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Profile Evaluation Request - SEA male / 29 yrs old

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Profile Evaluation Request - SEA male / 29 yrs old [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 11:04
Hi mbaMission team,

Could you evaluate the strength and weakness of my profile? My sense is that I am a bit ahead on the age curve and I don't have much extra-curricular or peculiar interests to shout about... am targeting Wharton, HBS, Columbia, Stanford (all super-top unis in the US, not sure if I have the right profile and + whether I should focus on Europe since they tend to accept older applicants... super appreciate your overall advice on this)

+ Background:
- 29 years old
- Asian male

+ Work experience: 5+ years in one of the biggest fund management companies (buy-side) in South-East Asia (SEA) (AUM: >$50 billion)
- Position 1: Corporate Finance Analyst (4+ years)- did corporate exercises involving public & private portfolio companies (e.g. M&A, demerger, turnaround etc.), restructuring of Board of portfolio companies, monitoring of portfolio companies, review of corporate strategy of portfolio companies (ala-shareholder activist, but in SEA) - the role involves a lot of discussion/meetings with CEO and Senior Management of my company as well as the Board, CEOs and CFOs of the portfolio companies.
- Position 2: Investment Strategist (1+ years) - currently managing a small team to help devise overall investment/asset allocation strategy for funds under management (involves developing macroeconomic + asset class views and coordinating work with tonnes of people from different departments in my company).

+ Letter of recommendation: I am planning to have my current boss (who internally head-hunted me) and my previous big boss (top 5 in the company), who has worked closely with me in Corp Finance

+ GMAT: 720

+ Certifications: CFA (chartered), FRM (chartered)

+ Post-MBA goals:
- Short-term: Fund management role in a global asset management firm / hedge fund
- Long-term: Chief Investment Officer in my home country

+ Education:
- Graduated from top 10 universities in the world / top 4 in the UK (think Cambridge, Imperial, Oxford, UCL)
- First-class Honours (highest category in UK grading system)
- Degree: Comp Science

+ Awards:
- Won scholarship awards for A-Levels and University studies
- Awarded one of the high performing employees in my company

+ Extra-curricular (university)
- President of Fairtrade club
- University Volunteer
- Committee member in a UK Student Body for my country
- Internships (tech roles in investment arm of a large UK insurance company and top 3 IBs (think Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley)

+ Extra-curricular (post-university)
- Co-founded an in-house company programme where we taught English and Mathematics to underprivileged high-school students and mentored them for 3+ years
- Managed and developed a financial education programme for an annual investment education event for 4 consecutive years - the programme involves having participants playing interesting games that emphasize the importance of financial planning (6000++ participants every year)
- Am starting an online and app-based financial education programme (in the midst)

+ Interests:
- Reading
- Programming

Many thanks for your help!
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- Die hard fan of Lewis Hamilton, the soon-to-be 4x World Champion!

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Re: Profile Evaluation Request - SEA male / 29 yrs old [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2017, 06:07
Hello mrpole

Thanks for getting in touch! And don't worry -- you're not as old as you think you are! 5 years of WE and 29 is about average for b-school admissions. What I worry about more is your GMAT score for your demographic. Last year, I had a client with a similar background get feedback from one of the schools on your list because he was a VIP. (Very rare to get feedback from these programs.) They told him his similar GMAT score just wasn't strong enough in comparison to his competition. Now, you say Asian male and you work in SEA so perhaps you're from a more unique country that gives you a bit more latitude. Not sure. (Also your academics seems a bit stronger than his. He had a good university but a more average GPA.) In short though, if you haven't taken the GMAT a 2nd time, I'd recommend at least giving it a shot. Schools like to see that candidates have at least tried and I get nervous when candidates from demographic groups where there is no shortage of applicants come in at or below the school GMAT average.

Now...you've obviously put together a top list of schools. How about adding Booth to this list? I feel better about your chances there given your pedigree. It also gets you where you want to be career-wise. Also how about adding Stern as a safer option? I think they might like you. I think you should of course apply to H/S/W and CBS, but adding Booth and Stern gives you a more diverse portfolio of schools.

I hope that helps!

Krista
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request - SEA male / 29 yrs old [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2017, 03:07
I see. Based on your feedback, I get a sense that my overall stats are reasonable for the target schools save for that GMAT score, right? Will definitely have another go at it. I am pretty confident I can get it up to more than >750. Not sure what would be the average GMAT score for Asian demographic though... *Fingers crossed*

Also thank you for the that diversification advice to include Stern and Booth. Will have a look at them.
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Profile Evaluation Request - SEA male / 29 yrs old

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