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Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 171

Kudos [?]: 55 [0], given: 13

Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, General Management
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V42
GPA: 3.69
WE: Analyst (Mutual Funds and Brokerage)
Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2013, 12:35
Post-Grad Work Experience: Since my undergrad, I've been working as a buy-side analyst for a hedge fund in Los Angeles. The story here is that the firm I work for very small and the Los Angeles office team is basically the Managing Director, the Portfolio Manager, and me as the analyst. The portfolio manager and I exclusively make all the decisions for our fund. The fund itself is relatively new and is in the process of building a track record before we can gather a new wave of investors. I feel like the size of the company is the drawback, but the experience I've gained from it makes up for it. I'm heavily involved in the development of our new value investing strategy (coincided with my start at the company two years ago) and my portfolio manager takes my opinions and analysis on every stock that we decide to buy/sell/consider (this fact would be backed by the recommendation letter from the portfolio manager). I would try to show proof of improvement at my job by citing the uptick in my bonus compensation (12% of salary in year 1, 40% of salary in year 2).

MBA Goal: I'd love to stay in my industry as a buy-side analyst for a more prominent hedge fund and eventually become a portfolio manager. Our managing director recently liquidated his ownership position in a large public company and is looking to focus more heavily on pursuing another private venture. If I were to stay, my portfolio manager and I would have to focus more heavily on finding possible LBO opportunities and we would be working in the private space more, while being able to devote less attention to the hedge fund. I figured I'd give it a shot and try to see if I could get into one of my target schools to further my career in investment management (my top choice would be Columbia for their Value Investing program, though I know program is highly competitive to get into in its own right). Considering my age (turning 24 this year), I decided to be pretty aggressive in the schools I've selected (not sure how my chances are at them, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were all reaches), but I figured if I don't get get in, I could spend another year at my current firm (for the experience) and purse CFA certification and then reapply next year. What I'm hoping to get out of the MBA is further knowledge about investment management (no educational background for this offered at UCLA undergrad, all my knowledge of value investing has been through work) and a stronger network with other investment management professionals (having access to industry experts is key in this field).

Target Schools: Columbia, Chicago, Wharton, NYU, Harvard, Kellogg, Stanford. I'm on the fence about Stanford and Kellogg. My tentative plan is to apply for Early Decision to Columbia relatively soon, and then apply for R1 of the other schools at the end of this year.

GMAT: 750 (Q50, V42)

College Undergrad: Graduated from UCLA in 2011 with a 3.68 GPA as a Business-Economics Major and an Accounting Minor.

Activities in College: Most of my time outside of academics revolved around my part-time job at the UCLA Student Store to pay for rent. I worked there as a cashier/customer service rep, and after my first year was promoted to a Supervisor position, and then Head Supervisor/Assistant to Store Manger shortly after that. My responsibilities went from just being a regular cashier to scheduling work hours for the entire staff in our department (20-25 student-workers), weekly inventory checks for all our merchandise, opening/closing the store, training new hires and newly-promoted supervisors, and working weekend game-days (busiest days of the year) in place of the store manager.

College Internships: I held summer internships at Merrill Lynch (private wealth management), Great American Group (liquidation appraisals), and Warner Brothers Entertainment (international revenue forecasting).

Current Extra-Curriculars: I've been coaching youth basketball (ages 8-12) at the local YMCA basketball league here. Like any standard league, it consists of assembling a team, improving individual as well as team-building skills, and playing through a season/playoffs consisting of 10 games every season.

I'm just trying to get a better picture of what my chances would be at my target school. My main concern is that my work experience on paper (small firm, no direct leadership opportunity) will appear weak. Thank you in advance!

Kudos [?]: 55 [0], given: 13

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Affiliations: Columbia, Wharton, LBS
Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 592

Kudos [?]: 121 [0], given: 1

Schools: Harvard, Stanford, LBS, Columbia, Wharton, HEC Paris
Re: Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2013, 12:26
Thanks for your posting.

You have a very strong background and with a strong application would be considered competitive at most of these schools. The only schools that I would re-consider would be HBS (do not see enough leadership) and Stanford (do not see enough innovation). As for applying to Columbia ED, if this is your top choice then go for it. Again, with a strong application, you will be competitive at all of the other schools on your list.

I would also recommend that you apply sooner rather than later. You can always get your CFA while in school -- and it is a fairly common credential so it will not do that much to help you in the application process. If you decide to by-pass Columbia ED and apply to other schools, I would recommend that you apply to Wharton and Booth R1. I might also recommend that you consider Sloan.

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review

Call for a free candidacy assessment.

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Kudos [?]: 121 [0], given: 1

Re: Profile Evaluation Request   [#permalink] 21 May 2013, 12:26
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