Handicapping Your Shot At a Top Business School

by John A. Byrne on

The most common question MBA-wannabes are asking right now: “What are my chances of getting into a top-ranked business school?”

As would-be applicants pore over the raw stats and acceptance numbers of their dream schools, they’re sizing up their own odds of getting into a Harvard or Stanford, Columbia or Chicago, Kellogg or Tuck. And they’re making the inevitable calculations to answer the question: Should I invest the time and energy to apply this year?

Do you have what might be called “nosebleed stats” likely to open the doors to a top school? Or did you goof off during your undergrad years and worry about whether your work experience offsets your low GPA? Did your undergraduate degree get stamped at the right institution for an elite grad school? And do you work for a “sexy” or “dull” company that is not a feeder into the best business schools?

To handicap the odds for various candidates, we turned to Sanford “Sandy” Kreisberg, founder of MBA admissions consulting firm HBSGuru, and asked him to analyze a half dozen composite profiles of typical MBA applicants. (If you include your own stats and characteristics in the comments, we’ll pick six of them and have Kreisberg assess your chances in a follow-up feature.)

The odds assume a serviceable application and a not damaging interview—with or without the guidance of an admissions consultant. “Consultants can teach you how to stand up straight,” says Kreisberg. “They can teach you how to stand on your toes. But at the end of the day, they can’t make you taller. What consultants most often do is protect you from making damaging mistakes while making sure your core message is delivered. The schools themselves have evolved X-ray vision about what they are looking for, although they rarely reveal those traits fully.“

Indeed, as Kreisberg’s analysis on each composite profile will show below, the schools often apply different standards to different numbers and backgrounds.

Here’s his lowdown:

Mr. Perfect

  • 750+ GMAT
  • 3.8 Grade Point Average
  • Ivy League Undergraduate Degree
  • Work experience at Goldman Sachs or McKinsey & Co.
  • Extracurricular includes alumni involvement and very active participation in an ethnic identity organization

Odds of Success

Harvard Business School: 85%
Stanford: 80%
Wharton: 90%
Tuck: 95%
Kellogg: 95%

Sandy’s Analysis: “The biggest risk this person has of not getting into HBS or Stanford is screwing up the interview, especially at HBS where the interview counts. (It does not count at Stanford in any meaningful way.) I am assuming the recommendations are in line and this applicant does not have a secret hater out there. HBS and Stanford, of course, love to reject kids like this, just so they can say they do. But they rarely do.

“Another danger, though rare, is just going a bit weird on the application through a combination of odd and unsupported goals, annoying and naïve enthusiasms, or just plain stupidity. Stanford could reject a kid like this if the ‘what matters most to you’ essay is a blatant and unreflective brag sheet.

“As to Wharton, Tuck and Kellogg, the issue is not blowing the interview and the related issue of convincing them that you are not using them as safety schools. If this kid really wants to go to Kellogg, he should apply very early. Otherwise, they will make the guess that the applicant is somehow toxic to Harvard, Stanford and Wharton.”

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  • az

    Mr. Science

    720 GMAT
    3.3 GPA
    Doctorate of Pharmacy from reputable program
    Work Experience in a large pharmaceutical company
    Extracurricular includes alumni involvement and very active participation in an ethnic identity organization

  • http://studiobokeh.wordpress.com studiobokeh

    Yikes, this is depressing…

    i guess my profile’s closest to Ms. Sotheby’s (female):
    * 660ish GMAT
    * 3.7 Grade Point Average
    * Undergraduate degree from UCSD, double-major (art & communication)
    * Work experience in marketing at well-respected international hospitality design firm
    * Strong extracurricular involvement in ethnic identity organization, some involvement in other orgs

    Chances for:
    * Harvard
    * Columbia
    * NYU
    * Booth
    * Ross

  • Hampton’s Finest

    I guess that explains why I didn’t get into any of those schools.

    660 GMAT 2x
    3.5 GPA from state school
    Worked in a non-glamourous industry
    Waitlisted at Tuck
    Full ride at Darden

  • FlyMonk321

    740 GMAT
    2.89 Physics/Sociology from a Near Ivy Public
    Works in the state legislature
    Extracurricular involvement in political campaigns

    Harvard
    Michigan
    Duke
    Texas
    UNC

  • Cristian

    Mr. Career changer Engineering -> Entrepreneurship/Investing

    750 GMAT
    3.49 Undergrad GPA from a good State School in Civil Engineering
    3.70 Graduate GPA from same school *(DID NOT FINISH THESIS/GRADUATE)
    Peruvian High School National Physics Champion at age 16
    Won a local Stock Market Contest while in Engineering Grad School
    Successfully invest in the stock market
    Recently started a website about Investing/economic issues
    Recently started a math/physics educational Youtube channel with an estimated 500 000 total upload views by the B-Schools application deadline
    Significant leadership, both in school and outside
    Speak 3 languages fluently, 2 other intermediate
    International, South American Student

    Harvard
    Stanford
    CEIBS
    INSEAD
    Brigham Young University
    *What about chances of getting scholarships?
    *Do you think dropping out of engineering Graduate School will greatly affect my B-School application??
    Thanks!

  • Arjun Singh

    GMAT: 710
    Undergraduate GPA: 3.93, Graduate GPA: 3.72
    Undergraduate school: Canadian university; Graduate school: one of the best programs in Canada
    Work experience: Small analytics consulting company (not well known)
    Extracurricular: Leadership positions on student council and student clubs. Awards in business case competitions.

  • cp

    GMAT: 750
    GPA: 3.74 (Near-Ivy Public)
    Work Experience: Current – Peace Corps Business Advisor in Honduras Previous – 2.5 years as Strategy Consultant with Deloitte Consulting (Near Ivy?) and have b-school sponsorship to enter in Fall 2012
    Extracurriculars: 3x All-America women’s rugby player and one time USA Under-23 team member (college); minimal volunteering, but nothing too exciting (post-college)

    Applying first round to H/S/Wharton Lauder/Chicago/Kellogg.

  • b-school

    Don’t be discouraged by this guys. I got in everywhere i applied:

    male
    near ivy – private
    GMAT – 640
    GPA – 2.8

    Work exp:
    technology at a fin. services firm
    finance – buy-side new york
    start-up – very solid record

    Go admitted to:
    INSEAD – full time
    Duke – EMBA
    Columbia – EMBA

    that’s everywhere i applied

    make sure your essays and story is rock solid

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Thanks for sending in your composite profiles. Keep them coming. We’ll pix six and do a follow-up to this story next week.

  • @b-school

    EMBA standards of admission are very different. The profiles showcased by the article are pretty accurate in my experience.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    @b-school,

    You’re exactly right. EMBA standards are significantly different. In many cases, even top-ranked schools don’t require the GMAT. Work experience and desire/ambition counts for a lot more than any other factor in those admission decisions.

  • Jane

    700 GMAT
    3.4 Grade Point Average – Rutgers (Finance)
    Work experience – 2 years @ KPMG Economic & Valuation Services Consulting (Lead Associate for CIT Fresh Start Restructuring); 1 year @ Private Debt at Ares (Portfolio Manager)
    Average extracurricular activities (Mentor; junior board member for small/medium education-based non-profit)
    Female

  • Jane

    700 GMAT
    3.4 Grade Point Average – Rutgers (Finance)
    Work experience – 2 years @ KPMG Economic & Valuation Services Consulting (Lead Associate for CIT Fresh Start Restructuring); 1 year @ Private Debt at Ares (Portfolio Manager)
    Average extracurricular activities (Mentor; junior board member for small/medium education-based non-profit)
    Female

    Applying to:
    *Harvard
    *Stanford
    *Booth
    *Kellogg
    *Tuck
    *Wharton

  • JD

    620 GMAT (1 Try BTWN Deployments)
    3.0 GPA – Public / Liberal Arts (Geography) (Low Quant Exp)
    Work Experience – Captain in USMC (2X Afghan Combat Deployments)
    Extras – Nothing compelling (who has time in service?)

  • Brani

    710 GMAT V 95%, M 75%. 2.9 top 5 engineering (great upward trend). Electrical Engineering. Grad school at top rated (best for its discipline) engineering program (3.5 – alternative transcript). citizen of African country. Great recs, deep personal meaningful extras. alumni association leadership.

    H, S, W, K

  • hopeful

    710 GMAT
    3.83 GPA in Business/Finance at BYU-Idaho
    White male
    Work experience at small trading/investment management firm, entrepreneuer of small investment management firm, work in retirement plan dept at reputable brokerage firm.
    Extracurricular includes 2 year volunteer foreign mission (including various leadership positions), participation in international club, co-captain intracollegiate athletics team.

    H, W, Tuck, Booth, Columbia

    Thanks!

