What Are Your Odds of Getting In?

by John A. Byrne on

Mr. Naval Engineer

  • 700 GMAT
  • 3.1 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Penn State
  • 3.7 GPA
  • Master’s degree in civil engineering from Arizona State
  • Work experience includes nine years as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, managing the supply chain and budget of a 250-person squadron; also was a Seabee company commander and an officer in charge of a group of 28 Seabees deployed to South Korea for seven months
  • Extracurricular involvement as a volunteer recruiting prospective naval officers and as a college recruiter for Penn State. Have also been in charge of fundraising for the annual Seabee Birthday Ball.
  • Goal: Interested in making a career switch to marketing/brand management
  • 32-year-old male

Odds of Success:

Dartmouth: 30%+
Wharton: 20%
Virginia: 40% to 50%
Cornell: 40% to 50%
NYU: 30% to 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, I like you, and so will most adcoms. You are right to leave out H/S/W, although you might try Wharton as a long-shot. They like older military types, even guys your age. See if you can link up with their Armed Forces Club. The rest of this is pretty simple. The low GPA can be rebutted by the grad degree, and to some extent GMAT, and the fact it was a long time ago, plus some of those schools, especially Tuck and Darden, and Cornell (a bit), are forgiving about GPA per se, with mitigating circumstances, which you got.

Good balance of extras and leadership stories in the military, and age is balanced out a bit by the fact that your goals in marketing and brand management are not industry functions which are as crazed about youth as financial services and consulting—so another point in your favor.  Stern might push back at this a bit since you are not their main type, and they are the most obsessed school of all your picks about stats per se, but you got a solid shot at your other choices, and the Wharton lottery is worth a try.

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  • Barcelona

    Hello Sandy & John,

    Can you please analyze my profile:

    Man, 28 years old with doubts wether to do a US MBA (2 yr) or a yr Option in Europe. In the US, target Schools would be H/W/S plus Tuck and Kellog. In Europe, Insead, IMD, Oxford, Cambridge.

    I am Spanish, with a degree in Business Administration from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (located in Barcelona) and Autonoma de Barcelona. I Graduated top 1% of my class.

    Work experience includes 1 year at GE finanace management program ( 6 months in UK and 6 more in Netherlands). I left GE to join an European private company leader in the food industry (15BN€ sales and +50,000) emplyes.

    With this company I have spent +4 years. 3 in Spain as Financial Planning and Analysis manager for the spanish business (managing 2 direct reports) and +1 year in Denmark to intergrate the Scandinavian subsidiary. (it was acquired 5 years ago but was regarded as a failed acquisition in terms of integration to the compnay policies and procedures).

    While working in Spain I was also the teacher of a Finance elective at university for non finance majors. (it was arround 30 hours of classes per year).

    I took the GMAT some months Ago and got 640, planning to retake it (I only got percentile 62 in math and feel I can really improve that). I already did the Toefl, got 112 IBT.

    I am fluent in English, Spanish and Catalan with a good working knowledge of French.

    After the MBA, my target is to get into strategy consulting ( Mckinsey, Bain, BCG). If it is not possible I would not mind to remain in FMCG in a more general management role.

    Thanks for your help.

  • ls413

    John – Have you thought of doing a follow-up to any of these articles detailing the schools to which these applicants were actually accepted? It would be interesting to see how everything turns out for them.

  • Ranjit

    John, I have to say I enjoyed this piece…..I see that a lot more ‘average’ profile were evaluated this time….Was this deliberate?

  • Ranjit

    Also, more to Sandy comments on one of the profile about brand-name employers…..What about those employers that are not known to the public but are well known within the industry? I work in the energy and maritime sector and there are lot of companies (mine included) that are over a 100 years old and have solid recognition within the industry but are not known outside of it…how is this handled by the adcoms?

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

    Ranjit,

    Thanks. Just trying to mix it up a bit. Thanks for reading.

    As to your question on employers, unfortunately, there are some firms that are “sexy” or very much “in vogue.” These bring a magic glitter to a resume or an MBA application, and adcoms at the very best schools tend to favor these apps as long as the other stats and parts of the application hold up.

    Best,
    john

  • HBSGURU

    You cannot assume they know, altho they might. Resume and recs and even essays a bit must go out of the way to say those things about your company. For adcoms one real impt issue, but one that does not get discussed, is HOW HARD IS IT TO GET THAT JOB. Adcoms use hiring as a proxy for what they are looking for themselves, that is why McKinsey kids do well as applicants, McKinsey is basically screening potential hires for the same things schools want (grades, GMAT, social skills, pedigree), and prob spent more time and money doing so, soooo if McK liked you, well, B school will too. But sure, once you get outside magic circle of consulting and IB’s that works less well. Still, if you work for top firm in X industry, the thinking is, you got hired by beating out the competition in that industry, which says something.

