Your Odds Of Getting Into A Top School

Mr. Bank

  • 710 GMAT
  • 3.85 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in business and economics from a top Philippine University
  • Work experience includes three years at a startup international bank subsidiary of a large local universal bank in the Philippines where I work directly with CEOs and senior executives in almost all aspects of the firm’s operations
  • Extracurricular involvement as head of a Catholic  organization that holds retreats for students, headed a 100+ person car pool group for university students, and have dabbled in painting, sketching, and digital multimedia
  • Goals: To use the MBA to transition into a private equity role focused on emerging markets “My interest in this path takes off from my experience working on deals that create socioeconomic impact in the Philippines.”
  • 24-year-old Filipino male and member of Mensa

Odds of Success:

Stanford: 30+%
Wharton: 50+%
Chicago: 50+%
Harvard: 30% to 40+%

Sandy’s Analysis: This is a pretty solid story with a Philippines twist and guys like you get into Stanford and HBS 1. if they are taken with your do-gooder goals and personal story, and 2.  they know your bank, or someone can put a word in for you (not infrequent occurrence at Stanford, probably more so than most schools, although obviously I don’t have statistics).

At HBS,  guys like you get in and get dinged depending on execution and a bit of luck. You are pretty solid at Wharton, so again, it is execution and luck (or more to the point, no bad luck) and Chicago the same. But man, you should be a real strong candidate there. The goals and work experience all synch together, the extras are solid, the Philippines story is a plus, and stats are totally fine. Also sounds like you have had great experiences in the bank.  The only issue is how well known your employer is to schools. You say, “large, local universal bank” so I am assuming some global brand name. If so that will help seal the deal.

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  • Robert

    Seems to be on point from my experience, minus Fidelity as it isn’t quite in the same tier as the other firms you mentioned. The top tier investment banking positions (eg. Blackstone Restructuring and M&A, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley) though, are arguably as selective as the top tier IMs (eg. D&C, Capital Group, Third Avenue). All of the above have phenomenal placement into top MBA programs.

  • Hbsguru

    I get your point, and in an ideal world, a blog like this would have an art director who would find or create approriate graphics for each profile, but this is not the New Yorker or Vogue, it is a content driven specialist blog, altho that is not an excuse to offend anyone, I dont think our cartoons, do .  My view.  Actually John Byrne does the formatting and graphics,  but it is pretty obvious he is using some iStock cartoon data bank, so all the profiles are cartoons.  I guess that sometimes leads to a disconnect, in some cases, but it just seems mild and graphic is  not meant to capture the full person under reveiw, just get people to read the analysis.  It seems a good compromise to me, but if others are disturbed, well, I’d be interested to hear.

  • Elena

    Hi Sandy,

    While I enjoy your column, I really don’t like the poses of the female cartoons. It’s disrespectful to women. Please refrain from using cartoons of women in such obvious, non-business/academic/extra-curric related poses. Ms. Consultant works with abused women, for goodness’ sakes!


  • Siddharth Gautam

    Hi Sandy, i read your reviews and observations on selected profiles. I was wondering if you can comment on my profile (its a typical case of high’s and low’)

    – 10th 65% 2000-01
    – 12th 67% 2002-2003
    – Graduation B.Tech in Mechanocal Engineering ( 2004-2008)
    (Only case is that my degree was extended by 3 years and received it in 2011)

    – Work exp. of 39 months
    -11 month in pre sales ( Air conditioning industry)
    -28 months as Bussiness Analyst, Project Manager and a Co-ordinator.

    GMAT Score 720.

    What are my ODDs of geeting into a good MBA School. My preferences are

    – INSEAD
    – Wharton
    – YALE
    – UCLA
    – Others

  • Hi Sandy,

    Can you please review my profile and evaluate my odds of getting into my top choices. I’ve looked through all your previous articles and could not find a match similar to mine so I’m giving it a shot in the comments.

    -Why MBA: I want to work in the tech sector in strategy. Long term want to help more hispanics go to college and study STEM fields.
    -Schools: Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, Kellog, MIT
    – 4 years with Nielsen graduated from their leadership development program and now manage a large program.
    -Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Florida
    -GMAT 720
    -GPA 3.1
    -25 Yr old Hispanic male
    -first person from my family to go to college
    -worked most of college in order to finance education. Graduated with no debt.
    -Now: Management Leadership for Tomorrow, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, National Society of Hispanic MBA’s (chapter officer), toastmasters
    -During college: several officer positions within my fraternity, president of several clubs during college, long list of college extracurriculars (part of the reason for the low GPA)

    Thank you!