Profile Evaluation For Top Schools? 710 GMAT; 3.75 GPA

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I recently completed my GMAT, and am planning to apply to Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, and Chicago. I have two big questions: 1) am I in trouble with my (relatively) skewed GMAT, even though I have good quant experience (i-banking, hedge fund, cfa level 1), and 2) how hard should I be trying to finish my applications for 1st round as opposed to letting things slip into 2nd round (where I presume there will be more competition from recently laid-off/fired folks at financial firms). Will I be competitive, all else equal? Thank you in advance.

University of Southern California
GPA: 3.75
Business Administration

GMAT
Overall: 710
Breakdown: 44 Q (70%); 42 V (95%); no AWA yet

Hedge Fund Analyst at a ~$1 billion fund in Los Angeles
2 Years (would be 3 years by the time business school starts next Fall)

Investment Banking Analyst at Houlihan Lokey (Financial Restructuring Group)
2 Years

Completed Level 1 of the CFA examination
Member of Value Investor Club (exclusive online site for professional investors – membership limited to 250 people)

I’m a little weak in extra-curricular, but I am very involved in USC mentorship programs.

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by Lisa Anderson » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:26 pm
Dear JR,

You might be at a slight disadvantage with your quant under 80%, but I'm not sure it is worth retaking the GMAT. Your work experience demonstrates a strong quant/analytical aptitude.

I would suggest applying first round. As you mention, there will be a large number of applicants in the second round with similar work experience. You want to make a compelling case sooner rather than later this year.

Good luck,
Lisa
Lisa Anderson
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