2/15/12

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)

2/15/12

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.

Accepted.com
2/15/12

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.

2/15/12

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!

2/15/12
Pissingintowind:

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 <a href=:http://blog.accepted.com/2012/02/10/round-1-timeli...">MBA application timeline, but you are well on your way.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/15/12

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

2/15/12
shorttheworld:

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/22/12
Linda Abraham:
shorttheworld:

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 - thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I have a single question: This last poster completed and scored well on extension courses and also earned the corresponding certificates at NYU SCPS. Does the quality of the extension program factor into the admissions decision? For example, if he completed similar classes at a community college or an online class (possibly offered by a brand name school) and scored the exact same, would it be weighted any less?

2/24/12
numnum:
Linda Abraham:
shorttheworld:

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 - thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I have a single question: This last poster completed and scored well on extension courses and also earned the corresponding certificates at NYU SCPS. Does the quality of the extension program factor into the admissions decision? For example, if he completed similar classes at a community college or an online class (possibly offered by a brand name school) and scored the exact same, would it be weighted any less?

numnum,

It depends a little whom you ask so I guess the right answer is "sometimes." And even those who recommend the more rigorous programs, say it may make a difference on the margins. My advice usually is to do your own cost-benefit analysis. If the community college is next door and cheap and you are likely to attend more classes and therefore get that shiny "A" and the prestigious program is across town and involves a significant commute along with a substantial fee, then go to the community college. If the prestigious program is equally or more convenient and the tuition isn't an issue, the go with the prestigious program.

If you are taking the classes to show academic aptitude because your GPA took a hit in college, then the rigor is probably a little more important than if you are taking quant classes to beef up your quant credentials but your overall grades in college were good. (Of course poor quant skills are unlikely in this crowd.) However, your top criteria should where are you going to get A's in courses relevant to business school.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/15/12

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/15/12

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
2/15/12
Tradin:

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/15/12

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

2/15/12
neocid:

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/15/12

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."

2/16/12
duffmt6:

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/16/12
Linda Abraham:
duffmt6:

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."

2/15/12

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.

2/16/12
Bigtime44:

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/15/12

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!

2/16/12

[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

2/16/12

[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

2/15/12

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!

2/16/12

[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

2/16/12
cindyt][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, Accepted.com

Thanks appreciate the feedback!

2/15/12

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.

2/16/12
jwalsh16:

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

2/15/12

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!

2/16/12
let_me_in:

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

2/15/12

1) Expected strategy consulting at mid tier consulting firm (LEK, <span class='keyword_link'><a href="http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/monitor">Monitor</a></span>, Booz)
2) 740
3) Top 10-20 University, Finance, Mathematics, <span class='keyword_link'><a href="http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/canadian-grades-to-gpa">GPA</a></span>: 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!

2/16/12
algorithm:

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

2/16/12
algorithm:

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

Accepted.com
2/15/12

1) 2 Years at analyst level in investment management at top U.S. bank in Hong Kong
1 Year <span class='keyword_link'><a href="http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/finance-dictionary/equity-research-overview">equity research</a></span> at smaller bank in Singapore
2) 740 <span class='keyword_link'><a href="http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/gmat-pill-promo-code-333-off-gmat-prep-discount">GMAT</a></span>
3) University of Notre Dame, 3.73 <span class='keyword_link'><a href="http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/canadian-grades-to-gpa">GPA</a></span>., Beta Gama Sigma
Masters in Finance, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
4) Fluent in Mandarin Chinese
5) Passed <span class='keyword_link'><a href="https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1145861&c=cart&aff=44880&ejc=2&cl=175031">CFA</a></span> 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!

2/16/12
hkhedge:

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/15/12

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

2/16/12
petergibbons:

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/18/12
Linda Abraham:

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

Thanks for the feedback. I had a lot of alums from each school reviewing my applications, but being from a pretty overrepresented group + having people with similar experience (i.e. office, project, school) get in in R1 probably didn't help my at HBS. I may re-apply in a year or two if I don't get in this year; do you think that staying at my current job for one year and getting a promotion will be enough of a change to apply next year? I'll probably pick up an extracurricular in that time as well, or get international experience.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of Starwood Points

2/20/12
petergibbons:
Linda Abraham:

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

Thanks for the feedback. I had a lot of alums from each school reviewing my applications, but being from a pretty overrepresented group + having people with similar experience (i.e. office, project, school) get in in R1 probably didn't help my at HBS. I may re-apply in a year or two if I don't get in this year; do you think that staying at my current job for one year and getting a promotion will be enough of a change to apply next year? I'll probably pick up an extracurricular in that time as well, or get international experience.

Peter.

All the above will help. Applying R1 may also help next time. Without knowing more about what you have done and the nature of your promotion, I can't really even express an opinion as to whether it will be "enough."

While I almost never recommend applying to HBS only and there is no shame in rejection from Harvard, I still wonder if you couldn't have presented yourself more effectively. Regarding your network's input on your application, I'm going to quote from a quora post I provided over the weekend. The poster was arguing that friends and family can do just as good a job as consultants. Here is my response:

"That your network of close friends and family means well is a given. They will certainly want to help you, but they can suck the life out of essays just as well or better than any professional. And they do. All with the best of intentions. Even the person who got into your top choice school be it Stanford or Harvard or whatever -- he or she will mean well, but probably isn't experienced in mentoring others to write revealing essays. For all you know, he or she could have been accepted despite the essays and not because of them. It's true, your network may have a great editor in it or someone with admissions experience, but most don't. And even fewer have a combination of the two. Furthermore, most consultants want you to get in! Our interests in that regard align."

An MBA application evaluation is relatively inexpensive and could be an investment with a phenomenal ROI, and the cost/risk is low. If you are interested in one from Cindy or me, just google "Accepted.com MBA application evaluation."

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/15/12

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.

2/16/12
Relinquis:

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/17/12
Linda Abraham:

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.

2/15/12

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.

2/16/12
tds2006:

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/16/12

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.

