Handicapping Your Business School Odds

The first in her family to graduate from college, she now works in marketing for a Blue Chip tech company in Silicon Valley. With a 710 GMAT and a 3.47 grade point average from a top-tier University of California school, she believes an MBA will make her more strategic marketer and provide a path into management.

After a three-year stint as an equities trader, this 27-year-old recently won a promotion out of the analyst pool at a venture bank. He’s worried that his 2.76 GPA at a public Ivy university will keep him out of a world class MBA program.

A software developer for an Android maker, his only extracurricular involvement is his time in a gym. This 23-year-old works out six to seven days a week. But he has a 750 GMAT and a 3.8 GPA in computer engineering, and he wants an MBA degree in two years to transition into operations management.

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. Blue Chip Tech

  • 710 GMAT (Q85%, V83%)
  • 3.47 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics and Asian studies from a top-tier University of California school
  • Work experience consists of two years at a blue-chip tech company (not Google, Facebook, Apple or Microsoft) in marketing operations and B2B marketing; fastest amongst peers to receive promotion, with a second promotion expected in my third year
  • Extracurricular involvement in leading a student account planning team and presenting advertising campaigns; guest lecturing once or twice a year at a local, private university on real-world marketing topics; avid Yelp Elite reviewer; 5K and half-marathon runner;
  • “I plan lots of social group events and cook a lot of food”
  • Goal: To understand different parts of the business to become a more effective marketer, focused on strategy, and eventually in a management role in the tech industry
  • “Should I wait an additional year to beef up my work experience? Or apply now?”
  • Southeast Asian-American female; first in family to graduate from college

Odds of Success:

Stanford: 10% to 20%
Wharton: 30% to 40%
Northwestern: 50+%
Chicago: 50+%
Berkeley: 50+%
Harvard: 30% to 40%
MIT: 35% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: This is a case of lots of silver and probably not enough gold to get you into Stanford. A 3.47 GPA, from what I assume is not Berkeley, but some other U Cal school (top tier in your words) is solid but not outstanding. A 710 GMAT with 80+ plus on both sides is good substantively but not a finalist in a GMAT beauty contest, which is often what the GMAT is (although good enough for all schools if there were other golden elements).

You’re in B2B at a Blue Chip tech company, but not an iconic one. That is again impressive but not as impressive to schools as working for Google or Apple. Great career advancement over two years is solid and will help your recommendations (that is gold, but a lot of how it will be interpreted will be the name of the actual company and how experienced your recommenders are, although, sure, great). Extras are all industry/school-related and not helping lepers, which again is OK, but not gold.

Being an elite Yelp reviewer? Phew, that could cut two ways. Why would any normal person with a full-time job, and what seems like a lot of 3-D friends, do that? Well, you have a reason: You are a social media wonk, and that is part of your story, so it works for you. It might be interpreted differently for other applicants, especially for those on geek alert.

On the plus side, your entire bio, work, hobbies, extras and goals are all tightly bound, which is good, but again, for Stanford, maybe too good. They prefer more out of the box accomplishments for the non-elite (in terms of schooling, favorite feeder firms and stats) applicants like you. First generation college, Asian female are all pluses — but not to beat a dead horse, that is “silver” minority status and not gold (Native American or Black).

I like you a lot, and so will most business schools. I am just not seeing this as Stanford. Any chance you work for Caribou Coffee (see Top Feeder Companies to Stanford)?

You might try HBS, although you did not ask. HBS is bigger, more diverse in terms of firms it is willing to consider, and you seem their “spark-plug” type. And my guess is, Dee Leopold spends more time on Yelp than Stanford’s Derrick Bolton.

At other schools you note—Booth, Kellogg, Wharton, Haas—you are totally in range, on all counts, and it just a matter of luck, execution, getting your rec writers to perform, and convincing them you want to come. MIT/Sloan might go for someone like you as well, since you are well rounded, “soft-techy,” interesting, smart-enough and female.

LAST WEEK’S COLUMN:  What Are Your Chances of Getting In

  • wantanMBA

    Hi Sandy,

    Caucasian female, American, 23 years
    I am working in Audit at KMPG in NYC, want to go to get MBA after 2-3 years work experience (2 yrs would be better- I don’t want to put more years into audit experience when necessary when I want to switch to consulting anyway). I am really worried that audit experience will be looked down on by top MBA programs.
    720 GMAT
    Masters in Accounting and Finance from London School of Economics (graduated with Merit)
    Bachelor in Accountancy from George Washington University (3.59 cumulative GPA)
    Want to go to a top school- Harvard, Wharton, Booth, MIT, NYU, Stanford, Duke, etc.
    President of Beta Alpha Psi at George Washington University

    Please please PLEASE help me out by giving me your opinion!! I would really appreciate it!

  • Tyler

    Just some perspective (I have no idea regarding Business School).
    Undergrad: Stanford
    GPA: 3.58 in Econ
    Work Undergrad: Worked for 3 start-ups in the valley, including starting one in college that failed; Worked for a Private Wealth Management Company and an Investment Bank (Jefferies) in Technology
    Current Work: Highly competitive rotational business development program at Disney between Internal Consulting for Parks and Finance
    No GMAT yet, plan to apply in 2015

    Do I have a shot at Stanford or Harvard? My GPA is a little low, but I’m not worried about GMAT, I usually test well or standardized tests.

  • Reighlei2013

    Enhance Leadership/Mgmt and some hit on Finance.. Include Northwestern Kellogg.  People dont understand lot of people who want to goto Finance have much lesser competition in Kellogg as most of the students there are consulting or marketing focused and all the top banks hire there!

  • Sadie

    Thank you for these breakdowns. I have found them incredibly informative as an undergrad trying to figure out what I need to be doing to set myself up for admission to a top business program. Although I’m not absolutely sure what career I’m shooting for, more than likely an MBA or a masters of some sort  will be necessary so I need to be well prepared for graduate school. I realize undergrad advising may not be your area of expertise but I would truly appreciate any advice you offer. So..
    Is having an undergrad degree in business/economics/finance really “gold” and prefered over other majors?
    Is it safe to assume no one goes straight from an undergrad to an MBA program and I should prepare for at least two years of career in between?
    Are these questions are as naive as they sound?
    What questions should I be asking? 
    I am a UT freshman currently majoring in international relations but I’m on track to transfer into McCombs School of Business. I’m content to major in international relations in the liberal arts school for undergrad, but I’m worried I won’t be able to get the right kind of job to impress the top schools and just won’t be well prepared for MBA programs.
    Any tips? other than put your nose to the grindstone and get a 4.0?

  • Matt4156

    Name:  Matt
    Top Schools:  HBS, Wharton, Columbia, Chicago, MIT, any top 15
    GMAT: 720
    GPA: 3.0 (didn’t make many C’s, however did not make a lot of A’s either)
    Undergrad:  No name state school for undergrad, but did obtain B.B.A – Accounting, B.B.A – Finance, and associate degree in Economics.
    Certifications:  Licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
    Work Experience:  4 years public accounting (including “big four” firm experience) as an Auditor/Consultant.  I have work in almost every industry imaginable and jump right into every companies busiest time of year – the year end issue of financial statement (e.g – as my audit experience is on company financial statements).  Really good experience, I would like to go into consulting, high finance, or add value to my current firm.  Also, one of my biggest hobbies is the stock market, I feel comfortable putting that is my letter/ holding my own in any related conversation if a recruiter were to ask me anything specific. 
    Intangibles:  First one to graduate college in my family and am a real people person that knows the definition of respect/hard work.  I managed my own landscaping & repossession business from age 15 to 22 successfully before my professional career, was elected captain of my high school football team, and belonged to various honored business fraternities at my college.  Personal activities I enjoy currently are tennis, golf, working out, and spending time with my finance’/family.

