Your Chances Of Getting A Top MBA

by John A. Byrne on

He’s a CPA who works for a billion-dollar multinational in a high-profile financial reporting position. With a 720 GMAT and a 3.7 grade point average, this 27-year-old professional wants to get an MBA to shift to a financial management or consulting role.

He’s a first generation college student whose family lived on food stamps for most of his childhood. With a degree in history from UC-Berkeley, this 29-year-old Asian male is an underwriter for AIG who wants an MBA to fast track his career.

Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru.com

Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru.com

He’s a forensic accountant who has worked on white collar crimes and controversies. With a 610 GMAT and a 3.7 GPA from a well-regarded state school, this 25-year-old male is hoping an MBA will allow him to transition to a job with McKinsey, Bain or Boston Consulting Group.

What these MBA applicants share in common is the goal to get into one of the world’s best business schools. Do they have the raw stats and experience to get an invite? Or are they likely to end up in a reject pile?

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 he has in the past, 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 (please add your age and be clear on the sequence of your jobs in relaying work experience), we’ll pick a few more and have Kreisberg assess your chances in a follow-up feature the followin week.

Sandy’s tell-it-like-it-is assessment:

forensicMr. Sherlock “CPA” Holmes

  • 610 GMAT (Q-44, V-31)
  • 3.7 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in finance with a minor in software engineering from a well-regarded state school
  • 3.6 GPA (master’s)
  • Master’s degree in accounting from the same school
  • Work experience as a CPA includes two years as a forensic accountant/corporate investigator at a big firm
  • “I’ve worked with different kinds of white collar crimes/controversies – payroll fraud, purchasing fraud, financial statement fraud, bribery/kickbacks, FCPA, etc. I’ve worked with companies ranging from a value of a few million to over $100 billion”
  • Extracurricular involvement for an organization relating to children’s health; mentor and tutor to disadvantaged youth
  • “Started a business (think landscaping/construction) with my older brother when I was 10 years old. I bought my brother out, grew the company, and sold it after I turned 21”
  • Goal: To either start another company or get into McKinsey, Bain or Boston Consulting Group
  • 25-year-old bi-racial male

Odds of Success:

Wharton: 20% to 25%
INSEAD: 30%
Stanford: 15%
Harvard: 15%
MIT: 10%
Michigan: 25% to 30%

Sandy’s Analysis: You say your goal is “to either start another company or get into MBB (McKinsey, Bain, BCG).” MBB is going to be real hard with a 620 GMAT (they often ask for that score) and your story. I might change my mind if MBB have  dedicated units for forensic accounting, or something close to it, and even then, my guess is, those consultants would be forensic accountants of long-standing who have switched.

You did not say how many times you took the GMAT, but if only once, or even twice, you need to try again, or try the GRE.  As Poets and Quants has noted, some schools will wink at guys they like (especially high GPA and low GRE) because the GRE often does not get put into the mix of rankings stats, although this area is in flux. Also, some people find the GRE easier.

I’m not sure how much I would stress the forensic accounting part of your story versus just the accounting part. Especially since you don’t want to do more accounting type stuff. The expertise you highlight, uncovering different types of fraud, is not a sweet spot for business schools, which don’t like the idea of business fraud, as opposed to business ethics (something quite different, about making ethical decisions in close cases).

As to your actual work experience: “Two years years  . . . as a forensic accountant/corporate investigator at a big firm. CPA . . . . I’ve worked with different kinds of white collar crimes/controversies – payroll fraud, purchasing fraud, financial statement fraud, bribery/kickbacks, FCPA, etc.” Phew, I am not sure what to make of that. Has anyone from your “big firm” applied to business school recently? That is one very useful statistic.  The issue is, and I am not sure of the answer, will schools consider forensic accounting as more or less selective a gig than Big 3 accounting? It could be less.

Consulting companies, the types you want to work for, also don’t primarily view themselves as fraud detectors (their expertise is actually firing HONEST but now no-longer-needed people). So to the extent you want to use your past to be part of your future, which is highly recommended, I would cast what you have done as “helping companies figure out how to manage better,” etc. etc. I mean,  to the extent you can, given what you actually do.

Schools will appreciate your effort to contort your actual activities into something business-school friendly. It will show them that your personal mindset is not  really as a “fraud fighter” but more as a permissible fraud creator. Much more their type.

I’m not just playing with words. Your ability to pivot (to use a fashionable word) your experiences into a management context versus fraud detection one is something they will respect as a mindset. They don’t want any G-Men types in class pontificating with  black-and-white clarity about fraud. They want aqueous critical discussions endlessly paddling  around  gray areas reaching no difficult or disturbing conclusions.

As to your target schools: Wharton, INSEAD, Stanford, Harvard, Sloan, and Ross.  I’m not seeing this as HBS, Stanford, or Sloan. They just don’t go for accountants or low GMATs. Either one, and you are both. Stanford often takes minorities, especially minority women, from Big Three accounting firms but my guess is that window requires a higher GMAT and a real strong racial story.  You said you are “bi-racial.” If that means that you can identify as black (if that is the race you talking about, or one of them) and check Afro-American on the list on the application, well, that can help.   Sloan is always looking hard for black males but they also want a higher GMAT and probably a more mainstream job. Ross is a maybe and your best bet in the USA.  I am not sure why you would look at INSEAD, but they like Americans a lot, and you get a lot of room to explain yourself in the application, they are still old school, with lotsa, lotsa essays.

If you really want an MBA, I would focus on U.S. News or Poets&Quants’ schools ranked 12 through 20. And I would flesh out my reasons for seeking the degree. Starting another business, after growing and selling your brother’s landscaping company, is a solid accomplishment, it is not a goal statement they will cotton to.  Becoming a consultant is a good thing to say, but try to sound informed and realistic. I just did not get the sense you were while reading your long note (which is abridged here).

1 2 3 4 5 6 Next
  • http://profiles.google.com/zachner zach nerenberg

    GMAT 700 (Q47 V39 IR8 AWA6)

    GPA 3.7 from Maryland (Accounting/Finance double major, Actuarial Math Minor)

    Work experience 3 years as an auditor at a Big 4 firm

    Extracurriculars include lots of volunteer work coaching children sports teams, and founding member of UMD Smith School’s Dean Advisory Council, leading to great relationship with current dean

    26 year old Hispanic male

    Goal: Transition into the finance field from accounting, specifically PE

    Target Schools: HBS/Wharton/Penn (I know these are looooong shots), Booth, Columbia, Stern, Ross, Anderson

  • Basketball Business Coach

    Hi Sandy,

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could take some time to evaluate my profile.

    UC Berkeley, Media Studies B.A., 3.2 GPA
    GMAT: 740
    Planning to take Calculus and Statistics in CC and getting A’s in them

    Work Experience:
    Marketing Associate at Safeway 1 year
    • Research white space topics to define health and generational opportunities.
    • Manage the production of private label products to get them from concept to the shelf.
    • Conduct category analyses and provide recommendations for product flavors based on sales and trends.
    • Create new item proposals and help build forecasting for future products.

    Product Marketing Associate at Intuit- 2 Years
    4 Rotations:
    1 in Product Management- led cross functional team to develop a key product to a $10 Million business
    1 in Social Media Marketing- developed the social media strategy for a new customer base
    1 in Product Marketing- managed the marketing from concept to execution for a new business
    1 in Bus Dev- worked w/ different business to create new business opportunities

    Associate Product Marketing Manager at Intuit- 1 Year
    Currently managing a key function in a new product that’s currently in development
    Possibility of being promoted to Marketing Manager next year if I do a good job this year

    Volunteer:
    Coaching Corps (part of Americorps)- 3 years
    I coach a 6-8 year old team throughout the year for under-privileged areas in the Bay Area

    Church- Worship Team
    Play the bass every week on Sundays for my church

    Basketball Camp-
    Take a week every summer to help coach youths in the Bay Area for a basketball camp

    Reason I want to go to B-School:
    I’ve wanted to always combine my sports passion, religion, and work skills, and I believe this is a way to do it. The reason I had this revelation is because an experience w/ my volunteer work w/ Coaching Corps. Long story short, one of the youths on my Coaching Corps team has a lot of potential for basketball, but his family can’t afford to pay his basketball development. I ended up paying out of my pocket for him to attend. Because of this, I want to go to B-School to create a national nonprofit sports/basketball camp for the underprivileged, so that everyone can have a chance to get better at a sport.

