Predicting Your Odds of Getting In

She has awesome stats: a 770 GMAT and a 3.93 grade point average in biochemistry and neurobiology. A first year medical student, she wants to apply for a joint MBA/MD program.

He’s a 27-year-old public relations specialist who has advised companies engaged in mergers and acquisitions, proxy fights and other crises. Now he wants an MBA to help him develop the strategy and finance skills to become a management consultant.

After brief stints in financial consulting and sales and trading, he’s now a portfolio management associate at a large, well-known firm. With a 730 GMAT score and a 3.73 GPA, this 25-year-old hopes to gain a top MBA to move up the ranks.

Sandy Kreisberg, HBS Guru, in Harvard Square

What these 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 in? Or will they get dinged by their dream schools?

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 candid assessment:

Ms. Doctor

  • 770 GMAT
  • 3.93 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in biochemistry and neurobiology from the University of Washington
  • Work experience includes internship and research as I am a first year medical student at the University of Minnesota
  • “I am looking for schools with MD/MBA joint programs and hope to get into one of the accelerated MBA programs.”
  • International student from China, fluent in Chinese and English

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20%
Wharton: 30%
Chicago: 30%
Northwestern: 30%
Cornell: 40%
Columbia: 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: Jeepers, I’m impressed. I think you’ll get in someplace with those high stats, although you will need some jive as to why you want a joint degree. The usual suspects are Health Care Management (e.g. run a hospital or HMO) or pharma or medical device executive, or on occasion government service or some combination of the above.

A really hot field now is IT + medical records, since everyone thinks that better medical record technology is going to save everyone $$$$ and provide the basis for Medicine Ball (data rich protocols to optimize care, a la Money Ball, don’t hold your breath.)

At HBS, they usually have about 12 docs or so, but those students are often from Harvard or Yale Medical School, and often have MD’s already and then get the MBA, sometimes during residency or early training.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure of the logistics of joint degree programs. The best thing you can do is figure out what your GOAL for those programs would be, from the list above, and then head in the direction of that goal by choosing electives and jobs—that would really strengthen your chances and story.

Please take my predictions with one very big grain of salt because I don’t know enough about joint degree programs. But if you do well in med school, and create some record, which leads to a joint-degree goal, I think you will be successful. Saying you want to help reform medical care delivery in China would be a BOFFO thing to say, but you would need some record of working in China or working with organizations which do that.