  • ls

    Ms. Liberal Arts
    – 680 GMAT
    – graduated magna cum laude with 3.69 GPA from near-ivy private university (double major in Film & Media Studies, English Literature)
    – Work experience in entertainment licensing and product development at non-profit educational organization
    – Extracurricular involvement at an animal shelter, with the elderly, and for an organization that helps underprivileged, unemployed women re-enter the workforce

    Odds of Success:
    Stanford
    Northwestern
    University of Chicago
    NYU
    Columbia
    UCLA

  • try me

    white male, 26
    720gmat, 3.8 @ 50ish ranked private univ.
    joint Bs/MA applied economics. #1 ranked student in econ dept.
    4 years WE building, launching, running web startup (ultimately failed)
    writing published by NYT
    significant international travel
    self-taught computer programmer
    non-profit work/volunteer experience
    athletics (soccer, rugby)

  • Y

    – 700 GMAT
    – 3.8 undergrad GPA
    – Undergrad degree from near-IVY Private School
    – 4 year-work experience at near-IVY management consulting firm
    – very active non-profit activities
    – Asian female

  • Bogdan

    Eastern European
    Major in Managerial Accounting
    5 years work experience in Western and Eastern Europe, Middle East in IBM
    700 GMAT
    GPA N/A – European grading system
    Strong extracurricular activities (president NGO, facilitator social entrepreneurship conferences, Aspen Eastern Europe – Leadership Program Fellow)
    Male

    Applying to:
    HBS
    Stanford
    Wharton

  • Divya

    760 GMAT, perfect score on TOEFL
    Indian female, age 25
    Undergrad- B.A ( Economics) in India, top 3 in University
    MBA from Tier 2 Institute in India
    Work exp- 2 years with HSBC, 8 months with Oliver Wyman. Part time with Indian arm of US based hedge fund
    Fluent in French, English, Hindi, rudimentary Chinese
    Volunteer activities( minimal), co-authoring a book on India with ex-McKinsey Principal
    Accepted into: INSEAD, Yale, NYU Stern, Richard Ivey( substantial scholarship at Ivey)

  • Brian

    730 GMAT
    3.66 Grade Point Average
    Liberal Arts College (Maryville College)
    Double Major: Political Science/International Business
    Thesis: Role of International Corporations in Society (shows early interest in this issue)
    Very active in extra-curriculars / worked through college. 2 Study Abroads (Japan/Chile)
    Peace Corps Peru Environmental Management 2 Years in Site / 1 Year Volunteer Coordinator (leadership position)
    Fluent English/Spanish. Basic Level Japanese/Quechua

    Long term goals: Work in Latin America. Interested in CSR and the relationship between business and development.

    Wharton Lauder
    Duke
    Yale
    Ross
    Emory

  • AK

    GMAT: 690
    Undergraduate: IVY League
    Degrees: B.A. in Economics, B.S. in Industrial Engineering Operations Research ( both completed in 5 years)
    GPA: 3.4
    Employer: IBM Global Business Services
    Position: Strategy consultant in Strategy and Change Internal Practice
    Gender: Female
    Nationality: Originally from Eastern Europe but currently hold American citizenship
    Extracurricular activities: 1) Division I Crew Team 2) President of a club 3) Society of Women Engineers
    Prior Internships: UBS Equity Research, small hedge fund in NYC
    Current activities: marathon training, mentoring, doing small consulting projects on a side for private clients

  • RJ

    @John A. Byrne : Here are my stats:
    GMAT : 760, TOEFL : 120/120
    Male, Age – 24
    Country of citizenship : India, born and brought up in Dubai, UAE
    Undergrad: B.E.(Hons) Electrical engineering (from the Dubai branch of a top 2 Indian university) – GPA – 9.7/10.00
    Grad School : M.Eng, Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, GPA – 3.5/4.00
    Work Experience : 2 years in a Houston-based non-profit organization(established in 1852) that develops safety standards for the offshore and marine industry.
    Languages : English, Hindi, Arabic, rudimentary Mandarin
    Volunteer activities – minimal as of now, but trying to get more involved in the coming year or so. Have been part of a mentoring program for minority kids in India.

    It would be great if you could get Sandy to comment on a few more profiles of international students, who may harbor ambitions of getting into a top ranked business school.

  • tpaul

    730 GMAT
    3.85 Grade Point Average
    University of Maryland Smith School of Business
    Double Major: Finance / Operations Management
    Thesis: Power Generation in a Carbon Constrained World
    President of Entrepreneurship Club
    Work: 3 yrs Energy Markets for an International bank

    Stanford
    HBS
    University of Chicago
    Wharton
    Columbia

  • Dana Spaulding

    Ms Non Traditional
    – 680 GMAT
    – 3.7 GPA state school (Business/Global Studies)
    – female, age 37, first gen (just finishing undergrad)
    – 16 yrs work experience in IT (Fortune 500), currently mgmt level IT consulting @ small private unknown
    – extracurricular average
    – Future plans: Mgmt Consulting, non-profit; start educational based foundation for first gens in small towns

    Tuck, Georgetown, Columbia, Yale, Harvard

  • Pancakes

    690 GMAT
    3.82 GPA
    Undergrad: Magazine journalism major, art history minor at a state school (University of Missouri)
    Work experience: Editor at a national food magazine
    Extracurriculars are average

    Top choices:
    Haas
    Darden
    Tuck
    Wharton
    Kellogg
    Fuqua

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/bschool13/ bschool2013

    “The Military Applicant”
    660 GMAT
    Undergrad: 3.1, Mechanical Engineering, Penn State
    Grad: 3.7, Civil Engineering, Arizona State
    Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Arizona

    Work Experience: 8 years of commissioned service in a US Military Branch, 4 deployments

    Average extracurricular: Volunteered to recruit military officers at career fairs while at grad school, heavily involved in local Penn State alumni association, notably college recruiting

    Interested in:
    Dartmouth
    Cornell
    Virginia
    Duke
    Michigan

  • W

    Mr. Healthcare MBA
    GMAT 650

    -Undergrad – Healthcare Management: 3.4 (public)
    -Grad – Physical Therapy (PT): 3.3 (public)
    -Work exp – 3 months international wk exp/ 3 years U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs w/ 2 promotions, board certified geriatrics

    -First generation minority male
    -Extracurricular activities: 1) Founded student org. undergrad 2) President —Grad. student assoc. grad school 3) Current = Toastmasters and membership chair for PT association
    -Professional publication

    Why MBA: Gen management at large health delivery system (e.g. Tenent, Kaiser Permanente, Geisinger…)

    Schools: Duke, Vanderbilt, Kellogg, Wharton, Harvard?

  • Mr. Old low GPA (Korean Male)

    Age: 35
    GMAT: 740
    GPA: 2.78 at Johns Hopkins University (Materials Science & Engineering Major)
    Job: Captain Reserve at Republic of Korea Marine Corps (Infantry)
    Research Engineer at Hyudai Motor Company
    Medical Representative(Sales) at Novartis Pharmaceutical Company
    Currently at Family Business in Korea and Uzbekistan
    (Total 11 years of experience with excellent performances)
    Extracurricular: President of my private boarding school alumni association in Korea, President of Republic of Korea Marine Corps officer interpretors to the Commandants association, Secretary General of my golf coterie composed of 24 members, etc.

  • Mr. Old Low GPA

    Age: 35

    Nationality: Korean Male

    GMAT: 740

    GPA: 2.78 at Johns Hopkins University (Materials Science & Engineering Major)

    Job: Captain Reserve at Republic of Korea Marine Corps (Infantry)
    Research Engineer at Hyudai Motor Company
    Medical Representative(Sales) at Novartis Pharmaceutical Company
    Currently at Family Business in Korea and Uzbekistan
    (Total 11 years of experience with excellent performances)

    Extracurricular: President of my private boarding school alumni association in Korea, President of Republic of Korea Marine Corps officer interpretors to the Commandants association, Secretary General of my golf coterie composed of 24 members, etc.

    My odds at: Harvard
    MIT
    Stanford
    Dartmouth
    Columbia
    Northwestern
    Chicago
    Upenn
    Yale
    Duke
    LBS
    IMD

  • Neo

    Mr Adventurer

    Undergrad History: Quit Engineering after 2 years to pursue Mathematics at University of Mumbai (College topper)

    Undergrad GPA: 3.0 – when converted (also took up higher order Calculus)

    GMAT: 750 (Q-49, V-41)

    Work Exp: Total 7 years
    Got placed in Infosys & Wipro Technologies during campus placements but opted to take the road less traveled and started as a sales executive with an edu-start up.
    – Solid business and operational experience of 5 years in the higher education market including a 2 year stint as Country Head (Middle East)
    – Worked across verticals in the higher education market
    – Ample professional & personal leadership stories
    – Above average involvement in extra curricular activities
    – The past 2 years heading the Biz Dev in Western India at a K-12 Co. started by alums of Harvard, Insead and IIT-IIM

    Perceived Weakness:
    – Age (31 at matriculation)
    – Undergrad GPA
    – No Masters Degree
    – Worked with 3 companies in 7 years

    Target Schools:
    – Harvard
    – Stanford (Dual degree MBA+MA in Education)
    – Wharton
    – Kellogg
    – Booth

    Post MBA Goal:
    – Immediate (to repay loans): Work in education arm of consulting firms like McKinsey and Parthenon
    – Long Term: (8 years) Start an education focused PE firm in BRIC countries

    Thank you John and Sandy…would be great if you can throw some light on my candidature!

  • Merchant marine MBA

    Mr. Merchant Marine

    3.12 GPA
    790 GMAT

    ivy undergrad

    Engineer/ Bisexual/ male/ 27 at matric

    2.5 years- international – merchant marine officer in large non glamorous public company

    2.5 years- 3 parallel startups – founder and CEO – revenues of $4 M

    Heavy community involvement

  • Mr. Not -So-Perfect

    “Mr. Not -So-Perfect Indian/26/M”
    – 770 GMAT
    – 7.8 Grade Point Average (out of 10)
    – Indian Institute of Technology
    – CFA level 3 candidate (might get a charter if I pass L3 this year)
    – Work experience: Fixed Income (senior) analyst at a no-name offshoring unit where I directly support Head of Research at a US-based i-bank (also lead a team of about 10 analysts); prior role as business research analyst at same firm.
    – Extracurricular (current): painting/sketching (have a 2yr diploma in fine arts), photography, fund raising/networking for undergrad events
    – Extracurricular (in undergrad): Head of co-curricular wing (oversaw all aspects of undergrad student activities); student convener of national level technical festival (led 80+ volunteer team); Joint Secretary, Engineering Society, in penultimate year

    Odds of Success at HBS, Wharton, Kellog, Booth, Columbia, Fuqua?

