Assessing Your Odds Of Getting In

She manages a $100 million-plus category for a big retailer in the Chicago area. With a 740 GMAT and a 3.6 grade point average at an Ivy League university, she has ambitions to get into a top-four business school but has already gotten ding letters from Harvard and Wharton.

He graduated from West Point and is a U.S. Army captain with seven years of service and two combat tours. His long-term goal is to start a company that helps enlisted soldiers get into university. But a 620 GMAT and 3.1 GPA could hold him back.

She’s a brand manager at a big brand credit card company, fluent in French and well traveled. With a 660 GMAT and a 3.75 GPA, her goal is to use an MBA to move into the consumer packaged goods industry in an international assignment.

Sandy Kreisberg, HBS Guru, in Harvard Square

What this trio of MBA applicants share in common with others is the goal to get into one of the world’s best business schools. Do they have the raw stats and experience to get an invite? Or are they likely to end up in a reject pile?

Sanford “Sandy” Kreisberg, founder of MBA admissions consulting firm HBSGuru, is back again to analyze these and a few other profiles of actual MBA applicants who have shared their vital statistics with Poets&Quants.

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 few more and have Kreisberg assess your chances in a follow-up feature. Sandy is taking a break for the long Thanksgiving weekend but will be back right after that.

Sandy’s tell-it-like-it-is assessment:

Ms. Credit Card

  • 660 GMAT (planning to retake)
  • 3.75 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in business from a small top private school in mid-Atlantic region; studied abroad at the London School of Economics
  • Work experience includes three-plus years as a brand manager at a big brand credit card company.
  • Extracurricular involvement providing pro bono marketing strategy for non-profits; also took a month off last winter to volunteer at an orphanage in Ghana
  • “I want to get an MBA in order to further develop my leadership and analytical skills and grow my global network to transition into a consumer packaged goods brand manager role (preferably with the opportunity to work internationally).”
  • Fluent in French
  • 25-year-old female originally from Montreal, Canada

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20% to 30%
Stanford: 10% to 20%
Wharton: 25% to 35%
Dartmouth: 25% to 35%
Columbia: 30% to 40%
Duke: 35% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: HBS and Stanford don’t like credit card companies (like most normal consumers!). For among other reasons, those jobs are not seen as hard to get as jobs at such companies as Procter & Gamble or Nabisco, and also less interesting. Schools think most credit card companies spend all their time trying to find suckers who will run up late charges, and a marketing/brand manager job at a credit card company is sort of like a pig hunting for those late-paying truffles. My apologies if that is not what you do. Just letting you know what you are facing.

HBS and Stanford use credit card companies, as well as Big 4 firms (not consulting), as a way to recruit minorities. There was a streak of African-American women from the Big 4 at Stanford, one or two a year, for about five years in a row, and then I lost count. If anyone reading this is non-minority and worked for a credit card company or Big 4 (only, not as a step to private equity) and is now at HBS or Stanford, and is not an Olympic medal winner, please write in and tell me.

Let’s assume you get a 700+ GMAT. I’d still say H and S are going to be hard. Wharton takes folks like you, as do other schools like Tuck, Columbia, Duke, and Darden based on all the wonderful stuff you highlight above. But you will really need an improved GMAT. I don’t mean to stress you out, but at places like Wharton and Columbia, the difference between a 660 GMAT and a 680 GMAT is HUGE. That would be the minimum for someone like you.

Reading this over, there is a lot to like, and if you worked at J&J instead of Mastercard or Visa, you’d be a solid case for Harvard and in the lottery at Stanford. You still might squeak by at HBS, with a ~700.

  • ksingh

    I would much appreciate your feedback on my profile. Thanks.

    GMAT: 720
    Undergraduate score: 3.5 GPA
    Undergraduate degree: Bachelors in Commerce from one of the best schools in India; Candidate to become a CFA Charterholder
    Work experience: Including 3 months at a paper manufacturing company in Bangkok, a year long break (public policy internship, helped father in his real estate start up business), two and a half years with a Big 4 company as an Analyst in Business Advisory Services, one and a half years with a ‘no – name’ boutique investment bank in India as a Senior Analyst
    Extra-curricular: College: President of college debating society, started a new national debate and a discussion club in College, campus ambassador for a large IT company at the college, worked with a micro – finance non-profit
    Post College: Long distance runner (2 marathons, 5 half – marathons), avid trekker (20,000ft in Himalayas, Africa), scuba diver (10 dives in 5 years), amateur bridge player
    Goal: To get into private equity
    Age: 27 year old Indian male
    Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford and Columbia

