Ask mbaMission about Business School Admissions

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  • Three years experience at matriculation as a Prop Trader working for one of the larger proprietary trading firms (Think Jump/DRW/SIG). Promoted once.
  • GMAT practice scores have been between 700 and 750
  • Graduated from top Canadian university (McGill/UofT) with a 3.25 GPA. Did bad in my first year and then GPA trended up
  • Board member for 2 years on a non-profit after university and Finance Director for a student run club during university
  • Passed all three levels of the CFA
  • Post MBA goal is Investment Banking or Consulting

Which schools should I target in the US? Do I have a chance at M7? Should I apply after I have a few more years of experience or is three years sufficient?

 

Hi tz15! Thanks for reaching out to us. Three years is sufficient to apply for an MBA, especially if you've had a promotion. Are you still involved with the non-profit? If not, can you restart that or join something similar? Would be great to show leadership in an activity like that. Your GPA will be on the low end for MBA business schools">M7 schools, so definitely focus on getting that high GMAT! The CFA, and upward trend, helps too. If you can get a 730 or higher then I would give some MBA business schools">M7 schools a shot. Outside the MBA business schools">M7, look at schools like Cornell or Stern if you want to pursue banking. Most schools have strong consulting placements but check out ones like Ross for its action based program that is great prep for consulting. Best of luck!

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Let me know what you think of my profile

Undergrad: Top LAC Undergrad, 3.3 GPA in Econ, Pretty good on campus leadership

GMAT: Not taken but assume low 700s, might also consider the GRE as I think I will be able to score much higher

WE: 1.5 years brand name tech, 2 years in Lower MM Tech PE. Lots of good deal experience, recently promoted to Senior Associate

Rec: Recs will be very strong, but none of recs have strong ties to specific business schools.

Misc: Alternative transcript with a few As to offset the low-ish GPA and a board position a a non profit in the area

Post MBA: Looking to get back into tech in a Product Role or continue down the PE/VC path

Target Schools: I know I'm out at H/S, but I'd like to think I have a decent shot at pretty much everywhere else. I'm also planning on pairing the MBA with some type of masters in a tech related field. Think Kellogg MMM type of program.

 

Hi mrburn451! I agree overall you have a strong profile. GPA is not stellar but pretty solid, and the extra classes help. Definitely consider the GRE! Most schools are very accepting of it, especially if you are not planning to recruit for banking or consulting. Your work experience + promotion sound great too. Your recommenders don't need to have ties to b-schools. What's most important is that they know you well, have specific examples showing you standing out against your peers, and are really enthusiastic about you. I think depending on how testing goes, you've got a shot at MBA business schools">M7 programs given your background. Kellogg MMM sounds like a great fit with your goals! Best of luck!

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Hey, thanks so much for doing this. Would appreciate your opinion on my profile.

Undergrad: HYP, 3.8 GPA in the humanities, strong extracurricular presence including a unique skill

GMAT: 730 (willing to take again if that will boost my chances)

WE: Tier 2 consulting firm for 2 years (OW/S&/Deloitte)

Rec: Not sure how to approach this as going to business school would mean I am not returning to my firm. Regardless, I've been a high performer and could find co-workers to write good letters

Post MBA: Hoping to enter corporate strategy or corporate development

Target Schools: HBS, SGSB, and Wharton

 

Hey Wsup! Excellent academic background, and curious what your unique skill is! A higher GMAT never hurts, but I also don't think you need to retake. 2 years is a little light experience wise, though often consulting is a field that draws early career applicants. Have you been promoted in that time? Have project leadership accomplishments? It's ideal to have one recommender be a current supervisor, or for consultants, be a manager / director level who has supervised your work on a project. Any mentors you have at the firm would work too. Most applicants are able to secure these even though applying means they would leave their position, so it's not usually an issue. Try to avoid using co-workers who are at the same level for both letters unless you have to. Overall, you've got a really strong profile. Definitely can be aiming for H/S/W assuming your execution is strong and essays extremely well written. H/S/W only strategy is risky for pretty much any applicant though, so just be aware that you're aiming really high. Feel free to reach out to us for a free consult, or with any other questions!