  • Ms. Peace Corps

    Undergrad @ James Madison University: Double major Political Science and Philosophy
    GPA: 3.964 (valedictorian)
    Extracurricular activities in college: high positions in a leadership program and an honor society
    Work experience: 3 years in West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, health education and enterprise development in a rural community; 3rd year with a USAID international trade/development project
    GMAT: haven’t taken it yet but anticipated 680-720

    Looking at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, NYU and Georgetown

  • kp

    Flight crew- 7 yrs experience in biggest airline of east asia,travelin all over the world.
    Undergrad : Indian University
    Extracurricular: 5 yrs with different NGO’s (workin for child education,sanitation,water problem)
    GMAT:700
    Target:H/W
    Booth,Columbia,Kelloggs,LBS

    Thank You

  • Mark P.

    GMAT 740
    – Undergrad: top engineering school in a Western European country. (GPA 3.3)
    – Experience: 5 years international (China, UK and USA), IT in investment banking.
    – Extracurricular: medium
    – Languages: fluid in 3 major languages.

    Chances at:
    Booth
    Wharton
    Harvard

  • Todd

    I just took the GMAT yesterday. Unofficial 720 (Q 46, V 44) – I actually think this was a 730 until recently. Someone at 800score.com told me they thought that the scoring algorithm got adjusted about a week ago. Anyone know anything about this?

    Anyway, I’m 29. Small state school for undergrad. 3.1 in Education/English. Lots of goof off classes and mediocre performance. I was immature:)

    Also went to law school at a smaller state school. 2.75, but it was a true curve (mandatory 20% flunk per course). Worked as an Assistant Attorney General in my state for the last 3 years.

    Average extra-curriculars.

    I’m interested in Tuck, Kellogg, Darden, and Anderson. What are my chances?

  • Gdsenator

    GMAT: 750
    GPA: 3.6 at 2nd/3rd tier state school
    5 yrs inv mgmt
    Strong undergrad EC
    Solid post-grad EC
    Accepted: Tuck(attending), Booth, Kellogg
    Ding: HBS

  • Hopeful

    Ms Former Underachiever

    – 750+ GMAT
    – 3.3 Undergrad GPA
    – Undergrad degree from top Canadian b-school (Ivey)
    – Work experience at Deloitte Consulting, Strategy and Operations group
    – Average extracurriculars at university; currently have international experience, volunteer experience at NPO (leadership position), writing published in leading newspapers

    Low performance in undergrad was due to depression. But I’m fully recovered now; I did a 180 degree turn and got my act together after I started working.

    Interested in Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, Yale, Booth.

  • Joe

    Mr. International

    – GMAT 730-750
    – 3.6-3.7 GPA Equivalent at Top Business School in Country
    – Military experience 2-3 years
    – Work experience 2 years at Top tier Bank (Not in IB, but in Investment Management/Private Banking)
    – Extracurricular includes very active participation in community services

    Odds of Success

    Harvard Business School
    Stanford
    Wharton
    Columbia
    Booth
    LBS

  • AJ

    Mr Back Office

    5 years controller at bulge bracket bank
    3.6 GPA top 50 university
    740 GMAT

    extras:
    Student government president
    Lobbied in DC with Major PAC
    Heavy involvement in ethnic identity org
    Community outreach

    Targets:

    Harvard
    Sloan
    Columbia
    Booth
    Kellogg
    Yale
    Ross

  • mbain2012

    GMAT: 690
    3.8 GPA @ undistinguished undergrad
    Division 1 student athlete
    Financial Analyst at Fortune 5 oil and gas major
    Strong extracurriculars; active community involvement

  • BootStrap

    GPA: 2.99
    GMAT: 690
    Undergrad: Business degree from small liberal arts college
    Age: 31 entering

    Expereince: 4 years assistant controller (tech start-up); 3 years financial analyst at a venture capital firm.

    extracurricular: College athlete, recent co-founder of small development stage company – no revenue

    Strong writer – consider strong essays

    Schools:
    Darden
    Duke
    Ross
    Tuck
    Booth

  • YJacket

    Mr. First Generation
    GPA: 3.86
    GMAT: 720
    BS International Affairs and Spanish from top 7 public
    Varsity letterwinner (D-1 football), Most Outstanding Senior Award in foreign language dept.

    Two year volunteer mission (learned Spanish and had a number of leadership experiences). Currently involved in a few ECs — coach youth football team, benefactor nonprofit youth wrestling organization, volunteer teach a weekly class of 25 adults at local church, few other minor ECs

    3yrs as analyst at a bulge bracket firm in ultra high net worth wealth management. Work on one of the top producing teams on the East Coast — earned an equity partner stake with team.

    Schools:
    Stanford
    HBS
    Tuck
    Wharton

  • DallasTX

    John,

    I’m curious to know what you guys consider are the “sexy” companies to work for pre-MBA.

    Obviously MBB consulting and top i-banking positions seem to be the consensus, however, down here in the South it’s often the big oil and gas majors like ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Conoco that are pulling in the most distinguished undergraduates. I heard of some statistic that ExxonMobil received over 500 applications for a Finance position from a major Texas University and only 2 people got an offer.

    Are these top pre-MBA positions restricted to consultants and bankers, or do some Corporate positions in major companies hold the same pedigree? (J&J could be another example).

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    The so-called “sexy companies” include Google, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, etc. And while it helps to have work experience at a “sexy company,” it’s not an absolute necessity. ExxonMobil, Chevon and Conoco are big, major players and carry tremendous weight on an application as well. Odd as it may seem, the best business schools–which many employers see as screens and filters–are themselves using work experience and where you get it as a screen. Why? Because they know it’s not easy to get a job at a Google or ExxonMobil. So if you have a job there, you must be special to begin with. All this is about minimizing the risks of admitting someone who can’t cut it or won’t likely be a success. Someone once said that the top business schools only admit people who are already successful and when they graduate with their MBAs the schools are happy to take credit for their post-MBA success. There is some truth to that.

  • David

    720 GMAT
    3.69 GPA in finance (near Ivy – public)
    1 Year Systems Analyst consulting at large but regional firm
    2 Years Peace Corps Volunteer – Business Development (Uganda)
    Proficient in 3 Bantu based languages
    Strong extracurricular involvement

    Targeting – Stanford, Tuck, Sloan, Haas

  • Mark Brewer

    Mr. All-American

    670 GMAT
    3.6 GPA
    BBA from strong state school with elite business school.
    Member of varsity athletics (Track and Field) team.
    5 years WE in Big 4 “advisory/consulting/financial services” line-of-service.
    Leadership positions in local chapter of undergrad alumni organization.

  • Pancakes

    Hi John,

    I’m interested in knowing your opinion on a person’s chances of getting into a top 10 school despite having graduated from a 2nd/3rd tier state school.

    It seems that even if one has a fantastic GPA from such a state school (and not necessarily in a blow-off major), many top 10 schools overlook these candidates for those from undergrad Ivies.

  • Pattycakes

    Mr. “If I have to get a graduate degree, I guess it’ll be an MBA”

    – 650 GMAT
    – 3.13 GPA in History B.A. (Public school of no real prestige in the Southeast.)
    – 2 Years Automotive Industry (Sales, IT, Consulting)
    – Director of Family Business
    – Proficient in French
    – EC: Foster Parent, Stand-up Comedian (Have been on comedy central…guess who. I need a back-up plan, lol…), Theater Actor, Musician

    Targeting Near-Elites – Darden, Fisher, Kenan-Flagler, Goizueta, Kelley

  • AnthonyP

    Mr. “Is it too early?”

    -730 GMAT
    -3.2 GPA in Econ with strong upward trend. (Texas A&M)
    -1.5 years as Financial Advisor for MetLife
    -Average Extracurricular

    Ready to get started with MBA but don’t want to do myself a disservice by not waiting until I have enough work exp.
    Trying to figure out my ceiling for schools with my qualifications.

  • SB

    GMAT: 710
    Undergrad: 3.34 (US Air Force Academy, double major Econ and Poli Sci)
    Grad: 3.88 (Creighton U, Int’l Relations while stationed nearby)
    Work: Air Force Officer, Acquisitions/Contracting career field, working with industry partners developing weapons systems, increasing small business participation
    Extracurricular: Habitat 4 Humanity, just started CFA program

    Chicago
    MIT
    Columbia
    LSB

  • Ranjit

    Hi John,
    I would love to see an article written/profiles dissected, where you discuss about how the top business schools in the US view applications from international students. Most international students don’t fall into the ‘cookie cutter’ models of what an ideal business school applicant from within the US looks like and it would be interesting to get the opinion of a leading business school consultant like Sandy’s on the subject.

    Thanks
    Ranjit.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Ranjit,

    Good point. I definitely agree. Let’s see what I can do.

  • iit_grad

    The Third kind of Indian Brother * x (x>=1000s)

    740 GMAT
    3.2 Grade Point Average in U.S. terms
    Undergraduate degree from Indian Institute of Technology
    Work experience at near Ivy Management Consulting Firm as Associate/Analyst.
    Super extracurricular Record-College President/Fest Convener

    You have to do this one as many Indian students share a similar profile. Getting good GPA in IITs is very tough, especially with great extra-currics.

    Chances at Top 5 (HBS, Stan, Tuck, Wharton, Booth etc)

  • Biz journalista

    I’ll give it a shot:

    670 GMAT
    3.3 GPA from Near Ivy Private (Northwestern)
    3.9 GPA from grad school (University in Europe)
    Non-traditional majors : Journalism/International Communication

    Work experience as a business journalist at large magazines/newspapers in NYC (3 years) and as a brand consultant for large brand consultancies abroad (3 years)

    Extracurriculars: involvement in corporate affinity groups, ethnic identity orgs and volunteer mission trips to Africa and India, tutors kids in HS

    Minority female (does that add some points?)