  • Ms. Scientist/consultant

    Hi Sandy,

    I was hoping you could have a look at my profile since I couldn’t find many profiles from Europe and I have no idea what my chances will be in the US… Thank you so much in advance!

    I am an Asian female living in Europe (non uk).
    Undergraduate: double major physics and mathematics from a European university (top 100 in Times HE ranking, non uk), GPA 3.6 (according to my school’s conversion system, absolute grade was 7.5/10, I would estimate top 25% of my class)
    Graduate: masters in physics from a different European university in the same country (top 50 in Times HE ranking), GPA 3.8 (7.8/10)
    ECs: serious volunteer work at a national organization, organized three large events at uni (budget ~€300,000), student advisor of the university board, semi-professional musician, international exchange year
    Work: after graduation I’ll be starting at MBB, the plan is to apply for an, MBA after two-three years
    Long-term career goal: strategy/management in public sector or NGO (I would love to end up at UNICEF, WFP, Save the children, or the like)

    I think it will be relatively easy for me to get into one year MBA programs like insead, but I am mainly wondering what my chances in the US are. How are European degrees viewed, and is it possible to go from MBB in Europe to a top business school in the US? What GMAT should I aim for? What else can I do the coming years to improve my chances? I am mainly interested in HSW, Columbia, MIT, if these don’t work out I’ll probably just go for insead.

    Thanks for your time!

  • Lost

    And what are my chances at international schools like INSEAD, Judge-Cambridge, Said-Oxford, NUS, Nanyang, LBS?

    I already have an admit from Rotman, UofT from last year with 1 yr 3 months of work experience (no project management and pre-sales experience till then.)

  • Lost

    Hello Sandy! Hello John!

    This seems to be a long shot but I’m still putting up the highlights of my profile here. A pointer from you guys would go a long way in helping me narrow down my choices.

    Bio: 25, Indian, Female
    GMAT: 710
    UG GPA: 9.01/10, Bachelor of Technology degree in Chemical Engineering from National Institute of Technology Warangal (consistently ranked amongst the top 10 universities in India including IIT s)

    Academic Background: Graduated with Distinction. Merit Scholarship holder in UG, 4th position out of 66 students in the Chemical Engineering Batch of 2010. 

    Work-Experience: 2 years. Among a batch of 40 management trainees hired as part of a special fast-tracked management hiring initiative by Wipro Technologies. The program -Wipro STAR –the first of its kind, entails exposure to various roles such as that of a Business Analyst, Software Developer, Demand Generation and Project Management Officer over a span of 24 months. Underwent certification by ESI International on Requirement Gathering and Documentation and by Dale Carnegie ® Training on High-Impact Presentations as part of the same.§  Worked as a Software Engineer and shadow Business Analyst for a Fortune 500 US e-retailer client.§  Suggested and implemented Continuous Improvement Proposal which incorporated Lean Principles to reduce the efforts involved in the project thus resulting in a reduction of efforts and hence monetary expenses by 17%.§  Undertook a study and review of the client’s Disaster Recovery Plan and presented my findings to the Global Delivery Officer within Wipro identifying the areas with scope of improvisation.§  Awarded the ‘Silver-Striker’ certification and the ‘Feather in My Cap’ award at Wipro for technical expertise and noteworthy contribution to a project, respectively.§  Took up professional mentoring on ‘Change Initiatives’ to the next set of Wipro STARs for the Retail, Consumer Goods and Transportation Sector within Wipro.Currently working as a Project Management Officer for a European client with an employee base spread across Germany, Portugal and Netherlands. Responsibilities include resource planning and forecasting, effort planning, invoicing and improvement of operating margins.

    Extra-curricular: Nominated Member of the Students’ Council, Training and Job Placement Co-ordinator for the Chemical Batch of 2010, acted as Joint Secretary and subsequently as Additional Secretary of the Photography Club of NIT Warangal, Member of the Class Review Committee for four semesters.

    Have won numerous prizes in theme-based photography events (adjudged by Mr. Unni Pulikkal, Associate of Royal Photographic Society). Passionate cook and craftsmen. My pet peeve is to make beautiful things out of waste materials. 

    Social: Part of Wipro’s CSR Initiative Wipro Cares. Voluntary member of a youth organization during college and helped craft their fund-raising strategies.

    Goal: To use my cross-functional knowledge of the Retail industry and a thorough management education to set up a consultancy firm which would provide affordable advice to small scale/ cottage industries in India to leverage technology and contemporary competitive strategies to maintain viability and increase reach.

    Phew! It’s a bit long, I know.

    What do you think are my chances at the top 10 b-schools? Keep in mind that I am not from an affluent family and hence scholarship/financial aid would be a strong consideration for me.

  • Career Switcher

    Asian American, first generation college.

    Work: Currently work in process improvement role for a Shared Service Center (HR, Accounts payable, Travel and Expense, other support functions) for a Defense Contractor (1 year), previously did accounts payable role for Merck(8 months). prior to that was an analyst role in a college hire program for BofA in their internal real estate group supporting project managers for real estate construction projects (3 yrs).

    Extra curriculars- organize community service projects for my Sunday school group. worked as an RA to support myself in undergrad. Group leader for a $100,000 student managed investment portfolio in undergrad.

    730 GMAT
    3.8 GPA
    The University of Georgia- Bachelors in Finance

    Goal: Career switcher into I-banking, wouldn’t mind working in NYC obviously but I currently live in Charlotte NC and would like to come back to work here if possible.

    Chances at: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Tuck, Columbia, Fuqua, Darden, Kenan-Flagler

  • dgreg

    -23 Indian Female-720 GMAT(85% Q, 89% V)-3.42 GPA from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Electrical Engineering); although I was there only for 2 years, transferred from a college in India in my Junior Year (top 20, not IIT, chose to stay close to my family due to personal reasons, first class with distinction in all semesters)-I’ve been working at a small company focusing on Healthcare Finance for the last 2 years, got promoted after only one year, before any of my peers did, to senior consultant, youngest senior consultant in the history of the firm. Grew the team after a huge turnover from 3 people to 15 people. I understand the company is a weakness, but I chose a healthcare company because that is where my interests lie. The company was started by 2 Chicago MBAs 15 years ago but nobody in the company has left to get an MBA in the last few years.-I am currently also working with one of the largest hospitals in India on a micro insurance scheme for rural India-Want an MBA to compliment my Healthcare Finance skills and to be able to grow the micro-insurance scheme in rural India. I come from a family of doctors and I have grown up with healthcare chatter all around. I would have gone to medical school if not for my fear of blood, no jokes. Using my knowledge of technology and finance, I would like to start a non-profit that will find a better way to help the poorer segment of the Indian population plan for healthcare/pay for insurance. I may also choose to work for the United Nations/WHO, something I have been contemplating for a few years now.-EC: Post College: Board of Young Professionals of Chicago (leading a campaign called Organization to Community to help increase member participation); Raised over $5000 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (highest fundraiser for the City of Chicago’s half marathon program in 2011), pended to be on the 2013 Junior Board of AIDS Foundation of Chicago(Education and Policy Committee); College: Board of Directors of Honor society, single-handedly hosted the biggest corporate networking event despite the lack of interest to spend time/money on such an event because of the recession. Helped build a foot-bridge in China by working with a non-profit in Hong Kong. Board of Promoting Undergraduate Research in Engineering – Initiated liaisons with other departments to form a larger Undergraduate research oriented organization-Languages: Spanish (conversational), English, 3 Indian languages including Hindi-Interests: Triathlons, Long distance running, traveling, trying unheard-of-restaurantsChances at H/S/W, Chicago and Kellogg. Any other schools I should consider?