2/16/12
obscenity:

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/16/12

Linda and the Accepted.com team, thanks for doing this!

2/16/12
Inception:

Linda and the team, thanks for doing this!

You're most welcome!

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/16/12

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
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/16/12

thanks for the feedback

2/16/12

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.

2/17/12
CaliHopeful:

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

2/17/12
CaliHopeful:

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

2/17/12

Hi, curious question. I have a BS/MS in an engineering from a top 15 school. I am going into prop trading for now, but if I don't like it, and want to do an MBA, do you recommend taking the GMAT even after I already have taken the GRE(800 quant 620 verb)?

2/20/12
protectedclass:

Hi, curious question. I have a BS/MS in an engineering from a top 15 school. I am going into prop trading for now, but if I don't like it, and want to do an MBA, do you recommend taking the GMAT even after I already have taken the GRE(800 quant 620 verb)?

Protected Class,

Interesting question. Obviously it is only valid if the schools you are interested in accepted the GRE. if they don't, I recommend you take the GMAT. Given your high score and assuming you also have high grades, I don't think you need to take the GMAT.

On the other hand, if you believe you can do just as impressively on the GMAT, taking it may improve your chances of getting a nice fellowship.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/17/12

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.

2/20/12
dandy:

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.

Dandy,

If you can show growth and career progression at the Big 4 firm, you are a competitive applicant at your target schools. You have also chosen them well given your goals.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/17/12

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

2/20/12
kmess024:

took a pre GMAT and got a 650

Do you have a question?

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/18/12

.

2/19/12

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
Six years of experience in consumer finance (think American Express, Discover), with three years of management experience. Currently a senior manager, with trajectory to director by the end of 2012.

2) Your GMAT.
760

College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation.
Economics degree from UVA, 3.4 GPA overall, 3.6 GPA for major

Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
None - I worked to put myself through college, which along with a couple of scholarships allowed me to graduate without having to take out loans.

Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
None, although I could probably get certified as a base programmer and modeler for SAS.

6) Your target programs.
MIT, UPenn, HBS, Stanford, UVA

7) Your post-MBA goal.
Start a content-based affiliate marketing company for financial products.

2/21/12
BWTrey:

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
Six years of experience in consumer finance (think American Express, Discover), with three years of management experience. Currently a senior manager, with trajectory to director by the end of 2012.

2) Your GMAT.
760

College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation.
Economics degree from UVA, 3.4 GPA overall, 3.6 GPA for major

Hello BW Trey,

Obviously your stats are fine for your target schools. It looks like your post-MBA employment is "taken care of" as you plan to start up an enterprise rather than enter a company -- there is a plus and minus (well, not minus, but challenge) to this plan. The plus is that, if it's otherwise feasible and credible, you will not need to rely on the school's recruiting and they won't have to worry about whether you can/will get a job post-MBA (a not insignificant point for them); the challenge is that you must make a credible case for the start-up -- that you understand what's involved, etc.

The working during college will cover you for not having other activities and indeed will be seen as a plus -- evidence of maturity, responsibility, etc. On the other hand, lack of extracurricular involvement post-college will be a drawback for schools of this caliber -- perhaps not make-or-break if other aspects of the application are highly compelling, but something to consider.

Your career trajectory looks very strong -- I assume you're pursuing the MBA for entrepreneurial purposes; otherwise, your position level (though not your length of tenure) seems almost better for EMBA peers.

SO overall -- qualified, though keep in mind all except perhaps UVA are still relative reaches because of how competitive they are. If you have time you might want to add another program great for entrepreneurship, like Anderson.

Best wishes,

Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
None - I worked to put myself through college, which along with a couple of scholarships allowed me to graduate without having to take out loans.

Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
None, although I could probably get certified as a base programmer and modeler for SAS.

6) Your target programs.
MIT, UPenn, HBS, Stanford, UVA

7) Your post-MBA goal.
Start a content-based affiliate marketing company for financial products.

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

2/19/12

Any knowledge of 3-year JD/MBA program (Penn/Wharton, CLS/CBS, NW/Kellogg) work experience requirements? More lenient than normal MBA? If so, how much more lenient?

2/20/12
Prim.er.ate:

Any knowledge of 3-year JD/MBA program (Penn/Wharton, CLS/CBS, NW/Kellogg) work experience requirements? More lenient than normal MBA? If so, how much more lenient?

Not much. The average is 4 years. In the recent WHarton/Penn JD chat with Colleen France at Accepted, she addressed this question:

" Because the applications are reviewed from each the Law school and the Wharton school, the general guidelines and requirements for getting in to each program need to be met for the JD/MBA candidates. That said, there's actually no work experience requirement at Wharton. It is a number that comes out to about four years of work experience just based on the time that people are ready to join business school and think about their career options for graduate education. The general work experience for the JD/MBA students also falls around four years but we do have students in the program who have less than two years work experience.

"Typically, what we are looking for is leadership capabilities, professionalism skills, and knowing how to work on a team. Things that having professional work experience afford people, that they may not get during undergrad. That is really the reason and the rationale behind the work experience. It is not like a magic or required number that is put forth to students.

"Students who have really involved undergraduate extracurricular activities, or maybe they have really involved internships where they took on leadership roles and they were given a lot of responsibility that are sort of, "beyond their years" can feel free to apply to the program. That said, it is really rare for students to go straight through from undergrad to business school. Typically, they feel that they are not able to as greatly contribute to the class because they do not bring that real world experience to the classroom and to their learning teams and things like that."

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/21/12
Prim.er.ate:

Any knowledge of 3-year JD/MBA program (Penn/Wharton, CLS/CBS, NW/Kellogg) work experience requirements? More lenient than normal MBA? If so, how much more lenient?

