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Hello!

I have a 4.0 in finance from Iowa State University. I did a research project (15 page paper) on real estate finance for my honors project, so also graduated in the honors program.  

I've held two full time 8 month internships in real estate finance, and corporate accounting. I also started a real estate club at ISU, was state president of a business organization, and was highly involved in investment groups and other activities. 

i have been working as a broker for the past year. I'm sure I could put a positive spin on that somehow.  

I got a 167 verbal, and a 168 quant score on my GRE. I also got a 6 on the AWA portion.  

I'd love to go to either Stern or Booth for a PhD in finance, but I am concerned about applying. 

I have no research experience where I was working for faculty. My letters of recommendation are alright, but not from professors I have actually worked with.  

I'll be applying for the fall 2017 term either way. Do you think it would be best to get my masters in finance at ISU first, just to get some research experience and better letters? Or do you think I should apply straight to Stern and Booth? What else do I need to get into these competitive programs? Even with my grades and such, am I competitive?

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  • 2 months later...

Since you included things that won't matter like club involvement and internships but didn't mention your math background, thought I'd let you know that PhD level Finance involves a lot of proof-oriented mathematics. If you haven't taken this kind of math, you should start there. I'm not sure more finance experience, even in research, will help at all without the math.

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  • 4 months later...

If you want to go to Chicago or NYU or similar, I'll second the math requirements. In fact, you'd probably be better served by an MS in math than in finance (a large number of the students at top schools have this), and it should be at the best school you can get into. If you do an MS in finance, it should be a research heavy program - very preferably with a thesis component.

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  • 5 years later...
  • 1 month later...

You're already competitive, so why not try? You have good grades and strive for excellence. The most crucial factor is motivation. Anyone who can manage money is already a leader. I'm presently studying business and reading everything I can about it. I recently learned about opploans and used a certain website to do it. I take in information in order to apply what I've learned in the future. I'd like to do some work in the corporate world to learn how things function. In the future, I intend to start my own profitable business. So you have complete control.

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