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Hello Wall Street Oasis Members,

I'm the founder of Accepted.com and have been advising applicants to top business schools since 1994. Accepted.com has been on the web since 1996. Patrick Curtis invited me to respond to questions here. So if you have any for me or for my colleague Cindy Tokumitsu, please ask away. We are happy to respond to questions about your chances at specific schools, about mitigating weaknesses, or other MBA application questions.

If you want to ask about your chances, please provide answers to the following seven questions:

  • 1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
  • 2) Your test score.
  • 3) College info: The name of the college, your grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
  • 4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
  • 5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
  • 6) Your target programs.
  • 7) Your post-MBA goal.

Best,
Linda Abraham

Comments (108)

  • leveRAGE.'s picture

    So this is more of a general question if you don't mind.

    I'm someone who would like to get an MBA eventually but don't necessarily want to stop working for two years to get the MBA---for this reason Executive MBA's seem extremely enticing--the thing is I always see that they have 7+ years of average work experience, and I was hoping to look into the MBA in the 3-5 year range...is it at all common for younger people to apply to/get into EMBA programs if they don't have an enormous amount of work experience? Or is my only real option for something like this a part-time MBA.

    In particular, I was looking at Columbia's EMBA if it makes any difference.

    Thanks.

  • socola2003's picture

    how does a fat kid end up at a mil academy?

    As for this MBA chances, the standard error of prediction being what it is, I'd give this woman more credibility if she tied her compensation/fees to successful applications of customers to b-schools. Of course, she would never do that.

  • Pissingintowind's picture

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    Management Consultant at Accenture (promoted from Analyst as quickly as possible, participated in recruiting, social committees, etc.)
    - Financial Services Transformation Strategy
    - Biotechnology Project Management
    - Pharmaceuticals Change Management

    2) Your GMAT.
    Expecting 720+

    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    Name: top 15-ish state university
    Major: Biomedical Engineering (honors program)
    Major GPA: 3.9
    Cumulative GPA: 3.6
    Graduation: 2010
    - Multiple academic scholarships (top 5% of engineering class, top 10% of school class, top 15% of Biomedical Engineering)

    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    - Will be joining Accenture Development Partnerships, the Accenture non-profit dedicated to bringing consulting services to emerging nations and non-profits
    - Published 3 research abstracts as the first author while a research intern at a big name medical school; focused on anesthesiology and behavioral neurology - invited to present this undergraduate research at an annual post-graduate industry conference 4 times
    - Volunteered as an investment adviser for a cultural non-profit - have had a volunteer relationship with them since 2002
    - Honors thesis and lab work focused on stem cell therapeutics

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    None (not relevant)

    6) Your target programs.
    Top 10 schools

    7) Your post-MBA goal.
    To continue to work in non-profit consulting (post-Accenture Development Partnerships), potentially making good enough connections to create my own firm. Ideally, the non-profit consulting work coming after the MBA would be mostly strategy based (MBB or similar).

    Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  • shorttheworld's picture

    1) Five years at an equity prop trading arm of a family office, was Rookie of the Year and help out extensively with recruiting on the side out of my own free will. Help train and mentor other trades
    2) 700 48Q 38V 6AWA
    3) College info: UConn BA Economics minor in biz, 2.71 cumulative 3.34 biz school gpa, was on my own since i was 17 due to chaotic life at home , neither of my parents had graduated high school since they had me while they were in HS and I was first to graduate high school and college as well, worked near full time while in college to provide for myself completely... grew up largely on my own since dad was working overtime to provide for us and mom was in rehab for alcoholism and anorexia from the time i was 5 til 11 when she died (to paint background) ... completed 10 classes at NYU SCPS to earn certificates in portfolio management and risk management and earned a 3.76 total this past year
    4) VP of student governmet for a semester in college, treasurer of international relations association (very large student group that did political/humanitarian/cultural events on campus and off), treasurer of tenants association where i lived in harlem post-bacc that took landlord to court (3 buildings of tenants, 150 or so) due to landlord being negligent and not giving repairs to force out rent stabilized tenants in favor of market rate tenants (illegal!) and we won around 300k in damages, do a lot of mentoring at my alma mater and revitalized a dead mentoring program at the school of business, was invited to join a subcomittee of the alumni association on the board of trustees where we are working to implement new programs to get more alumni involved in mentoring and to make undergrads take advantage of the networking resources to improve their internship and job prospects... also in undergrad petitioned the finance faculty to create more courses on investment finance and succeeded in getting an MBA level class on hedge funds created, tried to set up a cfa institute parternship but efforts fell short unfortunately due to budget constraints and bureaucracy
    5) Was series 7 and 55 but expired
    6) Chicago, Columbia, Tuck, Fuqua, Cornell, NYU
    7) Investment management, buy side equity research

  • Linda Abraham's picture

    leveRAGE,

    Thanks for your question.

    Wharton's EMBA program tends a little younger than most. As you suggest, part-time programs, like the Langone program or Chicago's part-time MBA program, may be a good option for you.

    You probably would have a tough time getting into the CBS EMBA progam with only 3 years of work experience. You start to become more competitive at 4-5. The average is 8.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • Tradin's picture

    At time of matriculation

    1. 2.5 years in Portfolio Management at 400-500 BN assest management firm (current position)
    1.5 years at small Canadian bank doing S&T (NY branch)
    1/2 a year at small mangement consulting firm doing geared towards financial services

    2. 730 GMAT (80%Q, 95%V)
    3. NYU, 3.76 GPA Econ Major
    4. College- charities, sports, economics club, dormitory hall council...Post college- Active board member of pediatric cancer foundaion
    5. Series 7,63
    6. HBS, Columbia, Booth, Wharton
    7. Portfolio management or sales and trading

  • In reply to Pissingintowind
    Linda Abraham's picture

    Pissingintowind wrote:
    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    Management Consultant at Accenture (promoted from Analyst as quickly as possible, participated in recruiting, social committees, etc.)
    - Financial Services Transformation Strategy
    - Biotechnology Project Management
    - Pharmaceuticals Change Management

