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Profile Evaluation

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Intern
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Joined: 07 Jan 2018
Posts: 16
GMAT 1: 720 Q48 V41
Profile Evaluation  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2018, 15:21
Hello -

My dream school is Stanford. I know what I need to get to be competitive on my GMAT, but I don't know how my profile stacks up. My concern: will my resume give me a chance at Stanford even if I get a top-percentile GMAT score? Can you give me a sense of how strong/weak my resume is outside of the GMAT?

Male, 29, US

UG GPA: 3.5 (major - psych, minor - language)
Graduate degree: Masters in Ed. - Johns Hopkins University

Work:
- Teach for America Corp Member (2011-2013)
- Financial planning (2013-present) - run my own financial planning firm
- Coached swimming (assistant) at Johns Hopkins (2011-2013)

Achievements and Awards:

Swimming:
- NCAA champion (individual and team)
- NCAA record-holder
- 4-time Academic All-American (all four years)
- 18-time Athletic All-American
- NCAA post-graduate scholarship award winner

Leadership:
- Captain (swim team, college) - 2007
- Leadership roles in financial industry (various)

For what it is worth: I think (hope) my essays will be strong. Stanford is my dream school because I truly believe in the vision they have, and I hope my application reflects that. In fact, I don't plan on applying to any other schools. If I don't have a profile that gives me a shot at Stanford, I will probably scrap the application process.

Thanks in advance!
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 5993
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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New post 09 Jan 2018, 01:34
mbit wrote:
Hello -

My dream school is Stanford. I know what I need to get to be competitive on my GMAT, but I don't know how my profile stacks up. My concern: will my resume give me a chance at Stanford even if I get a top-percentile GMAT score? Can you give me a sense of how strong/weak my resume is outside of the GMAT?

Male, 29, US

UG GPA: 3.5 (major - psych, minor - language)
Graduate degree: Masters in Ed. - Johns Hopkins University

Work:
- Teach for America Corp Member (2011-2013)
- Financial planning (2013-present) - run my own financial planning firm
- Coached swimming (assistant) at Johns Hopkins (2011-2013)

Achievements and Awards:

Swimming:
- NCAA champion (individual and team)
- NCAA record-holder
- 4-time Academic All-American (all four years)
- 18-time Athletic All-American
- NCAA post-graduate scholarship award winner

Leadership:
- Captain (swim team, college) - 2007
- Leadership roles in financial industry (various)

For what it is worth: I think (hope) my essays will be strong. Stanford is my dream school because I truly believe in the vision they have, and I hope my application reflects that. In fact, I don't plan on applying to any other schools. If I don't have a profile that gives me a shot at Stanford, I will probably scrap the application process.

Thanks in advance!


To tell you the truth, it's hard to say with the information here. You run your own business. Will that appeal to them or not? What do you want to do with your MBA? what are your goals? Why Stanford?

Obviously getting that GMAT score is the base - and for Stanford especially the higher the better (we are talking 740+).

So if you can pull that score, that's definitely a good starting point!

Best,
_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado | Packages | Success Stories | Team

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 07 Jan 2018
Posts: 16
GMAT 1: 720 Q48 V41
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New post 09 Jan 2018, 08:05
You run your own business. Will that appeal to them or not?

I hope so :) These are my (rough) thoughts:

I am a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual. I file as a sole-proprietor, but technically I am a statutory employee. My appeal to admissions will be that I get the best of both worlds with this set up: entrepreneurship with enough corporate structure to develop substantial leadership skills. As a sole-proprietor, I have learned to run a business, meaning, with no base-salary, I hire/fire/manage my own employees with my own business revenue, manage and acquire my own clients, etc. I also started my business in a city in which I had no natural market and minimal industry experience. Within the corporate setting, I have developed leadership skills by working with directors, partners, execs to mentor and recruit young advisors. By the time I apply to bschool, I will also be managing my own team of advisors as well.

What do you want to do with your MBA? What are your goals?