Hello,

I wouldn't say that the JD/MBA combo would change the work requirements from the regular MBA preferences/requirements. Rather, I would say that each program you apply to will view your application holistically, so, for the MBA portion, if you have experience on the shorter end of what they're looking for, but you make a solid and credible case for why you need the MBA now as part of your joint program, that's what to focus on. If the MBA program has a firm requirement for minimum experience, I don't know whether they would alter that for a joint-program applicant. But schools sometimes are willing to be flexible about a policy and accommodate an applicant. I suggest talking to the adcoms of your schools of interest to learn their particulars and explain your situation -- it could well vary school to school.

Best wishes,

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

2/20/12

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
2 years investment banking analyst at LA bulge bracket (Citi, BAML, JPM)
2 years private equity associate at west coast middle market firm

2) Your GMAT.
740 (48Q 44V 5.5 AWA)

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.
2 years at military academy, Division I athlete. 3.5 cumulative GPA as engineering major
Transferred to top UC (UCLA, Berkeley) and majored in mathematics/economics. 3.6 GPA

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
2 years active duty in military

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

6) Your target programs.
Tier I: Stanford, Harvard, Wharton
Tier II: Columbia, Tuck, Sloan, Booth, Yale

7) Your post-MBA goal.
West Coast Private Equity - megafund or middle market

Thank you in advance, I really appreciate your insight.

2/21/12

*1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
1.5 years at Biotech as Engineer
2 years in F500 FP&A: promoted very quickly in 8 months

*2) Your GMAT.
750

*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.
Top 15 Engineering Program - 3.0 GPA, 3.1 Major GPA, Biomedical (Mechanical) Engineering 2009

*4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Multiple scholarships
Post-college: volunteer and help to fundraise

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

*6) Your target programs.
Booth, Wharton, Kellogg, Sloan, Stanford, Tuck, Ross

*7) Your post-MBA goal.
Equity research or Corporate Strategy

2/24/12
Smahr11:

*1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
1.5 years at Biotech as Engineer
2 years in F500 FP&A: promoted very quickly in 8 months

*2) Your GMAT.
750

*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.
Top 15 Engineering Program - 3.0 GPA, 3.1 Major GPA, Biomedical (Mechanical) Engineering 2009

*4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Multiple scholarships
Post-college: volunteer and help to fundraise

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

*6) Your target programs.
Booth, Wharton, Kellogg, Sloan, Stanford, Tuck, Ross

*7) Your post-MBA goal.
Equity research or Corporate Strategy

Smahr11,
Unless your schools is one known for a particularly hard grading curve, I think you are aiming a little high. I would drop MIT from the list and then choose 2-3 of the others and then add 2-3 slightly less demanding programs for the other 2-3 schools that you will apply to. check out Cornell Johnson, Darden, and UNC. You might also want to consider NYU Stern, but it's not much easier than the ones on your list already.

The other possible approach is to try to further mitigate your GPA. Your GMAT certainly helps a LOT. As does time, your work experience, and the CFA. We have a lot of resources at Accepted with advice for those with a low GPA. If you go to Accepted and do a site search for "low GPA" it will pop up. I will also touch on it in an upcoming webinar that we will announce shortly.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

2/23/12

Note that this is partially hypothetical, but I expect it to be very close to reality over the next couple of years. I plan to apply in 2 years.

1) 1yr Finance Analyst Rotational program at large commercial bank, 1yr as finance analyst in corporate & institutional banking, 1yr as senior finance analyst in corporate & institutional banking (expected)
2) 720 (expected)
3) The Ohio State University, 3.51, Finance and Accounting majors with Econ minor, graduated in 2011
4) Grew a community service organization from 8 to 80 members in four years, planned large wine-tasting fundraiser, traveled to Lima, Peru for service project, basically built club from the ground up (not an easy task at a school with 50k students)
Studied abroad in Hong Kong for 4 months
Member of Accounting Association and a couple other insignificant clubs
Post-graduation...nothing yet, but I am working on founding a young professional organization in my city
5) N/A
6) Reach: UChicago, Northwestern, MIT; Target: Duke, Michigan, Carnegie Mellon, Yale
7) Switch careers to either management consulting or private equity

Thanks!

2/25/12
chocotaco99:

Note that this is partially hypothetical, but I expect it to be very close to reality over the next couple of years. I plan to apply in 2 years.

1) 1yr Finance Analyst Rotational program at large commercial bank, 1yr as finance analyst in corporate & institutional banking, 1yr as senior finance analyst in corporate & institutional banking (expected)
2) 720 (expected)
3) The Ohio State University, 3.51, Finance and Accounting majors with Econ minor, graduated in 2011
4) Grew a community service organization from 8 to 80 members in four years, planned large wine-tasting fundraiser, traveled to Lima, Peru for service project, basically built club from the ground up (not an easy task at a school with 50k students)
Studied abroad in Hong Kong for 4 months
Member of Accounting Association and a couple other insignificant clubs
Post-graduation...nothing yet, but I am working on founding a young professional organization in my city
5) N/A
6) Reach: UChicago, Northwestern, MIT; Target: Duke, Michigan, Carnegie Mellon, Yale
7) Switch careers to either management consulting or private equity

Thanks!

Hello,

So far so good -- your strong community leadership is especially commendable and will benefit your applications. Your target schools seem appropriate -- as much as can be said from this distance of ~ 2 years out. However, Northwestern prefers generally more seasoned applicants, so you might be a bit young for that program. But it could still be a reasonable reach . Also, Yale has been getting pretty competitive; it might be actually more of a (reasonable) reach than a target.

To be a viable candidate, in the next couple of years seek out opportunities at work for leadership -- informal leadership is fine, in fact it can demonstrate initiative, creative problem solving, etc., as well as the actual leadership. Also, take steps in your work to prepare for CREDIBLY describing your goals for either PE or consulting. Since you're currently undecided, I imagine you have to sort of consider both. But in your applications you will have to make a compelling case for your goals, and so gaining related skills, experiences, and perspectives now will greatly facilitate that process.

Also, practice for the GMAT ahead of time. I think you'd want to approach these apps with at least a 720.

Best wishes --

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

2/24/12

Hi Linda and Cindy,

Here are my answers to the questions.

