WSO has always been a very helping community and has definitely helped me over the years. Now personally I try to help and give advice (PM or threads) whenever I think I can add good value and see this as paying it forward. This is a thread for personal reasons but I think it is a very general thread too and can be of great help to everyone in the future. So I encourage everyone to participate and give their $.02 and more
Thanks to everyone in advance.
A bit of my background
Semi target elite liberal arts 2014 Grad
Major: Double major in Economics and Political Science
GPA: 3.28 (On the low side but have valid excuses and never was an issue in interviews and they were always satisfied with my explanation. Not sure whether it will remain same for B-School in terms of circumstances being able to offset the low GPA)
European boutique advisory (started october 2015)
BB Investment Banking Energy group (USA) 1 year (Aug 14 - Aug 15)
Big 4 Advisory internship (Summer '13)
I am aiming for a top MBA Program (T10) and would aim for M&A roles (and possibly, PE) after b-school. I am a May 2014 grad and have one year experience and am possibly looking to apply for either the 2017 cycle (3 years experience) or 2018 cycle (4 years work experience.)
NOW FOR MY REQUEST. People who have already been through the process and/or going through it right now, some discussion question.
I) What should be my game plan right now? When should I look to give the GMAT? I gave a test cold last week and scored 640 on it. Good thing (if there is such a thing here) was tht the mistakes were of similar nature rather than being all over so I am confident that if I study enough and prepareI should be able to get it higher as I do well on standardized tests historically. (2330 in SATs). Of course its not an indication but I am confident to going above 720 at the minimum. But aim is 750+. Any advice in what helped people achieve top scores also appreciated. I know theres some good threads around.
II) To make my application better what else should I do? Should I volunteer for some social work. I did it in high school and also did a bit in college too but ofcourse continuing with either is not possible. Is this something B-Schools really care about?
III) I have been thinking of the CFA and looked at some materials and the Level 1 seems easy enough. Does having passed a CFA exam or 2 have any bearing on the chances of admission into a top MBA program? I mean I would just be giving it for the heck of it and ofcourse the advantage would be that it would increase my technical skills and knowledge but I have no plan of going into AM or ER. If there is any discernible impact on MBA admission I am certainly open to giving Level 1. Dont think I will go beyond though due to time. Def not be able to complete it before potential B-school.
IV) Any other general points anyone would like to make? I have a good 2-3 years to set any deficiencies I have in my applications right and want to make a great impression in fixing them. What else would B-schools look at kindly? Anything you wish you had know earlier that you know now?
Any and all advice is appreciated. Thank you everyone
(btw never knew we cant edit fonts etc otherwise I would have made some things bold or underlined or increased the font size to format it better)