  • Ryan

    25, white male
    University of Notre Dame Finance/Applied Math Major
    GPA: 3.85
    GMAT: 720
    Credit Suisse Investment Banking M&A since ND
    Very involved while at ND: student government, investment club, volunteering, etc.
    Targets: all the top schools (Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, etc.)

    Specifically, does having an undergraduate business degree hurt me significantly?

  • Forel

    Hi Sandy,
    I really like your analyses and sincere comments.  I would appreciate if you could have a look at
    my profile.
     
    29 Male, From Israel.
    GMAT: 710 (V38, Q49)
    Undergrad: Aerospace Engineering from the Technion, Israel institute
    of technology. I was also on student body.
    GPA: 3.4

    Work Experience (chronologically): 3 years military service + 7 years in Defense corporations.
    3-years military service, special intelligence unit. Did some supervision on others and also helped define concepts of operation.
    5 years experience (before and during undergrad) on one of the top 3 major defense companies in Israel. Developed, tested and instructed unmanned systems. Worked with clients world wide, did some marketing and demonstrations. Received citation.
    2 years experience after graduation, same company, did system engineering and led a small group (in a matrix, 5-7 people)of integrators and engineers in a cross-industry $100M+ project.
    Current job – 1 year experience in another major defense company, as an aerospace engineer. Doing some exclusive R&D, and some analysis and flight test planning.

    Why MBA: Learn necessary skills, boost my career and get into leading positions. Do not want to stay on the technical side solely.  
    Extra – Last 2 years in a team in “Engineers Without Borders”, developing a plan to raise livelihood of 3 specific rural communities in Nepal. Also did a lot of volunteering in the recent years, from guiding gifted youth to renovating homes of less fortunate families.  
    Avid photographer, Practices Brazilian martial arts, likes trekking and backpacking.

    Target: Haas or MIT. May likely add Stanford (because of technology), Kellogg (marketing) and BoothWharton.
    Goals: In a nut shell – I would really like to work in the technology field as a product manager or in a marketing position and evolve to senior management in time. I enjoy working with people and having a wide view of things (hence management wishes).

    Thanks a lot!

  • Benbiles08

    Sandy and John,
    That’s for this great information and please take a look at my profile!

    -White male 26 y/o
    -690 GMAT (76% Q 83% V…but received 80% Q the only other time taken)
    -2.96 GPA at the US Naval Academy majoring in Economics (received 3.6 in major with As and Bs in Quan heavy classes)…grades progressed each year
    -4 year Varsity basketball player (6’10: height)…time commitment burdened GPA

    Work experience
    -Supply Corps Officer in the Navy working with logistics, finance, contracing, and customer service
    -Spent 2 years on an aircraft carrier, including an 8 month deployment to the Persian Gulf. Was in charge of the finance hub of the Carrier Strike Group and store accounts of over 5,000 Sailors aboard. Promoted into next job managing 50 personnel and responsible for the most real estate on the Ship during the deployment and a critical maintenance period as the Hotel Services Officer
    -After the carrier, offered a job to come back to the Naval Academy as the Disbursing Officer and Financial Advisor to the 4,000 Midshipmen. Personally in charge of the 4,000 student pay accounts and teaches the students about financial basics. Used innovativeness and creativity from past experiecence as a student at alma mater to better the institusiton as a staff member.
    -Spent a month in South Korea working with the other service compinents and South Korean army in war game drills to better to prepare the South Koreans for a North Korean invasion, specifically with Navy fuel logistics.

    Extracurriculars
    -Helped found the Midshipmen Investment Club and coordinates outside speakers to discuss finance with interested Midshipmen at the college
    -Youngest member (by 15 years) of the Army-Navy Country Club Finance Committee, which oversees the financial health of the private, for-prifit club with over 7,500 members
    -Tutors an underpriveleged DC area 5th grader in the House of Representatives Office building each Tuesday
    -Very active at Naval Academy alumni events and featured multiple times in alumni monthly newsletter

    Career Goals
    -An MBA would help me transition to a new career outside of the military from my regularly scheduled 5 year commitment. I have a past experience in leadership, finance, and customer service, and I would like to have an MBA build on these and help make a transition to investment banking.

    Please let me know where I stand in an attempt to gain acceptance at the top schools! Thanks!

    Ben

  • mappleby

    Hello Sandy. Here is my profile if you can review it.
    – White, male 27 years old
    – 750 GMAT (48Q 46V)
    – 3.03 GPA Mechanical Engineering (Georgia Tech)
    – Active duty Air Force officer with 4 years work experience as a program manager. Led a $30M project that was very successful and now a $120M project with a team of ~30 people. Consistently ranked #1 by my supervisors. Work with foreign governments on a daily basis.
    – Strong extra-curricular activities in college including founding a military honor society and serving on the Board of Directors for the Student Foundation. However, limited EC’s since college.
    – Overall I’m a military officer with strong leadership experiences looking to transition from the military in to finance.
    Target schools:
    Wharton, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, Fuqua

  • French

    Hello Sandy, I would really appreciate if you could review my profile. I intend to apply for entering class of 2013. Thanks !

    – Caucasian male, French, 23-24 years old.

    – 3.58 GPA from a B-school in Paris with BBA in finance and marketing; valedictorian.

    – 740 GMAT

    – Work experience: 2 years at a boutique investment bank in NYC specialized in the Power & Utilities industry (3 at matriculation – went straight from graduation). Very small (6 bankers total), so much less deal-flow than BB, but more exposure. Boss is a Harvard U undergrad and Harvard Law grad, taught at B-school, and has connections on Harvard U board. Three alumni from my school in France worked at the bank (one 10 years ago, the two others left 2 years ago), and all three ended up at Tuck.

    – CFA level III candidate. Took it a week ago, waiting for results.

    – Extras: At school: was part of a student organization that welcomes US exchange students. In junior year, spent a semester at a Emory Goizueta; founded a club on the GMAT there.

    – Goals post-MBA: work in asset management (HF/PE/Mutual fund). If I can’t, stay in IB.

    Target schools in order of preference:
    – Harvard
    – Stanford
    – Wharton
    – Columbia 
    – MIT
    – UCLA
    – NYU 
    – Cornell
    – Texas-Austin
    – USC

  • James

    Re-posting my comment as the bullet points in my previous post were not shown. Sorry about that.