    2) Your GMAT.
    Expecting 720+

    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    Name: top 15-ish state university
    Major: Biomedical Engineering (honors program)
    Major GPA: 3.9
    Cumulative GPA: 3.6
    Graduation: 2010
    - Multiple academic scholarships (top 5% of engineering class, top 10% of school class, top 15% of Biomedical Engineering)

    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    - Will be joining Accenture Development Partnerships, the Accenture non-profit dedicated to bringing consulting services to emerging nations and non-profits
    - Published 3 research abstracts as the first author while a research intern at a big name medical school; focused on anesthesiology and behavioral neurology - invited to present this undergraduate research at an annual post-graduate industry conference 4 times
    - Volunteered as an investment adviser for a cultural non-profit - have had a volunteer relationship with them since 2002
    - Honors thesis and lab work focused on stem cell therapeutics

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    None (not relevant)

    6) Your target programs.
    Top 10 schools

    7) Your post-MBA goal.
    To continue to work in non-profit consulting (post-Accenture Development Partnerships), potentially making good enough connections to create my own firm. Ideally, the non-profit consulting work coming after the MBA would be mostly strategy based (MBB or similar).

    Thanks for taking the time to do this!

    You're welcome! You have a competitive profile for the top 10. And I would just advise you to continue doing what you're doing at work and in community service. Prepare for and take the GMAT this spring. You might be interested in our MBA application timeline, but you are well on your way.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • neocid's picture

    1) 4 years (at matriculation) at a large foundation. Focus on private equity portfolio of funds, co-investments, and direct deals

    2) 720

    3) 3.9 in economics from "hidden ivy" in 2009

    4) Played sport in college (non-scholarship), volunteer and raise money for local schools with low income / ethnically diverse backgrounds

    5) Passed level 3 of CFA

    6) HBS, Booth, Tuck

    7) Private equity

  • In reply to shorttheworld
    Linda Abraham's picture

    shorttheworld wrote:
    1) Five years at an equity prop trading arm of a family office, was Rookie of the Year and help out extensively with recruiting on the side out of my own free will. Help train and mentor other trades
    2) 700 48Q 38V 6AWA
    3) College info: UConn BA Economics minor in biz, 2.71 cumulative 3.34 biz school gpa, was on my own since i was 17 due to chaotic life at home , neither of my parents had graduated high school since they had me while they were in HS and I was first to graduate high school and college as well, worked near full time while in college to provide for myself completely... grew up largely on my own since dad was working overtime to provide for us and mom was in rehab for alcoholism and anorexia from the time i was 5 til 11 when she died (to paint background) ... completed 10 classes at NYU SCPS to earn certificates in portfolio management and risk management and earned a 3.76 total this past year
    4) VP of student governmet for a semester in college, treasurer of international relations association (very large student group that did political/humanitarian/cultural events on campus and off), treasurer of tenants association where i lived in harlem post-bacc that took landlord to court (3 buildings of tenants, 150 or so) due to landlord being negligent and not giving repairs to force out rent stabilized tenants in favor of market rate tenants (illegal!) and we won around 300k in damages, do a lot of mentoring at my alma mater and revitalized a dead mentoring program at the school of business, was invited to join a subcomittee of the alumni association on the board of trustees where we are working to implement new programs to get more alumni involved in mentoring and to make undergrads take advantage of the networking resources to improve their internship and job prospects... also in undergrad petitioned the finance faculty to create more courses on investment finance and succeeded in getting an MBA level class on hedge funds created, tried to set up a cfa institute parternship but efforts fell short unfortunately due to budget constraints and bureaucracy
    5) Was series 7 and 55 but expired
    6) Chicago, Columbia, Tuck, Fuqua, Cornell, NYU
    7) Investment management, buy side equity research

    shorttheworld,

    Quite a story. Obviously your academics are your Achilles heel. Your GMAT is OK, but not helping you much at your target programs. (Do you think you could raise it? Or is this pretty much what you anticipated?) The 3.75 at NYU SCPS is excellent and will really help your cause. You didn't mention any diversity factor, but if you are from an underrepresented group, that would help you too.

    Basically, I think you should apply to your target programs, but also strongly add a lower ranked school or two to your list. Alternatively, apply R1 to these programs only and see how you do. Then prepare to apply R2, if you are not accepted R1, to less competitive programs.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • In reply to Tradin
    Linda Abraham's picture

    Tradin wrote:
    At time of matriculation

    1. 2.5 years in Portfolio Management at 400-500 BN assest management firm (current position)
    1.5 years at small Canadian bank doing S&T (NY branch)
    1/2 a year at small mangement consulting firm doing geared towards financial services

    2. 730 GMAT (80%Q, 95%V)
    3. NYU, 3.76 GPA Econ Major
    4. College- charities, sports, economics club, dormitory hall council...Post college- Active board member of pediatric cancer foundaion
    5. Series 7,63
    6. HBS, Columbia, Booth, Wharton
    7. Portfolio management or sales and trading


    Tradin,

    You have a competitive profile for your target schools and are well on your way. Keep doing what you're doing. You too may be interested in the MBA application timeline.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • In reply to neocid
    Linda Abraham's picture

    neocid wrote:
    1) 4 years (at matriculation) at a large foundation. Focus on private equity portfolio of funds, co-investments, and direct deals

    2) 720

    3) 3.9 in economics from "hidden ivy" in 2009

    4) Played sport in college (non-scholarship), volunteer and raise money for local schools with low income / ethnically diverse backgrounds

    5) Passed level 3 of CFA

    6) HBS, Booth, Tuck

    7) Private equity

    All three programs, but particularly HBS, wants to see leadership skills. Your brief comments above don't really reflect it, but I realize that doesn't mean you don't have it. If you do, then you are competitive at all three programs.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • duffmt6's picture

    This is a bit of a ways off for me so some of these are estimates.

