Have An MBA Admissions Question? Ask Stacey, Our Resident Expert

by Stacey Oyler on

Stacey Oyler of Clear Admit

The former assistant director of admissions for Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, Stacey Oyler knows MBA admissions inside out. Over a 21-month period, from October of 2003 to July of 2005, Oyler participated in every admissions decision for two full classes of admits to Tuck. For the past five years, Oyler has taken that inside knowledge of elite admissions and put it to work for clients on behalf of Clear Admit, the MBA admissions consultant. Her stint in the admissions offices of an elite business school, followed by three years as a recruiter of MBAs for McKinsey & Co., has given her the credibility and the knowhow to smartly advise applicants who want to get into the very top business schools.

Stacey has agreed to help MBA applicants with questions at Poets&Quants. No question is out of bounds. Worried about your undergraduate record? Concerned about your GMAT score? Not entirely certain where you should apply to get your MBA? Unsure of how to answer the essay questions? Wondering who you should ask to write your letters of recommendation?

Fire away. Stacey will do her best to answer your queries.

  • Daniel


    I would appreciate any insight you could offer into my chances of getting in w/funding to some of my round 2 applications. And then if unsuccessful trying again next year will make a difference?

    I am Hispanic male 28 (29 at matriculation), GRE 168/Q 165/V (760 equivalent) I had a 3.61 from a 2nd tier midwest public school (I finished HS at 16 and just ended up at the school in my area, but was hyper active/involved undergrad) and then went straight to HKS and SAIS on full ride. I worked professionally abroad in SA as well as in the public sector in midwest. Recently I am working as an entrepreneur and have seen a good deal of financial success.

    My interests are in smaller programs Cornell, Tuck, Yale for Consortium, and then MIT/Stanford.

    If it doesn’t work out this year I am exploring trying again next year. Do you think financial success in my current work will limit my ability to secure funding? I have been unsure in essays and interviews how much to disclose.

    Thank you in advance!

  • Jimmy Fallon

    Hi Stacey,

    I am currently in consulting and looking to apply several top MBA programs for Fall 2015. I have a total of 4 years of experience – two at a previous bank and two in consulting so far. I am considering switching jobs to another consulting firm in April. This means by the time schools starts in fall 2015, I will have stayed at the new firm for 1.5 years. I’m uncertain whether this is the right move as it will be harder for me to get a letter of recommendation from the new firm during fall 2014 when I’m applying. The reason I’m considering this is because there was a change in management recently resulting in limited upward mobility. Do you suggest I (1) stick it out at least until Oct 2014 when I apply so I can have a better letter of recommendation or (2) change firms ASAP so I can develop a deeper relationship with the newer firm faster and still use management from this current firm for some letters of recommendation?

  • Jimmy Fallon

    Hi Stacey,

    I should add that if I went with choice 2 above, I can potentially get into a feeder consulting firm or apply for a manager position at a smaller firm.

  • surabhi

    Hi Stacey! I am planning to pursue Masters in Management. Since I was confused whether to take GRE or GMAT, I gave practise tests of both. Using the ETS conversion tool, my GRE score ( converted to GMAT score by the tool) was 60 point less than my GMAT score. I also read an article on this website only,regarding top B-schools accepting low GRE scores compared to GMAT scores. I have work experience of 1 year. Please, tell me which one should I give? I am very confused now.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    If you’re thinking 2+2, why not give it a shot now? if it doesn’t work out, you can always reapply to HBS in a few years through the regular process.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Hi Catherine,

    Thanks for your post. I always recommend MBA candidates take the GMAT. While some schools do accept the GRE, many adcoms will ask candidates to take the GMAT (which could land you on the waitlist while you prepare). I suggest taking the GMAT now before applications come out.


  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    There are some great resume samples online, but be careful how much you rely on them. Use them for formatting and general structure, etc., but not to help you develop content.

  • http://www.clearadmit.com/ Stacey Oyler

    Networking is key both before and after bschool. If you have a connection to Phil Knight, you should use it. You should pull out all the stops to get into bschool – everyone else applying is doing the same thing.

  • Shinky

    My profile is very different than other prospects of MBA on this post. I have an undergrad from Louisiana university in Biology and Math Minor. I had 3.2 GPA. I have been working as accounts payable and receivable/bookkeeper. I love numbers and researching and analyzing and seeing how companies are progressing and interested in steps they are taking. Therefore, I decided to be financial analyst and therefore I thought MBA would be a right choice to change the career.

