Handicapping Your Odds Of Acceptance

by John A. Byrne on

She’s a 30-year-old marine biologist who for six years worked as a purser on a super yacht. With a GMAT of 680 and a 3.48 grade point average, this Canadian now wants an MBA to shift into a financial career.

A Marine Corps captain, he managed 200 personnel and $5 million of equipment and has spent two years as an analytical chemist for a biotech company in San Diego. This 32-year-old has raised his GMAT score from 500 to 630 on the second try, but he’s hoping to be accepted by a top-ranked business school.

He’s a 29-year-old American who is fluent in Mandarin and working for a venture capital firm in China. With a 740 GMAT and a master’s degree in biotech, he expects to get an MBA and then return to China to take on greater responsibility in venture capital.

Sandy Kreisberg, HBS Guru, in Harvard Square

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, we’ll pick a few more and have Kreisberg assess your chances in a follow-up feature. (Please add your age and be clear on the sequence of your jobs in relaying work experience. Make sure you let us know your current job.)

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

Ms. Marine Biologist

  • 680 GMAT
  • 3.48 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in marine biology from a Canadian university with a minor in business
  • Work experience includes six years as a purser aboard a large super yacht, assisting with a $7 to $10 million budget, human resources, concierge and itinerary planning for Forbes Top 100 clientele; also seven months working for a new research vessel non-profit company specializing in oceanographic research.
  • Goal: Shifting career into finance
  • 30-year-old Canadian female

Odds of Success:

London Business School: 40+%
University of Western Ontario: 50+%
Sauder School of Business: 50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, you should read last week’s entry on architects as the go-to love interest for Rom-Coms and Adcoms.  If there is any profession that can top even architecture in terms of being “cool,” it is marine biology.  Think I’m kidding? Read this college application essay from Rachel, on my website, in the famous “Worst College Essays Ever Written Section.” She wants to be a pediatric (baby) marine biologist because the profession is so cool, and as she says,

I like the ocean, small things, and animals. :-) . . . .

By the way, I was looking in your course catalog for the marine biologist courses and those courses seem to involve working with fish or things like fish. :-(

I’m not really all that interested in fish, I mean I’ll take the required fish courses, but what I am really interested in is animals that live in or near the water, except fish. :-(

I like seals, especially baby seals, :-)

Of course, you did Rachel two better since 1) You actually got a marine biology degree and then 2), You avoided real fish and baby seals altogether by, in your own words, being a purser “onboard a large Super Yacht. Assisting with a $7-10 million budget, human resources, concierge and itinerary planning services for Forbes Top 100 clientele . . .”  Oh boy,  fat cats at sea   . . .if only those life preservers could talk .

I assume you have heard all the Gilligan’s Island jokes, or maybe that show is before your time or banned in Canada.

OK, let’s get back on terra firma: you’re 30, have an OK GPA from some boutique marine biology college which probably the Canadian business schools you mention have heard of — and for any other B-school, well, it’s marine biology!  After the mist clears, basically you have been performing some hands-on accounting and project planning services for what I take is a small company, e.g. the owner of the Super Yacht.

That, plus the marine biology halo effect should be solid enough for the schools you are interested in if you can make a case as to why you want an MBA. Your stated reasons, that you want to “switch into finance,” really needs to be honed into some story which captures your past  and makes sense in terms of being able to get that job when you graduate.

As noted before, goal statements are half image projection, half fantasy, and half due diligence  about the chosen  profession and how a school can help you as well.  Yup, that is three halves and good goal statements are that dense.  You need to capture some or all of those elements into yours.

It is unclear from your profile which job you currently have, the non-profit gig or the Super Yacht job? NOTE TO PROFILE WRITERS—ALWAYS MAKE THAT CLEAR WITH A NOTE THAT SAYS—CURRENT JOB and then just list others in reverse chronological order.

Assuming it is the Fat Cat job, you need to somehow project those skills into a plausible job at X, Y or Z and say that is what you want to do post-MBA, and that is why you need the degree.  X, Y, and Z need to be jobs which 1. Often require an MBA, and 2. Somehow engage with what you have done prior, even if it is a stretch, adcoms like continuity blended with change rather than naked change. Just off the top of my head here, you might say you are interested in the intersection of finance and hospitality and leisure (since that broadly speaking was your Fat Cat Ocean gig). Then find some people with MBA’s who work in that field via Google or Linked-In, and use them as role models.  If you really want to max this out, find the 5 biggest hospitality and leisure operators in Canada and sniff around for potential jobs there.   Sure, it’s artificial hokum but it reads well in an application.  How hard is it to find info like that, well, I found this in less than 3 minutes on Google.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Hotel_and_leisure_companies_of_Canada

A great place to start.

General note: it just amazes me how often kids writing  B-school apps somehow forget about Google –a tool they would turn to 100 times a day for trivia.  That same search came up with a .pdf from Deloitte Consulting about trends in the Canadian hospitality industry–written in French!  Pas moi, but maybe our marine biologist can read it.

