The Pros and Cons of INSEAD

Moving forward with the application process, I’m now starting to narrow down my list of schools and realistically assess my chances.

First move was to submit my profile to Sandy aka the HBSGuru on Poets&Quants to get his opinion.  I figured if I needed someone to give it to me straight, it would be him.

Here’s the profile I submitted, and Sandy’s response, which I’m very grateful that he took the time to compile.

Key takeaways:

  • Hardest news to hear: “For the reasons you mention–low GPA and lowish GMAT, plus non-blue chip firm—you’re asking them to blink twice or maybe 1.5 times, and they will take someone similar to you with better stats and schooling” Ahh. And there it is – the truth. *gulp*
  • Most encouraging news to hear: “I like you, and my guess is, with real solid execution, which should be easy, given how smoothly your goals flow from your experience, you could be real strong candidate at Kellogg, Haas, Yale, and Duke.” *yay!* These are some schools that I am, also, very excited about.
  • Alignment with my future goals: “The rest of this is just so solid. A neighbor of mine started an educational consulting company right out of Harvard Ed School, doing what seems like what your company does, and he had an HBS grad working for him.” That sounds amazing and right up my alley.
  • To end: “Explain the grades in some way and stress international do-gooder stories, and write back and tell me you made it to Harvard or Stanford.” Check and check, and if I do, you can expect a manuscript 🙂

So basically what I got out of it was, your chances realistically at some schools are not very high, they care about numbers, but give it your best shot because you have some other things working for you.

What can I control? My GPA is history, and I don’t have time to take additional classes now. I can focus on my recommendations, community service and essays, and getting that GMAT number up.

Immediately after I read his response, I felt like Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber shouting out, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?!”

So without further ado, here are my preliminary list of schools along with the percentage chance of acceptance that Sandy has “handicapped”:

Stanford (joint degree in School of Education): 15% to 20%

Harvard Business School: 20% to 30%

Berkeley: 40+%

Yale: 50+%

Wharton: 25% to 40%

Northwestern: 40% to 60%

Columbia: 40% to 50%

Duke: 50% to 60%

Using what I learned about probability from my GMAT quantitative prep, the chances that I will get into ONE of the above schools is equal to 1 – the chances I get denied at ALL of the schools multiplied together (ha) or, 1-(.15*.20*.40*.25*.40*.40*.50) = .99976. Now I will take this figure with a grain of salt…but statistically, I should get into at least one or two of the schools on the list.  I just need to put forth the strongest application I possibly can!