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Which schools are a good fit (750 GMAT, 3.4 GPA NYU Stern)

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Director
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Joined: 20 May 2013
Posts: 599
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
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Which schools are a good fit (750 GMAT, 3.4 GPA NYU Stern)  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2013, 20:29
- 49q/44v in GMAT
- 26 year old white male
- 4 years work experience doing project management work at an investment bank (mid-office). Analyst at one BB IB, then associate at another BB IB.(NYC)
- 3.4 from Stern NYU undergrad (tough curve, but don't know if that matters)
- Have marathons, tough mudder, football team, snowboarding, some volunteer but not amazing.
- Assuming good recs

I want to go to business school to leverage my project management skills to break into a top 3 management consulting firm.

Having a hard time figuring out where I am a fit since I worked at an investment bank, but not like a BSD front office super star. Have a nice GMAT, but slightly below average GPA.

Was thinking of Early Actioning Columbia, but their lack of financial aid is scaring me.

Any guidance would be appreciated!
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Re: Which schools are a good fit (750 GMAT, 3.4 GPA NYU Stern)  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2013, 20:46
mgh234 wrote:
I want to go to business school to leverage my project management skills to break into a top 3 management consulting firm ... Having a hard time figuring out where I am a fit since I worked at an investment bank, but not like a BSD front office super star.


@MGH234 -- if by "top 3 management consulting firm" you're thinking McKinsey, Bain or Boston Consulting Group, then I'd suggest you're positioning yourself incorrectly. Generally the top consulting firms don't hire people post-MBA for project management roles. Rather, they hire "high potential" MBA graduates with a view towards moulding them into high-performance consultants, serving clients like your current/past employer.

As you consider schools, you might want to think about the following:

1) You need clarity around your (longer-term) career goals. Even if the answer is "management consulting for the rest of my life" you'll need to be able to explain why you are passionate about consulting, which industry or industries you'd like to focus in (and why), as well as the kind of impact you're seeking to have. For example, a former client was focused on working in consulting to "help bring emerging cleantech energy technologies and solutions to second and third-world countries, in particular his home country of [X]."

2) Assuming you have this clarity then you need a sense of the "gap" - what skills, knowledge, experiences, etc. do you need to acquire to be successful in achieving your career goals?

3) Then map this carefully to specific resources offered by that particular school -- if you're just another generic finance industry person trying to get into Columbia then your chances diminish -- however if you can articulate a coherent career goal, describe the specific skills you need, and explain how CBS is the best school/program to help you get there, then your chances improve.

This is a longer conversation but I'd suggestion your portfolio of "right" schools are going to be those that can best help you close the gaps in your skills, knowledge and experience.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like to explore this more deeply in a one-on-one conversation.

Either way best wishes for success with your MBA applications and career!

Cheers, Chris
Director
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Joined: 20 May 2013
Posts: 599
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
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Re: Which schools are a good fit (750 GMAT, 3.4 GPA NYU Stern)  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2013, 14:41
Thanks for the advice!

1) I plan to do finance industry sector when I go into management consulting...Is it okay for this to be my long-term goal, or do I need to have something more save-the-world'ish? I'm interested in going into politics or a non-profit later in life (when I'm ~40-45), should I focus on that instead, or would this be too distant and a bit of non-sequitor??

2) Agreed, I think I have this down.

3) All things considered would a Reach of HBS/Wharton, Match of Columbia/Kellogg, and Safety of UCLA be around where I stand? Or am I over estimating my chances?
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Re: Which schools are a good fit (750 GMAT, 3.4 GPA NYU Stern)  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2013, 17:43
You're welcome. Hope it was helpful!

1) Management consulting in finance industry is a bit generic as a career goal. You don't need to be "save the world" (unless that's what you actually, really want to do) but, for example, if there are particular acute problems that you see in the finance industry AND consulting is a good vehicle to help impact/move the needle on those problems ... then you're heading in a better direction. Longer-term politics or non-profit is OK to include IF you can talk some logical extension/connection between your short-term goals and your stated long-term goals.

2) Good -- because that's one of the foundations of a competitive application at this level.

3) Without knowing more about your profile (e.g., your leadership experiences, extracurriculars beyond sport, etc. it's hard to give you definitive school advice. Your 750 GMAT helps, although it's a little offset by your 3.4 GPA for the level of schools you are aiming for.

In the materials you've shared, I don't see any huge "spike" that would make you competitive at HBS. That isn't to say you shouldn't apply, just you haven't communicated that "wow" factor often needed to succeed at H/S/W, especially if you're an "interchangeable" white, male, finance candidate!

Columbia and Kellogg are quite different schools -- be sure that you know WHY you're applying to those schools but yes, you should apply. My comment about needing to highlight your "spikes" is also true for Columbia and Kellogg. UCLA is a good school, especially as a "safety" -- the challenge is to communicate in your application and other activities related to your application that you're serious about their school.

Again the offer of a private one-on-one stands -- if you're interested, feel free to PM me.

Otherwise best wishes for success!

Cheers, Chris
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Re: Which schools are a good fit (750 GMAT, 3.4 GPA NYU Stern)   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2013, 17:43
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