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11/13/17

WSO is excited to have the experts from Accepted on board to answer applicant questions in the business school forum. Here are messages from Natalie and Jen who will be checking this thread every few days:

Natalie

I'm here to answer any questions you have regarding Business School Admissions. I am a former Admissions Dean and Director and currently a consultant with Accepted. While at Accepted, I've helped clients gain admission to top BBA, MBA, MFE, MF, MCF and PhD programs over the last 7 years and I'm happy to answer questions you have about Business School Admissions. - Natalie (@Natalie_Accepted)

Jen

I'm happy to answer any questions you have regarding business school admissions. I am a former Assistant Director of Admissions at Cornell who also worked in career services at Duke Fuqua. For the last six years as an Accepted admissions consultant, I've helped applicants gain admission to top MBA, EMBA, and MF programs. I'm delighted to answer your questions about business school admissions. - Jen (@jenweld)

If you would like a profile evaluation for schools, please provide the following info:
1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
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.
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 post-MBA goal.

Or if you just have a different question about MBA admissions, we'll do our best to answer it.

Comments (1295)

9/23/16

Dear newschool332,

I am a colleague of Natalie's and helping her out on this forum. Brand name matters much less than your accomplishments. The greater the responsibility the better, regardless of the name.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

Accepted.com
9/23/16

Hi Natalie,

My question will be regarding Master in Management Studies, please ignore me if this will be out of the scope for this topic.

I am currently 23 years old, having:

  • I have worked part-time during my uni years in restaurants and worked placements for 6 months in different hospital laboratories in the summers.
  • I started working in a leading edtech startup as an external relation associate in Vietnam since Apr 2016.
  • I'm confident to get a GMAT of >720 when I take it in Dec 2016.
  • BSc (GPA 3.20) & MSc (GPA 3.88) Biomedical Sciences from University College London. During BSc, I was juggling around with EC activities and a part-time job that I did not do as well as I could.
  • I want to work in MBB post-degree

I would prefer applying for an MBA (target schools for MBB); however, from reading others' app, I feel like mine is not strong enough. Thus, I'm considering applying to MMS at Kellogg, Fuqua and Ross. Can you give me an assessment of my profile and especially an advice on which path to take?

I look forward to your reply!

9/23/16

Dear Willois,

You are correct that your stats as of now are not competitive for a top MBA program. Is there a reason you want to rush into an MMS rather than work for a few years and then apply to an MBA program? I have worked with several clients who did an MMS and then eventually felt they needed the MBA as well, so if the MBA is really what you want, it strikes me as getting the work experience and nailing the GMAT will go a long way towards making your profile competitive in a year or two.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

9/23/16

Hi Jen,

Thank you for responding! I really want to break in to consulting ASAP; however, I have multiple occasions where the lack of business acumen costed me the opportunity:
- Last round for KPMG London Management Consulting Grad Scheme
- 1st round McKinsey interviews

I don't feel like I can learn about business as quickly as I would have liked in my current job. Thus, I want to spend 1-2 years dedicated to systematically learn about business and get a consulting internship. I plan to take an eMBA when the need arises.

Can you help advise me on the chance I have with MMS?

9/24/16

Hi Willois,

Your chances for an MMS are pretty decent, actually. You will have some fulltime experience which should be considered a positive. You just will need to link why the two degrees in biomed sciences to be followed so quickly by a business degree.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

9/24/16

Hi Jen,

Thanks for taking the time to evaluate our profiles. My details are as follows:

European (Dutch), male, aged 28 at time of matriculation.

1) 2 years of experience in continental MBB office, 1 promotion (from analyst to junior associate), internship experience at an MBB, MM PE fund and at a Microfinance fund in India.
2) GMAT 750
3) Bsc + Msc in Economics from top 10 EU university in Economics (4.0 GPA in both) + Research Degree in Economics from Oxford University
4) Was board member of universities' student association for economics students, set up and managed an organization organizing sustainable business cases in developing countries (resulted in the set-up of an affordable ambulance service in Pakistan and a waste processing business in rural India), variety of volunteer work.
5) None
6) Continue the MBB path, loving the lifestyle and international travel in my office

I'm targeting HBS, Wharton, Columbia and INSEAD, will probably be sponsored. How do top US programmes evaluate European candidates?

9/24/16

Dear frenchvanillacreamer,

You will certainly be considered a viable candidate with your statistics and work experience at all the schools you are looking at. International candidates are always taken seriously as admissions committees want to put together the most diverse class possible. What you need to make sure you manage is expectations for internship/full-time job. As I am sure you are aware, placing international students in US-based jobs can be difficult, so you just need to keep that in mind as you prepare your application package and think about what your goals and objectives are for the programs you are looking at.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/14/16

edit: moved...

9/27/16

Hi,
Just wondering how internship experience is counted in business school applications. By graduation this spring, I will have 2 years of part-time (20hours/week) experience in internal operations and startup consulting for a F100 subsidiary. I have done very impactful work and have gotten to the point where I am leading client engagements. I am treated like a regular employee and have regular employee responsibilities. The only difference is that I am in the F100 internship program and I work part-time during the school year. Will this help me make a case for going to business school 2-3 years after graduation rather than 4-5?

9/28/16

Hi yungstrategymaster,

Your internship experience should definitely make you a stronger candidate when applying with a lower level of FT work experience. Hopefully you have strong grades as well. In order to enhance your profile as much as possible prior to applying, have a look at our planning ahead resources: http://www.accepted.com/mba/planning-early

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

9/29/16

Hi Jen, can you please assess my profile? This is a little different as I am targeting part-time MBA programs in the Dallas area since I'll be relocating soon. I'll be aiming for SMU Cox, UT-Dallas, and UT-Austin MBA in Dallas. I am not against online MBA's either, as the brand is what people in this industry care about. My employer will be covering 50% of tuition.

1) 2 yrs experience; 1 year in MM underwriting and 1 year in Leveraged Finance group at a top BB(GS/MS). My new job will be in Corporate Advisory. The only thing is that I won't be in that role at the time of submitting my apps. I have a month off in between the time I relocate and and start the new job.
2) No test score yet. However, I'll be taking the GRE.
3) Sub par regional university in Southwest (think UT-San Antonio, New Mexico State, Utah State). 2.97 GPA. Economics major, philosophy minor. Not really extenuating circumstances but I did work 40 hours a week during school. My parents were also getting divorced)
4) Pro bono small business consulting in the metro area that I am currently in, Habit for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters. I also had a pretty good role in my senior year of college where I served as a financial mentor to current students and alumni. This position was pretty selective, 500 students applied and only 3 were selected.
5) No certs.
6) I do not plan on switching industries. For me, the MBA will be to rebrand myself and position myself for managerial roles in the next 2-3 years. Most of the managers have MBA's. I have not had a problem getting decent job offers with top companies, but they are somewhat judgmental when it comes to my undergrad until I prove myself on the job.

10/1/16

Hi TimBrad,

As I am sure you know there is much less pressure for top stats with part-time MBA programs. That said, you want to be sure you discuss the mitigating circumstances (working your way through school) in the optional essay. Looks like you have solid work and community experience, which is also good. Provided you can put together a good package, I see no reason why you wouldn't be considered a serious candidate. For tips on how to overcome your weaknesses, have a look at our resources related to that on our website: www.accepted.com/mba/applicationweakness

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

9/30/16

@jenweld

Dear Jen,
Linda has already answered my questions shortly, but as you have joined here in spite of Natalie, I would like you to look through my information and make a comment on each section, please!
I am 31 years old white female from Tbilisi, Georgia (European country, post Soviet Union). I intend to apply for the top MBA programs in United States next year.

1) 6.5 years of work experience in IT Project Management (Government Organization). 5 years in one company - 3 months internship, then was hired as a Leading Specialist. I was promoted as a Main Specialist after 2 years. 1 year in another company as an Analyst. I lead several IT projects with small group of programmers (5 people). I conduct a research, analyze the results, prepare recommendations for the change of organizational structure and business processes of vendors, make a project plan, define long-term and short-term tasks for my team, monitor fulfillment of the tasks and lead introduction of the system. I also hold training for vendors and other interested groups regarding the products of my company and make various presentations and meetings with investors and stakeholders.
2) I have not taken GMAT yet. I intend to pass an exam in May, 2017
3) BA in Public Relations, Tbilisi State University, 2007, GPA - 3.8; MA in Public Administration - Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, 2009, GPA - 3.81
4) I was a group manager both in my undergraduate and graduate courses. During the graduate course I took part in conducting survey prior to parliamentary election 2008 in Georgia. I am keen on travelling and have visited 10 countries so far. I also travel a lot inside of Georgia. I am fluent in Georgian, Russian and English languages. I also speak a bit Italian. I'm also participating in international training program "Local Governance with Human Rights Approach". The first phase took part in Skopje, Macedonia, the second phase will be in Sweden, in November, 2016 and the last phase will be conducted in Albania.
5) I don't have any internationally accepted certificates. Though I have several certificates such as "Certificate in General Management", "Certificate in Effective Communication", "Certificate in Excel - Advanced".
6) I would like to continue my career path in Consulting.