    Targeted Schools:
    I want to be in an urban area because I want to be in the heart of a basketball mecca. I do not want to attend a Sports MBA program because I want to learn from the best general MBA programs. In addition, I might apply next year or this coming year, not sure. Is it possible to give me a breakdown for next year, assuming I get promoted as well?

    -Columbia (Social Enterprise)
    -Kellogg (SEEK)
    -Haas PT- so I can continue what I’ve been doing locally
    -HBS (non-urban)- Sports Club
    -Wharton- Sports Club
    -USC- School of Sports Management
    -UCLA- LA Area

  • Krzyzewski

    Hi Sandy,

    So here comes a rather different profile.
    Undergrad: top10 business school in Scandinavia
    Major: Finance
    Minor: Economics
    GPA: 4.3/5 = Excellent ~ in U.S. terms ~3.6-37
    Masters: Duke MMS
    GMAT: 670
    Scandinavian white male
    EC’s: Habitat for Humanity, starting goalie (club ice hockey)
    Work experience: 2 years at largest and most reputable Scandinavian investment bank, IB analyst (forest, paper, pulp, timber sector) and 1 year at (think Bain, Booz, Mckinsey) consultant for the same industry with a focus on Eastern Europe and Russia and with a focus on also renewable energy.
    Reason for b-school: advance to a more senior consultant position in the forestry sector and maybe use that as a step for a pure energy firm in the future. (Because now its just renewable energy advice from a forestry firms perspective)
    Potential schools:
    Columbia
    Booth
    Yale
    Wharton
    Northwestern
    Dartmouth

    Harvard, Stanford??

    Thank you in advance.

  • Krzyzewski

    forgot the age which is 27

  • Automotive Man

    Hi Sandy,

    I would love it if you looked at my profile

    Undergrad: top private school in Utah

    Major: Economics

    Minor: Business Management

    GPA: 3.72

    GMAT: 710 (in the 80’s in both Q and V)

    Work Experience:

    1 Year of work experience with an ad agency using Google Adwords and Analytics

    3 Years of Experience with a large European vehicle manufacturer (Volkswagen,Daimler,BMW). My first year I was in a rotational program where worked in the US and Germany. During this program had projects that encompassed the entire product cycle (from manufacturing plant to dealership). After the program my role has been as an internal consultant in the the the US marketing department with a focus on efficiency improvements and cost savings. Also led a massive culture change initiative with the department.

    Extracurriculars:

    2 years as a church sponsored volunteer in eastern Europe

    Currently provide consulting and reporting help for a non profit based in Mexico

    Reason for MBA:

    Desire to join the automotive consulting arm of a major consulting firm (Mckinsey,Oliver Wyman,BCG) and then transition into a strategy role at a major automobile company.

    Age 28

    Potential Schools:
    HBS, Stanford, Chicago, Duke, MIT, Kellog, Ross, Tuck

  • Semiconductor Guy

    Hi Sandy,

    I will really appreciate your feedback on my profile –

    Indian, Male, 24 years

    – 4 years experience as applications engineer for one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies; provide consultation to over 25 clients in various domains (energy, medical, defense, telecom) during their system design and implementation. Also, responsible for pitching our tech solutions, identifying new opportunities for the business units, and driving creation of new technologies.
    – Helped create over $500k business pipeline in government defense projects.
    – Drove several ideas at multiple customers successfully to execution.
    – One year rotational program in various business units at company’s headquarters in US ; co-authored various articles that enabled business growth of over 500k$ across the globe.

    – GMAT – 720 Q50, V38, AWA 6.0, IR 7

    – Major – Bachelors in Engineering in Electronics and Communication. University of Delhi.

    – GPA – 83.22%, 4th Rank in Department

    – Co-founder of my institute’s alumni magazine; continue to advise the team and contribute a portion of my income back to it.

    – Involved with a non-profit world renowned educational laptop company during my undergrad, helped implement algorithms during summer internship in Boston and later helped India team in deployments across schools in rural communities in India.

    – Has Published/presented six papers at various International/National journals/conferences.

    – Served as campus representative for my company at various universities.

    – Merit Scholarship through undergrad school.

    I applied to R2 and got interview calls from Harvard and Wharton, but unfortunately couldn’t convert them. Surprisingly, I didn’t receive any interview calls from Sloan, Kellogg, Stanford and Booth. I will really appreciate your feedback on my profile for improvements. I couldn’t take out time to participate in extra currics post my undergrad, but I realize this and plan to improve upon it.

    For Class of 2014, I plan to apply in R1 to LBS, Haas (and others still deciding) and to top 5 in R2 in order to show some improvement. Recently, though at work, I have been given additional responsibility to handle clients with higher $$ potential and now mentor and guide resources of three distribution channels. And, I’m sure my extra-currics will be improved. It’s hard though to take out time to prepare for GMAT the second time.

    I took recommendations from my client, distribution channel manager and ex-supervisor during my rotational program (None from direct supervisor).

    I request you for your feedback on what schools will be interested in my profile so that I increase my chances of acceptance next year.

    Kindest regards.

  • InsMBA

    Thanks Sandy for your profile review.

  • Semiconductor Guy

    Sorry, I forgot to mention my goals.

    Short term – Product Management at a technology firm such as Intel, Apple.
    Long term – Start up my own firm engaged in design and manufacturing of electronics products.

    At present, I work with various industry domains; I want to get an understanding working across different verticals in a single industry as product manager and later use business skills learnt at school and company post MBA and my network to be successful at my firm.

  • Ravi

    non IIT folks face similar fate :(

  • Anon

    Sandy, glad I could help with the profile that you referenced above. FYI, the non-HPY Ivy is Penn. I also got questioned on quant skills in every interview I had due to the low Q score on the GMAT, so that’s something to look out for as well.

  • hbsguru

    Thanks for the profile, very helpful set of outcomes. If any other upstanding posters want to post their stats and outcomes, that wld be helpful to all.

  • CPA-to-Ops

    Thanks for the review, Sandy. Up until now I was pretty dead-set on the MBA as opposed to the EMBA. You mention that I could save millions by doing an EMBA; pardon me for waxing obtuse, but what do you mean by that? Also, you mentioned normalizing my job history: I’m assuming you mean build the narrative out such that it looks like standard career progress without any unnecessary drama, so to speak, correct? You’re top notch for sure. I may solicit your services in the near future.

  • hbsguru

    as to save millions–in saved tuition and working while you get EMBA, if you chose one of those programs that operates on week-ends etc. As to normalize, you got it

  • Jakiro

    Mr. Kreisberg, would really appreciate an assessment of my profile.

    Age: 31
    Citizenship: Azerbaijan

    WE: 1 year in United Nations (IT), 2 years in BP (Organizational Development), 2 years in management consulting. 5 years total.

    GMAT: 730

    Education: 1st degree in International relations in local university (4.4/5.0), 2nd degree Masters in Information Systems & management from George Washington University business school 3.5 GPA. Fulbright Scholar.

    EC: Former professional chess player,4-time national chess champion and junior olympics team lead etc. Volunteer activities include participation in AIDS related events and educational consulting.Wide international experience (lived in 4 countries).

    Languages: Besides my native language,I speak Russian fluently.

    Goals: Internet/tech startup or PE/VC area.Back up plan to get back to consulting.