One next to last thing. You may also have to explain why, given your age and experience, you are not applying for an Executive MBA.

Finally, I am not sure I see the case for someone like you going to school in London. You really should do some homework about where grads at London Business School get jobs, especially if you want to stay in Canada.

1 2 3 4 5
  • 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.

    Work:
    -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

    Extracurriculars:
    -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

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

    Target Schools:
    Stanford
    Wharton
    UChicago
    Cornell
    Berkeley
    Duke

  • NextUp

    Hi,

    I’ve really enjoyed this series. Here are my stats for consideration (sorry for the double post, slipped this in too late last week).

    Mr. Digital Media

    720 GMAT
    3.5 GPA
    Undergraduate degree in economics from top 50 national liberal arts school
    Work experience includes 1 year (current) in public relations for a regional university, 2 years for an AOL-owned digital media brand website as an editor
    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)

    Schools:
    Wharton
    Columbia
    NYU
    Virginia
    Maryland

    Thanks!

  • MBAReady

    Hi John, thank you for putting together this wonderful and informative series. I had emailed Sandy a few weeks back and he instructed me to post my information here and he would review. I would really appreciate if Sandy could evaluate my chances, as I am somewhat of an unusual candidate and Sandy is the best. Thank you!

    710 GMAT
    3.72 GPA from Columbia

    Work History: Currently work in the legal department of a hedge fund- position is very multi-faceted and have significant exposure to the finance/research side. I have worked here for nearly two years (since graduation), making me a relatively young candidate. While in college, worked several jobs to help support my family and held several full time internships at marketing and public relation firms. Worked at a “visual marketing” firm for nearly a year full-time while in school, and at Weber Shandwick for a summer internship (was promoted to full-time staff mid-summer).

    Extracurriculars: Was very involved while in college: executive positions in my sorority, President of the mock trial team, tour guide, student interviewer and worked directly with administration to actually change the curriculum a core course. Currently serve as an Alumni Representative and do interviews, as well as coach a mock trial team (approx. 20 hours volunteer a week).

    Goals: Although I may have relatively little work experience in comparison to other applicants, I hope to leverage my background in finance and marketing and transition into brand management. I would like to focus on digital media strategy and work for a typically “old-media” company, similar to Johnson & Johnson, Unilver, Kraft, etc. Am very interested in the strategic branding side of marketing and hope to leverage my youth insomuch that it provides me a unique perspective into digital marketing.

    Other: Female minority. Am extra young due to having skipped a grade in elementary school.

    Applying to:
    Columbia
    Booth
    Kellogg
    Wharton
    Harvard
    Olin
    Stern

    And advice or tips you could provide Sandy would be very helpful. While I know I am young to be returning to get my MBA, I know that I cannot reach management positions without one (or being forced to spend years working my way up re-learning the marketing strategies that I have already mastered in other internships).

    Thank you in advance!

  • Telecom_guy

    Hi Sandy,

    I’d appreciate a review of my profile. I’m not looking at H/B/S/W as they’re out of my league, but what are my chances of getting into UVA, Cornell or Texas-austin?

    640 GMAT Q 46/ V32 (wrote it twice, screwed up and ran out of time in verbal both times). I’ll probably write this again when the new GMAT format shows up this summer.
    Undergraduate degree: Electrical engineering from a mid-tier Canadian unversity – 3.6 GPA
    Work experience: 4.5 years in a big telecommunications equipment manufacturer in a systems engineering role.
    Goal: To transition into a strategy consulting role.

    Schools:
    UVA
    Cornell
    Texas-Austin

    Thanks

  • Telecom_guy

    ^^ Forgot to add some more info. I will be applying to US business schools as an international student. I am a Canadian citizen of Indian origin.

  • Jonathan

    Evening, Sandy

    Would you evaluate my profile with HBS 2+2, IESE’s YTP and Yale’s Silver Scholars Program in mind? (Non-MBA options are LBS and HEC for MiM Programs)

    – Recent Graduate
    – 700 GMAT
    – BSc in Economics from Latin American University – 3.6 GPA
    – Law Degree and BA in Liberal Arts from yet another Latin American University (Grad. July 2012) – 3.7 GPA (went for all 3 degrees simultaneously)
    – Awards in both universities for academic performance
    – Work experience: 2 Months Internship in big local law firm, 2 months internship at Big Pharma Company in Corporate Law and 4 Months as a Full Time Consultant in Big4’s Financial Advisory Services Dept. (Until this month)
    – Extracurricular involves co-founder of a student organization for promoting political ideas in campus, atendance to international business conventions in Argentina and Germany and an award during the latter.
    – Voluntary work with deaf kids and British Parliamentary Style debating training for high school students.
    – Languages: Spanish, English, French and Italian
    – Goal: 1st Management Consulting (MBB ideally), 2nd Investment Banking
    – 22-year-old hispanic (w/European nationality)

  • Ravi

    Hi,

    This series have been so helpful. Can you please evaluate my chances of getting into one of the top 10 schools((H, S, W, INSEAD, BOOTH, YALE, NYU, Kellog). Here is a brief background. I know Indian/Chinese candidates have very slim chances at these schools. However I was wondering whether my GC(permanent resident status in US) will help with the matter a little bit.

