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Profile Evaluation Request - 28 y/o African Male

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Intern
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Joined: 16 Nov 2017
Posts: 2
Profile Evaluation Request - 28 y/o African Male [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 09:07
Hi there,

I am a 28y/o African male. Here are my stats

GMAT: 710 (expected)

BSc Mathematics in Africa (GPA 3.84/4, top university in E. Africa)
Msc Mathematics in London <<-- Full government sponsorship

Work Experience:
- One year in Africa as an analyst at a top pan-African investment firm
- Two years in London with a AUM $1.5bn boutique hedge fund. 12 employees founded by former GS MDs. I promotion to associate level.
- Under the above have travelled extensively to African and Asian nations on work assignments

MBA:
- Looking to complete an 2 year MBA program in the states that will help me transition to social impact private equity investing in Africa.

Which option for an MBA program do you think would be worth looking into?

Many thanks,
J
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 5875
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
Re: Profile Evaluation Request - 28 y/o African Male [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2018, 01:34
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AndyDufresne89 wrote:
Hi there,

I am a 28y/o African male. Here are my stats

GMAT: 710 (expected)

BSc Mathematics in Africa (GPA 3.84/4, top university in E. Africa)
Msc Mathematics in London <<-- Full government sponsorship

Work Experience:
- One year in Africa as an analyst at a top pan-African investment firm
- Two years in London with a AUM $1.5bn boutique hedge fund. 12 employees founded by former GS MDs. I promotion to associate level.
- Under the above have travelled extensively to African and Asian nations on work assignments

MBA:
- Looking to complete an 2 year MBA program in the states that will help me transition to social impact private equity investing in Africa.

Which option for an MBA program do you think would be worth looking into?

Many thanks,
J


Dear J,
Given your background in pan-African finance, and the fact that you are an African candidate yourself with social impact goals I would say you have solid chances at Top 10 schools in the States.

Your GMAT may be a bit lower than the average, but given your social desires, and the fact that they don't get many African applications, I think that if you tell your story right, you could outperform your GMAT.

Other than that, if you'd like to get into detail, or if you have any further questions, feel free to drop a line.

Best,
_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado | Packages | Success Stories | Team

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Joined: 16 Nov 2017
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Profile Evaluation Request - 28 y/o African Male [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2018, 04:19
JonAdmissionado wrote:
AndyDufresne89 wrote:
Hi there,

I am a 28y/o African male. Here are my stats

GMAT: 710 (expected)

BSc Mathematics in Africa (GPA 3.84/4, top university in E. Africa)
Msc Mathematics in London <<-- Full government sponsorship

Work Experience:
- One year in Africa as an analyst at a top pan-African investment firm
- Two years in London with a AUM $1.5bn boutique hedge fund. 12 employees founded by former GS MDs. I promotion to associate level.
- Under the above have travelled extensively to African and Asian nations on work assignments

MBA:
- Looking to complete an 2 year MBA program in the states that will help me transition to social impact private equity investing in Africa.

Which option for an MBA program do you think would be worth looking into?

Many thanks,
J


Dear J,
Given your background in pan-African finance, and the fact that you are an African candidate yourself with social impact goals I would say you have solid chances at Top 10 schools in the States.

Your GMAT may be a bit lower than the average, but given your social desires, and the fact that they don't get many African applications, I think that if you tell your story right, you could outperform your GMAT.

Other than that, if you'd like to get into detail, or if you have any further questions, feel free to drop a line.

Best,


Hi there, prior to your response I was actually working on a much more detailed post. Please find it below. I would greatly appreciate your suggestions.

**********************************************************************************************************************************


Hi there,

I am a 28y/o African male. I hope to apply to three MBA programmes from the following group of schools: Oxford, INSEAD, LBS, Kellogg, Yale, MIT, Columbia, HBS and Wharton. I intend to drop my applications in late 2018 which should be during R1.

The reason that I am posting here is to find out whether it would be realistic to plan on attending any of the above schools given my profile and background. On top of this there are certain "doubts" which I have about myself. I would sincerely like to hear your thoughts on whether these "doubts" are warranted and would hinder my chances of getting admitted. These are doubts stem from: (1) The fact that I did my undergrad studies in Africa, (2) The fact that I have worked for strong regional brands rather than well known global brands such as PWC, McK etc (3) The fact that I did not perform as well as expected in my post grad studies. I graduated with an average score of 60/100.

I have divided my profile into subsections below. Please have a look and let me know what you think.

GMAT:
- I am currently studying for my GMAT. However, based on practice tests and the time which I have left to prepare, I believe that a 710 is achievable (may be more).

Educational Background:
- I won a number of mathematics awards during my high school years. In one instance I was the top performer in a regional mathematics competition featuring ~10 high schools. I was also a member of the boys scouts.
- After high school, I graduated as the 6th top student in the country (A level equivalent exams) out of a national pool of about 500,000 students. This allowed me to gain a scholarship co-sponsored by the government and the largest bank in the country to study for my undergraduate studies. As part of the scholarship, I worked for a year at the bank prior to joining university.
- I pursued a BSc course in Actuarial Mathematics and obtained a GPA of 3.84/4 from a top university in E. Africa. The course was highly selective and only admitted a class of 100 students each year. I topped my class consecutively during my first two years of study and got awarded for this. I concurrently studied for my ACCA (accounting) papers and Actuarial papers while studying for my undergrad course.
- After undergrad, I worked for a year (see details below) and later won a full government scholarship to study for my masters in actuarial management at Cass Business School in the UK. Through my studies at Cass, I was able to gain exemptions from a number of the actuarial exams which I am meant to write before fully qualifying as an actuary.

