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Profile Review Request

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Intern
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Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Profile Review Request  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 00:33
Dear mbaMission Team,

Am reapplying for an MBA this year (aim to apply in round 1). Applied last year, but was kind of gung-ho about it – got a semi decent GMAT score of 710 and thought I should apply in the later rounds (hastily written essays etc). Anyway, here’s my profile. Please be brutally honest!

Background:

Work Experience: Based out of Pakistan. Initial work experience in technology then moved to finance. Progression has been as follows.

1. 2.5 years in IT at a USAID project (project management roles, implemented SAP)

2. 0.5 years in IT project management at Big Tobacco (contractual role)

3. 2.5 years at a boutique investment bank (primarily debt restructuring and consulting/advisory work) – this one of a handful of firms of its kind in the country

4. 1.0 years at the largest bank in Pakistan in corporate and investment banking as a corporate relationship manager

Extra-curricular: Have mentored underprivileged kids on staying in school and also fund their schooling

Undergrad School/Major: BSc. Computer Science from local top-tier university. Here’s the problem – low graduating GPA (2.6), but there is some progression in grades over the course of the degree. Separated from the program for a year for low academic performance. Got readmitted and then placed on academic probation for my time there due to low grades (total course-work was 4 years but graduated in 5 years because of the gap year). Didn’t want to do Computer Science but university didn’t let me change my major – had to continue with it. Also explored all kinds of courses in the beginning and didn’t really think grades could be this big an issue. My undergrad experience is my Achilles’ heel.

Other education/coursework:

1. Certified application associate for the SAP ERM Human Resources Management module – although not relevant anymore since in finance

2. Cleared all three levels of the CFA program (cleared all exams in first attempts and in the shortest time period possible)

Race/Nationality: Pakistani

Sex: Male

Stats:

GMAT Score: 710 (Q49, V38)

Undergrad GPA: 2.6

MBA Info:

Goal of MBA: Getting into full-time investment banking or advisory roles

Target schools: Goizueta, Stern (reach), Columbia (reach), INSEAD – am open to suggestions

Tried last year, applied in the later rounds and got rejected from the following: Columbia, Stern, Fuqua, Tuck, Goizueta, Rotman.

Please let me know whether I stand a realistic chance in the target schools mentioned above. Also please suggest schools which are somewhat forgiving about my low undergrad GPA.

Appreciate the feedback guys. Thanks!
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 01 Apr 2015
Posts: 960
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Re: Profile Review Request  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 08:39
Hi there!

So from what I can see, it seems like there are two main challenges...1) your academic background and 2) your jumpy job history. On the job history part, it is a positive that you moved from IT to finance, but you will need to have very clear reasons for why you made those moves. And see if your recommenders can address this too and comment on your progression and commitment level. I would also make sure that your post-MBA goals are very realistic, since you have already made several switches in the past, you need to show clear focus here, and describe how you are already preparing to land banking jobs post-MBA.

On the academic side, you can't change the GPA of course but you can do a few things. First, plan to write an optional essay directly addressing your weak performance, and showing that you have since matured. Second, can you retake GMAT? I agree your score is decent, and with a below average GPA, I'd really like your GMAT to be above average. Finally, take some supplemental courses before you apply to show schools you are serious about preparing to go back to school. (The CFA does help a bit with this, so perhaps just one more course in your case). See here: https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2018/06 ... l-courses/

One more area - it seems like you could get a slight positive boost too by increasing your extracurricular involvement, especially if that mentorship is not current. If not, restart your role as a mentor and see if there's more you can do (plan an event, raise funds, etc.)

Finally, if you apply with your current stats (i.e., without making improvements I mentioned above), I think your school choices still skew too competitive. I would also apply to a few "new" schools where you did not apply last year, as it's a bit easier to start with a fresh impression!

Good luck!
Kate



baldelementary wrote:
Dear mbaMission Team,

Am reapplying for an MBA this year (aim to apply in round 1). Applied last year, but was kind of gung-ho about it – got a semi decent GMAT score of 710 and thought I should apply in the later rounds (hastily written essays etc). Anyway, here’s my profile. Please be brutally honest!

Background:

Work Experience: Based out of Pakistan. Initial work experience in technology then moved to finance. Progression has been as follows.

1. 2.5 years in IT at a USAID project (project management roles, implemented SAP)

2. 0.5 years in IT project management at Big Tobacco (contractual role)

3. 2.5 years at a boutique investment bank (primarily debt restructuring and consulting/advisory work) – this one of a handful of firms of its kind in the country

4. 1.0 years at the largest bank in Pakistan in corporate and investment banking as a corporate relationship manager

Extra-curricular: Have mentored underprivileged kids on staying in school and also fund their schooling

Undergrad School/Major: BSc. Computer Science from local top-tier university. Here’s the problem – low graduating GPA (2.6), but there is some progression in grades over the course of the degree. Separated from the program for a year for low academic performance. Got readmitted and then placed on academic probation for my time there due to low grades (total course-work was 4 years but graduated in 5 years because of the gap year). Didn’t want to do Computer Science but university didn’t let me change my major – had to continue with it. Also explored all kinds of courses in the beginning and didn’t really think grades could be this big an issue. My undergrad experience is my Achilles’ heel.

