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Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 59

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 10

Concentration: Finance, Leadership
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45
GPA: 3.3
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Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2011, 13:28
Hey Paul- I'm looking for some guidance. Any advice is much appreciated!

• GMAT: 680 (Q46, V38)- this was my second time taking the test; the first was: 640 (Q39, V39)
• College GPA: 3.3 in Finance from a State college from MAC division. Graduated 12/2008
• Passed CFA L1

Professional Experience:
• [Jan 2009- July 2010] Worked in Financial Planning and Analysis group at Fortune 100 financial services firm. Forecasted various P&L items
• [August 2010-present] Work as analyst in Treasury-Structured Funding group at same company. Our group executes large auto-backed securities transactions in the $1-2 billion range and has me working closely with i-bankers on the deals.
• 1 promotion, probably another by this Fall

Extracurricular (starting with most recent):
• Board member and volunteer @ local non-profit that focuses on adult literacy. As board member, I have created some initiatives related to marketing and attracting volunteers
• Founded and chair community outreach group at my company. To date we have held over 6 successful & diverse volunteer events and raised over $10k for local non-profits and charities. I founded this group at the beginning of 2010
• Junior Achievement volunteer; I teach success and work readiness skills to local Detroit public high school students
• During undergrad:
• Secretary of college Allocations Committee; responsible for doling out hundreds of thousands of dollars of school monies to various student organizations
• Tutored for finance courses
• Member of two academic clubs including the school’s investment and economics club; no leadership positions held in either

• ST: investment banking
• LT: buy side- either HF or PE

Target Schools: Booth & Columbia (reach), Stern & Yale SOM (sweet spot), Cornell (safety).

My question: I understand that my academic profile is less than stellar, so I am planning on taking one or two supplemental courses online (probably Calculus I and Business statistics) to bolster that part of my application. However, I feel like I’m running out of time with R1 and Columbia ED deadlines quickly approaching. I don’t know that I have enough time to take the GMAT again (although I’m confident I can break the 700 barrier) and both supplemental courses. So the question is, do I use my current GMAT score and take two courses, or re-take the GMAT and take only one course? Or do I re-take the GMAT, take two courses, and apply to most schools in R2? Further, what are your thoughts on my set of target schools – are there any obvious ones I’m leaving out or that I shouldn’t bother with?

I could really use some guidance here as I approach application season. Of course, I am planning on using an admissions consultant for a few of my applications, so any additional strategy advice you can dole out given my profile and career plans will be much appreciated.

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 10

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Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 1037

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New post 26 Jul 2011, 02:47
Hey Paul Allen:

I thought you were great in American Psycho -- at least up until the part where you run into that axe.

to be honest, right now you are not competitive at Columbia and Booth. So it does not really matter if you feel like you are running out of time. With a 680 GMAT score you do not really have a realistic chance of getting into Columbia or Booth.

This is what you have to do -- retake the GMAT, get at least a 700 and then apply in round two for Booth. I would make sure that you apply to Columbia and have the GMAT score (of course), and I would make sure to do this no later than the beginning of the new year.

You seem to place a lot of stock in the two classes you plan on taking. Did you not have a calculus and business statistics as an undergraduate finance major? If you are retaking them, make sure that other classes that you score the lowest and in that cover some basic business core course. At the end of the day getting good grades in these retake courses, will move the needle as much as getting a much higher GMAT score.

The bottom line -- GMAT is God, everything else is pretty much secondary.

I hope this helps and when you get that enhance the GMAT score, please feel free to call into the office or e-mail us at Once you have that score, I am pretty sure we can help you get into Columbia and booth.

Paul Lanzillotti

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Kudos [?]: 222 [0], given: 220

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