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Profile Evaluation

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Intern
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Joined: 06 Sep 2017
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New post 06 Sep 2017, 22:29
Hello,

Can you please look at my profile and tell me what my chances are? I'm still early in the process and doing my diligence so pardon some of the beginner questions.

Planning to apply in 2019

- Career in FP&A (Financial Planning & Analysis)
- Male, Vietnamese, 28 yo
- Undergraduate from Top 50 Public University
- 3.6 GPA; Cum Laude
- Passed Level 1 of CFA
- GMAT: 710

Work Experience:

1) Finance Rotation Program at F500 rotated through 7 different groups within Finance (2 years) and promoted to Analyst Role (1 year).
2) Moved to a F500 in silicon Valley with as a Senior FP&A Analyst (6 Months)
3) Moved to Financial Services Startup as a Senior FP&A Analyst (1 Year)
4) Currently at an up and coming Cyber Security startup (unicorn in the space) -- Came in as Senior FP&A Analyst and promoted after a year to Manager -- will have 2 years here when it comes time for applications

Big concern area for me here with my short stints in 2) and 3). At 2) The role turned out to be much different from what I anticipated. It was monotonous, I was unchallenged, and did not see this changing even if I stuck around. I left on good terms with all of my peers who understood and my manager said he would not hesitate to hire me back. At 3) I actually had a great relationship with my manager and the majority of my peers. I left because the politics were getting to be too much for me to the point where I felt it was hindering my progression. Ultimately I felt it was not a good cultural fit. Same situation where I left on great terms with everyone. In retrospect, I wish I had stuck around longer but what's done is done. Is there a certain way I should address this in my application?

Letters of Rec: Will have glowing letters of rec from my current and prior manager who hold Director titles (Not sure how much this matters). I also have connections with several CFO alums of big companies who would be happy to put in a solid word for me -- though not sure if this is relevant or how to even go about leveraging that

Extracurricular:
Was President of Finance Club in Undergrad focused on coordinating career events, workshops, inviting speakers, focused on helping students learn and achieve careers in finance. But have little to no volunteer experience since leaving undergrad.. No excuses here other than work was very demanding. I am an avid Cyclist and was thinking about entering a few competitions between now and time of application to show some life outside work. I've also been inspired by some recent travel I've done to begin youth mentoring and am looking for opportunities to do that. Thoughts?

Post MBA Objective: I've spent my career in FP&A as I have loved building processes, performing analytics, and being able to partner with different functions around the business. It's been a great all-around learning experience and I've had a lot of fun supporting the business. I want to dive deeper into the operational side and learn what actually takes to run the the business firsthand. 10 years from now I want to end up in a GM or President of a Division. Between then and Post MBA, I want to go into Consulting to broaden my perspective and develop the necessary skill set.

Business Schools -- Long list but still feeling out what is a reach/match, etc
Wharton
Booth
Haas
Tuck
Michigan
Duke
NYU
UCLA
Cornell

Thanks for all the help.
Avanti Prep Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 08 Aug 2017
Posts: 307
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New post 07 Sep 2017, 11:40
1
Hi Mr Dude,

Thank you very much for your note. There's a lot to cover here, so a Free Consultation would probably be most convenient for both of us. Please feel free to email me at greg@avantiprep.com or sign up via the link in my signature below. In the meantime, a few thoughts:

Your work experience does feel a little jumpy, and naturally mutes the degree to which you could have achieved clear promotions within a single organization. That said, it is what it is, so when you talk about your path in your applications, you'll want to explain why one led to you the next and how (despite the moves) you were on a forward trajectory. You might consider devoting a few lines to it in the "additional" space if you feel it hasn't been adequately framed via the normal levers of the application. I encourage you to avoid framing anything in a negative manner ("not a good fit," "not what they said it would be," "too many politics," etc.) and instead focus on your choices and proactive path (why the next position, not "why not" the last one).

It's good that you think the recommendations will be strong. Make sure that your recommenders know what's demanded of a good MBA recommendation (depth, introspection, specificity, etc.). Sometimes recommenders think they're doing an applicant a favor by writing overly glowing, unrealistic, and highly general recommendations. That is not the case. Titles don't really matter. You want those managers who worked with you, know you, and can describe you with the greatest depth and specificity. Only ask for other recs (CFOs, etc.) if the person truly knows you.

It's tough to fill an extracurricular hole in the final months of the year, and you risk looking you're doing it disingenuously. That said, if it's something you're passionate about, want to do, and would do anyway, by all means go for it. I'd also encourage you to think through your past with greater detail -- when folks think through their life, passions, hobbies, interests, etc., there's often more there than at first blush. Think inside of work, outside of work, personal and family-related, etc.

Your school range seems well reasoned given what you've described (probably a little reach-y at the top, but you want that in a diversified multi-school strategy). It's a little long, so continue to research the programs, speak to current students and alumni, attend events, get to know the programs, show them you're interested, and understand why they'd be a fit from both a community and career perspective. All of that will need to be super specific in your applications.

The other thing I'd add is that you'll want to bring your story to life. The FP&A to consulting to GM/President of a division narrative feels somewhat undifferentiated. You'll want unpack your story, your unique experiences and perspective, your passions and interests, what makes you you, and what (much) more specifically within this stated career narrative drives you, what you'd want to do and pursue, etc. It feels somewhat generic and flat below. Really develop that.

Thanks,
Greg
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Greg Guglielmo
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To better understand how I work with clients and what they've historically felt were the major benefits of partnering, I encourage you to read through my Client Testimonials, all of which are independently verified by GMAT Club. I believe you'll find the reviews to be among the most transparent and detailed out there, and I believe you'll observe a unique level of time, depth, quality, commitment, attention to detail, and personal care. For serious inquiries, I am happy to connect you with former clients so you can hear about their experiences.
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Joined: 06 Sep 2017
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New post 07 Sep 2017, 12:04
This is incredibly helpful. Thank you so much.
Avanti Prep Admissions Consultant
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New post 07 Sep 2017, 12:24
My pleasure. Best of luck!
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Greg Guglielmo
Founder | Avanti Prep
MBA Admissions Consulting
Sign up for a Free Consultation!

To better understand how I work with clients and what they've historically felt were the major benefits of partnering, I encourage you to read through my Client Testimonials, all of which are independently verified by GMAT Club. I believe you'll find the reviews to be among the most transparent and detailed out there, and I believe you'll observe a unique level of time, depth, quality, commitment, attention to detail, and personal care. For serious inquiries, I am happy to connect you with former clients so you can hear about their experiences.
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Re: Profile Evaluation   [#permalink] 07 Sep 2017, 12:24
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