I'm been lurking around this forum for a really long time, and found the atmosphere here to be really welcoming.
Now, I've finally decided to come forward for some suggestions.
So, My profile is as follows:
1) Basic: Turning 24 next month!, female, Asian-American
2) Undergrad: Did my undergrad at UC Irvine, with one year of study-abroad in China; Double majored in Economics and International Studies; GPA 3.3; GMAT 750; No grad work
3) WE: Since my graduation from UCI in 2010, I've been working at a top-3 local Chinese investment bank owned by one of the largest State-owned banks in China (I'm the only foreigner in the office; I am fluent in Mandarin Chinese and can read and write as well). I'll be reaching my 2-year mark next month!
I'm primarily focused on cross-border M&A, but I was also involved in a couple of listed company restructurings and pre-IPO restructurings. Leadership wise, I was the primary point of contact for all the cross-border deals. I also helped facilitate a cross-border deal with the resources I was given, and organized an on-site visit in the U.S. for my Chinese client, and accompanied them as the only representative from my bank.
4) EC: Currently involved in a one-on-one mentoring program for underprivileged migrant children.
5) Career Goals: I want to stay in finance after getting my MBA, preferably working on the buy-side, doing more cross-border deals (especially between China and the U.S.) so i can leverage off my Chinese banking experience.
6) Target schools: NYU, Columbia, Wharton, HBS, U Chicago, USC, UCLA, Duke, Dartmouth
Overall, I have a fairly low GPA, so I tried really hard to offset that with a higher GMAT score (i really hope this will work). I guess my profile is pretty traditional industry-wise (investment banking), but as the only foreigner in the office, I feel that I can focus on certain aspects that will make my profile unique.
My question is: I'm not sure when is the best time for me to apply for an MBA. I've considered applying in 2014, but I'm not sure if 3 years of working experience will suffice.
Since I want to stay in banking after graduation, I figured if i don't get into a top 10 program, then it's very unlikely that an MBA will help me in my career. But as I mentioned before, I graduated from a non-target school, and my GPA is fairly low. So I was wondering if more working experience and a higher GMAT score will make my profile more ivy-league attractive.
Thoughts? Thanks so much in advance!