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Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2013, 23:01
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salmanqsm4 wrote:
Well in that case, you could say that I'm from underrepresented region(Pakistan) and I've mentioned before that I've played cricket on international level and represented Oxford Brookes University in more than 3 matches. As far as I know and have been told by HBS guru, Pakistani applicants are in advantage when it comes to admissions at top 10.


Rather than spending energy convincing me, what I suggest is to focus on the applications. Success is the best revenge, and I've been proven wrong before. Good luck!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2014, 20:40
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HImba88 wrote:
Hi Alex,

Looking for a bit of advice regarding the range of MBA programs I should be targeting (e.g. top 25, top 16, M7, etc.). I really appreciate your no-BS advice and was hoping for some guidance from you.

Basics
-25 years old, will be 26 in a couple of weeks
-3.48 cumulative / 3.83 major GPA from a small, private, non-target liberal arts college
-Majored in general business administration
-GMAT 740 (48q, 44v)
-Male URM

Work Experience
Currently an analyst at a regional commercial bank in the division that manages the bank's commercial real estate portfolio. Have been in this position for a little less than 3 years. The bank isn't a widely known name, but it is the biggest company (in terms of assets/revenue/net income) in the state and has a decently sized CRE portfolio ($574M) which includes the tallest building in the state. The division is small, so I've gotten a lot of good experience (including some leadership experience), but unfortunately no promotions. The job involves all different kinds of work, ranging from FP&A to tenant relations to property acquisition analyses to conducting research on the local market.

Prior to this job, I did some purchasing and accounting work for a small local telecommunications company for 7 months.

Extracurrics
-Varsity athlete (wrestling) for a year in undergrad and some undergrad club leadership experience
-Volunteer work for the past year and a half at a homeless shelter with a program assisting residents in obtaining employment (resume/cover letter help, budgeting, computer skills, etc.). Have been with the program since its inception, so a little bit of leadership xp there as well.
-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the past seven years (actually the reason why I quit wrestling was to pursue competitive BJJ more seriously)
-Recently passed CFA Level I exam, looking to pursue Level II in June

I recently applied to MIT's and Claremont McKenna's Masters in Finance programs (was accepted at Claremont, waiting on MIT). My thought process was that with my current non-target UG and non-selective work experience, my chances at top 16/M7 MBA programs wouldn't be very good. I thought a Masters in Finance program could either be an MBA substitute, or get me to a better position to apply to top MBA programs (although at my age/experience I'm starting to realize a MFin/MBA is an either/or decision). I thought I could do Now>MFin>Better Job>MBA, but I'm starting to think I may be too old to go down that path and still remain competitive for top MBA programs.

Post MFin/MBA looking to get into investment management, although I am very open to exploring other career paths.

Basically, just looking to see what range of MBA programs I could target with my current experience and weigh that against any potential post-MFin options. Sorry for the novel and thank you in advance for your input!


If you're going to do an Masters in Finance, do it on its own merits, and not for the sake of MBA admissions, because it's not going to help.

In your case, if you're looking to stay in finance, especially on the buyside, you may want to look into finishing up the CFA exams and getting your designation, as what you learn through the CFA (as well as the accreditation itself) is going to be more directly relevant to what you'll be doing in investment management. And if you're looking more on the technical side (trading), then an Masters in Finance may be your better bet compared to a regular MBA.

Since you have time, you really should go and visit a few top MBA programs -- visiting campus, sitting in on class, and talking to students *off-the-record* (i.e. over coffee/beer) will give you the kind of insight into whether an MBA program suits your needs (and wallet) that no website can give. The reason why is because whether an MBA is worth it or not is highly individual - it really varies from one person to the next. For example, two people with very similar profiles may come up with entirely different decisions as to whether it's worth it or not. Furthermore, visiting a few schools while class is in session (before the end of April) will also give you a better idea of where you stand - because a lot of that comes down to how you *feel* you stack up and whether it's worth putting in the applications or not. Again, on the surface you seem competitive enough that it's worth applying to a range of top 8 (pick 1-2 schools), top 16 (pick 2-3) and top 30 (pick 0-1) schools, but whether it's worth it to you or not is something only you can answer for yourself.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2014, 12:11
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AbhiJ wrote:
Hi Alex,

Please find my profile in brief.

Target: Finance.

- B Tech IIT (GPA 7/10)
- 6.5 years at Big 4 Advisory in Technology Consulting (Worked mostly in In House Systems and Domestic Consulting). Currently in Assistant Manger role.
- GMAT 710(Q50 V35), TOEFL 111.
- Age 30
- Passed CFA Level 1.
- Extra- curricular: Average

Have applied this year and have interview scheduled from schools in Top 20-40 range.

Assuming I get into any of these schools, would it make sense to re-write GMAT and get 750-770 range and apply coming Fall to schools in Top 15 namely: Columbia, Booth, NY Stern ?

