What Are Your Odds Of Getting In?

After spending three years as an intelligence analyst in the Israel defense forces, he’s now an auditor for one of the Big Four accounting firms in Israel. With a 720 GMAT score and a 3.72 GPA from Tel Aviv University, this 25-year-old wants an MBA to transition into investment banking in the U.S.

She’s studied in Japan and Britain, volunteered in a wild life hospital in Australia and is fluent in five languages. She now handles the real estate portfolio at an investment firm but someday hopes to work in a private equity or investment firm focusing on real estate.

After earning undergraduate and graduate Ivy League degrees in architecture, this 28-year-old had worked as an architect in New York City and is now starting a real estate development firm. A first-generation college grad, he believes the MBA degree would allow him to transition to a lucrative job for a private equity real estate fund or a real estate investment trust.

Sandy Kreisberg, HBS Guru, in Harvard Square

What these MBA applicants share in common 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.com, 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 usual, 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’s assessment:

Mr. Architect

  • 710 GMAT
  • 3.4 GPA
  • Undergraduate and master’s degree in architecture from an Ivy League university
  • Work experience includes two years at a global architecture firm headquartered in New York, working on large-scale, mixed-use commercial developments throughout Asia; two years at a boutique architecture/development firm in New York. Also held four different teaching fellowships while a grad student. Currently starting a real estate development firm
  • Goal:
”After graduation, would hope to work at a REIT or PE real estate fund.”
  • 28-year-old Hispanic male and first-generation college graduate

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 40+%
Stanford: 20% to 30%
Wharton: 50%
Tuck: 40-60+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Let me start with a nutty question: What was your graduate school GPA? Amazingly, it’s not super important, but more important than you probably think, given your low-ish (for HBS and Stanford) undergraduate GPA of 3.4.

Aside from that, you are real solid: first-generation college, Hispanic, male, 710 GMAT, and your goals are not that off the grid. Most MBA programs, especially large ones, have dudes transitioning from a real estate base (including engineering, construction, and architecture) into development –and of all the possible real estate origins, well, everyone loves  architects.

How come?  Might be the relative rarity, the cool clothes, taking notes on graph paper, some Fountainhead holdover (for Tea Party fans), or whatever—well, we won’t settle for whatever, check out this article at the “definitive” (in the muddled world of pop-culture criticism) Nerve website, Romancing About Architecture, Why the architect is Hollywood’s go-to male love interest. Let’s see, as the article notes, we got Joseph Gordon  in 500 Days of Summer, Sam Waterston in Hannah and Her Sisters, Steve Martin in It’s Complicated, Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle and if all that is too white-bread for you, at the same website, not that I really looked,  but check out the hot picture of Wesley Snipes in Jungle Fever, surveying Annabella Sciorra, on his drafting table, with those cool ‘springy-grasshopper’ architectural lamps framing the scene.

OK, I could go on, but the issue is will adcoms, in the full light of day, fall for architects like you the same way popcorn-popping, Rom-Com addled young women do in the dark?

I don’t see why not. The fact that you work for a “global” architecture firm, headquartered in New York, man, those adcom chicks are getting weak in the knees already.

“After graduation, would hope to work at a REIT or PE real estate fund.” Ok, that’s a bummer, even without the Newt Gingrich attack ads on vulture capitalism. What the world does not need is one less dreamboat architect and one more dickhead REIT toad. Or so the prevailing wisdom is on Planet Adcom.  You should really say you want to lead a development firm that focuses on the usual blah, blah . . . sustainable development, fusion architecture (I just made that up, but I’m sure it exists, where food leads, buildings soon follow, and it builds out on your Asian experience), mixed-use stuff with rich people, poor people, and a suburban Little League team,  just like Trophy Projects x y and z.

Given how solid everything else is, I’d say you got some pretty good odds at HBS, Stanford, Wharton and Tuck. It all fits together as a story and a career, and you’re an architect!

  • Sustainable Developer

    Hi John and Sandy,

    I have a similar, but slightly different story than Mr. Architect:

    730 GMAT

    3.75 GPA in Architectural Studies at University of Arkansas, minor in Geography. Magna Cum Laude.

    Published Senior Honor’s Thesis: a case study on two waterfront developments in San Francisco Bay Area.
    Taught microeconomics drill sessions for 3 semesters.

    Attended Summer Program at UC Berkeley in Sustainable City Planning in 2010.

