= Need advice for Ivy League MBA. =

I got my bachelors in finance from a small private school in Florida and I got a Master of Science In Finance from a large state school in Florida

Undergrad GPA: 3.55 Grad School GPA: 3.98
Work experience: 1 year at a hedge fund, now work as an analyst at the largest commercial real estate brokerage firm in the world and have been for about a year. Looking to spend a few more years there before business school. Passed CFA level 1 a few months ago, was a division 1 baseball player in undergrad, and was accepted into a Finance PhD program at a university in the state of Florida but decided to turn it down

My goal is to go to an Ivy League (HBS, Wharton, Tuck, Columbia) and concentrate on real estate. If not there, would be open to other targets such as UVA, UNC, etc

I plan to apply in 2-3 years. Any advice on how to create the strongest application possible? Suggested GMAT scores, rec letters, etc? Do I even have a chance since I didn’t go to a prestigious school for undergrad/grad school? All advice is greatly appreciated

Yes you have a chance with that GPA, you don’t need a prestigious UG (though it helps)
Schools publish their incoming class profiles, so you can look and self-assess. Without looking, I want to say HBS average GPA IS 3.7. So you’re a little below that. So you’d have to make up for it either on the GMAT, the rest of the ‘holistic’ profile, or a combination of both. Only you know the holistic side but if it’s average, with a slightly lower than average GPA, you should probably aim for a 750ish (20pts above median GMAT). Not saying it is requisite, just that that’s what would make you on par with the median admit stats

Also I’m not an expert, I’m an applicant whose just been reading for a long time, take my advice for what you paid for it
You’re on the right track. Keeping grinding those OMs out for another year or two and you’ll have great work experience/brand

I’d love to see you go to Tuck, and you sound in the wheelhouse for Wharton or CBS too. Give Wisconsin a look as well, they’re beast for putting people on the buyside

You definitely have a chance at top schools. Since you have time give yourself about a year to get your testing done, you may not need all of that time, but scores are good for 5 years it being done early is a great first step

You also have the time, to think about additional extracurriculars that won’t look like they are just for an application

Lastly focus on performing well at work and building good relationships with your leadership along the way

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