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Dear team: Request to review my profile, thanks in advance for your time!
28 y/o male from California.
1) Spent the last year at a Chase bank branch as an Investment Licensed Banker, primarily trying to build business and balances for the branch. Prior to this, incredibly unimpressive work experience: Hotel supervisory role and odd-jobs such as serving tables.
3) Graduated from UC Santa Cruz in Jan 2009. (#86 by US News for UG). 3.4 GPA with Econ major, Math minor. Extenuating circumstance would be a major car accident which happened one month before my expected graduation in June in which I suffered major burns and was hospitalized for quite some time. Finished degree about 9 months after the accident, but the whole situation made it more difficult to find internships and entry into the financial industry upon completion of my classes.
4) Have volunteered as a peer supporter to other burn survivors. Was a founding member of a new multicultural fraternity while in school.
5) Currently a CFA level 1 candidate set to take the exam in June 2014. Series 6, 63 and insurance license holder.
6) Looking at FT MBAs, but I'm unsure if I have a shot at any top program with my weak work experience and average to poor letters of recommendation I would get from my bank branch managers. Looking to get an idea if I have any chance at all and if I do, which tier of schools I would have a legitimate shot. Have also been considering MSFinance programs. Was eying McGill for both MSF and MBA. Also eying Indiana, UNC, GTown, OSU, Washington(Foster).
7) R2 2013-2014.
8) Would ideally like to obtain a position with an IB in a quantitative field: asset mgmt, risk mgmt, derivatives pricing, analytics, etc. Have struggled to get into financial analysis and am hoping a graduate degree can help me get an internship or career placement to get my foot in the door.
In your experience, are there any schools which place less emphasis on work experience and letters or rec(These are clearly my weaknesses) and will reward solid test scores?
Your assessment of your chances and your own candidacy is pretty on target. I agree that you could and should seek out schools that are strong in finance, given your goals, and that would also value and benefit from your high GMAT (backed by the decent academic record) enough to overlook the problems. The GMAT and undergrad record make abundantly clear your ability, and you can explain some of the problems in an optional essay.
Your school range is sound. Another two schools you might look at, which are strong in finance and are overall highly regarded, are Boston College and University of Rochester’s Simon.