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Request for Profile/Plan Evaluation (Warning: long post!)

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Joined: 20 Feb 2018
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GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
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Request for Profile/Plan Evaluation (Warning: long post!)  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 07 Aug 2018, 04:55
Hey all:

I'm hoping to apply this year for 2019 matriculation, and just took the GMAT and scored at the lower end of my expected range (I got 730; I was targeting 750-770). Would be interested in hearing thoughts on (i) whether my school selections are reaches/competitive/safeties based on my background plus my average/slightly above average GMAT, and (ii) whether I should consider retaking the GMAT after the R1 deadlines. Details on my background and targets below.

General/Academic Background
  • Canadian of Asian descent
  • Not sure it matters but I was born and raised in a "major city" in the Canadian prairies
  • Computer Science BSc (UGPA 3.88) and MSc (GPA around 3.9) - top 1-2 Canadian university (ranked around #20-30 globally)
  • Law School at the same Canadian university (ranked 1-2 in Canadian law school rankings (I think it's in the top #20 or so globally as well - relative to US law schools probably around the #10 range)
  • GMAT: 730 (Q49, V41, IR8, AWA TBD)

Work Experience
  • NYC Corporate restructuring lawyer in Vault 15 law firm, worked on dozens of deals in-court and out-of-court involving US debtors as well as debtors in foreign jurisdictions. Increasing level of responsibility over my time, managing junior associates, paralegals and other support staff on deals
  • Previously seconded to a BB bank for 6 months to consult and mange distressed loan workouts/strategies. Responsible for analyzing and managing difficult situations - interface with external advisors, internal management as well as company management (usually C-suite)
  • Currently seconded to another major international bank (last 2 years) in similar role - however, in this bank I was part of a new restructuring team (only two of us, my supervisor came over from another office), successfully managing about $1 billion (in the ballpark, I'd have to check for a more precise number...) in stressed/distressed loans in the Americas (US, Central and Latin America) and accomplishing massive reduction in exposure... so much so that the bank essentially feels that our work is done, and I'll be back at the law firm in the fall. Given nature of the work, at times there was significant interaction with senior bank management, as well as C-Suite executives at the distressed companies.

Extras/Activities
  • No post-grad leadership ECs, and only a few ECs from undergrad/law school.
  • I am an avid skier (about double black or triple black diamond level). Been all over the US and Canada as well as to the Alps once. I also sometimes organize ski trips with friends
  • Also I like to rock climb (primarily indoors) and I am an novice triathlete/runner. Also love to hike and play tennis.
  • Pretty big tech nerd and gamer as well but nothing really to put on my application - now that I have a little more free time, I'm looking to get into the NYC tech startup scene.


Current Application Plan

  • Post-MBA Goals: #1 to transition into the tech industry (either product development or BD). My immediate plan post-MBA applications (pre-matriculation) would be to sharpen and refresh my technical skills and to immerse myself in the space. B-school would be essential for me to develop fundamentals in management, marketing, and product strategy. #2, I am also interested in the distressed investing space, but it is not my #1 goal with an MBA - however, and MBA would also be important for me to break into the buy-side or strategic consulting in the distressed space (not financial advisory work that's done by firms like FTI or A&M). While I've picked up financial and accounting knowledge and can do basic financial modelling, I don't have the fundamentals that b-school can provide.
  • Please note that due to my goals - which would be a significant career switch - I am not interested in EMBA programs.
  • School Criteria: Strong support for tech careers and career switching, but also with at least decent financial creds. I would also prefer to stay in the NE, but I am open to considering the Mid-West or California.
  • Round 1/ED Schools: I was planning on applying to Tuck and Columbia (prior to taking the GMAT). They are my top 2 of 3 picks at the moment - I love the Tuck community and the location. Also favor CBS and NYU due to their location (very convenient for me).
  • Round 2 Schools: Ideal batch would be some mix of NYU, Ross, MIT, Fuqua and Tepper.
  • Other Schools? Would love some advice on whether I should consider Haas and Anderson due to their strong tech presence, and Booth due to its overall strength. Are Yale/Cornell worth considering as well? Lastly, would I have a shot at Cornell Tech? It seemed from their admissions event that they want applicants with digital experience (unclear if a CS degree is enough).

