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Top 10 or top 15 Bschool chances?

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Top 10 or top 15 Bschool chances? [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2013, 13:32
Hi,

So I am just trying to evaluate my chances at a top American business school when I apply for Fall of 2014. Below is a quick recap of my profile:

Graduated in 2010 with a low GPA 3.11 (majored in finance & accounting) from a state school in Texas. My grades in my first two years were horrific but the last two years were much better. Luckily I was able to secure a spot in a new college-hire program at one of the supermajor oil companies (a Fortune 5 company) due to submitting only the last 2 years worth of transcripts on my application (even then I was very lucky to get the job as they had a hard cutoff at 3.5 and my gpa was lower than that, I guess I interviewed well or they REALLY needed a diversity candidate). I am of south asian decent.

I had always been a good student but I had a medical issue in college and I really struggled with it. I'm not sure if I am even willing to share it with the adcoms so that is why I am looking for other ways to mitigate the low GPA portion of my application.

I was able to move up at the company relatively fast (moved jobs twice in less than 2 years) and now am a financial performance analyst within a commodity trade group on the trade floor. I am also sitting for my CFA level 2 exam this June (hoping to pass it!). In addition to the CFA, I am hoping to mitigate the poor undergrad gpa concern by creating an alternative transcript, I have taken one finance class at UCLA Extension thus far and got an A in it, I'll be taking another class soon, probably either statistics or calculus.

I'll be taking the GMAT in June and will be shooting for a score of around 700.

Extracurriculars:
- Mentor at a youth refugee organization in Houston (volunteer once or twice a week)
- Finance volunteer at a free business counseling non-profit (currently working to help a local small business secure a $230k loan to expand business)
- WILL be volunteering in Rio de Janeiro this spring break helping build a home for a family living in a favela in the city.

What are some realistic possibilities as far as schools are concerned? Columbia is my dream school but I know it will be very tough....

The following is a list of schools I want to get into:

Columbia/NYUStern/DukeFuqua/UCLAAnderson/Rice/UTAustin

Out of these schools which do I have best chance at?
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Re: Top 10 or top 15 Bschool chances? [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2013, 18:31
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Hello,

Thanks for sharing your profile.

I can understand your discomfort with sharing your medical condition with the adcom, but to be honest, as far as admissions goes, it will be best if you disclose the situation in an optional statement. If there's a reasonable explanation for having a low GPA, the adcoms are usually forgiving. Ultimately, that's up to you though, as it's a very personal choice.

It's good that you are taking supplemental courses. Your work experience sounds strong, and you're pretty active in the community, so that is good. Columbia may be a stretch, but depending how the GMAT goes, you could apply. More realistically I think Duke and UCLA are great targets. Rice and Austin are also good targets and hopefully safer options. I think it's a decent list, especially if you disclose your medical issue in your application and score well on the GMAT.

If you can take on any extracurricular activities in the meantime, that could help too. Marathon, bike race... whatever you're passionate about - set a challenge for yourself and go after it!

Good luck,
Mili

Mili Mittal
Senior Consultant
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