What Are Your Odds of Getting In?

by John A. Byrne on

Mr. Tae Kwon Do

  • 710 GMAT
  • 3.33 GPA
  • Undergraduate and Master’s Degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan
  • Work experience includes three years with Merck Pharmaceuticals as a staff engineer.
  • Extracurricular involvement is limited but have a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
  • “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.”
  • 25-year-old male

Odds of success:

Harvard: 10%
MIT: 20% to 30%
NYU: 30% to 40%
Columbia: 20% to 30%
Northwestern: 20+%
Wharton: 20%
Duke: 30%
Chicago: 20+%
Michigan: 30% to 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: What we got here is low-ish grades, an OK GMAT, an elite major, and a job at major Pharma, plus what seems to be nothing else too interesting.  This is not a jagged little pill, like the other guy, this is a solid tablet (Merck and Biomedical Engineering) which had the potential to be Oxycontin and turned out to be (low grades, so-so GMAT, lack of excitement) Advil.

You are not getting into HBS: they go for the buzz. You got an outside shot at Sloan, since they go for Merck and can swallow the rest, and they don’t care about you having few if any extras, You seem in line at Fuqua, Ross, and Kellogg (you might have to up the leadership there). Wharton might be looking for Demerol instead of aspirin, and it might turn on what your Pharma competition is like there. Let’s call that your reach. NYU, dunno, man, that should not be hard.  If you take out HBS, which is a real long shot, your selection is fine, and your dreams can come true at all of those schools.

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  • Ann

    Hi Sandy:
    Would really appreciate if you can help evaluate my profile-
    Background – 31 yrs Indian, female
    Education – Undergrad in Architecture (GPA ~3.1) and Postgrad in Urban Planning (GPA ~3.8). Won a National Award (given to Students of Urban Planning & Design) for my Masters Thesis. Exchange program with an architecture school on Greece (apparently one of the oldest architecture schools) during undergrad.
    Professional experience – About 6 years of experience in Urban Development, Real Estate and Infrastructure Advisory. 3 yrs with the Economic Development and Strategic Planning team of the world’s largest Engineering firm based out of their Asia HQ in Singapore. 3 yrs (and ongoing) with Infrastructure and Real Estate Transaction Advisory Services for one of the Big 4 in India. Done projects across India, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, UAE, US. Projects include Public-Private Partnerships for Urban Infrastructure Development, Special Economic Zones, New Town Development, etc. Currently, lead the regional (North India) practice and a team at the Big 4.
    GMAT – 720
    Extra curricular – College Captain during undergrad, responsible for Annual College Festival. 2 papers rgdg. Urban Poverty and Development published in International Journals. Did voluntary research work for a Dutch Development Institute in India regarding conditions of some slum settlements, led to funding for select infrastructure upgradation in these slums. Member of United Nations Association of Singapore (not very active though).
    Schools – H/S/W, Berkley, MIT, Tuck, Booth, LBS

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