I've asked a different consultant the same question and she seemed a bit too optimistic, and I have the same question outstanding in the "Ask Accepted.com
" forum, but thought there is no harm in getting multiple opinions....
I'm just getting going with my GMAT studying and want to know what threshold I need to target (680, 700, 710+) to round out my profile and be competitive at my targeted programs.
Summary profile is as follows: (sorry for the book!)
24 (plan on applying for fall’09 – so will be 26 going to school), caucasian, male.
– dual concentration: Financial Management, Accounting; minor: Psychology. Major GPA: 3.5, overall GPA: 3.2 (my weak point). Weak grades on the transcript relate to 1st/2nd year and non-quant courses.
(while in school, to help mitigate low gpa) – Worked 3 jobs to put myself through college (debt free) including a position as a Resident Assistant (“RA”), multiple clubs, volunteer work, intramural sports, ran an eBay business, etc. Post-grad: I'm currently a member of Habitat for Humanity in SF and I've participated in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program sponsored through KPMG. Also, a friend and I are in the middle of designing a product for a web-based start-up (a bit hush-hush at this point)- has potential!
– Past: Spent 1 year working in corporate finance with a large public utility in the Controller’s Organization (6months SEC reporting group, 6months budget/forecasting group). Current position: cash-flow underwriting in a leveraged finance group that caters exclusively to middle market private equity. (full credit underwritings – company/industry write-ups, extensive financial (LBO) modeling, ~60-70hrs/week). I’ve been at my current role for 1 year now and am up for a promotion to Associate in January (about two years ahead of all my Analyst peers). Considering transferring to our London office to get international experience, but that’s not guaranteed.
- After I take the GMAT (probably December, to give myself enough study-time), my boss wants me to go through the CFA program. Will this certification help my application, even if I’ve only completed 2 of the 3 levels by the time applications are due? I’m also eligible to sit for the CPA exam.
- Use my LBO/M&A experience in a Strategy/Planning group with a very active (pursing numerous strategic acquisitions) company - no specific industry focus yet (hope to narrow it down by application time).
– Bosses love me. No issue with getting solid recs from co-workers/bosses that have top tier academic/professional backgrounds.
– I feel fairly confident in my creative writing abilities and don’t have concerns with the essays.
My biggest concern is that I am setting my goal a bit too high. I’d only like to attend a top 15 program (specifically - Stern, Fuqua, Kellogg or Anderson), but don’t want the embarrassment of my bosses writing me recs to then get dinged by everyone. In your professional opinion, what are my odds and with what GMAT will I be competitive?