    1) 2 years investment banking analyst with no name boutique OR 1 year with no name boutique, 1 year with reputable middle market bank
    1.5+ years corporate finance (financial control) with a large, well known financial services/asset management company

    2) Expecting 700-720

    3) Wake Forest University 2010 BS in Mathematical Business, 3.65 GPA
    did a semester abroad in Sydney

    4) In college: President of Division 1 rugby club (still involved with the team through non profit organization that provides scholarships to players), fraternity member, Beta Gamma Sigma, couple of fundraisers

    Post-grad: not much to speak of except still play rugby for a local Men's club

    5) Hope to have all 3 levels of CFA completed by then (2 chances to pass Lvl 3), Series 7, 63, 79

    6) Tuck, Stern, Fuqua, Darden, Yale SOM, UNC

    7) MM IB or PE

    Bonus: White male, middle class background

    "For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

  • Bigtime44's picture

    1) Have worked 3.5 years in Independent Research, no modeling experience but industry experience in Tech, Media, Telecom and account management experience
    2) 760
    3) College info: Duke University, 3.5, Graduated with a B.A. in Public Policy studies in 2008
    4) College: Investment Club, Fraternity, Business Mentorship Society
    Since: Not a ton, CFA has taken up much of my free time
    5) Important certifications: CFA, passed all three levels
    6) Your target programs: Top schools, particularly: Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Northwestern, Virginia, Michigan
    7) Your post-MBA goal. Would like to work in either Institutional Sales or as a Hedge fund analyst

    Thank you so much for your input.

  • I_Bankster's picture

    1) Worked 5 years at US Regulatory Firm (i.e SEC, Fed, FINRA), promoted 3 times
    2) 680
    3) TX State School, 3.4, Finance, 2007.
    4) Active in Bay Area non-profit student mentorship program, Kiva microfinance volunteer
    5) None
    6) Top 20, but ideally Haas, UCLA, or USC, would consider PT at Haas as well
    7) Consulting, Corp Strat, or compliance at somewhere like BlackRock

    Thanks!

  • Value_added's picture

    By the time of application will have
    1) 4 years of risk management in various roles in a BB bank OR 2 yrs risk management + 2 yrs MM/boutique Investment Banking
    2) Shooting for 750
    3) Large state university (below top 50 for my program), 3.8, Finance
    4) Active in leadership roles within professional fraternity, college's mentoring program, and college newspaper 5) Passed level I & II CFA
    6) Top 20 - would like to apply through the Consortium - and independently for long-shot at HBS
    7) Private Equity, Venture Capital, or Corporate Development

    Thanks!

  • hockey1316's picture

    1) 2.5 years doing PWC M&A Advisory (Due Diligence and Valuation)
    2) 720
    3) College info: University Maryland , 3.86, Graduated with a B.S. Finance and Int. Business 2009
    4) College: Board of Directors non-profit, College hockey team, founded own business
    Since: Still Board of Director and running non-profit on side
    5) Important certifications: CFA level II
    6) Your target programs: Top schools, particularly: Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia, NYU, MIT
    7) Your post-MBA goal - either PE/VC or non-profit management

    Thank you so much for your input.

  • let_me_in's picture

    1.) 3 years at Big 4 economic consulting, early promote at 2 years. 2 years of corporate restructuring consulting (e.g., FTI, Alvarez Marsal)
    2. 730
    3. I would call it regional second-tier (e.g., Northwestern, Wash U, Emory) 3.6, Economics, Cum Laude
    4. Post-grad: Treasurer of State Amateur Sports organization managing 35K budget. President of traveling amateur sports team.
    College: President of student organization, Treasurer of Volunteer organization, Internship in the US Legislative branch
    5. CFA Level I
    6. Harvard, Northwestern, Chicago, Wharton
    7. Internal corp strategy/finance or MBB consulting.

    Thanks for your opinion!

  • algorithm's picture

    1) Expected strategy consulting at mid tier consulting firm (LEK, Monitor, Booz)
    2) 740
    3) Top 10-20 University, Finance, Mathematics, GPA: 3.6
    4) Run a fairly known economic research service, board member at a charity
    5) Nope
    6) Stanford (1st choice), HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Tuck, Columbia
    7) Venture Capital

    Still in college, but want to know if any of these schools are completely out of reach already. Thank you!

  • hkhedge's picture

    1) 2 Years at analyst level in investment management at top U.S. bank in Hong Kong
    1 Year equity research at smaller bank in Singapore
    2) 740 GMAT
    3) University of Notre Dame, 3.73 GPA., Beta Gama Sigma
    Masters in Finance, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    4) Fluent in Mandarin Chinese
    5) Passed CFA level 1
    6) HBS, Columbia, NYU, Stanford
    7) Work in Investment Management/ Asset Management

    Thanks!

    Free Resources, Hong Kong Financial News, and more at http://hkhedge.blogspot.com/. Enjoy!

  • petergibbons's picture

    1) 2 years at mid/large sized US MBB office, focused on consumer/retail clients
    2) 770 (48 V, 49 Q, 6 AWA)
    3) 3.8 from US-News Top 20 Liberal Arts College, Economics Major, 2010.
    4) Captain of a varsity sports team and President of a business-related club on campus. Not much since starting work (ran a marathon, play on office sports teams)
    5) N/A
    6) Rejected at HBS, targeting Stanford and Kellogg
    7) Strategy/Business Development, related to sports apparel

    Life, liberty and the pursuit of Starwood Points

  • Relinquis's picture

    1) Global Real Estate Investment Guy... Private equity investment globally (Real Estate & Hospitality Sectors... 3 different funds 2/3 years approx. each.. promotions every 2-3 years). Have done $X billion of deals in USA, UK, Western Europe and some Asia deals. No losses. Have studied/worked/been based in 4 different countries. Volunteered and set-up international operations for one of the funds with the MD for that region (involved hiring the team, setting up processes, originating deals, etc.. the works.). Currently at Post MBA level (Senior Associate/VP level... origination & execution). Have recruited, mentored and managed junior professionals.

    2) GMAT: expected 700... trust me, I'll get it.