  • ManBear

    I think I might have a somewhat unique story so I’ll give it a shot and hope I get to be one of the posted about:

    White Male, 24
    Degree: Beng./BS Math/Comp Eng Minor in Management Studies, Top 20 US private but not IVY, GPA 3.57
    GMAT: 730
    Work Exp: 1 year big 4 tech-> 2 years as manager at a startup focused on statistical modeling for financial services (think cards and loans), managed development of models, wrote proof of concepts as well which was hands on, client facing management role with consulting/advisory work as well
    Extra-curricular: President of collegiate model UN club with a few trophies, founded IEEE (electrical engineering society) chapter at school with friends, fraternity, community service through church
    Recs: Solid recs from former M7 MBAs through current employment

    Wants to: Not sure yet what I should list as my objective.
    Schools: M7, Tuck and Duke OK too

  • Mr.Big10BigPharma

    I would appreciate some of your insight. Thanks.

    Gender: Male
    Age: 25
    Degrees: BSE and MSE in Biomedical Engineering from University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
    Undergrad GPA; 3.33 of 4.00 and Graduate GPA of 6.88 of 9.0
    GMAT: 710/92% with V39/87% and Q48/80% (first attempt was a 640/74%)
    Post Graduate Work Experience: Merck Pharmaceuticals for 3 years as a Staff Engineer for PNEUMOVAX(R)23
    Career Interests: Management/Strategy Consulting and/or Operations Management
    Extracurricular Activities: Nothing appreciable in terms of charity/volunteer work. I enjoy some sports, especially martial arts; I have a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
    Schools: Sloan and Stern are my favorites, Ross, Columbia, Kellogg, Wharton, Fuqua, Booth, and maybe Harvard if you think I can get in. Other than looking at the U.S. News rankings I have not spent too much time narrowing my schools. I could use some help with this to be honest. I like the idea of schools with large/global networks.

  • MrFirstGen

    Hi Sandy,

    First, let me say that I really appreciate your candor on here. I’m hoping to get a down-to-earth assessment of my chances. I’m pretty much a male version of Ms. First Generation (, so hopefully you can tell me I have similar chances. Thanks in advance!

    •26 yo (at matriculation) Caucasian male
    •BA: Economics, Minor: Anthropology (mid-tier UC)
    •GPA – 3.88/4.00
    •GMAT – 730

    •4 years (at matriculation) in financial services at a large custody bank
    •Selected to relocate cross-country for eight months to complete high-profile and prestigious assignment (converting business from legacy accounting platform to standard accounting platform)
    •Functionally, I will have worked in operations (fund accounting) for about nine months and project/business analysis for 3.25 years, receiving two promotions along the way (one of which was significantly earlier than usual).

    •Will have served continuously as team captain in recreational basketball leagues for 1.5 years at time of application
    •Obtained company sponsorship for and organized multiple basketball teams to improve employee engagement and work-life balance (engaging 30+ employees)
    •Will have held a leadership role within a local community service organization for 1.5 years at time of application

    •Short-term: Strategy consulting at M/B/B
    •Long-term: VC/PE

    •First generation college graduate
    •Financed education by working full-time during college in a managerial capacity in retail (supervised 70+ employees)
    •Raised in single-parent household

    Target schools: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, Sloan, Haas

  • Furious Styles

    Thank you John

  • Mr Big Ten

    Love reading these Sandy. The vast majority of the scenarios you write about though strike me as being unique from a background perspective. How about this (potentially) more common scenario:

    GMAT: 730
    GPA: 3.66

    Education: Finance degree from high ranking Big Ten business school (in 3 and one half years)

    Demographics: 26 (27 at time of school). A white son of two college educated parents who grew up in the suburbs.

    Work: Newly prompted Manager at Accenture in Management Consulting (after < 5 years). Joined firm directly out of school in 2007 and was once rated #1 overall in the performance management process, in addition to one early promotion.

    Extras: Most extras have been within Accenture: leading a local office volunteer group, leading a practice mentoring program, managing some internal operations, etc. Little to no involvement outside of Accenture do to my travel schedule (weekdays for work and weekends for fun/drinking purposes) & extra time commitments from internal extras. Was VP of my college fraternity.

    Goals: Get into venture capital in the medical device space so that I can leverage business skills learned at Accenture with finance skills from my undergrad / MBA degrees to have a more direct ownership impact on companies.

