Hey AndreNowzick - there's definitely some interesting elements in your background but some glitches too, as you know. The work experience is completely pre-MBA appropriate and that's great, but of course there's going to be a lot of guys 'like you' applying who want to go into PE. Your main advantage is that you are IN private equity now, a big boost over someone who wants to transition over. You also have some nice promotions under your belt.
The sticky parts are the GPA is only so-so -- not completely underwater but not completely impressive either, though you did end strong which is the most important part; plus this GMAT quant is very concerning for someone who wants to do anything finance-related. We can say that Columbia may have doubts about that. If you're serious about Columbia and many of the other schools on this list we would STRONGLY encourage you to retest.
This complicates things of course since you'd want to start working on a Columbia ED app right now and it's really hard to do essays and GMAT prep at the same time. We can also only recommend this if you've only taken the GMAT once; if you already tested a bunch of times and this is where you end up, then it's a harder call to make.
Just straight up: We have never seen a finance guy get into schools like this with a GMAT quant this low. They can get in with a low GMAT overall (like a 680) but the quant is critical. There are always exceptions and we don't know your entire profile so we cannot be black and white about it - maybe there's enough strength from that undergrad degree in finance to counter it and the adcom can overlook it. But it's very risky.
We definitely see some good points in all of this too and you definitely have a profile that can make it into a great school. It's hard to say on balance without knowing more. Sorry to freak you out about this one issue but given how competitive it is we need to be crystal clear that it could impact you more than you realize.
On the school targets - those are all incredible schools and they're all going to have this concern re: GMAT. Columbia ED is certainly an advantage but not sure they would be willing to look past this. You should also do MIT in Round 1, there's often a very big advantage instead of Round 2 at that school; you could push Booth to Round 2 instead if you are concerned about getting it all done.
Please feel free to offer any additional information about your GMAT - like, how many times did you test, when did you land this 700, what's your IR - those details can help us (and if you're really motivated you could sign up for our Comprehensive Profile Review
which is just what it says it is and we can drill down into EVERYTHING - read about it here and specifically check out the reviews that others have left
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You're going to have good luck with this process if you play your cards right... it's just a matter of lining up those cards before you play them! Let us know how we can help.
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