    Schools: H/S/W, MIT,Haas, maybe Columbia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25503923 Bruce Vann

    fsdfsd

  • IndianBanker

    Hi Sandy,

    I would be grateful if you could assess my profile;

    – Indian male, 27
    – GMAT 780 (q:50, v: 47, awa: 6, ir: 8)
    – Undergrad: engineer, top school in India, GPA: top 5%
    – Masters: math at Stanford 1yr, GPA: 3.8
    – Part of sports team at undergrad institution + some extra currics.

    – Top investment bank, trading experience. 2.5yrs in HK/Singapore, 1+yrs in London. 1 promotion, and part of elite “mobility” program. IMHO, interesting role, with exposure to multiple global markets, managing billions (literally) and a ring side view to some large global events as they rippled through the financial markets. Same firm since college.
    – Community service experience in India in poor areas + disaster relief. Not as much as I’d like.
    – A couple of other internships during undergrad years.
    – Recommenders mainly seniors/bosses who moved to other firms/buy-side, who worked closely with me. These recommenders don’t hold MBAs in great regard, but would clearly honest, strongly-positive and insightful.
    – Goal: To stay in finance. Hedge funds/Asset managers.
    – Target school: HBS, Wharton

    Thanks in advance

  • Tbob

    Hi, I’d really appreciate an assessment for my profile!

    Age/Origin: 28, UK White Male

    GMAT: 720 (Q47, V42, IR 6, AWA 6.0)

    Education: Masters in Engineering, Top 5 UK University (Not Oxbridge)
    High 2:1 UK grade (I’ve read roughly equivalent to 3.6GPA?)

    WE: 6 years in Operations at time of application.

    Some significant experience elsewhere in Ops, but mainly manufacturing.
    Includes 18 months as night shift manager with sole responsibility for Food factory.

    After 2 promotions in 2 years, now a department head in multinational consumer goods business, producing well known high-margin products worth $25M/year. Direct management responsibility for 25, responsible for safety, quality and cost of product.

    College ECs: Deputy head & treasurer of student-run college bar and shop
    Social & Sponsorship Sec for college sports team – responsible for fundraising and social events for 100+ member sports club.

    Current ECs: Active member of sports teams, but no leadership roles (a poor excuse but work has forced me to move around a lot)

    Goals: Gain international experience. Current business expanding into BRIC markets so want to lose UK emphasis. Perhaps move to Technology sector – Ops or elsewhere, or start own business with help of MBA network.

    Schools: Stanford, Haas, HBS

    I’ve all but ruled out EU options as I want to experience something different. I’m worried about becoming typecast in manufacturing as previously I’ve thought of myself as a good all-rounder, not a specialist. I think 2 years studying an all-round discipline in an MBA would be a help. Applying to the US system seems quite alien to me and I feel like I’m at quite a disadvantage navigating it all!

  • Late blooming CPA

    Hi Sandy,

    I’ve really enjoyed your column and would like it if you could give your thoughts on my profile.

    I’m a 35 y/o male who graduated at 33 from a well-known state university in the northeast with a Bachelors in accounting, 3.98 GPA. I graduated in 4 years and while working for a large commercial bank managing projects for software integrations. After graduation, I moved on to become an auditor for a Big 4 accounting firm, working with banks, insurance companies, and real estate trusts.

    GMAT: 780

    My goals are to move into management consulting (preferably BBM), then transition to an senior management role in operations for a Fortune 500 firm.

    Target schools: HBS, Wharton, MIT, Stern, Columbia, UNC, Darden, Fuqua.

    My big question is, is my age too big a deterrent for most of these schools to seriously consider me?

  • CPA-to-Ops

    Thanks again. Assuming I can pull together some excellent references, what would you say my odds would be with respect to Duke and Columbia? I like Duke because I’m currently living, and have roots, in the Southeast and wouldn’t mind staying in the region; Columbia has prestige and some fantastic finance professors. I already possess the finance undergrad background and know more about the subject than I do accounting, strange as that may sound. I never intended to become a CPA, but a series of circumstances led me down this path. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, but I’m looking for something more challenging. Even the most complex accounting work doesn’t cut it. Also, do you offer discounts on your per-school fees if I were to procure your services for 4 or 5 applications? Thanks!

  • Lu

    Hi Sandy!

    Long time reader – would greatly appreciate a profile review!

    White / Asian American male: 26 years old, fluent in English/Japanese

    GMAT: 700 (Q43, V42), debating whether to retake, worried about lowish quant score

    Undergrad: B.S. Industrial Systems Engineering, ACC school with highly respected engineering program: 3.7 GPA, graduated magna cum laude

    Work Experience: 3 years with boutique consulting firm – clients are DoD, DHS, and DOE. Strategy and program management making sure important U.S. assets are secure. Started at current job doing modeling and simulation, was promoted (from associate to professional staff) early after two years. Now conduct cost benefit analysis and acquisition strategy. Lead multiple studies that have been briefed to highest levels of DoD and multiple Congressional committees.

    Extra Curricular: Regular volunteer at shelter/kitchen preparing meals for low-income and at-risk members of community. Involved in community outreach breakfast program that serves food while helping at-risk individuals take steps to enter rehabilitation programs. Captain of club soccer team for 2 years in college, qualified for national tournaments.

    Goals: Leverage engineering / operations degree to transition from consulting for public (federal) clients to strategic consulting for technology firms. Would like to utilize my Japanese language skills to focus on Asian/U.S. markets for international technology companies.

    Target schools are Duke, UVA. Stretch are MIT, Kellogg. Safer bets (hopefully?) are UNC and Georgetown.

    Thanks for taking the time to read!

  • holacicas

    Hi Sandy!

    I’ve discovered your blogs only recently and have been addicted to them ever since!

    This is my profile and I would be looking forward to future entries!

    -Asian-American Male 25 years old
    -GPA: 3.85 UPenn Political Science major (summa cum)
    -GRE: Q800 V780 (oldGRE taken in 2011)

    -College Activities: Headed a project team (nonpartisan political activity on campus regarding the urgency to stop piling up federal debt and deficit) – one of the videos we filmed as a part of the project received “the nation’s best student video” awarded by the Brookings Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

    -Work Experience: 0.5 year in a foreign government (administrative intern)

    2 years in a foreign Marine Corps (intelligence clerk, Sergeant): served as the company first sergeant (managed 300 enlisted men)

    -Currently admitted (and deferred matriculation) to Harvard Kennedy School Master in Public Policy program. Deferred matriculation for a year in order to apply to MBA programs and pursue MPP/MBA dual-degree program.

    -Career goals and reason for applying to MBA: Public-sector strategy consulting. More specifically in issues revolving around sustainable(social) corporate practices, business-government relationship in urban development and planning, sustainable city development, and business policies. I’ve realized that the field of urban policy is closely intertwined with economics/business, and I feel a great need to build quantitative and business background (which I currently don’t have much). I have been too narrow in my academic focus during college, and MBA education is essential for my weakness (Sloan’s sustainability certificate program is especially suited to my goals).

    Target Schools: HBS, Stanford, Wharton, and Sloan (unfortunately, these are the only schools that HKS has dual-degree agreements with)

    Thank you!

  • Guest

    Hi Sandy!

    I’ve discovered your blogs only recently and have been addicted to them ever since!

    This is my profile and I would be looking forward to future entries!

    -Asian-American Male 25 years old
    -GPA: 3.85 UPenn Political Science major (summa cum)
    -GRE: Q800 V780 (oldGRE taken in 2011)

    -College Activities: Headed a project team (nonpartisan political activity on campus regarding the urgency to stop piling up federal debt and deficit) – one of the videos we filmed as a part of the project received “the nation’s best student video” awarded by the Brookings Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

    -Work Experience: 0.5 year in a foreign government (administrative intern)

    2 years in a foreign Marine Corps (intelligence clerk, Sergeant): served as the company first sergeant (managed 300 enlisted men)

    -Currently admitted (and deferred matriculation) to Harvard Kennedy School Master in Public Policy program. Deferred matriculation for a year in order to apply to MBA programs and pursue MPP/MBA dual-degree program.