    Work experience includes two years at a global building products manufacturer, promoted from a territory sales manager (with unprecedented sales growth) to an architectural solutions manager, targeting architectural firms in the Northeast, from DC to Boston. Also was selected to participate in company’s leadership development program in 2013 and selected as a mentor for the 2014 program. Working towards LEED certification (US Green Building Council).

 Going to B school to enhance my analytical skills and increase knowledge of real estate industry to work as a project manager for a real estate development firm that specializes in innovative architecture and green building, preferably in urban environments.

    Extra-curriculars: scuba divemaster (obtained while spending a summer volunteering in Honduras), competitive adult volleyball team, President of University’s club volleyball team for 3 years (finishing in top 3 at National tournament), half-marathon runner, international and domestic traveler (visited 45 states, only 5 more!).

    25-year-old white, American woman

  • Wallstreet Junkie

    With that GPA, kindly forget Harvard. The rest may work out.

  • Hi John and Sandy,
    I would like to know what my chances are.
    I’m a 25 year old male from India. Graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Mumbai University. GPA 0f 3.2.
    After which I worked for a year with an oil n gas service company for 1 year as a sales engineer. But handled all the projects that the company had along with strategies for future bids. I wanted to know more about the oil field and understand the oil field operations so I jumped to Halliburton as an M/LWD Engineer. Now I am leading the on field operations for north eastern India.
    I’ve been with the current organisation for over 16 months. At the time of matriculation I’d have around 4 years of work experience.
    I gave the GMAT recently and got a 690( Way below my test prep scores of 730). Planning to retake it.

    My goal is to work for one of the majors in corporate strategy, Long term I’d like to start my own consultancy for mid level oil companies.

    Target Schools:
    – Yale
    -Mc Combs

  • Nandini J

    And Thank you 🙂

  • Nandini J

    Indian, Female, 26

    GMAT- 760

    undergrad GPA- 3.6 – Economics
    postgrad (Masters) GPA- 3.98 – Economics

    undergrad and Masters in a university in Singapore.
    Work Experience – 5 years in Private Banking at a US Bulge Bracket firm – Working as an Investment Adviser and more recently as a Relationship Manager.

    A CFA Charterholder.

    Also own my own Social Media Marketing firm (a sole proprietorship), for small businesses and individuals. It’s been profitable for 3 years now.

    Other activities: Learned Chinese over the past 5 years and am now fluent, been teaching domestic migrants computer skills and financial literacy for 3 years now.

    I want to do an MBA to break into Investment Banking in Asia, and to build a solid global network in the field.

    Target schools:
    – Harvard
    – Wharton
    – Stanford
    – Columbia
    – Tuck
    – Chicago

  • Hi John and Sandy,

    Probably a long shot but looking to see where I stack up (or down?).

    I have not taken gmat/gre yet.

    Drexel University, Bachelors and Masters of Science in Information Science

    Magna Cum Laude, GPA 3.79

    Internships at Lehman Brothers in New York City working in Investment Banking Technology. Also did an internship at Susquehanna International Group (SIG) working in electronic options trading.

    I work full time (5 years) at SIG working on the Statistical Options Trading Desk working on designing high-frequency options trading strategies and algorithms as well as working on big data analysis for options trading (cluster computing).

    My reason for thinking about an MBA is very pragmatic – Developers make bad managers without proper training (most of the time). I’d like to learn how to be a manager first rather than learn on the spot.

    What are my chances for a technology management focused MBA programs – MIT, Wharton, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon?

  • sh213

    Hi John/ Sandy,

    I’m looking to apply for fall 2013, and would really appreciate your feedback.
    740 gmat, quant/verbal were even
    3.1 from big 10 (with a top 20 bschool) majors in finance, marketing and international business
    college athlete/ semester abroad experience/ lots of extracurriculars and leadership positions
    3 years as a commercial lending analyst at large regional bank (still work there and will have 2 great recommendation letters from top execs in the state)
    first in family to go to grad school, first woman to complete undergrad
    volunteer experience with boys & girls club type programs teaching financial literacy
    soon to be teaching kaplan GMAT course
    want an mba to become CFO of a fortune 500 company
    26 year old white female

    I know the GPA is a downside, but looking at Kellogg, Chicago, Wharton, Duke, NYU, Berkeley… and taking other suggestions.

    Thank you!!

