Ms. Former Medicine
- 750 GMAT
- 3.71 GPA
- Undergraduate degree in biological science from the University of Toronto
- “I lost interest in pursuing medicine, and decided to switch to business”
- Work experience as risk analyst for TD bank after working as an investment rep for two years, with good sales record
- Studied CFA and passed all 3 levels consecutively (to substitute for my lack of formal business training in school)
- Extracurricular involvement starting a website for Chinese parents in Toronto, with parenting information (like local doctors, Ontario immunization, etc, volunteer at two hospitals, worked at my family convenient store for over 10 years and also as a consultant for a number of small businesses, organized events for Chinese students during college and tutored high school students. Also teach elementary level piano for kids.
- Goal: To transition into consulting, “mainly to get exposure to how big companies operate”
- Long-Term Goal: To start own consulting company focusing on small business
- “I really hope to leverage experiences with big companies to revolutionize small businesses, to help them grow”
- 29-year-old mother of two young daughters under age of 3 (“not sure if this counts as pro or con but am currently on maternity leave”), born and raised in China, family immigrated to Canada when I was 15
Odds of Success:
Northwestern: 30% to 40%
Rotman (my suggestion): 50%+
Sandy’s Analysis: Well, I like you!!!! Twenty-nine-year-old mom, ace GMAT taker (750), 3.7 GPA at Toronto U, solid enough finance job (risk analyst) at TD bank, and you want to be a consultant? Plus you run some do-gooder website for Chinese parents in Toronto, “with parenting information (like local doctors, Ontario immunization, etc).”
Here is some good news, many top consulting outfits (M/B/B) really care about your GMAT, so your 750 could probably land you a job at one of them if you attended any of the Top-10 business schools, and all that you are targeting–HBS, Stanford, MIT, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, USC. Here’s some more good news: consulting recruiters are basically red-white-blue whole wheat types like you (or whatever the national colors of Canada are) with family values and kids in the background.
Now for some bad news: Consultants travel a lot, especially new ones, so juggling a consulting career with your growing family in your apprentice consulting years 2016-2021 may require a lot of skill or a very understanding and talented spouse or grand-parents.
You say, as to goals: “Eventually I want to start my own consulting company focusing on small business, and I really hope to leverage experiences with big companies to revolutionize small businesses, to help them grow.” Those are acceptable goals for your application, although be prepared to explain, either in the application or at an interview, how you plan to manage the family and the jobs. I am not sure if those questions are illegal or just sexist and unfair, but they may arise.
If that is what you really want to do, any business school which is a feeder to big consulting companies will do for you, and you don’t need M/B/B either. You can learn consulting best practices at any leading consulting firm. This list is a useful ranking and thumbnail summary of leading consulting firm cultures and subject expertise. I love this crack about a leading firm, “Work-life balance is not a high priority.” Which firm do our readers think that applies to?
I think you have a real solid admissions chance at Kellogg, Haas, and USC, all of which will like your story and stats. Chicago may, in some undefined but powerful way, think this story is too soft for them, and that re-treading working moms is not their deal. That may also happen at HBS, Stanford and MIT, although no one would admit it (I expect some feisty denials from the schools, but if so, cite the number of moms in your classes, ok?).
Here’s a thought, given your goals, and your stats, and your mom-i-tude, why not go to Rotman (University of Toronto). It is a solid school, you will get in, and lots of grads go into consulting, with both the M/B/B’s of the world and boutiques, see the Rotman placement numbers here:
See also PQ’s favorable overview of Rotman: https://poetsandquants.com/school-profile/university-of-toronto-rotman-school-of-management/