    -Career goals and reason for applying to MBA: Public-sector strategy consulting. More specifically in issues revolving around sustainable(social) corporate practices, business-government relationship in urban development and planning, sustainable city development, and business policies. I’ve realized that the field of urban policy is closely intertwined with economics/business, and I feel a great need to build quantitative and business background (which I currently don’t have much). I have been too narrow in my academic focus during college, and MBA education is essential for my weakness (Sloan’s sustainability certificate program is especially suited to my goals).

    Target Schools: HBS, Stanford, Wharton, and Sloan (unfortunately, these are the only schools that HKS has dual-degree agreements with)

    Thank you!

  • Mr. Sponsorship

    Sandy – Would greatly appreciate an assessment of the profile below. Thanks for the time!

    – 760 GMAT (85Q/99V)
    – 3.60 GPA Economics (3.80 within major)
    – Liberal arts college in 20-30 national ranking range
    – 3 years experience at a major sports league front office (NFL/NBA/MLB)
    – Current responsibilities include managing sponsorship research/analytics projects and building partner marketing proposals; started career through rotational program at same league
    – Leadership positions in college with volunteer elementary school tutoring organization and student-managed equity investment fund
    – College internships at a boutique economic development agency and food conglomorate (in a contract manufacturing/purchasing function)
    – Goal is to transition to a strategy/analytics role back in sports or at a media company, or work in a sports/media practice at a consulting firm
    – 24, first-generation Asian-American male
    – Schools of interest: H/S/W, Sloan, Kellogg, Tuck

    Hoping to gain some entrepreneurial or international experience before applying, as I am genuinely interested in both. Open to hearing any other schools that may be a fit as well. Thank you again!

  • PRPro

    Hi Sandy– I’d love to hear your thoughts on my profile. Many thanks in advance!

    24 year-old Asian female
    720 GMAT, 94 percentile (46Q- 71 percentile, 44V- 97 percentile)
    3.5 GPA
    B.A. in English with minors in Chemistry and Visual Studies from Top-10 “Ivy”. Was pre-med for 2 yrs; completed substantial math/science coursework (1 semester calculus, 2 semesters general chemistry, 2 semesters organic chemistry, 1 semester bio. B average overall in these classes.)
    Work experience: 2 years in Communications at blue chip CPG, managing communication strategies for various initiatives (including product launches, product re-stages, and celebrity spokesperson launches) in the company’s multi-billion dollar portfolio of beauty and personal care brands.
    Led social media communication strategies for 2 brands, both of which have been recognized by senior management for best in class (externally and within the company) social media performance.
    Received highest possible rating for first-year employees.
    Volunteer for organization that promotes literacy. Started as a volunteer teacher for first-graders, now VP of Marketing and Communications. I’m working to create a social media presence for the organization while also getting coverage in local news media to attract new volunteers and to increase donations. I just started in this position so I don’t have firm results yet, but it’s looking promising so far.
    Other extra-curriculars: members of 3 teams at work that aim to foster a positive company culture and supportive work environment.
    Goal: I want a comprehensive business education so I have the context required to maximize my impact as a communications leader. Short-term: Contribute more effectively to CPG marketing through a communications lens. Long-term:Help emerging businesses or non-profits tell compelling stories and communicate effectively with their audiences.
    Schools: Stanford (dream,) Kellogg, Columbia, NYU Stern (full or part-time)

  • SS

    Sandy- Would really appreciate an assessment of the below profile:

    – 25 year old Indian female
    – 700 GMAT (practice tests)
    – 3.9 GPA from top 10 university in India in Economics
    – Masters from London School of Economics with a Merit (not sure of GPA conversion)
    – 2 years of experience in Strategy consulting in Big 4 in India. Plan to apply for 2014 so will have 3 years of experience in total
    – Vice- President of Debate club in college, leadership position in strategy society in LSE, led a social awareness project studying the impact of the “education for all” government program in India, participated in several international Model United Nations and player for the women’s cricket team in college
    – Goal is to continue in management/strategy consulting with an aim of working for MBB with focus on retail and consumer; long term goal is to move to industry in a strategy role
    – Target schools are Kellogg, Ross, Darden, Fuqua and Tuck

  • hbsguru

    For openers and briefly — how come you grad college at age 33??
    35 is deal breaker in most cases –and let me note, you would be 37 or so as a first year
    associate at BBM, if the rest of your dreams came true, an age when many RETIRE fr. those firms or move onto to other gigs. Altho if you had extraordinary and ‘shovel-ready’ skills, they might wink at that fact. As to getting in to MBA programs, someone might bite, if you could lay out a clear roadmap about the future + employment and explain how come EMBA’s or Stanford/Sloan (and other) one-year programs do not work for you.

  • Mr Banker

    Hey, Sandy. Mr Banker here (http://poetsandquants.com/2011/12/09/what-are-your-odds-of-getting-in-2/5/).

    Just checking in to let you know you were pretty much spot-on. After improving my profile a bit and applying in Fall 2012, here are my results: in at Sloan/Tuck/Haas/Fuqua, dinged outright at HBS, dinged after interview at CBS, waitlisted at Kellogg, and invited to interview at Booth (withdrew app). Hopefully this helps you (and future prospectives)!

  • Mr Banker
  • Mr Banker

    Actually, here’s the correct link: http://poetsandquants.com/2011/12/09/what-are-your-odds-of-getting-in-2/5/

    P.S. Sorry for the triple-post, John. Feel free to merge all my posts and update the link in my original post.

  • Mr. Job-Hopper

    Hi Sandy,

    I believe my archetype could be interesting to your audience. Would you evaluate my profile?

    Schools: HBS, Stanford, Sloan, Booth, Kellogg, Haas
    27 year old white male
    GMAT: 760 (first attempt) GPA: 3.4 from top 3-4 “Little Ivy” (NESCAC school)

    1 year as acct executive at IT research company; managed $800k worth of contracts
    1.5 years as project manager at top Electronic Medical Record (chosen by Stanford, UChi, Nwestern). Promoted within 1 year, had 1 direct report at the end of tenure.
    1 year healthcare revenue cycle consulting company. Sr Analyst, lead team of 5 offshore analysts
    2.5 years (at time of matriculation) as Sr. Consultant at boutique EMR consulting company, Project lead at our hospitals leading a team of hospital IT staff, nursing/physician advisors, & vendors.

    Extracurriculars: Extensive volunteering history, currently I volunteer tutoring elementary school boys as well as at a community organization non-profit. Varsity football player in college with on and off field accolades/awards.

    Goals: Work in healthcare management, improve financial strength of hospitals by leveraging the wealth of data created by EMRs.

  • Ms. Entertainment Strategy

    Okay Sandy, my last shot at this. I hope you pick me.. you did pick a lot of CPA profiles through for your last part, so I won’t be too upset if my profile is not choosen. Nonetheless, I would love to get your input.

    – 700 GMAT
    – 3.75 GPA at UC Berkeley in Business Administration and Econcomics Double Major
    – Current Job: Senior Analyst, Corporate group at Warner Bros. doing financial planning (1+ years)
    – Previous Job: PwC Senior Audit Associate (High performer, promoted early, highly-involved for 2.5 years)
    – Extra-curricular: Weekly mentoring to under-priviledged high school students, non-profit involvement at Warner Bros, highly involved at PwC in developing culture of group, etc.
    – Career / Post MBA interest:Transition from financial planning to strategy at a large to mid-sized Entertainment Company
    – More Info: Female, CPA, International travel / experience at Warner Bros.
    Schools: MIT Sloan (top choice), LBS, UCLA Anderson, Kellogg, NYU / Columbia, Duke Fuqua

  • Ms. Entertainment Strategy

    Also I’m 25 years old.

  • hbsguru

    Hey, those are SOLID outcomes, and you got some great admits. Glad this worked out. Did any school turn up their nose during an interview about working at a “custody bank” for 4 years?