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Is GPA less important for international students from non-US institutions? Is foreign GPA counted in US news rankings? Does indicating that you want to work in highest paid industries (MBB and IB) help with admissions given that earnings are criteria in USNEWS ranking? Does high GMAT (770+) result in high likelihood being offered significant scholarship when applying to lower tier programs like USC, UT, UNC, Rice? How do Bschools view non-tech entrepreneurs?

 

Hi 5 million,

Thanks for the specific questions!

GPA is important for all applicants. GMAT is easier to compare across both applicants, but both are really important indicators of your academic abilities.

I believe the rankings only include GPAs on a 4.0 scale.

Interesting theory on the earnings, but I don't think that holds true -- so many students change their minds once they get into school so I doubt that's a factor in admissions, certainly not something we looked at when I reviewed admissions files at Booth.

Yes, high GMAT is definitely a factor in scholarships.

B-schools view entrepreneurs equally, you don't need to be in tech. They will want to see that you've got high potential and made an impact, regardless of the industry.

Hope this helps!

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Work Exp: 2 Years FP&A at F100 company, 1 and 1/2 Years Fund Analyst at large (>$10 B) Real Estate Investment Company

GMAT : 760

Top 30 Undergrad, Finance Major, Class of 2014, GPA 3.24 - No special circumstances

EC: College - Immersion Trip, Cancer Fundraiser Committee Member; Post College - Head of Emerging Leaders Group of organization that combats homelessness, real estate professional group committee member that helps organize group volunteering events

Post-MBA goal: Move into real estate acquisitions

Notes:

I'm a white male considering applying either this upcoming summer or the following summer for full-time programs, or waiting for a couple of more years (6-8 total years of experience) and applying to EMBA programs. Given that Real Estate does not have the structured recruiting that IB. Consulting, F500 Rotational Programs have, I am not sure if going full-time makes sense unless I can get into a top school. Additionally, I would prefer to stay in the New England for full-time programs and would like to work in New England after the programs.

Full Time Programs that I am considering:

Tuck, MIT Sloan, Yale SOM, MIT MSRED (1- Year Real Estate Masters)

EMBA:

Columbia, Wharton, NYU ( not sure where else given that i'd be on the younger side with 6 - 8 years of experience)

Please let me know what you think of my profile. Thanks in advance!

 

Hi Gerry_Garner, You're at a point now where a full-time MBA makes sense, and many EMBA programs look for closer to 10 years experience (though I do know some applicants who've gotten in to programs like Columbia with less than that). The main difference is in the career resources, with full-time you have the opportunity to do an internship and you have companies hiring on campus and plenty of time for job networking. EMBA students are more set in their career industry/function, and usually look to advance level-wise. Given your target industry, I understand why you're targeting those top programs. For those schools, your GPA could be slightly challenging, but your excellent GMAT and leadership will hopefully make up for that (since they are more recent).

I would give it a shot with the full-time programs this year, and if you get into a top one that you love, great! If not, then you've got the EMBA option in your back pocket. I would also add MIT Sloan Fellows program to your list, similar experience level to EMBAs but it's a one year full-time program. And maybe Cornell? I know it's not NE and top 10, but I hear quite strong for real estate.

Best of luck! Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Hello, thanks for taking the time!

Target school is Columbia and their Value Investing program. Also aiming for Chicago/UPenn/Haas/NYU/UCLA.

Career goal is to work at a value-driven asset manager.

Additionally, I would appreciate thoughts on 1.) Matriculating w/ 3-4 years experience 2.) Ideas for community service and leadership 3.) Any additional advice to strengthen my candidacy.

  • 1/2 year experience as a sell-side equity research associate (Boutique). 1 year valuation analyst (Big 4)
  • GMAT - 760 - 49Q/44V - 99th percentile
  • Top 50 undergrad - 3.75 GPA - Finance Major
  • Asian male
  • No significant leadership experience. Hobbies include music, surfing, and jiu-jitsu.
  • Sat for CFA Level I -- aiming to complete at least level II, but hoping for all 3 levels before matriculating

Thanks again!