Could you tell me:
1) Whether have I chances to be admitted in Top MBA programs with my background in case of high gmat score?
2) What are the strengths of my profile and what suggestion would you give to booster my application (This is a key question)?
3) I also worry about my age, I will be 32 by the time of sending my applications to the universities and it's more than average age of students in MBA programs. Will it be a drawback for me?
3) At what universities do I have a real chance from top 25 with my profile?

Thank you very much in advance! I am looking forward to your response!

10/1/16

Dear Tamta-D,

Since you are planning to continue your career in consulting, I am wondering why you are looking at full-time vs EMBAs at this point in your career. You are right on the cusp with your experience and would be considered a serious candidate for most EMBA programs. There are also several programs that are high-level and just one year in duration, such as Stanford MSx. Have a listen to this podcast about alternatives to full-time programs. I think it might be your best bet. blog.accepted.com/3-outstanding-mba-emba-alternatives/

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/4/16

.

10/1/16

Hi ThisWay,

While the 700 score is not the greatest, it is still solid, and with the very strong 3.9 GPA at a top school I think there should be no concern about your academic ability. I would be sure to focus your essays less on work and more on personal stuff if the questions allow. It is hard to stand out from the pack at top schools with the work experience you've got, so focus on other aspects as much as possible. Have a look at our MBA special reports for more tips, or feel free to be in touch with me directly (contact info in my signature): www.accepted.com/mba-special-reports

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/2/16

Thanks!

10/2/16

Hi Natalie,
Sahjeet here. A bit about my profile-
1)Indian student
2)75% in Undergrad, Delhi University
3)720 GMAT
4)1 year work ex in retail as assistant manager
5)National level sports participant, and other well rounded extra curriculars
6)Decent co-curriculars like NCCMP, Tally professional etc

Looking to pursue a degree in Finance...MSc in Finance basically. I'm eyeing schools that offer good career prospects in terms of placement, I don't mind the salary too much as long as ROI is decent, but I want to work in EU.
Any suggestions? Thanks in advance :)

10/5/16

Hi Sahjeet,

I would consider LBS, LSE, HEC and ESADE. INSEAD has an Executive Master in Finance but that is for working professionals.

Kind regards,

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/7/16

Hi,

Thank you for taking the time to do this. I am looking to get into Columbia MBA and wanted to know what I could do to best position myself and if I have a shot down the road. Here is what my current bio looks like

  • Graduated with BComm from a top 5 five school in Canada with low GPA (3.3)
  • Managed a contracting business during university that I ended up selling
  • Extracurricular: was part of national sports team for several years in high school and won international medals
  • Interned in PE in my last summer at firm in NYC where some partners went to Columbia
  • Worked 6 months in an Impact Investment Fund in Easter Africa after graduation
  • Currently working at a MM PE firm (2bn$ AUM and the founder went to Columbia) as an analyst, thinking of staying 2-3 years and making jump to bschool

I am considering doing the CAIA and CFA level1 to try and compensate for my low GPA. Is this recommended? Also what do you think my chances are of getting accepted to Columbia or similar strength MBA program after staying at my current firm for a few years.

Thanks!

10/9/16

Hi takesnotes08,

It looks to me as if you would have an interesting profile for Columbia. As long as you get a strong gmat score (720+), I don't think there will be any need to explain away your GPA. Since you were running your own business in college that seems like a pretty good reason to have not done as well as you might have liked (obviously this is something you would want to mention in an optional essay). It is hard to differentiate your work experience from the pack, but the fact that you ran your own business and worked in Africa will definitely warrant a serious look.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/10/16

Hello,

does being an applicant from an underrepresented region (Lithuania, Eastern Europe) have any advantage in admissions?

There has probably been less than 10 people enrolled in top 20 MBA programs from Lithuania in 25 years since gaining independence from Soviet Union.

10/10/16

Hi 5 million,

Being from an underrepresented region can certainly be a bonus, provided it is part of a strong package of good academics, career experience, GMAT and extracurriculars. In other words, on the margin it can absolutely make a difference.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/10/16

Hi Jen,

A bit about my profile-
1) Top undergrad school but not ivy league (3.1 GPA) - low because I ran my own business through high school and college - did several years of multi - million dollar sales before exiting the business. I came to the realization that I wanted to work in financial services instead of continuing this business.
2) Masters of Science from the same top undergrad (3.8 GPA) - won several awards for academic achievement
3) 700 GMAT
4) 1 year work experience in big4 transaction advisory - will be 2 at matriculation on track to be promoted
5) 1 year post-undergrad running the above mentioned business prior to attending the MS program
6) 25 year old male
7) CPA license
8) Extras - engaged in a lot of guest speaking at my undergrad around starting/running businesses

Looking to pursue an MBA at Columbia or NYU to make the transition into banking. Not sure if I should apply for regular decision at Columbia this January/February or wait until next September and do early decision. Doing early decision next September would up by corporate work experience to 3 years at matriculation, 4 years total. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance :)

10/10/16

Dear monkeybanker44,

Since you appear to have had a robust business while in undergrad, that experience could consider counting towards "real" work experience. As such, if you truly want to start next year, # of years of experience shouldn't be an issue. Glad to see that you eliminated any academic concern with the MS. Can you tie that degree to what you were doing at the time (guessing it is a MAC)? You obviously want to tie everything together.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/10/16

Hi Jen,

Yes it was a MACC program - it's what ultimately landed my current role at the big4. In your opinion then, is it worth it to apply regular decision this year and just see what happens? - can always re-apply early decision to Columbia next year then if I don't get accepted.

10/11/16

I'd say if you feel you are ready to apply this year then go for it!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/10/16

Hello,

Thank you for helping me out. I am currently looking to enroll in a MF program in order to get into I banking. Listed below are some of my attributes and accomplishments for your reference. Also, I was thinking of applying to Stern, Vandy, MIT, or any other business school that will give me the best shot to break in. Would you happen to have any other suggestions that I should look into?

Thanks again!

  • Attended a non-target but top 10 public business school with a 3.5 GPA in finance and recently graduated in May
  • Currently work at a mutual fund in fund oversight/ administration and have some financial modeling experience.
  • Haven't taken the GMAT yet but will put in the time to get a great score (650-700+)
  • In college I was on the executive board for my fraternity and a philanthropy group and raised a lot of money for great causes
  • Currently studying for the CFA 1 exam and looking to take it in December.
  • Want to work in investment banking
10/11/16

Dear richyrich,

Do you think you are going to want an MBA eventually? If so, going for an MF could be superfluous. Your chances of getting a job in banking are just as high as if you were going for an MF, and in fact recruiting opportunities might be stronger with a top MBA program. That said, if you are really interested in an MF and are willing to travel outside of the US, LBS probably has the strongest program.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/11/16

Possibly. In my current situation I just really want to get out of the back office and also go back to school. I'm not in debt and I have a really good situation with my finances. I don't think going outside of the country would be an option though. I've looked at MSF programs like Vandy and noticed that placement in IB and FO investment management is very high. Also, I just love the idea of living in the south for a year. Would my current profile be good enough to be accepted to a program like that?

10/11/16

Aim for 700+ on the GMAT and then you should be competitive.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/10/16

Hi, and thanks in advance!

1) M&A banker at top group (Evercore/BX/Lazard)....will most likely go the megafund/upper MM PE route.
2) 780 GMAT (perfect quant).
3) Ivy (Columbia/Dartmouth/Penn), double major Econ/Math, 3.4, perfect SAT.
4) On my high school's alumni board (well known private school), a middle school student mentor, involved in my college's local alumni network, and a healthcare charity group. Also a member of an academic society (developmental economics academic research).
5) N/A.
6) Emerging-markets related venture capital (already have experience).

I have a bit of time before I apply, but any advice on what I can do to strengthen my application between now and then for Harvard/Wharton/Columbia/Tuck (not interested in Stanford)?

10/11/16

Hi freefly,

You obviously are a really solid candidate with top credentials (academically and work-wise) and strong extracurriculars. Do you have any international experience? If there are opportunities to take on an international project I could see that as one way of further solidifying your candidacy. Obviously a promotion between now and the application would be great, too.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/13/16

Hi,

I interned abroad at a bulge bracket my sophomore year, and will probably work on at least one or two Cross Border deals between now and then (we do a few of those every year).

Thanks!

10/11/16

1) 2-3 years of strategy consulting at TMT boutique + 2 years of M&A and corporate strategy at major tech company (Google/Salesforce/Microsoft/Adobe)
2) 690-740 GMAT (perfect quant, perfect essay)
3) Ivy League (Brown/Cornell/Dartmouth/Penn), 3.5-3.6 GPA. Triple major econ, psych, info sci.
4) Class Vice President. President of Business club.
5) N/A
6) startup/VC/GE

Interested in HBS and GSB.

