vs. Category 3 is basically a personal choice; I would most likely go for a well known Asian school rather than a low ranked US school specially when I see that HKUST is ranked 10 in the global rankings by FT.
Thanks a ton, your inputs are really helpful!!!! IndianExpress