    INDIAN MALE(with a US Greencard)
    GMAT 730
    BS in computer science GPA 3.8
    MS in computer science GPA 3.75
    One of the very few guys selected to work with NASA on my Master’s thesis
    Great reviews and publications on NASA research papers.
    Work Exp: SAP Business business consultant for more than 7 yrs
    worked for fortune 500 companies including the biggest technology and media company in the world(current position)
    proven leadership skills at every stage of my career(I mean…really good recommendations)
    independent filmmaker – Worked on various short films at different capacities(Director, cinematographer, editor..etc)
    Diploma holder in Film Making
    involved in charity work..
    AGE 32(33 at metric)
    want to work for a management consulting firm, focussing on the film and media business.

    I would greatly appreciate your feedback on my profile.

  • Mr. Confused

    Hi Sandy/ John,

    Thank you so much for the assessment! I am glad I got an eye-opener early on so that I can get my applications straight.

    Just one clarification – with regards to your comment: (Someone correct me if Indian MBA education has had a Desi-Spring in terms of pedagogy) – some of the top B-schools in India do use HBS and other cases for the courses. I would say cases comprised of around 35-40% of my evaluation.

    Anyway I wanted to check whether a CFA certification or completion of atleast a Level 2 has any impact on one’s application? Additionally would be grateful if you could suggest a couple of other schools that suit my profile and I could consider.

    Thanks again!

  • Paul

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

    BASICS/EDUCATION
    – 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 (46V,50Q)

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

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

    GOALS
    -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 INSEAD

  • entrepreneurial financier

    GMAT: 770

    GPA: 3.3 (was 3.7+ going into senior year; mother died of cancer and I failed 2 classes). Took 6 additional math/programming courses at Harvard, all A’s

    Undergraduate degree: Finance from top 50 school (public)

    Work experience: 1.5yrs running a web startup; sold to portfolio company of an established VC firm
    2 yrs investing in startups with a solo VC

    Community: 2.5 years at a national test prep org (eventually joined Exec board & opened a new city chapter)
    1 year running my own volunteer test prep service for lower-income students
    (operations in 2 cities)
    1.5 years as court advocate volunteer for foster children

    Personal: 27, half Tanzanian-half Guyanian

    Goal: to join an established VC firm in the Bay Area and assist internet startups with financing and operational strategy

  • Mr. Credit Analyst

    Hello Sandy! Love your work! I’m looking for some expert feedback. I hope you can review my information and assess my chances of admission to my list of schools.

    – 33 year old male, International applicant from Central America

    – 730 GMAT

    Education:
    – 2.7 Bachelor’s GPA from Southern Ivy, majored in mechanical engineering and minored in math (I tried to complete the double major but was overwhelmed with course load, GPA suffered as a consequence. Also, had problems with culture shock during my first year)
    – 3.45 Master’s GPA in Industrial Engineering (Operations Research) from a top 10 program from a public Ivy in the mid-west.
    – 3.51 part-time Master’s GPA in Finance from a Private Honduran University
    – 3.7 GPA from alternative transcript consisting of accounting and math courses (financial accounting, calculus sequence and linear algebra) taken online from UC-Berkeley extension and UT-Austin

    Professional History:
    – 1 year as a mechanical engineer at one of six sugar factories operating on a national territory
    – 1.5 years as mid-level manager at top industrial gas producer
    – 2.5 years working as project engineer in construction family business, construction industry collapsed due to international financial crisis, transferred to finance after completing my master’s in finance
    – 2 years as corporate credit analyst at a top 3 bank in Honduras (where I’m currently employed)
    – Board member at two different investment firms

    Extracurriculars:
    – Italian Language courses
    – Weekend Volunteer at local public hospital, mostly fund-raising
    (To be honest, extra-curricular activities are very limited in this country due to rampant crime [murder capital of the world!])

    Goal:
    – Family is heavily invested in the bank where I’m currently employed. Bank suffers from poor organizational strategy, insufficient investment in technology, and aggressive competitors. It also needs to modernize risk management processes. I’m poised for high management position in near future if I prepare myself. Would love to be part of the team that modernizes the bank, makes it more competitive. Also, eventually, I would like to open up my own production/manufacturing business.

    Targets:
    – Wharton
    – Chicago
    – Northwestern
    – MIT
    – Dartmouth
    – Yale
    – London Business School
    – INSEAD

    Thanks!