10/11/16

Hi xypon,

Do you have any current extracurriculars? I can't tell from the business club if that was in undergrad or now. If not current, you definitely should have some. Your stats are decent (not sure if you are giving me a range of more than one of your scores or giving me a general sense of your gmat score with the range). The triple major strikes me as the most positive differentiating thing from your profile at the moment. For the work experience, be sure to highlight any unique projects you have worked on to help you stand out.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/12/16

Hi Natalie and Jen,

Thank you very much for taking the time out to do this. My broad profile is outlined below -
1. I have 3 years of work experience as a senior analyst with a DCM desk at Deutsche. Following that, I moved to join my dad's HR services business in which I was in a pretty senior role - earlier head of a 6-man office, and later took in the 4-man BD team as well. I've done plenty of leadership stuff, both in college and in my two jobs, including being the campus head for my school at DB.
2. I scored a 740 on my GMAT Q49V41. I'm not too happy but I think its worth a shot.
3. I did my BTech from the top engineering university in India (IIT Mumbai) BUT I scored quite badly, with a GPA of 7 out of 10. Not any clear circumstances really - I was doing Aerospace and I'd spent my time doing other stuff around college.
4. Marketing head for my department, campus head for one of India's largest cultural festival and campus captain at DB.
5. None
6. I'd like to go back into fixed income - either a sell side role or something related to policy

I'm quite concerned about my abysmal GPA. Also, I've lost touch with many seniors from DB so I'm not really banking on great recommendations from there. I'm planning to apply to the top 4-8 universities for full time MBA - NYU, Columbia, Dartmouth etc - you know the likes :) Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks again!

10/14/16

Dear Divyang-Upadhyaya,

I am not overly concerned about your GPA. A 7/10 at an Indian university is generally considered fairly solid. Not sure why you are not happy with a 750 GMAT! Sure the verbal could be higher, but you are a non-native speaker so that is not too concerning. The biggest issue for you is the ability to stand out from the crowd considering your demographic. It seems as though you have some interesting work experience that is differentiated, but you just need to constantly be thinking about how you can show your uniqueness. Here is a link to some great resources on how to stand out in a well-represented demographic: http://www.accepted.com/mba/diversity

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/12/16

Hi,

I am applying for an MBA this year (2016) for fall 2017 admissions.
Could you please evaluate my profile -
1. 27 year old , female from India with 5+ years of Financial Analytics consulting experience working at a boutique consulting firm- worked on projects with top banks globally - US, UK, Singapore and India. Senior Manager at a Financial Analytics consulting firm in New York with 2 fast track promotions.
2. 740 (97%) . Verbal - 94% Quant - 87%
3. Top colleges in India- Bachelors and Masters in Economics - First rank in college with multiple merit scholarships - 4.0 GPA throughout
4. Volunteer-led the campaigning initiative as well as teaching English and administrative help at a Volunteer Foundation in India for 2 years . Worked in Peru with special needs kids project for 2 weeks. Organize Political discussion group in NY. Part of and organize multiple book club. Love to travel- been to 25 countries across 5 continents.
5. None
6. Strategy consulting

Schools applying to- INSEAD, LBS, HBS, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Wharton.

10/14/16

Hi David119,

You appear to have a very solid profile for the schools you are looking at. Great academics, strong work experience, solid volunteer work. Since you are part of a well-represented demographic, be sure to always be thinking about ways to show your uniqueness in the application. I am passing along the same link as the above inquiry about dealing with over-representation. http://www.accepted.com/mba/diversity

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/13/16

Curious what are some good extra curricular to be involved in? I just started working full time not too long ago and have a few years before B-School, but would obviously like to start being involved sooner rather than later.

...

10/14/16

Dear BreakingRich,

The "what" is less important than the commitment you make to a cause. Choose something you feel passionate about. Here is some advice on extracurriculars and preparing your profile a few years in advance of applying: http://blog.accepted.com/mapping-out-your-mba-prep...

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/15/16

Hi Jen, I appreciate your feedback here. Great stuff. Can you give me your take on my application/chances at HBS and Tuck? Don't pull any punches.

1) 3.0 from Indiana University in Accounting. I made a conscious decision to explore different disciplines and pursue my intellectual curiosities rather than treat undergrad as a pure resume builder and aim for a high GPA. I knew I was seeking to go the corporate management route and did not need intimate knowledge of some of the nuances of accounting nor a 4.0, so I made sure I got what I needed out of it and then left the rest on the table to go pursue what I saw as genuinely valuable learning and experience (learned programming, circuitry, music theory, was captain of the drumline and build a partnership with athletic marketing, etc.). This is the story I'm telling my essay. I feel that it was the right decision for me personally and the skills and learning I gathered at the expense of GPA points were well worth it in that they helped me distinguish myself out of the gate in the real world and get the relocation assignments in Maine and Taiwan that were amazing career opportunities. This narrative is one of the key aspects I'm curious for feedback on. What's your initial impression on hearing it?

2) 760 GMAT.

3) 3 years work experience, 4 at matriculation. I just finished a F250 company's leadership development rotational program where I was the top performer in my class. One role in accounting at HQ, one role in a factory we acquired a few years ago as a finance analyst in Maine, and another year in Taiwan as a supply chain planner (expat and domestic relocations only given to the top 1-2 performers). Current role is the finance analyst for another factory. I have authored and conducted many trainings on our data systems, Business Objects, and reporting and lead the company's systems training coordination efforts on the side of my normal duties.

4) Extracurriculars: Lead the middle and high school youth group at my church and play in the worship team weekly.

5) MBA goal is to move on to MBB consulting. End career goal is F500 CEO.

I appreciate any insight you have to offer!

10/18/16

Hi TX-guy13,

You certainly sound like a high performer at your current company and have lots of unique experiences there. Your gmat score should alleviate any concern about academic ability. The one thing I would caution you on is to not come across as nonchalant with your presentation of the undergraduate experience. You don't want the admissions committee to have any reason to think you would treat the MBA program the same way. As long as you frame it right you certainly appear to be a candidate they would seriously consider.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/17/16

Hi Natalie and Jen, thanks for this. Can you please assess my profile?

1) 26 years, male, 4 years work experience, 5 years at matriculation. 4 years experience in IBD with the 2 top regional houses, in a region where the local outfits dominate the market. Two promotions during this time frame. Moving on to a Sovereign Wealth Fund as an Assistant Vice President in their Strategy Division. Strong letter of rec(s) from executives at my previous banks.
2) GMAT (620, 42Q, 34V) - first attempt, planning to retake
3) Graduated from LSE with a Ordinary Degree (Pass), majored in Accounting and Finance (first generation) - reasons for this was the sickness and eventual death of my primary caregiver during the final year of my degree, previous 2 years of my degree suggested a different degree classification trajectory
4) Teaching underprivileged children in low income societies for 2 years, teaching children in a community through a religious effort for 6 years, completed a sustainable housing project for underprivilleged families, certified scuba diver and active in marine conversation projects
5) The local equivalent of Series 6, 7 & 63
6) Planning to break into private equity or investment management in a developed market (i.e. UK, HK, AU) before eventually returning to my home region

I'll be aiming for McGill, Toronto, Imperial College London, Melbourne and AGSM. Reach school Cambridge and INSEAD. Any suggestions on other schools I should consider?

10/20/16

Hi charsiewfan,

It looks to me as though you have a good list of schools. I am glad to know you are planning to retake the GMAT. With a weak transcript (regardless of circumstances) you want to make sure you have a strong showing of academic performance so hopefully the new score will get you there. You have very solid work experience and appear to be very involved in the community so everything else looks good for these schools. What about LBS?

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

1/15/17

Hi Jen,

Thank you so much for your advice. Have resat the GMAT and received 690 (48Q, 35V). Accordingly, I have sent applications to LBS (as per your advice), Imperial and Melbourne for this round.

Planning to apply to INSEAD, IMD, Oxford and Cambridge for the next entry. Slightly concerned about their particularly high focus (especially with INSEAD and IMD) on international working experience. How do they assess and differentiate between quality of international working experience?

Thank you!

10/19/16

Thanks for the initiative!

Planning to do a MSF or MIM programme from Europe or US
1)Indian. Pursuing CA. In Final level.
Good exposure in internal and statutory audit with companies like Honda,Pepsi,Airtel(biggest telecom India) and a few more listed companies.
2) CFA l1 cleared
3)Yet to give GMAT
4) Graduate from Delhi university. 58%. Extraneous circumstance: rigorous internship balancing couldn't give me sufficient time.
5) leadership experience. Have been a team leader for few assignments during CA internship.
6) most programme goal: go into Asset Management or hedge funds

10/20/16

Dear ProspectiveIndian,

With your competitive demographic profile it is critical to score 700+ on the GMAT to be "in the game." Do you have any experience outside of work to show your commitment to the community/environment around you?