    Hi Sandy and John,
    I would greatly appreciate it if you can evaluate my profile. THANKS VERY MUCH!!!GMAT 740Undergraduate degree double majors in electrical engineering and computer science at California State University. GPA 3.26Graduate degree in electrical engineering at UC San Diego. GPA: 3.7Work experiences: five years of solid IC chip design experiences for wireless communication products at a global semiconductor company; strong analytical skills; work closely with clients to discuss spec; work closely with vendors to evaluate the tools; top performer in the team; earliest promotion to a senior engineer position.Extracurricular activities: actively fundraise for HIV/AIDS charity; Participated in aidslifecycle, a 7-day cycling tour from SF to LA, to raise money for HIV services and awareness of HIV/AIDS; formed a team to fundraise for SF AIDS Walk; volunteered for community events to support for equality.Short term goal: switch to management consulting with a specialized team in technologies.Long term goal: switch to PE firm specialized in technologies.30-year-old asian male. Native of Taiwan. Came to the US at the age of 17 as an international student. First in the family to study in the US and graduate from college.Target schools: HBS, MIT, Wharton, Columbia, Kellog, Berkeley, Duke, UCLA

  • James

    Hi Sandy and John,
    I would greatly appreciate it if you can evaluate my profile. THANKS VERY MUCH!!!GMAT 740Undergraduate degree double majors in electrical engineering and computer science at California State University. GPA 3.26Graduate degree in electrical engineering at UC San Diego. GPA: 3.7Work experiences: five years of solid IC chip design experiences for wireless communication products at a global semiconductor company; strong analytical skills; work closely with clients to discuss spec; work closely with vendors to evaluate the tools; top performer in the team; earliest promotion to a senior engineer position.Extracurricular activities: actively fundraise for HIV/AIDS charity; Participated in aidslifecycle, a 7-day cycling tour from SF to LA, to raise money for HIV services and awareness of HIV/AIDS; formed a team to fundraise for SF AIDS Walk; volunteered for community events to support for equality.Short term goal: switch to management consulting with a specialized team in technologies.Long term goal: switch to PE firm specialized in technologies.30-year-old asian male. Native of Taiwan. Came to the US at the age of 17 as an international student. First in the family to study in the US and graduate from college.Target schools: HBS, MIT, Wharton, Columbia, Kellog, Berkeley, Duke, UCLA

  • Female Engineer in Mining

    Oops! no clue what happened to the format of my previous post. Hopefully this one will read better.

    Hi Sandy & John
    Could you please help me predict my chances of getting into one of the mentioned business schools? Also, I will portray my application so as to use the ‘female engineer in mining’ part to my advantage. Could you please advice whether it will be the correct approach?

    Details – 27 years old female, Indian Origin but migrated to New Zealand when I was 18. (Moved to Australia 2 years back).
    –  Electrical Engineering from the best university in NZ
    –  3.67 GPA (a GPA of 4 for the last 2 years), nominated in the Dean’s list for 3rd and 4th year
    –  Received NZ Aluminium Smelters Undergraduate Prize in my final year
    –  GMAT score – 720 (49Q, 38V)

    Work Experience

    –  4 yrs of experience working as an Engineer and Job Manager at one of the top Australian consulting firm. Worked in NZ with the company for 2 yrs and then took a transfer to their Australian office 2 yrs back.

    – Have been concentrating solely on mining jobs for the past two years. I am the only female electrical engineer in my team. Have experience for site work as well. When on site, I was pretty much the only female engineer in the office (planning to use this to my advantage in the application). Should I mention any incidences to indicate how hard it was to be taken seriously as a female engineer?

    – Have been seconded to 2 other Australian offices for 3 months to work on high profile Defense and Hospital projects. So have travelled a lot from work.

    Extracurricular

    – Mentored in university as part of a program called STEPS and was a Uniguide for 2 yrs (a program initiated to help new students adjust with uni life)
    – Was a member of Women in Engineering in University and was took the role of the Treasurer for one yr
    – Part of the Young Professionals committee at work and have organized various events such as Multi-cultural day and marathons
    –  Have done some volunteer work at old age centre

    Goal
    – I want to stay in the mining industry, however want to move to Project Engineering and ultimately Project Management position. Hence, need to enhance my leadership and management skills and get a better grasp of this beast called finance.

    The universities I will be applying to are – Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago, MIT and Columbia. Is there any other university that I should apply to as well?
    Thanks in advance!

  • Female Engineer in Mining

    Hi Sandy & JohnCould you please help me predict
    my chances of getting into one of the mentioned business schools? Also, I will
    portray my application so as to use the ‘female engineer in mining’ part to my
    advantage. Could you please advice whether it will be the correct approach?

    Details – 27 years old female, Indian
    Origin but migrated to New Zealand when I was 18. (Moved to Australia 2 years
    back).  

    –        
    Electrical
    Engineering from the best university in NZ

    –        
    3.67
    GPA (a GPA of 4 for the last 2 years), nominated in the Dean’s list for 3rd
    and 4th year

    –        
    Received
    NZ Aluminium Smelters Undergraduate Prize in my final year

    –        
    GMAT
    score – 720 (49Q, 38V)

    Work Experience

    –        
    4
    yrs of experience working as an Engineer and Job Manager at one of the top Australian
    consulting firm. Worked in NZ with the company for 2 yrs and then took a
    transfer to their Australian office 2 yrs back.

    –        
    Have
    been concentrating solely on mining jobs for the past two years. I am the only
    female electrical engineer in my team. Have experience for site work as well. When
    on site, I was pretty much the only female engineer in  the office (planning to use this to my advantage in the application). Should I
    mention any incidences to indicate how hard it was to be taken seriously as a
    female engineer?

    –        
    Have
    been seconded to 2 other Australian offices for 3 months to work on high
    profile Defense and Hospital projects. So have travelled a lot from work.

    Extracurricular

    –        
    Mentored
    in university as part of a program called STEPS and was a Uniguide for 2 yrs (a
    program initiated to help new students adjust with uni life)

    –        
    Was
    a member of Women in Engineering in University and was took the role of the
    Treasurer for one yr

    –        
    Part
    of the Young Professionals committee at work and have organized various events
    such as Multi-cultural day and marathons

    –        
     Have done some volunteer work at old age
    centre

      

    Goal

    –        
    I
    want to stay in the mining industry, however want to move to Project Engineering
    and ultimately Project Management position. Hence, need to enhance my
    leadership and management skills and get a better grasp of this beast called finance

     

    The universities I will be applying to
    are – Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago, MIT and Columbia. Is there any other
    university that I should apply to as well?  Thanks in advance!

  • EagleMarketer

    I’m a bit concerned that I don’t have enough experience to be a competitive applicant. Any insight into this would be great.

  • EagleMarketer

    Hi Sandy it’d be greatly appreciated if you looked over my profile.

    730 GMAT (Q73%, V99%)
    3.47 GPA

    Undergraduate degree in Communication from “lower” Ivy (Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth etc)

    Work experience includes 2 years at The Nielsen Company doing marketing consulting for major clients in the CPG industry. Have already received a promotion. Extracurricular involvement includes Assistant Scout Master for Boy Scout troop I’ve been involved with since the 1st grade (I’m an Eagle Scout). I’m also heavily involved with on campus recruiting. 

    My goal is to go into marketing or brand management.  

    24 year old African American male.

