I have just graduated from the 32nd ranked undergraduate business school (businessweek) with a BS in Accounting and minor in Statistics. My GMAT score is a 740 (Q47 V45) and my undergraduate cumulative GPA is a 3.8. I guess it might be worth noting that my major GPA is a 3.95 and my minor GPA is a 4.0.
As for my background, I am an Asian American with English as my first language and am 22 years old. I know that I still have a couple of years until I apply for business school, so I would like to get a head start on shaping my profile. I graduated magna cum laude, but did not really have any significant extracurriculars. I hope to build my profile in that aspect and really get involved in company recruiting activities and extracurricular programs.
I have signed with a Big 4 firm as an auditor, beginning in August 2007. I will be working out of the NYC office in the Financial Services industry. I would like to apply to business school as soon as I am ready to, and I hope to be a top performer and garner stellar recommendations by the time I am ready to go back to school. I am also planning to have my CPA license by then (I am taking the 4 parts of the exam within the next 8 months).
A couple other things to note:
1. I feel that I can improve my GMAT score to a 750+, because I severely underperformed in the quant section during the actual exam. Would it be worth it to retake the exam?
2. My undergraduate career was marred by a terrible freshman year in terms of grades. Discounting my freshman year, my GPA is near a 4.0 (only received one B+ throughout my soph, jr, and senior years). Do schools ever take dramatic improvement such as this into consideration when looking at transcripts?
Given my profile, what would you suggest that I focus on in the next couple of years to make myself a competitive candidate for schools such as Columbia, Wharton, and NYU? I will come out and say right now that Columbia is my dream school and that I will be applying in the Early Decision round. I am based in New York so I believe that Columbia is a perfect fit for my situation. I believe that an MBA would suit me well as I make the transition from accounting to finance, so I am really willing to put lots of time into this process.
Thanks for your time, I am eagerly awaiting your response.
Sorry for the late reply. To your questions:
1. No, a 10 point improvement won't do you any good.
2. Yes, they definitely do take positive trends into account, and dismal first years are not unusual. No worries here.
3. You need to accumulate experience in and outside of work that show you are a leader. It almost doesn't matter what specific path you choose to show that leadership but you have to show it. They want to see it outside of work too so don't just volunteer, volunteer in a role that allows you to coordinate others and/or shape the organization's future. Since you are aiming high, you will want to stand out from the pack a bit. One way to do this--and one way to show CBS that you are more than just another New York applicant--is to have a serious international experience, either through work or outside it. I don't mean a month of backpacking, but a serious extended engagement with another culture. This might be the extra something that gets you into CBS. Another idea might be to actually *start* a community organization and grow it over time into something significant. This would help you stand above the pack. You might want to see Accepted.com
's advice for young applicants