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/24/16

Hey, just looking to get some feedback on where you think I'd have the best chances to get in:

Pursuing MSF/MMS
School: Semi Target school in Midwest
Major: Finance
Age: 23 when starting program
GPA: 3.4 Cumulative, 3.4 Major (both upward trends)
GMAT: Taking in February (practice scores ranging from 660-690)
ECs: None, except for playing a sport (cricket) on a national level for the past 6-7 years.
Work experience: Volunteered about 2000 hours at a non profit over the last 2-3 years, along with about 300 hours of volunteering at other places/events. Can build on lots of leadership roles from sports and volunteering in essays.
Programs of interest: Ohio State, Duke, UT, Villanova, Pitt, Miami, Loyola, Purdue, and Michigan State.

Goal: To work in IB/Risk Management then pursue an MBA after a couple years and try to move up.

If you can recommend any other schools I should look into also, that'd be great.

10/26/16

Hi SalA3 - Just to clarify first, you are still in undergraduate school?

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/26/16

Yes, graduating in December.

10/26/16

Is there a reason why you want to go straight into a masters program as opposed to getting some experience first? If your undergrad major is finance and you are thinking of getting a MSF, it strikes me as though you might want to get some experience in the field first to ensure that is what you truly want. If you are convinced this is what you want to do, however, you have a good range of schools already on your list.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/29/16

.

10/26/16

Hi john1931,

You seem to have a very unique background that should be very compelling to top programs. Aside from your language studies, do you have any current volunteer/community work that you do? That strikes me as the only thing you might want to beef up on if not. Your international background, language skills, and unique career goals will make you an interesting candidate. Ganbatte!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/29/16

Hey there! I was wondering if you could help me with my profile! Really appreciate the help!

Target schools: HBS, Tuck (my dream school!), CBS, Yale, Cornell, UT McCombs

Age: 28 at matriculation
Gender: Male
Race: White
Marital status: Married for 3,5 years.
Nationality: Finland, a country that only sends 0-3 applications across ALL top 10 schools per year (usually 0). MBA isn't really a thing there.
GMAT: 740, healthy split with strong verbal

Education:
- Bachelor of military science, Army academy (Think Westpoint). Graduated top 30% of my class. Major Strategy, minor Leadership. Specialization Logistics. GPA 3.06/5.0
- Master of business intelligence and information management. Graduated with 7.899/10 --> Translates into 3.9 US GPA according to the official transcript.

Professional background:
- 2 years as a Lieuetenant in a logistics company. Platoon commander. Higher than normal responsibilities as I also trained my superior officers to use the newly implemented complex logistics system. Trained soldiers going into operations abroad.
- Left the military to work full-time for a CPG-startup as a COO (pro-bono). 14 months. Made high impact and have measurable proof. Productivity went up by over 20% and lowered overhead by 8%.
- Simultaneously worked part-time for a market research company for their international and government clients to gain knowledge in business.

  • After my master's degree I have been working for a Fortune 10 Oil-company in the Netherlands. 2 years in matriculation. Rotational leadership fast-track program.

Have had a lasting impact through leading a project that seeks to increase the overall capacity of the company through adopting devops/agile practises into company's innovation funnel.

Extracurriculars:

  • At the Fortune 10 I am part of an environmental voluntary program. Recently did a trip to northern Canada to help in researching climate change.
  • Worked in supporting WW2-veteran rights for years. Have planned and organised fundraisers and held speeches.
  • Lions club for over 4 years. Have organised a fundraiser to raise money for ALS-patients.
  • Founder and President of my university's management consulting club.
  • Travelled to 61 countries, speak 4 languages.
  • Avid hiker and nature lover

Short term plans: Transition into MBB/Deloitte(/Schlumberger) management consulting (turning focus on my expertise (Oil/energy, project management etc.) asap
Long term plans: Move into greentech

So to recap: Applicant from a very rare country with army officer background who has startup-experience that makes sense and ties to current job and now works in oil/energy with a twist of specializing in business tech (NOT IT!)

1.) What are my chances? AND
2.) Does admission committee even care about international GPA's? They don't have to report them for ranking purposes do they? I might have a slight problem with my bachelor degree reporting, because the military does NOT report the class rank on official papers and won't publish it otherwise either. The reason for this is that the finnish military does its career planning based on those scores and it is therefore classified information.

11/2/16

Dear pitcher,

You look like a really strong and interesting candidate. Military officers are always strong candidates - often some of the best students! I wouldn't be terribly concerned about the GPA situation, as the gmat score more than makes up for that (I would certainly discuss it in an optional essay, though, to alleviate any potential concerns). Bottom line, you will be considered a very serious candidate at the schools you are looking for. Military officer, rare country, interesting career and future goals, and very active outside of work.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

10/31/16

Hey Jen!

1) I am graduating from undergrad in December. I haven't had a professional experience other than a required Criminal Justice internship (DIdnt know what i wanted at the time), and Coaching at an elite baseball program in Northeast.
2) Studying for GMAT upon graduating in December (What gmat score should i be around with my GPA?)
3) College info: Private School Northeast (think Quinnipiac University), ~3.2 GPA, Finance & Criminal Justice, 2016. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are
4) Divison 1 Athelte for 4 years, volunteered for two local organization, was baseball coach/instructor for approx. 1 year, Part of investment club, and a separate research and investment club. Bloomberg Terminal Certification
6)post-MBA goal: IB or AM

What are your thoughts on me getting a MSF to raise my gpa before working? Then working and going back for MBA? Also thoughts of taking CFA I in June, will that help add to what I have to offer due to my GPA?

CHU WANNA PLAY ROUGHH?! HOKAY!!

11/1/16

Hi Jen,

I am an senior undergrad looking for some advice on gmat scores to get into a top 15 business school. Would appreciate any insight you might have.

1) Starting full-time work next year as an Analytics Consultant in Big 4 Advisory in the federal space (DC office). Work involves analyzing financial or system performance data, and forecasting long-term projections using statistical and predictive modeling.

2) Haven't taken GMAT, thinking of taking it in the spring. Would like to hear your input on what a target score would be given the rest of my profile if you can.

3) Top school in the mid-Atlantic area (UNC, Duke, W&M, Georgetown), 3.3 engineering undergrad GPA

4) Various volunteer experience. Co-led a social entrepreneurship project that won a project pitch competition.

5) n/a

6) My post-MBA goal is to have the ability to work in commercial management consulting or F500 strategy/business development. Eventually want to end up in a management role at a large company, thinking in HR.

While I don't have my long-term goals figured out just yet, I do have a couple of questions about applying to business school.

I think I will need a graduate degree to re-brand myself from federal analytics and enter the private business world. If I can get in the 690-720 range for the GMAT, would I be competitive at a top 15 school such as Darden, Ross, or Fuqua? I know my undergrad GPA is low, so given my full-time job experience (solid Big 4 job, but not in strategy or management consulting and not terribly unique), what kind of gmat score do you think I would need to get into these schools? Would you say they are in my wheelhouse or should I target other schools?

Also, how much do business school admissions care about technical skills in data science and analytics?

I am trying to decide when to study and take the GMAT and appreciate any input you might have on target scores, certain job experiences or skills that admissions love to hear about, or otherwise.

Thanks!

11/2/16

Hi taw,

You definitely should aim for 700+ to be considered a serious candidate at the schools you are thinking about, and the higher the better. Management consulting firms often review GMAT scores as part of their recruiting process. In terms of work experience to aim for, look for projects where you can exercise leadership and management skills and get tangible results. Also be sure to be involved outside of work with some cause/activity you feel passionate about. Here is info from our site about planning ahead for business school: http://www.accepted.com/mba/planning-early.Hope you find it helpful.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

Accepted.com
11/1/16

gpa in the 2.0s, didnt try in college, sat score 1370/1600, potential to score high on GMAT, top 25 BS in the cards at all?

11/2/16

Dear nm062511,

You certainly have challenges you will need to overcome with that GPA. A high GMAT will help, but you will probably need to take some other courses to offset the low GPA and show your academic ability. Additionally, you will need to have strong work experience, extracurriculars, and career goals. Here is information from our site on how to overcome weaknesses: http://www.accepted.com/mba/applicationweakness.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/2/16

Hi Jen,

I'm considering whether to apply for MBA (Harvard, Wharton, Stanford only) and would appreciate your help in evaluating my profile and what my chances are.

1) 2.5 years BB IBD analyst experience in Hong Kong, followed by 1+ years associate in private equity real estate in top SWF in Middle East
2) Haven't taken GMAT yet. What is the minimum/ideal gmat score given the rest of my profile?
3) #1 university in HK, Upper second-class honors (2:1) / GPA 3.1, bachelor degree double major in Business & Law, 2011 graduation
4) No significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service
5) No certifications
6) No specific post-MBA goal. Most likely to continue in similar role in real estate private equity post graduation

Thank you very much!