    What are my chances at:

    Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellog, Columbia, and Tuck

  • pezz361356

    Hi Sandy – I’d be interested to know how you would rank my odds based on my information below:
    Demographics: 26 year old white male. UK National, now resident of UAE.
    GMAT: 700+ (minimum predicted off practice tests, hopefully higher when sat next month)
    Undergrad GPA: UK Degree classification 2:1 (Upper Second Class with Honours). Degree was in Quantity Surveying Consultancy, essentially managing the commercial & contractual matters for construction projects. Through 2 years additional personal study I am also achieved Chartered Professional membership status for one of the world’s largest professional associations.
    Pre-Grad Work experience: 4 years part time work experience for a construction consultancy during undergrad degree (required great time management skills, had rocky start in first year of degree, then improved year on year).
    Post-Grad Work Experience: 4 years total post grad experience. Consisting of 3 years fulltime with a medium sized London based construction consultancy (1 year of which I was based out of the head office of a large global investment bank, leading the commercial & contractual side of their London HQ facilities enhancement project), steady promotions & rapid progression are demonstrable. The last year I have moved to Dubai, where I have been promoted to a senior cost manager position at a fortune 500 construction consulting & engineering company, managing several members of staff, managing construction budgets for projects up to $1.6bil. 
    Extracurriculars: Raised money for charity by organising a rally from London to Mongolia using a
    thoroughly unsuitable car.
    Voted onto the UAE National Board for one of the world’s largest professional associations.
    Currently learning Arabic.
    Whilst on undergrad was voted student representative every year of attendance.
    Target Schools: Harvard, Wharton, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, Booth
    Career goals: Big 3 strategy consulting firm.

    Thanks in advance. Mr Construction Consultant

  • hbsguru

    Ha ha, the application has changed but not your chances, they are still looking for pretty much the same thing.  Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • mrbojangles6891

    Sandy,

    Would greatly appreciate you taking a look at my candidacy and providing
    feedback.

    Background: 26 year old
    white male

    GMAT: 610 (Q40 55%, V34 70%),
    have taken 5 times, GMAT is not my thing, obviously. Will have to address this
    head on in optional essay. Will schools still give me a shot considering my GPA
    and the other parts of my candidacy?

    Undergraduate degree from
    the best and largest college in Washington State. Double major in Political
    Science and Economics, with a minor in Spanish. GPA for each program is 3.76,
    3.69 and 3.88, respectively.

    Undergraduate honors include:
    Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

    Undergraduate club membership:
    Finance Club and Management Consulting Club. Was VP of Recruitment for the
    Finance Club bringing in finance professionals from the local economy to speak
    to students, and for prospective internship opportunities.

    International Experience:
    semester studying abroad in Spain, lived with host family that didn’t speak any
    English. I am fluent in Spanish. I am targeting 2 European schools, LBS and
    IESE, hoping to bank on the American candidacy affinity and proven intl.
    desire.

    Work Experience: have
    worked 4 years straight (will be 5 by the time I plan to leave) for one of the
    largest banks in the United States, in the commercial real estate banking
    division.

    Years 0-1, I was 1 of 20
    undergrad students chosen to partake in the 12 month nationwide commercial real
    estate analyst program, engaged in credit analysis of commercial properties,
    due diligence of real estate projects, commercial lending, cash flow modeling
    and debt underwriting processes.

    Years1-2, after one year
    was awarded my first promotion whereby I managed $175 million of commercial
    real estate debt across property types of: multi-family, office, retail,
    industrial, self-storage, hotel and mixed use. Increased our division’s risk
    adjusted return on capital by over 18% in 12 months. Mentored the income
    analyst at this point.

    Years 2-4, after 1 year I
    was promoted again with increased responsibility of monitoring and managing
    $475 million of CRE debt for the NW portfolio. Underwrote the division’s
    largest deal of 2011 (hotel portfolio acquisition, totaling over 1,000 rooms
    across 10 properties). In this role, I structured over 30 loans for development
    of various property types, generating over $12 million in revenue for the
    company. In Dec 2011, was awarded the “12th man” award for
    leadership, based on a 360-degree review; only 1 was given away in our
    division. I am currently in this role now.

    Leadership: mentor to
    incoming analyst (from #1 public school in the country) as he completed the
    12-month training program, was tasked to train him with on the job tasks/procedures.
    I am a committee member of a local industry non-profit and also involved in
    developing leaders within the local economy.

    Community Service:
    Homework helper at local public library where I assist teens with English and
    math homework to develop academic skills, primarily for ESL students (many
    Hispanics, where I can use my language skills to connect with kids to learn
    concepts better).

    Interests: golfing (10
    handicap), Spanish culture, real estate development, international travel (been
    to 15 countries), and 80’s Music!

    ST Goals: Lending to /
    investing in companies/organizations in Latin America to help local economies
    recover who are in need of capital and investment, for growth and increase
    jobs. Hopefully tying into industries of PE, real estate, or REITs.

    LT Goals: Open my own
    equity fund to facilitate these outcomes on a grander scale, hopefully
    internationally.

    Why MBA?: In order to advance career, bolster
    areas of weakness (i.e. the developer/equity side of things, rather than the
    bank/debt side. I have experience in debt underwriting and portfolio
    management, but need the core curriculum to bolster my existing skills and fill
    in the gaps where I am not as strong. MBA now for progression reasons as there
    is no room for career elevation without an MBA.

    Target Schools:
    Georgetown, UNC, Texas Austin, LBS, IESE. Columbia is my dream school, but I
    don’t think they will see past my GMAT score. I feel I have a much better shot
    at the others. Would welcome your take on my “fit” for these schools, or
    other’s you’d recommend.

    Thank you kindly!

     
     

  • Mr. Teacher-cum-Author

    Hi Sandy,
                    Mr. Teacher-cum-Author

    ·  –   Indian
    male, will turn 24 years in August 2012

    ·  –   710
    GMAT (V 36 Q 50)

    ·  –   8.45
    out of10.0 GPA (non-IIT) second tier tech school in India, first in family to
    go to college

    ·  –   Undergrad
    major was Computer science & engineering

    ·  –   Work experience:
    currently doing two years teaching stint for TFA’s India arm in an urban slum
    school 

    ·  –   Internship
    at the Ministry of Education of a large State to improve the quality of
    schools; worked under the Secretary (top bureaucrat)

    ·  –   Have
    written a book on the lives of slum children, which is due for publication in
    the last quarter of the year. Possibility that the book might be foreworded by
    an Indian industry stalwart and philanthropist.

    ·  –   Extra-currics: Managed the
    first high-profile international tech symposium at my college, worked with Head
    librarian to improve the condition of college library

    ·  –  Reason for MBA: Gain knowledge of global
    economics, finance and strategy, to complement existing skills of teamwork,
    communication and problem solving

    ·  –   Goal- To work in consulting for
    3-5 years, and then in international development (at the World Bank or the
    IFC); long term goal is to work with the Indian government on education and
    development.

    ·  –   May get
    one rec from the top 2 people in my organisation

    ·  –   Schools: Stanford (dream
    school), Harvard, Wharton, MIT, Northwestern Kellogg, Booth, Ross, Tuck and
    Darden. Also suggest other schools where you think I may have a better shot.

    ·  –   What are my odds at top
    MPA/MPP schools like Harvard Kennedy or Princeton WWS?