  • Ranjit

    Wow!! I think I just got my question answered by Sandy himself! I feel special!

  • sarath

    Dear Sandy & John

    The following is an overview of my MBA application. I would be grateful if you could assess my chances of getting to to top programs like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago booth, Columbia, Insead and LBS and NYU

    28.5 year Indian Male
    GMAT: 720 (49, 39), AWA 5
    Born and brought in India. Studied in Dubai for 2 years. Worked in India and Abu Dhabi for 9 months and 4 years respectively.

    Education
    Undergraduate GPA 3.8 [70% overall and 75%/distinction in the final year] (BBA from an unknown college in India)
    PGDM (Post graduate diploma in management) 3.5/5 (Well known program ranked among top 10-15 in India)
    CFA – Charted Financial Analyst (US)
    FRM – Financial Risk Manager (US)
    CAIA – Certified Alternative Investment Analyst – Level 1 cleared. One more level to go (US)

    Work Experience
    9 months as a Senior Research Analyst in a subsidiary of S&P group in India
    2 years 3 months as a Financial Analyst in a boutique private equity firm in Abu Dhabi
    1 year 6 months as a Portfolio analyst in a well know family office in Abu Dhabi (convinced the investment committee and Invested about $40 Million in asian private equity)

    Extra curricular
    Treasurer at the CFA Emirates
    Member of Red Crescent
    Played cricket at school and college level (Captain of the team)

    Reason for MBA: Reach the next level, faster career progress, Networking, Change of location.

    I would really appreciate your thought on my chances.

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

    Sandy,

    Thanks for the profile review! (Mr. Naval Engineer)

    Any thoughts to tossing my hat in the Kellogg lottery vice Wharton?

  • Mr UAE

    Dear Sandy & John

    The following is an overview of my MBA application. I would be grateful if you could assess my chances of getting to top programs like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago booth, Columbia, Insead and LBS and NYU

    29 year Indian Male
    GMAT: 720 (49, 39), AWA 5
    Born and brought in India. Studied in Dubai for 2 years. Worked in India and Abu Dhabi for 9 months and 4 years respectively.

    Education
    Undergraduate GPA 3.8 [70% overall and 75%/distinction in the final year] (BBA from a not so well known college in India)
    PGDM (Post graduate diploma in management) 3.5/5 (Well known program ranked among top 20 in India)
    CFA – Charted Financial Analyst (US)
    FRM – Financial Risk Manager (US)
    CAIA – Certified Alternative Investment Analyst – Level 1 cleared. One more level to go (US)

    Work Experience [reverse chronology]
    • 1 year 6 months as a Portfolio analyst in a well know family office in Abu Dhabi (convinced the investment committee and Invested about $40 Million in Asian private equity)
    • 2 years 3 months as a Financial Analyst in a boutique private equity firm in Abu Dhabi
    • 9 months as a Senior Research Analyst in a subsidiary of S&P group in India

    Extra curricular
    Treasurer at the CFA Emirates [since feb this year]
    Played cricket at school and college level (Captain of the team)
    Very good on pencil sketching but do not have any recognitions to show

    Reason for MBA: Reach the next level; faster career progress, Networking, Change of location.

    I would really appreciate your thought on my chances.

  • Shorty84

    GMAT – 730
    GPA – 3.0
    Undergrad – University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Mathematical
    Decision Science major.

    Career -

    Health Volunteer – Peace Corps. Malawi. February 2011 – Present.
    Implemented several income generating initiatives such as a sewing
    project with people living with HIV/AIDs and selling of solar lanterns
    within the community. Developed and executed a business curriculum
    targeting secondary school students interested in starting their own
    small businesses.

    Business Process Analyst – ACCION International. May 2008 – February
    2011. Worked with field staff to improve effectiveness and efficiency
    of operational processes and policies at ACCION, an international
    microfinance organization.

    Data Management Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton August 2007-April
    2008. Administered Environmental Protection Agency databases,
    requiring entering and verifying data, monitoring progress, training
    and reporting.

    Extra Curricular -

    - Emergency Medical Technician – Basic (EMT-B) certified.
    - Conversational in Spanish and Chichewa
    - Boston Event Coordinator & Fundraiser for United Nations High
    Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
    - Mathematics teacher in a rural Malawian community secondary school
    - NOLS-National Outdoor Leadership school- semester in Australia for 3 months.
    - Volunteered in Costa Rica for 6 weeks as a teaching assistant in a rural school for children with disabilities

    Schools I’m interested in applying to:
    Stanford
    Harvard Business School
    Sloan
    Northwestern
    Yale
    Dartmouth
    Berkeley

  • Shorty84

    Hi Sandy –

    Please see my stats above. I’m a 27 year old white female.