11/2/16

To be competitive at H/S/W you need to score 700+ (with emphasis on the plus). I would also suggest getting involved in some type of organized activity/volunteer work. Successful applicants to the schools you are looking at have relentless drive. You need to show that in every aspect of your life. Also, you need to flesh out goals. They won't want to admit you for the credential alone.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/2/16

Dear Jen and Nat, I am thinking about applying to Harvard 2+2 and Stanford 's deferred admission program. what would be my chances?

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience: Senior in college who interned at a hedge fund and 2 private equity funds
2) Your GMAT: 750 (practice test, haven't studied or taken the real test yet)
3) College info: one of (H/Y/P), 3.7 GPA, Applied Math and Econ double major, class of 2017
4) Club sport, gold medal for math olympiad, founded a finance club on campus, on executive board of several other clubs. founded a program to help prep underpriviledged high school kids in Vietnam to prepare for the SAT and college admission

6) Your post-MBA goal: private equity and eventually investment in healthcare or infrastructure in developing countries/regions

7) Other: female, first-generation college, low income background, attended both high school and college on scholarship, worked to support myself through high school and college

11/2/16

Dear Clover1911,

See my reply to the post just before yours to give you an idea about a successful applicant to Harvard. What I wrote was that individuals need to show they have relentless drive. Based on everything you have written here, you appear to have that. Lots of successes in a variety of areas, and lots of involvement in the community. You also have a compelling story. Go for it!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

4/3/17

Dear Jen,

Thank you so much for your help! I took the GMAT and scored 770 (99th percentile), does that improve my chance at all or does gmat not matter much once you pass a certain threshold? I also did not emphasize that I worked my way through college in my app which I should have. Oh well. Any other advice? Thank you so much again!!

11/3/16

Hi, I'd appreciate any evaluation of my profile as a candidate for Tuck (top choice), Yale (second), wharton, hbs, northwestern, vandy, darden, or sloan

  1. Plan on staying a career investment banker, currently 1st year analyst at a top middle-market firm where I could be on partner tack as hinted by a couple of my MD's (previous internships in F500 biotech and corp dev at F500 tech). Extremely high deal flow so taking significant leadership roles already.
  2. GMAT: took a practice test with a 750, can probably score higher with some honing
  3. Went to a very "non-target" state university for finance as a poli sci major with a 3.3-3.4 GPA, overcame this by communicating my story well (family issues etc)
  4. Extracurrics: started a mutual fund in college to help campus gain exposure to finance (ie. taught people basic accounting, financial analysis, incorporated in state, got backing from a family office) and actually generated excellent returns, currently with boys and girls club in ny. I'm an eagle scout for what its worth. Won 2nd in state for CFA global investment research challenge.
  5. No special certifications
  6. Post MBA - some kind of IB whether it's my current firm or another, can't really say. My UG name is almost frowned upon so it's a rebranding of sorts. Would even consider an EMBA to achieve this.

Thank you for your insights!

11/4/16

Believe it or not, the fact you are an Eagle Scout speaks volumes about your character, so that is definitely something you should highlight in your application. Sounds like your career is off to a great start. Your stats are perfectly good (especially if you score in the 750 range), and you have good involvement in the community. The only challenge I possibly foresee is reason for needing the MBA if you are planning to stay on your current path. You definitely don't want to come across as doing it just for the credential. In this respect, the idea to do an EMBA a bit further down the line might make sense. If you plan to stay in your current line of work, doing an MBA while working can be extremely valuable - applying those learnings (and retaining them!) in real time. Either way your profile is one that would be taken seriously.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/4/16

Thank you for this - really helpful. As a quick follow up, when would you suggest applying to EMBA programs? You mentioned further down the line so would that be something like 5-7 years as opposed to the usual 3-4 years? Appreciate the feedback

11/5/16

Five years would be the absolute minimum for being considered seriously for an EMBA program, and only if it is obvious you are a superstar. As I am sure you are aware, the average years of experience in an EMBA program is more in the range of 10-15.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/6/16

Understood - I actually did not know that but that's really good to know. Thanks a lot for the help, lots of stuff clarified.

11/12/16

Hello, I'm Sean and I am new to this forum. I would love some input on my potential competitiveness applying to MSF programs as I feel my background is not typical for MSF programs.
Undergrad: University of Florida
Major: Food and Resource Economics
Minor: Business Admin.
GRE: V: 155 (68%) Q: 164 (87%)
GPA: 3.84
I also have some extra math classes I took for fun: Calc. 1, 2, and 3, and will take Differential Equations next semester (my last semester).
I am just curious how much you think my non-finance degree will hurt me, as well as having NO RELATIVE WORK EXPERIENCE OR INTERNSHIPS.
I have held a part time job through college as well as been a teaching assistant for an economics class as well as a futures market trading class. I also am on a competitive jeopardy style Agribusiness team, which only a few from my major are selected. I would just like some opinions on where I may be competitive. Thanks in advance!

11/15/16

Hi Sean,

I think for you it comes down to how you explain the fact that you want an MSF but have taken no steps prior to applying that indicate it is your area of interest. You need to develop a story that makes sense. How does the MSF relate to your short and long term career goals? If you can build a cohesive narrative it won't be an issue, but that is the key.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/14/16

I'm an officer in the US Navy and will apply to schools next year.

Undergrad: 3.3 in Accounting at a large, SEC school (Bama/Ole Miss/LSU). I know the GPA is low; I don't have any extenuating circumstances/grade trends to mention either.

Work experience:
- 3 years as Logistics Officer in Navy. Lead a department on ship and managed all supply functions (food, budget, etc...). Deployed 3 times to Arabian Gulf.
- 2 years as Petroleum Officer in Navy. Was selected for petroleum officer training program and deployed for 1 year to Horn of Africa where I managed all fuel for major US military installation- had a team of about 50 people working for me.

GMAT: 730- 77% Q- 90% V, 6-IR

Extracurriculars: I'm weak in this department. Nothing to really note in college other than minor fraternity involvement (organized a few events). Was the treasurer for a work related social club while in the Navy, but not sure if that really counts as an EC? Also spent 2 years as a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

I would like to work in either management consulting or brand management at a CPG. Both positions are appealing to me for different reasons, but I have trouble relating my naval experience (in petroleum and logistics) to either job.

I'm targeting the following schools: Duke, Emory, Texas, and Vanderbilt. I think I have a great shot at Emory/Vanderbilt but not sure about the other two. Do you think that I should apply ED to Fuqua (assuming that it is my dream school) as a way to increase my admissions chances? Thanks for whatever insight you can provide.

11/15/16

Hi southernstunna,

Looks to me like you have a lot of things going for you. As a military officer, you will be very appealing to MBA programs. Also, the work you have done in the military is very unique. Your gmat score is strong (and would allay any concern about your GPA), and the lack of extracurriculars is understandable considering your profession (and even here what you have is certainly not nothing!). I would encourage you to go for Fuqua - I have had several clients with a military background who have had great success there. All you need to do is develop a good narrative about why brand/consulting, but you don't need to relate it to what you have been doing in the military. It will be understandable you are making a transition.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

7/5/17

Delete

11/15/16

Dear strayaroo,

You should definitely highlight your Australia experience as much as possible - from what you have shared that appears to be the most differentiating and compelling aspect of your candidacy. A 700+ gmat score will also be helpful in mitigating any concerns related to your undergraduate transcript. You have a challenging list of schools, but presented the right way I see no reason why you wouldn't be considered seriously.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/15/16

Thanks Jen, really appreciate the feedback!

11/14/16

Hi,

Just one question.

  1. How are Pass/Fail courses in quant. courses looked at in admissions, assuming the course pass-failed is non-major?
11/15/16

Hi t_mrice,

Provided that you didn't make a trend of P/F courses, and there are other things on your transcript that are graded and show your academic ability, there shouldn't be that much concern. You can always address such things in an optional essay as well.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/16/16

Hi Jen,

Many thanks for taking the time.

  • Currently working at an upper MM PE fund in Europe. Prior to that, 2 years at an EB (think Lazard, Evercore) and internships at a megafund (think Blackstone, Apollo) and at a Bulge Bracket in the IBD team.
  • Top 15% GPA Bachelor degree in Economics at a top Continental European university. No international academic experience abroad but 4 month internship in an African country during a semester break. Fluent in 4 European languages.
  • GMAT: 725. Strong quant but rather weak verbal.
  • Extracurriculars: beside the internship in Africa mentioned above, I co-founded an impact investing FinTech venture which raised capital from various major banks in my country. Also leader of a regional soccer team, where I have been the captain for a few years (we won a national championship).
  • Goals post MBA: preferably HF, although also open for VC/Tech roles.

Thanks a lot!

11/18/16

Hi MacMonkey,

What schools are you looking at? And I assume you are from Europe?

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/19/16
jenweld:

Hi MacMonkey,

What schools are you looking at? And I assume you are from Europe?

Hi Jen,

I am looking at the M7. Yes, I am from Continental Europe, 100% white.

Thanks so much!

