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Advice needed to plan out the next few years

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Advice needed to plan out the next few years  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2017, 17:36
Hello everyone :)

This is my first post ever on GMATclub, and I wanted to hear people's opinion about how to tackle the next few years most effectively in order to bolster my application when applying to schools (tentatively plan on applying in 2 to 3 years)

Background:
* Male, asian
* Graduated from top public school in US (UNC/UVA/UMICH) majoring in engineering, unfortunately finished with a 2.9 GPA (was not focused on studies at all, and it finally hit me upon graduating how much of a mistake this was, so need to dig myself out of this hole)
* currently work as an analyst in a risk/portfolio analysis role with a large financial services company in NYC, and have for the last 2 years (graduated undergrad in June 2015)
* Do EC volunteering work in the city for a reputable fellowship
* I plan on taking the GMAT over the next few months, and consider myself capable of scoring over a 700 based on the practice exams that I have currently taken

I have taken the first level of the CFA program this past June, and am not sure what the best course of action would be over the next 2/3 years to boost my opportunities at the top MBA programs. I have heard creating an alternative transcript is beneficial, however wanted to know if it would look better if I completed the CFA program instead of taking online classes and creating a second transcript. I've heard very skeptical reviews as to the benefits of having the CFA designation to get into MBA programs, and since it is such a time suck, I wanted to know if I could allocate my time elsewhere to strengthen my profile. I was also wondering what EC's outside of volunteering/mentoring would you guys recommend getting involved in to create the best background possible. I feel like living in NYC offers me many possibilities, however I am having trouble coming up with meaningful ideas.

Appreciate the insight very much in advance!

-marsher
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Re: Advice needed to plan out the next few years  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2017, 18:54
Thanks for sharing your profile. With a GPA that low your GMAT will be the most impactful to your profile by far. So really focus on this as the main leverage point. Now if the CPA is not directly applicable to your future career it will probably not have much an impact on your application, but given your low GPA, if there are quant red flags then this may be helpful. Given you have a few years to improve your profile you will have time to focus on GMAT, Extra classes, and CPA. The extra classes can be knocked out in a few months through 2 classes at a community college so this is not a major time sink.
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Re: Advice needed to plan out the next few years  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2017, 19:02
Thank you very much for the reply!

My current plan is to transition fields through business school and work as an associate in IB for a bank in New York. I know the CFA would not directly relate to this position, however my current company sponsors the exams so it would be of no cost to me besides studying for another 2 years for it. I would ideally like to get a promotion under my belt from work as well as managerial responsibilities to improve my work experience. I will plan on putting my all into the GMAT for sure.

What do you think are some of the best extracurricular activities I could get involved in that would help my profile?
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New post 19 Jun 2017, 19:44
If the CPA will help you get a promotion I would definitely pursue it. Schools love seeing career progression in that way. As far as other ways to get involved in ECs. Stuff at work is also really helpful here. So think leading your internship program, or organizing a cancer 10k, or organizing events around earth are great. The goal here is have consistent leadership in an area impacting others while developing your interpersonal skills. Coaching kids in a sport is also something I have seen go over way. The best things are those that feel authentic or core to your interests so think of things you like to do and find some opportunities to get involved around that.
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Re: Advice needed to plan out the next few years  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 06:18
Hi Marsher03,

You have the makings of something good - and you are thinking along the correct directions.

1) A 2.9 will weaken your profile - whether you complete the CFA or focus on a few courses at a local uni - say NYU, depends on what makes sense given your career aspirations. If you are clear about that, and a CFA fits the pattern, by all means go do the CFA. If it doesn't, then don't.

2) Work hard, and get good appraisals/recommendations from work.

3) About EC's - this is a question that I get asked quite often. The answer I'm going to give you is probably not what you would want. However, the best thing for you to do here is to do something that you like/enjoy/feel adds meaning to your live, and perhaps value to yourself/others. Do something that you would like to do even if Business school isn't in the picture. When you do that, you tend to contribute more, and this contribution is what Business schools value. Having a "business school friendly" activity on your resume without really caring, and hence not really contributing to it won't look good.

Hope that helps,
karthik
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Re: Advice needed to plan out the next few years &nbs [#permalink] 30 Jun 2017, 06:18
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