    Thanks!

  • Vikram

    GPA: 3.63 overall, 3.91 major (finance)
    College: NYU Stern
    GMAT: 710; V 83%ile, Q 88%ile
    Other education: Passed all levels of the CFA and FRM exams
    Work experience: Since the past two years, I have been working at a well-known investment management company that runs hedge funds and mutual funds. I focus on financing of securities across all funds and on creating tools to track exposures to all counterparties. I have also spent one year each doing sales and risk consulting at other, well-known financial service firms.
    Extracurricular: Help raise financing since the past three years for an education foundation focused on educating underprivileged children in rural India. Also helping the foundation restructure its teaching model.
    Age: 26 year-old Indian male, US citizen. Lived in India till age 13 before moving to the US.
    Goal: To gain a deeper understanding of all facets of business in order to become a successful CFO of a global firm.

  • Powa23

    Thanks John and Sandy, I hope my profile isn’t too cookie-cutter for a banker!
    I’m just starting my research and hope to learn from your insights.

    - 760 GMAT , 2230 SAT (does that matter?)
    - 3.8 GPA
    - Undergrad in top business school in Canada, Ivey/Queens/McGill
    - 2 years in financial services at front-office IBD at Morgan Stanley M&A group worked on over $200 million in deals. Worked 2 years at Private Equity Fund in Washington D.C. on Canada coverage team and performed a buyout of an Ontario car parts maker.
    - College summer experience: interned at the Embassy of Canada in Washington D.C. for Congressional Analysis, interned under a Member of Parliament doing Financial Analysis , Goldman Sachs
    - Extracurricular involvement: Varsity fencing team captain for 3 years in university placing in top 5 in Canadian Inter-university Conference and competing internationally in NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference. Vice President of Political Science Association, organized Model Parliaments in University.
    - First-generation college graduate
    - Goals: Private equity
    25-year-old East Asian male

    Schools that I’m interested in:

    Tuck
    Wharton
    Kellogg
    Booth
    MIT

  • AJ

    Hi Sandy,

    Would much appreciate if you could pick up my profile below and comment on it:

    720 GMAT (77%Q, 92%V)
    Undergraduate degree in engineering from German university. Part of founding batch, resulted in several unique, “pioneering” and entrepreneurial opportunities for setting up student clubs. Accelerated 3 year program. GPA: 3.4
    Graduate degree from US Ivy League. GPA: 3.14 (drop in GPA due to culture shock, no time to recover as only a 1 year program).
    Work experience: Top-tier US I-Bank, initially in IT (2 years), followed by working as a quant on the trading desk being in charge of day-to-day pnl and risk (4 years). Worked in New York and currently in London. Recently promoted to VP.
    Gender: Male
    Nationality: Indian
    Any powerful extras: Board member of the alumni association of my undergrad uni.
    Strong international experience, studied in India, Germany, Australia and US, worked in New York and London. Very active in extra curriculars during undergrad.
    Target schools: Wharton, Stanford, Harvard, Booth, Kelloggs, MIT, Columbia
    Applied to Wharton R2 for class of ’13, rejected after summer waitlist.
    Goals: Rise to COO at top financial services firm, start my own firm supplying risk analytics.
    Age: 27
    Mitigating factors: Low GPA/stats (?), too much work experience, too old (?).

    Am looking for a theme/message/focus to market myself to a top school.

  • MrBanker

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you for taking the time to chance me. Not everyone would be as brutally honest as you’ve been and for that I’m grateful. It’s a great thing I asked you when I did because it would be 4 years in Aug/Sep 2013 (I’m applying next Fall), so I still have time to change my fortunes. For what it’s worth, I’m eyeing Tuck and Fuqua, too, but in the meantime I’ll work on finding different employment. Thanks again.

  • HBSGURU

    whoa! that might a good idea if you got analyst job of some kind at a prestige bank–but then you will need to explain how come you are leaving in one year, and may have a hard time getting recs. Lots of moving pieces here, and while custodian bank is disfavored at H and S, you might look into prior jobs at Tuck, etc. they might look at your bank in a different light and aslo respect career advancement AT YOUR BANK. I was just giving you a scenairio of how kids fr. your background broke into H and S. Other shcols are less selective, altho still really selective.

  • Mr. Drill

    Hey Sandy,
    Thanks for taking the time to do these. Can you analyze my profile in the next “odds” article?

    690 GMAT
    3.8 GPA
    Undergraduate degree in Finance from small, pretty unknown state school
    Awarded top Finance student in Univ
    4 yr varsity div. 1 bsktball player
    4 years as Financial Analyst at top oil and gas company (think largest public) with noted career progression
    Large amount of extracurriculars that include leadership roles
    27 yrs old; goal is Corporate Treasury.

