Handicapping Your Elite MBA Chances

by John A. Byrne on

She’s a 27-year-old woman with a passion for science, Now working in software quality assurance for Wells Fargo, she hopes an MBA degree will help her transition into the biotech industry.

With an impressive 760 GMAT and a 3.9 GPA in engineering from UCLA, this 25-year-old Hispanic male works for a top private equity shop. He believes an MBA degree will give him a head start as an entrepreneur in educational technology or gaming.

A former Teach for America teacher, she now works as an adventure travel guide. But with a 740 GMAT and a 3.5 grade point average from a top public university, he’s planning to use the MBA to help him land a job with the likes of GE Healthcare or Medtronic.

Sandy Kreisberg, HBS Guru, in Harvard Square

Sandy Kreisberg, HBS Guru, in Harvard Square

What these would-be MBA candidates 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 assessment:

Ms. Biotech

  • 700+ GMAT (not yet taken)
  • 3.9 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in biochemistry and cell biology from UC-San Diego
  • 3.9 GPA
  • Master’s in biology from UC-San Diego
  • Work experience includes time at a small biotech company after graduation, but contract ended due to economy crash in early 2009. Was unemployed for six months so enrolled in a teaching program. Have been with Wells Fargo since fall of 2009 in software quality assurance, first as contractor, then analyst and hired as a full-time employee a year later in midst of a hiring freeze
  • Extracurricular involvement as vice president of public relations for my sorority in my senior year and now on the communications committee for the young professional network for Wells Fargo
  • Goal: Want an MBA to increase my business knowledge so I can eventually get back into biotech on the business side
  • “My real interest there is business development focused on utilizing bioinformatics in the biotech industry”
  • 27-year-old white female with a passion for science

Odds of Success:
Harvard: 20% to 30%
Stanford: 10 to 15%
Wharton: 30% to 50%
MIT: 30% to 50%
Chicago: 40% to 60%
Berkeley: 30% to 50%
Columbia: 40% to 60%

Sandy’s Analysis: Phew, what we got here is a great beginning, a happy ending and a so-so middle.  To wit

  1. the beginning: 3.9 in Bio both B.A.  and M.A., a projected solid GMAT score, plus an excellent first job at biotech
  2. the happy ending:  as you put it,  “get back into biotech  . . . .My real interest there is business development focused on utilizing bioinformatics . .  . .”
  3. with a so-so middle:  the actual four years you spent at Wells Fargo doing software Quality Assurance, which is a real snooze area at top tech firms like Oracle and Microsoft, and at 2nd-tier banks approaches Rip Van Winkle territory in terms of sleepiness.

I would not overly worry about the six months you spent unemployed getting a teaching certificate. That could be spun as a positive, and there’s not much you can do while unemployed.  Also, not that much  looks good anyway, except maybe body building or working for an NGO, which makes you employed.

I would worry more about how come you never landed another job in Biotech and apparently stopped looking. On your resume alone it appears that you drank the Wells Fargo iced tea–it wasn’t even Kool-Aid, since they were not really promising you anything. You just felt comfortable getting approval, and having a job, and learning new things. Not perverse motives for staying by any means, but by that time the Biotech market had recovered. Adcoms may wonder why did not hustle to get a Biotech job instead of remaining comfortably numb at Wells Fargo. Especially in light of the fact you already had worked in Biotech.

On the plus side, you are a woman in science and that is a plus. Extra-currics are vanilla.

I’m not seeing this as Stanford. They just won’t buy your story and they can get their full of Biotech biz side people from blue chip Biotech companies.  They go to Wells Fargo QA for minority candidates, the same way they go to the Big 4. Plus a lack of extras won’t help there.  HBS is bigger and the “snow globe” you have created about your goals– bio-infomatics– would appeal to them, as would the woman in science shtick.  Hashing around  so-called Big Data is a real hotspot at HBS, see this recent article, How Will the “Age of Big Data” Affect Management?  in a recent HBS Working Knowledge.

 At other schools, you become competitive based on stats alone, assuming some kind of 720 GMAT, and just presenting yourself as someone interested in what they have to offer.  E.g. I’m sure MIT does bio-data in some way. You seem to be convincing in your profile note about your knowledge of the field and your burden in the application would be to sound very convincing about the field and its variants and how you fit in.

