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Re: Profile evaluation - Older applicant [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 10:05
Looking at risk management positions at big banks that require a combination of practical experience and MBA. Ideally would like to find a reasonably sized organization where I could design and implement the RM strategies.

I’m concerned about how PTMBA and EMBA programs are viewed by employers and fewer networking opportunities. Would strongly prefer the immersion and personal interaction of a FT program if it’s realistic.

Any thoughts on:
1. Is it realistic to pursue a FT program?
2. The reputation / value of PT/EMBA programs in the marketplace?
3. Your take on which are the top PT/EMBA programs?

I know that’s a lot of questions, but your candor and insight is thoroughly appreciated.
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Re: Profile evaluation - Older applicant [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 11:45
You have a misguided view of the exec and part-time programs. They will suit you much better for what you're after in terms of post-MBA goals (you're basically staying in the industry) as well as where you're at in your life.

Recruiters don't look down on exec or part-time programs. They are treated DIFFERENTLY.

Full-time programs are designed for folks who are early in their careers (a few years out of college). And recruiters are looking for these kinds of folks to fill mostly junior level positions (not quite entry level, but it's not mid-career like where you are already right now).

Part-time and executive programs are designed for people like you: folks who are mid-career and looking to transition within their industry sector.

As for "networking opportunities" - it seems like too many applicants don't really think this thing through, and treat it as shorthand for some vague notion that all of a sudden by being in school they will have the golden key to unlock the doors to the magic kingdom, or at least they will all become part of some old boys network (modern version of it) where money and jobs are traded like baseball cards.

Think about it. If you go full-time, many of your classmates will be almost a decade younger than you, and with significantly less experience (professionally and personally) than you. They are a few years removed from doing keg stands in college, and you (my guess) are either married with kids, or at that stage where your friends/contacts are at that stage (and where keg stands seems like a distant memory to you, almost adolescent). You were in college when Netscape went public (and where your current MBA students may not even know what that is), when Clinton was President, when Friends and Seinfeld were still on at its peak, and when John Elway and Michael Jordan were still playing and winning championships. You were a young adult when the dot-com boom hit and crashed, whereas most of your future full-time MBA classmates were still in elementary school. You vividly remember a world before Facebook, iPhones, text messaging, tweets, cell phones, and pre-9/11 security and innocence. Your classmates can't really remember a world without any of these lifestyle things or values. What do these kids (to you) have to offer for you? And conversely, what do you have to offer to them? You're likely on different planes of existence and mindset.

I'm not trying to make you feel like a dinosaur :-) ,just to give you some perspective here.

Remember that "networking" basically means making friends in school. It's not "schmoozing" (because all talk is cheap). It's about relationships you build with people, and that trust is forged over time through working together on projects. Calling up some exec on the alumni database isn't really "networking" - it's just a form of cold calling where they won't hang up on you in 5 seconds or less. And you can do this whether you're a full-time or exec/part-time student -- either way, you're a stranger to the alumni on the other end of the phone (or text or email).

Again, in part-time and exec programs, you'll be around classmates that are closer to you in age, experience and maybe stage of life as well (regardless of whether they are single or married). Don't you think getting to know people like these are a better fit for you?
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Re: Profile evaluation - Older applicant [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 11:56
One other thing:

With your profile, you should be competitive for part-time / exec programs like Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, Wharton and the executive programs at Harvard.

If you were to apply full-time, then you're looking at schools in the bottom half of the top 16 like Cornell, Yale, NYU, Duke, Darden, Ross, UCLA.

If you were looking purely for the brand on your resume, the part-time/exec is still better for you.
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Re: Profile evaluation - Older applicant [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 19:14
Can't thank you enough for your input. I really needed some independent feedback. You've given me a lot to think about.

Thank you!
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Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 09:42
Hi Alex,

Thank you very much for your feedback last time. My profile has changed quite significantly (thanks to your suggestion).

My main question now is whether to apply this fall/winter or next

Updated profile:

Schooling: MA/BSc in Math. Econ from UCLA. Graduated 2010 with both degrees
GPA: 3.65
GMAT: 770 AWA 5.5 (official score)

Worked at the Federal Reserve Board as a quant. oriented research assistant. Aug2010-April2012

Working at the McKinsey Global Institute as a research fellow. The position is unique in that I do not provide research support. Rather, I'm staffed on a team of 4 to 5 associates and business analysts to co-author publishable reports. My role on the team is to provide expertise on global financial markets, while other team members provide insight on their practice areas. Once the report is sent out for publication, I'm drafted onto a new team to produce a new report.

