Handicapping Your Odds Of Getting In

by John A. Byrne on

She’s a 25-year-old African American whose goal is to make the 2012 Olympic Summer Games.

He once got an “F” grade in calculus from a prominent British university. But this former male model has a 750 GMAT and now runs a small firm that produces and markets theater and comedy.

A graduate of West Point, he now has a leadership position in a Special Forces unit. He speaks two languages and spent a year as a volunteer at an orphanage.

He’s a 28-year-old senior at the University of Oregon who will be the first in his family to get a college degree. He worked at a ski resort before becoming a mortgage consultant.

He’s a consultant with KPMG who also did a two-year stint as a financial analyst at the Walt Disney Co. He scored a 660 on the GMAT but has a 3.86 GPA from Ithaca College.

What all of them share in common is the goal to get into one of the world’s best business schools and graduate with an MBA degree. Do they have the raw stats and experience to get an invite? Or are they likely to end up in Harvard Business School’s reject pile?

For the fourth consecutive week, we’re turning to Sanford “Sandy” Kreisberg, founder of MBA admissions consulting firm HBSGuru, to analyze these and a few other profiles of actual MBA applicants who have shared their vital statistics with Poets&Quants. Kreisberg has a reputation for telling it like it is, and in this installment he doesn’t disappoint. One would-be applicant is told his chance of getting into Harvard and Stanford are “zilch.” What about Dartmouth or Yale? “Zilch, plus a Hail Mary,” he says flatly.

As he has in the past, Kreisberg handicaps each potential applicant’s odds of getting into a top-ranked business school. If you include your own stats and characteristics in the comments (please add your age and be clear on the sequence of your jobs in relaying work experience), we’ll pick a half dozen or more and have Kreisberg assess your chances in a follow-up feature next week.

Yet another reminder: Reading a handful of stats and random attributes of a would-be MBA candidate is like reading tea leaves. There’s no science and a lot of art to this process. Without the benefit of having all the details of an applicant’s candidacy, it’s not possible to say with total certainty what the exact odds for any one person might be.

Nonetheless, Kreisberg’s judgments carry a lot of weight. Since becoming a full-time admissions consultant in 1995, he has seen and interviewed thousands of candidates who want to get into the very top schools. He knows who has made it and who hasn’t, and he’s willing to share that knowledge here.

Sandy’s candid analysis:

Ms. Olympia (Athlete)

  • 700 GMAT
  • 3.15 Grade point average
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from UC Berkeley
  • Worked for a Big Four accounting firm for a year before becoming a sales trainer
  • Employment history unique due to her goal of making the 2012 U.S. Olympic team
  • Extracurricular involvement includes competing on Berkeley’s Division 1 track and field team.
  • Has also worked and volunteers at LGBT political and non-profit groups
  • 25 years old

1 2 3 4 5 6 Next
  • Sneha Joshi

    Age :22 Female 
    GMAT :780
    Undergrad GPA (from University of Houston,Bauer College of Business) : 3.23/4.0
    Works for First Investors

  • Andrew L.

    Age: 27 White male (from a very rural part of Mississippi)
    US Citizen currently living in Alexandria, VA
    GMAT: 690
    Undergrad: 3.4 from Duke University (transferred from small state school after deploying with Army National Guard)
    Civilian Work: Consultant for a small government for 1 year, then with Accenture for 2 years; currently a Senior Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. Spent time at a start up company part time where I received a patent for a method of using unmanned aerial vehicle technology for supply chain management.
    Military: Served in the Army National Guard for 9 years throughout undergraduate and while working; deployed to Middle East, Korea, and Morocco.
    Extracurriculars: Certified Yoga Instructor volunteering as a teacher at the VA; freelance journalist for Beckett Media and Eli Research with over 50 articles and research pieces published. I also currently build and sell chicken coops out of the backyard of my house, and have sold over 50000.00 worth in the past three years. I have written and published on the topic for several publications.

    Target Schools: Harvard, Duke, Darden, Kenan-Flager, Berkeley

  • Chinmayee Joshi

    Age: 29
    GMAT: 730
    Undergrad: From the top Uni in Karnataka State, India – let’s say, unknown
    Undergrad GPA: 3.0
    Worked for two years as a Data Analyst with AIG/Chartis and played an important role with the initial setup of the analytics group in India
    Graduate Studies: Masters in Data Mining from Notherwestern University
    Grad GPA: 3.9
    Currently a consultant at KPMG

    Extra curricular activity: Was a part of the debate society in undergrad and ‘broke’ at an International tournament – Malaysia Debate Open
    Started an NGO that promotes healthy eating. Since people don’t cook at home because of the extras – peeling invollved etc, the NGO employs women to cut vegetables and deliver them. It also promotes healthy eating in other forms.
    Tried to increase LGBT awareness in India through another NGO.

  • AB

    GMAT: 700
    Ungergrad GPA 8.3 from ITAM (#1 College for eonomics in México)
    Works for National Development Bnak in the Project Finance Division, fello Citibank Credit Risk Analyst.

    Goals: Break into Private Equity and Eventually Start my own fund in México

  • squisharoma

    STATUS: Bisexual
    RACE: African American
    GENDER: Female
    AGE: 22
    UNDERGRAD GPA: 3.6 from Kent State University (BBA in Accounting); CPA Candidate
    GMAT SCORE: 720
    – JP Morgan Accounting Analyst Intern (2 months)
    – Grant Thornton Audit Intern (3 months)
    – President and founder of National Association of Black Accountants – Kent State Chapter
    – Vice President of Collegiate Business Association
    – Secretary of Collegiate Business Association
    – Treasurer of Black United Students
    – Fundraising Chair of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. – Gamma Epsilon Chapter
    – Allocations Board of Undergraduate Student Government
    COMMUNITY SERVICE: Campus Kitchen (3 years)
    VOLUNTEER WORK: Editing Assistant for TEFL writing courses (3 years)
    ATHLETICS: Captain of Intramural Basketball (3 years)
    AWARDS: McNair Scholar, Oscar Ritchie Memorial Scholarship, Kent State Student Leader Award

    TARGET SCHOOLS: Wharton, Harvard, Chicago, Stanford, Kellogg

Our Partner Sites: C-Change Media | Poets & Quants for Execs | Poets & Quants for Undergrads | Tipping the Scales

Site Design By: Yellowfarmstudios.com