1 2 3 4 5
  • A. Anthony

    - 34 year old African American male
    - single w/ no kids and willing to relo for a top school – want complete immersion into a full time program (as opposed to an EMBA or Part Time MBA)
    - 700+ GMAT (have not taken, but studying and scoring between 690-720 on practice tests; plan to take 2-3 times between late May and August)
    - 3.3 GPA in electrical engineering from an HBCU
    - college extras – elected student gov’t official, nt’l engineering honor society (top 8-10% of class), nt’l dean’s list, interned @ nasa for several summers
    - 12 years work experience – 4 jobs (outlined below) 
    - job1: programmer for a major (Fortune E-50) ISP – 1 year before dot com bust/Sept 11th attacks; laid off
    - job 2: web development and online marketing for a local small biz (unknown) – 2 years
    - job 3: 8 years with a Fortune 50 in logistics (think FedEx/UPS/DHL) – 4 job rotations
    ##job 3 rotation 1: small biz sales - 1.5yrs – won district award
    ##job 3 rotation 2: operations manager – 1 year - managed group of 20; drove trucks
    ##job 3 rotation 3: engineering manager – 2 years – performance recognition; responsible 3 different facilities – managed groups of 10-15
    ##job 4 rotation 4: corp sales - 3.5 years – won district and national awards; solid numbers
    - job 4 (current): marketing and ops for a division of an internet company ($100M rev) - lead team of 15 domestically and internationally; responsible for day-to-day ops, marketing strategy, product strategy, entering new intl markets
     
    Misc – run/bootstrap small biz startup (online marketing consulting); published author (small biz marketing – verifiable on Amazon); avid reader/lifetime learner/yogi/gamer/professional public speaking exp, member of Mensa
     
    Community 1 - 2 years as a mentor through a foundation that supports low income kids to prepare them for top universities – you mentor 1 student through their entire college matriculation;
    Community 2 – 3 years on a 2-3x per year task force that fabricates homes to be sent to Mexico to be built out for homless families
    Community 3 – on community service committee for a nat’l community org – leadership positions held
    Community 4 – 10 years in an internationally known public speaking org – achieved top designation level – will get req from former int’l director (where 3 reqs are allowed) – multiple awards won and leadership positions held
     
    Post MBA Goal – Run an incubator program that supports underrep. minority tech entrepreneurs and mentors them from idea to biz planning, financials, ops, marketing strategy, alpha/beta, VC funding to launch; will largely work in tandem with top MBA progs/MLT/consortium for candidates
     
    Target Schools (in no particular order)
     
    -Stanford GSB, HBS, MIT, Berkeley, Kellogg, UCLA, USC

  • ATD67

    Could you evaluate my profile? I’m wondering how much my international focus will help and how much other factors may hurt.

    -780 GMAT
    - 3.42 GPA undergrad, B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Japanese from the U of Florida, Honors Program, Cum Laude
    - 3.59 GPA graduate, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the U of Florida
    - 28 months (at matriculation) with General Electric, Aviation Engineering designing the computer system that runs the LEAP engine and handling integration with our partner on the project Snecma (France) and our customers Airbus and COMAC (China); this engine already has sales over a billion dollars
    - 14 months (at time of application submission) as Section Leader of GE’s Engagement Outreach, handling a budget of $70K to organize and hold events recognizing our employees and community service and volunteer projects to assist those in the local Cincinnati community

    - 2 study abroad sessions while in undergrad, 1 for six weeks in Tokyo and the other for a year at a prestigious private university in Tokyo studying International Business and Advanced Japanese
    - Fluent in Japanese, passed the highest level of the fluency test this past winter; beginner in Chinese
    Long-term goals: lead a global manufacturing firm in Asia (aviation, automobiles, energy)
    Short-term goals: consulting with M/B/B’s Tokyo office focused on manufacturing companies, to gain experience with the area and managing in the industry

    -27 year-old (at matriculation) white male

    The focus of my story is on the international business aspect, especially pertaining to my interest in Asia. I’m worried my GPA or relatively short work experience will keep me out of a H/S/W. Are career switchers from engineering expected to have more or less work experience than the school’s average? After all, we’re going to school because we’ve realized we want to change job functions, so more experience as an engineer won’t be as valuable. At least that’s my opinion.

    Schools (all in Round 1):
    HBS, Wharton/Lauder (Japanese), Stanford, Booth, Kellogg, Sloan

    Thanks!

  • HBS Bound

    Go Gators:)

  • John De Souza

    Age 22
    Indian living in Mumbai
    Target schools-HBS 2+2 deadlines a week away please help!
    Other targets-HBS, Stanford, Booth, LBS, Columbia, Stern, Duke
    Chartered accountant with an all India 5th rank
    Currently Studying LLB General(2 year law course) (2nd University Rank in 1st year)
    Work ex- 3 years as an articled assistant at a medium sized accountancy firm.
    Current- Asst Manager at a big 4 Taxation Dept, Mumbai since September 2011
    Bachelor degree in Comerce major in
    Accountancy from University of Mumbai-3rd Rank
    in final year