  • AnonDude

    I’d really appreciate your opinion on this, as I think my situation is somewhat unique


    760 GMAT
    First class Economics degree (top 3 UK university)
    URM (Black)
    Work experience: 1 year in Principal Investments at a top investment bank, and 2 years at a top well known hedge fund. Do not require an MBA to progress further, but would like to do one nevertheless.
    Age: 26 at matriculation
    Pre-MBA comp: EUR 150-250k
    Goal: currently work in Europe and plan to return here, doing a similar thing to what I’m doing now but with more (and eventually Portfolio Manager level) responsibilities. Would like to go to business school to expand my global network (which I feel will be useful at the PM level)
    Extra-curriculars: some school mentorship activities, and on the board of a few companies we are invested in, but no major ECs outside of work. Have significant leadership experience from university, but can’t name specifics without outing myself.

    Target schools: HBS only

    Really intrigued in your opinion as to whether I have a realistic chance of getting in, as I don’t think I could forgo EUR 400-600k in income to go to any other school. My biggest worry is my complete lack of “save the world” or volunteering type ECs as I generally don’t have much interest in such things.

  • NextUp


    I’ve really enjoyed this series. Here are my stats for consideration.

    Mr. Digital Media

    720 GMAT
    3.5 GPA
    Undergraduate degree in economics from top 50 national liberal arts school
    Work experience includes 2 years for an AOL-owned digital media brand website as an editor, 1 year (current) in public relations for a regional university
    Extracurricular involvement as a high school math tutor, editor-in-chief of my college newspaper, and top 5 percent national ranking as a college debater
    Goal: To transition to a top-tier management consulting company with a media practice (focusing on digital/social media strategies)


  • k.ravishankar,

    Not a problem. I’ll assume it’s 800. I’ll fix those for Sandy. We’ll do your profile assessment next week.


  • k.ravishankar

    Hi John
    In my application to wharton, two different figs have been indicated in two different places. I was one among the 24 outstanding performers out of 800 in a group people in my organisation…in one place I have written it as 800 and in another place 1000

    Similarly i have indicated the designation of one my recommenders as Director and he in his mail has indiacted it as GM….Both mean the same within the organisation and is used differently in different context

    what should I do…

  • LTL17

    Last note I promise:

    First generation Chinese-Canadian, speaks English, French, Mandarin. Extensive travels with global mindset for future employment/entrepreneurship.

  • LTL17




  • LTL17


    I’d like to throw my hat into the ring:

    730 GMAT

    3.8 GPA

    Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering at Royal Military College of Canada (Canadian USMC equivalent)

    Work experience includes 5 years of continued leadership positions that include Afghanistan deployment as engineer team (platoon) leader. Accomplishments include engineer leading road and operating base construction with US, Canadian, and Afghan troops. Specific examples would show that I played the pivotal role to direct all nationalities through situations demonstrating leadership, decision making, initiative, and human compassion.

    Extracurricular are military-community sports, family events, etc. Also includes some volunteering at special community events such as festivals. Essays/recommendations will include details as to why extracurriculars were hard to define given the military commitments.

    Goal: To continue move from tactical to strategic leadership in consulting post-MBA with eventual goal to start own company that utilizes skillsets from military and MBA.

  • K. Ravishanker,

    Can you be more specific?

  • k.ravishankar

    i have sent you mail on jan 17th on the mistakes in my application…can I expect an answer pl

  • Katherine

    Apologies–I neglected to include schools!


  • Katherine


    I think this is a great series, and I would love to have a profile evaluation–particularly as I see relatively few females assessed!

    GMAT: 720
    Undergrad GPA: 3.5; University of Virginia (out-of-state, also note that I worked at least 15 hours/week every semester of undergrad)
    Age: 24
    Work Experience: 2 years in higher education consulting, focusing on business and finance issues facing top-tier universities; 1 year as an analyst at a boutique consulting firm specializing in philanthropic investment strategy
    Professional Goals: bring the rigor of business and management principles to higher education management, particularly in the community college space. I am passionate about public education in the U.S. and believe that an MBA will help me develop the skills necessary to assist institutions of higher learning as they navigate through an era of unprecedentedly constrained funds while struggling to maintain and expand access.
    Extracurriculars: as an undergrad, was heavily involved (everything from serving as three-year president of an annual fundraising event whose proceeds each year neared or topped $100,000 to chairing the giving campaign for my graduating class to running a 200-volunteer program that matched student volunteers with high-need local schools). Since undergrad, I’ve spent the past two years mentoring an at-risk middle schooler, I volunteer one morning each week (at 5:30am!) doing social work case management with the homeless, and am involved with a pro bono consulting group (my current project is a revenue generation strategy creation for a local performing arts center). I’m also heavily involved in my alma mater’s young alumni group.

    Thank you very much for your time and consideration,

  • Erin Robinson

    I hope you are still answering these posts. I’m very interested in your input!!!