 

Hi Peter Bread!

I'm glad you've narrowed in on Columbia and the Value Investing program. Are you planning to apply Early Decision? I would, and I would also aim to apply ahead of the deadline (like in the summer). Visit campus before then too (if you haven't already) and talk to students/alums who have been a part of the program.

Your profile is strong -- great GMAT / GPA stats. Your demographic pool is tough though so you'll need every bit of edge. Try to boost your community service and leadership. On the job, can you volunteer for new initiatives/committees? Training or recruiting? Those can "count" as leadership too. Outside work, you have interesting hobbies! Can you do any community work related to those? Like music-related community programs? Or teaching jiu-jitsu to kids? If not, you could explore opportunities via your undergrad alumni organization, or there are lots of outlets to do tutoring or pro-bono consulting (though these are more common volunteer activities). Anything is better than nothing but ideally choose an activity that you are passionate about, and one that allows you to take a leadership role.

Oh, and 3-4 years experience is definitely in line with what schools are looking for. Good luck! Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Hi castlehill! Unless you have an identical twin, I am pretty sure I just reviewed your profile over on our GMAT Club board. To summarize, focus on GMAT and possibly boosting your leadership / extracurriculars. Top schools are not out of reach for you, but might be tough depending on those two areas. Keep me posted if you have any more questions! Good luck, Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Undergrad: Harvard, low GPA (3.2), Math major, Econ Minor, All American Varsity Athlete

GMAT practice scores between 710-740

Two years experience in Sales/Trading/Banking group at Tier 2 investment bank (CS/DB/Barc). 2 Years experience in Capital Markets group at top tier investment manager (Pimco/Wellington/Blackrock). Normal promotion schedule, above average level of responsibility in very high touch role.

Foreign Born white male immigrant. Speak 2 languages (3 if you include 7 years of Spanish but not fluent)

Not a ton of community involvement outside of work organizations, but could potentially get involved.

Post MBA: Looking to transition into emerging market investing (not really a lateral bc I already work in investment management). Would consider going back to my firm after completing.

Really just want to go to b school because I think the investment is worth it and I want the experience.

Target Schools: H/S/Kellogg/Both/Sloan/CBS

 

Hi gorlossis! Thanks for posting. The low GPA is unfortunate but from a top school + the athletics experience, I think it will be less concerning. GMAT will still be very important for you - that is the best way to counteract a low GPA. So keep up the practice and I hope you score in that 720+ range.

Aside from GMAT, I would try to get involved in the community outside work -- that's important for a lot of the schools on your list to see a track record of leadership in different activities.

Otherwise, the multi-lingual and immigrant experience should give you a nice boost, and your goals are in line with your experience. By the way, if returning to your firm is something you'd consider, would your current firm sponsor you for your MBA? If so, that would look good from an admissions standpoint too.

Best of luck! Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Hi Gonrod!

You have an impressive profile! Great GPA and internship experience, with a mix of start-up and consulting work. Make sure you can tie that experience in to your post-MBA goals. Your community service should help you stand out too.

Don't worry about your Recs not being from HBS alums, what's most important is that they know you well, provide specific examples of you standing out compared to your peers, and are really enthusiastic about your potential as a leader.

Given how competitive the 2+2 program is, it's hard to predict your chances, even with such a strong profile. Focus on GMAT, with a score below 700 your chances will be pretty slim.

Hope this helps! Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Some follow up questions: 1. How do MBA programs view combo of low UG GPA and high masters degree GPA (masters degree is from "prestigious school" - think high alumni presence in investment banking and consulting)? 2. In case there are mitigating circumstances and evidence for that provided from UG institution, should candidate submit that when applying for MBA? 3. What is the best way to signal to a school that it's your primary choice? Would the program be less likely to offer scholarship in that case? 4. Do scholarship offers from other programs give you leverage for getting a scholarship at a program where you initially was offered?