As per my understanding for international applicants looking for a career change schools outside Top 10 are essentially the same.
Finance is practically impossible and Consulting is somewhat similar.
For example, would have similar career outcomes from UCLA, Cornell, Emory , Fisher.
All place students in Deloitte Consulting, Amazon etc.


It just depends on the kinds of jobs you want to get right after b-school. For top tier consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain, BCG - you really need to focus on the top 16 schools (and ideally top 8 schools) where they recruit the overwhelming majority of their post-MBA associates. For finance, if you're looking at investment banking or any buyside jobs, it's going to be similar (top 16, and top 8 ideally). If these kinds of firms and employers aren't as important to you (i.e. you'll be fine with working at a Big-4 consulting firm, you're targeting commercial banking/lending or insurance, you're looking to work in industry/tech/Fortune 500 corporate post-MBA, etc) then whether you go to a top 16 school or not makes less of a difference.
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 15:25
Alex, thanks for your advice. Much of your analysis is correct. I was in a rush for a long time for no apparent reason and then just kinda drifted for a while. However, you are incorrect in saying that I am still in a rush now. I'm not in any sort of "race" to have so-and-so by some age. My concern now is moving in the direction I want to. I have analyzed my skills and evaluated what skills I am lacking to reach the goals I have set for myself. Most of the missing skills will be gained in the course of MBA studies. The rest of the skills will be found with work experience working in fields closer to what I want to be doing. Continuing with the job I have now will not allow me to gain anything but more technical knowledge.

The big question is really "Why an MBA now?" I definitely have an answer for that, and the answer is not that I want to be a CEO before age 30 or whatever. The answer is because that is what will develop my skill set the most.
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2010, 10:59
Looking forward to the rest of it, Alex. Good tool, engaging, and a good reminder. Did I hear a Subject-Verb agreement error in the synergies comment? Couldn't tell. Some sound particularly promising.
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2010, 12:21
The fact that you're worried about someone's grammar in a conversation (especially one that isn't supposed to make any sense at all as it's all jargon) is actually pretty funny. Thanks for watching!

Posted from my mobile device Image
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2010, 09:46
nice!
looking forward to the next ones alex.
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2010, 18:58
Thanks and stay tuned! New episode coming this Monday.
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2010, 07:21
Nicely done. Look forward to the next one. The exaggeration works very well in getting your message across at the end.
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2010, 22:58
The degree of exaggeration though isn't always as much as one may think though haha :-)
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 22:07
haha, just watched this one. Both of you did a great job. :)
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2010, 08:28
Thanks Praetorian!

I've uploaded this week's episode -- IRON MAN. A very short and sweet one here. If you've ever been on the receiving end of bone crunching handshakes, you'll certainly feel this one.

http://www.mbaapply.com/interviewdonts.htm

Enjoy!
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2010, 09:27
In this week's episode, we have the FRESH OFF THE BOAT -- the guy who has to remind everyone that China is big. Really big.

Plus, I enjoy making fun of my own peeps haha

http://www.mbaapply.com/interviewdonts.htm



Enjoy! And stay tuned for another episode in another week!
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2010, 11:09
In this week's episode of "Interview Don'ts", the GUANTANAMO DETAINEE pleads his case, because everything in life to him is a form of interrogation.

http://www.mbaapply.com/interviewdonts.htm



Enjoy! And stay tuned for another episode in another week!
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2010, 15:12
In this week's episode of Interview Don'ts, we meet that obnoxiously cheerful TONY ROBBINS guy.

http://www.mbaapply.com/interviewdonts.htm



Enjoy! And stay tuned for another episode in another week!
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 21:46
In this week's episode of Interview Don'ts, we meet the SPACE CADET... um... you know, like... the guy who doesn't know... what to say.

http://www.mbaapply.com/interviewdonts.htm



Enjoy! And stay tuned for another episode in another week!
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2010, 09:52
lol, this last one was pretty hilarious...
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2010, 17:16
In this week's episode of Interview Don'ts, we meet the VICTIM -- when you can't sell them on your candidacy, guilt them like a Third World beggar.

http://www.mbaapply.com/interviewdonts.htm



Enjoy! And stay tuned for another episode in another week!
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2010, 21:30
LOL :-D Just stumbled upon this thread.
I am way past Monday Morning blues ! :lol:

A Job Well Done. Thanks !
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2010, 07:30
In this week's episode of Interview Don'ts, we meet the GORDON GEKKO -- who probably inspired more Wall Street douchebags than any accounting/finance textbook (and who happens to have his new film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps opening this weekend).

http://www.mbaapply.com/interviewdonts.htm



Enjoy! And stay tuned for another episode in another week!
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts   [#permalink] 26 Sep 2010, 07:30
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