    GMAT 740
    Extra Curriculars- Started English speaking club and Remedial class for students with low grades (for free) it has grown to 300 students a year
    Chairman of Students Chartered Accountants Body (Developed a social network for Chartered Accountancy Students)
    Campus ambassador for Teach for India
    Started an adopt a tree programme
    Ran half marathons in Mumbai, London, Prague ,
    Delhi , Bangalore after recovering from asthma
    Travelled extensively across Europe
    Holder of professional certificate in speech and drama and communication skills (from trinity university London)
    Applying to HBS 2+2 ( Help asap deadline a week
    away)

  • johnd25

    (continued)
    Average GPA in first 2 years, in the top rankers of University in the 3rd Year of Bachelor’s of Commerce with 87% marks and in the first year of LLB with 86% marks.
    Low GPA largely down to CA Prep, 3 back to back bouts of malaria

  • johnd25

    Indian living in Mumbai Target schools-HBS 2+2 deadlines a week away please help! Other targets-HBS, Stanford, Booth, LBS, Columbia, Stern, Duke Chartered accountant with an all India 5th rank Currently Studying LLB General(2 year law course) (2nd University Rank in 1st year) Work ex- 3 years as an articled assistant at a medium sized accountancy firm. Current- Asst Manager at a big 4 Taxation Dept, Mumbai since September 2011 Bachelor degree in Comerce major in Accountancy from University of Mumbai-3rd Rank in final year
    Average GPA in first 2 years, in the top rankers of University in the 3rd Year of Bachelor’s of Commerce with 87% marks and in the first year of LLB with 86% marks. Low GPA largely down to CA Prep, 3 back to back bouts of malaria

    Fluent in Spanish, German, French (Holder of by certificate given by common European framework)

    GMAT 740 Extra Curriculars- Started English speaking club and Remedial class for students with low grades (for free) it has grown to 300 students a year Chairman of Students Chartered Accountants Body (Developed a social network for Chartered Accountancy Students) Campus ambassador for Teach for India Started an adopt a tree programme Ran half marathons in Mumbai, London, Prague , Delhi , Bangalore after recovering from asthma Travelled extensively across Europe Holder of professional certificate in speech and drama and communication skills (from trinity university London) Applying to HBS 2+2 ( Help asap deadline a week away)

  • ATD67

     Go Gators =P

  • AT

    Sandy ,
    I’d appreciate it if you could give me insight into my chances at the following programs
    Cornell ( 1 year accelerated MBA program)
    Kellog
    INSEAD
    Tuck
    Ross
    Columbia(early admission)

    Also I’d like your opinion on which school do you think is the best in Canada for business.

    Here
    my stats:
    28 y.o Indian male(Will be 29 when I start in 2013)

    Undergrad: University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (ranked #2 after MIT for electrical engineering and is considered a blue chip school in the engineering world)

    GPA:bit low ~ 3.1.(extremely challenging program – rated to be the toughest major in the
    united states at undergrad level, lack of guidance in terms of course
    choice and selection from advisors, and also being immature and not
    focusing completely on school)

    W/E  after undergrad - Joined a start up
    company( started by an accomplished professor from the University in
    Champaign area itself) focusing on micro and nanotech based optical
    communication devices. Work was very high end  and catered to very niche
    consumers such as US army . Worked there for a year
    Switched jobs and joined yet another start up company  in New York city. The company designed and developed
    wireless communication and safety products for mass transit systems.
    Their biggest customer was the New York City subway. I helped design and develop a safety kiosk product
    which is being added to every subway station in New York today.
    Worked there for 6 months but unfortunately the H1B
    visas for the year ran out and I would have had to wait almost 10 months
    outside the US before coming back to work in the following fiscal year.
    The company did not have any offices outside the United States.

    So went to
    graduate school (I didnt want work in India and  didnt have enough work exp to go to business schools )
    M.S in Operations Research at the University of Texas Austin( Highly challenging quantitative coursework and again considered a blue chip university in the engineering world)
    Grad GPA – 3.6/4.0 (Took a few courses at Mccombs’ – in financial risk management, supply chain , Global Financial Strategies and got A’s in them).
    Fully
    Funded it myself by working as a research/ teaching assistant. My masters report was on optimizing silicon wafer production in fabrication
    labs.

    Interned with Marriot hotel( Revenue pricing and modelling) for a semester while studying.

    W/E after graduate school:

    Been working in a  Dallas based analytics company as a operations
    research analyst ( Data Analysis, Supply Chain Optimization, Forecasting algorithms.) for over 2 years. Will be touching 3 years in december.
    I’m looking to move onto a global platform now and work in management consulting /explore entrepreneurial
    options in emerging markets.

    GMAT- 730(Can retake it and I’m pretty sure I can push up another 20-30 points).

    I feel like over the 8 years that I have been here I haven’t achieved my fullest potential because of stringent visa laws. I have always been on a student visa or a temporary work visa and been handcuffed by restricitive cumbersome laws. That’s the reason I want to work with an organization that takes care of its employees ( such as amazon, google , facebook , MBBB etc) and works with them around rubbish visa regulations.