  • Mr. Cancer Survivor

    Hey Sandy, this series rocks! I find myself checking P&Qs every day to see if the latest round has been published. I would love to hear your thoughts on my profile:

    BASICS / EDUCATION
    + 3.9 GPA, 740 GMAT
    + Accounting degree from competitive private school in mountain west (#1 accounting program in nation)
    + White married male, 27 years old at application (28 at matriculation)

    WORK
    + 1.5 years at major consultancy (LEK/Monitor) with very high marks
    + 2 years at well-known middle market PE shop in Boston

    EXTRAS
    + Significant leadership positions during my 2 year service mission for my church in Northern CA
    + Founded and directed tutoring program to help inmates earn GED and reduce recidivism. 50+ volunteers, 3 facilities, and thousands of inmates
    + Student government in college
    + Eagle Scout
    + President of alumni chapter
    + Volunteer in pediatric cancer unit of children’s hospital
    + Head of office for pro-bono consulting firm
    + 2 months volunteering at hospital in Palestine working with refugees

    Goals:
    + Blend strategy/critical thinking skill-set with technical finance acumen from PE to fast-track the senior management route in Fortune 500 company
    + OR, come back to PE and stay on for the long haul

    QUESTIONS
    + Not to be cynical, but how do I leverage my cancer story to my advantage? Have you seen this done successfully before?
    + What makes the white male consultant / PE guy stand out in a crowded field of so many with a similar profile?
    + Will the current political / social anti-PE sentiment soil PE applicants’ chances?

    HBS is far and away my #1, will also apply to S/W, Chicago, MIT

  • Mr. Cancer Survivor

    Did not clarify in the description above- I survived cancer during my freshman year of college.

  • http://www.hotmail.com Mercy

    Ms. hear me

    710 GMAT
    4.0 GPA
    Undergraduate degree in Speech/Audiology in India
    Followed up with Clinical Doctorate in audiology at Vanderbilt School of Medicine
    4.0 GPA, Free ride (deans scholar, $100,000 ) for med school
    Total 4 years exp, mostly working in Private practice in ENT area. Lots of patient interaction/diagnostics etc
    yes, i practice along side Neurootologist, ENTs etc
    Age 30

    Goal: Shifting from clinical practitioner to a product company such as medtronic, Boston Scientific, Siemens etc and work in their Marketing division and move up to Strategy role
    Sandy Please comments on success of admit at
    HBS
    Darden
    Duke

  • Mr. MPH

    Hey Sandy,

    Appreciate the website and the analysis (especially the back-of-envelope MBA costs)!

    -2.99 GPA in top West Coast Liberal arts college
    -BS in Biology, minor in Chemistry
    -BA in International Politics
    -Scholarship athlete on football team, award for best freshman player, 2 year letter winner
    -Quit team because GPA was suffering, buckled down, focused on studies and received two degrees
    -3.47 GPA in MPH program from university affiliated with dental school
    -was pre-dental, volunteered at dental clinics, performed research at top public dental school
    -came to understanding that business development, administration in hospital/pharma company was passion, withdrew from dental school applications

    Current job: pharma/healthcare market research / consulting position for Wall Street investment research company (2 years experience at application)
    -Program manager/research coordinator at a top school of dentistry

    Studying for GMAT, confident in 700 score (is a higher score going to help that much? How much do I need for it to offset low undergrad GPA?)

    Targeting Duke, Virginia, USC, UTexas-Austin, long shot- Kellogg, Columbia (by all accounts, amazing healthcare MBA), maybe NYU, Yale??

    29 at matric

    Looking to get MBA to build management and finance skills in healthcare/pharma setting to augment my clinical and research skills. Goal is business development in pharma company.

    What are my chances?
    What are the top healthcare focused MBA programs?
    Is my age a detriment?

    Any help would be fantastic!

  • Stanford Grad Tech Product Guy

    730 GMAT
    Undergrad: Ohio State University Computer Science GPA 4.0 (Top of class)
    Grad: Stanford Masters Computer Science GPA 3.9
    Current Job: Product Manager at Cisco (since past 2 months)
    Past: Software Developer at Microsoft (3 years) followed by 8 months in small bay area start-up

    Will have 5 years of work experience by the time i start the MBA.

    Goal: To become VP or C level executive in charge of Product Management and Marketing, at a technology firm

    Reason for MBA: I have strong technical background. Need to acquire skills in Marketing and Strategy to become effective senior executive in charge of Product Management.

    Extra Curriculars: President of Undergrad Computing Association. Volunteer at local branch of Indian Charity and active at local Hackerspace.

    I am an Indian Male. Aim to get into HBS, Wharton, MIT, Kellogg, INSEAD

  • SanketMali

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks a lot for guiding us by evaluating our profiles. I really appreciate if you put your views on my profile in terms of Strengths and weaknesses and advise me how can best utilize next 9 months ( till R1 deadlines)

    Education
    B.E. Production – Aug.2005 – First Class with Distinction from Pune University (Top15) Universities in India. Continual improvement trend First year to Final year!