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

2 years as an engineer
One year in advisory for Big4, servicing clients in the financial industry

2) Your GMAT

I have a GRE score of 800Q 720V 4.0W

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.

Undergraduate: Top 15 engineering, majored in mech. engineering, 3.75 GPA
Graduate: master's in industrial engineering from one of the M7 schools, 3.70 GPA

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

Served as a professional invitee for events of a national ethnic professional organization for college students. Attended local events and helped guide college students regarding career advices, etc.

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

Currently studying for CFA Level 1

6) Your target programs.

MIT, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Columbia, Cornell, Duke

7) Your post-MBA goal.

I'd like to get into management consulting first, and then eventually move into a corporate strategy / development role for an engineering / technology firm.

Thank you so much!!

2/25/12
redpringles:

Hi Linda and Cindy,

Here are my answers to the questions.

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

2 years as an engineer
One year in advisory for Big4, servicing clients in the financial industry

2) Your GMAT

I have a GRE score of 800Q 720V 4.0W

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.

Undergraduate: Top 15 engineering, majored in mech. engineering, 3.75 GPA
Graduate: master's in industrial engineering from one of the M7 schools, 3.70 GPA

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

Served as a professional invitee for events of a national ethnic professional organization for college students. Attended local events and helped guide college students regarding career advices, etc.

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

Currently studying for CFA Level 1

6) Your target programs.

MIT, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Columbia, Cornell, Duke

7) Your post-MBA goal.

I'd like to get into management consulting first, and then eventually move into a corporate strategy / development role for an engineering / technology firm.

Thank you so much!!

Hello,

You mention a range of schools, and for the most competitive among them such as Stanford and Wharton, high stats and level of work experience are basic qualifiers. What will make you competitive, given the basic qualifications, are factors such as the quality of your leadership and impact at work; also, particularly for Stanford but other top programs as well, what insights and perspectives you bring to the table from your experiences and accomplishments. Also to be competitive for these top programs it is important to do more than make a reasonable and fundamentally credible case for your goals -- you should provide a vision or sense of purpose for what you hope to accomplish and what impact you hope to have. The Accepted.com website has some excellent resources for making a compelling goals presentation. If you have strength in these areas -- and you effectively communicate it in your essays -- the programs you mention would be appropriate targets. They range, as they should, from significant but perhaps reasonable reach such as Stanford to schools bordering reasonable reach an on-par such as Duke.

Best wishes--

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

2/25/12

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
2 years investment banking analyst at LA bulge bracket (Citi, BAML, JPM)
2 years private equity associate at west coast middle market firm

2) Your GMAT.
740 (48Q 44V 5.5 AWA)

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.
2 years at military academy, Division I athlete. 3.5 cumulative GPA as engineering major
Transferred to top UC (UCLA, Berkeley) and majored in mathematics/economics. 3.6 GPA

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
2 years active duty in military

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

6) Your target programs.
Tier I: Stanford, Harvard, Wharton
Tier II: Columbia, Tuck, Sloan, Booth, Yale

7) Your post-MBA goal.
West Coast Private Equity - megafund or middle market

Thank you in advance, I really appreciate your insight.

2/27/12
Becks7:

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
2 years investment banking analyst at LA bulge bracket (Citi, BAML, JPM)
2 years private equity associate at west coast middle market firm

2) Your GMAT.
740 (48Q 44V 5.5 AWA)

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.
2 years at military academy, Division I athlete. 3.5 cumulative GPA as engineering major
Transferred to top UC (UCLA, Berkeley) and majored in mathematics/economics. 3.6 GPA

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
2 years active duty in military

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

6) Your target programs.
Tier I: Stanford, Harvard, Wharton
Tier II: Columbia, Tuck, Sloan, Booth, Yale

7) Your post-MBA goal.
West Coast Private Equity - megafund or middle market

Thank you in advance, I really appreciate your insight.

Hello,

Congratulations on a stellar record overall -- you're well positioned as a credible and competitive applicant to the top programs you cite.

That said ... being qualified (even well qualified) for programs of this level (including those Tier II's) is only step one. To optimize your considerable strengths, I suggest spending some time strategizing your applications on the macro level first: How will you DEMONSTRATE stand-out performance at work? How will you elaborate on your goals -- including your motivation and vision for them? What are your most significant impacts at work, in community service, in your active duty? Your military training and experience combined with private sector and community experience must provide some special insights about leadership -- that would be one valuable contribution to bring to the MBA table. Keep in mind that it's not the fact of your having done X or Y, but what you've gleaned from it that is the real contribution, so plan to weave these insights/reflections into your essays. Once you've fleshed out your overall strategy, adapt it to the specific programs as you prepare the applications.

Best wishes!

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

2/27/12

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
- Retail buyer/merchandiser for ecommerce company, yearly revenue increased from $14MM to $34MM in 3 years.
- Promoted for CFO, held position for 12 months, continued growth but left after I was given no possibility of ownership incentive, but left on good terms with owners
- Currently, a credit analyst at a $6 billion AUM hedge fund for the past 6 months

2) Your test score
- Have not taken yet. not a great standardized test taker. will be happy with anything over 670. I will study hard and try my best though.

3) College info
- Small no name liberal arts college, 3.5 GPA Economics, Class of 2008

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
- Vice President of College Investment Club ($100,000 under management) during senior year
- Currently on Board of Directors for a non profit covering athletics for mentally challenged adults/children

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
- none

6) Your target programs.
- Kellogg? Tuck? Probably reaches. Maybe Fuqua, or Darden. Perhaps you can point me in the right direction, not just from a feasibility standpoint, but what school fits my "profile" the best.

7) Your post-MBA goal.
Ecommerce focused venture capital is the ultimate goal.