  • Mr Banker

    Thanks! I had been really nervous about just that, but it actually never came up. I think the key to my success was learning how to better position my experience in a positive light rather than a negative one (as compared to when I left my evaluation request). Plus, by the time I applied, I had been promoted three times in three years, so it was really easy to sell why I had stayed with my firm. All in all, applying to that many schools was a great learning experience. I really do appreciate your help in identifying my range of programs. I got accepted, dinged, and waitlisted, so I figure I picked the perfect mix of schools. Had I chosen lower ranked schools only and gotten into all of them, I would have always wondered “what if?”!

  • Ms. Russian

    Sandy, I would greatly appreciate your assessment of my profile. Thank you!
    GMAT 740,
    BS in Math, GPA equal to 3.6 from top Russian technical university,
    MA in Economics from 1st rated Russian Economics department, GPA only equals 3.0
    But then very strong career in Russia, 10 years: consultant in a private think tank, head of division in Federal Treasury, Minister in regional government, head of economics and finance in a largest company in region (manufacturing, 3000 workers).
    Experience in reforms of public finance and public sector, improving operations in company.
    Activities include board membership in local business club (elected) and other business community issues, Federal elections monitoring from opposition party.
    Trained at IMF Institute, university in UK
    Many awards such as manager of the year etc., including honorable mention from President of Russia.
    Goal: work for top management consulting company, interest in operations consultancy to help companies in emerging markets be more productive
    34, Russian female
    Reference from Stanford GSB alum

    Target schools: Stanford, HBS, Booth, Columbia, LBS
    Thanks!

  • Late blooming CPA

    The honest answer to that question is that I just wasn’t mature enough for college when I was younger – I bounced in and out of school and had a work history to match. I decided at 29 that it was time to pull it together if I ever wanted to achieve anything in my career.

    Thanks for the response and for your perspective – I had never really considered the fact that most are leaving BBM at the age I would be a Y1. It didn’t really seem to matter much entering the Big 4 at 33, where most Y1’s are 24-26, but then again, 33 is way different from 37 when you’re just entering the field.

  • Mr. Asset Management

    Hi Sandy, I would really appreciate your assessment of my profile:
    – GMAT 720 (94%), Q 68%) V 97%
    – 3.6 at a top Canadian Business School
    – Canadian, 25
    – 2 years at a small asset management firm in buy-side equity research
    – 1 year at PricewaterhouseCoopers in audit
    – Decent extracurriculars during University but great extracurriculars after university including serving on the board of directors of charity helping kids with learning disabilities
    – My goal is to work in management consulting and then transition to venture capital

    – Target Schools: HBS, Stanford, Wharton

  • Mr. Wants to make it big time.

    Hi Sandy,

    I would like to try and get my profile assessed.

    23 year old Male from the Middle East, just got my Canadian Citizen ship (been in Canada close to 6 years) Been attending British schools from day 1.

    Graduated in 2011 from a local University (one of the top 3 in the Province), Majored in Marketing/Minored in Business Management

    2.7 GPA out of 4.3, super low (Because I was more focused on work instead of school, more details below)

    GMAT goal 720-750

    Looking to get into LBS, HBS, McGill, Hult

    First in the current generation and the youngest to complete high school and join University

    During my 2nd year of Uni I took a web design course and got the idea that I should start my own web design company on the side, which worked out just great. I handled a PT job on the side too at that point. Got a few clients for a few bucks, nothing major, then got website project for a record label, they were impressed with my work and then I got a merger proposal, jumped on it and 2 years later left them to be independent again and switched it over to become and Interactive Agency to offer a whole lot more services (The record label was receiving unnecessary profits)

    I was only 19 when I launched my first company, was busy with being a FT student, a PT job and a FT job running my company, just so I can make as much money for my family (total of 7) as my Dad wasn’t around. So I didn’t have much time for studying. But I aced almost all my Marketing classes as that came naturally to me.

    Before joining University I was the Assistant Operational Manager for a Govt. Contract within a Call Centre and was responsible for close to 200 staff.

    Also worked with a Major insurance company in North America for 2 years (Assets holdings of over $20b) not any major role but had a lot of responsibilities.

    Now I Co-own 3 companies, My own Interactive agency, a Professional Moving service, and a Ink Distribution company (with global sales).

    Goal: To join a major tech corporation (Google, Samsung, Mercedes, etc) and run major projects/provide consulting. I find myself being extremely proficient in refining business processes by creating/introducing business solutions, to cut costs and maximize profits. For instance, the system I had setup for any website projects, easily rakes in a 400-500% pure profit, with ink sales, obtained major connections/partnerships through distributors from China, U.S, Europe to cut costs on shipping and the item itself. The systems run them selves and don’t even require much labour work.

    With a proper MBA I am certain that I can enhance my skills to step it up big time.
    Would certainly appreciate your time with this.
    Mr. Wants to make it big time.

  • buru

    Hi Sandy,

    Would greatly appreciate your views on my profile below.

    – 710 GMAT (87V/82Q)
    – 28 years old Indian male; graduated from University of Delhi (India), with high score (63%)
    – 1 experience with a cellphone company (think nokia, samsung; non tech role), 1 year with a Big 4 (strategy consulting role)
    – 4 years with World Bank
    – Applied to Wharton (interviewed twice, rejected twice), LBS (Interviewed then dinged) Columbia, Tuck, Booth, Kellogg, Sloan, HBS (dinged outright)

    – Extras: served as board member for a non profit for 2 years, lead few corporate initiatives (recruiting, created training programs etc)
    – Goal: Entrepreneurship with focus on small developing countries (think Cambodia, Bangladesh etc)

    Appreciate your time.

  • hbsguru

    Suzy Lee Weiss: To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me–hip + shrewd WSJ Op-Ed with 1000 comments and counting. Suzy wishes she had started a faux charity, had a tiger mom, or was shown any closet she could have come out of. Great take on college (and B school) admissions.

    “Like me, millions of high-school seniors with sour grapes are asking themselves this week how they failed to get into the colleges of their dreams. It’s simple: For years, they—we—were lied to.

    Colleges tell you, “Just be yourself.” That is great advice, as long as yourself has nine extracurriculars, six leadership positions, three varsity sports, killer SAT scores and two moms. Then by all means, be yourself! If you work at a local pizza shop and are the slowest person on the cross-country team, consider taking your business elsewhere.

    What could I have done differently over the past years?”
    the rest is here
    http://t.co/3KhjiIongv

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    “Because everyone knows that if you don’t have anything difficult going on in your own life, you should just hop on a plane so you’re able to talk about what other people have to deal with.” GOLDEN. As someone who is basically from the ghetto who has done community service in many of the communities that I have lived in, my mouth is often twisted when I hear rich kids pontificate on their “impact” while on their rich family’s safari vacation in Africa…or taking super low to no-paying volunteer opportunities to score points with adcoms–opportunities that people who ACTUALLY come from poverty or anything close to poverty could never afford to take because they don’t have parents who can foot the bill for them while they dig wells in Costa Rica.

  • AdcomHypocrisy

    Well said bro! Well said. This nonsense has to stop. This going to Kenya to save the African Lion nonsense really has to stop. People almost exclusively do this only to write about it in their essays or talk about it during their interviews. I cannot believe ad-com folks are so gullible. Normal folks who just go out there and make a difference aren’t good enough. It’s sad.

  • Houdini

    What do you reckon Derrick Bolton is thinking after reading this article? It neatly captures the silliness of the whole process. Everyone is gaming the system and coming up with a colorful “narrative” to explain their rationale for applying to b-school. Of course the 780 GMAT and MIT Nuclear Physics grad who worked at NASA and McKinsey is going to get into Stanford regardless of how good his essay is. Stanford could get the same class with the same level of talent and diversity without all the extra “BS” about life experiences and such. My wife’s roommate from college is now at Wharton, and her essay was about working in the non-profit space post-graduation. She’s recently taken a job with Credit Suisse First Boston as an Investment Banker. She mentioned that the whole essay thing she wrote was just to get her foot in the door, and that most people she knew were doing nothing whatsoever related to what they wrote in the essays. Moreover, she crafted her essays with the help of experts to project a certain image about herself depending on the b-school. Although I was distressed to hear about this, I’m glad that I knew how the system works. So I made it work for me by doing the following simple things:

    1) Get a monster gmat score – nothing but hard work can help you on this one.

