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I posted this in the Q&A thread but wasn't able to grab MSFHQ's attention so thought I'd try to do so here:
25 y.o. Male (will be 26 end of June), dual citizen (US and Jordan), currently living in the Middle East. Graduated undergrad in 2010 (Midwest B1G, Top 70 USNews National University), law school in 2013 (Mid-tier law school, currently ranked in the 70s by USNews but was mid 50's when I attended). Discovered during law school I was more interested in a career in finance, rather than law and pursued jobs in finance after graduation but was not able to land anything. Took a job that was the closest thing to finance I could find (see below). I want to use the MsF to boost my quantitative background and in turn facilitate a transition from law into finance (either i-banking or equity research).
Undergrad GPA 3.3 (Poli Sci)
Law school GPA 3.4 (Top 30%)
Just took the GMAT and scored 620 (8 IR, 38 Quant, 40 Verbal) but 60+ points below my practice scores so I've already scheduled my re-take.
Plan on applying early (i.e., Sept/Oct).
A little less than 1 year work experience on Project Finance team at a top tier regional law firm in the Middle East, will have about 2 years total when [I plan to] matriculate in fall 2015. Interned for a federal judge second year of law school.
Took Microecon (A-) and Macroecon (D+, pathetic I know but just never showed up for class/studied/etc) in undergrad but didn't take a ton of math and only stats course I took was a political research stats course (A or A-).
In law school, set the curve (A+) in Corporate Finance - a purely quantitative course, not legal in any respect. Also, did a project on the TVIX (a volatility linked exchange traded note) that got the top grade in another law school course called Deals, the project examined the underlying economics of the product and the legal governance of it (part of why I'm so interested in Vandy is the guy who invented the VIX is a prof there and I believe teaches courses in the MsF program).
Interested in Vanderbilt and Villanova programs. My main questions are:
What GMAT would I need to have to a shot at Vandy?
I also notice they say in Vandy's FAQs that "it is expected that incoming students have one year of calculus and statistics" - how concrete is that expectation? Is it a strict requirement or more of a suggestion?
As for 'Nova, I'm very interested in their fellowship program, what GMAT score would I need to have a shot at it?
I would say a 650 or above for both Vanderbilt general admittance and for the Villanova fellowship. You have some work experience which is really nice and your UG school is good. I think you'd be fine as you are right now for Nova, but not the fellowship.
As far as calc requirements, they might wave it, but it would benefit you to know it. We used a good amount of calc and stats when I went to Nova.
I certainly hope I can hit at least 650 next time around. We will see.
I will definitely brush up on my calc between any [hopeful] admission and enrollment (part of why I want to submit so early), I'm thinking either through some online self study (i.e., MOOC, Khan Academy, etc) or enroll in an actual accredited course if I can. Any advice on the best way to do so?