On the side, I serve as a policy adviser for a LA mayoral candidate. I try to provide sharp but accessible analysis of issues that will catch voters' attention (particularly Latino votes). The aim is to demonstrate that our campaign has the brain power to put structure on complex issues and provide solution that the Latino community can relate to.

My end goal is to return to McKinsey. I would really like to attend one of the top 8 schools.

Ideally, I would like to apply this winter. But there are benefits to waiting one more year.

What do you think my chances are at the top 8 programs if I apply this year versus the next?

Thank you very much for your time.
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Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 18:57
Look, if you really really want to apply, go for it, rather than looking to me or anyone else for reaffirmation. It sounds like you're in a huge rush, and you probably can't wait a year no matter what anyone tells you (I mean, you say your profile has changed significantly and it's barely been a few months - which to be blunt only reveals that you probably need a bit more experience under your belt; real change is measured in years, not just months, especially when you've had a bit more perspective). Again you've just *started* these new things - rather than looking too far ahead, how about just focusing on the things you've just *started* recently?
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Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 19:14
Thanks Alex,

I appreciate your honestly, and that's exactly what I sought. I had the impression that the new brand name and the political involvement would answer some questions about teamwork and leadership. Your perspective makes sense.

The rush is coming from my deferring a near full ride to a top law school, and needing to reconfirm my intent to enroll by February, 2013. I would like to weigh my MBA prospects with that existing offer.

I would prefer to go to a top MBA program rather than a top law program. But I would have to give up what's concretely in front of me if I were to wait on the MBA application

I appreciate your honesty. I feel like I can always count on it. I'm very interested on any additional input, as long as you're willing to give it.

Thanks very much
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Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 19:26
You're in a great place right now: a great job at a top firm, and invaluable political experience. And you're still young.

This is just my personal opinion, but you may have dodged a bullet by not going to law school (that is, if you are not going to law school after all).

I don't know too many lawyers who are happy or satisfied. The work can be miserable, no matter what kind of law you practice.

And it really boils down to one thing:

More than any other profession, law is about seeing the glass half empty, whereas most professions are about seeing the glass as half full: in business, you are working on boosting sales and growing a company. In medicine, you are hoping to save a life (or to make someone better). In engineering, you're building something (not destroying it). Even in the military, you are fighting in order to bring peace.

But in law, your job is to identify and prevent problems. You're looking at the negative. You spend 3 years in law school learning how to think like a lawyer: so that in the real world you know how to do two things as a lawyer -- identify the legal issue in a situation, and find a legal solution to prevent the issue from blowing up. It's oriented toward damage control. You're looking to *protect* your clients - it's defensive. And that kind of negative angle can wear down just about anyone. More than any other profession, it brings out the worst in a person's cynicism and jadedness. Maybe only law enforcement or being a corrections officer is worse (and it's not like the quality of life for law enforcement officers is that great).

Corporate law (the most popular and highest paying) is so dull you'll die from a thousand paper cuts. It's drudgery and makes you hate life. Trademark/IP can be interesting, but the malpractice insurance you'd pay is so sky high and where your clients misuse litigation as a business strategy that you'd secretly wish the Chinese would pirate everything and cause your clients to go bankrupt. Estate/family law means you'll be dealing with divorces, custody battles, and rich kids fighting over their dead parent's money. Litigation requires an almost sociopathic streak (they probably have the most dismal view of human behavior of anyone).

Again as a client - you only hire a lawyer when you have a problem, or when you want to prevent a problem from happening.

Plus, the legal market is stagnant. Maybe even declining. The job market sucks for law, and will likely continue to suck.

My advice for you is to just focus on what you have now, and take it a step at a time. If b-school is in the cards for you in the future, then great. If not, no big deal because you already have a strong foundation for your career.

But don't go into law school unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure you want to practice law, and you know what you're getting yourself into. Again, the career satisfaction rates for lawyers are amongst the lowest of any white collar profession (at least in the US).

Damn, even talking about the law makes this whole post negative.
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Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 19:36
Quick thing: only potential positive about the law is if you're looking for a career in politics. But then again, some folks would rather sweep floors than become elected officials :-)
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Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 19:48
Thank you spending the time to write all of that. I will give it some thought.