    Chances at:
    Top 5 (HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, Booth) and maybe Kellogg?

  • ASA

    GMAT: 700 (will not take until fall but >= is the goal)
    Undergrad: 3.25 Industrial Engineering, U of Washington
    Work: Naval officer. 6 years intense, sometimes dangerous, work experience supervising personnel, managing complex projects and driving ships. 2.5 years stationed in Japan, 1.5 San Diego, 2 Washington DC.
    Extracurricular: 2 years as after school reading/creative writing tutor.
    Personal: Grew up in Europe (4 countries and first 18 years), lived in Japan for 2.5 immediately following undergrad. Possess working knowledge of Italian language.

  • ASA

    Hi John,
    I’ll flip what Ranjit said. As an American, with a desire to study at a foreign school, I would love to see an article written/profiles dissected, where you discuss how American’s should approach the process of applying abroad, what the benefits of a foreign MBA are (for Americans), etc. It would be interesting to get the opinion of a leading business school consultant like Sandy’s on the subject. Or perhaps the opinion of a European business school consultant?

    Thanks
    Alexander.

  • Qoet5

    Mr. Tweener

    -690 GMAT
    -3.75 GPA; various honors and scholarships
    -Caucasian male
    -Undergrad degree from non-reputable University; Finance
    -Work experience at Google with strong career progression (3.5 yrs)
    -Very strong extracurriculars during and after undergrad – led Finance club during school and continues to be involved in variety of extracurricular activities

    Targets/Odds of Success?:
    -Top 10’s that are not named Harvard and Stanford

  • cme

    GMAT: 720
    GPA: 3.8 (top 20 school; English Major)
    Career: GE Leadership Development Program; off-program role in GE renewable energy business (total of 5 years)
    Extra-curriculars: leadership position in professional affinity group, co-founded Renewable Energy volunteer group, part of local chapter of Wind Energy group
    Other: plan to take econ/stats in the fall to fill gap on transcript

    Chances at top 10?

  • kathleen

    how about profiling an older (age 40) first gen with early experience w MSFT or IBM etc perhaps later self employed etc. We face different challenges including EMBA programs that will not accept you if you are not currently employed. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Sandy took a stab at a half dozen of these. We just posted that new story entitled “Part II: Your Chances of Getting In” here:

    http://poetsandquants.com/2011/07/01/part-ii-your-chances-of-getting-in/

  • CM

    – 680 GMAT
    – 3.65 NYU
    – White female
    – 3 years (4 years when enrolled) work experience at World Bank in Egypt
    – strong extra curricular – lots of school service/leadership experience
    – strong volunteer record

    Top choices: MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Kellogg

  • Woman

    CM, based on my friends who got into Harvard, you are definitely Havard material, but I will let John and Chioma chime in. You did World bank in Egypt? You should have loads to write on your essays, goodluck to you.

  • dogooder

    700 GMAT
    3.4 GPA
    Economics & Philosophy double major at Wellesley
    Pacific Islander Female
    Work experience: Innovation analyst in IT dept at large healthcare organization for 3 years, social media marketing and program management at 2 social enterprises (1 year each)
    Extracurricular: Volunteering (community service award in college), but nothing formal after college

    Odds of Success
    Stanford, Harvard, Sloan, Haas, Wharton, Columbia… any suggestions for a good fit?

    Thanks for your feedback

  • SureV

    Mr. Old but Ready
    Undergrad: Elec. Engg. Indian Institute of Technology
    Total Work Exp.: 9 years, including first 2+ years at a patent services startup followed by 3 years entrepreneurial stint which failed in the end and last 3+ years at the patent analytics group of a Fortune 5 oil & gas firm based in India.
    Extracurriculars: Some here and there activities
    What are my chances at top 10 US B-schools?
    Planning to take GMAT in August and targeting 720 +-20

  • SureV

    Forgot to mention above that I had a really low GPA when i graduated 9 years back. Will the 9 years of exp. and a good GMAT score make up for that?

  • Mghribiya

    The stats:
    670 GMAT [but planning on retaking]
    3.4 GPA from highly ranked liberal arts college [top 5]
    Double major: economics, language studies
    First generation college grad
    Female
    2+ years as economic consultant at good but not top consulting firm [top 25 but not top 10]
    2 years as peace corps volunteer
    speak 5 languages

    aiming for: INSEAD, Michigan, Berkeley, Harvard

    I think I could help myself by retaking the GMAT but what are my odds as they stand? Also, any thoughts on the fit for these schools? Thanks!

  • Vishal

    Hi John…
    once again thx for the evaluations….
    Here is my profile:
    GMAT Score: 700
    CPI 8.2/10 , Undergrad Mechanical Engg from a reputed univ in India
    Total work experience 3.5 yrs at a public sector Infrastructure company.
    Extra curriculars: Decent uptill college, nothing formal afterwards.
    One important criteria is Loan/funding facilitation.
    Odds of Success
    Booth,Tuck,Duke,Ross,Haas… any suggestions for another good fit?

    Thanks once again.

  • Tholo

    John,

    Thanks for the add. Keep it up.

    My stats:
    South African male, 28yrs, GPA 3.0 (American Std’s), GMAT +700(target score),Mining Engineering undergrad (South African University) , 4 years experience-worked underground for 3.5 years-supervising about 40 mine workers,daily. target schools: HBS, Columbia, Wharton, Cornell, UVA Darden and Mich Ross.

  • consulting

    Thanks for the great notes … Heres my profile:
    Age 24
    GMAT 770
    CGPA 3.1 (Purdue) – electrical engineering
    2 years work ex in a big 4 consulting firm in India (will be 3 by the time i join)
    Undergrad extra-curriculars in community service
    Current decent extra curriculars
    Decent leadership experience at undergrad and work … but not too much
    Target schools – HBS, Kellogg, Wharton , Booth, Tuck, Cornell, Columbia …

    Please let me know my chances at these schools … thanks

  • Ricky Grand

    I would love to have my profile evaluated for MBA school

    Aiming for a 700+ GMAT (taking it at the end of August)
    3.45 Grade Point Average
    Degree: BS in Business Administration from University of Oregon (Expected spring 2012)
    Work experience: Customer Service Manager for a ski resort (2 years), Mortgage Consultant (3 years)
    Extracurricular activities include Alpha Kappa Psi (Business Fraternity), C.E.O Mentor (Freshman Business student mentor), Teacher’s Assistant for incoming business transfer students, and does being a step-father count?
    First-generation college graduate as of Spring of 2012 (also a non-traditional student). I’m the youngest of 3 children and I will be the first person in my family to graduate from a 4-year institution.

    Side note:

    I started at a community college where I maintained a 3.3 GPA, but 2 years I left college to focus on work. I worked for 5 years and then decided to return. I’m now a 28 year old senior, graduating spring 2012 with the desire to attend a top 25 business school.

    My top 5 include: NYU, Dartmouth, Stanford, Yale, Cornell and/or Columbia (so maybe it’s 6)

    I’m not really sure how to assess my situation so any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Andrei

    GMAT: 690
    GPA: 3.3 from a Maryland state school
    Extracurricular: President/treasurer of the int’l students’ club; several languages and travel
    Work experience: Analyst at a medium-sized mutual fund firm, role evolved from accounting to quasi-internal business consulting with a heavy IT flavor

    Looking at Darden, Duke, Tuck, INSEAD, Harvard (just for kicks)

  • Michael

    700 GMAT
    Mech Eng undergrad from LSU with 3.65
    Mech Eng Masters from NC State with 4.0 – #1 in class
    Internships with DuPont & Corning
    Currently working as a consultant for start-up biomed but also in the interview process with 3M
    Involved, on and off, with Habitat for Humanity for last 5 years
    Extracurr: LSU Marching band, ASME Student Gov Liason

    Interested in Harvard, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, Anderson, & UT Austin

  • Yaman

    Hi,
    What about the Indian family business guys?
    My profile::
    Undergrad: B.E. Computer Science from PESIT, Bangalore with 69.2% (VTU)
    GMAT: 720
    Internship + 6 months work-ex at Goldman Sachs followed by family business (same as Chaitanya assisting my father) of Two-wheelers & Cement for 2.5 years now.
    extracurricular : Average (mostly college level computers related)…
    What are my odds?

  • Rupa

    GMAT: to be taken: aiming for 700 (+-20)
    GPA: not computed on the 4-point scale: 58% in English Literature (MA) from Calcutta University, India
    Experience: 2 years in publishing @ Macmillan Publishers & some years in research: PhD thesis not yet submitted
    Extracurricular involvement in art

  • Matt

    I was wondering how Sandy would rate my odds:

    710 GMAT
    3.3 GPA Undergrad at Univ. of Colorado
    Age: 26

    Work Experience:
    2 years abroad (Switzerland) as Global Business Controller- Alstom (World-wide manufacturer for Power Generation and Transport Equipement)

    2 years in Alstom’s Finance Graduate Development Program : Rotational program that was 6 months, 6 months, and 1 year in 3 different positions in 3 locations around the world.

    Other :
    Highschool in Brussels, Belgium
    Traveled extensively +25 Countries for work and pleasure
    Volunteer Work:
    Teach climbing to young kids in free time
    Interests:
    Active in Mountaineering – Climbed highest peak in Europe
    Cooking
    Skiing
    Traveling

    Schools of Interest :
    Warton
    Stanford
    Harvard
    Kellogg
    Booth

    Thanks for any feedback in advance,
    Matt

  • vinay

    My profile:
    From India
    GMAT-720
    Undergrad- Engineering from a okish government college. Result-First class.(Dont know how to convert into GPA)
    Work Ex- Cognizant Technology Solutions- 2 years
    UBS Stamford- 1 year
    Certification- Attended a summer school at Columbia Business School in Financial Accounting.
    Played cricket at zonal level.
    Not so cool in community service
    Interested School- Indian School of Business
    Columbia Business School
    NYU
    Harvard
    Wharton
    Stanford.