    3) College info: BA Business, Small no-name university. Insignificant GPA (however, As & Bs in all quantitative subjects).

    4) No extra curricular activities apart from extensive socialising for personal enjoyment. All leadership is work based.

    5) CFA Level II candidate (passed Level I)... rationale was/is to consolidate financial knowledge and understand other asset classes / portfolio management.

    6) Target Programmes... HBS, Stanford & Wharton... Will apply round 3 this year, otherwise might consider Stanford's one year Sloan Masters or LBS MiF / INSEAD MBA as alternatives (I don't want to delay getting a brand name credential/degree).

    7) Post-MBA goal: Set up my own fund/firm... Safety option if I don't get traction for my own firm during business school is to join an established real estate private equity fund or a Hedge fund / investment bank in their real estate practice upon graduation.

    What are your thoughts on my choice of programmes? I can't afford to waste an extra year by applying for round 1 of two year MBA programmes in the autumn of this year.

  • tds2006's picture

    Thank you so much for doing this, very helpful/interesting.

    1) 3-4 years at a small management consulting company specializing in financial services (depending on when I decide to apply).
    2) 780 GMAT (50Q/47V)
    3) Harvard/Yale/Stanford, 3.65 in Econ (graduated in 2010/2011).
    4) 4 year varsity athlete, involved/had leadership positions in a few college-wide athlete groups. Also a brief entrepreneurial stint. Hoping to get into coaching or tutoring soon.
    5) None.
    6) Top-7-ish, but HBS is the dream.
    7) Corporate Strategy (possibly Corporate Development, but probably strategy) at a F500 or similar company.

  • In reply to duffmt6
    Linda Abraham's picture

    duffmt6 wrote:
    This is a bit of a ways off for me so some of these are estimates.

    1) 2 years investment banking analyst with no name boutique OR 1 year with no name boutique, 1 year with reputable middle market bank
    1.5+ years corporate finance (financial control) with a large, well known financial services/asset management company

    2) Expecting 700-720

    3) Wake Forest University 2010 BS in Mathematical Business, 3.65 GPA
    did a semester abroad in Sydney

    4) In college: President of Division 1 rugby club (still involved with the team through non profit organization that provides scholarships to players), fraternity member, Beta Gamma Sigma, couple of fundraisers

    Post-grad: not much to speak of except still play rugby for a local Men's club

    5) Hope to have all 3 levels of CFA completed by then (2 chances to pass Lvl 3), Series 7, 63, 79

    6) Tuck, Stern, Fuqua, Darden, Yale SOM, UNC

    7) MM IB or PE

    Bonus: White male, middle class background

    Obviously, assessments for what is likely to happen in 3-4 years are problematic. However, if things work out as you anticipate and there are no major increases or decreases in applications at the programs, Tuck is a stretch for you. You are more competitive at the other programs with UNC being your most likely acceptance.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • obscenity's picture

    This is mostly hypothetical, I'm just curious whether b-school is a valid option for me down the road. I'm finishing undergrad this semester, and have secured my spot for my masters.

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    Plan to start in Big 4 tax, and spend 3-5 years

    2) Your GMAT.
    760 (50 Q, 42V)

    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    Big 10 school, 3.5 cumulative after recovering from 2.2 freshman year. I know b-schools in particular consider this a weak excuse, but there was severe depression involved.
    Top Masters of Accounting

    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    I hate this garbage and tend to not do it. I tutored accounting during undergrad and participate in VITA. No real leadership to speak of.

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    CPA

    6) Your target programs.
    Lower half of the top 20, McCombs, Ross and Kelley would be some of my favorites. One of these schools is also where I'm pursuing my MAcc, if that helps at all. Would go higher if possible.

    7) Your post-MBA goal.
    I'd like to start in F500, then transfer to equity research or the buy side (VC in particular). Would be likely to pursue the CFA if I went down this path.

  • In reply to Bigtime44
    Linda Abraham's picture

    Bigtime44 wrote:
    1) Have worked 3.5 years in Independent Research, no modeling experience but industry experience in Tech, Media, Telecom and account management experience
    2) 760
    3) College info: Duke University, 3.5, Graduated with a B.A. in Public Policy studies in 2008
    4) College: Investment Club, Fraternity, Business Mentorship Society
    Since: Not a ton, CFA has taken up much of my free time
    5) Important certifications: CFA, passed all three levels
    6) Your target programs: Top schools, particularly: Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Northwestern, Virginia, Michigan
    7) Your post-MBA goal. Would like to work in either Institutional Sales or as a Hedge fund analyst

    Thank you so much for your input.

    Your academic stats are great and highly competitive. Your work experience is also competitive. However, I am concerned because i don't see much leadership in what you wrote above. If you are planning to apply this fall and cannot assume a leadership role on the job, and I realize that may not be possible, then volunteer and assume a responsibility for a cause or organization that you believe in. it can be a professional association or something like Junior Achievement or just something that is important to you.

    I would say Harvard and Stanford are least likely acceptances (no surprises there). You have a competitive profile for the other programs.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • In reply to Linda Abraham
    duffmt6's picture

    Linda Abraham wrote:
    duffmt6 wrote:
    This is a bit of a ways off for me so some of these are estimates.

    1) 2 years investment banking analyst with no name boutique OR 1 year with no name boutique, 1 year with reputable middle market bank
    1.5+ years corporate finance (financial control) with a large, well known financial services/asset management company

    2) Expecting 700-720

    3) Wake Forest University 2010 BS in Mathematical Business, 3.65 GPA
    did a semester abroad in Sydney

    4) In college: President of Division 1 rugby club (still involved with the team through non profit organization that provides scholarships to players), fraternity member, Beta Gamma Sigma, couple of fundraisers

    Post-grad: not much to speak of except still play rugby for a local Men's club

    5) Hope to have all 3 levels of CFA completed by then (2 chances to pass Lvl 3), Series 7, 63, 79

    6) Tuck, Stern, Fuqua, Darden, Yale SOM, UNC

    7) MM IB or PE

    Bonus: White male, middle class background

    Obviously, assessments for what is likely to happen in 3-4 years are problematic. However, if things work out as you anticipate and there are no major increases or decreases in applications at the programs, Tuck is a stretch for you. You are more competitive at the other programs with UNC being your most likely acceptance.

