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Profile Evaluation Request

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 04 Apr 2017
Posts: 1
Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2017, 20:37
Hi, I would greatly appreciate if anyone could please evaluate my profile and give me advice. Thanks!

Work Experience:

Current: Investment banking analyst at top MM bank - Financial restructuring and debt capital markets groups
Duration of work experience: ~2 years

Misc Work Experience:
1) Summer analyst at the same firm junior summer
2) Summer internship at hedge fund sophomore summer
3) Significantly involved in school's investment fund program and pitched a successful investment of over $900k

Education:

B.S., Finance and Accounting double major, University of Minnesota (Carlson)
GPA: 4.0/4.0

Age/Nationality

Age:24
Nationality: White
Gender: Male
GMAT: 680. 39V, 44Q, 7IR, 6AWA (Was consistently getting 700 or better on practice tests and was disappointed with my low quant)

Target Schools:
Duke, Northwestern, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Yale, Harvard/Wharton --> biggest reaches

Questions:

If instead of applying after two years of investment banking experience, I worked two more years in private equity or venture capital, would that significantly improve my chances at a top school?

How much will my weak GMAT decrease my chances at my listed schools? Would it be significantly worth it to take a class dedicated to quant if it could improve my score to a 710?

Would above average community service (considering a hectic investment banking lifestyle) improve my chances at all?

Thank you so much for your patience! I appreciate any reply.
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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
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S
Joined: 19 Apr 2016
Posts: 178
Schools: CBS '13 (A)
Re: Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 09:15
Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out and sharing the details of your profile! I’ll go ahead and answer your questions first then given you a few additional thoughts on your candidacy.

- If instead of applying after two years of investment banking experience, I worked two more years in private equity or venture capital, would that significantly improve my chances at a top school? Generally, I would say yes, that your chances will improve if you work for two more years in PE/VC and gain some additional leadership experience, especially if that path ties in with your post-MBA goals. The perspective you will develop through further exposure to new companies, industries, transactions, etc. and the opportunities for leadership and impact will simply be greater over time. Two years of work experience is on the low end for any of the top schools and you generally will need to be a total rockstar in order to prove that quality trumps quantity. However, if you have a very compelling reason for why you need to get an MBA now and you’ve had some exceptional leadership experiences during your past two years at the bank (or outside of work), then maybe now is the right time for you. So it does come down to your individual situation and what's driving your timing. I suggest reading this great advice to younger applicants for further considerations in your decision: https://www.vantagepointadmissions.com/single-post/2016/03/22/Confessions-of-a-Younger-Applicant

- How much will my weak GMAT decrease my chances at my listed schools? Would it be significantly worth it to take a class dedicated to quant if it could improve my score to a 710? While the GMAT is only one data point in a holistic application, and the adcom truly does evaluate your application holistically, you are part of a competitive demographic (white male in finance) which tends to do very well on the GMAT. And when applying to the top programs, you’ll want to put your best foot forward in every way – so yes, I would recommend re-taking the GMAT and aiming for a 30+ point improvement. In my experience, that will move the needle in your favor. Your undergrad GPA is stellar, and that will certainly help your case, but a 680 with low quant will be tough at many of the top 10 schools absent some other truly outstanding application component (personal story, extra-curricular leadership, entrepreneurial experience, etc.) Especially if you decide to delay your applications for another year or two, you have plenty of time to re-take the test (although I know it’s painful!)

- Would above average community service (considering a hectic investment banking lifestyle) improve my chances at all? Yes! But again, quality trumps quantity. Logging in 100+ hours as a volunteer at a soup kitchen, while commendable, in and of itself won’t be a differentiator (nor does it sound like it will be realistic for you!) What’s really going to help you here is leadership experience and scale of impact – i.e. joining the junior board of an organization, leading a fundraiser, founding an employee resource group at work, etc. Thinking about high-impact opportunities that will be realistic with your schedule – and just as importantly, fit with your story – will be the best way to maximize this aspect of your profile.

I hope this helps give you some additional clarity about how to proceed. In general, what I like about your profile is that the things you can’t change (i.e. undergrad GPA, work experience, etc.) are strong for you and the opportunities you have for improvement (i.e. GMAT, extra-curriculars, years of work experience, etc.) are all things you have control over – and you can start working on them now. In thinking about how to make the most of your work experience, don’t only focus on the “what” you’ve been doing but on the “how well”. Examples of when you’ve stepped up to the plate and led an analysis or played a role on your deal team that was way more senior than you, when you proposed an improvement to a process to increase your team’s efficiency, when you developed a creative solution to a client issue, when you mentored a teammate who was struggling, etc. are the kinds of stories that will help your application truly stand out. While this is true for all applicants, differentiation will be so important for you as a finance applicant – how do you stand out from everyone else with a finance background applying to the top schools? That’s one of the key challenges I see for you, based on the information you provided. So start thinking about that strategy now!

Best of luck to you! If you’d like to chat further, you can sign up for our free 30-minute consultation or email me directly at melody@vantagepointadmissions.com

Kindly,
Melody
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request   [#permalink] 15 May 2017, 09:15
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