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Profile review, thank you so much!

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Author Message
Joined: 08 Jan 2019
Posts: 39
Location: China
Schools: CBS '22 (II)
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.9
Profile review, thank you so much!  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2019, 07:57
Would really appreciate a look at my profile, thx!

Background and nationality: Chinese male, age 26, spent 25 years in China but scored 29/30 on speaking of TOEFL.

Undergrad Information:
-Undergrad: Top2 university in China, double degree: BS in applied mathematics (GPA 2.8/4.0,) and BA in economics (GPA 3.3/4.0)
-Graduate: Top20 east coast graduate school in US, MA in applied economics (GPA 3.9/4.0)

GMAT: 740 (q50 v40 awa5 ir4), will take again soon.

Work experience and leadership: 2.5 yrs at the top investment bank in China, 3.5 yrs at matriculation. I started as a CDO manager and managed securitization projects. Since 2018 my role has been shifting to alternative credit investment. I currently focus on private non-standardized debt investment and CLO equity. It was a good combination for me, because private debt investment trains my soft skills in project management and communication, while CLO equity investment trains my hard skills in quantitative analysis. I also help the macro rates group on investment research projects.
Career highlights are listed as follows:
-Led one of the most complicated securitization deals in the ninth month of my career. Both VP and SVP were taking maternity leaves and the management responsibilities fell on my shoulder. I was in a position to make 80% of all the decisions and to manage lawyers, credit analysts, and interns. I wasn't able to close the deal due to regulation change, but it was still good experience and I learned a lot from it.
-With an intern and a colleague, I developed the investment analytical models and system for consumer credit asset class, opening out group to a trillion dollar market, which is very premature because so few people in China understand the quantitative technology behind it. I made a good impact by replacing traditional investment analytical methodology with 21st century data science. It was a changing point of my career because the project enlightened my ambition in FinTech.
-Did a bunch of digitalization and automation work since I decided to go into FinTech in the future. For example, I built a database wrote a small program to automate the non-standardized debt trading execution and paperwork drafting. It does not involve much leadership experience, but I'd like to think that I made some impact.

Community and others:
-Volunteered at a micro-loan non-profit in senior year of undergrad as a credit analyst.
-Volunteered at a social enterprise that provides consulting service to non-profits. Brokered a large amount of impact investment funding from a tech giant for a small institution based in the poorest town in Yunnan Province.
-Used to be an amateur athlete of 200m sprint.

Post MBA goals:
Long-term: FinTech - robo adviser, hopefully to start my own firm at some point down the road.
Short-term: Either traditional finance or tech firm would make sense in the short term, becasue a solid background in either finance or tech could help a career in FinTech.

Other info:
Low GPA: I'm aware that my undergrad GPA might be a deal breaker. I went to a school that happened to gather all the top mathematical geniuses in China. I enjouyed the challenge, but my GPA inevitably suffered because the courses and exams were specially designed for those guys. I hope my graduate GPA and my work could somehow prove that I'm fully capable of advanced learning.
5 months' gap: I came back to China in Sep 2016 but started working in Feb 2017. The gap was because Chinese firms don't usually do Skype interviews for students abroad and it is very common for Chinese students to attend campus recruitment after they come back from US to China. We actually have a law specifically saying that students who study abroad will maintain legal status of fresh graduates for one more year after they come back.

I'm fully aware that I'm probably in the worst applicant pool of S16, so don't hold back and please strike me with all the hard truth. Thank you!
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 19 Apr 2018
Posts: 93
Re: Profile review, thank you so much!  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2019, 15:49
Hello and thanks for your post.
As you are aware, the application process is truly holistic, and committees will look at your stats (GPA and GMAT), work experience, and extracurriculars.

You’re right that your undergrad GPA is below average, though your graduate GPA is certainly strong. I do not think that your undergrad GPA is a deal-breaker though, especially if you can show in the rest of your application that you have the quant skills needed to succeed in the classroom. And I feel that you will be able to do that. Your GMAT is one way to show that, since a 740 and a 50q is excellent. I agree with you to still take again though. I suggest taking it up to 3-4 times. You have nothing to lose since schools will only look at your highest score. And even a slight increase can boost your profile. You can also showcase your quant ability in your resume and your recommenders could do the same in their recommendations. You can, however, tactfully and briefly address your low GPA in the optional essay.

As for your work experience, I worked in CMBS/RBS for many years at Deloitte so I understand your responsibilities and even more important, the impact you seem to have had at the bank. I feel your work experience can be a strength in your profile. However, the average years of work experience is closer to 5, so if you choose to apply with fewer years, make sure you demonstrate why now is the time. And because of your lighter experience, it’s even more important to show you have made an impact and demonstrated leadership there. As for your goals, I do think they make sense. Make sure to illustrate the skills you already have which are transferable, and be sure your story makes sense, and is realistic and specific. (You can also use the optional essay to address the 5-month work gap, but I would not be concerned about that.)

Regarding extracurriculars, these look good. Certainly emphasize your leadership roles you have taken on. Volunteering at the social enterprise sounds impressive.
If you continue to strengthen your profile, you do have a chance at top programs, but they are extremely competitive, and each school simply does not have the room to admit all the world's qualified applicants. For that reason, I suggest apply to several schools, including reach, target and safety. Hopefully they will see that you have a compelling story and are someone who will add value to the classroom and community.

If you would like to discuss your story or anything else in greater detail, please sign up for a free consultation. It is never too early to get started.
Good luck!
Michael Guttman
Senior Consultant, mbaMission

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Profile review, thank you so much!

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