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What Do You Think of My Business School Application Plan?

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Joined: 05 Apr 2010
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What Do You Think of My Business School Application Plan? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2013, 09:59
My general profile is below.

I would like to know your thoughts on the schools in my current plan for applying to schools for 2014.

What shot do I have at CBS (my reach)? Do these schools help with my goal of returning to PE? Any I should add/remove? Anything that would make me more/less competitive at any particular school?

Any insight would be much appreciated, thanks.


1st Rd:

2nd Rd:

-700 GMAT (V: 96%, Q: 61%)
-3.2 Overall GPA / 3.5 Upper Class GPA
-(Received a 2.7 GPA freshman year due to my involvement in Navy ROTC, worked 20 hrs/wk to pay)
-Undergraduate degrees in Finance and History from Top 30 Private College (2004-2008)

Work Experience
1) 3 Years $500M Financial Services Focused Private Equity, Senior Associate (2011-2014)
-Promoted to Senior Associate
-Evaluate investment opportunities in the insurance, financial services, and healthcare services sectors
-Sourced 2 of 4 investments in current fund
-Diligenced an additional investment and have managed portfolio company from close
-Originate proprietary investment opportunities by calling and meeting with executives and intermediaries; top-performing Associate (5 in total) having generated 67 opportunities, 43 management meetings, and 2 term sheets
-Perform analysis and transaction execution activities, including financial modeling/valuation, meeting with management, financial/legal diligence, legal agreement negotiation, industry research, and delivery of recommendations

2) 2.5 Years Investment Banking, Senior Analyst (2008-2011)
-Promoted to Senior Analyst
-Promoted to Full Time Position after Summer Internship
-Analyzed potential merger and acquisitions as well as capital financing options for publicly-traded electric utility companies
-Core member of the undergraduate alma mater investment banking recruiting team

Extracurricular involvement
-Boy Scouts of America (1994-2014)
-Eagle Scout
-Worked with Council CEO to develop Eagle Scout Alumni outreach program to identify potential volunteers and donors
-Tracked recruiting and advancement performance of two Troops in the NY

Business School Goals
-To further pursue my private equity career, solidify my financial analysis skills (accounting and economics), bolster my professional network, and travel abroad

27-year-old white male from Boston

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Joined: 18 Oct 2012
Posts: 64

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Concentration: Finance, Accounting
GMAT 1: 660 Q47 V34
GMAT 2: 700 Q48 V39
GPA: 3.59
WE: Accounting (Law)
Re: What Do You Think of My Business School Application Plan? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2013, 13:28
Granted I'm not an expert in PE and how they recruit, but I think you have a solid list and it looks like you have the right game plan. Surprised Wharton is not on your list but all things considered, you are a long shot there but hey, you only get to apply to a top MBA once :-D

I would suggest adding NYU to Round 1 since it's a very strong finance school with recruiting prospects that are similar to Columbia. Columbia EA is a good idea and if anything, I would retool your Round 1 schools a bit and throw in a top 10 school. Kellogg and Booth are both top 5 so you want to give yourself a chance to have a school in your pocket when Round 2 comes along.

The reason I suggest that is because right now your biggest "weaknesses" (relatively speaking) are your GPA and GMAT. You have a solid chance at Columbia since you are applying EA in my opinion and you are a "stretch" (but not by much) at Kellogg and Booth depending on how the rest of your profile pans out (letters of rec, interviews, etc.). The biggest problem with people saying they want to do PE is that adcoms will have the preconceived notion that "you're in it just for the money". Try to distance yourself from that as much as possible and try to assume the persona of a humble individual who is passionate about the field and that money (while nice, who doesn't like money?!) is not the driving factor. Adcoms understand almost 90% of MBAs want more money, who doesn't? The objective for you is to make them believe you are pursuing more than that.

Other than that, I think you have the right plan in mind. Columbia EA is definitely a smart move and just retool your R1's to add a top 10 school so you're hopefully not praying for your R2 schools to pan out.

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Re: What Do You Think of My Business School Application Plan? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2013, 06:16
Hey there Andre,

Thanks for all the info! Let's get into it, shall we?

Ok, let's talk your overall profile first, then I'll address your schools.

Academics: Your GMAT is in the 700 club so that's nice. It isn't exactly a differentiator (in that it isn't > 720) but it's respectable and solid. One note though - it is blatantly obvious verbal carried you. Your overall GPA (which is the GPA schools report for rankings) is on the lower side but it's in play and within the range, albeit on the low end of that range. Overall, however, I'm not concerned with your academics. From a reporting standpoint, your GMAT works well and your GPA isn't great but it balances out effectively. The other concern would be with your GPA and Quant GMAT score, the question could be raised if you have what it takes to cut it in an MBA program that is quantitative. However, your work experience quickly puts that concern to rest - you clearly understand analyses (and complex ones at that). Overall, not a differentiator but not something against you either.

Prof. Experiences: I'm not going to spend too much time on this section. Suffice it to say you've got this covered. There's enough good stuff here to work with and hit all the key themes. Short and sweet.

Extracurriculars: This is an interesting one. On the surface, it isn't exactly a long litany of involvements. However, that's almost good in this case! You are clearly invested in this organization and you can't put a price on that. I really like this actually. I think it would be worthwhile to augment this section with at least lip service to a list of hobbies (to add personality) but I think you can speak enough to this involvement that any adcom will understand even though it's only one activity on paper, that it goes deep and sits close to your hear.

Outside of this, you didn't mention much about what you did in college but at least you have ROTC and I'm sure you have a few other things. It'll cover that base as well.

Ok - now onto what you really wanted to talk about, schools!

CBS: Yes, hit this one early if you really want to go there. Keep in mind, it's binding. I think with your profile, Columbia straddles the line between stretch and aligned for you. The main reason I say that are your academic stats. Unfortunately, they do matter a little bit and that's my only real concern. If you're not entirely set on Columbia, then just apply sooner rather than later given they have rolling admissions.

Early / 1st: CBS, Booth, Tuck - I moved Kellogg out and put Tuck in because of their relative strengths and focuses. If you want to continue in PE, even though Tuck is of a slightly lower rank, it's a stronger program.

2nd: Stern, Darden, MIT. I think Stern and Darden may be better suited for you personally. MIT is an amazing program but there is a chance there you get too sucked into the quant side. Stern and Darden both are great quant programs too but they will ensure a strong exposure to general management as well.

Hmm - I wrote a lot but I hope this answers most of your questions! Now - your turn. Any other questions? Comments? Concerns?


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Re: What Do You Think of My Business School Application Plan?   [#permalink] 11 Jul 2013, 06:16
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