11/29/16

Hi MacMonkey,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. You look like a strong candidate on many levels - good academics, good work experience (and some interesting experience abroad), and interesting extracurriculars. I would say your chances look pretty good!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/19/16

Hi Natalie/Jen,

Thanks in advance for taking the time to evaluate my profile! My target schools are: Master in Finance program in MIT, Oxford, and Imperial College London.

I am currently a senior in a top 20 U.S. university, major in Finance with a GPA of 3.95. I have took some math classes such as linear algebra, multi variable, differential equation, probability&stats; and I am also taking elementary JAVA right now.

My gmat score is 770. 51 in math and 43 in verbal. I didn't take GRE.

I have done several internship in finance, but the job was not very quantitative. One is research intern at a wealth management firm where I did some research on macro economic stuff... Another is summer analyst at a private equity firm, worked on some M&A deal, did some market/industry research, and built some valuation model. Both my internships were in China.

I have passed CFA Level I, and am going to take level 2 next June.

I have considered about Princeton master in finance too, but I think my background is not quant enough to get me accepted. So please help me evaluate what are my odds to get into these three programs that I mentioned above? I really appreciate it.

11/29/16

Hi HHQ,

Based on your statistics I would think your chances of admission would be quite high. What I would want to know from an admissions perspective, however, is why you want to get the MF right after getting an undergrad degree in finance. It strikes me as a bit of overkill unless you have the right reasons for it. What do you hope to do ultimately? If it is something that would require an MBA down the road, it might be more worth your while to work for you a few years and then get an MBA.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/29/16

In my application, I said ultimately I want to be a portfolio manager using hybrid quantitative/fundamental strategy. So I still want to get some skills in quant field, but not too quant like those in financial engineering program. Do you think it's a fair reason?

11/29/16

This sounds like fairly specialized work, and therefore the MF should make sense.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/21/16

Hi @Natalie_Accepted, thanks so much for providing your insight! I was wondering how top B-schools would perceive an analyst experience at a top bank (Credit Suisse, Evercore, Lazard) in their Private Funds Group. This is the division that raises capital from institutional investors to invest in PE firms. This is something I am very interested in, although I would not develop as many technical skills as a typical IB analyst at these firms, as it is more of a marketing/sales/fundraising strategy role. Do you have anecdotal experience of clients that were in these positions?
Thanks!

11/29/16

Hi Quint101,

I would think the experience in a private funds group would actually be even more interesting to an admissions committee than a typical analyst role, reason being you will have a much broader range of experience, and therefore more to add to more class discussions.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

11/27/16

Hi Jen,
Is it necessary to be a founder of some start-up to get into top-5 MBA (U.S.)?
Is it possible to get there with 4-5 years of work experience in investment banking at a middle-market bank or boutique or in management consulting at a Big4 or Tier-2 firm? With GMAT 750+, GPA 3.7+ from top-10 undergrad (U.S.).
Thank you.

11/29/16

Hi Kevin25,

There is no hard and fast rule about admission to any school. Bottom line the top schools are looking for driven, motivated, smart, unique, and proven successful individuals to admit to their programs. Success comes in lots of different forms, and certainly could be shown at a smaller bank or tier-2 consulting firm. You have great stats, what you need to showcase in your apps is how you are going to be a dynamic addition to the class, either through work experience, volunteer experience, other life experience, or a combination.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/2/16

Hi @jenweld,

This might be a bit of a dumb question as I'm still in undergrad, but would love to hear your perspective on my chances at a top 15 business school after a few years in the workforce. Any advice on action to take in the next 5 years to improve my candidacy would be great as well.

Work experience: 5 or so internships during college, interning at a top middle market investment bank this summer hoping for a full-time offer. If I can receive the full-time offer, I'd probably do 2 years of investment banking and 2-3 years of private equity or (if it's possible) venture capital.

GMAT: Haven't taken yet, wondering what I would need to score based on the rest of my profile for a top B School.

College info: At a non-target state school (ranked top 100 by US News); Major: Finance with Honors, Minor: Entrepreneurship; GPA: Currently 3.50, but believe I can reach a 3.6 - 3.65 by the time I graduate. Grades are a little low as I've worked throughout college to pay for tuition. For certain periods of time, I worked 45+ hours during school. Went part time (one class per semester) for one year due to financial constraints, and worked 65+ hours per week at multiple jobs to save money and come back to school.

Extra-Curricular: President of two undergraduate organizations, one driven towards community service. In total 10+ student organization leadership positions throughout undergrad.

Designations: None at the moment, but will likely take the CFA Level I in June; waiting on scholarship decision from my university.

Post MBA Goal: Work for early-stage companies or in Venture Capital.

12/4/16

Hi NonTargetRecruit,

It's never too early to be thinking about your next step, so not dumb at all to be inquiring! On our website we have a whole series of posts on planning early: http://www.accepted.com/mba/planning-early.They should be a great resource for you.

As for your chances, so far you have good stats (3.5 GPA with a full-time job is pretty amazing, actually!), and your community commitments seem unusually strong. With five+ internships you should also be gaining a wealth of experience. Provided you continue with strong academics, a good GMAT when the time comes, and a positive career trajectory, I see no reason why you wouldn't be considered a serious contender down the road.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/4/16

Hi Jen,

Thanks for the reply and the resources - will definitely look into these posts as I think more about an MBA.

I'm curious, are there any schools you would recommend I target if everything goes as planned (3.65 GPA, 2 Years IB, 2 Years PE, CFA Lvl 1) and I'm able to score well on the GMAT (thinking 710-740 range)?

Thanks!

12/12/16

Since you are targeting a career in the finance area Booth is an obvious choice. A lot of it depends on what you are looking for in a program - size, feel, location. All the top schools will serve you well, so beyond that you need to decide what is most important to you - a small, tight knit community like Tuck in a small town, or a larger program like Columbia in a bustling metropolis. You have plenty of time to figure that out.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/12/16

Thanks for the help!

12/14/16

Hi Jen, I'm considering applying to a couple of the top MFin programs in Europe, whose requirements are easier than in the U.S. They accept both the GRE Q and GMAT. Do you think it's easier to score 160 quant on the GRE or 680 combined on the GMAT? I consider myself to be fairly even in my quantitative and verbal abilities. Thank you!

12/14/16

Hi Jake,

Honestly it depends on which test you have more affinity with. Take sample quant sections of both tests and see which one you score best with, then go with that. Here is a blog post from our site regarding the GMAT vs GRE question: http://blog.accepted.com/gmat-or-gre/.Good luck!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/14/16

Hi Natalie,

Thanks for doing this! I am interested in Berkeley HaaS, UCLA Anderson, Kellog & NYU Stern. What are my chances of getting admission for the full time MBA program given my stats.

CGPA: 3.12
CPA
Undergrad: UCSB
Major: Economics and Accounting
3 years of Big 4 Assurance experience (just got promoted to senior)
GMAT: 700
First generation immigrants and first generation college student from South East Asia

Thanks in advance.

12/14/16

Hi ryeol1611,

Your GPA and GMAT aren't "wows" so hopefully you have some really stellar work experience (solid accomplishments) and some strong extracurricular activities to counteract that. If you don't, I would add in a few other schools that are safer bets, since it will be hard to stand out to the admissions committees at the schools you are currently considering.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/14/16

edited

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

12/14/16

Thanks for doing this, it's been extremely helpful. I had a quick question.

To give a little background I went to a Target Undergrad with a GPA of ~3.6 and currently work at a BB IB. I have ambitions to eventually go get my MBA at a top 25 school. However, I got a few really low grades (CS) my freshman year summer while taking community college classes in my home town. I can re-take these classes and score higher grades to bump up my GPA but they will not be erased from my transcript. Is it worth pursuing? Do admissions take into account the higher grade or do they look at both?

Thanks.

12/14/16

Dear MBA Prepper,

A 3.6 GPA is pretty respectable especially considering you had some low grades to drag you down. As long as you explain the reason for the initial low grades (or that there IS a reason) in an optional essay, and you have follow up grades in more difficult courses that were significantly higher, there is no need to retake them.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/14/16

Hi Natalie/Jen, would appreciate your thoughts as I prepare to apply in Fall 2017 for MBA programs.

Target Schools: London Business School, Oxford (Said), Cambridge (Judge), and HEC Paris.
Work Experience: 3 years in commercial banking (new grad program to account manager with client portfolio). Transitioned to MM Private Equity and have been there for 2 years as an analyst. Will have 3.5 years if accepted for 2018. Progressive responsibilities in this role.
Academics: UBC 2011. Business undergrad in finance and economics. 2.74 GPA equivalent.
GMAT: No gmat score as of yet. I assume I'll have to knock it out of the park given my GPA. Appreciate insight here.
Leadership/Extracurricular: Business student society president at university. Was previously a Big Brother, and now involved with local CFA society (present info sessions at local universities), and church (lead weekly study/discussion groups).
Certifications: CFA Charterholder. Passed all 3 exams first try.
Post-MBA Role: Distressed private equity or hedge fund.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

12/14/16

Hi LeveragedTiger,

First and foremost, glad to see a fellow Calvin & Hobbes enthusiast on this thread!