    GMAT – Yet to be taken! Expected – 700 minimum.

    Professional Experience
    1. Operation Consulting – 2.5 years in boutique consulting firm in India – Handled Lean manufacturing implementation assignments at 9 clients including Honda India – Productivity improvement of at least 8% in all assignments – Managed a cross functional team ( CFT) of 5 people
    Highlight – CFT management/ Leadership, Cost saving

    2. Mahindra Chakan – 2.5 years as an Industrial Engineer – Manpower planning for biggest Greenfield project of Mahindra – Estimating manpower requirement – Interviewing, Recruiting ,Training of 180 workmen. Single handedly coordinated a team of 180 workmen and 21 officers in implementing MAPS (Mahindra Advanced Production System) at Shop floor. Cost Saving of $120,000
    Highlight – Analytical work in manpower planning, Team Leadership, Cost saving, Top 20% performance rating

    3. Volkswagen India ( CURRENT JOB) – 1.5 years till date (3 years till I start MBA) – Lean Manufacturing and Productivity improvement – Leading a 12 member CFT and Multicultural team for Productivity improvement – Manpower reduction of 105 workmen resulting in cost saving of $408,000
    Highlight – Analytical work, Team Leadership, significant Cost saving, Top 5% performance rating

    Extracurricular

    1. Volunteering – Cofounded a 20 member volunteer group in Jan 2008 – Provide volunteer support to 2 other NGOs in India – Volunteering 2 hours /weeks since inception
    2. Writing – Published 01 case study as a Consultant – Published 02 articles in leading Indian newspapers – Published 01 article in Mahindra newsletter – Stood 4th in an online ‘Love Letter’ writing competition – Currently writing a book which will be published in May 2012.
    3. Meditation – Competed two 10 day rigorous Vipassana Meditation courses (14 hours/ day meditation with only lunch and Breakfast) – practicing meditation 45 minutes/ day for last 08 years.

    Career Goals

    Short term – With a strong base in Manufacturing now with Management consulting I want to understand the correlation of Manufacturing with other business functions such as Marketing, Finance, HR.

    Long term – Leading an Indian multinational Automobile organization in expanding operations globally – Help an organization implementing the strategy of ‘Reverse Innovation’

    Target Schools – Application fall 2012.
    Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Tuck, LBS.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Erin Robinson

    Hello Sandy,

    Thank you very much for your input on my profile, Ms. Marine Biologist. I just wanted to clarify about a few of the questions you had. I am currently working onboard the yacht however my history is a bit patchwork. I worked onboard the yacht for 5 years before working on the research ship for 7 months (which I didn’t enjoy entirely). I had the opportunity to return to the yacht 6 months ago.

    Although in my profile goal section I was quite brief in my application to LBS (I’m working now on the other applications) I did elaborate a lot more. I’m interested in the investment banking sector and potentially work as a financial research analyst. I am also interested in emerging markets, real estate finance and the retail and luxury goods markets which is why I was really interested in LBS (the school has many student associations focusing on those niche areas of Finance that would help me hone my career path).

    Originally I was interested in Sauder and Ivey because I grew up in those parts of Canada, however, after working onboard ships for 8 months a year for 6 years I don’t really have any ties to working in Canada after an MBA. In fact, I would really like to work for a multi-national/global company after I graduate so I could have the opportunity to continue to travel for work. I think I would have a better opportunity to do that going to LBS with their impressive list of recruiters. Also, my partner is English so I have ties there as well although none that would restrict me to solely living in either Canada or the UK.

    Again that you very much for your input. It will be very helpful for my future applications and hopefully for an LBS interview. Fingers crossed!

  • hope4best

    Age:25
    Nationality:Indian Male
    Undergrad: Electrical Engineering from reputed tech school in India (not IIT)
    GPA:3.1 (Top 20% in class of 70)
    GMAT:730

    Work Experience: 2 years in production deptt in largest automobile manufacturer in India. Involved in setting up of production line.
    1.5 yrs in purchase/supply chain in the same company. Responsible for developing new vendors for automotive parts.

    Extracurriculars: student council vice-president during college.
    Helped obtain fund for various cultural events in my undergrad institute after passing out of college.
    Involved in an NGO for teaching kids in rural areas.

    Goal: To continue working in supply chain field or switch to Management consulting.