  • Khalique G

    My Profile:
    Indian citizen working in Qatar.

    – Four years working for a financial services cluster initiative in the Middle East, looking at financial sector development, incubating new initiatives and spin offs, working with several varied government and private entities towards achieving consensus on financial policies and programs.

    – Prior to the current experience, worked for one year in London with an academic institution developing a new post graduate program. Worked with institute program development team to present the program for accreditation to University accredititation and awards panel.

    – GMAT: 680 (V: 39, Q: 44)

    – Post grad GPA: 3.5 (Masters of Sciences in Business Administration from CCCU, a British University)

  • Harrison

    GMAT: 730
    GPA: 3.75 Econ & Finance from SEC Public
    Work: 4 years, Top 5 Consulting Firm
    CFA Certification
    White Male
    Extra: Heavy undergrad involvement, community service abroad, local volunteer on weekends, involved in local alumni chapter

    MIT, Duke, Darden, Booth, Wharton

  • Al

    Who wrote this insipid article? I’m a recruiter at HBS and this is the most ridiculous article I’ve ever read. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. “The GMAT is way too low for Harvard, Stanford and Wharton.” Interesting since Harvard is one of the elite school who TRADITIONALLY has had a wide spread in GMAT scores since we do not believe a one shot exam truly estimates a candidates abilities. Thanks for judging us. Try some research before writing an article. I take it you didn’t go to Harvard. No.

  • Macias

    Undergrad Arizona State WP Carey in Supply Chain Management (Top 2 program) GPA 3.95
    Second generation Hispanic Male
    GMAT 720
    Professional Experience Intel Corporation 10 years, 3 years in Management
    APICS certification

    No interest in paying top tier MBA costs, so I choose Washington State.
    1) 100% prepaid tuition = no debt
    2) Salary already at 90K +20K bonus.
    3) WSU doesn’t have a name yet, J.A. Macias School of Business has nice ring to it. :)

    Total education expenses from 1995-2012 less than $500. Challenge that ROI.

    Another factor for the Warton’s, I am also banking 23% for retirement with no loans, what are the elite MBA’s doing? Yes my MBA isn’t a great brand, but I’d rather get a free MBA, save for retirement so I can stop working at 50 and feed my family over forking over 100K plus debt for just bragging rights, besides, IMO the Intel work experience is worth a lot more than a Ross or Booth MBA and sales job at the local Starbucks.

    Key take way: Living off the accomplishments of the last 10 years Yale or Duke’s class is great and all, but I find it more exciting having the chance to make a real mark at a university without the subjective brand. Let’s face it, most of you elitists are not Kennedy’s, you’re just riding on their success.

    If I was single I would take HBS, just because of the brand, but I feel the connections at Wazzu will do just fine for the working professional who plans to return to Intel and advance my career.

    All the best, jm

  • Ali N

    This is a bizarre entry and I SWEAR I’m serious and not being silly. I have a STRANGE path and am not sure what schools will think:

    700 GMAT
    3.9 Grade Point Average UPENN
    3.75 GPA USC Graduate Level
    4.0 GPA Concordia Business courses (Statistics, Macro, and Microecononmics)
    UPENN BA (Psychology/English, USC MFA (Cinematic Arts),
    Work experience: actor: Off Broadway, Hollywood, Director and CEO of a film production company
    Mixed Martial Artist
    Ishin – Ryu Black Belt
    Kung Fu Black Belt
    Muay Thai ten years experience
    Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt
    Certified Personal Trainer and Therapist for at risk patients
    Personal Training and Martial Arts Company
    Running a non profit for the education of youth in underprivileged areas

    Odds of Success:

    So would they LOL, scratch their heads, or give someone like me a shot at these top schools?

  • gbits

    Hey Sandy /John ,
    Thanks in Advance .My Stats :
    GMAT :680
    GPA : 3.4 (in US terms)
    Masters in Mathematics and Bachelors in Computer Science from Bits-pilani (India)
    Work Ex : Application Engineer at Oracle .
    Tried running a tech start-up .. almost failed (long story !)
    Extra -curricular – Represented our state twice at National level volleyball tourney.Co-founder of sports clubs at Oracle.Member of an NGO that runs night school for the underprivileged children.
    Aiming for :Ross,Duke,Virginia, Kellogg,Stanford

  • Mr. Civilian

    GMAT: 680
    GPA: 3.4 (Undergrad from Top 25 Private University)
    3.6 (Grad from Same School in Finance)
    Work Experience: 2+years negotiating $MM defence contracts for US Department of Defense, with significant leadership experience
    Extra-Curricular: Volunteer at National Gallery of Art, Local Community Center, and in a leadership role for alumni organization

    Schools of Interest:
    *Columbia
    *Northwestern
    *Darden/Duke
    *Michigan
    *NYU
    *Georgetown
    *Dartmouth

  • Mr. Patents

    Hi,

    Could you please evaluate my chances? Here are my details

    Nationality – Indian
    Undergrad – Metallurgical Engineering (one of the top colleges of India but not IIT)
    GPA – 3.2
    GMAT – 720
    Work Ex – 4 years (till the time of admission)
    Company – an Intellectual Property Consulting Firm
    Designation – Managing Partner, Taiwan
    Extra Curricular – Organizing Committee President in AIESEC (an int’l student org), College lawn tennis team, worked in Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi”, (stand-in), and held quite a few leadership positions throughout

    Schools :-
    Harvard
    Kellogg
    Fuqua
    Stern
    UCLA
    Tuck
    McCombs

  • Jerry

    Hi Sandy, I would appreciate your feedback on the below information,

    – 3.8 GPA from H/Y/P Ivy, graduated in 2007, played D1 sport for 4 years, significant overseas experience during summer
    – 700 GMAT (Q/V, 81%/89%)
    – 2 years experience in New York working in private equity
    – 2+ years working at a venture/growth capital fund in Vietnam, started and run by a couple of HBS grads
    – Heavily involved with three portfolio companies on various initiatives
    – EC’s have been wide ranging from study of local language for about 1 year, managing a softball team in a local international softball league, various alumni association work (interviewing, college forums etc.), some volunteer teaching and college counseling work for a local company, random charity work
    – Am planning on appplying to Chicago, Wharton, Harvard and maybe Stanford this upcoming fall

    Would appreciate any feedback.

    Cheers

  • sdas91

    @jbyrne
    I am currently a Chemical Engineering Student at a state school in US.
    I plan on graduating with an engineering degree and taking GMAT/GRE sometime in the future. Based on that what would you say would be an ok /strong GPA and an ok/strong GMAT range if I am planning on applying for top B-schools (HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Kellog, Stern, Sloan)? What types of extra-curricular would you recommend? I also saw you mentioning first generation in your articles. Does that mean 1st gen. to go to college, or 1st gen. to go to college in the U.S.? What is it that HBS is looking for that makes it more competitive than Wharton, Stanford, Kellog, Stern, Sloan? You write admission percentages for each applicant, and it seems that the high GPA/GMAT applicant has a good shot of being accepted by HBS. Is this usually true? What would you say is a good chance of being accepted percent wise? Are applicants ever favored coming from an industry dominated by a different gender, or background?

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    sdas91,

    Ideally, you want to have a 3.7 or 3.8 GPA and a GMAT above 700, especially coming from a state school and especially if it’s no Berkeley, Michigan, UVA, UCLA, or UT-Austin. But your raw scores on the GMAT or GRE and the GPA aren’t enough to get you admitted into the schools you name. You have to have a lot of other things going for you: leadership positions in campus organizations and in non-profits. You have to land a good job, preferably a well-known highly admired company. You have to execute well on your application, including your interview, and you have to receive outstanding recommendations from people who know you well. Certain applicants–due to background and gender–have slight advantages. First generation refers to the fact that you are the first in your family to go to college and get a degree. Given your engineering background and your desire at a relatively young age to get an MBA, I would seriously look into Harvard’s 2+2 program which accepts applications from college seniors for deferred admission two years later. Good luck.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/sdas91/ Suman Das

    @jbyrne
    How much research experience would be negative for a b-school applicant ? I was planning on pursuing REU, so I can show an employer that I have certain experience. However I’m not concerned in devoting an enormous amount of time towards research a.k.a. Ph.d-bound. Should I strive for more internships and Co-op (Cooperative Education) than research?
    Also if the undergrad. GPA falls a little shy of 3.7 or 3.8, would it be wise to go for Masters from a reputed university? I observed that many MBA candidates went for grad. school right after finishing their undergraduate degree.

  • Brian L

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    -3.6 GPA Univ of Wisconsin – Madison
    -720 GMAT
    -4 Years work experience Allstate as Financial Analyst (promoted twice in 3 years)
    -Treasuer for greek system and own fraternity in undergrad
    -Ran marathon and completed CFA level1, various other volunteering through work

    Am planning on appplying to Booth, Kellogg, Wharton, UT-Austin, Columbia and Harvard. What are my chances?

  • Ouri

    Hi Sandy,

    I’m from Israel.

    GMAT 730
    GPA 3.3 (US Terms)
    Graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
    LLB (law undergraduate)
    29 years old
    10 years of employment experience (including mandatory military service in the Israeli army)
    3.5 years of experience as customer care manager
    3 years of experience as a lawyer from a top local consultancy

    Planning to apply to Kellogg, Ross, Duke and MITSloan.

    What are my chances?

    Thanks!