    Schools: Kellogg, Booth, MIT, Wharton, Ross, Darden. Could I get into H/S?

  • Ms. Clean Energy

    GMAT: 770/99% (V: 48/99%, Q: 49/87%, W: 6.0/99%)
    LSAT: 172 (a bit lower than I would like but I took this right before my father passed away, when he entered into hospice)
    Undergrad GPA: 3.76, graduated magna cum laude
    Education: Undergrad majors in Arabic and International Relations at a top 10 private university, worked 20-30 hours a week during school, studied abroad during one summer, interned for two summers

    Work experience: 1.5 years at a Fortune 100 diversified MNC – government relations and marketing for division dealing with energy efficiency, renewable energy, hybrid electric vehicle technology; 1.5 years in public sector practice of a large consulting firm (think Accenture, Booz, Deloitte) specializing in performance management, strategic planning, process improvement (promoted 1 year ahead of schedule)

    Other skills/certificates: LEED accreditation, Secret clearance, conversational in 3 non-English languages
    Extracurriculars: Fundraising Chair for company’s annual charity event, admissions interviewer for my undergrad school, board member and social committee chairperson of local professional organization, member of firm’s internal sustainability team, former professional development chairperson of firm’s Middle East-North Africa practice group, marathon runner, classically trained singer

    Demographics: Asian-American female, 25 yo (26 at matriculation)

    Goals: Given the intersection of law and business in sustainability industry, my goal is to obtain a JD/MBA. My short term goal is to work at a major consulting firm (M/B/B) in the sustainability/energy/environment practice to
    help businesses develop corporate sustainability strategy and comply with both federal and international regulations. My long-term goal is to start or join a company that invests in profitable ventures advancing the
    development and use of clean energy. My career aspiration is to work in clean energy investment, financing profitable emissions reduction projects worldwide, focusing especially on incorporating these technologies and sustainable practices into developing economies.

    Schools (wide range given I’m trying to get into two schools): Harvard, Wharton/Penn, Stanford, Kellogg/Northwestern, Booth/UChicago, Fuqua/Duke, Darden/UVA, Stern/NYU, Columbia

  • dave

    Hi Sandy,

    * GMAT 710/92% (Q48/80%, V39/87%, AWA 6.0)
    * 3.62 GPA at an Ivy League school
    * Double Major in Economics and Political Science
    * Double Minor in Int’l Relations and East Asian Studies
    * VP at Economics Club, Writer & Editor for Economics Publication
    * Portfolio Manager at Investment Club
    * Teaching Assistant for classes, singer at A Capella group

    * 3 years in Investment Management at a top US investment bank in one of its Asian offices, managing portfolio for Chinese clients
    * Quit finance to co-found a start-up in sustainable farming and urban agriculture focused on HK/China (raised USD 750K in its first year); produce already sold at supermarkets
    * 2 years of start-up experience by matriculation

    * Extracurricular — co-founder of a running group and running for marathons worldwide; community/charity work with the investment bank

    * Goal — working at a corporate (retail / hospitality) and helping them expand in Asia; expanding my existing venture and helping out with family business (luxury retail) in Asia

    * Asia male, 27 @ matriculation
    * US citizen (grew up and currently working in Asia)

    – HBS
    – Columbia
    – Wharton
    – Sloan
    – Stanford

    Thank you.

  • NK

    GMAT: 790
    Undergrad GPA: 3.5 (a few C’s – A’s in quant classes e.g. computer science, engineering stats)
    Education: Undergrad in biology at private national top 5 school, master’s in classical performance from Juilliard
    Work experience: 2 years at Asian office of big 3 strategy consultancy
    Demographics: Asian-American male, 26yo, dual citizen
    Extracurriculars: maintain active performing career with consulting gig, orchestra section principal at major international classical music festivals, multiple office pro bono projects in international development
    Goals: social enterprise, arts management
    Schools: Stanford, Harvard, (MIT, Chicago, Berkeley)

  • shea

    schools i’m interested in are

    Kellogg,Booth, Darden, Duke, Berkeley, UCLA

  • shea

    Gmat 710 (48,40,6.0,92% overall)
    GPA :3.0 engineering

    Top 10 engineering school at big ten school. Worked for Morgan Stanley after graduation for 3 years before quitting in 2010.