My passion lies in problem solving. I'm afraid law might not satisfy that need. On that basis alone, I think I have my answer. The rest is just finding the courage to walk away from that offer. On the bright side, it gives me something extra to write about on my essays.

You've been extremely helpful and generous. I really appreciate your guidance.
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Profile Evaluation - Another Military [#permalink] New post 25 May 2012, 15:14
GMAT: None officially but I've taken the official practice GMAT (680 and 710)
Undergrad GPA: 2.7 from US Air Force Academy
MS in General Mgt: 3.92 from Central Michigan U.
Current Occupation: Project Manager in Semi-Conductor industry in Bay area, CA
Previous Occupation: 5 years Nuclear weapons officer (Left service as Captain)
Applying to: Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, and USC

Career Goal: I'd like to stay in the semi-conductor or tech industry in Northern California. Stay in operations and move up to exec level someday.

Primary Concerns:
Low GPA obviously... that stands out the most in my resume and I'm really kicking myself for not trying harder in college. I had a difficult time balancing everything at a military academy. It's funny because I was able to excel at only one aspect of the trifecta (Military, Academics, Physical fitness) per semester, so my college transcript shows spikes in different areas throughout all 4 years. I did manage to finish a MS during my military career to try to make up for my poor undergrad GPA. I have tons of extracarricular activities which I did not mention here but is on par with what the other military members have mentioned. My leadership experience is probably different from the others in that I managed other officers(~220 in my wing) instead of the typical officer to enlisted relationship.

What GMAT score do I need to hit to offset my weaknesses? Is there anything else you reccommend besides excellent reccomendations and essays? I have 1 year of corporate experience in my current project management position. I was torn about pursuing an MBA because I am in a good position to move up in my company and my pay is very satisfying but I feel like I will hit a ceiling later. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Another Military [#permalink] New post 27 May 2012, 08:42
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Here's what you should do:

(1) Shoot for a 700+ GMAT, and ideally a 720+ GMAT. That is what adcoms expect at the schools you're looking at. They will cut you some slack for your undergrad GPA (not uncommon for military officers to have lower GPAs), but that means you really should have a strong GMAT to make up for it. Yes you did well in your masters, but the GMAT is still the primary metric they will look at.

(2) Apply to the schools you listed this year. If you do get in, then you can decide later whether it's worth it (especially if you continue to grow in your current company). If you don't get in, as you said you're in a good place, so you are in a position to apply for the part-time or exec programs. The good thing about these California schools is that three of them have the strongest part-time programs in the country (Haas, UCLA, USC -- the other top tier P/T programs are Kellogg, Booth and NYU), and Stanford offers the 1-year Sloan program (a full-time executive masters that is sort of like an exec MBA).

In short, in your case it's about the GMAT and strong execution on your written applications and interview - and you should have a reasonable shot at the schools you listed.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Another Military [#permalink] New post 27 May 2012, 18:19
thank you for your reply alex... I will take the GMAT and re-examine my options. I still feel like most of these schools are long shots but never hurts to try.
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Re: What Can I Do To Improve My Chances? [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2012, 12:34
Fantastic points Alex. This serves to reinforce my predicament (only took GMAT once and scored a 730, contemplating a re-take but will probably not serve me well with the time I spend studying rather than writing essays or visiting schools).

I was a bit surprised to read "You don't have to visit every single school you're applying to." Is it common to apply to a school in a different region and make it all the way to an acceptance offer without having ever stepped foot on the campus? (Whether it be tours or through a campus interview).

Can you share some insight on which round one should apply to and how many schools is too many? For example, I'm currently looking to apply to about 5 schools but is it out of this world to tack on an additional 2? Do I apply R1 for all of my reach schools and R2 for the more realistic targets? I'm a bit confused as to how to segment the schools with the different rounds.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2012, 08:30
A NEW MODEL FOR ADMISSIONS (LESS ESSAYS)

With Wharton recently experimenting with a group-based exercise, UCLA requiring a video/audio essay (2 years ago), and now HBS changing it up, there's only going to be more school I believe that will continue to move away from the old model of long essays--> interview --> decision

In fact, I think they can (and likely will) move towards the following model:
1. Resume + simple application form (demographic info, test scores, GPA)
2. Interview + short essays (questions that are meant to reveal what cannot be reasonably inferred from the resume/profile alone)
3. Two or three recommendation letters
4. Decision

I don't think adcoms need essays or rec letters from EVERY applicant. At top schools, they can pretty much identify the top third to top half based on the resume/profile alone (and for those who aren't in the top third to top half, there's no need to waste the time of the adcoms, applicants, or recommenders on the essays and rec letters). Adcoms are trying to build a diverse class based on demographics and pre-MBA professional backgrounds - they are divvying up the applications into groups as it is, so it's not that hard most of the time to identify the top third to top half based on resume/profile alone.