    Age: 30
    Gender: Female
    GMAT: 680
    Nationality: Canadian
    Languages: English; very minor knowledge of French, Spanish and German from travelling.

    Undergrad: BSc Co-op Marine Biology, Minor in Business
    (prestigious Integrated Science Program in 1st year)
    School: Canadian university known for its Marine Biology program
    GPA: 3.48 cumulative; 3.8 GPA final 2 years
    Worked full time hours last year of school and completed 3 co-op terms in Marine Biology

    Work experience:
    6 years: Purser (accounting/administration) onboard a large Superyacht. Assisting with a $7-10 million budget, human resources, concierge and itinerary planning services for Forbes Top 100 clientele, in charge of a large amount of logistics work for the vessel and working with agents and immigration/customs officials worldwide (over 40 countries).

    7 months working for a new research vessel non-profit company specializing in Oceanographic research. In charge of setting up/revising all accounting, budget and administration processes as well as purchasing manager for interior soft furnishings of newly refurbished research vessel. Managed 6 stewardesses and chefs.

    Interested in career-shifting into Finance.

    – London Business School
    – Richard Ivey (University of Western Ontario)
    – Sauder School of Business (UBC)

    Thank you so much!

  • CPA

    @HBSGuru – I hear your point there and that makes a little bit more sense of the perception from the outside. I do think that’s not giving much credit to US schools though. Among my start class at a large office, only about 3 of 60 new hires were from less regarded schools while the rest came from solid business and accounting programs and highly regarded universities. And these 3 were the cream of the crop and are doing very well. Thanks for clarifying though, appreciate it.

  • Hi Sandy,
    i am planning to apply for next season round 1 (fall 2013) ( first time application) .. would like to get a feedback on the schools i am considering to apply ..
    My Profile
    Age : 26 /Male/ Indian ( 27 at the time of matriculation)
    GMAT : yet to be taken ( will be taking in few months ) hoping to get 700+
    Academics : GPA : 73% (indian percentage system) Grade = First Class with Distinction, Top 10% of the class Bachelors in Technology (major :Information Technology) from a top state university in India in 2007
    ( a no name university outside India )
    Work Experience : 3.5 +years so far
    First job out of undergrad : 6 month Internship in Portugal with a small IT services company focusing on logistics and distribution ( decided to go international , going against the norm of taking a indian IT Company job)
    2 years with fortune 10 conglomerate in central europe as a financial analyst( business analysis role) with finance dept on a global enterprise resource planning implementation .
    1 +year with another Fortune 10 retail giant at their asian headquarters in hong kong as a management assistant to Regional CIO ( strategy, finance and business analysis role ) , handled portfolio worth 30M$ . ( current role)
    Now promoted as Asst Manager , business analysis to join their india operations ( new role will involve handling all merchandising , logistics /supply chain and distribution systems projects ) ( moving to new role soon)

    Extras : :Passionate about polar regions and its impact on society : Lived and travelled to Antarctica and Arctic ( one of the youngest Indians to do so)
    selected from over 500 candidates as a youth leader to go to Antarctica for 15 days following an eminent polar explorer and a group of 60 diverse individuals from 20 countries at the age of 23. received scholarship to participate and completed a leadership development program focusing on personal and environment leadership. slept on the continent for a night and performed a polar plunge in the Antarctic waters during the expedition.
    6 months later , travelled solo to Arctic Norway, svalbard island to understand differences between polar regions
    2) World Traveller : Lived/worked in 4 countries and travelled to 40 countries in 4 continents .
    3) Associated 4 years with world’s largest non profit youth org present in over 100 countries , helped mentor young students by sharing my global experiences. acted as a cultural ambassador between India and Portugal associations.
    4) Leader of College Quizzing and Oratory Club , helped mentor students on oratory , organized quizzing events , 4 year association during college with Oratory Club , left as senior leader and board advisor of the club .
    Goals : Retail/Consumer Sector
    Passionate about Retail especially in emerging markets , now moving back to operations in my retail company head office in India to learn about Retail in India and understand the business in the fastest emerging retail market.
    Want to develop and gain skill sets on general management, finance and strategy to do a transition from the current corporate IT dept/operations IT systems experience to a business development/corporate development role in Retail/Consumer Goods sector.
    Long Term I see myself making a global career in Retail/Consumer Goods in a business leadership role
    Schools i am considering
    1. Harvard
    2. Wharton
    3. INSEAD
    4. Chicago
    5. MIT
    6. London Business School
    7. Indian School of Business

    So what do you think of my case at these schools..if i expect to get 700+ in GMAT


  • Ms. Real Estate

    Hi Sandy, John, thank you very much for the evaluation

  • kravishankar

    Hi Sandy/John
    In the application to the top three schools, one error has been made by me.on one of the data points in the same application i have shown two different figs by mistake..in one place i have said 30 out of 800 while in the other place i have shown 30 out of 1000…these are not scores but related to my work experience achievements.what should I do..tks


    You may know more about this than me but I think perception is that some guy fr. Moscow State who grads and gets entry level job w. Big 4 in Moscow has survived a way more selective filtering process than some guy who grads from Tier 1/2 State U in USA and gets gig w. regional office of US Big 4.