    Fuqua, Sloan, McCombs, Booth, Kellogg

  • OpenWindow84

    Thanks, Sandy and John for the analysis. This is very helpful!

    Best,
    “Mr. Marcom”

  • MrBanker

    Sandy, point taken. I’ll have to sit down and weigh my options. I’ll definitely shoot you an email to let you know what I decide and how it turns out.

  • hbk

    Sandy,

    750 GMAT
    3.3 gpa 3.9major
    major in finance from state university

    3 years corporate finance manufacturing sector
    2 years public sector finance

    extracurriculars incld, active leadership role at a global Christian mission organization, summer mission project team, active involvement with Compassion (think World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, etc) & community service/ mentorship for low-income family children

    passed CFA level 1
    tri-lingual
    cross-cultural background

    MBA goal: to transition to operation consulting (corporate finance) or restructuring finance to further enhance my career in finance

    28 yrs old asian male

    it’ll be much help if you would chance me! ..

  • hbk

    target:
    Columbia, Yale, Cornell, Tuck, UCLA, UNC, Duke

  • Vikram

    (forgot to mention business schools* of interest earlier)
    GPA: 3.63 overall, 3.91 major (finance)
    College: NYU Stern
    GMAT: 710; V 83%ile, Q 88%ile
    Other education: Passed all levels of the CFA and FRM exams
    Work experience: Since the past two years, I have been working at a well-known investment management company that runs hedge funds and mutual funds. I focus on financing of securities across all funds and on creating tools to track exposures to all counterparties. I have also spent one year each doing sales and risk consulting at other, well-known financial service firms.
    Extracurricular: Help raise financing since the past three years for an education foundation focused on educating underprivileged children in rural India. Also helping the foundation restructure its teaching model.
    Age: 26 year-old Indian male, US citizen. Lived in India till age 13 before moving to the US.
    Goal: To gain a deeper understanding of all facets of business in order to become a successful CFO of a global firm.
    *Schools: H/S/W, Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, MIT, Tuck

  • The Chipper Guy

    Hi Sandy, John,
    Would really appreciate of you could ponder over my profile and provide a feedback.

    The Chipper Guy: Indian, Male, Semiconductor Engineer, 28 years Old
    GMAT 720 (94%tile) (Q -92%tile, V -81%tile)
    Undergraduate- Reputed and very selective Private Indian Engineering college (GPA 7.5/10), 2006. Actively involved in extra curricular- Club president and organized student body for cultural activities and managed funds for mega events
    Graduate – MS from private US Univ (GPA 3.8/4.00), 08 -Full funding/scholarship and have various publications. Had acquired corporate sponsorship of USD 400K for research work..
    Work Exp: Working in one of the world’s most state of the art semiconductor manufacturing facility. Have worked as a lead on manufacturing floor managing 15 people and very expensive equipments in rotating shifts . I have recently been a founding member of a new team/ group, coordinating a lot of global projects for worldwide manufacturing sites. But company is neither a MBA feeder nor a MBA recruiter.
    Extra curricular: Involved in welfare and community events to help poor and unprivileged with health related issues through camps, along with active involvement in Alumni events (coordinating salvaged equipment donation from Company to Univ Lab) and K-12 activities including tutoring and mentoring..
    Goal: Short term Strategy Consultant; Long term start my own company that will make innovative products at low cost for third world countries.

    Schools: Tuck, Sloan, Booth, Kellogg, Haas, Columbia, Stern, Wharton, HBS

    Thanks,
    The Chip(per) Guy

  • Dave Garrison

    Sandy / John,

    Was wondering if you’d have to give a quick critique of my background for top MBA admissions.

    Education: Top 20 state school
    Major: Economics
    Minor: Computer Science
    GPA: 2.33 / 4.0
    GMAT: 710
    Work Experience #1: 1.5 years at a top 5 bulge bracket investment bank, industry investment banking coverage group analyst, achieved top-bucket analyst class ranking (top analyst in all of coverage group for my year), staffed on $1 billion plus in closed transactions.
    Work Experience #2: 2 years at a (now) public oil and gas company as a sr. financial analyst in the companies corporate development department, instrumental role in executing firms process to become public and subsequently being listed on a major stock exchange (NYSE, NASDAQ, etc.), entered firm as a jr. financial analyst and progressed to current title and currently have two jr. financial analysts directly reporting to me, frequently consult firms CEO and CFO on potential acquisition opportunities and balance sheet positioning.
    Extra curricular: currently on board of my states chapter of a national organization catered to young energy professionals and have represented chapter at national conferences. Founded outreach and networking arm of said organization to underrepresented universities in state to establish networking and job opportunities for qualified and need based undergraduate engineers, science majors, finance/accounting students and other high achieving candidates.
    MBA reasoning: to reevaluate my +3 years of work experience in investment banking and corporate development in an academic and collegiate environment with my academic goal being to focus and sharpen my existing skill-set with other high achieving MBA candidates as a launching point for the next phase of my professional career. Post MBA goal being starting my own energy company and hopefully taking it public drawing on my real world experience and academic fundamentals gained through my MBA courses / interaction and mentor ship from top MBA professors.
    Target MBA programs: Wharton, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia, Tuck, Northwestern, UVA, University of Texas, Rice, University of Southern California

  • MrSurfer

    Hi Sandy,

    I really appreciate what you do to provide applicants with very good feedback in a way that’s very helpful, as well as fun and entertaining.

