I'm hoping you might be able to assist with a profile evaluation and some thoughts:
Work Experience: Two years audit at a Big 4. My current role (going into my third year), is at a hedge fund, doing sr acct./controller level work, involved with all aspects of financial reporting, investor reporting, compliance, operations, etc. Total 5 yrs experience, active CPA license.
GMAT: 710 (45Q 41V)
Claremont McKenna College, 3.4 GPA, Politics/Economics, 2004.
University of Southern California, MAcc, 3.4 GPA, 2006.
Member and volunteer coach of local non-profit running club, training beginners and others looking to begin a fitness lifestyle/train for a goal race.
Stretches: Columbia, NYU, Booth, Kellogg
Targets: UCLA, Darden, Duke, UT-Austin (McCombs) is my very first choice as I am currently a Texas resident and would like to stay here post-graduation.
Post MBA goals: Consulting/IB/Energy Finance
I wanted to see what you thought of my current chances given my profile and, specifically, my GMAT score. I want to apply in R1 if possible (unless you might think R2 is better or a negligible difference given my credentials). I'm satisfied with my verbal/overall score for the most part, but am concerned about the 72% Quantitative (a bit short of the 80 threshold). I'd like to enter banking/consulting after graduation. Will my CPA license, Masters in Accounting and WE help alleviate some of the quant?
Should I focus and retake in a month or apply my energy towards writing good essays?
Please let me know your thoughts, your help is much appreciated!
The 710 is a fine score, but if you think you can boost it easily, it usually pays to take the test twice. And yes, the top programs do like to see above the 80th percentile for each section (they certainly compromise on that at times when they have a unique candidate though). Since you don't seem incredibly "unique" yet from this profile description, I would recommend you go ahead and take the test again. In terms of writing good essays, if you work hard with a good consultant (shameless plug, I know!), then each application shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks to complete.
I do recommend applying to your top choices in the first round.
Jennifer Bloom, CPRW
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