    After I read other alumni profile, I don’t know if MBA is correct path for me for my goal to be financial analyst. MBA teaches you management not finance. Although, when I search for financial analyst job, a lot of employers preferred MBA not MS in finance. Second, since i worked only in simple job, I am not sure if college would even consider me.

    I am not sure if these are the type of question you usually answer. If you don’t, please advise who can help me guide.

  • Shane

    Dear Stacey,

    I appreciate your willingness to assist with my pursuits.

    How would you assess my chances of being accepted to a top business school in 2014 or 2015? My goal would be to work in strategy consulting for a company like McKinsey or Bain.

    I am a 29 year-old native Bostonian living in Germany at the moment, where I am currently a professional development trainer in Frankfurt for the likes of Deutsche Bank, Proctor & Gamble, and Deutsche Telekom. I initially came abroad to play American football in hopes of my aspirations taking me to a higher league in the USA or Canada. I graduated from Brown in 2007 with a BA in Business Economics, earning a 3.2 GPA, and I also worked at Merrill Lynch’s Global Wealth Management before the Great Recession. I have not taken my GMAT yet. I am planning on applying to Deloitte to work in financial consulting for two years.

    I am also very open to programs outside of the US, although that admittedly might not help with my career prospects if I were to return home.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.



  • Scorpio 1987

    Hi Stacy,

    I’d be grateful to know your views on my odds of making it to one of the top 10/20 schools.

    Here’s my profile:

    1. I am an Indian female, 26 years with 5 years experience in an oil and gas multi-national with work experience spanning areas of project management (including lead roles in CAPEX intensive projects in uncommon (high risk in terms of security) countries), design and engineering and operations support. I have worked in three different countries (Netherlands, India and Philippines) and most of my work has been focused on leading projects (small to large) with significant global interfaces.
    2. GMAT-700 Q48/V38
    3. Undergrad degree: Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering; GPA of 3.7 from a top 10 institute in India. I have scores of 96% and 94% in High school and Higher Secondary School boards
    4. As part of the National Service Scheme in India, I led the demonstration of the usefulness of solar energy in cooking and lighting to rural communities close to my university; I volunteered for offering services to the cyclone Yolanda hit victims in the Philippines during my stint there, in a non-English speaking community; I was part of the diversity and Inclusion team during my stint in the NL and organized a workshop on sexual orientation highlighting issues faced by employees from the LGBT community; I have organized many workshops while I was a student at the undergrad university including one on Intellectual Property rights and their relevance to university students, as a classical vocalist I have given a few concerts;
    5. My post MBA goal would be to enter the strategy department of any of the energy industry majors for I have been quite good so far (based on my work experience) at steering work processes towards a certain goal, cutting out the excesses. My experience in the relevant sector i believe will be quite useful here.
    6. My other credentials include a summer research internship in India (chosen among thousands of other candidates) and a leadership based selection program for the oil and gas major I now work for, for which I was among 47 candidates selected from all countries in Asia Pacific


  • Scorpio 1987

    My GPA would probably be higher- I had a GPA of 9/10 in India and was second my class of 47 students.

  • Carlo

    Hi Stacey,

    I’m applying this year for Fall 2015. I’m peruvian (currently living in Peru), 25 years old, Bachelor of Economics, worked for 3 years after graduation, 1 year in food exports and 2 years and 2 months (so far) as a consultant for a regional firm. I also have worked for 6 months in Ecuador as a consultant and traveled to Germany for a food fair (ANUGA, 2011 in Köln, Germany) while I worked for the food exports company. Lived for two 4-months periods in Wyoming where I worked in a gas station while raising money to pay for my university in Peru. Got 720 on my GMAT (49Q, 38V), 8 in IR and 5.0 in my AWA score. I do volunteer work in Peru helping building houses for the poor and I’m planning to start volunteering for another NGO teaching maths to kids in less favored regions of my country. I want to apply for Harvard, Wharton, Stanford and Tuck, could you please help me by telling me what my chances are for such programs?

    Best regards,


  • pushkar

    hi stacey,
    i m a final year LL.B. student from india ,i would complete it by april 2015, i have gone through a large number of rankings(bw ,ft,the economist, forbes and US) ,but at the end all i am is confused.
    I am yet to give my gmat , but all i am looking at is a full time MBA from the best college possible in the world. i dont have a work experience and neither will i ever have a work experience for business since i would always be a person who is more interested in litigation.
    i want you to help me out as to which school is the best where i can be admitted right after my graduation before which i would have given a gmat. money is not an issue and dont take the gmat score a criteria , i know good schools require a good gmat … all i require from your side is which are the best colleges around the world that would take me for a full time mba right after graduation and without a work experience on gmat scores.

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