    Here’s my profile, hopefully you’ll find it interesting enough to give me your comments about it:

    -Mexican, Male, 28
    -610 GMAT (36Q, 37V and 5.0 AWA)
    -95/100 GPA
    -Undergraduate Degree in International Commerce from a good Mexican University(Worked full-time while attending college to help my mom cover my expenses)
    -Captain of the school’s soccer team during my senior year (midfielder)
    -Soccer coach for team of unprivileged children
    -First generation college graduate
    -Raised by single parent
    -2 years as a Consultant in International Trade at Big 4 firm (promoted twice)
    -Decided that it was too early in my career to work in such a specific field (international trade) and decided to accept an 18 month internship abroad (US) in Sales Strategy with a big transportation company to broaden my experience in business and acquire international exposure
    -Currently working as Brand and Proposal Manager for the workplace consulting practice of a leader in the furniture industry, very involved in the research of the future of work and workers, generations at work, etc. (very senior and international team)
    -My goal in the short term is to complete the career change I started on my own a few years ago and transition into strategy and marketing
    -Long term goal is to specialize in small and medium enterprises to help develop the economy of the southwestern region of Mexico, which is where I am from

    Thanks in advance for your feedback!

  • Ray

    Dear Sandy and John,

    Would appreciate if you could help me choose the right school:
    710 GMAT
    GPA:?
    Undergraduate degree in Commerce (majors:account and finance) from Mumbai University (3 yrs) First Class, Top 5 students in class
    Work experience includes three-plus years
    2 yrs in HSBC(Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation), Mumbai in Wealth Management
    1 yrs in boutique executive search firm : head finance and banking vertical. I am setting up the finance and banking vertical for the firm which is a leading and established firm in the pharma and It sectors.

    Extracurricular Involvement:
    General Election Campaign for 3 months in charge of a small area (100000 voters)
    Trustee of rural and tribal charitable schools(15) and colleges(5) worked here in vacations and the trust is run by my family

    25-year-old male from India

    Goal: social entrepreneurship
    long term goal : enter politics

  • The Nomad

    Dear Sandy and John:

    I am a grad student in international relations and international economics. Immediately after college, I aggressively pursued the foreign affairs/international development path, but now I’m trying to move out of the government/international development path, as it no longer offers any advantages that it did only three years ago (job security and ability to effect change, gone after all the budget cuts). It also is unable to implement policy, which is what I wanted to work on. Therefore, I don’t want to go into a government job now. Also, I’m scared out of my mind that a Republican will actually do what s/he says in re: foreign aid, will come into the presidency and kneecap USAID, which will leave me out of a job in a year or two.

    My main problem is that if I leave international development, my work experience screams communications, which is not what I want to do at all. Despite playing up the econ and finance coursework, no private sector organization is biting. I have been in interviews for quant or econ analysis positions, and then they introduce me to their communications chief “just to chat” and then two days later I get an email saying “we can’t offer you the economic analyst job, but we would love to offer you the communications job (which I did not apply for and never demonstrated an interest)”. I feel like I need nothing short of an MBA to establish my quantitative bona fides.

    I want to be a turnaround specialist for distressed organizations. My pitch is that since I’ve tried to help societies get out of their lowest point, I want to help organizations down on their luck do the same.

    -26 year old Caucasian male.
    -GMAT: estimate 740 (I took two practice tests and that’s the average. Plan on taking it in late Feb/very early March)
    -Undergrad: Top 10 liberal arts college in econ and Russian (my college’s very well known for the econ department)
    -Undergrad GPA: 3.6
    -Grad Program: #1 or #2 IR program in the US. For IR practitioners, I have been told it’s far and away the best program in the world, if anything for the alumni network and rigor. Also, it’s strong in econ.
    -Grad GPA: 3.5 (in progress)
    -Languages: Russian (fluent), French (reading and writing- fluent, speaking conversational), Spanish (conversational)
    -Extracurriculars: some elected student gov’t positions (youngest Senator in my college freshman year… 15 of us to represent 1200, did that three times in total), taught English as second language off and on for a long time (for seven years), was the Russian Department liaison my senior year (so headed their publicity for students, answered questions about the program, etc.), volunteered for development at a local art museum
    - Work experience: between junior and senior year of college, interned full time for a US Senator in constituent services and interned at the US Embassy in Georgia in public affairs. After graduation, studied in Georgia only to have the Russians invade/liberate/become militarily present. After, worked at a top think tank (Brookings/Rand) as an admin assistant before going to grad school (9 months). Left grad school to be a research assistant for economic analysis in a UN agency in Bangkok (to strengthen the quant skills) and then a jack of all trades assistant at a public health NGO in Afghanistan, both lasted 6 months. Went back to grad school where I am now. Over the summer, volunteered at the Burmese dissident newspaper due to something that was not completely in my control.
    - Study abroad: Russia, one year. Georgia, three months.