  • CPA

    I’m curious about the perception that Big 4 firm employees internationally are held in higher esteem than those in the US, especially considering every international transfer into the US gets demoted down a level automatically and our transfers abroad have been known to move up a level quickly if not immediately.

  • Mr. social impact

    GMAT 750
    GPA 3.3 finance GPA: 3.9
    B.S. in finance from a relatively well-known state school (west coast)
    work experience (in chronological order)
    3 years as corporate finance analyst at a textile/clothing manufacturer (major supplier to famous clothing companies/ 100 mil annual rev)
    2 years service in the army as operations analyst at a city hall (current)
    internships at financials, consulting firms(think Merrill Lynch/Wells Fargo Securities, KPMG/PWC/Deloitte)


    President of a global college Christian mission organization, led summer mission project teams to Thailand/China/Japan, Habitat for Humanity, led/coordinated annual conference for 1500 people, fundraisers, active participation at NGO(think World Vision)/translating volunteer for communication between sponsors and third world children, active involvement at social welfare program sponsored by city, led educational program for children from low-income families, put together a scholarship fund.

    Fluent in Japanese, Korean, English
    Passed Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)(highest level)
    Cross-cultural background (lived in the Middle East [think Iran, Dubai] Japan, Korea, and US)
    CFA level 1
    Reapplicant [applied for class of 2013 with 690 GMAT and 3 years of experience, and career goal of Investment Banking, got dinged w/o interview @ Columbia, Cornell, UCLA, received interview invites from UT Austin, Indiana, waitlisted at USC)
    *how I improved myself
    (GMAT – 690 -> 750
    change of career goal – Investment banking with no clear conviction ->
    Consulting with more clear reason/ change in long term goal from starting my own fashion company to full-on social sector work )


    To transition to a career at the intersection of business and social impact. Want to work for a strategy consulting firm that has social impact practice, working on manufacturing industries and actively participate in the firm’s social/public sector work. (think this way I will benefit the non-profit organizations when I transfer on long-term, since I will have had exposure to the professional skills, expertise, and networks NGOs actually look for as opposed to going right into non-profit and make a “commitment” with a lot of passion but with no relevant professional experience.)


    28 at matriculation

    Ethnicity: Asian male(international status)


    H/S/W? Kellogg, Duke, Tepper, Georgetown, Purdue/UIllinois

  • California Dreamin

    Hey guys,

    Would love it if you could check out my bio and let me know where I should improve.

    Work: Big 4 Auditor for 2 1/2 years straight from college. Have worked primarily on private clients with some IPO experience and now exclusively work on software/internet clients in our Silicon Valley office, public and private. Early (2-year) promotion to Senior Associate at my firm, i.e. top 10% of my level. Heavily involved in recruiting, “Recruiting Champion” for my local office and my university. Have decent experience working with international teams.

    -3.7 GPA from Public Ivy
    -History Major, Accounting Minor (3.9 GPAs in each)
    -710 GMAT (weak math, strong verbal… considering taking an online business math class, recently took a basic computer programming class).
    -25 year-old white male

    Extracurricular: Co-founded an IRS-recognized charitable organization to promote leadership and academic achievement for high school student-athletes in my hometown. Proceeds from events go to a scholarship fund for those going on to play sports at any local JC or University. Have played soccer all my life and this has started out with just soccer, expanding to other sports. Had a successful first year and event. Will continue to be involved in youth soccer and education my whole life, but not necessarily interested in a career there.

    Am interested in transition from accounting to more finance/operations roles in growth companies, preferably tech. Transferred San Jose office to gain more experience on tech companies. (I figure every company is going to be some sort of tech company in 20 years, so why not start now)

    Do you think business school is worth it for my goal? Ultimately, I want to be a CFO/COO of a tech company that I have helped grow. Or am I just dreamin?

