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Profile Evaluation Request

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Joined: 04 Jun 2018
Posts: 10
Profile Evaluation Request  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2018, 10:40
Hi Avanti Prep,

I'm considering applying in round 1 this year for full-time MBA programs enrolling fall 2019 and would love to get a profile evaluation and general thoughts on my potential career path. Any evaluation or advice you could give me would be much appreciated. Also curious if I'd gain anything from waiting another year, getting some more experience in my current role and getting some more community involvement.

White male, 26 years old

"Southern Ivy" (Duke, Emory, Vandy, etc.), graduated in 2014, Mathematics and Economics BA, GPA: 3.25 (started out pre-med which did not go well. Started to do better when I switched to math and econ, but suffered family tragedy fall of senior year which hurt my grades and recruiting as well)

770 (50Q/46V/8IR/5AWA)

Work (all at private, family-owned diversified holding company with $20B+ revenue):
-1 year as a business analyst in the Operational Excellence department in the automotive division. Acted as a liaison between business operations and IT development for the development of enterprise mobile applications, completed heavily statistical analysis to complete the business cases for these applications as well as justify a multi-million dollar acquisition, created operational tools for field use and trained several GMs on their use.
-2 years as a manager in the Financial Planning and Analysis department in the same division. Promoted to manager 3 years ahead of schedule for being recognized as a top performer. Managed a contractor and intern. Currently in charge of budgets and forecasts for several smaller portfolio businesses and on the leadership team of these businesses to provide insights that drive strategic decision-making.
-2 years (at matriculation) as a senior analyst in an elite corporate strategy & development group at the holding company level responsible for portfolio management, M&A, diversification strategy. So far led primary due diligence for several minority investments as well as played an integral role developing a strategy for the Company's extension into the clean technology industry (renewable energy, food and agriculture, water conservation, etc.). Interface regularly with C-level leaders, board members and external parties (banks, PE firms, Consultants, VCs)

-Pro Bono consultant at an eCommerce retail store, creating the business plan, social media marketing strategy, and pricing methodology
-Half marathon participant in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program. Raised $2000 for cancer research
-Finalist in my company's internal StartUp business plan event
-Mentor at Big Brothers/Big Sisters Atlanta

Post-MBA Goals:
Ultimately I want to become the CFO of a well-funded start-up in my current industries of expertise (Cleantech, Auto). To get there, I want to work in Finance at one of the external parties I regularly interface with (IB, PE or VC if possible) unless the opportunity presents itself to be a finance leader at a start-up right out of my MBA. I think working in M&A at a particularly flexible, family-owned Strategic provides a different, interesting vantage point.

Schools under consideration:
I have two routes I'm considering, since I actually really like my current job:
-Shoot for the stars (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago) where I think the the value would justify leaving my current role and paying the tuition
-Go to the one year MBA at my local university (Emory, where I think I can get close to a full scholarship), continue working part-time or take 1 year off and come back to my current role.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Avanti Prep Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 08 Aug 2017
Posts: 307
Re: Profile Evaluation Request  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2018, 07:58
Hi there,

Thank you very much for your post. Your profile reads very well with the exception of the GPA. Even then, your 770 GMAT, analytically oriented work experience, and the fact that the 3.25 came first in Pre-Med and then in Math and Economics (at a well regarded university) together make up for it.

Your undergraduate university is strong, your work experience is strong (with clear and uncommon advancement, noteworthy impact, and a nice balance of diverse experiences but all at one firm and with a solid amount of time in each role), and your extracurriculars are solid.

I don't really see gaps or rationale for waiting to apply in 2019. If anything, HBS and Stanford trend slightly younger than other T10 schools, which further lends itself to applying this year. You'll have a solid five years, with management experience, and won't yet risk being perceived as "creeping a little too deep" into a given a career. Plus, if you followed the "shoot for the stars" path and it didn't go your way, you could re-apply in 2019. (In other words, you give yourself two potential at-bats from the middle of the work-experience bell curve.... naturally you hope you don't need the second.)

I believe you're justified in the "shoot for the stars" approach. And that's precisely the way to think about it. If you like your current job and there are other incentives to stay (e.g., financial), then you should only apply to schools you believe would be additive. Mentally, I'd bucket HBS and Stanford together (as the super-duper long shots for pretty much any applicant) and then Wharton and Booth together. That's not to say you don't have a shot at the former bucket. (In fact, I'd say that you're among the relatively small group of folks that do have a chance.) They're just in their own league.

I honestly don't love the one-year Emory option for you. Emory's a fine school, there's value to the education, and you don't forego the income if you stay at your job and pursue the MBA on a part-time basis. I hate to put too much weight into "name" or "brand" (and again, Emory is an excellent university), but in your field I actually think the name could be somewhat dilutive to what you've built to this point and/or could do on the MBA front.

I'd be happy to chat if helpful (even if you're not necessarily looking for admissions consulting services... though I'd naturally welcome the opportunity to partner with you if you were). I spent eight years in finance (including one in private equity in SF after my MBA) so am happy to share that perspective and elaborate on the comments above. You can sign up for a Free Consultation here:

Best Regards,
Greg Guglielmo
Founder | Avanti Prep
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request   [#permalink] 13 Jun 2018, 07:58
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