General Questions
  • Interested in hearing thoughts on my school choices and whether these schools are reaches/competitive/safeties based on my background, and whether a GMAT score of 750 would be a massive improvement (or not worth the effort)
  • Should I consider moving CBS as part of my "Round 2"/Fall applications or would ED make sense given my profile?
  • One of my big questions is whether it makes sense for me to project my tech goals or would this be perceived as too much of a "jump"? I have heard from admissions officers over the last few months repeatedly that they want "honesty" and not for applicants to try to fit into their mold. While this makes some sense, there has to be some limit to that - would it be better for me to push the "restructuring" goal or should I just go all in on tech (after all I do have a technical background).
  • Given my lack of ECs, should I consider dropping any the schools I've listed? Are there some that value ECs more than others? Should I add any new involvement between now and application (which is only a few months away) or is that just too transparent?
  • I've heard that adcoms sometimes put applicants in "buckets" based on their background (e.g. ethnicity, work experience). Are these "buckets" super specific or more general? In my particular case, would I be in the "Southeast Asian" bucket or the "Canadian" bucket, and is there a special bucket for lawyers? Would be interested to hear any insight into the admissions process as it seems from MBA events that admission officers all more or less have the same answers (i.e. holistic view, etc.)

Thanks in advance! Sorry for the massive email!

Originally posted by ikcotyck on 05 Aug 2018, 10:26.
Last edited by ikcotyck on 07 Aug 2018, 04:55, edited 1 time in total.
Sia Admissions Representative
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Affiliations: NYU, Yale
Joined: 04 Jan 2018
Posts: 239
Location: United States (NY)
Re: Request for Profile/Plan Evaluation (Warning: long post!)  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2018, 18:26
1
Hi ikcotyck,

Thank you for your post and for sharing your profile. While I understand you are not thrilled about it, a 730 GMAT score is excellent. It appears that you have strong academics from top institutions. Your academics with a 730 GMAT is competitive; I do not recommend retaking. Instead, dedicate this very limited amount of time to build your message to each of the institutions (the qualitative component of the application). You have quite a few names on your list, and each will take some time to build and develop.

I have answered some of your questions below (in blue):

[*]Interested in hearing thoughts on my school choices and whether these schools are reaches/competitive/safeties based on my background, and whether a GMAT score of 750 would be a massive improvement (or not worth the effort) You are applying to some top programs. Based on the qualitative components of your profile, you are competitive. However, competitiveness does not guarantee admissions, of course. Your overall story, the reason you are pursuing an MBA, and why you are applying to each of the schools will need to be very clear. As I mentioned above, the GMAT is not worth raking. One of the weaker areas of your profile is the EC, which would not be impacted by a higher GMAT score. These schools will evaluate your profile wholistically, and what's missing right now is clarity of goals. Therefore, I recommend using this time to develop that message.

[*]Should I consider moving CBS as part of my "Round 2"/Fall applications or would ED make sense given my profile? Not sure I understand why would you want to move your CBS application to R2.

[*]One of my big questions is whether it makes sense for me to project my tech goals or would this be perceived as too much of a "jump"? I have heard from admissions officers over the last few months repeatedly that they want "honesty" and not for applicants to try to fit into their mold. While this makes some sense, there has to be some limit to that - would it be better for me to push the "restructuring" goal or should I just go all in on tech (after all I do have a technical background). There are plenty of applicants that are interested in changing industries. What you want to pay attention to is discussing how your experience has moved you towards the tech sector, and, again, how an MBA in general and an MBA from that institution will help you get there.

[*]Given my lack of ECs, should I consider dropping any the schools I've listed? Are there some that value ECs more than others? Should I add any new involvement between now and application (which is only a few months away) or is that just too transparent? There is value in ECs, and some schools value it more than others. I do not think that the lack of ECs will impede you from admission, but you want to show the institutions (through examples) how you are an involved citizen of your community. I do not recommend getting involved now, as it will be too transparent. [/list]

I am happy to continue the conversation with a more detailed evaluation. If interested, please reach out to coordinate a free consultation (contact details in signature).

Good luck!

ikcotyck wrote:
Hey all:

I'm hoping to apply this year for 2019 matriculation, and just took the GMAT and scored at the lower end of my expected range (I got 730; I was targeting 750-770). Would be interested in hearing thoughts on (i) whether my school selections are reaches/competitive/safeties based on my background plus my average/slightly above average GMAT, and (ii) whether I should consider retaking the GMAT after the R1 deadlines. Details on my background and targets below.