    ·  –   Would chances (at Stanford
    especially) improve if I take GMAT again and score like 730-740? I don’t think
    I will get more than that.

  • TechGuy

    740 GMAT3.8 GPAUndergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from a California state school. A few CS graduate courses at Stanford with As.Work Experience: 3 years at Intel in an engineering position with an increasing level of responsibility with a stint in IsraelFounded a local tech entrepreneurship club. College honor society officer.Goal: To create the next generation robotic systems used to fully automate labor intensive tasks such as construction and farmingMiddle-eastern immigrant, first in family.Target: Stanford, HBS, MIT

  • TechGuy

    740 GMAT 3.8 GPAUndergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from a California state school. A few CS graduate courses at Stanford with As.Work experience consists of 3 years at Intel in an engineering position with an increasing level of responsibility with a stint in IsraelFounded a local tech entrepreneurship club. College honor society officer.Goal: To create the next generation robotic systems used to fully automate labor intensive tasks such as construction and farmingMiddle-eastern immigrant, first in family.Target: Stanford, HBS, MIT

  • Ms. Talent Management

    Hi Sandy,
    Please consider my profile below.
    Female, 28 at matriculation (barely), caucasian.
    740 (Q: 80th percentile, V: 97th percentile)
    3.66 English (with Economics minor) Mid-Tier Liberal Arts
    Schools: Stanford, Booth, Kellogg, Tuck, Ross, Darden

    Work Experience:
    5 years in Accenture’s management consulting practice, specializing in human capital & talent management.  Currently a manager having been fast-track promoted twice and receiving excellent ratings (including top 5%).  I’ve done people-focused work in technology implementations, organization redesigns, and post merger integration.  I have management experience (both client and consultant, including offshore teams)

    Extra Curriculars:
    Heavily involved Accenture “extras”: Women’s mentoring, Green Practices Initiative, Recruiting (5 years)
    Pro-bono consulting work for environmental not-for-profit doing strategic planning and culture alignment work (2 years)
    Mentorship for young woman with Autism through local community center (1.5 years)

    Goals:
    Short Term is to get into an MBB strategy practice for a few years to build out experiences before launching my own small firm focused on intersection of talent and strategy.

    I know I don’t have any gold plated anything, and I will have to well articulate the “why now” (as I’m a bit “old” for the consulting set) and “why mba” as opposed to working on internal transfers, etc.  Assuming I could execute well, what do you think my chances are?

  • kingfalcon

     Good to know. Thanks for the reply, Sandy.

  • Mr. Defense Enginner

     Extracurricular:  Volunteer training and raising seeing-eye dogs.
                             Volunteer at a dog shelter doing photography and general kennel help.
                             Founder & Captain of competitive soccer team. 

  • Mr. Defense Enginner

     Hi,

    I would love to hear Sandy’s assessment of my profile.  I’m looking to go to HBS or MIT in Fall 2013.

    GMAT: 760

    GPA: Undergrad 3.74, Masters 3.75
    Undergrad:  U. of Rochester, Electrical & Computer Eng.
    Masters:     Cornell, Electrical & Computer Eng.

    Work Experience:  6 years at a Defense Contractor in Massachusetts (Raytheon) as an electrical & software engineer.  Was promoted to Sr. Engineer after 3 years.  Lots of integration work which involves solving problems.

    Recommendations:  Can get at least one exceptional recommendations and two good ones.  Strong analytical and technical recs, not a lot of leadership experience.

    Goal: To apply my exceptional analytical skills in a consulting / operations role.

    Demographics:  29 year old white male.  US.

  • Mr. CPA Controller

    Hi,

    I’d greatly appreciate it if Sandy could paint some insight
    on my profile, I am looking to matriculate Fall ’13.

    GMAT: 750

    Undergrad: UCLA Business Economics Major w/ a minor in
    accounting.

    Undergrad Leadership experience: Business fraternity president,
    Principal violist for school symphony

    GPA: 3.44                                                      

    Credentials: Licensed CPA

    Work Experience:

    0-1: public accounting at a regional firm in the bay area

    1-2.5: jumped to Big 4 public accounting

    2.5 – 4 (matriculation): Controller at a 60-person up and
    coming SaaS start-up in SF. Main responsibilities are basically developing the
    overall accounting principles of the company (revenue recognition, equity
    compensation) and managing overall finances. Specific duties include budgeting
    & forecasting, cash flow planning and management, management of company
    financial Big 4 audit, and leading operational efficiencies in the company.
    When it comes time to apply, I’ll try to have set quantifiable results that I
    can actually list. (cost savings, revenue increases, etc.)

    Extra-Curricular: Stemming from my experiences in my
    fraternity, I’ve always have had an interest in mentorship. A year ago I
    created an organization that connects young working professionals with high
    school students via forums and Q&A sessions with an emphasis on colleges
    & careers. So far we’ve hosted a number of speaking events at my local high
    school. I will continue to try to grow this group and get more events going. Aside
    from this personal project I’m also part of the Big Brother Big Sister program
    in the Bay Area and am currently mentoring a 15-year old SF high school
    student. I also actively participate in my fraternity’s alumni mentorship
    program – helping undergrads seeking employment in public accounting. I believe
    there is a lot of value in seeking out a great mentor as well as being one. I
    hope to find mentors in business school.

    Post-MBA Goal: Short term – Hope to leverage my past
    accounting & finance experience, both from an external audit and internal
    financial operations perspective, to get into a financial services arm in a
    top-tier consulting firm and focus primarily on strategy & corporate
    finance consulting. Long term – eventually jump back into industry in a
    FP&A Director/CFO role.

    Ethnicity/Gender/Age: Asian American Male, I will be 26 at
    matriculation.

    A couple additional notes to make my profile even more
    accurate:

    –         
    Ironically my GPA was brought down by pretty
    poor accounting grades. (and now I am a CPA) My GPA in my economic courses was
    what brought it up. Also, I tried out some programming courses, didn’t end
    well. (had to drop out of one right before finals)

    –         
    Recommendations: I plan to get recommendations
    from my Big 4 colleagues. I’m not sure if I can get any from my current
    work  due to the practical matter of,
    well, I’m not sure I want them to know I want to leave for B-School

    Schools of Interest (sorry for the long list): H/S/W, Booth,
    Kellogg, MIT, Haas, Columbia. Also, if you don’t mind evaluating me for INSEAD
    and LBS that would be great.

    Thanks!

     

  • Entertainment Finance Guy

    Sandy,

    I would love to hear your thoughts on my profile below.

    -GMAT 700
    -GPA 3.1 in economics from well respected school in upstate NY
    -College athlete 4 years
    -Currently working TV Studio Corp Fin FP&A at one of the major media entertainment congloms MVPD, have worked on both creative side as an assistant (1.5 yrs) and transferred internally to financial role (2 years).
    -Extras include Boy Scout adult leader for 1 year currently, Volunteer with company in various different capacities most frequently for Project Sunshine.
    -Hobbies: Men’s soccer league, Screenwriting
    -Goal: want to break into entertainment finance at a PE shop or Film Fund.
    -25 year old white male
    -Targets: Columbia, NYU, UCLA, USC, Wharton

  • HBS Question

    Sandy will you be assessing chances for these posts HBS differently now that admissions have changed?