  • Michael

    Been reading each iteration of this article and am anxious to have my personal resume handicapped

    GPA: 3.7 (ME from UT-Austin)
    GMAT: 710
    Work Experience: 4+ years at large technology consulting firm
    Extracirriculars: Coach of a youth sports team, fundraising coordinator for volunteer org (200k annual budget), organized company volunteer event with 40+ volunteers, campus recruiter for employer

    Schools applying to: Kellogg, Booth, Sloan, Haas, Wharton

  • A.

    Hi Sandy/John, I would appreciate your feedback on my stats:

    Education: BA In Economics from NYU (not Stern)
    GPA: 3.43
    GMAT: 700
    Work Experience: have been working as an Analyst at a NYC-based fund of (hedge) funds for 6 years (since graduation)
    Extracurricular activities: none, I just have various hobbies, like hiking (14-ers in Colorado, etc), yoga and such.
    Misc: female, white, 29 y.o.

    I’m interested in NYU Stern, Columbia and Wharton. (Feel free to suggest other schools where I might have better luck.)

    Thanks.

  • LD

    1470 GRE
    3.45 GPA Psych major Binghamton University
    3 years education administration (1 year marketing/academic manager at tutoring center, 2 years as an assoc. director for a city university (marketing, operations…etc) – present job
    Spouse of active Stern and Johnson alum
    Flunked out of law school w/ 1.6 GPA (homeless 1L year)
    Worked full-time throughout college with various odd jobs (telemarketing, sales, customer service, census taking, admin asst, voter registration, fundraising…etc.)
    Tons of community service/church work
    First generation, inner-city Black woman
    30 yrs old

    Goal:  Attain an MBA/M.Ed. joint degree and eventually assume executive leadership in an education-related agency to improve educational services for underserved populations.

    Schools: Interested in NYU, Cornell, and Tuck. Feel free to suggest other schools that may be a good fit for me.

  • Noel

    Hey guys, thanks for writing this, I found it very interesting! If you guys would like to analyze a non typical profile, please consider mine.

    26 Year Old Latino Male
    GMAT: 660 5.0 (Second attempt)
    Undergrad GPA: 2.76 (I know this is killer)
    Post undergrad GPA: 3.65 (I have taken 5 CC classes post undergrad [Acct 1 & 2, Econ 1 & 2, Statistics] and am in the process of completing MBAMATH.com course.0
    School: UC Santa Barbara
    3+ years experience in Sales/Account Management at several mid-tier tech companies
    Extracurriculars: 2 time Ironman triathlon finisher (3rd time Ironman early next summer), Assistant triathlon Coach – Team in Training, Special Olympics Coach, Camp Counselor at Camp Ronald McDonald, Founder & President of Coed Business Fraternity (LA Chapter)

    While I know that elite schools are probably out of my reach, I will be reapplying to UCLA, USC, and UT – Austin (I was waitlisted at UT – Austin this year until the very end, and am looking at other options. Also, for what its worth, I am interested in Entrepreneurship & Marketing.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/sootehdel/ HN

    Dear Sandy & John,

    These two articles are indeed been the most informative articles I have read on this topic (believe me I have read a lot).

    I believe my profile is closest to the first brother from India:

    Iranian born&raised US naturalized citizen – Moved to the US in 2002

    High school valedictorian
    BS in Civil Eng. – UCLA – 3.8/3.45 (Major/Overall) in 2008
    MS in Civil Eng. – Stanford – 3.95 in March 2010
    GMAT: 730 (Q51/V38 – V is 81%) AWA 6

    Work:
    3x 3 mo summer civil eng. internships in private and public offices
    1x 6 mo fellowship @ US General Services Admin in DC during my MS + one publication
    1yr5mo @ my current job – a mid-size construction company specializing in public transportation – Work as project engineer on a $200M+ rail project
    (I admit the job is not very selective neither too challenging at least to my standards)

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/sootehdel/ HN

    Leadership:
    Mentoring a civil eng. course + Coaching a student competition group, both @ Stanford
    Supervise 2 interns at work – will have 5-10 direct reports in a couple of months when field operations start
    TA ed 4-5 courses at Stanford
    Lead various student groups in regional and national competitions both at Stanford & UCLA

    One of my app’s soft spots will be letter of rec since I can’t tell anyone at my work. My letters will be from an Industry mentor at Stanford, Chair of Civil eng department @ Stanford and my boss from GSA.

    I am debating between getting a sexier job (large consulting firms) and applying this year. Can you please advise?

    For what it is worth, my reason for MBA is to change career path and be more on the finance side of large infrastructure projects.

    Appreciate your kindness in advance.

  • Gosh

    Thank you Al!! At least one clever answer!

  • vivk

    Hi – I have 10 yrs work ex and done part time mba from IIM Bangalore. I wish to pursue a full time from HBS, Wharton or stanford. Does having an existing mba come in way of doing fulltime ? how is it seen by Top B schools. Any idea ?

  • ausdenbergen

    GMAT of 730, GPA of 3.8 from a Midwestern state university, three years work experience as an auditor for a Big Four firm, will have three years experience for a large civil society NGO at the time of application. Extensive variety of extracurricular activities during undergrad (greek life, music, honors organizations, other student leadership positions); post-grad, volunteer regularly for a women’s health rights organization and have continued doing music for personal enjoyment. Already speak one foreign language fluently, am going back to school part-time in the fall to start learning a second foreign language (have been told I am gifted with languages and pick them up rather quickly). Looking to apply to INSEAD, HBS (preferably dual program with Kennedy), Booth, and Berkeley. What are my shots? What else can I do in the next couple of years to improve my chances (already plan to re-take GMAT, expecting to score higher)?

  • CR

    – 750 GMAT
    – 3.5 Undergrad GPA – Mechanical Engineering – a state university in India
    – 3.33 Grad School GPA – Mechanical Engineering – LSU
    – 4 years of work experience @ SLB – world’s largest oil-field services company – as a Mechanical Engineer
    – 1 year of work experience @ KLAC – leading semi-conductor capital equipment company – as a Product Engineer (2 years by the time I plan to apply)
    – Extra curricular activities: Founder of website/discussion forum for Indian students aspiring for higher studies in the US, member @ current employer’s Toastmaster’s club, volunteer @ a local SFO Bay Area Indian entrepreneurship forum
    – 30 year old Indian male

  • Jimmy

    Philippines

    750 GMAT

    4.0/4.0 average Master of Mathematics (Business track)

    4.0/4.0 average Master of Economics

    2.2/4.0 GPA BS Chemistry

    Went the entrepreneurial route and established a top 5 importation-based company in the Philippines.

  • http://www.billdaus.com Bill

    GMAT: 730 AWA: 5.5
    BS Comp Eng from UVA – 2.7
    ME Sys Eng from UVA – 3.27
    Work – 4 years large engineering contractor, 2 years start-up company, 2 years small engineering firm, several entrepreneurial efforts on the side
    Extra – undergrad: none, after: company and alumni sports teams, fundraising for charity by participating in endurance sports (e.g. Marathon)
    white male

    I am aware I wasted my undergrad years, should I address that in the optional essays on all my applications? Is there any shot of a top school with such a low undergrad GPA even though I’ll be out of school for 9 years by the time I start my MBA?

  • G. David

    770 GMAT
    B.A. Economics from BYU (Provo) – 3.72
    Minors in Business and Spanish

    Work – 2 years with a fast-growing startup (am currently Director of Operations); will have 3 years experience by program start date

    Extra – two-year service mission in Spain, Spanish language fluency, highest award at Model UN competition in New York, Eagle Scout

    I’m a white male from a rural town in Idaho. None of my friends or family have, as far as Harvard is probably concerned, gone anywhere or done anything, which means I have no political or business connections. What will likely be the weakest part of my application? How can I best try to strengthen that?

  • Andrew Luther

    I enlisted in the Army National Guard immediately after high school and began college at Appalachian State (first generation college student from rural Mississippi). After deploying with the Army, I transferred to Duke University where I graduated with a 3.4 (GMAT is 700).

    Immediately after college, I went to work for the consulting company CGI Group before accepting a job at Accenture (where I currently am). During this entire time, I have continued to serve in the Army National Guard (currently with 6 years of service).

    Extracurricular: Freelance writer for several dozen magazines. In addition to a deployment to the middle east, I have also deployed to support public relations missions in Korea, engineering operations in Jamaica, and information operations in Africa. I am also a modern dancer and writer for a local Washington DC dance company.

  • Ms. Asian Military

    Hi Sandy. Can you please evaluate my candidacy to HBS?

    GMAT: 630
    Undergrad (Engineering Degree-Non Ivy) GPA: 2.9
    First generation Asian immigrant/Female/28 years old
    Extracurricular: Two engineering societies

    Work: Great resume which shows the progression of responsibilities throughout naval career. Naval Officer for 4 years managing military construction/leading a minimum of 20 enlisted personnel. Two deployment sites. Before joining the Navy, I worked for my parents’ business for over a decade being a translator (first to speak English in my family). I am also the first to apply to grad school in my family.

    I’m worried my low GPA/GMAT scores will eliminate any chances of my getting accepted into HBS. Can you please evaluate? Thank you!

  • Drizzle

    1530 GRE
    3.42 Grade Point Average
    Istudy statistics and econ, minor in math at University of Washington
    Work experience at China’s top 3 insurance company( world top 500) for internship, university cafe assistant
    Extracurricular includes university based student organized leadership program, representative at UW student association and very active participation in community services

    want to apply for HBS 2+2 program

  • AP

    Does working at Citigroup impact the chances of getting into a top bschool negatively?