    Best,
    Linda

    Appreciate the insight. Obviously Tuck is the toughest school to get into and UNC the easiest, so not really sure where I stand exactly. Regardless thanks for taking the time.

    Edit: Also, I'm only 2 years away (4 total years of WE if things go as planned). I have the boutique IB offer, just not sure where it will lead out of those two scenarios.

    "For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

  • Linda Abraham's picture

    You're most welcome. It seems like you have a good sense of where you stand without my input. Since the time frame is shorter, both our sense are probably more valid.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • In reply to I_Bankster
    cindyt's picture

    [quote=I_Bankster]1) Worked 5 years at US Regulatory Firm (i.e SEC, Fed, FINRA), promoted 3 times
    2) 680
    3) TX State School, 3.4, Finance, 2007.
    4) Active in Bay Area non-profit student mentorship program, Kiva microfinance volunteer
    5) None
    6) Top 20, but ideally Haas, UCLA, or USC, would consider PT at Haas as well
    7) Consulting, Corp Strat, or compliance at somewhere like BlackRock

    Thanks!

    Hello,

    I'd say Haas would probably be quite a stretch. UCLA would be a reasonable reach, USC a bit closer to at par, indeed maybe at par. I believe your reg work experience is your main strength -- both in terms of strong advancement, and in terms of differentiation. To take advantage of the latter point, I suggest bringing some insights into your essays based on this experience, to SHOW the adcoms what you'd bring to the table as a result of this experience.

    Best wishes,
    Cindy Tokumitsued
    Senior Editor

    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor, Accepted.com

  • In reply to I_Bankster
    cindyt's picture

    [quote=I_Bankster]1) Worked 5 years at US Regulatory Firm (i.e SEC, Fed, FINRA), promoted 3 times
    2) 680
    3) TX State School, 3.4, Finance, 2007.
    4) Active in Bay Area non-profit student mentorship program, Kiva microfinance volunteer
    5) None
    6) Top 20, but ideally Haas, UCLA, or USC, would consider PT at Haas as well
    7) Consulting, Corp Strat, or compliance at somewhere like BlackRock

    Thanks!

    P.S. -- I think the Haas PT program would be a good bet.

    Best,
    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor

    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor, Accepted.com

  • In reply to Value_added
    cindyt's picture

    [quote=Value_added]By the time of application will have
    1) 4 years of risk management in various roles in a BB bank OR 2 yrs risk management + 2 yrs MM/boutique Investment Banking
    2) Shooting for 750
    3) Large state university (below top 50 for my program), 3.8, Finance
    4) Active in leadership roles within professional fraternity, college's mentoring program, and college newspaper 5) Passed level I & II CFA
    6) Top 20 - would like to apply through the Consortium - and independently for long-shot at HBS
    7) Private Equity, Venture Capital, or Corporate Development

    Hello,

    Assuming a strong GMAT (720 or higher), it looks good for a top-20. A 750 would position you for some of the more competitive among top-20's if your work accomplishments/impact and leadership are strong. Depending on the details of your leadership at work and outside work, HBS might be a reasonable reach -- it would depend on the quality of your leadership and specific accomplishments. One drawback is that it seems your community/extracurricular involvements are mainly during college and not concurrent with your work. HBS and the more competitive programs will want to see some such participation post-college.

    Best wishes,
    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor

    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor, Accepted.com

  • In reply to hockey1316
    cindyt's picture

    jwalsh16 wrote:
    1) 2.5 years doing PWC M&A Advisory (Due Diligence and Valuation)
    2) 720
    3) College info: University Maryland , 3.86, Graduated with a B.S. Finance and Int. Business 2009
    4) College: Board of Directors non-profit, College hockey team, founded own business
    Since: Still Board of Director and running non-profit on side
    5) Important certifications: CFA level II
    6) Your target programs: Top schools, particularly: Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia, NYU, MIT
    7) Your post-MBA goal - either PE/VC or non-profit management

    Thank you so much for your input.

    Hello,

    From the info you provided I'd consider you a qualified applicant to the programs you mention. Since they're all highly competitive, even with your strong profile I'd never say they're less than a reasonable reach -- but with very strong applications to a good number of programs, I think you'd have a good shot at admission to one or more. That said, I do underscore that the applications would have to be stellar, differentiating you within your industry and demographic group and showing you're a person also with "something to say" as part of such dynamic programs.

    Best wishes,
    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor

    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor, Accepted.com

  • In reply to cindyt
    Value_added's picture

    cindyt][quote=Value_added wrote:
    By the time of application will have
    1) 4 years of risk management in various roles in a BB bank OR 2 yrs risk management + 2 yrs MM/boutique Investment Banking
    2) Shooting for 750
    3) Large state university (below top 50 for my program), 3.8, Finance
    4) Active in leadership roles within professional fraternity, college's mentoring program, and college newspaper 5) Passed level I & II CFA
    6) Top 20 - would like to apply through the Consortium - and independently for long-shot at HBS
    7) Private Equity, Venture Capital, or Corporate Development

    Hello,

    Assuming a strong GMAT (720 or higher), it looks good for a top-20. A 750 would position you for some of the more competitive among top-20's if your work accomplishments/impact and leadership are strong. Depending on the details of your leadership at work and outside work, HBS might be a reasonable reach -- it would depend on the quality of your leadership and specific accomplishments. One drawback is that it seems your community/extracurricular involvements are mainly during college and not concurrent with your work. HBS and the more competitive programs will want to see some such participation post-college.

    Best wishes,
    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor, Accepted.com

    Thanks appreciate the feedback!

