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Want to apply to HBS - Pretty discouraged

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Want to apply to HBS - Pretty discouraged [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2009, 14:53
Hi All,

Have been reading the forums for a little while now and I find the level of information to be of great help. Having said that, here is my concern:

Graduated Pace University here in NYC in 2004 with 3.51 (Cum Laude) with Finance / Management Science Majors (Math / Eco Minors)

Right after graduation I was hired by a relatively small fixed income asset management shop (~3 billion under mgt). Started as an analyst focusing on pension valuation / asset allocation modeling. During my tenure, I completed the CFA charter and now carry the designation.

Over the years, I was promoted to Trader, then Assistant PM and now a Portfolio Manager focusing on fixed income, investment grade credit portfolios.

I will be turning 29 in march and want to apply to HBS this coming september (for matriculation in 2011). Recently, I have read / noticed that the admission process has shifted to younger applicants. This concerns me a great deal, since I am over the average age of 27. If I am accepted, I will be 30 when I enter the program.

I have 9 months to build a strong application, with a GMAT score targeted in the 700 - 750+ range. I want to know what your thoughts are on the hindrance of my age on the application.

Do you think the CFA Charter will benefit my application process?

Thank you for all your help!!! :-D
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Re: Want to apply to HBS - Pretty discouraged [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2009, 16:34
My hunch is that HBS will be very difficult for you. You may have a good shot at Chicago, Columbia, NYU or Kellogg

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Re: Want to apply to HBS - Pretty discouraged [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2009, 17:11
Thanks for the reply. Can you please elaborate on what you mean? Specific areas that may present difficulty would be much appreciated.

Thanks

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Re: Want to apply to HBS - Pretty discouraged [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 16:21
Well a simple sanity check for HBS is: have there been people from your undergrad or your firm admitted there? If so, what got them in and what were their profiles like?

If you can't find anyone from either your undergrad, OR your firm who got in, your chances probably aren't amazing unless you have some sort of stardust (3.8+ GPA, 760+ GMAT, proven leadership experience, founded a non-profit, world-class athlete, etc.).

I didn't sense any stardust. The undergrad/firm question is one for you to probe on your own. I would also go ahead and ask some consultants what they think (Sandy Kreisberg is a straight shooter and he knows HBS inside and out, for example).

From my knowledge, HBS and most of the top programs really don't care much about the CFA charter or give it much value. They'd much rather hear about extracurriculars, non-profit work, or leadership in the workplace. (do a search on these forums for some of the older threads)

Sorry if this is tough to hear. Most of us are "brought down to earth" very early on in the application process. You're probably a star in your circle of friends and at work, but your profile is very standard for a top 10 program. You're within striking range for any program outside of Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton.
Re: Want to apply to HBS - Pretty discouraged   [#permalink] 29 Dec 2009, 16:21
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