3.8/176

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ladeornmc
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3.8/176

Postby ladeornmc » Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:16 pm

Hey everyone,

Been a member for a long time but first time posting.

Wondering about my chances at Yale, Stanford and Harvard.

GPA: 3.8
LSAT: 177 (typo in the title)
UI: A pretty average ranking Canadian university. Definitely not the caliber of McGill in terms of international recognition.
Work experience: summer after freshman year I moved to NYC and worked at Lazard (large asset management firm), summer after second year again I moved to NYC for the summer and worked at a small hedge fund (billions in AUM but only 20+- employees, so much closer experience to the action). This summer I'm trying for Goldman and if not will be back at the smaller hedge fund.
Other stuff:I'm non-URM, a dual citizen (Bermudian-Canadian), fluent in Mandarin conversationally (writing and reading is coming, but my goal was always to be conversational not to know how to write and read it). Now a few months into Arabic which I find much, much, much harder. No big claim to fame in terms of sports, national/international achievements, etc.

I know the medians and know I'm in the ballpark (GPA will probably be 3.85 by the time I apply hopefully). But folks seem to think that your UI doesn't matter very much unless two applicants are very similar and one is from a no-name and one is from Harvard. But I just can't imagine that to be the case. Is coming from a school that (to my knowledge) has never sent anyone to Yale, Harvard or Stanford for law really not a significant detriment?

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by ladeornmc on Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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msblaw89
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby msblaw89 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:48 pm

I think your good at HYS

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JamMasterJ
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby JamMasterJ » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:00 pm

Harvard, yes. The other two are too tough to predict

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ladeornmc
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby ladeornmc » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:07 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Is my GPA the biggest problem right now? It seems like most (especially at Yale) are all 3.9+ people going by LSN.

No idea how people do it. A b- in micro-econ from first year is still haunting my GPA to this day. :D

bdubs
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby bdubs » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:07 pm

Why do you want to go to law school? It sounds like you have a pretty attractive resume for a high flying finance job.

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ladeornmc
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby ladeornmc » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:44 pm

bdubs wrote:Why do you want to go to law school? It sounds like you have a pretty attractive resume for a high flying finance job.


Thanks. And that's a good question and one I've thought about a lot.

I'm coming form a mediocre Canadian university and although I think I have the drive, intellect and most of all the passion about finance to compete for jobs with Harvard, Yale, etc. grads doing my internships and seeing their approval processes was very eye opening. During my first internship (summer after freshman year) I realized I needed to do some kind of graduate work at a top five school in order to have any kind of real traction in high finance.

I've talked to a lot of (what I'd consider) extremely successful people in high finance and they all, grudgingly, agree if I don't have an undergrad from a top 5 school it's best someone in my shoes do a graduate degree, if possible, at a top 5 school in order to compensate.

If I were to work for a few years then be out of a job for whatever reason the amount of work experience I had would be completely negated by where I did, or better put where I didn't do, my undergrad. And being put in the position, especially during times when Wallstreet is shedding jobs, I believe would leave one feeling awfully helpless.

Those I've worked with and a few admissions people I've had the chance to talk to all seem to think that law, even if the end goal isn't practicing, would definitely not be a detriment to my ambitions either. It definitely hasn't been an easy conclusion to come but it's what I come to after the past few years in NYC and getting to talk to so many people who were in similar places and who see folks in those places desperately looking for a job every day.

Not to mention the fact I'm so driven to get into them probably has a little something to do with vindicating myself after being rejected by Harvard as a freshman. :wink:
Last edited by ladeornmc on Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

freestallion
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby freestallion » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:52 pm

It seems to make more sense for you to go to Harvard Business School, not HLS, given your aspirations and interest in finance...

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ladeornmc
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby ladeornmc » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:58 pm

freestallion wrote:It seems to make more sense for you to go to Harvard Business School, not HLS, given your aspirations and interest in finance...


I did my undergrad in econ so I'm not sure anything at HBS is really a fit, especially immediately after I'm done my undergrad.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:01 am

freestallion wrote:It seems to make more sense for you to go to Harvard Business School, not HLS, given your aspirations and interest in finance...