  • In reply to let_me_in
    cindyt's picture

    let_me_in wrote:
    1.) 3 years at Big 4 economic consulting, early promote at 2 years. 2 years of corporate restructuring consulting (e.g., FTI, Alvarez Marsal)
    2. 730
    3. I would call it regional second-tier (e.g., Northwestern, Wash U, Emory) 3.6, Economics, Cum Laude
    4. Post-grad: Treasurer of State Amateur Sports organization managing 35K budget. President of traveling amateur sports team.
    College: President of student organization, Treasurer of Volunteer organization, Internship in the US Legislative branch
    5. CFA Level I
    6. Harvard, Northwestern, Chicago, Wharton
    7. Internal corp strategy/finance or MBB consulting.

    Thanks for your opinion!

    Hello,

    Looks good for those schools! Obviously there's a reach element to them all, not because of anything lacking in our profile (from the info provided) but because of their high competitiveness. I do think HBS would be quite a high reach, but worth the effort. You might consider adding a school or two to further enhance your chances, perhaps NYU or Darden.

    Best wishes,
    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor

    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor, Accepted.com

  • In reply to algorithm
    cindyt's picture

    algorithm wrote:
    1) Expected strategy consulting at mid tier consulting firm (LEK, Monitor, Booz)
    2) 740
    3) Top 10-20 University, Finance, Mathematics, GPA: 3.6
    4) Run a fairly known economic research service, board member at a charity
    5) Nope
    6) Stanford (1st choice), HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Tuck, Columbia
    7) Venture Capital

    Still in college, but want to know if any of these schools are completely out of reach already. Thank you!

    Hello,

    I wouldn't say any are out of reach, looking forward - but Stanford will always be a reach to some degree. To be competitive at these programs down the road, undertake as much leadership as possible, but focus on the qualitative aspect too. Develop yourself to be a person with unique insights and initiative, which will be quite helpful with these schools.

    Taking my free, online mini-course on the website called "Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Best One" walks you through how to determine your competitiveness at various programs while ensuring your own needs are met -- it might be an interesting exercise to do this now, preliminarily, for planning purposes.

    Best wishes,
    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor

    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor, Accepted.com

  • In reply to algorithm
    cindyt's picture

    algorithm wrote:
    1) Expected strategy consulting at mid tier consulting firm (LEK, Monitor, Booz)
    2) 740
    3) Top 10-20 University, Finance, Mathematics, GPA: 3.6
    4) Run a fairly known economic research service, board member at a charity
    5) Nope
    6) Stanford (1st choice), HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Tuck, Columbia
    7) Venture Capital

    Still in college, but want to know if any of these schools are completely out of reach already. Thank you!

    Hello,

    I wouldn't say any are out of reach, looking forward - but Stanford will always be a reach to some degree. To be competitive at these programs down the road, undertake as much leadership as possible, but focus on the qualitative aspect too. Develop yourself to be a person with unique insights and initiative, which will be quite helpful with these schools.

    Taking my free, online mini-course on the Accepted.com website called "Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Best One" walks you through how to determine your competitiveness at various programs while ensuring your own needs are met -- it might be an interesting exercise to do this now, preliminarily, for planning purposes.

    Best wishes,
    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor

    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor, Accepted.com

  • CaliHopeful's picture

    1) 3-4 years at time of application. Auditing state and local government agencies, both financial and program performance. My boss is ranked within top 20 politically influential in California. Currently a project lead on project team of 3. Expected to be promoted within a year to supervising capacity supervising 2-4 staff.

    2) Range of 700-800 based on previous GRE scores

    3) Ivy-level school (i.e MIT, Stanford, etc.), Bachelors in social science, 3.7 GPA in 2009. Masters in management science, 3.7 GPA. Completed both degrees within 4 years of undergrad.

    4) EC during college. I traveled and worked with archaeological teams in Europe and Turkey during the summers, as well as worked as student assistant to professors' research projects during academic year. I have also worked with a couple of internet startups on business plans and increasing subscribers as a student intern.

    Post graduation EC: volunteer as victim's advocate (answer crisis calls and provide mentoring and translation services. I am fluent in Chinese) and fundraising committee member (group of 5-10 that manages the biggest annual fundraiser) at domestic violence shelter. My chief responsibility as committee member is to solicit from corporate and community sponsors.

    5) CPA expected by the end of 2012

    6) HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton, and other top 10 programs

    7) In the long-term, I would like to work at and manage a non-profit or para-governmental organization in China (as I mentioned above, I am fluent in Chinese). In the short-term, I am also open to traditional business paths such as consulting and banking in the U.S.

    Key concerns: I am concerned about my work experience in government, which is less traditional for MBA. I would also like feedback on which ones are my weak areas for HBS (my top choice) and how to best address them within the next year.

  • In reply to Inception
    Linda Abraham's picture

    Inception wrote:
    Linda and the team, thanks for doing this!

    You're most welcome!

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • In reply to hkhedge
    Linda Abraham's picture

    hkhedge wrote:
    1) 2 Years at analyst level in investment management at top U.S. bank in Hong Kong
    1 Year equity research at smaller bank in Singapore
    2) 740 GMAT
    3) University of Notre Dame, 3.73 GPA., Beta Gama Sigma
    Masters in Finance, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    4) Fluent in Mandarin Chinese
    5) Passed CFA level 1
    6) HBS, Columbia, NYU, Stanford
    7) Work in Investment Management/ Asset Management

    Thanks!

    You have a competitive profile for these programs. To enhance your chances at HBS, be prepared to show leadership on/and or off the job. For Stanford be prepared to show initiative and a willingness to solve problems in organizations that you have been a part off.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • In reply to petergibbons
    Linda Abraham's picture

    petergibbons wrote:
    1) 2 years at mid/large sized US MBB office, focused on consumer/retail clients
    2) 770 (48 V, 49 Q, 6 AWA)
    3) 3.8 from US-News Top 20 Liberal Arts College, Economics Major, 2010.
    4) Captain of a varsity sports team and President of a business-related club on campus. Not much since starting work (ran a marathon, play on office sports teams)
    5) N/A
    6) Rejected at HBS, targeting Stanford and Kellogg
    7) Strategy/Business Development, related to sports apparel

    I think a year or two of additional work experience would really help you both at Harvard and at Kellogg. If you plan to reapply to Harvard, I urge you to have your HBS application evaluated. If you are not presenting yourself well, you want to know about it before you make the same mistake a second time. PM me if you want more info.