2/28/12
Patootie:

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
- Retail buyer/merchandiser for ecommerce company, yearly revenue increased from $14MM to $34MM in 3 years.
- Promoted for CFO, held position for 12 months, continued growth but left after I was given no possibility of ownership incentive, but left on good terms with owners
- Currently, a credit analyst at a $6 billion AUM hedge fund for the past 6 months

2) Your test score
- Have not taken yet. not a great standardized test taker. will be happy with anything over 670. I will study hard and try my best though.

3) College info
- Small no name liberal arts college, 3.5 GPA Economics, Class of 2008

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
- Vice President of College Investment Club ($100,000 under management) during senior year
- Currently on Board of Directors for a non profit covering athletics for mentally challenged adults/children

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
- none

6) Your target programs.
- Kellogg? Tuck? Probably reaches. Maybe Fuqua, or Darden. Perhaps you can point me in the right direction, not just from a feasibility standpoint, but what school fits my "profile" the best.

7) Your post-MBA goal.
Ecommerce focused venture capital is the ultimate goal.

Hello,

I'm a bit unclear about your immediate post-MBA goal -- by "ultimate" I assume you mean longer term, not necessarily right after b-school (though I imagine you'd be pleased for an immediate VC opportunity!). You're surely aware that post-MBA VC opportunities are rare, so you would need to cast a wider net for this job, and related positions could either be in the ecommerce industry itself or PE, for example.

Either way, with a target GMAT of 670, the schools you mention may be out of range. I'd consider possible on-par programs to be Rochester's Simon or Georgetown's McDonough, and reasonable reaches to be Darden, maybe UCLA or Duke.

Your work experience is interesting (a plus) but could also seem a bit divergent. In your application, be sure weave that experience together in a coherent story vis-a-vis your goals.

Best wishes!

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

2/28/12

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
Portfolio m anagement in bulge brackets (Goldm an, Bla ckRock) (4years now)

2) Your test score.
Haven't taken it yet - Aiming for 700+

3) College info:
U IUC 3.6/4.0. Some honor societies. Harvard transfer summer courses.

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Volunteering activity, trading competitions, leaders in student organizations

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
Series 7

6) Your target programs.
Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge

7) Your post-MBA goal.
Specializing in Emerging Market funds.

2/29/12
FunFundedFund:

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
Portfolio m anagement in bulge brackets (Goldm an, Bla ckRock) (4years now)

2) Your test score.
Haven't taken it yet - Aiming for 700+

3) College info:
U IUC 3.6/4.0. Some honor societies. Harvard transfer summer courses.

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Volunteering activity, trading competitions, leaders in student organizations

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
Series 7

6) Your target programs.
Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge

7) Your post-MBA goal.
Specializing in Emerging Market funds.

Hello,

I couldn't tell from your write-up how extensive your post-college extracurricular involvement is. IF it is relatively strong, IF your career demonstrates clear leadership and impact (and your position itself is a differentiator within finance), and IF you score 700+ on GMAT, I'd consider HBS a good target for a reasonable reach (it's basically that for everyone, even if it's technically on-par by the stats). I believe you would be a strong candidate for the two remaining schools, and they would also be excellent programs for your goals. For any applications, try to portray the perspective and insights from your work experience with anecdote, example, and detail, to make this position really vivid to the reader.

Best wishes,

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

2/29/12

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
Only 1 year out of undergrad, past experience include 1 year consulting at a start-up, various legal/federal judicial internships
1 year at Bulge Bracket doing M&A, top-bucket analyst, will be applying in a year or two

2) Your GMAT.
750

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.
Ivy League, 3.95, Social Sciences, with honors, recent grad

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Founded a fund while in undergrad (still operating)
Officer/exec position in undergrad finance-related clubs
Worked multiple jobs to support self through college
Volunteer with non-profit

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

6) Your target programs.
HBS (already admitted at Harvard Law School, aiming for JD/MBA)

7) Your post-MBA goal.
Financial regulations / PE

2/29/12
gdxx:

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
Only 1 year out of undergrad, past experience include 1 year consulting at a start-up, various legal/federal judicial internships
1 year at Bulge Bracket doing M&A, top-bucket analyst, will be applying in a year or two

2) Your GMAT.
750

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.
Ivy League, 3.95, Social Sciences, with honors, recent grad

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Founded a fund while in undergrad (still operating)
Officer/exec position in undergrad finance-related clubs
Worked multiple jobs to support self through college
Volunteer with non-profit

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

6) Your target programs.
HBS (already admitted at Harvard Law School, aiming for JD/MBA)

7) Your post-MBA goal.
Financial regulations / PE

Hello,

Most likely I'd consider you a strong applicant for HBS. The qualification is only due to the fact that I don't know your actual work track record, and "volunteer with non-profit" is vague -- it could be an hour every other month at a soup kitchen or 2 hours a week tutoring disadvantaged kids at a local organization you founded. But at this point, 1-2 years out from your application, you've got time to address these areas if they're not as strong as they could be: continue to seek out opportunities at work and outside work for demonstrable leadership (formal OR informal) and impact. Bringing much strength in these areas would clinch it to make you a strong contender for HBS. Not that I would ever say HBS is a given, even for the strongest applicants. Last but not least, to optimize your strengths, you need to pull them all together in a coherent and compelling application -- presentation matters, especially for a school that rejects most of the qualified applicants.

Best wishes,

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

2/29/12

1) 2.5 years as a derivatives trader at a Chicago prop shop
2) 740 GMAT
3) College info: Georgia Tech, 3.53 Cumulative GPA 3.90 Major GPA, Finance, 2009
4) College ECs: Student managed investment fund, Financial Math research Group, intramural sports
Other ECs: Math tutor for at-risk, inner-city youth. Have done this weekly for 2 years in Chicago.
5) Passed CFA level I
6) Wharton, Booth, MIT, NYU
7) Hedge Fund

Thanks!