Yeah, I'm sure your sources have some merit, but the general consensus is that going to law school without the intent on practicing law is not a great idea. The money can be better used for B-school and the process would obviously take less time

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ladeornmc
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby ladeornmc » Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:09 am

JamMasterJ wrote:
freestallion wrote:It seems to make more sense for you to go to Harvard Business School, not HLS, given your aspirations and interest in finance...

Yeah, I'm sure your sources have some merit, but the general consensus is that going to law school without the intent on practicing law is not a great idea. The money can be better used for B-school and the process would obviously take less time


Thanks. I didn't mean to close myself off to law too much and make it sound like practicing held absolutely no interest. I think law is very congruent with my personality and I certainly don't want to be so close-minded as to think that investment banking is where I want to be for the next few decades three years into an undergrad.

There are certain positions in the hedge fund I did my internship at last summer for lawyers and I really enjoyed getting to know those areas and I think that's more my fit. Kind of a hybrid role that allows you to have that mobility through departments. There seems to be quite a few of those roles to be played.

I think HYS law are my best bets moving forward at this stage. But certainly if there's specific programs you think would be better I'd very much appreciate hearing them.

bdubs
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby bdubs » Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:12 am

ladeornmc wrote:
bdubs wrote:Why do you want to go to law school? It sounds like you have a pretty attractive resume for a high flying finance job.


Thanks. And that's a good question and one I've thought about a lot.

I'm coming form a mediocre Canadian university and although I think I have the drive, intellect and most of all the passion about finance to compete for jobs with Harvard, Yale, etc. grads doing my internships and seeing their approval processes was very eye opening. During my first internship (summer after freshman year) I realized I needed to do some kind of graduate work at a top five school in order to have any kind of real traction in high finance.

I've talked to a lot of (what I'd consider) extremely successful people in high finance and they all, grudgingly, agree if I don't have an undergrad from a top 5 school it's best someone in my shoes do a graduate degree, if possible, at a top 5 school in order to compensate.

If I were to work for a few years then be out of a job for whatever reason the amount of work experience I had would be completely negated by where I did, or better put where I didn't do, my undergrad. And being put in the position, especially during times when Wallstreet is shedding jobs, I believe would leave one feeling awfully helpless.

Those I've worked with and a few admissions people I've had the chance to talk to all seem to think that law, even if the end goal isn't practicing, would definitely not be a detriment to my ambitions either. It definitely hasn't been an easy conclusion to come but it's what I come to after the past few years in NYC and getting to talk to so many people who were in similar places and who see folks in those places desperately looking for a job every day.

Not to mention the fact I'm so driven to get into them probably has a little something to do with vindicating myself after being rejected by Harvard as a freshman. :wink:


I'm not sure how accurate your advice is, although it sounds like it came straight from the horse's mouth.

Most people on Wall Street won't last for a long period of time, whether they went to Harvard, Yale, or were just a top student at a lower ranked school that had sufficient hustle. I would venture to say that a disproportionate number of the people who do survive the first few rounds of cuts or burn out are the ones who did not go to the ivies. Not to say that they will outnumber the top tier grads, just that they tend to be more dedicated and think that they have something to prove (seems like you could fit in this category). Most of the HWSY undergrads I know were the ones who took the first chance to jump ship to a hedge fund, PE firm, or VC fund.

You will always have a "second chance" to get that ivy league degree at a business school after 2-5 years. At that point you might be sick of finance or really decide that you need the name recognition to progress.

If I were you, I would give the working world a try for 2 years and then decide about applying to law school.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:15 am

bdubs wrote:
ladeornmc wrote:
bdubs wrote:Why do you want to go to law school? It sounds like you have a pretty attractive resume for a high flying finance job.


Thanks. And that's a good question and one I've thought about a lot.

I'm coming form a mediocre Canadian university and although I think I have the drive, intellect and most of all the passion about finance to compete for jobs with Harvard, Yale, etc. grads doing my internships and seeing their approval processes was very eye opening. During my first internship (summer after freshman year) I realized I needed to do some kind of graduate work at a top five school in order to have any kind of real traction in high finance.