    Started own businesses while in school which currently nets low to mid 6 figures. Also domestic and international real estate investor as well. want to go back to school to re inspire myself in another field

    active participant in a few charities that help 3rd world countries gain access to education books and materials.

    zero impactful groups in college and not active in clubs (member but didn’t do much work)

    An analysis would be helpful

  • Furious Styles,

    It’s definitely not a trend. The truth is that the vast majority of applicants to Harvard, Stanford and the other top schools are fully qualified to attend these MBA programs and do extremely well in them. But there just aren’t enough seats in any given class to accommodate all the qualified candidates. That’s why so many terrific people fail to get into a top school.

    Last year, Wharton conceded in a letter to alumni interviewers that 80% of the school’s applicants are qualified for admission yet Wharton accepted only 19% of its applicant pool (see: So admission decisions often turn on small differences among the applicants. Good luck to you!


  • Furious Styles

    Question @ John or Sandy:

    I heard of a lot of people with top pedigrees (i.e Ivy League degree, 700+ GMAT, 2+2 (2 years at ibanking + 2 years at a top HF, PE or VC) getting rejected at HBS and Stanford. Do you think this is a trend or isolated cases that blogs / news like to blow out of proportion? I know three of those cases that end-up going to other top schools (i.e. MIT, Tuck, Chicago) but wonder if you guys have any thoughts on this. It just seems odd that at HBS and Stanford those stars are getting rejected but yet the employment data after school still favors those jobs? Appreciate any thoughts from John or Sandy or the community.

  • BobTheBuilder

    * White, American, Male, 25 @ matriculation

    * 720 GMAT
    * 2.75 GPA (3.4 Senior year) – I finally sobered up
    * Undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from top private/non ivy U
    * Business Minor

    * Extracurricular activities include: 3 years of orientation leadership in college, 3 years of Special Olympics as Venue Coordinator, Habitat for humanity week-long trips during spring and fall breaks in college

    * 2 years experience as Project Engineer for large heavy civil construction firm: Youngest Promotion from Field Engineer to Project Engineer – Worked on high profile $100M+ projects in places ranging from DC to West Virginia towns of 2000 people in both field and office capacities.

    * Goal is to pursue a career change from construction management to General Management/Strategy for a F500 Energy Company.


    Kellogg, Wharton, Fuqua, Stern, Johnson, Yale, maybe Ross?

  • Joey

    Would love to hear your opinion on my chances for Harvard, Stanford (I assume slim to none), Wharton, Kellogg, Duke, Virginia, and UNC. Thanks!

    730 GMAT
    3.7 in Finance from southern state university
    Leader in executive committee of fraternity in college, student government, intramural champion, social chairman
    3 years experience with top academic health care institution (think Emory/Vanderbilt) as part of internal consulting group, started as analyst, now operations engineer
    First-generation college graduate and to-be graduate school
    Goal is to leverage health care experience into the Big-4 consulting world and then start a health care company geared towards low-cost, operationally-sound, cancer clinics in develoiping countries.
    Founder/president of local investment club
    25-year old white male

  • Snake

    I forgot some info:
    I’m 26 years old and I have a french Masters degree in engineering with a major in computer science and International business and innovation minors from a top 15 french engineering school

  • Snake

    Hi Sandy,

    I would love to have your assessment on my chances:

    – GMAT: 760 (Verbal 44 – 97 / Quant 50 – 92 / AWA 5)
    – TOEFL: 113
    – From Morocco, living currently in France
    – 3,5 years of work experience in IT consulting (one major european management consulting firm then a major international one)
    – Did several international projects (US, UK, Europe) and lived for 6 months in Spain and 6 months in UK
    – Speak fluently 4 languages
    – Short term objective: International Non-profit management / Non-profit consulting
    – Long term objective: Go back to Morocco and start a social entreprise focused on education

    Applying to:

    A weakness in my application is that I have never had a big involvement on a social project, I donate, lend on Kiva, I did some volunteer work occasionally and I’m going two weeks to southeast asia beginning of 2012 for a development project on education but I’m worried this will seem weak in regards to my objectives of changing career

    Thanks in advance for you opinion

  • Also GMAT – 720

  • Sandy,

    25 years old
    3.4 GPA in Engineering from University of Michigan
    3 years experience in healthcare consulting + 6 months as a marketing strategist for a major Medical Device Company

    Interested in pursuing a job in strategic product development for a healthcare technology or device start-up company.

    Active Junior Achievement volunteer.