    Target Schools: Harvard
    Stanford
    Wharton
    Booth
    Kellog
    TUCK
    Haas
    Ross

  • Furious Styles

    Hi John and Sandy,

    Giving it another try, thank you:

    BASICS/EDUCATION
    – 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

    WORK
    – Current Job: 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).
    – 2 years at bulge bracket investment bank (Lazard / Credit Suisse / JP Morgan); worked in Latin America M&A team

    EXTRACURRICULAR
    – 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

    LONG TERM GOAL
    – Consumer / retail focused private equity fund

    Schools:
    Stanford
    Harvard
    Wharton
    Berkeley
    Tuck
    Yale
    Columbia

    Thank you

  • HBSGURU

    as to your note below, that does explain why LBS over the Canadian schools. As to goals, you say

    ********I’m interested in the investment banking sector and potentially work as a financial research analyst. I am also interested in emerging markets, real estate finance and the retail and luxury goods markets which is why I was really interested in LBS (the school has many student associations focusing on those niche areas of Finance that would help me hone my career path).******
    Hmmmmm . . .I mean those are good goals but1. they are all over the place, which is OK in reality, but as I noted, an application is somehting of an artifice, 2. they do not leverage your background directly the way a career in Hospitality etc. you might think about saying you want to be an analyst at an IB which follows that sector. 3. Make sure grads fr. schools you are applying to can get jobs like that, esp. ones who have no direct experience in those fields in the past, e.g. career switchers, or changers, which is how you are now positioning yourself.

    Hello Sandy,

    Thank you very much for your input on my profile, Ms. Marine Biologist. I just wanted to clarify about a few of the questions you had. I am currently working onboard the yacht however my history is a bit patchwork. I worked onboard the yacht for 5 years before working on the research ship for 7 months (which I didn’t enjoy entirely). I had the opportunity to return to the yacht 6 months ago.

    Although in my profile goal section I was quite brief in my application to LBS (I’m working now on the other applications) I did elaborate a lot more. I’m interested in the investment banking sector and potentially work as a financial research analyst. I am also interested in emerging markets, real estate finance and the retail and luxury goods markets which is why I was really interested in LBS (the school has many student associations focusing on those niche areas of Finance that would help me hone my career path).

    Originally I was interested in Sauder and Ivey because I grew up in those parts of Canada, however, after working onboard ships for 8 months a year for 6 years I don’t really have any ties to working in Canada after an MBA. In fact, I would really like to work for a multi-national/global company after I graduate so I could have the opportunity to continue to travel for work. I think I would have a better opportunity to do that going to LBS with their impressive list of recruiters. Also, my partner is English so I have ties there as well although none that would restrict me to solely living in either Canada or the UK.

    Again that you very much for your input. It will be very helpful for my future applications and hopefully for an LBS interview. Fingers crossed!

  • HBSGURU

    Just one clarification – with regards to your comment: (Someone correct me if Indian MBA education has had a Desi-Spring in terms of pedagogy) – some of the top B-schools in India do use HBS and other cases for the courses. I would say cases comprised of around 35-40% of my evaluation.

    Anyway I wanted to check whether a CFA certification or completion of atleast a Level 2 has any impact on one’s application?
    *************
    thanks for that update on Indian business education,you still need to do some essay about why you need a 2nd MBA, so I would not highlight this since it cuts against arguement that MAJORITY of Indian MBA experience is not case-based, etc. etc.
    As to CFA, at top US schools, it does not move the needle much, hard to say what impact it has at other places, to the extent it makes you more ‘hire-able’ it is a plus, as noted often, B schools really like to admit kids who will be employable in two years, and CFA can help. Top schools believe, as well, in some, ahem, ‘transforming’ experience, ha, ha, really meeting and networking with other super-star applicants, so CFA is less impt. Many MBA grads get CFA after MBA, as part of first post-MBA job requirement, if they go into finance.

  • HBSGURU

    http://www.thehindu.com/education/college-and-university/article2825181.ece
    as to note above about Indian [IIM] B schools, link above is (marginally comprehensible, to me anyway) story in The Hindu about changes in size, and some degreee approach, and admissions at leading Indian B schools. One part of this story I did understand is that 98 pct of admits to Indian IIM’s have engineering background.

  • sobriety1

    Sandy, thanks for your contributions. Looking for advice the on the following profile:

    CURRENT JOB: Quantitative risk analyst at a major BB (GS/MS/JPM)

    Undergrad: 3.9/4.0, Math/Econ from UPenn (not Wharton).
    Grad: 3.9/4.0, Masters in Financial Engineering from NYU – obtained while working full time
    GMAT: Expecting ~750
    Age: will be 27 at matriculation (5 years of WE)
    Promotions: had one promotion (to associate) but no managerial responsibilities.
    Extracurriculars: At school I was involved in a lot of ECs: hip-hop dance (was president of the group, won some east cost dance competitions), business fraternity (held a few officer positions), a cappella group. After graduation I haven’t really been involved too much… too busy with school part time. I am a mentor for a high school student but isn’t everybody?
    Race: Asian male.
    Motivation for MBA: Want to go into management consulting (more specifically, public policy consulting). Don’t want to be pidgeonholed as a quant finance guy.

    – what are my realistic chances at H/W?
    – how do bschools view quant finance candidates/financial engineers?? do they care about front office vs middle office financial engineers? the work i do is very challenging but at the end of the day, it’s squarely middle office.