I've talked to a lot of (what I'd consider) extremely successful people in high finance and they all, grudgingly, agree if I don't have an undergrad from a top 5 school it's best someone in my shoes do a graduate degree, if possible, at a top 5 school in order to compensate.

If I were to work for a few years then be out of a job for whatever reason the amount of work experience I had would be completely negated by where I did, or better put where I didn't do, my undergrad. And being put in the position, especially during times when Wallstreet is shedding jobs, I believe would leave one feeling awfully helpless.

Those I've worked with and a few admissions people I've had the chance to talk to all seem to think that law, even if the end goal isn't practicing, would definitely not be a detriment to my ambitions either. It definitely hasn't been an easy conclusion to come but it's what I come to after the past few years in NYC and getting to talk to so many people who were in similar places and who see folks in those places desperately looking for a job every day.

Not to mention the fact I'm so driven to get into them probably has a little something to do with vindicating myself after being rejected by Harvard as a freshman. :wink:


I'm not sure how accurate your advice is, although it sounds like it came straight from the horse's mouth.

Most people on Wall Street won't last for a long period of time, whether they went to Harvard, Yale, or were just a top student at a lower ranked school that had sufficient hustle. I would venture to say that a disproportionate number of the people who do survive the first few rounds of cuts or burn out are the ones who did not go to the ivies. Not to say that they will outnumber the top tier grads, just that they tend to be more dedicated and think that they have something to prove (seems like you could fit in this category). Most of the HWSY undergrads I know were the ones who took the first chance to jump ship to a hedge fund, PE firm, or VC fund.

You will always have a "second chance" to get that ivy league degree at a business school after 2-5 years. At that point you might be sick of finance or really decide that you need the name recognition to progress.

If I were you, I would give the working world a try for 2 years and then decide about applying to law school.

what I was going to say, but better put

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ladeornmc
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby ladeornmc » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:51 pm

Thanks for the kind words.

Law school is still something I don't have complete clarity on. Even though I think of it every waking hour.

I put a lot of work into getting a decent lsat score (although it ended up being the lowest score I got in the two month of studying prior) and so I'm giving applying to a select few schools a shot. If I get in it'll be a big choice, if I don't then I guess that's life. But I know I'd regret not applying and giving it a shot not for future job prospects but rather for myself.

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Re: 3.8/176

Postby bdubs » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:28 pm

ladeornmc wrote:Thanks for the kind words.

Law school is still something I don't have complete clarity on. Even though I think of it every waking hour.

I put a lot of work into getting a decent lsat score (although it ended up being the lowest score I got in the two month of studying prior) and so I'm giving applying to a select few schools a shot. If I get in it'll be a big choice, if I don't then I guess that's life. But I know I'd regret not applying and giving it a shot not for future job prospects but rather for myself.


Sorry to say it but that is exactly the wrong approach to take. When you get in to Harvard, which you probably will, you are going to feel compelled to go, even though it might be a terrible idea. Your really need to find some concrete reasons why paying $100-200k (in cash, since you're Canadian) and studying for three of the best years of your life is really what you should be doing.

Talk to young attorneys at the firms that did deals with your previous bank employers (reach out to your old bosses and tell them you're considering law school). Talk to some senior people too. Don't go in blind.

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sach1282
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby sach1282 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:00 pm

^^^^^ The above is good advice.

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Re: 3.8/176

Postby lsatcrazy » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:16 pm

ladeornmc wrote:Thanks for the kind words.

Law school is still something I don't have complete clarity on. Even though I think of it every waking hour.

I put a lot of work into getting a decent lsat score (although it ended up being the lowest score I got in the two month of studying prior) and so I'm giving applying to a select few schools a shot. If I get in it'll be a big choice, if I don't then I guess that's life. But I know I'd regret not applying and giving it a shot not for future job prospects but rather for myself.


Why doesn't the hedge fund you are currently working at give you a FT offer after your SA? Do that for two years, then decide on LS vs. BSchool...The benefits are multiple:
1. You will have a better handle on what you want.
2. If you spend prudently, you will have $$ to pay for part or all of law/business school.
3. You will have good WE, which is attractive to all schools and employers.
The choice seems obvious...