    I can get very good recommendations.

    Schools: Where do you think I should apply? Should I apply 3rd round?

    Thanks!

  • Vik

    Hi thanks a lot for helping. My profile below:

    720 GMAT
    2.9 GPA (topper of the class was a 3.4 GPA)
    Undergraduate degree in manufacturing engineering from a top decile college. 3 Levels of CFA.
    Work experience includes one and a half years in India’s largest automobile manufacturer in setting up new projects across multiple locations and one and a half years as a research analyst covering the auto sector in India at an institutional broking firm. The analyst part is a client facing role; handled a team of 40+ at the automobile company.
    Extracurricular involvement in college as chief editor of college magazine, quizzing, convener of college fest, raised monies, had a large team etc.

    25-year-old Indian male

    What are the odds at Harvard, Wharton, Columbia (early decision), Kellog, INSEAD, Booth?

  • SolarGirl

    Hi! I love this series. Would you please assess my own chances of getting in to the schools of my choice?

    -760 GMAT (47 V, 48 Q, 4.5 AW)
    -3.42 GPA / 3.58 major GPA / 3.73 last two years GPA
    -Worked through college, took semester off then came back, got great grades and graduated early
    -BA from top five liberal arts college
    -Philosophy major, English minor
    -1.5 yrs work experience at a “green jobs” non-profit with social enterprise efforts, then 2 yrs in solar energy as a Project Manager (plus years of fancy waitressing jobs)
    -26yo Caucasian woman
    -No core business coursework besides for perfect grades in AP Calculus, my written response to schools that ask is that I use econ and finance every day at work
    -Long list of extracurriculars, volunteering and community service
    -Essays on need for business strategies in clean tech, value of business approaches to social/environmental issues, overcoming significant family hardship

    Applying to: Yale (top choice), MIT, UT Austin, UNC Kenan-Flagler & Boston University – is this an appropriate range?

    Thanks!

  • JD07

    Have not yet taken the GMAT but expect 690-720
    Graduated from UNC – Chapel Hill with a 2.76 in Economics and Geography

    Both of my parents worked in public education so I worked all through college, up to 3 jobs in a single semester with 2 internships in finance. My poor GPA is truly attributable to lack of direction/motivation and a preference for drink and sleep over class. I performed better in upper level classes, eventually making the Dean’s List my final semester, and I was also awarded a small scholarship from my fraternity.

    After college (just prior to the market crash) I spent just under 3 years as a proprietary equities trader for (at the time) the largest prop desk in the world (they fund did ~7% of the daily NYSE volume).

    I switched careers and now work at the second largest venture bank. I started as an analyst and have received 3 promotions in the past year and a half. I am currently an underwriter for our troubled credits/assets group, and expect similar career growth over the next year or so. I can also expect excellent references from senior management. All analysts at my bank have previous experience elsewhere from a variety of places including local funds and investment banks. During my time here, I have seen 4 colleagues apply to B-School. 1 went to Indiana, 1 to Columbia, 1 will attend Chicago, and 1 is currently waitlisted after applying 1st round to Duke.

    My extracurricular activities in college included a minor role in student government and a leadership role in my fraternity, though I imagine that’s not particularly pertinent at 27 years old. I spent a summer teaching English in Costa Rica, though not through a formal program, I am somewhat active with a couple of MS organizations, and I may join the board for a local literacy organization. I’m also particularly active and have several non-useful certifications for things like sailing, diving, and flying. Again, probably not relevant, but at least I don’t sit around doing nothing on the weekends.

    I would like to get an MBA to continue in finance, but to move into early stage PE or later stage VC. I have no illusions of H/W/S, but I am curious as to what schools would find my profile attractive.

  • JD07

    Forgot to mention that I’m a white dude. Also, I’ve been able to save enough since college to pay for a program in cash, so I won’t need financial aid, if that helps

    Thanks, guys. This is a great series and has been interesting and educational to read

  • StrategyGuy

    Hi John/Sandy –

    This series is extremely helpful. Thanks for your insights.