  • J N

    Good day John and Sandy,

    I’d like an assessment of my prospects:

    Background: Singaporean Male, 31 with significant time spent in Canada

    GMAT: 730, AWA: 6

    Education:
    – 3.5 from Simon Fraser University, Canada. Joint Major Business and Economics
    – Concentrations in International Business and Financa
    – Dean’s Honor Roll twice

    Professional:
    – 3 years as Ramp Supervisor at Vancouver International Airport as a student
    – 2 years as a private university tutor as a student
    – 5 years with the same company since graduation with demonstrable progression: (1) contracted out as project coordinator and promoted to asst. project manager within 6 months, (2) Functioned as sales manager for 2 years following project, (3) promoted to Business Development Director in late 2010
    – Consultant Expert to US Law firm for damages recovery from previous project experience since June 2011.

    Extracurricular: Limited formal extracurricular involvement but an avid rockclimber that has also allowed me to pursue my desire for travel.

    Target Schools:
    INSEAD
    London Business School
    IE Business School

    Post MBA Aspirations:
    – Venture Capitalism
    – Consulting, Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions.

  • chumly

    do me! do me!

    GMAT: 770 V:47 Q: 50 AWA: 6.0
    GPA: 3.47— Economics, undergrad at non H/P/Y Ivy
    3.85—Graduate degree, MA in International Development from second-tier program (Hey, I got a full scholarship)
    Age: 27 at matriculation

    Current Job: Working (for 3 years) in the leadership of a small but highly regarded, innovative hybrid social enterprise (Hillary Clinton is a fan and talks about us). My job has been squarely at the intersection of the non-profit and business world, as we’ve gone from writing grants and begging donors for $$ to starting to develop a sustainable business model.

    Why an MBA: I want to build on my experience in the nascent hybrid social enterprise space (i know it’s a buzz-word, but i think i actually fit) and get an MBA to become a leader in developing the infrastructure to nurture the future of the sector. Right now, I have a lot of experience in nonprofits and the practice of international development, and an MBA would be the perfect supplement to that.

  • California Dreamin’

    Thanks John and Sandy, I appreciate the honest assessment!

  • Jared

    710 GMAT (Q:48 V: 40)
    3.26 GPA from well-respected liberal arts college in NY; Economics major
    27 years old; 5 years work experience at a leading corporate and financial public relations firm.
    Work experience includes advising large and small corporations through mergers, acquisitions, proxy fights, litigation support and crises; writing press releases, speeches, letters and working closely with financial journalists.
    Have been employed at the same firm the entire time and have been promoted twice. Salary has close to tripled since I began working.
    Very strong recommendations, resume and essays all support my work experience.
    My goal is to develop the strategy and finance skills to become a management consultant, with a focus on early stage media companies. I know the media space, evolving digital technologies and social media trends. Just need the MBA skills to learn the strategy side of things. Long-term I want to become an entrepreneur launch a specialized PR firm.
    Please advise on my chances of getting into my seven schools. Thank you!
    Wharton, Columbia, Stern, Sloan, Tuck, Darden, Yale.

  • No Name

    Also, I forgot my ECs, which admittedly aren’t spectacular. Like to cook, watch sports, run, bike, play hockey. Organized activities include one-off fundraisers for charitable organizations. In college I had leadership roles within my fraternity and community-focused internships. Thanks.

  • kram

    Below are my credentials for a profile evaluation. Thank you for your help.

    GPA: 3.63 overall, 3.91 major (finance)
    GMAT: 710; V 83%ile, Q 88%ile
    College: NYU Stern
    Other education: Passed all levels of the CFA and FRM exams
    Work experience: Since the past 1.5 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 was recently promoted to Associate. 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

  • kram

    Below are my credentials for a profile evaluation. Thank you for your help.

    GPA: 3.63 overall, 3.91 major (finance)
    GMAT: 710; V 83%ile, Q 88%ile
    College: NYU Stern
    Other education: Passed all levels of the CFA and FRM exams
    Work experience: [Current Job] Since the past 1.5 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 was recently promoted to Associate. [Previous Jobs] 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

  • ATS

    Love the column!
    25 year old male
    GPA – 3.76 Top 30 school. Econ Major
    GMAT 730 (95% V 80%Q)
    Work Experience:
    1—6 months at small consulting firm for financial services,
    2—1.5 years sales and trading at small but somewhat known within the industry firm.
    3 (current)—-Portfolio management associate at large (500bn+) well known AM firm. will be here 1.5 years by time of application and 2.5 years at time of matriculation

    Extracurricular:
    Traveled a year in the Middle East learning about history, culture and doing charity before going to college
    Current board member of Pediatric Cancer Foundation
    good ecs (econ club,sports,charities) in college

    Goal- to move up in the ranks of portfolio management, build my network and finance skills

    Looking at M7 and NYU (strongly considering Columbia value investors program)

  • VCinChina

    Thanks for the profile eval. Very helpful.