    2) Bulk up the extracurriculars (I got my name and picture in a local newspaper – it was a picture of me in action coaching basketball with at-risk kids; The columnist coverining the story was my frat bother’s fiancee).

    3) Another frat brother is an entrepreneur. He got me on the board of his company as a business adviser / consultant. Through this, I also became a member of the local small business bureau. It gave me some small business chops and a story to weave my essay about my interest in entrepreneurship.

    4) I gifted my boss a couple of Mcallan 25s over the last year or so. I promised him a limited edition JW-Blue once he finished my recommendation letter. In the end, I wrote it myself and he just sent it. Nothing like “incentives” to get the work done.

    5) Hire a top consultant.

    6) I donated some $$ to my high-school and was inducted into the high school academic hall of fame. It’s not a big deal..but I spun it to reflect my thirst for “knowledge” and “education”.

    7) I hired a professional videographer to do a “day in the life” shoot for one of the schools. The video was superbly edited and well worth the $ spent.

    8) I made it a point to meet with the admissions director of every school I applied to. I researched each one via google, including looking up their facebook or other public profiles if available. I even had a fairly good understanding of their political affiliations. F

    9) I only wrote and said what was “politically correct”. Basically, I became a liberal (at least in paper) and wrote about how much I enjoyed diversity and working with Ethiopians and South Koreans. I even wrote about how much I learned from the Indians and Latinos that worked in my office. Ha! This is a game. Furthermore, I had custom made business cards that listed some of my titles and designations such as “Youth Coach and Motivational Speaker”. Yeah, it was a bit over the top. But you play the game to win..not to finish in 3rd place.

    10) I had done some work in real estate, and I wrote about politically correct positions on immigration and healthcare. Noam Chomsky would have been proud of me (well, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point!). The lib-chicks reading the essays want to feel good and happy by selecting folks that say all the right things and exude empathy out of all the sweat pores.

    —-

    Yes, I converted 3/5 top schools w/ a ding at both HBS and Stanford. I guess the BS wasn’t good enough there. My point is that anyone can game this system if they try hard enough. Of course, you can’t change your race or your college major / gpa. But aside for that, just about everything can be “gamed”. I had a large network of frat brothers that pulled several connections for me. Who says drinking and farting around for 4 years in college does not pay off?

    Was it worth it? I don’t know. I will start this fall and we shall see. I did spend some money on the process. But I figured, what’s the difference between a debt of 180k vs. 195k? I wanted to get into the best brand I could possibly get into. To be honest, most of the top schools were pretty much the same aside from superficial differences.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    This is actually why MIT Sloan doesn’t even want to hear about goals. They admit folks based on what they’ve done in the past; smart.

  • hbsguru

    ha, ha nice rant. just some random lint below.

    1.What do you reckon Derrick Bolton is thinking after reading this
    article?
    HMMMMM, NOT SURE DB FINDS GRIPES LIKE THIS NEWS OR TAKES IT TOO SERIOUSLY, BUT IF PRESSED, HE’S THINKING: “I’M PLENTY DIVERSE MYSELF, DUDE, WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?”

    2. My wife’s roommate
    from college is now at Wharton, and her essay was about working in the
    non-profit space post-graduation. She’s recently taken a job with Credit
    Suisse First Boston as an Investment Banker.

    THE ADCOMS ARE NOT TOTAL DOPES –YOU CANNOT SAY THAT WITHOUT HAVING EVIDENCE FROM PAST ACTIONS TO BACK IT UP. IT JUST DOESN’T SCORE, ALTHO YOU MIGHT GET IN ANYWAY.

    3. Hire a top consultant.

    AHEM, HTTP//:HBSGURU.COM

  • hbsguru

    P.S. Just saw this on the Daily Beast and thought it would make a GREAT B school essay, as to goals since it combines a hot-button PC issue with a business plan.

    Anti-Rape Lingerie?
    by Isabel Wilkinson
    Fed up with a culture of sexual harassment, three students in India are building…

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/03/shocking-indian-engineers-introduce-electric-anti-rape-underwear.html
    Spoiler Alert: actual article has a Viagra-killing, 100 percent un-erotic picture of a bra.

  • Tech Sales into MBA

    Hi Sandy, Would appreciate a review of my chance at MBA admission to Kellogg, Wharton, MIT.

    Account exec with a global IT company in analytics/big data which is highly selective employer – regularly features high in top places to work list, but not a Google/Microsoft level brand. Started in technical role but quickly moved into complex software sales in healthcare, university, government and non-profit sectors (quite successfully – millions in sales). Now 29 with 7 years of work exp, with 2 of those during undergrad to support studies. .

    Graduated with Business and IT undergrad degrees with 3.3 from top 10 Australian university. 1st generation to get a degree.

    GMAT – On track for 720.

    Extra Curricular:
    Deputy chair of undergrad university’s Alumni Board;
    ICT Advisor to the board of a Big-Brother/Big-Sister type NFP on their technology strategies;
    Spent 4 years at a NFP during studies including national leadership role..
    Was president of the Young Alumni chapter at university for 2 years.
    Involved in mentoring undergrad students who want careers in IT

    I see myself staying in technology over the long term, with MBB consulting firm experience after MBA focusing on technology and strategy.

    Would love Kellogg, but other top 20 schools with Technology/Consulting background would be great, and preferably a 12 month program.

  • Tech Sales Try-Out

    Hi Sandy, I would really appreciate a review of my chance at MBA admission to Kellogg, Wharton, MIT.

    Account exec with a global IT company in analytics/big data which is highly selective employer – regularly features high in top places to work list, but not a Google/Microsoft level brand. Started in technical role but quickly moved into complex software sales in healthcare, university, government and non-profit sectors (quite successfully – millions in sales). Australian male who’s now 29 with 7 years of work exp, with 2 of those during undergrad to support studies.

    Graduated with Business and IT undergrad degrees with 3.3 from top 10 Australian university. 1st generation to get a degree.

    GMAT – On track for 720.

    Extra Curricular:
    Deputy chair of undergrad university’s Alumni Board;
    ICT Advisor to the board of a Big-Brother/Big-Sister type NFP on their technology strategies;
    Spent 4 years at a NFP during studies including national leadership role..
    Was president of the Young Alumni chapter at university for 2 years.
    Involved in mentoring undergrad students who want careers in IT

    I see myself staying in technology over the long term, with MBB consulting firm experience after MBA focusing on technology and strategy.

    Would love Kellogg, but other top 20 schools with Technology/Consulting background would be great, and preferably a 12 month program.

  • hbsguru

    well, I’m not super certain that ‘most’ consultants are leaving at 37, but I am certain that there is a deep shadow falling between ages 33 and 37 in terms of careers– with 33 being considered potentially a very late breakfast and 37 being considered a very early-bird special dinner. If you get my drift.

  • African Big 4 Strategy

    Hi Sandy
    I am a Cameroonian working and studying in North Africa, Morocco. Here is my profile

    GRE 167V 159Q

    2.2 GPA (GPA low because I was hired by Deloitte Central Africa out of high school from a selective Deloitte program. I worked while I was in school in Morocco where I was stationed by Deloitte)

    Al Akhawayn University Morocco (top tier university in Africa)

    4 years of work experience at Deloitte on a rotational program, Currently 3 in Strategy and Operation focusing on Telecommunications, Governments Operatons with Infrastructure development in Africa, Energy and Technology industries covering West and Central African countries, and 1 year as Human Resource Analyst. (I was awarded employer of the month 2 times)

    Extra Curric: Made a business plan to reduce famine in slums, it was nominated as one of the most innovative ideas by Time Magazine and Clinton foundation through the Hult Startup competition in Dubai. Set up a social entrepreneur scheme in North Africa which currently employs 16 women. Marketing officer for the International saloon for agriculture. Member of the Islamic Art and Culture where i lead students into enhancing a women’s cooperative, received the model UN Training award.