  • Army Guy

    Sandy,

    I’d appreciate your assessment of the following:

    GMAT- 690(73%Q)
    GPA- 3.85
    Degree in quant heavy major at West Point
    -Engineer officer with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Commanded over 250 soldiers in Afghanistan.  Also managed millions of dollars in infrastructure projects in conjunction with Iraqi and Aghan governments (power plants, water treatment and irrigation).
    -Lots of extras, post running team, started several clubs through the Army community, some time as a single dad while wife deployed.
    -Goal is not conventional, and is my biggest concern.  I’ll be staying in the Army, in a job that requires an MBA.   Long term I want to change the way the Corps of Engineers work, so issues that I saw in the Iraq rebuild don’t happen again.  I’d also like to take the Army/DOD in a direction that helps spur economic development high threat areas of the world
    -29 year old white male
    -Target schools: Stanford, Harvard, UCLA, HAAS, Duke

  • hbsguru

    well, they all like big stats, but the top 10ers who may give you extra credit are Wharton, Columbia, MIT (for 760+ GMATs esp.), NYU, and Yale a little since they are trying to move up in rankings.

  • enigmatic

    Hi Sandy,

    Could you please assess my profile? Also, could you shed some light on how B-Schools deal with different undergrad scoring methodologies esp. for international applicants?

    Indian Male. 26 yrs
    Applying for: 2013

    GMAT: 760 (Q49, V44, AWA 5.5)

    Undergrad GPA: 3.4/4/0 (This is the figure I got from my grad school in the US- they converted using their own model) I have a BE in Mechanical Engineering. A percentage scale is used in my undergrad school and I secured a 1st class with distinction.

    Grad GPA: 3.75/4.0, MS in Mechanical Engg from a top 20 Engineering Grad school in the US. Plenty of advanced coursework

    Work Ex: Worked for less than a year with a top IT consulting and business solutions firm in India
    After grad school, have been working for 1.5 yrs with a Fortune 500 truck company (not many B-school applicants from this sector, dunno if this will work for or against me). I have been working on a challenging Dept. of Energy sponsored project to reduce US dependence on oil by improving fuel economy of trucks by 50%. I have demonstrated strong leadership skills in my current role.

    Extra curricular: Volunteer with Junior Achievement (JA). Have provided start-to-finish help to several friends and acquaintances from my home country, with the daunting and unfamiliar grad school application process. Organized social tech events in undergrad college that were attended by thousands.

    Short term goal: Consulting job with focus on international business.
    Long term goal: Start own business in a developing economy.

    Target Schools: HBS, Stanford, MIT, Booth, Kellogg, Columbia

  • Officer and a Gentleman

    Mr. Kreisburg,

    700 GMAT
    3.2 Northwestern (Economics)
    Varsity Athlete (Full Scholarship)
    Fluent in Mandarin 
    Created a Instructional DvD that is selling worldwide (150+ and counting)
    Interned at Citibank between Junior and Senior year( specifically Sales and Trading Fixed Income) yet decided to become a officer in the United States Marine Corps
    Currently overseas, as a platoon commander of a forward deployed unit with a secondary job of military linguist (Mandarin).

    Looking at 
    HBS
    Wharton
    Kellogg
    Stanford
    Dartmouth

    Are my extracurricular activities enough to hide my GPA ?

  • Golfer

    adding to my previous post for clarity: I complete 5 yrs workex in another month. applied to HBS, Kellogg, Tuck, LBS in R2 for 2012 intake (680 gmat) and LBS, Yale, Columbia, Kellogg, Duke, Darden in R1 for 2011 intake. 

    ST career goals- work with high impact entrepreneurship firm (think Endeavor)
    LT career goals- start my own VC fund/ startup advisory firm back in India. (in 7 years)  

  • Golfer

    Sandy, Bet this’ll be an interesting case to analyze:

    Indian, Male, 25. Belong to a family that started Non-Profits in the Rural Education space, and spent ample teenage hours on field, assisting parents. My Workex and Education makes me converge my management/ consulting background to my non-profit upbringing, as I define my career goals in advising socially beneficial startups post MBA. Navigated family through turbulent challenges to be a breadwinner since the age of 22.

    Liberal Arts undergrad from India’s #1 college. Scored a 53% aggregate in my dual major, Economics & History (top 20% of class). studied newly introduced course, high cuttoff marks. I was first batch, now course doing very well. President, Placement Cell- convinced all leading IBanks and Consulting majors to recruit- to create a new trend and a blueprint for indian undergrad recruitments in the non-tech space. President- Alumni Cell as well, and as Editor-Yearbook, created first all color version in 125 yrs rich history of college. Perhaps justifies low marks and non-traditional course, and also depicts risk-taking ability. GPA not awarded. GMAT- 700 [85 %ile Quant / 81 %ile Verbal] but on 4th attempt. Blew the first attempt and 2nd and 3rd attempt had me scoring 680 each. Plan to enroll for CFA and complete either 1 or 2 levels before applying [to depict quantitative prowess to adcom, and also advance towards career goals]. Re-applicant, currently work for the firm I mentioned in my app as as my post mba ideal job.

    full time work-ex:
    2 years 9 months in Big 4 advisory (Process consulting). Supply Chain consulting for india’s largest companies, primarily in FMCG/ Consumer Markets and also in Metals/Mining space. Team Lead role as an analyst, often and recognised as exceptional performer throughout. Earned an exclusive promotion. next 2 years in corporate strategy, of country’s largest law firm. startup team, navigated enormous personal challenges, to win faith/ credibility of topmost stakeholders. setup a unique first of a kind business for the firm. currently: volunteer consultant at a nonprofit standout where I advise entrepreneurs build businesses to create income, wealth and employment opportunities. [read business consulting for startups]. Earn a modest stipend, took huge paycut, to progress towards career goals.
    also launching an online venture with two college buddies on the side. [huge potential as per us].

    part-time workex: incubated a friend’s startup, and serve on their board. advise on expansion, growth and investor relations. involved for past 3 years. also advised a government affiliated thinktank [financial consulting] for 4 months.

    3 pillars of my life [consulting, entrepreneurship, social] converge at this point. hence right time to pursue MBA and move over to financing+ advising high impact entrepreneurship. Dream Co- Endeavor!
    Contemplating between R2 this year (Sloan) and ED (Columbia, Tuck, Duke) /R1 (Haas, Darden, Ross) next year [or a split strategy]. Wish to gauge odds for HBS, Stanford, Wharton as well. 

  • Sandy, I’m a bit below your level of expertise, but I think I’m an unusual and interesting case…

    Timeframe:  Applying for Fall ’13

    Score:
    700 GMAT (Q42, V44) Shooting for 720 on retake. Similar recent GRE percentiles.

    Education:
    Double major Sociology and Philosophy from non-Chapel Hill UNC campus. 3.4 GPA
    Two years graduate study in Sociology from middling program (left before thesis/earning MS) 3.8 GPA

    Professional:
    Two years PM at an industry-specific research institute (trucking).
    Four years senior PM at an industry-specific consultancy (travel behavior data collection).
    Worked primarily with state and fed govt. clients (MPO’s, DOT’s, FHWA, etc.).  Published several journal articles in well respected journals (within their field).

    Extra-curricular:
    Lots of interesting small things, but nothing that shows great leadership.  Call it next-to-nil.