    750 GMAT
    3.2 GPA from Stony Brook university in Elec engg
    6 years at Citi in derivatives technolgoy, with excellent track record
    part time entrepreneurial ventures to talk about, with limited success

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    AP,

    Not at all. Citigroup tends to be a major feeder school to the top MBA programs and is thought of very highly by admission officers.

  • Matthew

    John,

    I recently scored very strong on the GRE (Q800 V690) and am applying only to dual programs such as YaleMBA/Forestery, DukeMBA/MEM, MichiganErbInstitute, UC Boulder dual MBA/EVNS and maybe standford programs, mostly because I am looking to focus on Energy programs.

    But my concern is that I went to a small very interdisciplinary school in Washington, studied mostly Chemistry and have been working in at startups, albeit in the renewable energy field for the last 5+ years starting in the technical but slowly working my way into strategy and business development, but in true startup fashion wearing all hats in between. Can you give me a little insight, since I am definitely not the traditional applicant.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Matt,

    All these schools see plenty of non-traditional applicants. The fact that you’re applying to these dual-degree programs will likely get you special attention by admissions. So not to worry. Go for it. Good luck to you.

  • Simon Chu

    Thx a lot John, I’ve been reading all your blogs here, really intelligent writings. Tuck is one of my dream schools too, Just a quick assessment for me would be great

    Mr Greenpeacer

    750 GMAT
    3.2 Under 3.6 Graduate
    Earned an engineering degree at top university in China, a master in environmental in a top Canadian University
    28 years old, Canadian Citizen
    Worked in a boutique consulting firm for a year. Has been working for Greenpeace Canada for 3 years ever since, active project organizer, lots of leadership stories, steady progress, decent extracurriculars
    Career goal: Environmental NGO in China
    Concern: Greenpeace’s evil and aggressive impression

    Target schools:

    Yale
    Tuck
    Cornell
    Duke
    Darden
    INSEAD
    Oxford

    Thanks very much!

  • ARUN

    GMAT – 760
    GPA – 77 SCALE 100

    GRADUATED FROM A PREMIER NAUTICAL INSTITUTE IN INDIA ( WON THE ‘PRESIDENT GOLD MEDAL’ AS WELL AS ‘BEST CADET AWARD’ IN INDIA)

    MORE THAN 5 YEARS OF JOB EXPERIENCE AS NAVIGATING OFFICER WITH AN ITALIAN SHIPPING COMPANY .

    STRICTLY OK EXTRACURRICULAR NOTHING TOO FANCY.
    CONSIDERABLE COMMUNITY SERVICE.

    WISH TO KNOW DO I EVEN STAND A CHANCE TO GAIN ADMISSION TO SOME OF TOP COLLEGES ( HARVARD-STANFORD-WHARTON-KELLOG……..) ESPECIALLY WITH THE KIND OF JOB EXPERIENCE I HAVE ?

  • Miller

    Sandy, Could you please evaluate my chances at HBS, Stanford, Northwestern, Duke, NYU, and Michigan?

    – 730 GMAT (47 Q / 44 V)
    – 3.45 Undergrad GPA – Public Policy and Markets and Management – Duke
    – 4 years of work experience at GE Capital – Started in GE’s Financial Management Program (2 years), accepted a role on the GE Capital risk analytics team for a 1 year project to revamp GE’s stress testing and regulatory communication; currently an Associate on GE’s leveraged finance team (Sponsor Finance)
    – Extra curricular activities: Co-founded a non-profit entrepreneurship at Duke that coordinated and sponsored student internships at non-profits around the U.S.; Various volunteer work; College club athletics
    – 26 year old white male from North Carolina (currently working in NYC)

  • Andy R

    HI John

    What is the opinion of a job at Cisco Systems in the adcoms view at top B schools? I am yet to take my GMAT but wanted to know how does Cisco match up with the likes of Microsoft, IBM or other tech companies ( certainly not apple or google). My targets are Stern, Duke, UNC.

    Thanks
    Andy

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Andy,

    Very well. Cisco’s a big brand, a major Silicon Valley player, and recruits MBAs. While some of the luster it had earlier is gone, it’s still should be an asset to your application, especially to the East Coast schools you cite. Good luck.

  • Undergrad Student

    Hey John,

    Do you mind an article of Undergrad students could do right now to position themselves well for a MBA down the road?

    Similarly, it would be nice if you did the “ideal candidate” for a school (not Minority/Olympic Winner but more the average candidate, if there’s one, that’s likely to be accepted at the school)

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Undergrad student,

    Very good idea. I’ll order that up.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/kriz2k11/ Krishna

    Hi John,

    I would be in the Twin Brothers category from India..:)

    But i have been to IBM-India(2 YEARS) and is currently working in VISA-Singapore (full time position for last 2 years.)

    A GMAT score of 720 ..and GPA of 3.5(from an Indian State University- can be compared to National Institutes Of technology..)

    What are my odds in getting in one of the top B-Schools?? Of-course , these schools look for many other things ..essays…the story i got to sell ..and other things..STILL!!

  • RSS

    Hi John,
    I am from India and I need a favor from you.
    Is there a tool or methodology that you can come up with to convert (at least approximately) the Indian Ivy Schools’ GPA into US GPA. I have heard that it is not a direct conversion from a scale of 10 to a scale of 4.
    For instance, one of my friends who is from an average college in India with score in 60s (60+%) told me his UG score stod at 3.4 after conversion from his BSchool.
    It will be of great help to a lot of Indian applicants if you can come up with a tool at least for the top Indian colleges/Universities (IITs, NITs, BITS, Anna University, BHU, IISc and the like).

    Thank you in advance.

  • TrailBlazer

    Female
    First Generation College Graduate from the United States Naval Academy
    3.2 GPA double major Economics and Political Science (BS)
    2 years on Varsity Crew team
    President of the Astronomy Club
    Expected GMAT 680 minimum (720 hopefully)

    One out of 18 women chosen to be the first in the history of the United States Navy to break into one of the last male only fields in the country: submarining.

    Graduate of the Navy’s Officer Nuclear Power program.

    4 years work experience as an officer in the United States Navy.

    I plan either starting or becoming largely involved in a charity organization focusing on improving children’s education in the U.S. prior to applying.

  • mb

    710 Gmat
    3.5 GPA for Masters degree in Industrial & Systems engineering (focus on process improvement & statistical analysis) and Masters degree in electrical engineering (microelectronics thesis) both from northern illinois university
    1320 GRE score
    Undergrad: Electronics and communication engineering from indian university. (not great GPA)
    ~3 yrs experience as a Sr.process improvement engineer at fortune 500 electronics manufacturing companies.
    Started own consulting company focused on utilizing process improvement techniques to small business (moderately successful)
    28 yrs old male indian origin living in the USA.
    Preferred schools: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Northwestern, Sloan, Booth
    Post MBA goal: top tier management consulting firm

  • Ritz Chu

    720 GMAT
    3.16 GPA in Management Engineering (honors course where top 20% in the entrance exam are the only ones accepted and only 60% passing rate)at #1 University in the Philippines
    Graduated in the top 20% of the whole batch.

    Passed the CFA level 1 exam placing in the top bracket in all topics (passing rate at 30%)

    Worked as an AVP in the number one onion distribution company in the Philippines for one year optimizing both financial and operations and eliminating waste by 40% all this while under the load of debt to asset ratio of 60%

    Now working as the COO of the company after the first year and managing the expansion of the company and dealing with CEOs of different countries serving as the suppliers for the different materials of the cold storage facility.

    The background of the experience is under the cloud of constant power struggle by the board of directors and the owners of the company as well as security concerns due to shooting incidents involving my cousin who is an employee of the company.

    23 years old, Minority Chinese.

  • Swasikov

    Dear John,

    If would be great if you can evaluate my profiles.

    710 GMAT (Q50, V 35)
    3.02 Engineering at Thailand’s best university
    TOEFL 103

    Work in Thailand leading petrochemical company for 4 years as Sales executive and Strategic Analyst.

    Activities: Classical Pianist, Guitarist, Piano teacher, University’s Chorus Conductor and concert master.

    Age 26.

    Thank you in advance for your evaluation.

  • Believer……….

    Dear John,

    Thanks for this great Site… and the information that you have provided.
    I am Currently working in India and have been Admitted for Masters(Informations System Management) in University of Rochester(Simon Bschool) for Fall 2012.
    I wish to pursue an MBA three years down the line.

    My profile is
    2.9 GPA :(
    2.5 Yrs Experience in Siemens & Reliance Industries in Project management in SAP Business.
    Good Community Services(Human Right India) and exceptional Sports Certificates.
    Cerified in ITIL,CISA,CCNA, ISO20K and SixSigma.

    I just wanted to know how Do i Build My Career path and what else i can add to my profile so that by the time I am ready for GMAT I have a strong profile as a MBA Applicant.

    Would really appreciate If you could give a few tip to enhance My profile.

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  • Akhila Nandgopal

    I have gone through all the profiles and none really fit me very well.

    GMAT:750Undergrad GPA:3.46
    State School, International student turned resident
    Copious amounts of extra-curricular activities and Volunteering
    3yrs of experience in a HBS feeder company(Danaher)
    Female Electrical Engineer

  • Madhumitha Aravanan

    Indian
    Female, 25 years old
    GMAT:710
    Undergrad:  National Institute of technology (8.2GPA.. how do I convert it to a 4.0 system??)
    Work ex: 4 years (2 years at Maruti Suzuki as an automotive body design engineer and 2 years as a design trainee in Suzuki Motor Corp)
    Extra curricular activities:Won a couple of competitions while at Maruti, have been the joint secretary of Computer society of India at college and the hostel joint secretary (don’t know if this counts)
    Done a couple of concerts in both Japan and India… but onlor 2 months, planning to do more of that.
    Want to know if I have any c

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  • Mehrnoosh

    Hi John,
    I read this article today and i have a lot of questions on my mind but i just want to ask one of them now. Can you answer this:
    What happens to international Students?