You are right that you will need to knock the GMAT out of the park to counteract the low GPA. Thankfully you passed the CFA exams on the first try all three times, so that tells me you will probably be a good test taker. Provided you do well on the test, AND you have a compelling reason that you did poorly that you explain in an optional essay, that should alleviate concerns about your academic ability. Looks like you have solid work experience and have been involved sufficiently in the community, so ace that test and that will get you a lot closer. Here are some resources from our website about how to manage weaknesses in your profile: http://www.accepted.com/mba/applicationweakness

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/14/16

Hi there
I'm in a bit of a (good) pickle and was hoping you could give me some advice. My background is essential (at matriculation fall 2017)
-25M
-27 months work ex as a project manager at an oil refinery, total portfolio size of 6MM
-3.15 mechanical engineering undergrad from a Big Ten School
-About three years as a division one track and field athlete along with starting a drone building club and hunting club. Currently involved in my church and and in a river clean up volunteer organization
- before yesterday 720, but now a 780 50Q 49V

My problem is mostly that with this big bump up in score I'm not sure where I'm competitive at now. I'm currently applying to Tuck and Ross, but should I be working on other apps for R 2 with the short amount of time left? Is stanford even a possibility? I sincerely appreciate any help, Thanks!

12/16/16

Hi Throw612,

Somebody with a 580 could have a shot at Stanford - it's not just about stats (though they are obviously important, and you should indeed feel psyched about the 780). People who get admitted to H/S/W share a few traits in common: initiative and unrelenting drive that they prove over and over again through their achievements; interesting/atypical backgrounds, hobbies, interests, intellectual curiosity. If you feel you've got what it takes, give it a shot!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/15/16

Hi Natalie/Jen/All

Thanks for your input and taking the time to evaluate and answer all of our questions! It really has helped a lot of us I'm sure. I'm planning on applying for the following schools next year, and would love to hear your input on my profile and if my targets are in a reachable range.
White male, will be 26 at matriculation.
Target Applying: Michigan, McCombs, Minnesota, Vandy
WE - Worked as a commercial banker at a small 2.1B AUM community bank since 2015, moving from credit analyst, to consumer lender, to commercial lender. Will have worked for 3 years there at matriculation
GMAT - expecting in the 720 range or higher (will retake if lower)
School - Graduated from Upper Midwest state school in 2015 (MT, SD, ND, MN) - Finance, 3.65 GPA, no real trend
College & Post-College EC: Served as VP in Investment Club, volunteer youth hockey coach, Young Professionals member
Certs: Currently sitting for level I of CFA, and hoping to pass in June, will then take Level II in Dec
Post-MBA Goal - Transition to career in investment banking. Energy banking is what really intrigues me at this point, but I also want the flexibility in the small chance that if I change my mind, I won't be pigeon-holed by the school I chose. I had originally planned on attending law school throughout undergrad, but had change of heart mid-way through senior year, thus never had the opportunity for any ibd internships etc. Would like to use the MBA to rebrand and have better opportunities to get my foot in the door.

12/17/16

Hi Blast-off,

You have good stats so far, and your GMAT goal score is on track. Your school list looks reasonable considering your overall profile. Passing level 1 of the CFA will make you more attractive as well, so hope you nail it! Good luck!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/17/16

Hi, I would like to be evaluated for my profile:

Target schools: Booth, Kellogg, Wharton, Colubmia, NYU, Berkeley, MIT

1) 2 years in finance rotational program at F100 + 2.5 years at mid-size company in corporate development role, primarily internal M&A and I run most of the deals. Deal sizes are typically small <$10M, but a lot of responsibilities. Other work includes company's capital structure - closed on two large capital raise transactions for the company.
2) 700 (48Q 38V)
3) Mid-teir school - similar to DePaul, UIC, OSU. Overall GPA 3.7, Finance GPA 3.9
4) Committee Chair of volunteer organization, active 3 yrs.
5) Investment Banking - to transition from internal transactions to broader experience.

12/21/16

Hi amach3,

Well you don't have a safety school in the bunch, but you do appear to have a competitive profile! A rotational program at an F100 program speaks highly of your abilities, as those tend to be pretty tough to get. I wouldn't be concerned with the smaller size of the deals - since you are responsible for most aspects, you have a lot of great experience to draw from in class discussions on a lot of different topics. Great GPA, decent GMAT (possible to push it up at all?). Your leadership position within a volunteer organization, and active as long as you have been is also good. You obviously aren't trying to pad your resume at the last minute. Finally, your career goal makes sense. I see no reason why you wouldn't be considered a serious candidate!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/27/16

[redacted]

12/21/16

Hi consultingthrowaway_101,

Honestly your profile looks pretty good, especially if you are as active outside of work as you list (not sure how many positions are current). What I would focus on is taking on as many "meaty" projects as you can, essentially where you can build leadership and management skills. The more responsibility you take on the better it looks. Here is a recent blog post I did about "good" work experience that may help: http://blog.accepted.com/qualifies-good-work-exper....
I like that your long term goals are in the public/social sector - that is a true rarity! Try to have those goals as fleshed out as possible by the time you are putting together your essays.

As I wrote in an earlier reply on this thread, these top schools look for folks with relentless drive. Think that way whenever you are considering your next career move, extracurricular move, etc.

Good luck!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/22/16

Thank you for the response! With regards to the especially competitive schools (HBS and Wharton), do you see any patterns in how people differentiate themselves? I know you've mentioned "relentless drive" before, but I'd love to hear any other tips you might have.

Would love to connect with you after the holidays as well as I might be applying in the 2017 cycle - let me know if I can ping you!

12/22/16

It is easiest to differentiate yourself through things outside of work (unless you have some truly one-of-a-kind work experience). So if you have an interesting story about growing up/your youth, that is one way. Another is to have some unexpected/unusual involvement in the community (one of my clients had been an actor on an Indian soap opera!). Essentially imagine someone with a similar profile to yours work-, academic-, and demographic-wise, and the admissions committee can only admit one of you. What will make them choose you? Have that mindset as you go through all aspects of your application.

Certainly feel free to be in touch regarding our services. I would be more than happy to assist you.

Happy Holidays!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/24/16

...

12/21/16

Hi sharks1234.

You have very impressive academics. Curious as to what led a biological sciences major into VC?

In a post just a few above this, I responded to another individual with the following:

"People who get admitted to H/S/W share a few traits in common: initiative and unrelenting drive that they prove over and over again through their achievements; interesting/atypical backgrounds, hobbies, interests, intellectual curiosity."

That's the mindset you should have when thinking about HBS. Perhaps review your GSB application to see if those types of traits carry through. Think about the interview - is that the way you presented yourself? If you maintain this mindset throughout the application process, you should have a shot.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/24/16

Thanks for the feedback Jen, appreciate it. And great question on the biological science -> VC; it's what I hope to address in my personal statement (though challenging to do so in a concise way).

As a more general question, given my work experience I'm curious if you think I get bucketed with other applying consultants or with other folks from private equity (and whether it makes a difference)?

12/28/16

Hi sharks1234,

I don't think you will get bucketed either way, and even if you were, I don't think it would make a difference. Good luck!

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/26/16

Do business schools understand foreign armies or military services such as the French Foreign Legion and consider it as a prestigious work experience leading to MBA?

All for a US born, US educated individual. For example, doing sales for two years (really well) and then joining the French Foreign Legion for 5 year contract before applying for admission?

I have a high GMAT and will get it higher, but also have a terrible GPA (will end up around 2.6/7). My resume has 6 months of entreneur work (failed), 6 months at the hottest startup and then assumedly another 2 years in technology/startup sales and doing great.

What schools would be best for this profile and how does admission view FFL (foreign army) experience.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

12/28/16

Hi UTDFinanceGuy,

It is hard for me to give you any direction on schools since I am not sure what you want to do when you graduate. Please let me know that and I can advise accordingly.

Regarding your FFL experience, that will certainly be considered interesting. I am not terribly familiar with the organization, but will tell you that if your experience from it equates to being an officer in the US military that will make a very strong case for you - military officers are highly sought after in MBA programs due to their unique set of experiences, perspective, discipline and work ethic.

Do you have a good explanation for the poor GPA? Is that right your GPA is 2.6/7 or was it a typo? Where have you done your studies with this scale? A strong gmat score will do much to alleviate concern about the GPA provided there is a legitimate set of circumstances that brought it about in the first place.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/28/16

It's more akin to advanced enlisted status. Think Army Ranger.

The GPA is so low because I worked full time tome in undergrad to help support my disabled father. So had to work and GPA suffer.

Will schools even get past my GPA to much essay or be instantly trashed?

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

12/28/16

A lower than average GPA is completely understandable under these circumstances. You just need to explain this in an optional essay and it won't be an issue.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

12/31/16

Hi!

100% white norweigan guy here.