Other education/coursework:

1. Certified application associate for the SAP ERM Human Resources Management module – although not relevant anymore since in finance

2. Cleared all three levels of the CFA program (cleared all exams in first attempts and in the shortest time period possible)

Race/Nationality: Pakistani

Sex: Male

Stats:

GMAT Score: 710 (Q49, V38)

Undergrad GPA: 2.6

MBA Info:

Goal of MBA: Getting into full-time investment banking or advisory roles

Target schools: Goizueta, Stern (reach), Columbia (reach), INSEAD – am open to suggestions

Tried last year, applied in the later rounds and got rejected from the following: Columbia, Stern, Fuqua, Tuck, Goizueta, Rotman.

Please let me know whether I stand a realistic chance in the target schools mentioned above. Also please suggest schools which are somewhat forgiving about my low undergrad GPA.

Appreciate the feedback guys. Thanks!

_________________

Kate Richardson
mbaMission Senior Consultant and Chicago Booth Alum
http://www.mbamission.com
Read our school insider's guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Sign up for a free phone consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

Image

Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Re: Profile Review Request  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 03 Jul 2018, 02:41
mbaMissionKate wrote:
Hi there!

So from what I can see, it seems like there are two main challenges...1) your academic background and 2) your jumpy job history. On the job history part, it is a positive that you moved from IT to finance, but you will need to have very clear reasons for why you made those moves. And see if your recommenders can address this too and comment on your progression and commitment level. I would also make sure that your post-MBA goals are very realistic, since you have already made several switches in the past, you need to show clear focus here, and describe how you are already preparing to land banking jobs post-MBA.

On the academic side, you can't change the GPA of course but you can do a few things. First, plan to write an optional essay directly addressing your weak performance, and showing that you have since matured. Second, can you retake GMAT? I agree your score is decent, and with a below average GPA, I'd really like your GMAT to be above average. Finally, take some supplemental courses before you apply to show schools you are serious about preparing to go back to school. (The CFA does help a bit with this, so perhaps just one more course in your case). See here: https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2018/06 ... l-courses/

One more area - it seems like you could get a slight positive boost too by increasing your extracurricular involvement, especially if that mentorship is not current. If not, restart your role as a mentor and see if there's more you can do (plan an event, raise funds, etc.)

Finally, if you apply with your current stats (i.e., without making improvements I mentioned above), I think your school choices still skew too competitive. I would also apply to a few "new" schools where you did not apply last year, as it's a bit easier to start with a fresh impression!

Good luck!
Kate



baldelementary wrote:
Dear mbaMission Team,

Am reapplying for an MBA this year (aim to apply in round 1). Applied last year, but was kind of gung-ho about it – got a semi decent GMAT score of 710 and thought I should apply in the later rounds (hastily written essays etc). Anyway, here’s my profile. Please be brutally honest!

Background:

Work Experience: Based out of Pakistan. Initial work experience in technology then moved to finance. Progression has been as follows.

1. 2.5 years in IT at a USAID project (project management roles, implemented SAP)

2. 0.5 years in IT project management at Big Tobacco (contractual role)

3. 2.5 years at a boutique investment bank (primarily debt restructuring and consulting/advisory work) – this one of a handful of firms of its kind in the country

4. 1.0 years at the largest bank in Pakistan in corporate and investment banking as a corporate relationship manager

Extra-curricular: Have mentored underprivileged kids on staying in school and also fund their schooling

Undergrad School/Major: BSc. Computer Science from local top-tier university. Here’s the problem – low graduating GPA (2.6), but there is some progression in grades over the course of the degree. Separated from the program for a year for low academic performance. Got readmitted and then placed on academic probation for my time there due to low grades (total course-work was 4 years but graduated in 5 years because of the gap year). Didn’t want to do Computer Science but university didn’t let me change my major – had to continue with it. Also explored all kinds of courses in the beginning and didn’t really think grades could be this big an issue. My undergrad experience is my Achilles’ heel.

Other education/coursework:

1. Certified application associate for the SAP ERM Human Resources Management module – although not relevant anymore since in finance

2. Cleared all three levels of the CFA program (cleared all exams in first attempts and in the shortest time period possible)

Race/Nationality: Pakistani

Sex: Male

Stats:

GMAT Score: 710 (Q49, V38)

Undergrad GPA: 2.6

MBA Info:

Goal of MBA: Getting into full-time investment banking or advisory roles

Target schools: Goizueta, Stern (reach), Columbia (reach), INSEAD – am open to suggestions

Tried last year, applied in the later rounds and got rejected from the following: Columbia, Stern, Fuqua, Tuck, Goizueta, Rotman.

Please let me know whether I stand a realistic chance in the target schools mentioned above. Also please suggest schools which are somewhat forgiving about my low undergrad GPA.

Appreciate the feedback guys. Thanks!



Hi Kate,

Thanks for the response. Really appreciate it!
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
User avatar
G
Joined: 01 Apr 2015
Posts: 960
Reviews Badge
Re: Profile Review Request  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 09 Jul 2018, 08:46
Happy to help, and best of luck!
_________________

Kate Richardson
mbaMission Senior Consultant and Chicago Booth Alum
http://www.mbamission.com
Read our school insider's guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Sign up for a free phone consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

Image

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