2/29/12
Tiger Blood:

1) 2.5 years as a derivatives trader at a Chicago prop shop
2) 740 GMAT
3) College info: Georgia Tech, 3.53 Cumulative GPA 3.90 Major GPA, Finance, 2009
4) College ECs: Student managed investment fund, Financial Math research Group, intramural sports
Other ECs: Math tutor for at-risk, inner-city youth. Have done this weekly for 2 years in Chicago.
5) Passed CFA level I
6) Wharton, Booth, MIT, NYU
7) Hedge Fund

Thanks!

Hello,

Everything looks good for the target schools. As long as you can demonstrate strong leadership (formal or informal) at work plus impact, they're appropriate selections and obviously great for your goals. These schools are also really different and distinctive, so be sure to align and tailor your applications and essays to the specific schools, reflecting their values and culture. Also bear in mind that these schools reject many, actually most, qualified applicants, so prepare to spend good time and effort on the applications to make them your absolute best.

Best wishes,

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

2/29/12

1) 2 years big 4 Financial Services Tax, about to accept a job with NYU doing budget/financial analysist and reporting work, would be applying to Stern a year from now
2) 740
3) College info: BS Business Admin, Concentration Accounting - 3.9 GPA, tiny school nobody has heard of. MAccy from Rutgers, 4.0
4) College: competitive business team which ran projects to teach people about free market enterprise and presented those projects, made it to semi-finalist at nationals
Other EC stuff, but not business related - e.g., was on the intramural equestrian team
5) CPA
6) NYUPart-Time
7) Would love to pursue VC or maybe PE work; if I can't land something like that, I will look to equity research, hedge funds and corporate rotation leadership programs. Hoping to get a stronger feel for what is the best fit as I study more.

2/29/12
krimany:

1) 2 years big 4 Financial Services Tax, about to accept a job with NYU doing budget/financial analysist and reporting work, would be applying to Stern a year from now
2) 740
3) College info: BS Business Admin, Concentration Accounting - 3.9 GPA, tiny school nobody has heard of. MAccy from Rutgers, 4.0
4) College: competitive business team which ran projects to teach people about free market enterprise and presented those projects, made it to semi-finalist at nationals
Other EC stuff, but not business related - e.g., was on the intramural equestrian team
5) CPA
6) NYUPart-Time
7) Would love to pursue VC or maybe PE work; if I can't land something like that, I will look to equity research, hedge funds and corporate rotation leadership programs. Hoping to get a stronger feel for what is the best fit as I study more.

Hello,

On a personal note I love that Langone program; as a New Yorker I work with many applicants there and they're a truly dynamic group!

I suggest that you shape up a more coherent idea for your goals before applying-- or focus on the option that appeals to you most. MBA programs generally want to see a clear vision for your goals when you apply (even though they know that people often change it during school).

An important point when applying to PT programs is your current work -- this is what you'll bring to the classrooms, so make discussion of it as engaging as possible.

From the information you've provided I believe you're a qualified and competitive applicant for the program, assuming a focused goals essay.

Best wishes,

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

4/5/12

Dear Both,

Myself: Singaporean, 30 yrs old, 5yrs experience, currently works in Hong Kong.
1) Senior Manager, Corporate Finance, 3-tier Hong Kong listed Company, 3 juniors under direct supervision.
3 promotions over 5 yrs. 2 different Companies. Same industry and worked in Singapore and Hong Kong.
2) GMAT 720 (did not write AWA)
3) Monash Australia. Banking and Finance (Avg 65-70% (69% i think) in score, Honours, 2nd lower), no extenuating circumstances
4) University Staff tutor. Military Officer (Singapore) 2.5 yrs, completed Standchart full Marathon, volunteer work in 2009 (for 1 yr) in Hong Kong but not for an internationally recognised group
5) Only passed CFA level 1, do not plan to include this bit in my application
6) INSEAD 2013 Jan
7) Major investment banks

Additional Questions:
(1) Does being a Singaporean reduce or increase my chances of being selected?
(2) Only passed CFA 1 and only did a brief volunteer work, I think I will leave this bit out in my application. Agree?

4/6/12
edwin246:

Dear Both,

Myself: Singaporean, 30 yrs old, 5yrs experience, currently works in Hong Kong.
1) Senior Manager, Corporate Finance, 3-tier Hong Kong listed Company, 3 juniors under direct supervision.
3 promotions over 5 yrs. 2 different Companies. Same industry and worked in Singapore and Hong Kong.
2) GMAT 720 (did not write AWA)
3) Monash Australia. Banking and Finance (Avg 65-70% (69% i think) in score, Honours, 2nd lower), no extenuating circumstances
4) University Staff tutor. Military Officer (Singapore) 2.5 yrs, completed Standchart full Marathon, volunteer work in 2009 (for 1 yr) in Hong Kong but not for an internationally recognised group
5) Only passed CFA level 1, do not plan to include this bit in my application
6) INSEAD 2013 Jan
7) Major investment banks

Additional Questions:
(1) Does being a Singaporean reduce or increase my chances of being selected?
(2) Only passed CFA 1 and only did a brief volunteer work, I think I will leave this bit out in my application. Agree?

Hello,

I do consider you a competitive applicant for Insead from the information provided. While your work experience looks strong, a part of that consideration for the adcom will be based on your actual track record of impact and leadership, not just title and company, so be sure to delineate those aspects in your application. Being a SIngaporean would neither reduce nor increase your chances with Insead. I would suggest mentioning CFA 1, as it;'s relevant even if not "WOW" level; it's simply part of your candidacy because directly linked to work. As for the brief volunteer work, it depends on how brief and when. If it's like volunteering for one weekend at a soup kitchen or spending one day building with Habitat for Humanity, then I agree you should leave it out. If it's six months of coaching a sport for school kids post college, then I'd suggest adding it.

Good luck with Insead!

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

4/5/12

0) Demographic

23 yo Asian male (international) working in the US on a work visa

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

Entry-level analyst at MBB in the US Northeast region

2) Your test score.

770 (Q51 V45), 5.5 AWA

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.

HYPMS, 3.95, operations / industrial engineering (minor in comp sci & bio), 2011

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

This is probably the area that I am most uncertain about. How good does it have to be?