 

Hi again 5 million--

  1. Showing recent high performance in a masters degree is great, but remember that not every applicant has a masters so to compare applicants (and for ranking purposes) they will consider your UG GPA. So you can't escape it, unfortunately!
  2. Yes, use the optional essay to briefly explain circumstances that impacted your GPA. And sometimes it makes sense to include a letter of support for your UG institution, depends on the circumstances and whether one is available.
  3. Network, network, network! Visit, talk to students/alums, try to meet admissions officers. Really get to know them and show your excitement for the school. Show your knowledge of all the school has to offer in your essays too. I don't see how that would impact scholarships, but I'm not certain as every school is different.
  4. Sometimes it can help, but negotiating is tricky, and some schools are not open to it at all.

Best of luck! Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Hello! Thank you so much for doing this. A couple of quick questions:

1) Does retaking a class look very bad? I got a B- in a calculus class and retook it for an A-. My GPA is now a 3.8, but would it help to take challenging quant courses to offset this? How in-depth do adcoms look at course selection?

2) If you are applying for MBAs straight out of undergrad, but also plan on applying for MBAs after 2-3 years, what is a best practice for getting letters of recommendation? Do you just hold onto them and re-submit after 2-3 years?

3) Should the B-School resume have a bias toward on campus leadership and experience?

Thank you for taking the time to do this. Looking forward to some insight.

 

Hi Sparhapt153!

Thanks for posting. To answer your questions...

1) No I don't think that looks bad. If anything it shows work ethic and determination, so I think it's a positive. Your overall GPA is great! If that Calc class is the only quant course on your transcript, then yes, I would take at least one more (another advanced math, stats, econ, maybe finance or accounting). Adcoms do look in depth at your transcript, in particular at the quant courses you've taken.

2) Your recs should come from people you know well and have interacted with recently. B-schools also typically have a bias towards professional recommendations instead of academic ones, so if you're applying now, I would try not to have both recommendations come from professors (an internship supervisor is a good option, if you have one). So then if you applied in 2-3 years, you would likely want different recommenders, because you'd want someone who has worked with you in the prior 2-3 years. Plus, b-school recommenders must fill out an online form / skills rating grid, and upload their letters directly to the schools, so it's not something you can submit on their behalf.

3) Yes, definitely highlight on campus leadership and any work experience you have. You don't need to highlight courses taken since those will be represented on your transcript. But you can include academic awards/honors. For examples of effective MBA resumes, you might want to check out our Resume Guide our our website, see the link in my signature and go to Resources > Free Guides > Admissions Guides.

Best of luck! Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Kate,

Thank you for your response! That's very helpful and clarifies things a lot.

To briefly follow up, what constitutes a "quant" course and how important is that relative to your overall GPA/other factors -- particularly if you demonstrate quantitative aptitude on the GMAT and/or professionally? Would good grades in classes like intermediate microeconomics or financial accounting count toward the quantitative assessment?

I was under the impression they would have to be math heavy courses, so for my final semester I enrolled in an econometrics class (one of the most challenging economics electives my school offers) in the hope it would offset a slightly lower grade in Calculus. I would also hate to receive a lower-than-average grade in econometrics and continue the narrative that my quant is a weak point.

Also -- I would love to hear your thoughts on the HBS 2+2 program. I've been told by many that it is a program for non-traditional/STEM folks, and to make it into the program as an economics/business major you'd have to be an absolute rockstar (e.g. 750+ GMAT, 3.9+ GPA). Would you say that's accurate, or just hype?

Thank you so much for taking the time!

 

Hi tz15, I have positive views of it. I've heard some admissions officers (not from HBS) say they think highly of the program and that it's a great way to boost your academic profile. I have also had some past clients complete the program (most of them without much business coursework in their background) and find it to be good preparation. So I definitely think it's worth considering. Of course having a high GMAT is another great way (and arguably better way) to address any academic concerns. Good luck! Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Hi THEBLUECHEESE, thanks for posting! I think you're mostly right, those schools accept GRE and don't state a preference, but they're not the same test. I don't think they heavily discount the GRE though; in fact for some applicants struggling with GMAT, we recommend the GRE because as of now GRE scores don't factor into rankings, so schools may be willing to accept an otherwise rock star applicant with a lower GRE. The GRE is increasing in popularity but still pretty low at the schools you mention (7% of applicants to CBS and 10% to Cornell). I think you should consider whether you would perform significantly better on one test over the other. The other main factor for you is that you are in and want to stay in banking, where recruiters heavily favor the GMAT. So if your potential scores on both tests are similar, I would opt for the GMAT. For more info on this, check this out: https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2018/01/09/mbamission-and-manhattan-pre… Thanks! Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Thank you very much for doing this!