    Schools I’m interested in: Stanford, HBS, Tuck, Kellogg

    Thanks for your help!


  • SS

    What a great series! I’ve read and enjoyed each article and figured I’d take the opportunity to submit my own profile.

    – Undergrad: BYU Provo, BS Business Management, 3.4 GPA
    – GMAT: 660 (Taken it twice now, not sure I have time to take again before R2 deadlines. Very strong verbal score, weaker quant score.)
    – 26 year old white male.

    Work Experience:
    – Two years at process consulting firm, worked on some healthcare clients (Think Big 4 consulting, not strategy)
    – 1 year as Internal Auditor for a national health plan (Kaiser Permanente, Blue Cross, United Health Care)

    – 2 year church mission to Australia
    – VP of Business School Student Association, 1,800 members (Organized school wide events, alumni liaison)
    – Community involvement through church (Organize an annual charity auction, Holiday toy drive, Habitat for Humanity)

    I’m passionate about the healthcare industry and its (many) unique challenges. I see an MBA as a necessary step towards further building my healthcare credentials. I plan to use an MBA to facilitate a move away from audit and towards healthcare consulting (provider side). Specifically, i’m interested in helping organizations manage and plan for the effects of healthcare reform.

    Target Schools:
    Duke (Dream School)
    UCLA Anderson
    (Others that you recommend for a healthcare focus?)

    Do you think I have a shot at any of the above in light of my low GMAT score? Or better to wait until next year? I’m trying to decide if it’s even worth the time to apply.


  • Tuck2013,

    Neat idea. I’ll see if Sandy’s game.

  • Tuck2013

    What I’d really like to hear from Sandy is a run down of his feeling about each of the top ten schools. A no bullsh*t review of each would have been a big help to me when I was preparing my applications and I would like to see Sandy’s views.

  • Kan

    Hi Sandy

    I am a 26 year old male, originally from India but have been living and working in the UK for the past 12 years.

    I am applying to HBS, Stanford, Kellogg and INSEAD this winter.

    GMAT: 670
    GPA: I got a 2:1 from Imperial College London in Electronics Engineering.

    Work Experience:
    – 2 years in Investment Banking at Citigroup London
    – I quit banking to work on pro-bono consulting in India for 6 months
    – After India, started my own consumer food brand, that’s being launched into supermarkets in the UK
    – Also work with food charities in the UK, both through the business and as a volunteer
    – Additionally, advising a new education startup focused on funding education initiatives in developing countries.

    – I want to move into social enterprise, focused around food and agriculture in the developing world.

  • David

    Hey Sandy

    I’ve read all 15 installments of your “Getting In” series, always enjoyed it, but never asked for an analysis so here goes.

    GMAT – 720 (83% V, 93% Q)
    GPA – 3.63 in finance from Miami University (in Ohio – used to be considered Public Ivy, not sure it still is)

    Work Experience
    <1 year process consultant for mid-sized, regional firm in Chicago (laid off, but was already signed up for Peace Corps)
    2+ years Peace Corps – Uganda
    Founded local fair trade social enterprise (nominated as PC Uganda success story of the year for PC Headquarters in DC), founded micro-finance associations, co-founded vocational training center, micro-consulting

    Extra-curricular Activity
    Elected official to Volunteer/Staff governing body (PC Ug)
    Chief Editor of PC Uganda newsletter (PC Ug)
    Tutor – African-heritage focused public school (US)
    Tutor – Sudanese Lost Boys (US)

    Short-term – Strategic consulting
    Long-term – Establish a firm which provides seed investing and strategic/financial consulting for Sub-Sahara African start-ups

    Target schools
    Stanford, Haas, Kellogg, Anderson
    Those are the four I'm applying to for sure – are there other schools where you feel my profile would fit in well with?

    I am a 26 year old white male. Thanks a ton!

  • Kobbina Awuah

    Great feedback from Sandy. As I wrap up my MBA application would appreciate some feedback from Sandy.

    GRE score: 1430 (Verbal 650, Quant: 780)
    GPA: 3.6-3.7 in Mechanical Engineering (from strong engineering Ivy program)
    Masters in Mechanical Engineering

    Work Experience:

    3 year work experience at major oil company (think Exonn, Conoco, Shell etc) as project engineer. Currently working as a maintenance engineer developing reliability and safety metrics for company.