And then once they've identified the top third to top half - they invite these folks for an interview (or interviews) and to write short essay questions that are only given to them once they've been invited. And since only a subset of the applicants are invited to write the essays, the adcoms can provide a different set of essay questions to different applicant groups (i.e. traditional applicants or those from "crowded" demographics are given a set of questions that will be different than the questions being asked those non-traditional professional backgrounds and/or underrepresented demographics - and this will allow the adcoms to more effectively evaluate subjective info from applicants based on their backgrounds).

And then only ask for reference letters once they've weeded out those from the interview/essays. The majority of the time, the rec letters won't make a difference either way, and it's really just to uncover any potential "gotchas" or info about the applicant that may be incongruous with what the adcom has seen so far. The rec letter in a way is a "human" background check to complement the standard background checks they will do on admitted students.

This kind of process I don't think will require more resources or time from the adcoms (in fact, it may be less) -- and it's a more efficient and effective way to evaluate applicants (and saving the applicants time as well - giving them more chances to apply to more schools, which will benefit all b-schools as they see applications rise since more applicants will "punt" if there are no essays required for the initial round).
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2012, 10:09
A QUICK NOTE ON THE HBS POST-INTERVIEW ESSAY

A lot of people will fall into this trap of trying to pre-write the essay. DO NOT DO THIS.

That's why they are asking this essay in the first place. They want to know how you follow up based on what happened in the interview.

Adcoms can sense pretty quickly if something is pre-written: it's either too vague and generic, or it's covering material in such a decorated and stage managed way that it's obvious someone spent way too much time trying to manicure every single sentence and to contrive an example that had nothing to do with what happened in the interview.

A strong post-interview essay is one that directly responds to or is a follow up to what was discussed in the interview.

And you have no real way of figuring out what that will be. Sure, you can do interview coaching (and you probably should - if not with a consultant, at least practice mock interviews with colleagues and friends), some folks may tell others what their HBS adcoms had asked them and so forth. But it's not about that. It's about the nature of the discussion and what you actually said in the interview - and more importantly, how the adcom responded to some of the moments in the interview as you were talking about yourself. There is no way of predicting how an individual will respond to you, or to even know in advance beyond just a vague idea of how the actual moment-to-moment experience will be like in that interview room.

Finally, too many people are stressing out about this post-interview essay. The thing is, it's not going to really matter for 99.9% of the folks who actually get interviewed. The decision is basically made based on the interview itself - no "mini essay" afterwards is really going to change their mind if they already liked you, or they thought you were a tool. It's something they instituted this year - and it's an experiment. If it doesn't really impact their decision making, it will be gone (or significantly changed) next year. Again, this year is an experimental year for HBS - they are trying to change the format in which they assess people, and so they are keeping an open mind about the process. Having said that, in my opinion I think the importance that many applicants seem to put on this post-interview essay is overblown.

In short, what HBS is basically saying this year is that the two biggest things that matter are: your resume and your interview performance. The essays and rec letters are minor and likely won't be a huge factor for most applicants. In other words, HBS adcoms believe that for many applicants, they can pretty much figure out whom they want to interview based on the resume alone (and the essays won't matter much unless they really suck). And that for most of the people that get invited for an interview - they can figure out based on the interview performance alone whom they want to admit.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2012, 23:36
Hi Alex, I've been reading your posts and they are by far the best quality out of the consultants on gmatclub as you give a direct, no frill answer and are unafraid to hurt applicants feelings. I'm wondering if I can get a profile evaluation, hopefully this wont take more than 5 minutes of your time.