    If possible, it would be great to get an assessment of my profile:

    -700 GMAT (85% math, 80% verbal)

    -3.61 Cumulative GPA, 3.7 Economics GPA, 3.8 senior year GPA at Top 5 liberal arts school (Williams, Amherst, Middlebury)

    -2 years at as strategy associate strategy consulting firm (~20 people). small, but founded by ex-bain, McK. has consistently sent people to HBS, Wharton, Tuck, Booth, Johnson. Involved in cases with high level executives at large companies (think Pepsi, CVS). Above average performer, on track to early promotion before I left. Started training program for new analysts. extra activities in job included heading up IT (but not part of job description — probably took up 2% of my time)

    -Last 6 months (and currently) in strategy group of internet company. bosses are ex-bain/ex-wharton. high level of responsibility — frequently leading presentations to c-level executives at our company.

    -Extracurrics: founded and currently managing youth community service group for a local church (~20 person membership) — also have hosted sports events through this group. Taught at sunday school for 2 years. Participate in big brother mentorship program. helped out with fundraising for a global charity (6 hrs/week for about 8 weeks/year for 2 years)

    -Background: 2nd generation south asian from texas

  • StrategyGuy

    Forgot to mention — 24 yr old male;

    Goal: To lead strategy decisions for a large company

  • Sid

    Dear John,

    Came across this series and absolutely loved it… Refreshing to hear brutally honest and realistic reviews about profiles…

    Would be grateful if you could take a look at mine as well:
    - 740 GMAT (q50, v41, 5.0)
    - Bachelor in Engineering from University of Pune, India (army enginering college) with a low GPA (first class, top 10% in class) of about 3.2
    - first generation college graduate, army family, born in a little village in north india
    - 1 year with HSBC in India, working in IT (trading applications)
    - 2.8 years with Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore (Business Analyst for IRD/FXO desk)
    - 8 months in NY, with a boutique French consulting firm (doing a project with the UN)
    - post MBA goal : strategy/management consulting for a big 4. Long term aspiration : social entrepreneurship in india
    - decent extra-curricular (leadership role in Singapore based non profit, weekend league soccer for over 4 tears, habitat for humanity trip to Batam, Indonesia)

    Colleges I am keen on :
    - Harvard
    - Wharton
    - MIT
    - Kellogg
    - Booth
    - LBS
    - INSEAD
    - Tuck

    Thanks in advance…!

  • Bruno

    John/Sandy,

    Thanks a ton for for putting these posts together, it’s definitely given some clarity to what the admissions officers are looking for. I know there’s a lot of us looking for guidance here, but if you have a few minutes do you think you could give my profile a glance?

    ~660 GMAT (82 percentile Q & V, but want to retake with goal of 750, this was my 1st attempt)
    ~Dual Degree BS/M.Eng. from Rochester Institute of Technology in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Operations Management; 3.1 GPA
    ~1st generation college student of Portuguese descent
    ~Fluent in Portuguese, working knowledge of Spanish
    ~Work Experience includes 2 years in management development program for Precision Castparts (Tier-1 Aersopace Supplier, program similar to GE’s development programs) in supply chain and operations roles. Six sigma Black Belt certified.
    ~1 additional year as a manufacturing manager (following the program) at a $400M facility in the same company with supervision of approximately 45 personnel, with over 75% of them Spanish-speaking. $3.5M annual P&L responsibility.
    ~1 year of co-op experience in operations roles at J&J throughout college.
    ~Extracurriculars include D3 Soccer throughout college, Treasurer of the Italian club, Soccer coach for multiple youth teams.
    ~Looking to shift from a operations role to supply chain/procurement. Also considering a shift to sports management.
    ~25 year old white male

    Schools I’m looking at:
    -Sloan
    -HBS
    -Tuck
    -Kenan-Flagler
    -Ross
    -Stern
    -Boston University

    Thanks a ton!

  • Amy

    John/Sandy,

    Would love to get a realistic sense of my chances at the following schools, given my sponsorship status and focus on healthcare/life sciences: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago, NYU, Columbia

    - 700 GMAT (will be retaking, looking for 740+)
    - 3.25 GPA
    - Biology and Economics double major from Ivy
    - 5 years (at matriculation) of strategy consulting experience, first at a small Life sciences boutique and then at a Top 5 firm specializing in Life Sciences; 3 promotions total in 3.5 years to date despite firm change; significant team and thought leadership role; extensive participation in firm activities
    - MBA will be sponsored by my current company (not sure if that helps/hurts)
    - Extracurriculars: Long track record of mentorship activities (Freshman mentor, women is science mentor, teaching assistant, and career office mentor as a college student – high school student academic mentor (weekly commitment during school year), women in business mentor (for college students at my alma mater), and participant on multiple consulting-related panels post-college. Also work as a coordinator and fund raiser for an animal advocacy organization.
    - Goal is to develop greater leadership, management, and relationship development skills to support my path to Partner at a major management consulting firm, focused on Life Sciences (pharmaceutical, biotech). I would be pursuing the healthcare-related programs that most of these schools offer.