    Goal: (My father a minister of transport advised me to go for MPP so I could work with social clients) to get a dual Degree MBA/MPP to continue work in consulting with social industry clients

    Cameroonian 27 years (Central Africa)

    Target schools:

    MIT

    Cornell

    Kellogg

    Wharton

    Yale

    Darden

    Booth

    Ross

    INSEAD

    IMD

    LBS

    Haas(was given conditional admission at Haas because of my experience at Deloitte in Africa)

  • hbsguru

    More about what Bolton at Stanford would think of this story:
    “Studies of the effect of power on the power holder consistently find
    that power produces overconfidence and risk taking, insensitivity to
    others, stereotyping, and a tendency to see other people as a means to
    the power holder’s gratification,” Stanford Graduate School of Business
    professor Jeffrey Pfeffer writes in his book, Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t.
    A cheap shot, I mean, just because this guy is a Stanford B School prof????

  • Chris

    Hi Sandy, I feel pretty good about my application, except my quant schoolwork is still a little weak. Unfortunately, I live in a very rural area in a developing country, so there aren’t any universities near me. Is it worth taking some quant classes online, even if b schools might be less likely to respect those grades, just to beef up my quant profile?

  • Chris

    Hi Sandy, I want to improve my quant profile, but I’m in the Peace Corps right now, so I don’t have access to any sort of university. I’m thinking of taking online statistics and accounting classes, but I don’t want to do that if they won’t actually boost my application. Do you think b-schools will take my online classes seriously if I take them from a reputable institution (I’m thinking Harvard Extension online because, hell, why not) and explain my circumstances? Thanks

  • hbsguru

    Well, what choice do you have? DO IT. I think they will recognize the effort and yes, explain why. I think if you ACE a couple of extension courses, that will help. Harv. Ex school a good choice.

    For one thing, acing that course will show them you actually have learned the material, which is one part of what schools look for, in addtion to the beauty contest part of beating out all the other kids in your class. G’luck,

  • hbsguru

    see answer above

  • hbsguru

    Close one, and I will reply here b.c. the facts are so stark,. A lot will turn on what HSW thinks of your current employer–what is their record of placing kids at HSW? Fact that you had “only” a bronze or silver job –not gold– right after college [audit at PWC] and low GMAT Q score (68%) could be damaging. Your super extras may not tilt so-so jobs and low Q gmat at H and S. Wharton is a maybe, and lot depends on firm’s rep, execution, etc. You are in a tight cohort of hi-performing Asset Management guys. This could be super tuff love: think about re-taking the GMAT.

  • Blue Chip Tech Gal

    Hi Sandy,

    Just wanted to drop in and see if there’s any interest from you or John to see just how successful your predictions are? It’d be interesting to do a piece on “This is where they said they were going – this is what we said were their chances – here’s the outcome.” I know these profiles were helpful to me and would not mind sharing my stats.

    Thanks!

  • George

    Hello Sandy,

    Please do assess my stats, would really appreciate it.

    – GMAT: 780
    – British Undergraduate: First Class Degree – 74.2%

    – Warwick Business School

    – Degree: B.Sc (Hons) Accounting and Finance

    – Work Experience: Goldman Sachs M&A Analyst (2 years)

    – Extra-Curriculars: President of 1500 member University Careers Society, Vice-President of 300 Member Ethnic Society

    – Languages Spoken: English (Fluent), French (Fluent), German (Fluent), Arabic (Fluent), Hindi (Fluent), Malayalam (Fluent).

    – Goal: Achieve further career advancements, enhance managerial skills and develop a broader perspective which will aid me when I startup a hedge fund in my mid 30s.

    – Ethnicity: 23 year old Indian Male. (Did High school in Dubai, UAE)

  • hbsguru

    Stanford GSB show teaser–spot-on “parody” summary of real life + values at Stanford B school. Worth 2 mins. http://t.co/PzepMY7Qxh

  • hbsguru

    Yikes, reality based folllow-up! Can we start with you? How good were predictions in your case? What do you have in mind, the problem is locating the peeps, John is good at that kind of man (and woman) hunt. John????

  • hbsguru

    yes, schools will value online stats and accounting –if only b.c. it shows you are motivated, and Harvard Extension sounds like a good call, I’m no expert, just make sure you do well, it could be harder than you think.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    I’m in.

  • TR12281

    I’m in too (Mr. GE from back in R1).

  • rapplicanth

    Sandy you gave me an assessment via email (not on P&Q) and it was spot on! You said Stanford would be a stretch (I was dinged); MIT was doable with proper execution (I got in); and Berkeley would be easy (I got in). Thanks!

  • hbsguru

    thanks for sharing and glad this worked out. :-)

  • CPA-to-Ops

    It drives most of us nuts. What’s worse: just serving your community by helping those around you (like your un/underemployed friends who haven’t known an easy day in their lives) goes completely unrecognized in these spheres. Better to be a globe-trotting narcicist who stopped to play Angelina Jolie for a day while touring the sub-Sahara than a decent human being living a middle class existence in an impoverished area.

  • Blue Chip Tech Gal

    So here was my profile: http://poetsandquants.com/2012/05/17/handicapping-your-odds-into-a-top-b-school/

    I got dinged at Stanford and Haas, WL at Wharton, In for Kellogg and Chicago. Not a bad call overall – I’m not sure why the Haas one didn’t pan out.

  • HumphreyBogart

    Hi Sandy, I am the typical Indian Male Engineer from a Top 10 engineering college.
    My college GPA is very average and if I convert it using services such as WES, it comes out to be 3.3/4.
    GMAT – 760, AWA – 6
    I have two promtoions under my belt in the past two years at a business services firm (highly accelerated path) along with a couple of awards. Extensive travel to create a personal story.
    Worked in Asia, Europe (Intern), US (assignment).
    Lot of college and school extra-curr but none after college.
    Total work ex – 3 years.
    What do you think my target US schools should be? and what can i do to improve that list?

  • HumphreyBogart

    I am 25 btw.

  • tj

    Hi Sandy,

    My profile is as follows:

    -BA Hons with a 3.88 GPA from a small, relatively unknown Canadian school. Majors in Philosophy and Psychology with a minor in Admin.
    – graduate degrees in Philosophy from a continental European university which is well known and highly regarded within Europe, but not extremely well known outside of it
    -I have worked for the last 6 years or so in taxation consulting for a Canadian company which has no international presence
    -I have not completed the GMAT yet but am currently studying for it. Fairly confident I could score in the 90th percentile or better (and would be willing to write a few times to improve my score if required)
    -white male, currently 34, so would be 35 by the time I matriculated

    Essentially my reason for considering an MBA is that I feel I am in a dead end (albeit high paying) job, and would want to use it as a stepping stone to an entirely different career that provided greater intellectual stimulation.

    Coming from a liberal arts background I have a strong interest in Ethics and would ideally like to work in corporate ethics in an international setting.

    I’m very attracted to the idea of a one year MBA program (given both my age and the opportunity cost). Some of the programs I have looked at include Cass, Judge, IE, EDHEC, Melbourne, HEC Montreal.

    I would be very interested to hear your opinion both on a) whether you think the goal of doing an MBA is reasonable, given my profile, as well as b) if you think the schools I’m considering are appropriate choices, or whether there are others you would recommend (assuming your answer to a) is yes, of course :D).

    Thank you!

  • MarieinDC

    Were there no female candidates that merited a handicap?

  • JG

    Hi Sandy,

    I love this series and appreciate all of the information. I would love to hear your thoughts on the profile below.

