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Profile Review

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 11 May 2019
Posts: 6
Location: United States (CA)
Schools: USC MBA.PM '22
GMAT 1: 580 Q33 V36
GPA: 3.21
Profile Review  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2019, 13:27
Demographics: Male 25, "Two or More Races" (White/Indian but born in USA)
Education: Smaller private university in the midwest, 3.21, Economics major
GMAT: 570 - Q33 & V35 (highest and most recent). I took it a few years ago and got a 540 - Q29 & V35. Looking to take it one more time, but want to apply by round one.
Work Experience: 3+ years in economic consulting at a leading firm in the industry (Senior Analyst). Also interned at a healthcare company and in a Senator's office in college (collectively 1+ years of experience).
Extracurricular: General hobbies, but nothing in terms of clubs etc.
Post-MBA goals: work in more of a finance-related industry (private equity or asset management).
Target Schools: USC MBA.PM and UCAL FEMBA

Hopefully, this gives a brief overview of where I stand. I know my GMAT is low, especially for UCLA which is why I may skip that application. My thought was though my academic standing is on the low end of applicants, with some good essays I'd have a decent chance of getting in or waitlisted in round one. Should I strive for a better GMAT (e.g., 620+) and wait for round 2? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
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Joined: 08 Aug 2017
Posts: 307
Re: Profile Review  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2019, 11:29
Hi valuebro21,

Thank you for your post. My recommendation would be to try to improve your score and then apply in Round 2. Unfortunately, the 570 is a good bit out of range for UCLA FEMBA, which has a median GMAT of 680 and a range of 620 to 730. It's also enough behind the curve for USC's PTMBA to warrant a re-take.

On top of those score dynamics, you are applying to these programs pretty early on in your career relative to how they typically build their classes. UCLA FEMBA has an average age of 30, and students in USC's PTMBA program are, on average, 29 years old with six years of work experience. None of this means you "can't get in" with 3ish years of work experience (provided your scores are in line and essays, resume, goals, why MBA, why XYZ programs, recommendations, etc. are superb). But it does mean that you have less professional and leadership experience than the applicants you're up against. Being something of an outlier in terms of both a low GMAT score and lesser work experience can be a difficult combination. (Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to work experience, but this is still noteworthy.)

With that in mind, you should be proactive about showcasing your leadership experience (where it exists) and proving to the admissions committees that you are indeed ready to take this next step and meaningfully contribute "now." (You should also speak with your recommenders to discuss how they can also showcase your leadership and professional maturity even more than they might otherwise have, as you'll have to figure out as many ways as you can to shore up this "softer spot" in your candidacy.)

Finally, I would encourage you to reflect with greater specificity on your career goals. You will have to nail down what exactly you want to do within the financial service industry and articulate how who you are and what you've done to this point -- plus the MBA -- enables you to achieve those goals. Private equity is a very difficult industry to break into, and outside of a handful of leading FTMBA programs, you don't see many schools reliably sending graduates into the industry. Something within Asset Management seems more reasonable, but even then, Asset Management is a tremendously expansive term, so you should nail down what exactly within Asset Management you want to do (firms, teams, functions, asset class, WHY, etc.). You should also research and engage with these programs (particularly Asset Management-focused folks within them) in order to understand the specifics of how **exactly** each of these programs prepare you for / recruit into Asset Management, and what resources are available to enable you to do the same. You can read more about how to think about your career goals, why MBA, and why XYZ school here: https://www.avantiprep.com/blog/the-mos ... on-process

Best Regards,
Greg
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Re: Profile Review   [#permalink] 08 Sep 2019, 11:29
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