Work Experience:
- As mentioned earlier, prior to my undergrad, I worked at a retail bank as a bank clerk for about a year. I was able to use this opportunity to develop a passion in the stock market. After about 6 months into the job, I requested a transfer to the brokerage department where we enabled clients to purchase and sell stocks on the stock exchange. This sparked a lifelong interest in the financial markets. My present job is a testament to this :)

- During my undergrad, I interned with a leading insurance company whereby I developed actuarial pricing models for a Weather Index-Based Insurance Agricultural product in a project which was funded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The project was the largest agricultural insurance program in Africa and the first agricultural insurance program worldwide to reach smallholders using mobile technologies (USSD applications). I was reporting directly to the group actuary during this time.

- After my undergrad, I gained admission into the graduate scheme of one of the top pan-African investment firms in the continent with AUM ~$1.5Bn. The scheme comprised of 5 individuals from a pool of 3,000 applicants. The firm was small with only 30 staff, therefore junior staff were expected to wear many hats. I worked there for a year and during this period i was involved in various projects such as: (0) As an analyst, my primary research and stock recommendations generated returns of 50% to the firm during my period of employment. Hence from $2mn deployed in my ideas, $1mn in investment gains was generated for our public fund. Subsequently, I was the highest paid first year analyst (in bonus) due to this (1) I also worked with the PE team in conducting due diligence on a company which resulted in a US$ 25 mn hostile bid from our firm, which we eventually won (2) I worked with the c-suite management team to draft a 5 year strategy plan for a new asset management division (3) I also led a group of external consultants to have the new asset management division approved by regulatory authorities as well as structuring the country's first pan-African unit trust investment vehicles which sat under the new division (4) I was later awarded by the MD of the new asset management division for my efforts in getting the new division up and running. I later left the company to pursue my masters studies in the UK with an ambition of later gaining employment with a top global firm in the field of investment management

- After my postgrad studies, I never quite broke into the ranks of Blackrock etc. However, after relentless networking I got an internship with an AUM $1.5bn boutique hedge fund. My previous employer actually did business with this fund and they had been my clients during that time. The fund comprises of 12 employees and was founded by former GS MDs. I got a full time offer 4 months after my internship. The partners at the firm were impressed with my work ethic as an intern that they paid off my scholarship to the government which meant that I could work for them full time rather than return back to my country.
- I have been with the firm for 2.5 years now (3.5 years when I apply to B-school) and during this time I have had a number of successes and failures:

Failure

- Early on at the firm, I was involved in a project whereby our company was to establish an infant nutrition start up in Bangladesh which would later be scaled to nearby countries and Africa. The team working on this project included: 2 partners, an EIR (entrepreneur in residence), 1 external investor, external consultants and myself who did a lot of the heavy lifting for our firm. I worked on the project for 6 months and during this time we were able to conduct preliminary market research (focus groups etc), formulated a recipe and came up with a product (inc packaging) based on our research finding. However, the project fell through after the EIR and the partners disagreed on the ownership split of the new venture as well as remuneration. 6 months of work went to waste and my future at the firm was in jeopardy given that this was the primary task that I had been hired to perform.

Successes

- Following the failure (above), I put my best foot forward and pitched internally to get assigned to a new project. I was later assigned to a new project which involved setting up a new consumer health focused investment strategy & sub-fund. The partner leading the project selected me for this task based on the knowledge which I had gained from working on the failed start up venture i.e. I was capable of hitting the ground running and had gained much of the necessary skills. We worked as a team of 4: The partner, myself, our COO and an operations analyst. My role involved investment research, fund raising, and deployment of capital. I analysed stocks and private companies across a myriad of markets, with a focus on consumer staples and healthcare companies in Sub-Saharan Africa, MENA, Southern and South-Eastern Asia. My work assignments took me to places such as: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, South Korea and Hong Kong where I was meeting with c-suite management of target companies.Long story short, we ended up successfully launching a US$ 50mn sub-fund after having raised capital from university endowments (top US schools), high net worth individuals etc. The investments we picked also did well for the fund. Up to date (6 months since inception), the fund has generated 8% in net returns as of Dec 2017. I was directly involved in picking, vetting and recommending the investments.

Extracurricular activities:

- My parents run a primary school in Africa which has enrolled 500 students from underprivileged backgrounds. I have tutored mathematics at this school as well as led certain initiatives such as the implementation of an IT & accounting system.
- I am a mentor to a participant in the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI). YALI was launched by former President of the United States Barack Obama as a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. As a YALI mentor, my role is to assist participant in breaking down barriers that they face (mental or real) in working to achieve their goals.
- I also volunteer at a charity in the UK as a mentor to young people (11 - 18 years) from poor boroughs to help them reach their full potential and guide them as they start thinking about careers which they would like to pursue

Future ambitions:

I intend to make use of a top MBA education to bring together my experience and use this to launch myself into a career in Social Impact Private Equity Investing. at the moment, I could get into this field with the qualifications which I have. However, an MBA would allow me to join an impact investing firm at a level whereby I would be involved in the strategic decision making process. My long-term ambition would be to get involved in social-entrepreneurship, more so in the education or healthcare sectors.

Thank you for reading and getting this far. I look forward to your feedback. As a final request, please recommend certain aspects of my background which you believe I should highlight during my application/interviews?

Many thanks,
J
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