I love the impact that I can have on the lives of my clients as a financial planner. However, it is relatively localized impact, meaning I help my clients and their families, but I don't have the ability to help a larger community or populations - at very least my, scope is limited. My dream is to start an impact investment firm, charitable giving foundation (venture philanthropy). I want to invest in companies/people (ideally small companies) that are looking to make a positive change (social progress, scientific progress, etc.) I see this as a way to expand on the skills I have been developing over the past 8 years and expand my scope of positive impact - if you will.

Why Stanford?

Not necessarily in order of importance:
- Focus on entrepreneurship
- They send a high(er) percentage of graduates into venture capital than almost any other school - this would be essential considering my goals. I'm guessing I need industry experience before heading out to start my own firm :)
- They have great opportunities to develop leadership skills (I found at least one extensive fellowship)
- Location: great place to develop relationships since I am looking to invest in start-ups and companies looking to make social/scientific impact.
- Smaller student-body - I grew up in a small town, went to college in a small town at a small school: I like that environment. I enjoy knowing the people in my cohort and building relationships with professors.
- This is a bit more esoteric and not something I would put in my "why stanford" essay necessarily - I like the focus "who is applicant" versus "what has the applicant achieved." Coming from a small town and modest means, I used to think my goal was to make a lot of money. Now, I obviously want to make enough to take care of my family and give back to the community, but my motives have changed (see above). I don't want to be in a hyper-cut throat environment where the end goal is to be a CEO of a major company. Obviously, that is not a 100% accurate depiction of other top schools or their student-bodies! However, the sense that I get in my research is: Stanford has a more cooperative atmosphere than other top schools.

Obviously getting that GMAT score is the base - and for Stanford especially the higher the better (we are talking 740+).

Yup, yup! No surprise here!

Again, with no GMAT score yet, there is only so much advice you can offer. But those are the answers to your questions!
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 5993
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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New post 10 Jan 2018, 02:21
mbit wrote:
You run your own business. Will that appeal to them or not?

I hope so :) These are my (rough) thoughts:

I am a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual. I file as a sole-proprietor, but technically I am a statutory employee. My appeal to admissions will be that I get the best of both worlds with this set up: entrepreneurship with enough corporate structure to develop substantial leadership skills. As a sole-proprietor, I have learned to run a business, meaning, with no base-salary, I hire/fire/manage my own employees with my own business revenue, manage and acquire my own clients, etc. I also started my business in a city in which I had no natural market and minimal industry experience. Within the corporate setting, I have developed leadership skills by working with directors, partners, execs to mentor and recruit young advisors. By the time I apply to bschool, I will also be managing my own team of advisors as well.

What do you want to do with your MBA? What are your goals?

I love the impact that I can have on the lives of my clients as a financial planner. However, it is relatively localized impact, meaning I help my clients and their families, but I don't have the ability to help a larger community or populations - at very least my, scope is limited. My dream is to start an impact investment firm, charitable giving foundation (venture philanthropy). I want to invest in companies/people (ideally small companies) that are looking to make a positive change (social progress, scientific progress, etc.) I see this as a way to expand on the skills I have been developing over the past 8 years and expand my scope of positive impact - if you will.

Why Stanford?

Not necessarily in order of importance:
- Focus on entrepreneurship
- They send a high(er) percentage of graduates into venture capital than almost any other school - this would be essential considering my goals. I'm guessing I need industry experience before heading out to start my own firm :)
- They have great opportunities to develop leadership skills (I found at least one extensive fellowship)
- Location: great place to develop relationships since I am looking to invest in start-ups and companies looking to make social/scientific impact.
- Smaller student-body - I grew up in a small town, went to college in a small town at a small school: I like that environment. I enjoy knowing the people in my cohort and building relationships with professors.
- This is a bit more esoteric and not something I would put in my "why stanford" essay necessarily - I like the focus "who is applicant" versus "what has the applicant achieved." Coming from a small town and modest means, I used to think my goal was to make a lot of money. Now, I obviously want to make enough to take care of my family and give back to the community, but my motives have changed (see above). I don't want to be in a hyper-cut throat environment where the end goal is to be a CEO of a major company. Obviously, that is not a 100% accurate depiction of other top schools or their student-bodies! However, the sense that I get in my research is: Stanford has a more cooperative atmosphere than other top schools.