    Why NYU? NYC works for me personally (I have a wife tagging along on this, who I’d like to be able to work in finacne and support me). Plus the finance curriculum seems helpful to a person working in VC with no financial background.

    Why not Berkeley, Chicago, or Kellogg? I applied earlier in my career to all of those schools and got denied. I don’t want to bother with a reapp to anywhere. It just doesn’t make sense for such a fringe candidate like me. I’m a mixed bag, right? If they didn’t bite the first time, they’re not likely to bite on the second time.

    I’m also wondering how long I could potentially put this off and still have a shot. Am I just crazily too old, if I apply at age 30 or 31 after more VC experience? I feel like the standard view is that I would be just too old.

  • Alternate Indian Guy (I Banker)

    Hi,

    Thank you for taking the time out to review my profile. Let me give you a brief on my resume so that you can have a better understanding of the same along with my resume attached with this mail:

    a) Work Experience: I am planning to apply next year for 2013 batch and hoping to work till early 2013. I would have gained ~3 years of work experience which I think should prepare me to apply to a business school. I am currently working with a leading Indian investment bank (Big in India but limited presence in the west) as a PE/M&A analyst. I am also closely working with a couple of NGOs at this point of time. Will that be an important factor during the review process of my application?

    b) International Exposure: Apart from my one year stint in the UK during my masters, I don’t really have any international exposure. Having said that, I do work with a lot of mid-market and boutique investments banks in US and UK which might count as “international exposure”.

    c) GMAT: I have a GMAT score of 710

    d) Social Involvement: I have worked with C.O.R.P for one year teaching English in a municipal school in Mumbai and a six month internship with a microfinance firm covering rural areas and villages in the state of Rajasthan, India

    e) Investment banking background: Mid-market investment banks in India give a better profile and exposure to its analysts as compared to their peers in the US and Europe. I have worked on live deals and also been a part of the business development exercise of the bank which is rare in global banks or US banks where analysts have a limited role.

    f) Schools short listed: – NYU

    – Yale SOM

    – Tuck

    – Chicago Booth

    – Kellogg

    – Tepper School

    – Cornell

    – Duke

    – Darden Virginia

    I am still confused about schools in the UK (LBS, Judge and Oxford) and how much work experience they require since the average age in those schools is way higher than their American peers.

    Hoping to hear soon from you.

  • filmcompbiz

    Hello there:

    720 GMAT3.75 (cumulative) from a large state school (University of Central Forgetta), earned OK grades until I realized I was gay, then straight A’s for the rest of college careerBS in Computer Science and  BFA Film ProductionFounded/Presidented a few film-related clubsClassical and jazz pianist (since I was a kid)- all-stateLaunched social networking site for independent filmmakers- adopted by Film SchoolGood recommendations from professorsWork:  Front Desk manager at Hampton during college
    Current:  Software engineer at Apple for 2 yrs, good recommendations
    Goal:  become a film producer or high-level executiveFluent in Mandarin, French, and Spanish, which I learned just for fun25 year old Hispanic male
    Love New YorkNYU (#1 choice)
    HBS
    Stanford
    Columbia (will do early admit here)Haas
    UCLA
    USC
    Wharton
    Booth

  • Yatha srikanth reddy

    hello.Dear sir, i am srikanth. I”m deaf & dumb. I have studyies MBA2Year, i want need jobs, u address give me, plz me, 

  • IIM

    Analyze me! (Second MBA)

    Indian Male, 26
    GMAT 740 – 50(Q) 41(V)
    Undergrad GPA – 9.08/10 from a top 15 Indian college – Computer Science Engg. (Rank 1, Best Student of Institute award)
    Grad GPA – 7.22/9 from a top 3 IIM – PGDM (MBA) (Top 10%)

    Work Exp:
    a) 3 years of software development at a top MNC IT company (Microsoft/Google/Yahoo) with one promotion.
    b) 1 year of consulting with a Big 4 advisory post PGDM

    Extra-currics:
    – College level bodybuilding, dramatics, singing and athletics awards
    – Volunteered to teach underprivileged kids at current organization’s charity foundation
    – Established a gym to promote fitness at last organization

    Reasons for second MBA:
    – Getting into international strategy consulting

  • Mexi

    Hi Sandy,

    I would like to assess my odds of getting accepted at London Business School or Tier 1 B-school, hope you can help me!

    Mexican male, 27 years old, 3.3 GPA in business engineering at probably the best economics school in Latam (ITAM)
    Gmat: 680
    Work Experience: 6 months internship at Credit Suisse in back-office ib operations and 6 months internship at Citi in equity research

    1.2 years experience in an M&A boutique in Mexico City and 2 years experience at a local private equity firm (started as junior financial analyst, will end as junior associate)

    Extra-curricular: Founded first micro-brewery in Mexico City and volunteer at a non for profit which assists low resource entrepreneurs in starting their business

    Goal: Get foreign work experience, networking and knowledge to start own vc fund in Mexico

    Thanks!

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