    Target Business Schools:


    California Dreamin

  • Billy

    What are my chances and what GRE should put me as a candidate for admission (my plan is GRE since I started studying for that)?


    flagship state school:
    BS Mechanical Engineering (ugrad 3.3)
    MS Biomedical Engineering (grad 4.0)
    all universities attended (ugrad ~3.0)

    2 internships at multi-billion in revenue engineering firms
    2 years ugrad and grad research in medical devices, invented devices (no patents)

    tau beta pi (grad)
    other honors society (grad)
    thesis (ugrad)

    Please offer recommendations for what I need on my application.



  • oil mba

    620 GMAT

    3.63 GPA (BBA Finance – Emory University, Goizueta Business School)
    – Deans List 3 semesters)

    3 years international work experience in Oil Major (Shell Oil)
    – Started my career at Shell in finance and then moved to supply chain after a year.
    – Held three different roles during the last three years (including a double promotion)

    APICS – Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
    – Pursued further education to enhance my knowledge in the field of operations management and supply chain

    Extra Curriculars:
    – Core Committee member of Shell Better World Program (social Investment programs)
    – Shell Future Leaders Forum
    – Winner of Shell Squash Open
    – Emory Table Tennis Team (nationally ranked in NCTTA)
    – Atlanta Cricket League (captain)

    26 years old Pakistani national

    Goal: Further my knowledge in the field of Supply Chain and transition from a finance background to operations/strategy consulting or back in oil downstream (would prefer feeder schools for big oil cos)

  • Mr. Confused

    Third time lucky? 🙂

    Would love to hear your analysis since I already have an MBA and would like to know my chances of getting an admit before applying!!

    A brief background:

    Age: 25; Nationality: Indian

    GMAT: 740 (Q: 51, V: 39); AWA: 6.0

    MBA (2010): Top 5 B-schools in India; high GPA and ranked among top 5 in the batch (dean’s merit list)

    Engineering (2008): GPA of 9.4/10; ranked 2nd in my dept. and 4th. overall

    Certifications: CFA Level 3 Candidate

    Work Ex: Around 1 yr and 9 months. I hope to have around 3 years of work-
    ex. by the time I enroll. Currently working as a strategy consultant with a Big 4 firm in India (9 months) – with some international exposure in emerging markets. 1 year of exp. at a domestic brokerage firm as a product manager prior to this. Internships at a global FMCG major and a global conglomerate.

    Extra currics: Placement co-ordinator during my MBA, student’s union during engg., represented my MBA univ. in 4 sports, awarded the governor’s medal in boy scouts during school (plus quite a few activities to show leadership and initiatives).

    Reason for MBA: I did not utilize my first MBA to the fullest (lack of work exp. – fresh out of college). Work-ex. (consulting engagements) have helped me realize what I want to do – start my own investment banking and management consulting firm (that would also provide professional and technical training), focusing on small businesses (fair bit of exposure to justify this claim). I intend to take courses on negotiations, entrepreneurship, private equity etc.

    Post MBA: work for VC/ PE in emerging markets, gain sufficient exposure on
    aspects like fund raising, business planning etc. and then return to India to start my venture.

    Schools: Wharton, Harvard, Booth, Stanford, Stern; also considering Yale
    and Kellogg

    Thanks for your help!

  • Mr Audit

    Sandy, John, thank you very much for the evaluation.

  • Paul

    Hi Sandy, thanks for your analysis. Here’s my profile:

    – 31 years at matriculation
    – Indian citizen, been in US for last 8 years studying/working
    – Bachelor’s GPA 3.2 (Computer Science major) from India (non-IIT)
    – Masters GPA 3.8 (Computer Science major) from lesser known US university
    – 770 GMAT

    – 6 years as software engineer at blue chip firms (Sun, Oracle)

    – Active member of IEEE,Toastmasters, and non-profit mentoring high school students to become entrepreneurs

    -Short term: product manager at high-tech firms (Google, Microsoft etc.)
    -Long term: Technology entrepreneur. Start a company developing products for education sector in US

    Applying to H/S/W, MIT, Kellogg

  • VCinChina

    BS Engineering at a small private school 3.0 GPA
    MS Biotechnology at a small private school 3.0 GPA

    I know that these GPAs are low for an elite b-school.

    (Listed in chronological order)
    1 year as a consultant (no name firm)
    1 year programmer at a Silicon Valley biotech startup
    1 year programmer at a different Silicon Valley biotech startup
    1 year programmer/team lead at yet another Silicon Valley biotech startup
    1 year investment manager at a VC fund in China

    I worked my way up into more interesting startups with more responsibility and then jumped at the chance to join a startup VC fund in China. I have really done everything you could imagine in setting up the VC fund: raised the funds, sourced the companies, made investment decisions, set up an incubator.