  • Mike

    Sandy/John,

    Can you perform an assessment of my profile? I would really appreciate it.

    GMAT: 700 (Math 40, Verbal 49)

    Completed Level 2 CFA (passed both levels on first try, taking level 3 in June)

    Undergrad: Finance Major at Rutgers Business School
    Cum. GPA: 3.7 (Finance GPA 3.9)

    Work Experience: 2 years at a top 5 bulge bracket investment bank. First year in a support role for the fixed income business. Second year working on regulatory reform at the bank (i.e: mitigating the impacts of the new regulations).

    Extracurriculars: Mentoring college students in an investment banking class, mentoring troubled youths from urban neighborhoods, Cancer Foundation, real estate investor.

    Recomendations: Should be able to secure recomendations from top executives at the bank that I for.

    Background: South Asian, 24 years old, first generation college graduate, worked full-time through college to pay for my tuition .

    Looking to shift from a support/regulatory role at a bank to a traditional Investment Banking role.

    I am looking at Harvard, Columbia, Booth, Kellogg, Tuck, Yale, Wharton, Fuqua.

    Feel free to recommend other schools which you think that I would have a better chance of being admitted to.

    Thank you so much. I appreciate your help.

  • Mike

    Sandy/John,

    Apologies for the error in my prior post. My actual GMAT score is a 700 but a 47 in Math and a 40 in Verbal.

    “Sandy/John,

    Can you please perform an assessment of my profile? I would really appreciate it.

    GMAT: 700 (Math 40, Verbal 49)

    Completed Level 2 CFA (passed both levels on first try, taking level 3 in June)

    Undergrad: Finance Major at Rutgers Business School
    Cum. GPA: 3.7 (Finance GPA 3.9)

    Work Experience: 2 years at a top 5 bulge bracket investment bank. First year in a support role for the fixed income business. Second year working on regulatory reform at the bank (i.e: mitigating the impacts of the new regulations).

    Extracurriculars: Mentoring college students in an investment banking class, mentoring troubled youths from urban neighborhoods, Cancer Foundation, real estate investor.

    Recomendations: Should be able to secure recomendations from top executives at the bank that I for.

    Background: South Asian, 24 years old, first generation college graduate, worked full-time through college to pay for my tuition .

    Looking to shift from a support/regulatory role at a bank to a traditional Investment Banking role.

    I am looking at Harvard, Columbia, Booth, Kellogg, Tuck, Yale, Wharton, Fuqua.

    Feel free to recommend other schools which you think that I would have a better chance of being admitted to.

    Thank you so much. I appreciate your help.”

  • Martin

    Sandy,
    I would appreciate if you could evaluate my profile.

    My name is Martin and I’m from Argentina. I’m 28 years old (almost 29, Birth date 22/04/1983) and I’m planning to apply this year to start my MBA on september 2013.

    Undergraduate: I have a degree in Communication from the UBA – University of Buenos Aires (one of the most prestigious universities of Argentina). Im not sure what’s my GPA, I’ve got a 7,61/10 (passing mark is 4. Never failed an exam). Here in Argentina that’s a very good average, but it varies a lot from one university to another.

    GMAT: 710 (Q48 V39).

    Professional background: I worked 10 months as a trainee in Loreal and then decided to get involved in my family’s business , a construction and real estate development company with more than 35 of history. This is my fourth year and I’m now the Business Director. Since I got involved, the company grew in an amazing way. For more than 30 years Ingalfa had been exclusively dedicated to infrastructure works. After one year and a half of being in the organization, I convinced my father to create new business units so as to expand Ingalfa’s services. Today, 75% of incomes are generated by civil works, one of the new business units I created. In adittion to this, we become a Real Estate developer, constructing not only for other people but also for own developments (including some Hilton hotels).

    After the MBA, I’m planning to come back to my country to continue developing my business. Partners – and of course me – want me to prepare myself to become the new CEO in a few years.

    Extracurriculars: I have represented my country (and my state) in the under 21 National Rugby Team. I still play in the most competitive rugby league of Argentina where I have been for the last ten years.
    I have been involved in many social projects, dedicating most of my extra time specially to one of them: a project called “Elegir Bien” (created by a group of people from my rugby club and me) that aims to help teenagers have fun without alcohol or drugs and to bring them closer to rugby and sports in general.

    University: My dream is to be accepted at Stanford or HBS, and I’m planning to apply to Wharton, Chicago, MIT and Berkeley as well. How do you see my chances?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

  • 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
    Thanks!

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