Planning on applying for the 2018/2019 intake for HBS / Stanford / Wharton / Columbia but interested to hear whether my application is strong enough and what you think I could improve until then.

1) 1.5 years in IBD with Morgan Stanley / Goldman / JP Morgan in London (industry coverage team). Potentially moving into a mega-fund PE later this year. Consulting internship in NYC prior to joining the bank.
2) 720
3) Brittish semi-target/target School (Think UCL / Warwick / Imperial) - First class degree, top ~5% of class
4) Chair of a cultural society at university (~100 members) but almost no other experiences apart from this. Any ideas of what to get involved with now that I have left university?
5) Private Equity or Tech VC

1/6/17

Hi Norwegianguy,

Your first advantage is that you are Norwegian - not many applying to US schools. Sounds like you have very solid work experience and academics, the only thing you are missing is a strong record of community involvement. There is no hard and fast rule about what to do - the focus should be on something that you feel really strongly about, whether it be animal welfare, eliminating hunger, education, human rights, etc. Choose one form of volunteer work that you can really commit to, either by being seriously involved with a project or serving on the board. Start doing it as soon as possible so you don't look like you are padding your resume for admission.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

1/1/17

Hi Jen,

I'm not like everyone else who's applying for an MBA. But I do have some questions as I'm planning on it in the future. I'm a senior in hs and I've mostly applied to LACs and a few universities. I thought LACs would be the best fit for me, but now I don't know if the outcomes would benefit me when getting internships/jobs for an MBA.
I've applied to middle-tier LACs like Bates, Hamilton, Colgate, Lafayette. I applied to IU, Nova, Fordham, Lehigh, and BC as well. Are these schools good for a future MBA applicant? They aren't top targets like Amherst, Williams, and Middlebury, so I'm not sure if I'm starting off the wrong foot already. My stats aren't high enough for the top-tiers.
Also, what do you recommend me to do to prepare well come MBA application time? Ex. Do I need a higher GPA at the LACs mentioned?

Thank you!

1/6/17

Hi Lizzie-Brown,

Wow I can't believe you have the where with all to be asking these questions while still in high school - that says something about your future (positively)!

The tier of school matters much less than how you did there, what you did there, and then what you do after. As long as you have strong academics wherever you go (and all of those colleges you mentioned are highly respected), combined with a strong gmat score, solid work experience and a good reason for wanting an MBA, there is no reason to be concerned.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

1/6/17

Need some feedback on my profile. Not sure if M7 MBA will have enough ROI for investment, given my salary at the end of my rotational program (>100k).

1) 2 years Electrical Engineer @ Northrop Grumman, 2 years RELDP @ Raytheon (ending in 2017)
2) 740 GMAT - (Q49 - 81%, V41 - 93%)
3) BS/MS at University of Oklahoma, Industrial Engineering - U. GPA 3.1 (2013), Grad. GPA 4.0 (2015)
4) TA/Mentor on campus (3 years), food bank volunteer, local elementary school STEM program, Math Counts, etc.
5) No certifications
6) Consulting, Corporate Strategy, or PM in High Tech
7) White/Native American Male (not recognized by tribe though). Worked FT in undergrad/grad school and had family issues freshman year, major upward trend. (From 2.6->3.1)

Schools: HBS (why not), Wharton, Sloan, Kellogg, Johnson, Yale SOM, McCombs (local), Owen (for $$)

1/6/17

Hi trustmeimanengineer,

You have a solid background with your work experience - rotational programs are coveted, of course, and at a F500 company. Great gmat score, so-so GPA (but mitigating circumstances from working fulltime). Looks like you are very involved with the community, another plus.

Can't say on the ROI. You are probably right that with your current salary you won't get a tremendous boost (if any) by going through an MBA program, but you will get the cache, which does count for something, however tangible or intangible. What you need to decide is whether or not your future career goals can be attained without the MBA credential. There are some areas where the MBA is absolutely essential. If the MBA really is a rite of passage, then so be it. If not, then you need to do a cost/benefit analysis of going through a program.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

1/5/17

Hi Jen,

A few questions that would be amazing for you to answer for me as I consider the HBS 2+2 or Stanford GSB Deferred Admission program. But first, my info:
1) I'm a senior at the University of Cincinnati with a 3.96 GPA as Finance/Econ double major, graduating this spring.
2) I have had 3 incredible internships: 2 semesters @ Family Office >$1b AUM, 2 semesters as small hedge fund <$10m AUM, and 1 semester this summer in NYC at a MM IBD. I recently accepted a FT offer in their NYC office.
3) Haven't taken the GMAT yet (part of my question)... but got a 32 on my ACT (97th percentile) if that helps at all with my intelligence.
4) Very, very heavily involved during my UG. Portfolio Manager of $500k student investment fund, Director of Education IB Club, Chair of Student Committee overseeing >$35m in student fees, Presidential Medal of Excellence nominee, Club Golf, and more. Last spring I was tapped into a Men's Honorary (~10-15 men at the whole university) where seemingly anyone going to these M7 schools came from (3 of my key mentors are in this org and are now HBS alumn going UC -> HBS).
5) Post-IB goal 110% either PE or Consulting, leaning 70/30 PE. In my mind an MBA helps round my resume from the technical background an IBer maintains (modeling, etc.) to more of a day-to-day operational improvement with strategic vision... i.e. help shape my intangible skills.

So my main questions...:
1) Entering my last semester, I'm in a time crunch deciding if I want to spend my last semester prepping for the GMAT before the HBS 2+2 deadline (April 3). I've read a lot about it being a STEM-focused recruiting tool and that my odds are low as a business major. However, I also see my resume and diverse background (non-target school) as a pro. Is it worth it to cram, or do I have essentially no shot at it as white male in business (i.e. lacking diversity).
2) Is my profile sufficient for an M7 school? What would I need to improve? What would I need on my GMAT?
3) Any general tips based on what you've read?

Thanks a million!

1/9/17

Dear journeyman,

You have impressive credentials and think you would be taken seriously for the 2+2. Incredible academics, diverse internship experiences, and highly involved on campus. Obviously you want to aim for 700+ on the GMAT, but seems like that should be a cake walk with your ACT. Basically all I see you have to lose in applying is the time spent studying for the GMAT and preparing the app itself. I say go for it! We have a lot of great resources related to the 2+2 program on our website. I did a search for you so you could get started: http://blog.accepted.com/?s=HBS+2%2B2.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

1/8/17

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1/8/17

Hi Natalie and Jen,

Thank you for taking the time to do this. I was thinking of making a forum post but this seems like a good place to start. I understand my profile is quite unconventional so I'd appreciate any honest input about my prospects and plans. For my details..

American, 25 yrs old
1) No experience whatsoever
2) GMAT 700
3) BS Business Administration, UC Berkeley. GPA: 3.2 (~3.5 including transfer institution grades, if it works that way). Regarding my degree it is also worth noting I graduated over 3 years ago.
4) Leadership positions in school honors society, committee roles in fraternity, minor role in school association. Management of personal investment account.
5) Working towards CFA Level 1 this summer
6) Goal is to just find employment in financial sector, ideally in financial markets (banking, investments)

I'm targeting Masters in Finance programs, some in the US, but mostly Europe. A list the programs I've considered: Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, LSE (MSc Accounting & Finance), LBS, Imperial, HEC Paris, Bocconi

1/9/17

Dear wso777,

It is hard for me to assess your chances when I am unsure as to why you have no experience yet have been out of school for three years. Can you share what you have been doing during that time? That will help me in determining your chances. Feel free to send me a private message if you don't want to share the circumstances here.

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

1/9/17

Hi Jen, thanks for doing this! Curious to know odds for M7 generally, but specifically HBS, Columbia and also Tuck.

1) 1yr M&A paralegal at top 10 law firm, 2 years M&A Investment Banking at top-tier BB (GS, MS, JPM), 3 years marketing & product development at 10Bn+ Asset Manager (3 promotions, opened new office, moved overseas)

2) 712 GMAT

3) Small IVY (Bowdain, Tufts, Babson, Middlebury) - 3.33 GPA, Political Science, Captain of varsity sports team, president of fraternity, head of student investment fund

4) Board of directors of undergrad's student investment fund, board of directors for fraternity

5) None

6) Venture Capital / Growth Equity or tech corp dev

Thanks!

1/9/17

Dear jackal,

I like your varied work experience - legal, finance, marketing and product development exposure. This means a lot of great stuff to add in a variety of different courses in an MBA program. Your academics are decent - not wow, but not slouchy, either, especially considering the school. Do you have any involvement outside of work now? The extracurriculars you listed are from college. It would help if you had some more current involvement, but if you are considering applying this year, don't try to pad your resume with stuff as it will be obvious what you are trying to do.

Bottom line, your work experience will definitely hook an adcom. What you do with things beyond that (essays, recos, etc) will determine where you net out (sorry, that is a bad pun!).

Jennifer Weld, Consultant, Accepted | Contact Me |