    29 year old
    American (but living in China)

    GMAT: 740

    I want to return to VC investment in Greater China and take on greater responsibility. Ideally, I’d like to start a new VC fund.

    English & Mandarin

    Schools: Columbia, MIT, NYU, Yale, Cornell

  • T

    Hi Sandy, John,

    GMAT: 710
    GPA: 3.86
    Undergraduate degree in business and economics from Ithaca College
    Extracurricular: Served as president of the Ithaca College Mutual Fund
    Work Experience: Spent 2 years at KPMG Advisory services as an associate and will have 3.5 years at The Walt Disney Company as an investment manager (manage over $10B in retirement plan assets)
    Designations: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
    Long term goal: To become a buy-side portfolio manager
    25 year old male (plan to enroll at 27)


  • Furious Styles

    Hi John and Sandy,

    Submitting again for evaluation, thank you:

    – 25 yo Hispanic male
    – From South Central Los Angeles
    – 3.2 GPA from Ivy league school (Economics)
    – First-generation college student, immigrated from Central America when I was 9 year old
    – 720 GMAT

    – 2 years at bulge bracket investment bank (Lazard / Credit Suisse / JP Morgan); worked in Latin America M&A team
    – 2 years (three by time I start b-school) in corporate development (internal M&A) team of a large west coast consumer / retail company (Levy’s / Nike / Starbucks).

    – Minority business programs (MLT and SEO)
    – Engagement lead for a non-profit consulting organization. Lead team of five or more students in consulting project for organizations in the economic development arena
    – Alumni interviewer for undergrad
    – Highly involved in the local alumni chapter (co-organized holiday party and happy hours, involved in management)
    – Alumni fundraiser for Management Leadership for Tomorrow minority business program
    – Worked in low-income recruitment program for undergrad. Goal is to get more students from inner city Los Angeles to apply to top schools
    – Lots of extracurricular in undergrad but not sure if they still matter

    – Consumer / retail focused private equity fund


    Thank you

  • Businessman

    730 GMAT
    * 2.6 GPA
    * Undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from California state univ( 4.5 years to graduate)
    * Work experience COO and Co-founded a business development firm during my freshman year ( web based & software product development company) for 4 years handling 55 team mates.
    Now CEO & co founder of a energy technologies, with 35 team mates.
    Now Founding president of a NGO, deals with educational, water sanitation research development with 500 active volunteers.
    * Extracurricular: worked as jr Campaign Manager for republic presidential candidate for 2 consecutive terms .
    * worked for united states council for 2 international summit.(various dates).
    *“Want to get your opinion on how good i am to get into top 10 MBA programs
    ?”. Also please give me the Odds of Success for your list of universities upon analysis.

    My Brand:entrepreneurial experience for 6 years, political experience for 6 years, event management (various dates).

    * Goal: “Want an MBA for various purpose”
    * 24-year-old white male

  • kram

    Hi Sandy/John,

    Below are my credentials for a profile evaluation. Thanks for your help.

    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 determining the right levels of leverage and financing across all funds and strategies. I have also spent one year each doing sales (2008-09) and consulting (2009-10) 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: 25 year-old Indian male, US citizen. Lived in India till age 13 before moving to the US.
    Goal: To gain a deeper understanding of marketing, management, and business development in order to become either 1. A successful COO/CFO of a global investment management firm (or) 2. Launch a consulting practice that provides CFO/COO services to investment management firms.
    Schools (all Round 1 applications): H/S/W, Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, MIT, Tuck

  • Businessman

    30 GMAT
    * 2.6 GPA
    * Undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from California state univ( 4.5 years to graduate)
    * Work experience COO and Co-founded a business development firm during my freshman year ( web based & software product development company) for 4 years handling 55 team mates.
    Now CEO & co founder of a energy technologies, with 35 team mates.
    Now Founding president of a NGO, deals with educational, water sanitation research development with 500 active volunteers.
    * Extracurricular: worked as jr Campaign Manager for republic presidential candidate for 2 consecutive terms .
    * worked for united states council for 2 international summit.(various dates).
    *“Want to get your opinion on how good i am to get into top 10 MBA programs
    ?”. Also please give me the Odds of Success for your list of universities upon analysis.

    My Brand:entrepreneurial experience for 6 years, political experience for 6 years, event management (various dates).