Fellowship at a nonprofit summer before full time employment
Leadership board of a committee at the same nonprofit org (co-founder of the committee)
College local alumni network lead
Some informal leadership shown at my company's local office (e.g., organizing events/retreats, etc.)

This is more for personal satisfaction and I don't have any formal titles to show for it, but in the process of writing a book with a couple of my friends whom I asked to get involved. It will have some relation to education in the US. Will probably not be finished before I apply.

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

6) Your target programs.

HBS, Stanford GSB

7) Your post-MBA goal.

Will come back to my firm for a few years, but afterwards, not certain yet. Maybe go full time into education (start-up?). Or may go into a corporate job with a side gig in education.

Thanks for your time and comments.

4/6/12
wjdgusqls:

0) Demographic

23 yo Asian male (international) working in the US on a work visa

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

Entry-level analyst at MBB in the US Northeast region

2) Your test score.

770 (Q51 V45), 5.5 AWA

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.

HYPMS, 3.95, operations / industrial engineering (minor in comp sci & bio), 2011

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

This is probably the area that I am most uncertain about. How good does it have to be?

Fellowship at a nonprofit summer before full time employment
Leadership board of a committee at the same nonprofit org (co-founder of the committee)
College local alumni network lead
Some informal leadership shown at my company's local office (e.g., organizing events/retreats, etc.)

This is more for personal satisfaction and I don't have any formal titles to show for it, but in the process of writing a book with a couple of my friends whom I asked to get involved. It will have some relation to education in the US. Will probably not be finished before I apply.

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

6) Your target programs.

HBS, Stanford GSB

7) Your post-MBA goal.

Will come back to my firm for a few years, but afterwards, not certain yet. Maybe go full time into education (start-up?). Or may go into a corporate job with a side gig in education.

Thanks for your time and comments.

Hello,

First, congratulations on stellar academics and GMAT. To me it appears that your extracurricular involvements are interesting and strong enough to satisfy that aspect of your candidacy and perhaps more so. I suggest continuing the alumni and board leadership roles. As for the book, I don't know enough to advise on whether to add it as an activity, but since it's an issue you're informed and passionate about, discussion of it in that context might be good content for certain essay questions. Certainly the schools you are targeting value well-rounded intellectual and social engagement.

I do think you'll need to have a long-term career vision or goal -- it needn't be ridiculous, like you know exactly what you'll be doing and where fifteen years hence, but you do need some sense of direction beyond the first few years post-MBA.

For the schools you mention, you're more than qualified by the numbers. Your track record at work must also be standout -- strong and impactful compared to accomplished peers. Moreover, your essays must not just report accomplishment but show you to be a thoughtful person who "brings something to the table" intellectually, socially, and personally -- in other words, a person with something to say, a point of view, a unique perspective.

Good luck!

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

4/6/12

Thanks Cindy. Really appreciate it.

4/7/12
edwin246:

Thanks Cindy. Really appreciate it.

My pleasure! Have a great weekend.

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Editor, Accepted.com

10/13/12

Hi Linda,
Below are my details:

1) Currently working as Consultant (derivatives/risk management) at a mid-sized firm in New York. Have worked as Fixed-income analyst earlier in Hong Kong.
2) 720
3) Cornell, masters in financial engineering - 3.4. Undergrad from a non-target in India in electrical engineering.
4) Involved in several leadership roles during high school, and college. Led teams of 20+ at certain occasions.
5) Cleared CFA Level 2
6) HBS, Wharton, Chicago, MIT.
7) Private Equity, IB, IM. Long-term own a services business.

Please review. Thanks!

10/14/12

You certainly have a chance at your four target programs, and they are appropriate given your goals. However, there are no safety schools on your list. If you really want to matriculate in September, I suggest you apply to a couple of additional schools (NYU, CBS, and Yale come to mind) Alternatively, if you are not determined to start in September, you can focus on these four now and re-evaluate and re-apply next year, if necessary.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/14/12

26 Year Old, Asian Male

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

1 Year in IBD at lower tier BB (DB/UBS/BAML)
2 Years at top group (GS TMT / MS M&A / GS FIG / BX Restructuring)
2 Years at upper MM PE (Lindsay Goldberg / HIG / Madison Dearborn)

2) Your test score.

780 GMAT

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.

Non-target. STEM Major, 3.96 Cumulative GPA. Graduated in 2008

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

President of a student activities advisory board in college, head of student ambassador program focused minority recruitment within STEM programs

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
Series 79 (for IBD)

6) Your target programs.

HBS, Stanford GSB

7) Your post-MBA goal.

Venture capital or growth equity, looking to shift away from traditional buyout PE

10/15/12
ricottacheese:

26 Year Old, Asian Male

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

1 Year in IBD at lower tier BB (DB/UBS/BAML)
2 Years at top group (GS TMT / MS M&A / GS FIG / BX Restructuring)
2 Years at upper MM PE (Lindsay Goldberg / HIG / Madison Dearborn)

2) Your test score.

780 GMAT

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.

Non-target. STEM Major, 3.96 Cumulative GPA. Graduated in 2008

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

President of a student activities advisory board in college, head of student ambassador program focused minority recruitment within STEM programs

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
Series 79 (for IBD)

6) Your target programs.

HBS, Stanford GSB

7) Your post-MBA goal.

Venture capital or growth equity, looking to shift away from traditional buyout PE

Impressive,

You have a competitive profile for Stanford and HBS. You may also want to consider Wharton and Chicago, maybe MIT Sloan and CBS.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/3/13

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience:
- Currently an BA/AC at MBB
- Expected to be here for 3 years

2) Your test score:
- 740

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:
- University of Toronto
- GPA 3.8
- Bachelor of Commerce 2013

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience:
- President, Marketing Club
- Founder, competitive case prep program serving 2 Canadian schools at the moment, participants went off to secure offers at MBB, OW, Deloitte Consulting, etc.

