- 740 GMAT (Q: 47 V: 45)
- 3.99 GPA
- Undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Georgia
- Work experience includes three years as an analyst at a boutique healthcare investment bank, currently an associate in the industrial group at a middle-market investment bank in the Southeast
- Expect very strong recommendation from the managing director who is a Stanford GSB alum
- Extracurricular involvement has been fairly limited, though “I am active in church and participate in community service projects through that. In college I was the head of a Sector team for our Student Managed Investment Fund and also in leadership for our Banking & Finance Society”
- Goal: To broaden skill beyond finance and transition out of investment banking and into a corporation to help build value for the long-term
- 27-year-old white male
Odds of Success:
Northwestern: 40% to 50+%
Dartmouth: 40% to 50+%
Sandy’s Analysis: You’re an interesting case, with a 3.99 GPA Finance major at University of Georgia (how’d you lose that basis point, late to gym one day?) and a 740 GMAT, and two “no-brand-name” jobs (“3 years as an analyst at a boutique healthcare investment bank” –should have applied right then, btw—and currently, “Associate in the Industrials group at a middle-market investment bank located in the Southeast”).
Phew! What does that add up to? Not HBS or Stanford, is my guess, because while all of the above is solid, the finance cohort at those schools are super competitive, with high performers from brand name banks and PE shops. And you don’t have any X-factor to change that outcome. Basically, you’d be competing with kids from Ivy’s with similar stats and jobs at Goldman, Morgan, TPG and Bain Capital (not yet a joke with adcoms, the way it apparently is with the nation at large after Mitt’s swan dive).
If your managing director at your current bank, the Stanford GSB alum, can bang on the table, well, maybe. But I ain’t seeing it, unless they owe him one, somehow. You have not mentioned this as a school choice, but man, kids like you go to Wharton. The finance hole is bigger, they run a bit older, like you, and hey, your stats are totally solid.
As to your extras: “I was the head of a Sector team for our Student Managed Investment Fund and also in leadership for our Banking & Finance Society.” Exactly, that is the kind of profile that HBS and Stanford will hold against you and Wharton might shrug and say, “Sure, with some luck and some seasoning, we can turn this boring putz into an exciting finance guy.” That is what they will be thinking. I like you just the way you are.
As for your goals, you say: “I would like to transition out of investment banking and work for a corporation and focus on building value for the long-term.” Hmmmm, maybe, but you can also work on building value for the long-term (ahem, as that is measured in the world of business schools) as a PE guy, or VC guy, which makes more sense, given your background. Also, smart, hard-working, Church-going guys like you (“I am active in my church and participate in community service projects through that . . . “) are exactly what PE shops are looking for. Why fight it?
Other schools you note–Kellogg, Tuck, Ross, Fuqua, Darden–should be in-line.