--WE: FLDP at F500 (Tech)- 2 years in FP&A followed by promotion to Senior Analyst and 1 yr in Corporate Development or Treasury. I may choose to do another year or 2 in Corporate finance at my F500 or a high-growth company. Also had internships at a European HQ and another at a F10 industrial in corporate finance

--UG: 3.0 GPA at Top 50 public bschool (big ten) with a glaring F and retake in Calc2 and a couple of classes retaken on my transcript (I fooled around and partied too much) double majored in Accounting and Finance

--Rec: I can secure good recommendations from Director+ level managers from my post-UG work experience

--White male

--Target schools would be Stern/Anderson/(LBS?) type T25 programs

I have not yet taken the GMAT but plan to put significant time into studying. Where do I need to score to help ease my low GPA in undergrad or are my expectations out of reach?

Do I need to make manager (2 promotions post UG) or should I try after 3yr my rotational program?

Goal: banking or T2 consulting

 

Hi trippycannon!

Your experience in the FLDP is great -- well regarded by b-schools due to broad exposure, leadership opportunities, and selectivity. Plus the promotion and exposure in Europe is great. No, you don't need to make manager before you apply - though multiple promotions do always look good. Will you have much leadership experience before making manager? If you think that's an area that's light, then waiting til you have some more experience under your belt may make sense. But most applicants have about 3-5 years experience by the time they matriculate, so you're in range already.

The GPA is unfortunate and could be a challenge at very top schools so I would focus on the 10-25 range. In addition to the schools you mentioned, perhaps check out Darden, Texas, Cornell, Ross (all are strong in finance/consulting). Anyway, in regards to the GPA -- a high GMAT is your best strategy! I would aim to be above the median for your target schools (so that means above a 720 for NYU, above 708 for LBS). Having retaken the courses will help, and a well crafted optional essay explaining how you've matured since college will help too, but ultimately you can't change it, so need to focus on highlighting all the other strong aspects of your profile.

Any activities / volunteer roles outside work? If not, that may be an additional area to strengthen and round out your profile.

Feel free to post back with other questions, or sign up for a free phone consult on our website: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/

Good luck! Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Hi there! I'm a college senior trying to decide if I should retake the GMAT or not. After studying for four months, I received a 710 (V41, Q45). I will be working in investment banking for two years and have a 3.9 GPA from a top-20 private university in Economics and Political Science. Is it necessary that I take the GMAT again if I intend to apply in 2-3 years after graduation to the top 10 business schools (my ideal school would be Columbia)? Does a 710 still give me a shot or do I need to get it up to remain competitive? I really do not want to have to take it again and should also note that I have spent so much time studying for the GMAT already and am not even sure if I can get my score up.

 

Hey bogahoga If I am not mistaken, I just responded to you over on Manhattan Prep. Hope that helps!! Let us know if you have other questions. Krista

mbaMission Admissions Consultant For personal advice, please see up a free consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php Website: http://www.mbamission.com Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
 

Hi, thank you so much for your time! Could you evaluate my profile please?

23F Asian

Academics: Top 10 US undergrad, GPA 3.9, major in Economics

Work experience: 1/2 year work experience as a PE operation analyst in a top tier Chinese PE (the role is like business consulting for portfolio companies and has opportunities to work on unique projects and bring change)

EC: Alum interviewer for Undergrads; University local alum association organizer; starting my own business of cosmetics e-commerce

GMAT: not taken yet, say 720

Application plan: plan to apply in 2020 (matriculate with 3 years of work experience). Aiming for MBA business schools">M7. UCB and UCLA also considered since I prefer California.