    Strong extracurricular in college involving raising close to $100k in grants to implement numerous initiatives in Africa. Most initiatives involved engineering solutions to provide drinking water to communities .
    Currently working on an initiative to organize oil and gas symposiums at major African university to assist in training engineers to efficiently manage resource. This initiative is being supported by other engineers in my current company.


    I want to pursue a JD/MBA. Was admitted into JD program at Harvard (which I am committed to attend and deferred to work on initiative mentioned above ) and currently applying to the MBA program this fall.

    My post JD/MBA goal is to work as a reliability and safety manager within oil and gas industry in Africa and transition to Government and Energy policy after a couple of years. Would like to develop industry standards in safety and reliability both in industry and in government. I would appreciate some feedback from Sandy regarding my goals and application in general.

    I am a 26 year African American male if this matters. Thanks

  • Mr. Filipino Banker

    Hey Sandy and John,
    Just wanted to resubmit my info again. I havent seen any profiles from my part of the world so I wanted to get your thoughts. Also FYI, got dinged by HBS with no interview. Targeting Wharton, Stanford, Chicago.

    – 24 yo Filipino male
    – 3.85 GPA from a top Philippine University (most H/S/W alumni from the Philippines come from this university), top1% of class
    – Business ad/economics major
    – 710 GMAT V40 Q47 AWA6.0
    – Mensa member

    – 2 years at the “startup” investment bank subsidiary of a large local universal bank. Not known internationally.
    – Works directly with CEO and senior execs bec of small headcount of firm. Experience across a variety of DCM and loan deals in the Philippines.
    – Simultaneously worked as risk management officer, spearheaded recruitment and training/mentoring effort for analysts

    – Headed a catholic formation organization that holds retreats for students.
    – Headed a 100+ person carpool group for university students.

    – To put up private equity fund focused on emerging markets, looking at an MBA to be able to transition into a PE role (US/international) to learn the ropes.
    – Takeoff from developmental impact of deals ive done in current job and wanting to make similar impact as principal investor.

  • Jess

    GMAT – 720
    GPA – 3.65 – Finance at Big state University in South
    Work experience – Three years as Financial Analyst, then Finance Manager at Fortune 250 transportation firm, progressive in roles and responsibilities
    Extracurriculars – captain of club sports team, leader of student managed investment fund on campus. Post-college – a good deal of charity work
    Personal: 24 year old woman, first generation college student from rural Appalachia

    Dream School: Dartmouth

  • JH

    John or Sandy, what would you say is the relative importance of where you went to school vs GPA? For example, would a 3.7 from UCLA be preferable to a 3.3 from Stanford?

  • Paul Diomampo

    Hey Sandy and John,

    Just wanted to resubmit my info again. I havent seen any profiles from my part of the world so I wanted to get your thoughts. Also FYI, got dinged by HBS with no interview. Targeting Wharton, Stanford, Chicago.

    – 24 yo Filipino male
    – 3.85 GPA from a top Philippine University (most H/S/W alumni from the Philippines come from this university), top1% of class
    – Business ad/economics major
    – 710 GMAT V40 Q47 AWA6.0
    – Mensa member

    – 2 years at the “startup” investment bank subsidiary of a large local universal bank. Not known internationally.
    – Works directly with CEO and deal team heads bec of small headcount of firm. Experience across a variety of DCM and loan deals in the Philippines.
    – Simultaneously worked as risk management officer, spearheaded recruitment and training/mentoring effort for analysts

    – Headed a catholic formation organization that holds retreats for students.
    – Headed a 100+ person carpool group for university students.

    – To put up private equity fund focused on emerging markets, looking at an MBA to be able to transition into a PE role to learn the ropes.
    – Takeoff from developmental impact of deals ive done in current job

  • Sandy

    R – Lets wait to hear it from the experts, but I would think so that bad recos can spell doomsday. Its much like the GMAT – if you get a 720, it does not have as much of a positive effect when compared to the negative effect a 550 score can cause.

  • R.

    What I’d love to hear John or Sandy address is the role recommendations play. When Sandy says someone has a 60% chance of getting in at the school, is the 40% chance of not getting in due to screwing up things like recommendations and application execution?

    I’m thinking back to an example of a friend–4.0+ GPA at an Ivy League school, couple of years at top top finance firm, and played the LGBT diversity card. Straight out dinged from H/S/W. My guess is the recommendations were bad b/c, despite being really smart, this individual had no leadership qualities.

    Can bad recs kill an awesome-on-paper candidate? Conversely, can stellar off-the-charts recommendations help overcome a ho-hum on-paper stat or two?