I recently graduated w/ a BA in Advertising from Southern Methodist University. I also have a minor in business administration (from the business school, SMU Cox makes you take a subset of 8 classes with a 3.3 overall GPA in order to get in, I met these requirements and received the Cox minor), and I would love to take on a MS accounting program to ultimately sit for the CPA. I have taken 3 accounting courses, all were subpar due to some family issues going on at the time but I absolutely loved the courses themselves and the content within. They were OK grades, but not outstanding. My dream job would be w/ a big 4 in a tax/audit position.
My dream school of where I would love to go for this is UT-Austin. I've also considered other schools (SMU, UTD, TCU). In terms of the prereqs, I already have everything that is required at UT -- My grades on them were: A in Macro, A- in Micro, A in Statistics, and a B in Financial Accounting.
I've recently started working on the GMAT by purchasing all of the books that I found recommended by others within the forum (a lot of the official guides, and a collection of all the manhattan GMAT guides
, and then the official, general guide to give me a good background on the test and what to expect). I am a good test taker (174 LSAT when I was considering law school) so I feel fairly confident that I can come out with a good score with ample study time and attention.
However, not sure if I have a shot in heck at UT-Austin, and I'd like to get a ballpark figure on a GMAT that I would need to push me over the top in this program
Undergraduate GPA: 3.3/4.0 upper level courses (this is how they calculate GPA for UT) from Southern Methodist Univ. This has a shot of going up as I don't have a copy of my transcript that's readily accessible, I just guesstimated, and shot for lower than what I had thought if I wasn't 100% sure.
Somewhat relevant business work experience includes: I have worked as a teller at a bank for 6 months while in school. With my current employer, although I work at an advertising agency (200+ employees, 3 offices between Dallas, NY and Philadelpha to give you an idea of how large) - my job has a heavy emphasis on financial reporting and analysis. I work very closely with our Finance Manager, Senior VP Operations, and Director of Project Management and make a lot of effort to perfect our billable time (making sure everything that is billable has a billable rate associated, just for an example), in addition to manipulating lots of our financial data to get actual numbers to give to management throughout the company.
Because of the job above, I have extremely above average knowledge (completely proficient) in Excel - including formula creation and manipulation. Back in high school (although not relevant now) - I was a part of a Computer Applications UIL team and I placed 1st in District, 1st in Region and headed to the State Competition, and the entire contest was centered around the high level use of Excel.
My letters of recommendation (already confirmed) will include: Financial Planning and Analysis Manager from current job, 2 Professors from upper level undergraduate coursework (includes my capstone course professor), and the President/CEO of the bank that I have worked at. I am debating about throwing in one or two personal references, but as it stands, both the president and VP of the bank I worked at have known me my entire life.
I also have quite a bit of volunteer work for Campfire USA under my belt from undergrad.
What type of GMAT score do I need to be looking at to be competitive? I know my GPA is a little bit on the low side so I am trying to think of ways that I can compensate for that.
Would this work experience help me at all or does it even matter?
I am also a lifelong TX resident and first generation college student. First person in my family to obtain a Bachelors degree. Just wanted to put that out there too just in case.
Thanks for your help everyone.