    Assuming you presented yourself well, I would say that lack of work experience was a problem at HBS and would be a problem next year if you apply to Kellogg.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • In reply to Relinquis
    Linda Abraham's picture

    Relinquis wrote:
    1) Global Real Estate Investment Guy... Private equity investment globally (Real Estate & Hospitality Sectors... 3 different funds 2/3 years approx. each.. promotions every 2-3 years). Have done $X billion of deals in USA, UK, Western Europe and some Asia deals. No losses. Have studied/worked/been based in 4 different countries. Volunteered and set-up international operations for one of the funds with the MD for that region (involved hiring the team, setting up processes, originating deals, etc.. the works.). Currently at Post MBA level (Senior Associate/VP level... origination & execution). Have recruited, mentored and managed junior professionals.

    2) GMAT: expected 700... trust me, I'll get it.

    3) College info: BA Business, Small no-name university. Insignificant GPA (however, As & Bs in all quantitative subjects).

    4) No extra curricular activities apart from extensive socialising for personal enjoyment. All leadership is work based.

    5) CFA Level II candidate (passed Level I)... rationale was/is to consolidate financial knowledge and understand other asset classes / portfolio management.

    6) Target Programmes... HBS, Stanford & Wharton... Will apply round 3 this year, otherwise might consider Stanford's one year Sloan Masters or LBS MiF / INSEAD MBA as alternatives (I don't want to delay getting a brand name credential/degree).

    7) Post-MBA goal: Set up my own fund/firm... Safety option if I don't get traction for my own firm during business school is to join an established real estate private equity fund or a Hedge fund / investment bank in their real estate practice upon graduation.

    What are your thoughts on my choice of programmes? I can't afford to waste an extra year by applying for round 1 of two year MBA programmes in the autumn of this year.

    While your work experience is very impressive, I think your academic credentials are on the light side. I'm also assuming that you have 6-8 years of full-time work experience which is high for Stanford. While I wouldn't be shocked if you get in, I am not optimistic about your chances third round this year. For the Sloan Fellows program, your quantity of work experience is on the light side (opposite problem.) Again, they might overlook it because it is so impressive, but it is a hurdle. Try it out and see.

    I think your chances of getting accepted to LBS ror INSEAD are much stronger -- either for the MiF or the MBA. LBS could be a great program for you. I also suggest you consider Kellogg's or Columbia's accelerated MBA. Also consider Tuck.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • In reply to tds2006
    Linda Abraham's picture

    tds2006 wrote:
    Thank you so much for doing this, very helpful/interesting.

    1) 3-4 years at a small management consulting company specializing in financial services (depending on when I decide to apply).
    2) 780 GMAT (50Q/47V)
    3) Harvard/Yale/Stanford, 3.65 in Econ (graduated in 2010/2011).
    4) 4 year varsity athlete, involved/had leadership positions in a few college-wide athlete groups. Also a brief entrepreneurial stint. Hoping to get into coaching or tutoring soon.
    5) None.
    6) Top-7-ish, but HBS is the dream.
    7) Corporate Strategy (possibly Corporate Development, but probably strategy) at a F500 or similar company.

    TDS2006,

    You're most welcome.

    You have a competitive profile for these schools and are applying appropriately. Obviously Yale is the most likely acceptance, but you have a chance at all. You may also want to consider Tuck. or Darden.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • In reply to obscenity
    Linda Abraham's picture

    obscenity wrote:
    This is mostly hypothetical, I'm just curious whether b-school is a valid option for me down the road. I'm finishing undergrad this semester, and have secured my spot for my masters.

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    Plan to start in Big 4 tax, and spend 3-5 years

    2) Your GMAT.
    760 (50 Q, 42V)

    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    Big 10 school, 3.5 cumulative after recovering from 2.2 freshman year. I know b-schools in particular consider this a weak excuse, but there was severe depression involved.
    Top Masters of Accounting

    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    I hate this garbage and tend to not do it. I tutored accounting during undergrad and participate in VITA. No real leadership to speak of.

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    CPA

    6) Your target programs.
    Lower half of the top 20, McCombs, Ross and Kelley would be some of my favorites. One of these schools is also where I'm pursuing my MAcc, if that helps at all. Would go higher if possible.

    7) Your post-MBA goal.
    I'd like to start in F500, then transfer to equity research or the buy side (VC in particular). Would be likely to pursue the CFA if I went down this path.

    Your chances at McCombs and Kelley are good, and even decent at Ross, but Ross would probably like to see leadership where the others may be more wowed by your GMAT.

    I don't see your GPA as a major issue. Obviously your last three years were excellent or that 3.5 would be lower. There was a reason, you dealt with it, and appear to have moved on. Again, that GMAT wlll help. If you want advice on how to deal with that one year, please my site (link below) and just a search for low GPA or weaknesses.

    You may also want to consider NYU and Yale.

    Best,
    Linda

    Linda Abraham
    Accepted

    Founder of Accepted and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

  • In reply to Linda Abraham
    Relinquis's picture

    Linda Abraham wrote:

    While your work experience is very impressive, I think your academic credentials are on the light side. I'm also assuming that you have 6-8 years of full-time work experience which is high for Stanford. While I wouldn't be shocked if you get in, I am not optimistic about your chances third round this year. For the Sloan Fellows program, your quantity of work experience is on the light side (opposite problem.) Again, they might overlook it because it is so impressive, but it is a hurdle. Try it out and see.

    I think your chances of getting accepted to LBS ror INSEAD are much stronger -- either for the MiF or the MBA. LBS could be a great program for you. I also suggest you consider Kellogg's or Columbia's accelerated MBA. Also consider Tuck.