Post graduate plan: Consulting

I know this is early, but I want to know if you think I'm on the right track.

Also I have a specific question: what are your thoughts on such PE operation role? Do you think top 15 schools (even M7) will consider such background ?

Thank you again!

 

Hi VivianR! Happy to help. It sounds like you are on a great track!

Your academics background is really strong. Focus on complementing that with a 720 or higher GMAT score if you want to target MBA business schools">M7.

I think your operational PE experience is great -- opportunity to have a lot of impact and learn a lot quickly. It also sounds like great preparation for consulting. Top schools will definitely consider, and value, that background. Is there opportunity for promotion/progression? Significant leadership roles? International experience? Those would be great to add. Also make sure you've got supervisors/mentors who will eventually be able to write standout recommendation letters for you (when it comes time).

I also really like your ECs, especially starting your own business, that's great. Does that tie to your long-term/post-MBA goals? Make sure when it comes time, you can tell a cohesive/compelling story about your long-term career path.

Mostly I would keep up the good work, rock the GMAT, and once you're closer to applying (like a year out), start to do more research/networking with your target schools (visiting, etc.).

Best of luck! Kate

Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Hi Kate,

Thanks in advance for your time and help. Could you please help me evaluate my profile?

Profile: Canadian, ethnic Chinese, male

Academics: Top Canadian undergrad, degree in Accounting and Finance, 3.9 / 4.0; at the time I was the first and only person in the history of the program to graduate early

Work Experience: 1. Top Canadian IBD for 1.5 years, won the firm's "2016 productivity award" for having taken the initiative to create new and improve on existing Excel templates. Was actively involved in the firm's training and recruitment efforts. Led the recruiting process for students applying from my undergrad program. 2. Currently at an elite US boutique, have been here for 8 months to date. Lead the office's recruiting and training. Will spearhead the recruiting program for the incoming full time class in the summer, globally. Expecting a promotion to IB Associate this summer.

EC: Regularly involved in my undergrad university's student-run investment fund as an alumni mentor, providing resume and interview coaching as well as other workshops (like Excel training, etc)

GMAT: 710, planning on re-taking. Also please let me know what you think is a good "stopping point". 730, perhaps?

Application Plan: Planning to apply this fall. Will have 3 years of experience by the time I apply (4 by the time I start school in Fall 2019). Targeting MBA business schools">M7, Yale, and Dartmouth.

Please let me know if you feel I have any gaping holes that I need to address immediately.

Thank you very much!

 
Best Response

Hi Darth Binks - I'm Nisha, one of Kate's colleagues at mbaMission :) It sounds like you have a good overall profile, with strong work experience, academics, and EC. If you're targeting MBA business schools">M7 and Yale/Tuck, I would aim for a 720+ GMAT. Obviously the higher the better, but if you do score a 730 I wouldn't prioritize retaking it. Additionally, make sure you thoroughly research all of your target schools (including speaking with students/alumni) before applying so that you can amke a strong case for why each program is the right fit for you. Also, you didn't mention your goals, so make sure you make it clear what your ST/LT goals are and how an MBA from each program will help you achieve them. Hope that helps!

Darth Binks:
Hi Kate,

Thanks in advance for your time and help. Could you please help me evaluate my profile?

Profile: Canadian, ethnic Chinese, male

Academics: Top Canadian undergrad, degree in Accounting and Finance, 3.9 / 4.0; at the time I was the first and only person in the history of the program to graduate early

Work Experience: 1. Top Canadian IBD for 1.5 years, won the firm's "2016 productivity award" for having taken the initiative to create new and improve on existing Excel templates. Was actively involved in the firm's training and recruitment efforts. Led the recruiting process for students applying from my undergrad program. 2. Currently at an elite US boutique, have been here for 8 months to date. Lead the office's recruiting and training. Will spearhead the recruiting program for the incoming full time class in the summer, globally. Expecting a promotion to IB Associate this summer.

EC: Regularly involved in my undergrad university's student-run investment fund as an alumni mentor, providing resume and interview coaching as well as other workshops (like Excel training, etc)

GMAT: 710, planning on re-taking. Also please let me know what you think is a good "stopping point". 730, perhaps?