Ethnicity: Asian American Male
Age : 26
Gmat: 710
Undergraduate: UC Berkeley 3.59 GPA Business Administration

Work Experience:
3 yrs - City and County of San Francisco as an accountant - working on department budget in the Controller's Office, general ledger, compliance, grants at department of public health, medical cost reimbursements
0-1 yrs - Big 4 as an Audit Associate (unfortunately laid off) - tech firm audits

ECs/ Tid bits:
CPA
2 yrs - Created a stock blog as a hobby - was marginally profitable
1 yrs - Was webmaster for the California Investment Association at UC Berkeley
1 yrs - Historian at Asian American Association at UC Berkeley
Study Abroad for a year in Japan, interned at Robert Half
Boy Scout of America Eagle Scout

Post MBA Goal: Become a budget analyst for governmental institution to help higher education retain funding.
Long-term Goal: Become a budget director of a university school system and structure pension and health care benefits

Stretch: Columbia, Northwestern
Target: Michigan, Duke, Yale, NYU
Safety: Haven't given it too much thought.


Thanks so much!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2012, 21:15
supax wrote:
Hi Alex, I've been reading your posts and they are by far the best quality out of the consultants on gmatclub as you give a direct, no frill answer and are unafraid to hurt applicants feelings. I'm wondering if I can get a profile evaluation, hopefully this wont take more than 5 minutes of your time.

Ethnicity: Asian American Male
Age : 26
Gmat: 710
Undergraduate: UC Berkeley 3.59 GPA Business Administration

Work Experience:
3 yrs - City and County of San Francisco as an accountant - working on department budget in the Controller's Office, general ledger, compliance, grants at department of public health, medical cost reimbursements
0-1 yrs - Big 4 as an Audit Associate (unfortunately laid off) - tech firm audits

ECs/ Tid bits:
CPA
2 yrs - Created a stock blog as a hobby - was marginally profitable
1 yrs - Was webmaster for the California Investment Association at UC Berkeley
1 yrs - Historian at Asian American Association at UC Berkeley
Study Abroad for a year in Japan, interned at Robert Half
Boy Scout of America Eagle Scout

Post MBA Goal: Become a budget analyst for governmental institution to help higher education retain funding.
Long-term Goal: Become a budget director of a university school system and structure pension and health care benefits

Stretch: Columbia, Northwestern
Target: Michigan, Duke, Yale, NYU
Safety: Haven't given it too much thought.


Thanks so much!


With your school choices (or absence of any CA schools), it seems like you're trying to get the hell out of California, aren't you? :)

Anyhow, I think your expectations are realistic; you're right that the top 8 are stretches, and top 16 are sweet spots. Safeties would be outside the top 16 - whether you feel it's worth it or not is really a personal decision.

Two things you may want to keep in mind:

1) Career goals: adcoms may question why you are doing an MBA given your goals; with your accounting background, what may make more sense is an MPA or MPP. In other words, if these are your *real* goals, you may have to come up with an alternate career path that may be more traditional (consulting, financial services, corporate, etc), and then it's a judgment call as to what you decide to go with in the essays and interviews. And if it's simply narrative (you are saying this because you think the adcoms will find it impressive) - then ditch it, because if it's just narrative, it will come across that way (it's simply not going to come across as authentic in an essay because you don't believe in it). In any case, even if they're your real goals, I'm sure you probably have other job options post-MBA you're thinking of as well.

2) Work experience: focus more on team stuff and what you learned about group dynamics in your job. The technical/analytical work is boring to talk about (not just because it's accounting; just about *any* job's technical aspects are boring for anyone other than those in one's own industry - whether it's engineering, finance, tax, consulting, law, etc. But people are not boring. And in your case, being a budget guy in California's dysfunctional state government, I'm sure you have plenty of stories and cautionary tales and lessons learned about group dynamics and how political "accounting" and "budgets" can be - and how that impacts your own job responsibilities/tasks as well as how you deal with people in your workplace.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2012, 22:11
Hi Alex,

I've bought your book and have read a whole bunch of your posts on gmatclub. I second what supax said; you have, by far, the best quality posts out of all the consultants on gmat. I like your no-nonsense, no-frills style of answering and I was hoping if you could be kind enough to take a few minutes of your time to put me and my profile on blast (I swear I'm not a masochist).

