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Do I have a chance?

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New post 05 Jul 2018, 15:25
-28 year old African American male
- GPA: 2.9 in Kinesiology from a top 50 state school
- GMAT: 720 (Q46, V42)
- Work: Client Service Manager for a large Brokerage firm (think Schwab). I manage a books of about 50 Registered Investment clients averaging around $100M assets under management. Been promoted 5 times to get to this current position.
- I volunteer helping refugees adapt to US culture and help them get jobs
- Self-taught computer programmer (Not at a professional level but I've put together a good enough portfolio to hopefully let schools know I'm serious about my goal (below).

Goal: Work in product management for one of the emerging FinTech companies. Whether Amazon/Google who are entering the field or one of the smaller players (Robinhood, Acorn/general robo-advisors). I've learned a lot about Financial Services and especially Investment Mangement. The high fees are prohibitive to people who don't have a lot to invest and I think technology could greatly lower the cost of entry to professional asset management.

Goal Schools: UT-Austin (McCombs), U Washington (Foster), CM-Tepper

Reach: Yale, Michigan, Cornell

Obviously the low GPA in a non-business major is a red flag. I have a bit of a "story" but nothing great. I'm hoping my GMAT could overcome this but I'm having a really hard time determining where I stand. Some days I think I have a legiimatet shot at my reach schools, some days I think anything top 25 would be a real struggle.

Question: What are realistic schools? Where should I aim in terms of rankings?
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New post 06 Jul 2018, 18:05
Hi anzio129, hope this is helpful.

anzio129 wrote:
-28 year old African American male

- GPA: 2.9 in Kinesiology from a top 50 state school -- this isn't awesome, but not an absolute dealbreaker either. You just want to delineate why you are motivated now; how circumstances are different, and a pattern of putting effort towards something in a similar situation such as CFA. If you want to cover all bases consider HBXCore. But I feel your GMAT is high enough (for your profile/competition) but you can talk your way out of this, if done skillfully.
If you do the app well (most do not) you could survive this.

- GMAT: 720 (Q46, V42) -- This score will kick the door open to top-ranked schools; I feel you would be competitive wherever 720 is average or even a bit to the left of 80%. High for your profile group. For competitive GMAT score, you would be to the right of the Iranian feminists but to the left of white bankers, Indians, and Chinese applicants.

- Work: Client Service Manager for a large Brokerage firm (think Schwab). I manage a books of about 50 Registered Investment clients averaging around $100M assets under management. Been promoted 5 times to get to this current position. -- AWESOME. Progression will definitely be helpful; make sure to maximize that in your recs/apps. Make sure to align the skills you have gained in this position with the fintech PM job so you look marketable to recruiters.

- I volunteer helping refugees adapt to US culture and help them get jobs -- Good to see this; can you snag a rec from someone on the board? Would be great to connect this with your LTG. Reach out to past mentees; gather stats on results.

- Self-taught computer programmer (Not at a professional level but I've put together a good enough portfolio to hopefully let schools know I'm serious about my goal (below).

Goal: Work in product management for one of the emerging FinTech companies. Whether Amazon/Google who are entering the field or one of the smaller players (Robinhood, Acorn/general robo-advisors). I've learned a lot about Financial Services and especially Investment Mangement. The high fees are prohibitive to people who don't have a lot to invest and I think technology could greatly lower the cost of entry to professional asset management.

--Definitely a field that is poised for growth; just need to shape a narrative on how you have some kind of sustainable competitive advantage in competing for these jobs. Might be able to work in narrative about working with immigrants who are unbanked.

Goal Schools: UT-Austin (McCombs), U Washington (Foster), CM-Tepper

Reach: Yale, Michigan, Cornell

--These are good choices and I am happy to know you have enough awareness not to put down H/S/W as your full list of acceptable schools.
Texas and Foster, slam dunk. Tepper, hmm. ? Not a PM factory. Research employment stats. Yale & Cornell are good finance schools obvi but you need more on the PM side than the finance side, really. This might scare you a bit but you might consider Haas & maybe MIT (ya I know....but the MIT app is quite short and a week out from other deadlines so why not. Worth the investment)

Not sure about Yale really...bullish on Michigan, heightened tech focus with newish Dean...

I do feel you should put Cornell in the mix; they are lax on grades if your GMAT is decent. There is data to back this up actually.
Recently client with worse GPA and PM aspirations was admitted there.

Obviously the low GPA in a non-business major is a red flag. --Would not necessarily be worried about non-biz major; could be seen as a source of diversity. You have a decent quant score so that is covered. Did you dislike your major hence unmotivated?

I have a bit of a "story" but nothing great. --Yep, this would be nice to have, some source of passion/motivation that would be moving. But you might have some more interesting stuff that you are currently dismissing. It blows my mind sometimes how my clients poo-poo real treasures.

I'm hoping my GMAT could overcome this but I'm having a really hard time determining where I stand. Some days I think I have a legiimatet shot at my reach schools, some days I think anything top 25 would be a real struggle.

Question: What are realistic schools? Where should I aim in terms of rankings?

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Farrell Dyan
http://MBAPrepCoach.com
"You don't often come across people so perceptive and empathetic." - EM, NYC

Do I have a chance? &nbs [#permalink] 06 Jul 2018, 18:05
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