General/Academic Background
  • Canadian of Asian descent
  • Not sure it matters but I was born and raised in a "major city" in the Canadian prairies
  • Computer Science BSc (UGPA 3.88) and MSc (GPA around 3.9) - top 1-2 Canadian university (ranked around #20-30 globally)
  • Law School at the same Canadian university (ranked 1-2 in Canadian law school rankings (I think it's in the top #20 or so globally as well - relative to US law schools probably around the #10 range)
  • GMAT: 730 (Q49, V41, IR8, AWA TBD)

Work Experience
  • NYC Corporate restructuring lawyer in Vault 15 law firm, worked on dozens of deals in-court and out-of-court involving US debtors as well as debtors in foreign jurisdictions. Increasing level of responsibility over my time, managing junior associates, paralegals and other support staff on deals
  • Previously seconded to a BB bank for 6 months to consult and mange distressed loan workouts/strategies. Responsible for analyzing and managing difficult situations - interface with external advisors, internal management as well as company management (usually C-suite)
  • Currently seconded to another major international bank (last 2 years) in similar role - however, in this bank I was part of a new restructuring team (only two of us, my supervisor came over from another office), successfully managing about $1 billion (in the ballpark, I'd have to check for a more precise number...) in stressed/distressed loans in the Americas (US, Central and Latin America) and accomplishing massive reduction in exposure... so much so that the bank essentially feels that our work is done, and I'll be back at the law firm in the fall. Given nature of the work, at times there was significant interaction with senior bank management, as well as C-Suite executives at the distressed companies.

Extras/Activities
  • No post-grad leadership ECs, and only a few ECs from undergrad/law school.
  • I am an avid skier (about double black or triple black diamond level). Been all over the US and Canada as well as to the Alps once. I also sometimes organize ski trips with friends
  • Also I like to rock climb (primarily indoors) and I am an novice triathlete/runner. Also love to hike and play tennis.
  • Pretty big tech nerd and gamer as well but nothing really to put on my application - now that I have a little more free time, I'm looking to get into the NYC tech startup scene.


Current Application Plan

  • Post-MBA Goals: #1 to transition into the tech industry (either product development or BD). My immediate plan post-MBA applications (pre-matriculation) would be to sharpen and refresh my technical skills and to immerse myself in the space. B-school would be essential for me to develop fundamentals in management, marketing, and product strategy. #2, I am also interested in the distressed investing space, but it is not my #1 goal with an MBA - however, and MBA would also be important for me to break into the buy-side or strategic consulting in the distressed space (not financial advisory work that's done by firms like FTI or A&M). While I've picked up financial and accounting knowledge and can do basic financial modelling, I don't have the fundamentals that b-school can provide.
  • Please note that due to my goals - which would be a significant career switch - I am not interested in EMBA programs.
  • School Criteria: Strong support for tech careers and career switching, but also with at least decent financial creds. I would also prefer to stay in the NE, but I am open to considering the Mid-West or California.
  • Round 1/ED Schools: I was planning on applying to Tuck and Columbia (prior to taking the GMAT). They are my top 2 of 3 picks at the moment - I love the Tuck community and the location. Also favor CBS and NYU due to their location (very convenient for me).
  • Round 2 Schools: Ideal batch would be some mix of NYU, Ross, MIT, Fuqua and Tepper.
  • Other Schools? Would love some advice on whether I should consider Haas and Anderson due to their strong tech presence, and Booth due to its overall strength. Are Yale/Cornell worth considering as well? Lastly, would I have a shot at Cornell Tech? It seemed from their admissions event that they want applicants with digital experience (unclear if a CS degree is enough).

General Questions
  • Interested in hearing thoughts on my school choices and whether these schools are reaches/competitive/safeties based on my background, and whether a GMAT score of 750 would be a massive improvement (or not worth the effort)
  • Should I consider moving CBS as part of my "Round 2"/Fall applications or would ED make sense given my profile?
  • One of my big questions is whether it makes sense for me to project my tech goals or would this be perceived as too much of a "jump"? I have heard from admissions officers over the last few months repeatedly that they want "honesty" and not for applicants to try to fit into their mold. While this makes some sense, there has to be some limit to that - would it be better for me to push the "restructuring" goal or should I just go all in on tech (after all I do have a technical background).
  • Given my lack of ECs, should I consider dropping any the schools I've listed? Are there some that value ECs more than others? Should I add any new involvement between now and application (which is only a few months away) or is that just too transparent?
  • I've heard that adcoms sometimes put applicants in "buckets" based on their background (e.g. ethnicity, work experience). Are these "buckets" super specific or more general? In my particular case, would I be in the "Southeast Asian" bucket or the "Canadian" bucket, and is there a special bucket for lawyers? Would be interested to hear any insight into the admissions process as it seems from MBA events that admission officers all more or less have the same answers (i.e. holistic view, etc.)

Thanks in advance! Sorry for the massive email!

_________________

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+1 (646) 690 - 9996
website: http://www.SiaAdmissions.com

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Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 20 Feb 2018
Posts: 14
Location: United States (NY)
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.88
CAT Tests
Re: Request for Profile/Plan Evaluation (Warning: long post!)  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 07 Aug 2018, 04:55
Thank you that is very helpful advice!
Re: Request for Profile/Plan Evaluation (Warning: long post!) &nbs [#permalink] 07 Aug 2018, 04:55
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