    – 770 GMAT (50Q/46V)
    – 3.9 GPA Finance and Acct
    – Undergrad at Wharton
    – 2 year fellowship in leadership and service at the US Golf Association (Passed up offer for Goldman Sachs in NY)
    – 5 years at boutique investment banks (2 years at one; 3 years at another) without nationally recognizable brand names
    – Consistent track of promotions (promoted from analyst to associate to vice president in less than 5 years)
    – Goal is to focus on management skills and transition to an operations / CFO role at a consumer company (focus in IB is in consumer companies)
    – Limited volunteer work given IB hours, but consistent volunteering in local church
    – 29, white, male
    – Schools of interest: HBS, GSB, MIT

    Thanks,
    JG

  • Mr. Retail

    Hi Sandy, would really appreciate an assessment of my profile here.

    – 720 GMAT

    – CGPA : 8.87 / 10 from a top 10 engineering university in India

    – 3 years in Big Data Retail Analytics in the India office of a major blue chip software company (think Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, IBM etc.)

    – Promoted once from Analyst to Senior Analyst

    – Job requires extensive statistical analysis, but client interaction is null

    – Internship in back office of a bulge bracket investment bank and a research internship in a top university in Europe, during college

    – Can get recommendations from PhDs in Cornell / MIT as well as a great recommendation from my manager

    – Previous employees (two) from my team got admitted to a top 15 B School (think Darden, Fuqua)

    – Community work involves volunteering for teaching underprivileged kids, and was the sponsorship and fund raising head for my college’s festival

    – A closeted 25 year old male, I wish to use the transformative experience of B school and staying in a society that is more open to LGBT to come out and also inspire other Indian LBGTs to stand up for themselves

    – Wish to leverage my quantitative skillset in retail analytics with strategic insights from my B School experience to work for a retail firm post MBA.

    Thank you.

  • Mr. Retail

    Apologies, my target B Schools are :

    HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Insead, LBS, MIT, Chicago, Columbia, Kellogg, Duke, Darden, Tuck, Yale, Ross, Cornell, Haas

  • CHN speaking EC grad

    Hi Sandy! I would really appreciate an assessment of my profile considering I have yet to see one very similar to mine!

    -700 GMAT

    -3.76 Economics BS (major GPA)

    -3.00 Chinese language BA (major GPA)

    -3.19 GPA overall

    -1 year experience working in a mid-size logistics firm

    – 4 six-month experiences working in a research position for non-profits, and non-governmental organizations

    Just graduated with my double degrees and hoping to find something in finance to get started. Work for a year or so and then apply for business school.

    I didn’t have many leadership positions because I was either studying Chinese, and working part-time or doing an internship.

    -Lived for two years abroad through a university exchange program studying Chinese

    -Graduated with Honors in Economics and produced a 50+ page thesis regarding Chinese economic history.

    -white 26yo female

    Target schools: Fuqua, Booth, Stern, Haas

    Thank you so much!

  • SHASHANK

    SANDY PLEASE ASSESS THE PROFILE BELOW. I WOULD BE GRATEFUL!

    -750 GMAT (100% QUANT)
    -3.50 GPA SOFTWARE ENGINEERING (BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY)
    – TOP INDIAN UNIVERSITY
    -WORKING WITH ONGC (OIL AND NATURAL GAS CORPORATION) ($30 Bn REVENUE)
    -41 MONTHS OF WORK EXPERIENCE IN THE SAME FIRM AS A SAP DEVELOPER AND CONSULTANT
    -CAREER RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE MANAGING RESEARCH/ ANALYTICS
    – WAS THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE PHP CLUB IN COLLEGE WHICH INCLUDED TEACHING MAJORING STUDENTS PHP 1-2 HOURS.
    -WORKSHOPS ATTENDED ON HACKING, SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS, RISK MANAGEMENT ETC.
    -27, INDIAN, MALE, INDIAN ORIGIN (ASIAN)
    -SCHOOLS OF INTEREST – HARVARD ……………ONLY!
    -STRONG RECOMMENDATION FROM A STATE MEMBER OF LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY.

  • AB

    Hi Sandy- Non-traditional MBA applicant would like your assessment of my profile, with regards to my chances of being admitted to a top ten school, preferably Booth or Wharton. Great assessments, very insightful and humorous as well
    -GMAT not yet completed, based on practice tests, I expect to score ~690-710
    – 2.8 Undergraduate Microbiology, minor in Biotechnology, Colorado State
    – Some research experience as an undergrad
    – 1 year managing invasive species program with Division of Wildlife
    – 3 years as owner / general manager of independent car dealership
    – Inventor / patent applicant, with U.S. patent pending
    – Currently sales manager within automotive industry, looking to transition into consulting or finance.
    – Some volunteer work, but limited. Have worked long and late hours since graduation.
    – White male, some Spanish and Jewish ancestry
    – Grandfather completed medical specialization of Anesthesiology at Harvard after completing medical school in the navy
    I feel my strengths are my experiences as a business owner and an entrepreneur, my weaknesses are my low GPA, and the fact that I did not major in a business specialty. I am told that schools are interested in science and engineering students at this time, but I don’t know if that will work in my favor or not. Also, I wonder if the fact that my grandfather attended Harvard will help my application. Thank you very much!

  • AB

    “Will help if I apply to Harvard that is, thanks”

  • Conan

    Better off at INSEAD. 100 % selection!

  • Marco A Campos

    Hi – I would also appreciate an assessment on my profile below.

    Age: 29
    Nationality: Mexican American (first citizen in the family)
    First to attend college and only to graduate from high school in the family
    Essay to be around my vast acquisition experience both corporate and Government
    2nd Essay to be on growing up with a single mom and dealing with tragedies
    Letter of Recommendations: An SVP from a $4 Billion company endorsed by the CEO and from a High level Government official at the General rank equivalent

    – Have not taken GMAT (Thinking about a prep course) took practice and it was 510 30Q 31V
    – 3.1 GPA from a State University

    – 12 years of military experience (6 Enlisted in the Army and 6 as an Air Force Officer)
    – I have commanded 3 units in the acquisition field each around 25 personnel (3 years)
    – I have awarded/executed/negotiated over 200 contracts worth over $3 Billion
    – I was recently stratified and awarded #1 of 652 Company Grade Officers, 2013 (CGOs) at Space & Missile Systems Center (include other officers in careers such as Pilots, Space professionals, Finance, lawyers, doctors etc… and schools from Ivy league to Air Force Academy)
    – My team was stratified as #1 of 15, 2012 and won GPS team excellence award (I was team leader)
    – #1 of 15 contracting officers, 2012
    – I was competitively selected for AF Education with Industry (1 of 3 from a pool of over 800) It is a highly competitive program to work 1 year at industry and return to the Air Force to apply corporate knowledge within the military.
    – I was competitively selected for Language Enable Airman Program (LEAP) 5% selection rate to learn Brazilian Portuguese and deploy to Brazil for a month every year to hone language skills and local business practices by attending symposiums and networking.
    – I have 4 years of international experience: Brazil, Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Indonesia
    – I have Merger & Acquisition exposure to the negotiation and integration of a $900M company as part of my current industry tour
    – I have exposure to investor relations at wall street
    – I Led a $420M source selection which is a process to build a requirement and award a contract in addition to being a team member to 6 other source selections
    — I know how to capture business as part of my current industry experience linked with Government source selection experience
    – I was promoted to SGT at age 19 in the US Army (ultra rare)
    – Received a personal letter of Commendation from the US Ambassador to Qatar
    – So much more etc…

    I am looking to see if I am competitive for Columbia MBA or Harvard MBA?
    – The goal is to leverage my breath of exposure in acquisitions and to fuse it with an Ivy league MBA to begin my passion in finance and salesmanship and work as an Investment banker specializing in Merger & Acquisitions

    So sorry for the extensive profile but I am fact finding if I am competitive and wanted to give the bulk of what I do.

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