Obviously getting that GMAT score is the base - and for Stanford especially the higher the better (we are talking 740+).

Yup, yup! No surprise here!

Again, with no GMAT score yet, there is only so much advice you can offer. But those are the answers to your questions!


Hey dude!
Good to hear back from you with all this immense detail. I love the enthusiasm! Keep it up, even in the face of adversity an it will happen!

Stanford... I'll be honest with you.. it's gonna be tough. Going from financial planning to VC is not usually something that happens. Usually it's either these dudes that are just "incubation geniuses" and know enough about the tech and trends to make the right stuff happen, or it's people with very solid tech backgrounds (which is why it is happening at Stanford). And as far as your story goes (i.e. your ability to land a VC job post-grad) I'm not sure I would be convinced if I was Stanford. And you have done it before, whereas there will be applicants who have.

Now for impact investing, the place you wanna look at is Columbia.Obviously all the other top notch east coast schools make sense too, and actually given your more "Finance proper" background the schools like Columbia, Johnson, Booth, NYU, MIT, HBS that are the finance heavy hitters make more sense here from what you have written than those West Coast schools.

Sooo, to say that the competition is real tough. Now, if you have the right GMAT score can it happen? It's possible. If you tell your story the right way, and if it makes sense, and jives with Stanford as an entity.

At the same time I think you should expand your horizons beyond a single school. Start researching other appealing destinations, all while studying for that GMAT. Look into who hires where. Attend events. It's fun!

And it is only the beginning!

Best of luck on your GMAT, dude!!!!
_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado | Packages | Success Stories | Team

If you like the post, give it a KUDOS!

Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 07 Jan 2018
Posts: 16
GMAT 1: 720 Q48 V41
Re: Profile Evaluation  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2018, 10:57
This is incredibly helpful. My interpretation of an ideal applicant for a top school was someone who has been successful in many areas and developed good leadership skills. I thought less emphasis would be put on an applicant's current experience in the field they want to get into post-MBA. Obviously, I recognized that there would need to be some reason - explained in the essays - for wanting a change in career-path.

My thought was a school wants high aptitude (GMAT), good vision (essays) and history of success (resume). The school - through the ciriculum - would prepare you for a specific field. What I'm hearing you say, however, is that it is a substantial disadvantge not to have experience in your desired, future field pre-MBA. Or, if you don't have experience - as I don't - you better throw down a great GMAT score to be competitive!

Posted from my mobile device
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
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New post 11 Jan 2018, 01:44
mbit wrote:
This is incredibly helpful. My interpretation of an ideal applicant for a top school was someone who has been successful in many areas and developed good leadership skills. I thought less emphasis would be put on an applicant's current experience in the field they want to get into post-MBA. Obviously, I recognized that there would need to be some reason - explained in the essays - for wanting a change in career-path.

My thought was a school wants high aptitude (GMAT), good vision (essays) and history of success (resume). The school - through the ciriculum - would prepare you for a specific field. What I'm hearing you say, however, is that it is a substantial disadvantge not to have experience in your desired, future field pre-MBA. Or, if you don't have experience - as I don't - you better throw down a great GMAT score to be competitive!

Posted from my mobile device


Well it's also more than that. Coming from a practical sense:
Schools know that VC positions are rare. They also know that everyone wants them. If you want a VC post and can;t justify it, you are only showing that you haven't done your research. (and the same goes for any unfounded or irrealistic goals... like moving from IT coding to Investment Banking. If I were a recruiter I wouldn't look at it either.


Secondly, success is one thing. And all schools like it. But fit is a second. Each school has its own niches, characteristics, etc... and they expect also that you have done the research. I mean don't sweat it if you don't know about it yet! That's why you have the next 8 months! And we can help. And so will the Internet! :)


Best
_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado | Packages | Success Stories | Team

If you like the post, give it a KUDOS!

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