Application Plan: Planning to apply this fall. Will have 3 years of experience by the time I apply (4 by the time I start school in Fall 2019). Targeting MBA business schools">M7, Yale, and Dartmouth.

Please let me know if you feel I have any gaping holes that I need to address immediately.

Thank you very much!

 

Hi Kate,

To begin, I'm evaluating if an MBA is the right route for me. My target job is corporate development at mid-large cap company (>$1B). I'm fairly confident I can lateral into an analyst/associate role now and then check EMBA off in a few years time, so I'll give you target schools for both.

Profile: White, Male, Midwest

Academics: Top 50 undergrad, Finance degree with minor in music performance. 3.7 GPA. Extensive ECs in music both in school and metro area.

Work Experience: 4 years at F50. FLDP graduate with on time promotion to Sr. Analyst and top bucket reviews. Currently working for highly strategic platform doing market/financial modeling with some senior leadership exposure.

EC: actively involved in my community through church but very hesitant on how to frame that / even at all

GMAT: not taken, confident I can target 720 with a stretch goal of 740

Full Time Targets: Wharton, Booth, Fuqua, Ross, Tuck

EMBA Targets: Wharton, Fuqua, Ross, Columbia

Thank you very much!

 

Hi 2trickpony (love the username!) - I'm Nisha, one of Kate's colleagues. Regarding whether to go with an EMBA or FT MBA - that's a personal decision that depends on how long you are willing to stay at your current company (you seem quite open to it) and whether you want an immersive experience or whether you prefer working while you're studying. I think your target GMAT score is right for the programs you've listed in either case. Definitely do highlight your community/church involvement (frame it in terms of the leadership and impact you demonstrated). I hope that this helps - do let me know of any specific questions/concerns you have. Thanks!

2trickpony:
Hi Kate,

To begin, I'm evaluating if an MBA is the right route for me. My target job is corporate development at mid-large cap company (>$1B). I'm fairly confident I can lateral into an analyst/associate role now and then check EMBA off in a few years time, so I'll give you target schools for both.

Profile: White, Male, Midwest

Academics: Top 50 undergrad, Finance degree with minor in music performance. 3.7 GPA. Extensive ECs in music both in school and metro area.

Work Experience: 4 years at F50. FLDP graduate with on time promotion to Sr. Analyst and top bucket reviews. Currently working for highly strategic platform doing market/financial modeling with some senior leadership exposure.

EC: actively involved in my community through church but very hesitant on how to frame that / even at all

GMAT: not taken, confident I can target 720 with a stretch goal of 740

Full Time Targets: Wharton, Booth, Fuqua, Ross, Tuck

EMBA Targets: Wharton, Fuqua, Ross, Columbia

Thank you very much!

 

Hi,

Thanks in advance for your assistance. Could you please evaluate my profile and answer my questions below.

Profile: Australian, Eurasian, male

Academics: "Go8" university (one of the top universities in Australia), solid marks in a tough undergraduate degree (would estimate a GPA equivalent of 3.5-3.7). Completed CFA level 1 and will sit CFA level 2 in June.

Work Experience: 1. One years experience in S&T at a large local bank. 2. Currently an investment analyst at a large asset management firm, have been here for a little more than a year.

EC: Poor - I volunteer at charity days but do not currently hold any leadership positions.

GMAT: 740

Post MBA Goal: Work at a hedge fund or asset management firm in NY.

Target school: Columbia Business School for an August 2019 Entry

Questions: 1. What impact does being an Eurasian Australian have on my application? 2. Would it be better to apply in the early decision round or should I just wait until March 2019 to give myself more time to beef up my ECs? 2. Any ideas for community service and leadership? How would a 2 week overseas volunteer program be viewed? Would it help compensate for my lack of ECs? 3. Would a 760+ GMAT make a significant difference on my application? Was consistently scoring in the 750-770 range in practice exams so was pretty disappointed with my mark and am considering retaking the exam. 4. Any additional advice to strengthen my candidacy?