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ladeornmc
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby ladeornmc » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:11 am

Thanks for all the input. I thought getting into an MBA program would be hard due to doing my undergrad in econ. Isn't it best to do something in the arts for going for a MBA?

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Re: 3.8/176

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:16 am

No. With 2 to 5 years work experience & a high GMAT score, you should be admitted to several top MBA programs.

P.S. Surprised that nobody suggested a retake. :D

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:17 am

ladeornmc wrote:Thanks for all the input. I thought getting into an MBA program would be hard due to doing my undergrad in econ. Isn't it best to do something in the arts for going for a MBA?


No. MBA programs want you to demonstrate the requisite quantitative ability to make it through. The GMAT tests this a bit, but unlike law school undergrad classes can actually matter in business school.

Also, work experience is more important than major.

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Re: 3.8/176

Postby Boston_NYG2245 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:25 pm

All you need for an MBA is a good GMAT score and three to five years of work experience. The GMAT is slightly different from the LSAT in that it has math and no logic games, but your LSAT indicates that you should be a very high scorer on the verbal portion. No one has ever dinged an MBA applicant based on their undergrad major.

For top-tier MBA programs, your work experience is less important than the GMAT score, in the sense that it's more about having some than what you do in particular. A lot of MBA students are career switchers, moving from fields like marketing into finance or consulting. I would suggest that you take the GMAT now, while you're still in school, you'll have more time to prepare at an easier pace without added work stress and the scores are good for five years. In two to three years if you're thinking about going back to school (and trust me, as someone who's worked in finance, you will) you can go back for an MBA or a JD or with your stats a top-tier JD/MBA program. If you score a 730 or above on the GMAT, Harvard's JD/MBA program would be well within reach and would open a ton of doors. A JD/MBA could make you fairly attractive to private equity firms, which is where a lot of finance people aspire to end up.

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Re: 3.8/176

Postby Boston_NYG2245 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:34 pm

ladeornmc wrote:
I've talked to a lot of (what I'd consider) extremely successful people in high finance and they all, grudgingly, agree if I don't have an undergrad from a top 5 school it's best someone in my shoes do a graduate degree, if possible, at a top 5 school in order to compensate.



I don't think that this is necessarily true. It might apply to the elite institutions, GS, Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, but there are plenty of smaller shops where you could gain valuable experience. If you show genuine interest and demonstrate value they should at least give you a look, but you'll have to hustle a bit more to get their attention than an ivy leaguer would. Having experience at a hedge fund should help. Unless I-banking is the absolute only thing you want to do, broaden your horizons a bit. Consider some of the buy-side firms like Fidelity and State Street. These are huge institutions so even if you don't start exactly where you want to end up, if you work hard there's opportunity for lateral movement either within the firm or at another shop.

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Re: 3.8/176

Postby bdubs » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:42 pm

Boston_NYG2245 wrote:All you need for an MBA is a good GMAT score and three to five years of work experience.

For top-tier MBA programs, your work experience is less important than the GMAT score, in the sense that it's more about having some than what you do in particular. A lot of MBA students are career switchers, moving from fields like marketing into finance or consulting.

If you score a 730 or above on the GMAT, Harvard's JD/MBA program would be well within reach and would open a ton of doors.


This post is full of incorrect information.

1) Lots of people with 99%+ GMAT scores get denied from top programs. Ask any engineer from India what is needed to get into a top MBA program. There is a lot more to MBA admissions than the GMAT.

2) Type of work experience matters a lot for MBA admissions. Yes, there are a variety of positions that can qualify you but doing something that is mundane and menial will not get you admitted to a top program (unless that thing was running DCF models at Goldman).

3) Saying HBS is within reach when this kid is still in undergrad is ridiculous. Yes, he could apply to the 2+2, but barring that he's going to have to have some kick ass work and leadership experience.

OP: Have you considered taking the GMAT and applying to the 2+2 program at HBS?

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Re: 3.8/176

Postby Boston_NYG2245 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:41 pm

bdubs wrote:
Boston_NYG2245 wrote:All you need for an MBA is a good GMAT score and three to five years of work experience.