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
- N/A

6) Your target programs:
- HBS, Stanford, Columbia, INSEAD

7) Your post-MBA goal:
- Strategy at tech company (Google, Facebook, Amazon)

Principles are the only thing that matter in the end. Not competition, not emotions. Principles.

12/3/13

I think you have the foundation to be a competitive applicant at all your target schools. INSEAD will almost surely require international or multi-cultural exposure too and the others will like to see it.

Keep up the good work!

Best,
Linda Abraham

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/4/13

Thank you Linda, appreciate the prompt response!

Principles are the only thing that matter in the end. Not competition, not emotions. Principles.

12/3/13

I'm just curious, but could you comment on the viability of an MBA down the line for someone with an advanced degree? I'll be finishing a PhD from a top school (MIT/Caltech/Stanford) in engineering and have accepted a quantitative/high-frequency trading role after I graduate. I can envision a couple of different situations where after two to three years an EMBA or even an outright full-time MBA would be attractive. How to adcoms view PhDs, and how should I try to position myself if that is a path I want to explore some more?

12/3/13

Interesting question. Thanks for posting. I just interviewed Paula Chambers from The Versatile PhD for our podcast and her mission is making PhDs aware of opportunities for them outside of academia.

Business schools are very open to PhD candidates as long as they have a goal that requires an MBA in addition to their previous education and can show research or work//volunteer experience that a future employer will value. Qualitatively that experience should demonstrate leadership and organizational ability. (Actually that was one of the points Paula Chambers made in the interview)

One specific program you may want to look into is Cornell Johnson's Accelerated MBA for people with advanced degrees. It is a full-time 15-month program and designed for people like you. There is also the EMBA option and there are also the Sloan Fellows programs, but those programs usually prefer more full-time work experience it seems you will have in 2-3 years. You can obviously check with those programs and see if you are potential fit or not.

Finally, realize that in general full-time MBA programs are better at facilitating career change. EMBA programs are great for facilitating career advancement and perhaps functional change in the same industry. They are also geared towards those already in middle management (or higher ) roles.

I hope this answered your question.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/3/13

Hi,

I'm from Turkey. I graduated from the top university of my country. My major was Mechanical Engineering. It is the most difficult major. I managed to finish in 4 years, but my GPA was low at 2.68.

I have been working for 3 years at the #1 bank of the country by far in the Corporate Banking department. First 2 years, I was a customer relationship manager. Then I got a promotion and became a senior crm. It is one of the most prestigous positions in the bank.

On my GMAT, I scored 730. I'm interested in top MBA programs. Which schools would I be able to get in? By the way,I think top 5 is out the reach, but could you comment on my chances with these schools: Anderson, Stern, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon

12/3/13

I might have responded to you on BW, but here goes (again). I believe you would be competitive at Anderson, Cornell, and CMU. Stern is a bit of a stretch, but worth a try, especially if you would like to stay in finance.

While your GMAT is high (congrats!) you need to address your undergrad GPA. If there were extenuating circumstances, let the admissions committee know about them. Also let them know that those circumstances no longer exist or that you have matured and now know how to handle them. If you can point to recent A's or evidence that you know how to apply yourself academically, that too will help you.

Best,
Linda

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/4/13

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
3 years: Investment banking Analyst at boutique -- Generalist
1 year: Investment banking Associate at boutique (promoted) -- Generalist

1 year: Sr. Analyst at F500 in Strategy -- Consumer Products/Retail co. (think Sears, Kraft, Walgreens)

1 year: Sr. Analyst at F500 in Finance -- Financial Services co. (think Discover, Allstate)
1 year: Manager at F500 in Finance (promoted) -- Financial Services co. (think Discover, Allstate)

2) Your test score.
GMAT: 680

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.
Indiana University: 2.9 gpa, Finance, 2007. Low gpa result of passing away of a parent, worked 40+ hr/weeks throughout (2 jobs each week), plus I should've just focused more on academics.

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Held a couple positions on non-profit Associate Boards. Did significant work with one (catholic non-profit for displaced children), not so much with the other (healthcare related).

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
Held Series 7, 79, 63.

6) Your target programs.
Kellogg PT or Booth PT.

7) Your post-MBA goal.
Stay at current job or shoot for a FLDP.

Thanks! Appreciate your insight.

12/4/13

Poff:

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

3 years: Investment banking Analyst at boutique -- Generalist

1 year: Investment banking Associate at boutique (promoted) -- Generalist

1 year: Sr. Analyst at F500 in Strategy -- Consumer Products/Retail co. (think Sears, Kraft, Walgreens)

1 year: Sr. Analyst at F500 in Finance -- Financial Services co. (think Discover, Allstate)

1 year: Manager at F500 in Finance (promoted) -- Financial Services co. (think Discover, Allstate)

2) Your test score.

GMAT: 680

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.

Indiana University: 2.9 gpa, Finance, 2007. Low gpa result of passing away of a parent, worked 40+ hr/weeks throughout (2 jobs each week), plus I should've just focused more on academics.

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

Held a couple positions on non-profit Associate Boards. Did significant work with one (catholic non-profit for displaced children), not so much with the other (healthcare related).

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

Held Series 7, 79, 63.

6) Your target programs.

Kellogg PT or Booth PT.

7) Your post-MBA goal.

Stay at current job or shoot for a FLDP.

Thanks! Appreciate your insight.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/4/13

Thanks for doing this Linda!

*1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
Actuary for 4-5 years at 2 different F100 insurance companies, working on various product lines and company initiatives.

*2) Your test score.
-720 GMAT

*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.
-Trinity College (Hartford) 3.4 GPA, BS in Economics (3.7 GPA in major, took challenging classes outside of major). 2009 graduate

*4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
-3yr starter on varisty football team in college. committee member for actuarial development program and mentor to new hires. volunteer at food bank, soup kitchen, and local parish. various intermural sports teams

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

*6) Your target programs.
Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia

*7) Your post-MBA goal.
PE / VC

Thank you!

12/4/13

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/4/13

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/4/13
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