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Profile Evaluation: weak undergrad school

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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Affiliations: CFA
Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 382
Location: United States (NY)
Schools: Columbia - Class of 2013
GMAT 1: 710 Q45 V43
GMAT 2: 760 Q49 V45
Premium Member
Profile Evaluation: weak undergrad school  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2009, 13:50
Male, 25, Caucasian

GMAT Pending (December/January)

Undergrad: 3rd tier Midwest state school (MAC Conference). Finished with a 3.7 GPA overall, mainly due to being Pre-Med my first 3 years, then switched my major to Finance and pulled straight 4.0s in every business class taken over the next 2 years until graduation (so overall improving GPA over time, and 4.0 in my major).

Work experience: 1.5 years since undergrad in corporate finance. I'm on a rotational program, so I've experienced a diversity of work, but there is little opportunity for major career advancement as I'm only in a role for 1 - 1.5 years before moving onto the next. Nonetheless, I've had a few accomplishments worth noting and great reviews.

ECs: had a ton in school, started a club, leadership in student government (handled all the financing and budget requests), leadership in other clubs -- organized some big events and led teams, etc. Involved heavily in politics -- met with lots of party leaders (including pres candidates), done 1,000s of hours of volunteering: door-to-door, phone calls, petitions, running events, etc.

I'm also big into music -- my jazz combo was ranked #1 in the state my senior year of HS, and I still play occasionally. Other hobbies include card games -- some TCGs and Poker (actually paid my way through a few years of college with poker). Idk if any of these hobbies are worth mentioning...

CE: Passed LI CFA in December, then LII CFA in June -- hopefully will pass LIII next June before starting on apps. Not enough work experience for the charter if I do pass LIII in June 2010, but hopefully it will be seen as an inevitability.

Career goals: ultimately want to get into PE. The best short-term route seems to be Investment Banking, but being a sell-side analyst seems interesting as well. Anyone know the best route to PE? I'll probably focus on one particular route within my apps to maintain focus, while staying flexible in practice.

Target schools: Booth, CBS, Stern, Kellogg, Yale

Do I have a shot to get into these schools, or is my work experience too short and my undergrad school too weak? Is a very strong GMAT good enough to counter-balance my undergrad school -- if so, what kind of score should I be shooting for (obviously >700, but will that cut it, or do I need something higher)? Hopefully my progress toward a CFA charter shows I can hang intellectually.

Anything else I can do as someone early in his career to bolster my chances of getting into one of my top schools? What schools do I have a shot at, if any? Are these too big of a reach?

Any advice, comments, or criticisms are greatly appreciated!
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Profile Evaluation: weak undergrad school &nbs [#permalink] 25 Sep 2009, 13:50
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