Thanks again!

 

Hello, The Love Doctor! Thanks for reaching out. You have a strong academic profile (GMAT, GPA, CFA). By the way, you can use WES (https://applications.wes.org/igpa-calculator/) to convert your GPA (though you don't need to convert it when you submit your application, just for your own information). Work experience sounds good too and will prepare you well for your post MBA goals. Re. your questions...

  1. What impact does being an Eurasian Australian have on my application? **This should give you a bit of a helpful edge. Schools value experiences you've had living/studying in different cultures. **
  2. Would it be better to apply in the early decision round or should I just wait until March 2019 to give myself more time to beef up my ECs? **I would apply early decision. As long as you have some EC experience, I think the benefit of early decision outweighs that lack of leadership. **
  3. Any ideas for community service and leadership? How would a 2 week overseas volunteer program be viewed? Would it help compensate for my lack of ECs? **Offer to take on any new roles/committees at the charity that may involve some leadership. If that's not possible, can you get involved with your undergrad alumni organization? Are there non-required roles you can take on at work, like mentoring/recruiting/organizing events? Are there other personal interests you pursue or personal accomplishments you can accelerate? (These can count too!). I think an overseas program would be viewed positively, sounds like a great idea. Is there a way to stay involved with the program after the 2 weeks? That would be even better. **
  4. Would a 760+ GMAT make a significant difference on my application? Was consistently scoring in the 750-770 range in practice exams so was pretty disappointed with my mark and am considering retaking the exam.** Yes, that would make a significant difference, and may even open up more opportunity for scholarships. You don't need to retake, 740 is a great score, but it sounds like you can score higher, so I would give it another shot. Columbia will accept your highest score. **
  5. Any additional advice to strengthen my candidacy? **Especially if you are going to apply early decision, I recommend visiting Columbia, or if that's not possible at least trying to attend an admissions info session in your home city and speaking to alums/students. I think this kind of networking is important to do to demonstrate your interest. **
Kate Richardson Senior Consultant, mbaMission www.mbamission.com Sign up for a free phone consultation: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/
 

Thanks Kate!

Have a few follow up questions I was hoping you could answer in light of recent developments.

The following events have changed since my previous post.

  1. I retook the GMAT and achieved a score of 780.
  2. I have volunteered to teach English to refugees. I have also volunteered to mentor a mentally unwell individual.
  3. According to the IGPA calculator my GPA is 3.4-3.5 (but I suspect this may be an underestimation).

Questions:

  1. Has my chance of being accepted to Columbia increased significantly with the new GMAT score and ECs (but potentially lower GPA than I initially thought)? Do I have any realistic shot at H/S/W (particularly Wharton)?
  2. Would my ECs still be considered quite weak or are they about average now? Is it still worth completing a 2 week overseas volunteer trip?
  3. Would it be fair to assume that those reviewing my resume will be suspicious that I started my ECs less than a year before applying to B-school? In that case is it still better to apply in the early decision round?
  4. Unfortunately I will not be able to visit any B-schools before applying. What is the next best thing to do? Reach out and organise catch ups with alumni in Australia?

Thank you very much!

 

Hello @mbaMissionKate" thanks for taking the time. My profile:

International student came over the US with a full athletic scholarship. Non-target state school BBA Finance 3.65 GPA. Graduated in May 2017. I did not take the GMAT yet, the plan is to do so beginning of 2019. I Passed the CFA lvl 1 in december, and taking lvl 2 in june this year.

Captain Student-Athlete for 3 years. Also completed a financial analyst program my senior year (honors program). It was a partnership between my school and Bloomberg.

Now working as an analyst for a TMT sector S&P 500 company. I'm working in the executive group with a focus on corporate finance, investor relations and strategy (6 months on the job).

My plan is to apply for September 2020 MBA class so I'll have 2 years experience completed before the admission process. I want to work in IB/Consulting or FLDP post MBA. Any guess on what I could possibly target? I think MBA business schools">M7 would be impossible, hoping for T20 or top european MBA (I am french). I have no idea what I should target, but I am ready to make a plan and do it right.