  • Non-Profit Girl

    Hi Sandy and John,

    Love your series! Would you evaluate my profile?

    – 26 year old female
    – 760 GMAT (taken — only scored in 77% percentile quant, pulled up by 99% verbal)
    – 4.0 in various undergraduate quant courses taken as continuing education following graduation and GMAT
    – 3.6 GPA from top 50 liberal arts college — double major (in liberal arts and a foreign language). 
    – College GPA lower than what I’m capable of — I had a parent who was diagnosed with and then died from cancer during this time. I was also working 30-40 hours a week in various editorial board roles for the student paper, culminating in a year as editor-in-chief
    – Studied and interned abroad during college
    – First job in public relations firm catering to professional services, healthcare, and non-profits. There for 2.5 years. Promoted once.
    – Volunteer (including junior board) experience with small non-profit that helps people with cancer.
    – Hired into development position with non-profit for which I’d been volunteering. Have been a staff member for 1.5 years and have been promoted once, to director of development.
    – As a result of my personal experience, looking for an MBA (preferably with a specialization in healthcare admin/management) so I can eventually move into a management role in a larger cancer-related non-profit or hospital. (I’m not cut out for a direct care role, but I want to be able to use my marketing/fundraising/management skills to help organizations who help people dealing with disease.)

  • Bhanu Priy88

    Hi Sandy,

    Please evaluate my profile: 

    Nationality : IndianAge: 23yrs
    Education: B.S. in Pharmacy from one of the top 10 schools in the country.
    GPA: 9.15/10; Distinction which translates to 3.66/4, Graduated at the top of the class in 2011Internships : 1. Goldman Sachs as an Ops-Tech Intern ….6 months2. National Center of Antarctic and Ocean Research with its Bio Sciences department… 2 monthsExtra curriculars: Was the TA of Computer programming in sophomore year.Was editor of class magazine while in schoolPresented paper on Alzheimer Disease related stuff at a national conference GMAT: 690( Should I retake?)Currently working in IMS Health as a Junior Consultant Career aim : To continue working in the pharma consulting domain.

  • Brazilian Couple

    Hello Sandy, we would appreciate your feedback on our profile, since we’ve found very few similar ones over the 150 already commented…
    We are married, and our goal is either to attend the same school or in the same city. Target schools are: harvard, mit, wharton, tuck, kellog, booth

    27 years male
    Brazilian
    GMAT 740
    GPA 3.4 at top 10 university in Brazil, in Industrial Engineering
    Fluent in portuguese, english and spanish

    Work experience: 5 years at ABI subsidiary in Brazil (some history of admissions in top US schools). Joined as management trainee, then distribution analyst for 6 months. After that, moved to a different city, to be the logistics coordinator in a DC, and the next year also responsible for finance. Afterwards, moved to another city, and became Logistics Manager at a plant, and one year later, moved again to another city to work on the zone head quarters in a planning and performance role.

    Extracurriculars: in college, joined the junior enterprise as marketing manager, and after 10 months became CEO of the company, leading consulting projects at listed companies. Two years ago, helped high school students in developing a company, through Junior Achievement, for 6 months. Also been on a exchange to Australia for 6 months in high school.

    Goal after mba: join a consulting company in general management, to, on the long run, with significant business knowledge and experience, move to our family business (medium size company, over 1000 employees)

    29 years female
    Brazilian
    GMAT not taken yet (aiming at 700)
    GPA 3.3 at top 10 university in Brazil, in Industrial Engineering
    Masters degree in metallurgy
    Fluent in portuguese, english and spanish 

    Work experience: 6 years at one of the 10 largest steel companies of the world. Joined as management trainee, then begun working in quality lab. After couple years, became coordinator of the lab, with direct team of ~8 people. Two years later, moved to another city to become Brazil specialist in quality for downstream mills

    Extracurriculars: in college, part of the junior enterprise, and participated in several consulting projects with teachers and other students. Published a few projects. Involved in activites with the surrounding community, supporting children from poor families, visiting them frequently. Also part of Junior Achievement at a public school of needed students, to support them in a start-up.

    Goal after mba: move into consulting, and then to consumer goods company

  • J.

    Hi Sandy,

    Amazing column, thanks for the addictive reading!

    720 GMAT
    Undergraduate degree in Economics from top Australian university (hard to convert accurately into GPA, but was Top 10% of cohort)
    Undergraduate work experience includes 2 summer internships in Bulge Bracket Investment Banking and 12 months part time job in regional supply chain operations for global Luxury retailer (think Chanel, Louis Vuitton etc.)
    Since graduating, 3 years in MBB consulting.

    Extracurriculars: Presidents of 2 undergraduate student clubs – one running career and social events – the other running charitable community work projects. Since graduating, involved with the firm’s LGBT network, sitting on the committee.