    With all the odds and profiles that you put here, no international student has a chance for these schools.

    For example myself. I graduated in finance from the best school in my country but with GPA of 15.1/ 20 (our top student graduated with GPA under 19). I started working part-time in very small companies in sophomore year from auditing then moved on to accounting (no one would hire a finance undergrad unless you would count on nepotism). In less than 2years i had to run the whole finance/accounting/…. in the company by my own.Then i was the CFO of an international NGO.
    Less than 6month after i graduated, i started a consulting firm that works around entrepreneurship and helping small or starting businesses, with a few of my friends and been here for almost 4 years.

    It’s a small business, i don’t make much but i almost run a company.I do a lot of work in different aspects from accounting to human resource to budgeting. In comparison to my classmates i’m decades ahead.They have junior positions or at most work in some holding company as analyst.
    There are only a few international companies here that are mostly communication/mobile companies like Nokia or siemens and they usually hire people with experiences more than 10 years

    As you can see, there are no IBM/Microsoft/Google nor Goldman Sach. Even the university rankings are less than US state schools.

    The way you described i have no chance at any of these schools or even the second tier or B ranked schools.

    So what should a person like me do?
    Is there a different measurement for international students?
    How am i supposed to compete with a Harvard or UC-berkely or even michigan state graduate?
    Should i give up entirely?
    (BTW: My dream school is Wharton and then Michigan& Kellogg)

    Please just help me.If these are impossible let me know so i can adjust my expectations

  • TheBornLeader

    With all due respect, you can’t estimate chances of success of an applicant based only on his numbers and his past affiliations. B-School admission is a holistic process that will look at the trend of the promotion as a whole, your past achievements, your present situation and the aspirations you have for your future. The evaluations above are missing a very important point: the career aspirations of the candidates. If everybody aspires to be a banker or a management consultant then even a 750+ GMAT won’t necessarily give you a foot in. Your career aspirations have better to be realistic, tangible and inline with your past experience, your demonstrated interests and your proven potential (leadership, network, intellectual, etc…). Having realistic career aspirations, a good plan of success with possibly an important social impact rather than just a huge pay slip can drastically change the game even for somebody with less than 630 GMAT.

    In other words, do no trust number based profile evaluations or school proposals on some random forums, apply with your heart to the schools that you love and where you think you will be a good fit. The Life smiles to the Audacious.

  • GR

    Hi Sandy,
    I have BS in Electrical(India)-3.5 GPA, MS in Electrical(US)-3.5 GPA, yet to take GMAT. Average extra curricular activities, what are chances and how will make it to a top school, I have two year work exp n I am still working for a firm in US. Would greatly appreciate your evaluation.

  • Sangram Joshi

    With a number of
    premier business schools coming up in Bangalore, the city has become a hot
    destination for MBA aspirants from every nook and corner of the country.

    Greetings and a very warm welcome to you, to view
    through our website, to know in detail about the profile of our Indo Asian Academy
    Group of Institutions, situated in pristine location, which is christened as
    the outsourcing hub of the world, the IT hub of the world, the garden city of
    India, and the education paradise of India.

     

    Apart from medical and engineering colleges, the
    city is also becoming popular for its B-Schools. 

     

    Top Business Schools in Bangalore

     

     

    one are those days when the students had to struggle
    to get an admission for their further education. Today there is enormous number
    of B-Schools in the country which are affiliated to various universities. Every
    college offers multiple amenities in addition to regular academic course.
    Deciding upon right college to pursue Management Education has become quite
    tricky to both students and parents.

     

    We, at Indo Asian Group, incubate young minds, to be
    active, positive, effective, creative and to celebrate life, above all to make
    you a versatile and a valiant personality.

     

    B-Schools today
    proclaim various university affiliations/ associations and many other
    certifications to the students.  Student gets a chance to meet the
    representatives of various B-Schools and understand the courses before
    selecting the best. 

    For more details please visit http://www.indoasianacademy.com/MBACourses.asp

  • Soccer

    Male. Indian. Age: 25.
    720 GMAT.Indian Institute of Technology. GPA: 7.75/10
    Work Experience: 2 years (Analytics in Reinsurance Brokerage Firm)
                               1 year (Analytics and Financial Reporting in Insurance Firm)
                               1 year part-time and 0.25 years full time (Leading and Expanding a part-time family  business – online goods trading (B2B) – doubled profits last year)

    Extra Currics: Captain of College Soccer Team.
                         Improvisational Theatre Group.
                         Tie-up with NGO to donate part of proceeds from online goods trading business.

    Future Aspirations: To Break into Strategy Consulting (try for MBB) to gain diverse industry knowledge and holistic business knowledge. Come back and expand the online business some years later.

  • Bdub

    Economics from Liberal Arts college

    3.7 GPA

    Student Body President

    Associate at an Impact oriented Venture Capital Fund

    Worked as Controller(COO/CFO) for an early stage start up with annual revenues around $9m

    Top Schools:

    HBS

    Standford,

    Chicago,

    Wharton,

    Berkley,

  • Bdub

    I forgot to include my GMAT score of 740

  • PR

    Hi John, thanks for the great article. What do you think are the chances of getting into Harvard with the following

    – 740 GMAT
    – First Class Degree (3.75 GPA equivalent)
    – 4 Year Masters in Mechanical Engineering from top 5 UK school
    – Work experience at Goldman Sachs, Ernst and Young, Barclays, Royal Dutch Shell
    – President of finance society, National Team for Swimming, social entrepreneurial society team leader

    Thanks in advance!

  • Susanne Pfahl

    Take me, you won´t feel sorry about this decition!

  • Ms Military Transition

    To throw a another woman in the mix (thanks for including a few in your article), please consider me for your analysis!

    Active Duty Air Force for 7 years of service culminating in technical program management
    Undergrad GPA 3.1 Mechanical Engineering Small Tech School, MA
    1st Masters (distance) Entrepreneurship GPA 4.0
    2nd Masters Engineering Adminstration Virginia Tech GPA 3.98
    GMAT 720, good involvement/awards in school and career

    No I don’t need another masters but want to transition from technical focus in the military to private equity/venture in the public sector and think I need HBS to do so. Do you have a guess at MIT Sloan chances also?

    Thanks so much for your consideration!

  • tiara

    Undergraduate from an ivy with a gpa of 3.1
    Top 200 WTA ranked tennis player
    Worked in marketing with Fortune 100 companies for 3 years
    GMAT 680
    What are my chances of getting into a top business school

  • Sharm

    Hi

  • Sharm

    Hi Sandy,
    I am an Indian female. I want to know if FMCG work experience is viewed positively by the adcom. I work as the Supply chain manager for a major category in this company(think Unilever, p&g)
    Thanks!

  • Jon Lee

    I assume we’re clear that in all cases, the candidate must also be under 26 years old, no?

  • BE real.

    most important that is not here is income. Where you work matters, but its the bottom line that matters more. If you are wealthy or have a good paying job. They’ll take you to boost their stats. Slightly racist/sexist article but lol aint that the truth :)

  • Piyush

    Hello John,

    Just saw your Handicapping series, will really appreciate if you could asses my profile please.

    GPA – 4.0
    GMAT – 730
    Age – 29

    Experience – 7.5 years
    Present – Audio Lead – Blackberry – Ottawa
    Sr. Audio Design SonyEricsson – Beijing, Sweden
    R&D Engg – SFX – Edinburgh, U.K.

    Very wide experience in manufacturing, Design, project management, HW, SW, Mechnical, tooling, testing etc…
    Worked on lead Flagship BB and SE products.
    2 International Patents to improve Audio Technology

    Education:
    -Dip. in Mechanical Engineering – LTIT – Mumbai
    -BEng (Hons) – Mechatronics – Edinburgh Napier University, U.K.

    Goal – Corporate Strategy.
    After MBA – come back to Telecom Industry and see one of the medium size firms growing. Atleast this is what i have in my mind.

    Target Schools – Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, MIT (any suggestions for Business Schools for Corporate Strategy ! )

    +
    Peace Ambassador – UPF (Universal Peace Fed), Dir. Marketing n Communication for Non-Profit Org. – Festival of India Ottawa.

    I am not sure where my profile falls in you assessment but i do have a concern reg my age. I have read a great deal about it and 30 yrs is like a taboo age and once you cross that Business schools get less and less interested to invest in you. In my defense, all i want to say is that I did not want to do an MBA until I had a solid foundation, in-depth understanding of various different sectors of a company and how they work together. And now at this stage of my career i think i do understand telecom industry fairly well and therefore want to move to the higher level.

    Any other pointers,,,,,,,,,,, will really appreciate your assessment.

    Sincerely,

    Thanks,
    Piyush

  • Roberto

    Hello,

    What do you think are my chances to get in to my top choices:

    Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, McCombs

    First Generation College Student
    Hispanic
    Male 26 years old
    GMAT: 710
    3.2 GPA ,Degree in Economics and Business From The University of Texas (Public Ivy)
    3 years work experience at Goldman Sachs
    Involved with Alumni Program from UT and several Hispanic and underprivileged programs around the community.

    Thank you.

  • yog

    Hi John

    I am a Indian Military Engineer in my early 40’s. wish to enroll for a full time MBA course in USA for career transition from Military to Corporate. does it make sense to enroll for a MBA course at 45 of age…?

  • Solomon Neuhardt

    How about a 3.6 from the University of Montana/ :) JD from Montana also. Middle aged lawyer and no GMAT?

  • snehal

    second that

  • Tarheel MBA

    What does “average extracurriculars” mean? No leadership roles, one leadership role, un-exceptional officer positions? Or just involvement?

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