Good afternoon everyone
I recently signed up to this forum to prepare my CFA level I exam. I would like to get advices from you guys in order to make the best possible choices for my career.
I just turned 21 and I am currently studying for my CFA level I for June 2017. I grew up in a very small village in France and I attended local school since I turned 18. Against my professor’s will, I apply to this BS and I successfully passed the tests (SAT-like, English & redaction). Ranked Top-10 BS in France but not considered as a target school.
During the same year, I decided to joined the French Army Reserve. I resigned after 25 months because I had to study abroad for my exchange program. Looking forward, it was one of the most valuable experience in my life. I developed a lot of important skills such as discipline, organization and I am now a good-team player.
I studied a BBA but in only 3 years, we called it ‘‘license’’ in French with a minor in Finance. My parents helped me to finance the school (€5k/year) but I also decided to start my own business. I opened a very basic online business prior to enroll at my BBA. I was basically buying clothes from China and sold it on Internet. I had to learn about Excel, marketing and even started to program some VBA for the inventory management. It is not a great achievement, but I make around €10K. 50% to finance my exchange program during the third year of my bachelor and 50% to invest into securities. As you’ve probably recognized, I am currently managing a very small portfolio since I turned 18, I lost almost €1K during the first year, but now my portfolio is at €6.1k.
At the age of 19, I joined the UNICEF as a volunteer. Few months later, I was in charge of the local fundraising campaign and I leaded a team of 6 students. However, we did not reached the expectations ( we raised less than 500€) and I decided to left after that.
France : 3.4/5 - Exchange semester in China : 82%
I have a big issue with my GPA. Our grading system is out of 5. It’s very challenging to be above 4.00 (less than 10% of the students have more than 4 out of 5). Moreover, we don’t have the opportunity to chose our classes by ourselves and we have to strictly follow the program if we want to validate our degree. 40% of my undergraduate degree is based on group-project grades. The worst is, you can’t enroll additional classes in my business school even if I pay. I have to enroll for a master degree in this case. This is why I hate the French educational system.
However, during my semester abroad, I did a really good job. Because I had the choice to select up to 6 classes over +20 classes, I was really motivated and I had a GPA >80% during this semester. 50% business classes and 50% finance.
16 / 2 months / Local Farm / Picking vegetables
17/ 3 years / Own Business / Selling clothes online
18/ 25 months/ French Marines Reserve/ Everything you can expect from a Solider x)
18/ 3 months (internship) / Leading sport-chain shop in France / Sales
19/ 6 months (internship) / €15M sales Start-up / Assistant CFO / General accounting, financial analysis, ERP development, Forecast Cash Flows on 5 years.
20-21 / 8 months (After graduation Internship+ full time) / Leading Boutique Consultancy in Thailand / Financial modeling, Valuation, PowerPower speech, meeting with clients (I worked on 2 projects with a value >$50M for both of them).
Right now, I am currently studying for my CFA level I, had an exam for the Microsoft Office Excel Specialist Expert in 2 weeks. I took the CFA level I because I want to increase my knowledge in finance (remember I hold a BBA). I also ave a Microsoft Excel Expert certification.
I am considering to apply for a MIF for 2018, UK or USA. My main motivation is not the knowledge, because we can learn everything from the web or in books today, but rather for the prestige, network. I did not really targeted some specific schools (I firstly selected which countries I would like to apply) but top-tier school, if possible Oxford, LSE, MIT, Berkley… My goal after this MIF is to work either in IB or VC.
In the situation where I passed the CFA level I and I obtain a very good GMAT score (>730), do you think I can have a chance to be selected for an interview ?
How can I deal with this GPA ? I can’t take extra classes in my college but are MOOC useful in this situation (EdX, Udemy…) ?
What type of experiences should I look for right now ? A small NGO offers me a position on India to develop micro-finance (volunteering). But I strongly believe of the power of a big name on my CV. That’s why I am considering apply to the BIG4 and also some banks.
Do have any others suggestions ?
Thank you for your help guys !