    Goal:  
    Starting my own consultancy at the nexus of govt. and private sector with a focus on shaping industry regulatory rule-making via rigorous research.  Also interested in market research but worried that my lack of experience would scare uni’s.

    Personal Profile:  Handsome, personable 29-year old white guy from modest means (first-gen college). Urbane and those in positions of power like me.  Married and no kids anytime soon.  Willing to move almost anywhere for MBA, with only fear of regionally-specific recruitment at graduation.

    Programs:
    Reach–UCLA, Cornell, UT Austin, Carnegie, Emory, USC
    Let’s Hope–Georgetown, Notre Dame, Rice, ASU, Texas A&M, UC Davis
    Safety?–BC, BU, Rochester, Irvine, UT Dallas

    Things I would love to get your perspective on:
    1.  The impact of the abandoned earlier graduate study (essentially, the program was ridiculously poorly run and I realized too late that I didn’t want to be an academic).  Does finishing All-But-Thesis demonstrate ability to complete grad-level work or lack of follow-through?  Hoping my solid 6-year professional history negates the latter.
    2.  How far does GMAT go as you move down the rankings?  At what differential between a program’s mean GMAT and a candidate’s high score does the prospect of raising the mean compel a program to overlook everything else?  I would think this would be even more tempting for schools with small class sizes where attracting a few enrollees with really high scores can drive up the mean quickly.
    3.  How much does current employment influence adcom?  I feel there is about 50% likelihood my firm will have gone bankrupt before the time adcoms are reviewing my app.  I’ll get by financially and basically I’m biding my time before the MBA, but what would look best on the resume?  Finding another job in current field or something unusual (Americorps, teaching English in China, etc.) for the year prior to enrollment?

  • Mr Love

    A followup for Mr Love credentials, would like to apply to the following universities:

    Harvard
    Stanford
    Wharton
    Sloan 
    Kellogg
    Booth
    Haas
    Columbia

    THANKS!!! John

  • Mr Love

    Hey John, 

    If you could take a look at my credentials that would be wonderful!!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    GPA: 2.80 (from a no ranking US university)
    GMAT: 730

    Work 3 years at a billion dollar health care company (similar to Ecolab or J&J), listed in NYSE in the purchasing and accounting department.
    At the same time volunteering 2 years as a board member (Director of Development) of the board of directors at a local non-profit organization that provides services to elderly.
    At the same time volunteering 2 years as a board member (Treasurer) of the board of directors at at a local non-profit art center.

    Extra: During college years volunteer at an animal shelter and  an elderly non-profit organization. Also participate as a member of my college Student Government.

    Currently working in the United States as a foreign worker (H1-b1 visa). A non US citizen / PR.
    Speak 3 different languages and various dialects.

    Again, thanks for all your help!!!

  • GMATster

    Hi John,

    Wondering if you can cover me.  I read your posts actively and just finished my GMAT, so I feel inspired to take a shot and hope you’ll give me a bio, .

    College:  Southern Ivy, Not Duke
    GPA:  3.57, Computer Engineering/Math double, management minor
    GMAT:  760 (48Q, 46V)

    Work:  9 months as a coder at a tech startup, 10 months at Deloitte/Accenture/PWC Consulting as an analyst, 2 years at tech startup focused on big data for financial services firms.  Received a promotion to senior analyst at the later, and I’ve done work in the UK, Czech, Singapore all on-site.  I also led an engagement in the UK and continue to manage the ongoing statistical analysis services we perform there

    Extras:  Top speaker honors at collegiate Model UN while at undergrad, officer in that club as well as officer in an engineering society.  I’m now the CTO of a small non-profit with a focus on reducing bullying for young children.  I’ll be up-front here.  Me and another fellow built their website, which allows them to sell their products and membership to schools online and fund the non-profit.  Call myself CTO anyway since I’m the only programmer…

    Chances at…Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, UChicago, MIT, Tuck?

    Thanks in advance for your help and appreciate the writing either way!

  • Oelrais

    One additional data point: GMAT was (85th pct Math/83rd pct Verbal, 92nd Overall).  Thank you.

  • Groucho

    Black Male/Underprivileged upbringingGRE: 1570 (800 Quantitative)Undergrad: DartmouthWork Experience. JP Morgan and various PE shopsGPA: 2.7 (!…but i have good reasons/mitigating factors)
    What are my chances at Wharton, HBS, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Tuck, Sloan, Yale, and Duke?

  • Oelrais

    -33 year old male, middle eastern decent
    -3.2 from Yale, statistics degree, 4y-intercollegiate athlete, year 2001 degree
    -Started one very successful club while in school
    -710 gmat
    -2 years as an exotic derivatives trader at JP Morgan, 4 years BNP Paribas, promoted to Vice President, international experience, in depth subprime crisis experience, managed family money for 3 years after 2008 crisis due to difficult job market and personal circumstances
    -Re-entered corporate environment in a top 3 credit rating agency in August 2011
    -Looking for a career change into strategic consulting for financial institutions, need to build my network, enjoy the MBA experience, and fully focus on building skills for a successful career change in a competitive job market
    – Looking for August 2013 entry
    – Schools targeted: Top 10 US MBA programs, + LBS, INSEAD

  • Joshua Satterfield

    – 26 yr old male, white with a little Native American
    – 3.65 from BYU
    – 700 GMAT
    – 2 yrs at Goldman Sachs working in the operations division with one promotion
    – 7 months as Director of Public Relations for a small nonprofit (Sustain Haiti Inc.) and worked up to Executive Director; remained Executive Director for 1 yr
    – 2 year church mission with extensive leadership experience including managing 190 missionaries
    – Internships with Ashoka (nonprofit) and Teach for America (Internship director)
    – Looking to start or join a Venture Capital firm to support for-profit organizations which have a social mission (think TOMS)

    B-School Choices: Yale, NYU, Duke, Georgetown, UCLA

  • Hawaii Sailor

    -Have not taken GMAT yet. 700+-3.75 GPA-BS in Political Science from Carnegie Mellon with honors, top graduating student in department-Second BS in Math, 3.62 GPA, from average big city public university (I was thinking about being an academic economist, but decided against it) but phi beta kappa, magna cum laude, and again, top graduating student in department-5 years as a Naval Officer- Graduated from Nuclear Power School, and have spent the last 3 years on destroyers in Pearl Harbor as a Surface Warfare Officer.-Extracurricular involvement is volunteering with Surfrider Oahu working on beach clean-up. Avid SCUBA diver- working toward Divemaster and Instructor qualifications. I love ships and the ocean and never want to be far from it.-Goal: Looking for something more dynamic than a government bureaucracy- I’m thinking about working in venture capital and entrepreneurship. Eventually I’d like to return to government to create change and foster innovation in national defense (its not as advanced as our advertising says).-28-year-old Indian-American male, first in family to join military-Planning on doing a joint MBA/Masters in Intl Relations with Johns Hopkins SAIS or Princeton-Targets are Stanford, Stanford and Standford, then Wharton, Chicago, Duke, maybe Berkeley.
     

  • kingfalcon

    Thanks as always, Sandy. What schools in the top 10 or so are the biggest “stat sluts,” all else equal? I’m pretty close to Mr. Android in terms of stats (730-3.9) and figured there are others out there like us, too.