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Hey Everybody - if any of you are looking for a quality GMAT preparation I'd encourage you to check out our partnership with Veritas Prep here because WSO members get 10% off: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/veritas-gmat-prep-d...

For those of you thinking of an MBA with admissions questions I've spoken with Alex Chu and he has agreed to answer any questions for the WSO community. Any questions you have about the admissions process I'd recommend that you post them here in this thread.

Alex Chu is the founder of MBA Apply, whose clients have gotten admissions to virtually all of the top MBA programs. He is also the author of The MBA Field Guide: How to Get In & What to Expect at the World's Renowned Programs.

A native of Canada, Alex has lived in North Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, and on both coasts of the United States and Canada. Prior to MBA Apply, Alex served as the CFO of a venture-backed animation studio in San Francisco, a role in which he was instrumental in raising two rounds of funding and helping lead the company towards profitability. In addition, he previously worked as an investment banker in the Equity Capital Markets and Mergers & Acquisitions groups at a global investment bank.

Alex holds a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Queen?s University at Kingston. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

Comments (1221)

  • Ganthor's picture

    Hi Alex,
    I am just wondering what your opinion and experience has been in regards to business students who obtain their undergrad degree from a Canadian university and how it impacts admissions for top MBA programs in the US and Europe. I'm currently considering Queens, Schulich, and Ivey for my undergrad degree.

    Thanks.

  • days150's picture

    Hey Alex,

    I am thinking of getting an alternative transcript and am deciding between UC Berkeley Extension and a local community college. If I take it through the extension program, I can retake the courses I've done poorly in (I go to UC Berkeley). What would you suggest?

    Thanks.

  • In reply to Ganthor
    MBAApply's picture

    Ganthor wrote:
    Hi Alex,
    I am just wondering what your opinion and experience has been in regards to business students who obtain their undergrad degree from a Canadian university and how it impacts admissions for top MBA programs in the US and Europe. I'm currently considering Queens, Schulich, and Ivey for my undergrad degree.

    Thanks.

    B-school adcoms are quite aware of the top Canadian schools.

    Traditionally, at schools like HBS, Stanford and Wharton, a disproportionate number of the Canadian students went to McGill or Queen's (anywhere from 40% to 2/3rds, with the balance coming from a hodgepodge -- US Ivies, UT, UBC, etc.). This was also due more to self-selection, as those who tended to apply were not commerce undergrads, but arts/sci or engineers who worked at top tier banking or consulting firms - and that the only non-commerce/BBA folks they'd hire are from McGill or Queen's). Also, even though Ivey undergrad is well regarded, there are relatively few (or none) at the top schools - but more likely due to self-selection as well -- unlike the US, a lot of commerce/BBAs in Canada don't bother doing an MBA. Even when I was at Queen's, I don't think anyone in Queen's commerce bothered to apply to an MBA program. Mostly econ, arts/sci, and engineers.

    My advice is to choose the school that will give you the best shot of getting the job that you want coming out of undergrad. Focus on undergrad recruiting/placement for now.

    I know it's easy to become preoccupied with the consequences of your choices 15 steps ahead, but try and focus on what is actually in front of you now - if you're still in high school, that means focusing on that

    Alex Chu
    www.mbaapply.com

  • In reply to days150
    MBAApply's picture

    days150 wrote:
    Hey Alex,

    I am thinking of getting an alternative transcript and am deciding between UC Berkeley Extension and a local community college. If I take it through the extension program, I can retake the courses I've done poorly in (I go to UC Berkeley). What would you suggest?

    Thanks.

    It doesn't really matter between the two. Just pick the one that best suits your schedule.

    Alex Chu
    www.mbaapply.com

  • In reply to MarginCalling
    MBAApply's picture

    MarginCalling wrote:
    Alex,

    What's the best thing I can do between now and this fall to enhance my chances of being accepted at a top 5 school? (other than essays or GMAT. if it matters, 2 yrs hedge fund exp, mediocre work exp and academics vs peer group.)

    Thanks.

    To be honest, not a whole lot other than essays and GMAT. There's no such thing as "instant leadership" or "instant achievements" that won't look like window dressing, especially compared to other applicants who have bona fide accomplishments that were a culmination of years' of hard work, setbacks, and focus.

    You doesn't compete for the Olympic trials today because you decided a few months ago to "pick up the sport". It's years (if not decades) of intermediate milestones and hours spent.

    You don't produce a documentary that gets screened in multiple film festivals (even if it's a shitty film) just because you decided on a whim to do it. It takes years of planning and execution and dedication.

    You don't become a decorated military officer without going through years of training and service (i.e. you don't win the Bronze Star in your first month of service).

    You don't win community service awards for starting something a few months prior. It takes years for people to entrust themselves to your leadership.

    The greater the magnitude of the achievement, the more it's going to cost you in terms of commitment, sacrifice, and enduring setbacks along the way.

    Dedication and conviction is what puts you in a position to achieve something you're proud of. That's what makes people (whether it's adcoms, recruiters, etc.) notice.

    Alex Chu
    www.mbaapply.com

  • BigBear85's picture

    Hello Alex,

    I'll be joining Teach for America this upcoming Fall and I'd be quite interested in getting an MBA sometime in the future. As an incentive of being a part of TFA, many graduate schools offer 2 year programs to receive a Masters in Education during our corps commitment.

    I was wondering how having a M.Ed would affect someone's candidacy when applying to business school (i.e. would it be looked upon as... "what in the world, why would this person want an MBA?")

  • TheFullMonte's picture

    Hey Alex,

    I am currently a rising senior that attends a very average large state school. Full time job prospects look bleak, so I was considering getting a Masters in Finance from Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, or Vanderbilt. Would a Msc in Finance help in terms of Bschool admissions, or would it be better to take a position at a Middle Market firm?

    Thanks!

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