    Goal: Pursuing an MBA to round out my skill set, and launch into a corporate development/strategy career in retailing or consumer goods

    Applying: H/S/W + Kellogg + Columbia

    25 yr old (At time of application) Asian male based in Australia.

    On the off chance you’re willing to look at this – many thanks Sandy

    Cheers!

  • Hodgeman John

    GMAT: 680 (plan on retaking expect 700-710)
    GPA: 3.3
    Undergrad degree in Economics from top 20 business school 
    Varsity basketball player for 4 years in college 
    Marathon runner (twice)
    Investment banking analyst – 3 years at bulge bracket firm 
     - Great reviews and plenty of extra curricular experience (recruiting and analyst committees) 
    Fulbright scholarship in China (current)
    - Working with underprivileged kids to improve English proficiency in remote areas of country
    - Studying Mandarin
    25 Year old white male 
    Goal – Want an MBA to work for an international investment fund with a focus on Asia or start my own business with focus on Asian investments  

    Looking at: Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, MIT, Duke, Chicago, and Berkeley 

  • Kabuchan 1985

    Sandy,

    Thanks for all
    the columns. I enjoy reading them all.
    I really appreciate your feedback on my profile below.

     

    - GMAT: 770 (may
    retake)

    - GPA: 3.5 (community
    college) / 2.8 (UC) / 3.2 (undergrad total)

    - Undergrad
    degree in political science from top UC (UC Berkeley or UCLA) Transferred from
    a CA community college

    - Work experience:
    2 years with bulge bracket investment bank (IBD) and 2 years with MBB
    consulting firm in Asia

    - Extracurricular:
    President of Asian student club at UC, worked at a shelter in India, founded a
    student foundation for environmental conservation, recruiting and analyst
    committee member

    - 28-year-old
    Asian male (non-US citizen)

     

    My issue: extremely
    low GPA and age

     

    Target: HBS, Stanford,
    Wharton, Columbia, MIT, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Michigan, Tuck, Yale, INSEAD, LBS

  • Mr. Baseball

    Age: 26

    Male, Hispanic surname (25% Hispanic, if that matters)

    GMAT: 700-720

    GPA: 3.6

    Degree in Economics from ~100 ranked university (attended
    for athletics…could have gone to a better school based on HS on academic performance)

    College extras:

    -         
    Varsity baseball (Captain as
    Jr. & Sr.)

    -         
    Co-Founder – “Students in Philanthropy”

    -         
    Founder & President of a Catholic athletes group
    (coordinated to brand with a non-profit)

    -         
    Led a dozen college students to Honduras for two week long service trips (summers ’08, ’09)

    -         
    “President’s Society” – senior students selected
    to represent the University

    Work Experience (in order):

    -         
    Internship at a boutique investment bank

    -         
    Large, well known healthcare IT company – 1.5 years
    – worked on health reform strategy & product development (voluntarily
    transitioned out of this role due to macro-factors at the company)

    -         
    Short stint in BPO sales – 6 months (while I searched for another role in strategy)

    -         
    Large, well known healthcare provider – 2 years –
    work on health reform strategy & collaborative care partnerships (currently
    hold this role, in a high profile group in the company)

    -         
    My current company frequently sends employees (on
    par with my role) to top 5 schools, and also recruits from them

    Current extras:

    -         
    Develop chapters for the (above) Catholic
    athletes group at high-schools & colleges nationally

    -         
     “Big
    Brother”, mentoring at risk youth

    -         
    Volunteer at non-profit to plan an annual 5k fundraiser
    (promotes entrepreneurship and community leadership for at-risk youth)  

    Goal:

    -         
    Bridge the gap to private equity, working in
    growth strategy specific to healthcare. (Is this appropriate? or should I go
    the entrepreneurship route? Consulting?  PE is what I want, but I understand I need the story to fit)

    Questions/Concerns:

    -         
    Not a big name undergrad school – didn’t make
    the decision based on academics alone

    -         
    Career was limited to Denver (family reasons),
    made it tricky but I think I fared well

    -         
    Tons of extras & leadership… hurt GPA a bit

    -         
    How high do I need my GMAT to be for a shot at
    S/H?

    -         
    I’ve built good rapport in all my roles, could probably get good recs from some “heavier” hitters (VPs, SVPs, bishops…) what would you
    recommend?  I feel that will be a big factor
    for me.
    -     Is anything big missing that I can fix and apply next year (extras, etc.)?

    Schools:

    -         
    Stanford/Harvard/Wharton/Kellogg
    -     Recommendations?

  • Mr. Baseball…

    Age: 26

    Male, Hispanic
    surname (25% Hispanic, if that matters)

    GMAT: 700-720

    GPA: 3.6

    Degree in Economics
    from ~100 ranked university (attended

    for athletics…could have gone to a better school based on HS on academic
    performance)

     

    College extras:

    - Varsity baseball
    (Captain as Jr. & Sr.)

    - Co-Founder – “Students in Philanthropy”

    - Founder & President of a Catholic athletes group (coordinated
    to brand with a non-profit)

    - Led a dozen
    college students to Honduras for two week long service trips (summers ’08, ’09)

    - “President’s
    Society” – senior students selected to represent the University

     

    Work Experience (in order):

    - Internship at a
    boutique investment bank

    - Large, well
    known healthcare IT company – 1.5 years – worked on health reform strategy
    & product development (voluntarily transitioned out of this role due to
    macro-factors at the company)

    - Short stint in
    BPO sales – 6 months (while I searched for another role in strategy)

    - Large, well
    known healthcare provider – 2 years – work on health reform strategy &
    collaborative care partnerships (currently hold this role, in a high profile
    group in the company)

    - My current
    company frequently sends employees (on par with my role) to top 5 schools, and
    also recruits from them

     

    Current extras:

    - Develop
    chapters for the (above) Catholic athletes group at high-schools & colleges
    nationally

    - “Big Brother”,
    mentoring at risk youth

    -  Volunteer at non-profit to plan an annual 5k
    fundraiser (promotes entrepreneurship and community leadership for at-risk
    youth)

     

    Goal:

    - Bridge the
    gap to private equity, working in growth strategy specific to healthcare. (Is
    this appropriate? or should I go the entrepreneurship route? Consulting?
     PE is what I want, but I understand I need the story to fit)

     

    Questions/Concerns:

    - Not a big
    name undergrad school – didn’t make the decision based on academics alone

    - Career was
    limited to Denver (family reasons), made it tricky but I think I fared well

    - Tons of
    extras & leadership… hurt GPA a bit

    - How high do
    I need my GMAT to be for a shot at S/H?

    - I’ve built
    good rapport in all my roles, could probably get good recs from some
    “heavier” hitters (VPs, SVPs, bishops…) what would you recommend? 
    I feel that will be a big factor

    for me.

    - Is anything big missing that I can fix and apply next
    year (extras, etc.)?

     

    Schools:

    - Stanford/Harvard/Wharton/Kellogg

    - Recommendations?

    tex�was�@ �x e; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; “>Schools:-         Stanford/Harvard/Wharton/Kellogg-     Recommendations?

  • Mr. Baseball….

    Now that I’ve destroyed the comments section with formatting issues in my posts… here you go.  Look forward to your comments!

    Age: 26
    Male, Hispanic surname (25% Hispanic, if that matters)
    GMAT: 700-720
    GPA: 3.6
    Undergrad degree in Economics from ~100 ranked university (attended for athletics… could have gone to a better school)

    College extras:
    - Varsity baseball (captain as Jr. & Sr.)
    - Co-Founder – “Students in Philanthropy”
    - Founder & President of a Catholic athletes group (coordinated to brand with a non-profit)
    - Led a dozen college students to Honduras for (2) two week long service trips (summers ’08, ’09)
    - “President’s Society” – senior students selected to represent the University

    Work Experience (in order):
    - Internship at boutique investment bank
    - Large, well known healthcare IT company (1.5 years) – worked on health reform strategy & product development (voluntarily transitioned out of this role due to macro-factors at the company)
    - Short stint in BPO sales (6 months)… while I searched for another role in strategy
    - Large, well known healthcare provider (2.5 years) – work on health reform strategy & collaborative care partnerships (currently hold this role, in a high profile group in the company)
    - My current company frequently sends employees on par with my role to top 5 schools, and also recruits form them

    Current extras:
    - Develop chapters for the (above) Catholic athletes group at high schools & colleges nationally
    - “Big Brother”, mentoring at-risk youth
    - Volunteer at non-profit to plan annual 5K fundraiser (promotes entrepreneurship and community leadership for at-risk youth)

    Goal:
    - Bridge the gap to private equity, working in growth strategy specific to healthcare. (Is this appropriate, or should I go the entrepreneurship route? Consulting? PE is what I want, but I understand I need the story to fit)

    Questions/Concerns:
    - Not a big name school for undergrad – didn’t make the decision based on academics alone
    - Career was limited to Denver (family reasons), made it tricky but I think I fared well
    - Tons of extras & leadership… hurt GPA a bit
    - How high do I need my GMAT to be for a shot at S/H?
    - I’ve built good rapport in all my roles, could probably get good recs from some “heavier” hitters (VPs, SVPs, bishops…).  What would you recommend? I feel it will be a big factor for me.
    - Is there anything I’m missing that I can fix and apply the following year (extras, etc.)?

    Schools:
    - Stanford/Harvard/Wharton/Kellogg
    - Recommendations?