    * Goal: “Want an MBA for various purpose”
    * 24-year-old white male

  • Andrew Mescoan

    * 730 GMAT
    * 2.6 GPA
    * Undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from California state univ( 4.5 years to graduate)
    * Work experience COO and Co-founded a business development firm during my freshman year ( web based & software product development company) for 4 years handling 55 team mates.
    Now CEO & co founder of a energy technologies, with 35 team mates.
    Now Founding president of a NGO, deals with educational, water sanitation research development with 500 active volunteers.
    * Extracurricular: worked as jr Campaign Manager for republic presidential candidate for 2 consecutive terms .
    * worked for united states council for 2 international summit.(various dates).
    *“Want to get your opinion on how good i am to get into top 10 MBA programs
    ?”. Also please give me the Odds of Success for your list of universities upon analysis.

    My Brand:entrepreneurial experience for 6 years, political experience for 6 years, event management (various dates).

    * Goal: “Want an MBA ”
    * 24-year-old white male

  • Ted Mosby


    Your “architects are cool” reminds me of the How I Met Your Mother episode when Barney Stinson uses an architect alias to score. Architects are indeed sexy – to b-schools and not just to women!

  • Mr. Public Sector

    Demographics: 28 (at time of matriculation), Caucasian, male, 1st gen college graduate.
    GMAT: 710
    -3.5 gpa in International Relations from a top-10 public university (graduated in 2.5 years)
    -Worked part-time in a leadership position over other students for 2 years.
    -Elected to student government position
    -President, Model European Union
    -3.9 gpa in a Top-10 public policy masters program, with a focus on economic policy (coursework in econ, statistics, and econometrics)

    9 month internship with a boutique consulting firm.
    1 year position as a research assistant at a research center focusing on government management strategy.
    1 year internship with a federal agency (position required a bachelors degree).

    Work Experience:
    3 years at a public sector consulting firm, with a promotion to an MBA level position (Been there for only 1 year, just promoted, but I don’t plan to apply till next year).

    -2 year missionary for LDS church in Las Vegas.
    -Volunteer consultant for multiple nonprofits and local library, helping with strategy and operations.
    -Volunteer with habitat for humanity

    Goals: I originally thought I wanted to work for the government, but realized I didn’t enjoy that as much (at least at the entry level), while interning there. Public Sector consulting has been much more challenging and rewarding. Post MBA, I would like to get into MBB, eventually working in their public sector practice area.

    Longer term, I would like to switch to an executive level position within the government.


  • Mr. Architect

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks so much for the comments! In response to your question about my grad school GPA- the program was entirely Pass/Low-Pass/Fail, similar to other professional programs at the university- law, business, etc. I received all Passes.

  • ak139

    Hi Sandy –

    Thanks for providing this great service! I’d be very grateful if you could assess my profile as well:

    (1) Nationality: Thai
    (2) GPA: Upper second from a good British university (top 10) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics
    (3) GMAT: 750
    (4) Work experience: 7 years in in planning and BD role in one of Asia’s largest oil companies (Fortune Global 100), including stints in Africa (Ethiopia), Europe (UK and Switzerland) and South Asia (Pakistan). Spent last couple years as an assistant to the CEO of the company.
    (5) Extra-curriculars: Fund-raiser for a local medical charity, but not huge due to family commitments (I raised my younger siblings)
    (6) Post-MBA goals: I’m passionate about energy in all its forms (traditional oil and gas but also alternatives) and the US is at the forefront of a lot of the changes going on in the industry. I’d like to join a start-up in the US looking at alternative energy, and then eventually return to Asia with that knowledge and experience.

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help!

  • Mr. Healthcare Actuary

    Thank you for all your work so far! I would greatly appreciate a profile assessment!

    Age: 26 White Male
    GMAT: 740 49Q 44V
    GPA: 3.91
    B.S. Actuarial Science, B.S. Statistics, B.A. Economics from a good (but somewhat unknown) private school in the Midwest.

    -4 years working for Deloitte Consulting as a healthcare actuary
    -Have gained special recognition for numerous projects for major clients
    -Built a first-of-its kind forecasting tool that is now used widely throughout the health insurance industry
    -Leading member of actuarial recruiting staff

    -Co-founder of an college-prep nonprofit for minority youths in my city
    -Extensive work with local nonprofit focusing on business education for minority youth, including past participation on the board, and work during their weeklong summer camp
    -Community service council-member at work
    -Give several talks every year to local high school students to encourage them to consider the actuarial profession

    Work for an innovative, startup healthcare firm as a step-stone to eventual entrepreneurial endeavors

    Target Schools: