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Profile Review Request

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Author Message
Joined: 17 Jul 2017
Posts: 9
Location: United States (TX)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.46
WE: Asset Management (Mutual Funds and Brokerage)
Profile Review Request  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2017, 11:42
Hi all, was hoping to get some feedback on my profile. Any input is appreciated!

GMAT: 750 (Q49, V42, 8 IR, 6 AWA)
GPA: 3.5/4 in Materials Science & Engineering at a Southern Ivy (Rice/Vanderbilt/Duke), awarded MSCI department's award for leadership as a senior.
Passed levels CFA levels 1 and 2

Extracurriculars during undergrad:
- Organizer of largest on-campus event, responsible for coordinating a week's worth of activities for a group of 300+ students. Worked with local businesses to sponsor the event, had 5-figure budget to work with, led team of 5 organizers
- Founder and president of club sports team
- Orientation advisor junior and senior years (highly competitive, ~10% of applicants are chosen to advise)
- Worked ~20 hours per week in nanotech research lab for 2.5 years on campus

Extracurriculars after graduation:
- Mentor for an inner-city youth baseball program
- Alumni admissions interviewer for alma mater
- Organizer of alumni affairs for the largest on-campus event mentioned above
- Play in amateur baseball league
- Occasionally foster for animal shelter (work hours permitting)

Work experience at time of application: (most recent first):

-1.5 years at boutique RIA in Texas ($6B AUM). Not much history of sending people to B-school, though almost all of senior mangement/C-Suite has MBA from top-10 schools. Started as an analyst on fixed income desk, after 9 months was promoted to associate and given PM-like responsibility for management of a $300M strategy (though no official PM or junior PM title). Expect to have responsibility for another strategy by the time I apply, bringing total AUM I am responsible for to ~$400M. Still have large analytical role with other fixed income strategies, use engineering background for coding & data analysis.

- 6 months as financial advisor with F100 insurance firm. Started here because I wanted to transition into investment management, left because role was more focused on sales than making investment decisions. Concerned this is a very weak part of my application.

- 1.5 years as management consultant in energy department for bronze-tier consulting firm with tech focus (think Quorum, Infosys, etc). Had projects on O&G supermajor & international government client, led offshore teams of 5-10 people on each project.

- Internship with NASA in R&D group as an undergrad. Worked with materials engineers to develop a prototype which was approved for further testing by management.

MBA goal: want to get MBA from top finance program to gain a formal finance education. Currently have very strong analytical skills stemming from engineering background but lack understanding of what makes a successful business tick, which I believe is of utmost importance for investment management. CFA curriculum has filled some of this gap, but is mainly focused on valuation. Also believe I need to improve soft skills to one day lead a team of analysts.

Post MBA goal: Junior PM or similar type role at major asset management firm, preferably one with fixed income focus (PIMCO/DoubleLine/TCW). Long-term goal is to become Chief Investment Officer of an AM firm.

Applying to HBS, Wharton, Columbia, NYU, Sloan, Booth, Kellogg.
Ivy Groupe Admissions Consulting Representative
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Status: Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting from a Harvard Business School graduate and MBA admissions expert
Affiliations: Harvard, Princeton
Joined: 02 Feb 2017
Posts: 216
Re: Profile Review Request  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2017, 06:37
Hi there,

Thanks for sharing your background - in my view, the biggest areas to focus on are the following: 1) continuing to demonstrate leadership/impact in your post-college extracurricular activities (for example, you mention that you are the organizer of alumni affairs for the largest on-campus event, but what has the impact of that been)? 2) clearly being able to "connect the dots" in your story from a professional perspective. Also, I see HBS and Sloan as "reach" schools and the others on your list as more "target" schools.

If it would be helpful to chat further, feel free to reach out at or

(HBS Grad/MBA Admissions Expert)

Ivy Groupe, Founder/CEO
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Phone: 646.801.5190

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Avanti Prep Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 08 Aug 2017
Posts: 195
Re: Profile Review Request  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2017, 13:54
Hi nsimonetti,

Thank you very much for sharing this information. Overall you have a strong profile and should be proud of your accomplishments to this point! With respect to the schools you've listed, HBS is HBS (aim high and do your best but that's rarely not going to be a reach), Sloan's chances get driven down some by class size relative to the others, and Booth can be tricky (I like your focus area for Booth but their main essay question can trip people, even if they have strong profiles). The others are all great programs so you'll need to execute well.

You definitely don't want to sleep on the "research and specificity" side of things when it comes to schools. Get to know these programs inside and out, speak with current students and alumni, visit the programs if you can, and understand exactly which courses, clubs, and extracurriculars you'd pursue at each program, as well as what specifically about their cultures, communities, and career opportunities make them right for you and enable you to meaningfully contribute. You will want each of these programs to believe "they're the one."

As you touched on, your work experience isn't "tier one" or "blue chip" so to speak, but I think you can make a strong case that you yourself are a "blue chip" candidate. If your PM responsibilities didn't come with a formal PM title, you might consider asking your recommender(s) to corroborate and elaborate on the fact that you have earned ever-increasing (and now PM) responsibilities. That will help highlight and solidify that area of your work experience, and it will help show your advancement (where your titles might not do it full justice).

I wouldn't worry too much about the six-month interlude at the insurance firm, though you'll likely want to spend a few sentences honestly and diplomatically explaining that in the additional essay or information areas of the applications (so the adcoms understand your reasons and chronology). If anything, I think the fact that you are genuinely interested in true investment management (and not cold-calling to sell insurance products) is a very legitimate rationale for transitioning out of that role after six months.

Your current role and pursuit of the CFA provide a coherent foundation for your forward-looking career narrative, but you'll also want to make sure you articulate and stitch together what you led you there in the first place. On its face, the engineering degree and more science-y undergraduate experience (while nice in their own right), plus your consulting job, feel a little out of place on the front end of your story. Interests evolve, but you'll definitely want to unpack that trajectory to set the table for your MBA and short- and long-term career goals.

Finally, be sure to bring *you the person* to the fore in your essays and applications. What are your interests and passions? What makes you you? What unique contributions and perspective could you bring to these MBA programs? Make sure that *you the person* is a key part of your overall narrative (i.e., rather than getting lost in the career stuff).

[Given its direct relevance here, I should note that I have eight years of work experience in finance, including seven in asset management and one in private equity. Three of those seven years in asset management were spent as a fixed income analyst. So I think we could have a particularly fruitful conversation. Please feel free to email at or follow the link below to schedule a time to chat. I'd welcome the chance to have a more specific and focused conversation with you at your convenience!]

Best Regards,

Greg Guglielmo
Founder | Avanti Prep
MBA Admissions Consulting
Sign up for a Free Consultation!

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Re: Profile Review Request &nbs [#permalink] 13 Oct 2017, 13:54
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