  • Jarednba11

    Hi Sandy,

    Any evaluation would be greatly appreciated:

    Age:  26, Male
    Dual Citizenship with USA and a South American country (born in USA- Mother is South-American)

    GPA: 3.7
    GMAT: 700 (projected)

    Undergrad: BBA from Public Ivy

    Work experience: 4 years at DOJ- FBI/CIA/etc. as an analyst working directly with operatives/agents. Promoted after 18 months. Due to posting in a public forum I can’t say which division or area of concentration but it was financial/international related. On the plus side, I have quite a few “interesting” stories to talk about in the essays. To be hired I went through an 8 month background check with a polygraph interview to recieve a top secret security clearance.  Additional: 14 weeks training given by the agency before the position started.

    Extracurricular: Started the first sports and entertainment club on campus- grew it to 40 members. Payed 1/2 of college expenses via an import business I started with a few friends. Local volunteer activities and currently browsing opportunities to start a non-profit dedicated to exposing public sector jobs to high school students.

    Other: Bilingual (Spanish), significant international travel (not work related)

    Schools: Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Wharton, Insead, NYU

    Post-MBA goals: Management/Strategy Consulting. I eventually want to start a consulting business specialized in the intelligence community where my pre-MBA expertise lies (something international). Backup: rejoin the government agency in a field-position.

    Thanks in advance for any consideration! Given my background, I have yet to find any relatable stats or stories to predict my applications.

  • Mr.Big Data

    Hi Sandy,

    Would appreciate an evaluation:

    Age: 25
    Male, East Indian descent
    GMAT:700
    GPA: 3.7
    Undergraduate Degree: Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario

    College Extras:
    - Volunteer International Student Organization (Helping International students accustom to Canadian lifestyle, culture etc.)
    -Event Planning Volunteer of Western Indo Canadian Student Association (1st Year)
    -Vice President – Finance, Western Indo Canadian Student Association (2nd year, 3rd largest club on campus)

    Post College Extras:
    - Lead on Networking Comittee at Kraft (Organizer of offsites and social networking events etc.)
    - Mentor at KidsNow (mentorship program for troubled youth). Hoping to get a position on the board (Strategic Planning, within the next 6 months)

    Work experience (In order) :
    -Internship at Ernst & Younge (Advisory) in Kuwait
    -Internship at Kraft Foods (Financial Analyst) Toronto, Canada
    - 2 years at Kraft Foods (promoted from Financial Analyst to Senior Financial Analyst within 11 months)
    - 8 months at LoyaltyOne (Division of ADS NYSE)  International Strategy & M&A at    
    - Working specifically on a growth/start up business in Brazil.
        – Senior people within our division gone to top schools (Chicago,HBS) and worked at tier 1 consulting firms  (BCG/Mckinsey) but no one at my level has been fed into top Bschools (new group and no one has applied yet)

    Target Schools:

    HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Chicago, Kellog, INSEAD, London Business School

    Goal:
    Management/Strategy Consulting. If possible to focus on helping companies develop consumer insights from big data (whether its loyalty programs or other techniques).

    Thank you in advance for any consideration.

  • Ms Healthcare

    I have been reading your responses on Poets
    & Quants and it has been very interesting.  I would love to get your
    take on what I could do to improve my chances of admission.  Quick stats:

     

    Age: 29, White, Female. American. (Age 30
    at potential matriculation)

    GPA: 3.25 BA Econ from large state school in
    the northeast

              3.88 Masters
    (in healthcare) from an Ivy plus school 

     

    Experience:  3 years insurance
    underwriting at large insurance company 

                            1
    year consulting internship at a Big 4 firm

               
                Current position: insurance
    underwriting at medium sized health insurance company

     

    GRE:  (157/170 Q, 161/170 V, 4.0 AWA)

     

    Extras: Membership in several
    healthcare organizations, volunteering at a local volunteer organization,
    am working on a biotech networking group w. grad school alum. Runner (training for a half marathon), sailor

     

    Goals: Working in a consulting role a focus in
    healthcare companies, continue in insurance or transition to working in a large
    academic medical center. 

     

    List: 

     

    Wharton

    Tuck

    Stern

    Johnson

    Duke

    Emory

    GA Tech

    Owen

  • Mr. Ringo

    Hi Sandy and John,

    Thank you very much for your assessment!
    It’s great to have a support like this one to pursue my goals.

    PoetsandQuants is giving me quality information regarding MBAs. I hope you can continue like this!!

  • R.Hay

    Hi,
    Could you evaluate my profile please?

    -29 year old asian american male.
    -680 GMAT. Planning on retaking, realistic goal is 700.
    -Bachelors and masters in civil engineering from a local state university.
    -California Civil Professional Engineering license.

    -Work experience 5 years total: 
    —First 2 years working on a high-profile light-rail $800MM project in Los Angeles.
    —The last 3 years working on various high profile projects ($20MM+) for the largest public utility in the US ($6B+ annual revenue).
    —Work experience range from preliminary design studies, design, construction management and project management.