For top-tier MBA programs, your work experience is less important than the GMAT score, in the sense that it's more about having some than what you do in particular. A lot of MBA students are career switchers, moving from fields like marketing into finance or consulting.

If you score a 730 or above on the GMAT, Harvard's JD/MBA program would be well within reach and would open a ton of doors.


This post is full of incorrect information.

1) Lots of people with 99%+ GMAT scores get denied from top programs. Ask any engineer from India what is needed to get into a top MBA program. There is a lot more to MBA admissions than the GMAT.

2) Type of work experience matters a lot for MBA admissions. Yes, there are a variety of positions that can qualify you but doing something that is mundane and menial will not get you admitted to a top program (unless that thing was running DCF models at Goldman).

3) Saying HBS is within reach when this kid is still in undergrad is ridiculous. Yes, he could apply to the 2+2, but barring that he's going to have to have some kick ass work and leadership experience.

OP: Have you considered taking the GMAT and applying to the 2+2 program at HBS?


Perhaps I should qualify my statements. I certainly did not mean to imply that he could get just any job and expect to get into a top-tier B-school. That said, he has some very good work experience in the way of internships which should be helpful in landing a nice full-time gig out of undergrad. Obviously going and doing something ordinary won't get you into HBS, but there are plenty of things you can do to make yourself an attractive candidate, I was saying that he doesn't need to be a Goldman I-banker to get in. FWIW, I have a friend who worked in pharmaceutical sales, who is now in the MBA program at UChicago (Booth). A big part of getting in is demonstrating interest, drive, and interpersonal skills. The last part is especially important as networking is a huge part of being an MBA. As bdubs mentioned, business schools (like I-banks) are huge on leadership as well.

Obviously, HBS isn't within reach now, he'd need to do very well on the GMAT and get some good WE. I was just trying to say that with his current stats, I think he can get a good job, do very well on the GMAT and revisit this whole thing in a couple of years. After about two years in finance almost everyone feels a bit burned out. That's when you might want to consider an MBA or JD/MBA.

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ladeornmc
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Re: 3.8/176

Postby ladeornmc » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:37 pm

OP: Have you considered taking the GMAT and applying to the 2+2 program at HBS?


I haven't given it much thought. I've looked over the GMAT and it seems like a test more up my alley than the LSAT so I'm sure with some hard work I could do well. I'm also somewhat familiar with the 2+2 program but always thought of it as more exclusive than the normal MBA application process for Harvard and that I wouldn't have much luck applying.

Reviewing the class statistics (http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/class-statistics/2+2/) it doesn't seem any harder than normal admissions for the MBA program or law at HYS would be but doesn't seem awfully friendly for people with my major (not sure how much major matters, seems like differing opinions ITT about it).

As for WE this summer I'll be hopefully heading to Goldman and if not I have a few different hedge funds I can go back to. I met someone last summer while working who works for a large hedge fund in Palo Alto and who offered me a position this summer if I wanted to go to the west coast so I may prefer going there just for some diversity.

Are four summers of work experience at all quite prominent hedge funds enough to be a serious contendor? The first time (since I was right out of HS) I didn't do too much but act like a secretary and follow around a few people. But last summer I was quite involved including acting as a translator on occasion and things that were reasonably important. So in regards to people talking about responsibility in the workplace I believe I have a reasonable amount relative to what's realistic to expect in high finance. Now how much that'd stack up against others applying 2+2 coming from other fields I have no idea.

I guess my biggest concerns would be the same as those I have with law school which are:

1) My UI, to my knowledge, has sent just a handful of people to ivy leagues and certainly has near zero name recognition.

2) So few folks get admitted to the 2+2 program that I just imagine all of them are insanely qualified with international awards and such that I simply don't have. My only claim to fame is that I work really, really hard to get good grades, test scores and internships.

3) I'm coming from Canada so although not technically 'international' from looking at the regular MBA stats it seems just a handful of people came from Canada (although I'd be surprised if large amounts of Canadians applied).

Thanks again for all the input from everyone.




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