Ethnicity: Malaysian Male (on H1b now)
Age: 24 (25 by end of 2012)

Undergrad: SUNY Stony Brook. '08 Psychology 3.79 CGPA
Grad: SUNY Stony Brook. '10 M.A Psychology 3.3 CGPA

Work Experience (4 years):
1st year - Did neuroscience research at Yale School of Medicine. Worked with patients with cocaine addiction/OCD. Our research involved performing fMRIs on them, did some pretty cool stuff... one experiment involved administering methylphenidate to patients with cocaine addiction. That experiment was published in PNAS and I was included as an author. Study was funded by NIH/NIMH. Would have stayed longer but had to leave Yale because of immigration problems.

2nd year - Since I had to leave Yale AFTER grad school application deadlines, my alma mater took me in for their 1 year grad program. Whilst doing my Masters, I did clinical psychological research. Worked with patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia. Our study was funded by the NIH. I conducted the experiments on the patients +analyzed data. We submitted a paper but it was refused.

3rd year to Now - Currently doing psychiatric research at the Feinstein Institute of Medical Research. Working with teenagers at risk for psychosis/psychotic illnesses. I perform the EEG and fMRI procedures on them and analyze their data. My lab is part of a few multi-site studies funded by the NIH/NIMH. We collaborate closely with the other sites (Columbia/UCLA/Harvard/Yale/Calgary/Emory/UNC etc.). I'm working on publishing a journal article as one of the main authors now; would've done this earlier if it weren't for my indecisive attitude about academia and all the politicking happening around the lab.

So far I have 3 journal publications in my name (including the PNAS one), 2 posters and 1 talk.

Extra-curricular:
I help seniors use the computer at the local community center (volunteering through NY cares). Filed an application for a Big Brother position. I've taken movie script-writing classes and computer programming classes over the last 1.5 years in efforts to find an alternative career. I even tried starting my own web start-up, but ultimately lost all enthusiasm/excitement for it 2 months later. So after 2 months of networking at meetups + coding/building the website ... I stopped working on it. :( I'm also an avid skier.

Career path:
I'd like to do equities research upon completion of my MBA, preferably buyside (though either/or would be fine). My decision to switch to this career-path is due to my noticing that there are many similarities between researching equities and academia; requires lots of reading+analysis and discussion+defending of your thesis and arguments - difference is that results can be seen quicker, and (obviously) pay is better. Started my current portfoilo in 2011. It is, however, miniscule and I'm only invested in biotech positions (I only invest in what I know!).

In the long run, I'd like to see how far I go in ER. As you've written in a blog post of yours, people may change careers every 10-15 years, so I really can't see that far up ahead. But if I had to tell the adcom something, I'd tell them I'd like to be a PM or something.

If it weren't for b-school, I'd probably get a PhD (something which i'm not particularly keen on). Why the career change? I'm tired of the esotericism/triviality that is academia. (I mean, who cares if the magnocellular pathway has bias processing towards low spatial frequency stimuli?!)

Schools:
Would love to attend either Columbia/NYU. Would like to keep it within the northeast (gf lives in queens). Yale would be okay, but I worked/lived there long enough to know that New Haven is a shit-hole. I'd choose Fordham as a safety. Just afraid of being tagged as a 'commuter', seeing as I live in NYC already.

Questions:
1.) Is Columbia a stretch? NYU/Yale? (If I get my target score of 720 GMAT...)
2.) Should I take the CFA level 1 to prove that I'm interested in the public markets/finance?
3.) Would it improve my chances if I published one more journal article? i.e, would it show more accomplishment in my career?
4.) Seeing as I'm in academia, I don't have too many chances at leadership. Will the adcoms call me out on having applied for a big brother volunteer position so close to my application date?

As such, I'm struggling with the decision to apply either this year (2012), or next (2013). If applied this year, I would not have a CFA/extra publication/enough leadership experience as a big brother .... but I'm wondering, even if I had all that - would it even help me at all?

That's all. Sorry for being so verbose and thanks for reading. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again!

Last edited by umeranyth on 17 Jul 2012, 11:02, edited 18 times in total.
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Location: United States (TX)
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 670 Q45 V38
GPA: 2.6
WE: Supply Chain Management (Consumer Electronics)
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 04:08
Hello Alex, just wanted to know if I'm a bit too ambitious in my school selections (stats and targets below). Which schools would be "sweet spots?"

Also, is it always better to apply RD1? I've been reading that some programs offer better chances if you submit your app during Round 2 due to them being ready to "round out" the class. Just reread all 8 pages. Thanks again for your commitment to this thread.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply   [#permalink] 17 Jul 2012, 04:08
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