    -Extra curricular:
    —Volunteer for US Department of Energy high school science competition for the past few years.
    —Numerous charitable activities through a local religious non-profit organization.

    -International exposure:
    —Lived in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore for 14 years.

    Post MBA goal: career switch to management consulting, asset management or project finance dealing with PPPs.

    Target schools: INSEAD, Oxford, AGSM, Melbourne, UCLA.

  • R.Hay

    Hi,Could you evaluate my profile please?

    -29 year old asian american male.
    -680 GMAT. Planning on retaking, realistic goal is 700.
    -Bachelors and masters in civil engineering from a local state university.
    -California Civil Professional Engineering license.

    -Work experience 5 years total: 
    —First 2 years working on a high-profile light-rail $800MM project in Los Angeles.
    —The last 3 years working on various high profile projects ($20MM+) for the largest public utility in the US ($6B+ annual revenue).
    —Work experience range from preliminary design studies, design, construction management and project management.

    -Extra curricular:
    —Volunteer for US Department of Energy high school science competition for the past few years.
    —Numerous charitable activities through a local religious non-profit organization.

    -International exposure:
    —Lived in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore for 14 years.

    Post MBA goal: career switch to management consulting, asset management or project finance dealing with PPPs.

    Target schools: INSEAD, Oxford, AGSM, Melbourne, UCLA.

  • R.Hay

    typo. NOT revenue, but $6B annual BUDGET.

  • R.Hay

    sorry for the double post. please ignore this one…

  • Guest

    FYI – Sandy is probably going to want to know your GPA(s) in order to evaluate this ….

  • R.Hay

    Undergrad GPA 2.8
    Grad GPA 3.3

  • MissCambridge

    Retake your GRE, you might have a fighting chance as an Indian competing with a nation full of MBA applicants.

  • Paul

    Hello, I am a 45 year old physician with 5 board certifications (including sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and pain medicine) and am a graduate of a Harvard (Massachusetts General Hospital) residency program. My residency program was, and remains, highly competitive and typically has over 500 applicants for 7 positions.

    I attended the Ohio State University for my Medical School and Undergraduate studies. My bachelors degree was in the biological sciences (Zoology, minor in Arabic) and I finished with a 3.51 GPA. During this time, I was caring for my mother, who was undergoing cancer treatment (the reason I decided to pursue a medical career), as well as working two jobs.

    I have taken the GMAT twice, and scored 730 and 740.

    During residency I was on the well renowned MIT blackjack card counting team (from the movie ’21′ and book, bringing down the house. I also lectured during the same timeframe as a guest in MIT’s engineering department in a course called ‘Elements of design’, which led to the development of several devices, including an ultrasound unit for preserving bone density in astronauts. I was a member of a four person team which placed as a semi-finalist in MIT’s entrepreneurial contest (at that time also known as the ’50k’) for a three dimensional ultrasound analog chip for a portable scanner.

    I hold a telemedicine patent. I’ve been a director of a well regarded surgical center in the Bay Area. I also ran a major medical practice on my own, with 5 offices in Hawaii and California. I trained clinical fellows in advanced surgical procedures of the spine between 2004-2006. I have offices and licensure in California and Hawaii, and gross in the low seven figure per year working part time.

    Frustrated by a mechanical problem in a sports car I bought in 2004, I went back to school. As a result, after graduating at the top of my class at Wyotech in Fremont, California, I am the only doctor in California who is also an automotive technician, and this, along with my training credentials, led to a lucrative consulting business dealing with accident reconstruction and Medicolegal reporting. My hobbies include martial arts (first degree black belt, Tae Kwon Do), languages (Japanese, Hindi, Spanish, Punjabi), and mounted (horseback) archery.

    I want to join Stanford or Harvard’s MBA programs in particular because I already have good medical connections at both institutions. I have an uncle who has an international banking software company in Atherton (Silicon Valley) and want to work with him on developing seamless back office support for Electronic Medical records and integrate my patent into this. I also have several ideas for medical and surgical devices which I would like to pursue through affiliations with engineering departments, and on my own at the Bay Area Techshop locations.

    I would also like to get involved in the automotive industry with designs for more efficient engines (rotary bladeless turbines). I’m obviously a non-traditional candidate. I am slow looking at spreadsheets (as a result my IR score was low) but I’m working to remedy this and feel I can definitely overcome this obstacle.

    My wife is has a law degree from Japan (Kyoto University) and an MBA from Marshall/USC. She thinks my unique background will appeal to the schools I’m shooting for, but I am concerned about my age and lack of background in finance/mathematics. I am shooting high. It is only worth leaving my lucrative practice for a top 3 program and the corresponding connections.

    Please help me assess my chances.

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