    Best,
    Linda

    Thanks for the feedback Linda.

  • In reply to CaliHopeful
    cindyt's picture

    CaliHopeful wrote:
    1) 3-4 years at time of application. Auditing state and local government agencies, both financial and program performance. My boss is ranked within top 20 politically influential in California. Currently a project lead on project team of 3. Expected to be promoted within a year to supervising capacity supervising 2-4 staff.

    2) Range of 700-800 based on previous GRE scores

    3) Ivy-level school (i.e MIT, Stanford, etc.), Bachelors in social science, 3.7 GPA in 2009. Masters in management science, 3.7 GPA. Completed both degrees within 4 years of undergrad.

    Hello,

    You're qualified for the programs you mention. Your concern about the nontraditional (for MBA) gov experience is valid -- sort of. It can be a double-edged sword -- a problem if you don't address it and show its relevance and/or your relevant insights gained therefrom in your application; but, if you DO these things, it can be a plus because it differentiates you while giving you something fresh and valuable to "bring to the table." So it's a matter of how you handle that in your application, particularly your essays.

    For the top-level schools, and particularly HBS, you seem to have a lot of accomplishments, which is a qualification. To make yourself stand out and be a compelling applicant, you should clarify, again in your essays, how you have had an IMPACT and provided LEADERSHIP, ideally both at work (essential) and outside of work (highly preferable).

    I also note that your expected GMAT range is large. There would be a significant difference between, say, a 710 (basically qualifying) and a 760+ (impressive).

    Best wishes!
    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor

    4) EC during college. I traveled and worked with archaeological teams in Europe and Turkey during the summers, as well as worked as student assistant to professors' research projects during academic year. I have also worked with a couple of internet startups on business plans and increasing subscribers as a student intern.

    Post graduation EC: volunteer as victim's advocate (answer crisis calls and provide mentoring and translation services. I am fluent in Chinese) and fundraising committee member (group of 5-10 that manages the biggest annual fundraiser) at domestic violence shelter. My chief responsibility as committee member is to solicit from corporate and community sponsors.

    5) CPA expected by the end of 2012

    6) HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton, and other top 10 programs

    7) In the long-term, I would like to work at and manage a non-profit or para-governmental organization in China (as I mentioned above, I am fluent in Chinese). In the short-term, I am also open to traditional business paths such as consulting and banking in the U.S.

    Key concerns: I am concerned about my work experience in government, which is less traditional for MBA. I would also like feedback on which ones are my weak areas for HBS (my top choice) and how to best address them within the next year.

    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor, Accepted.com

  • In reply to CaliHopeful
    cindyt's picture

    CaliHopeful wrote:
    1) 3-4 years at time of application. Auditing state and local government agencies, both financial and program performance. My boss is ranked within top 20 politically influential in California. Currently a project lead on project team of 3. Expected to be promoted within a year to supervising capacity supervising 2-4 staff.

    2) Range of 700-800 based on previous GRE scores

    3) Ivy-level school (i.e MIT, Stanford, etc.), Bachelors in social science, 3.7 GPA in 2009. Masters in management science, 3.7 GPA. Completed both degrees within 4 years of undergrad.

    4) EC during college. I traveled and worked with archaeological teams in Europe and Turkey during the summers, as well as worked as student assistant to professors' research projects during academic year. I have also worked with a couple of internet startups on business plans and increasing subscribers as a student intern.

    Post graduation EC: volunteer as victim's advocate (answer crisis calls and provide mentoring and translation services. I am fluent in Chinese) and fundraising committee member (group of 5-10 that manages the biggest annual fundraiser) at domestic violence shelter. My chief responsibility as committee member is to solicit from corporate and community sponsors.

    5) CPA expected by the end of 2012

    6) HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton, and other top 10 programs

    7) In the long-term, I would like to work at and manage a non-profit or para-governmental organization in China (as I mentioned above, I am fluent in Chinese). In the short-term, I am also open to traditional business paths such as consulting and banking in the U.S.

    Key concerns: I am concerned about my work experience in government, which is less traditional for MBA. I would also like feedback on which ones are my weak areas for HBS (my top choice) and how to best address them within the next year.

    Hello,

    I'm repeating my feedback here below because I inadvertently typed it in right in the middle of your inquiry! I'm sorry for any confusion -- Best, Cindy

    You're qualified for the programs you mention. Your concern about the nontraditional (for MBA) gov experience is valid -- sort of. It can be a double-edged sword -- a problem if you don't address it and show its relevance and/or your relevant insights gained therefrom in your application; but, if you DO these things, it can be a plus because it differentiates you while giving you something fresh and valuable to "bring to the table." So it's a matter of how you handle that in your application, particularly your essays.

    For the top-level schools, and particularly HBS, you seem to have a lot of accomplishments, which is a qualification. To make yourself stand out and be a compelling applicant, you should clarify, again in your essays, how you have had an IMPACT and provided LEADERSHIP, ideally both at work (essential) and outside of work (highly preferable).

    I also note that your expected GMAT range is large. There would be a significant difference between, say, a 710 (basically qualifying) and a 760+ (impressive).

    Best wishes!
    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor

    Cindy Tokumitsu
    Senior Editor, Accepted.com

  • dandy's picture

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    Worked at a Big 4 Accounting firm in their Toronto office for 2 years in their audit practice. Then worked at a small equity research firm for another 2 years also in Toronto.

    2) Your GMAT.
    730

    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    Graduated from U of T with a 3.4, was on the Dean's List for one year.

    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    Volunteered for a month in Africa with Free the Children, served on the Board of a small NPO as Treasurer

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    I have both a CA and a CFA

    6) Your target programs.
    Chicago, MIT, Yale, Kellogg, Tuck, Haas, Fuqua, Stern

    7) Your post-MBA goal.
    To work at a top equity research firm.

  • kmess024's picture

    took a pre GMAT and got a 650

    The Four E's of investment
    "The greatest Enemies of the Equity investor are Expenses and Emotions."- Warren Buffet

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