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PROFILE: Canadian/Caucasian Male, 26/27 Education: BA from top Canadian business school GPA: 3.6 GMAT: 720 (94%), Q45 (68%) V44 (97%)
PROFESSIONAL: - 3 years at a relatively unknown asset management firm in buy-side equity research (promoted to more senior role in one of the shortest times in company history) - 3 co-op terms at Big 4 Auditor - 1 co-op term at Large Canadian Retailer
EXTRAS: - President of a Professional Club - Board of directors of a charity helping kids with learning disabilities - Diagnosed with learning disability, Dyslexia - Brother is at HBS (Not sure if this matters)
Career Goal: - Venture Capital with learning technology focus
You appear to be fundamentally qualified for these top programs – they would be reasonable reaches, with varying degrees of competitiveness (Stanford and HBS being quite high reaches). One weakness is the low GMAT quant % -- your undergrad major and work should help mitigate this to some extent. Hopefully you have strong grades in your undergrad quant courses. If not, it will be a bit of a problem potentially. Overall the 720 score is okay (i.e., qualifying), but it’s not standout -- some of these schools have stratospheric GMAT averages, particularly for finance applicants, so you still need to find other ways to shine in the application.
Being qualified, which you are, is just the first step, as most people these programs reject are qualified, often well qualified. You have to make sure your application answers the question, why should school X choose you over other finance applicants who are equally, indeed equally, qualified, and who are also accomplished and successful? Focus like a laser on answering that question while doing your applications, and you’ll have a better shot at rising above the throng of excellent finance applicants.