Your Chances Of Getting Into An Elite Business School
He’s a 25-year-old U.S. Marine Captain who has had two combat deployments under his belt. With a 730 GMAT score on his first try and a 3.57 grade point average in accounting, he wants an MBA degree to transition back into civilian life.
He’s a 26-year-old analyst at a boutique management consulting firm after having spent two years at an IT support firm for hedge funds. Captain of his college hockey team at a liberal arts school in New England, he has a 740 GMAT and a 3.3 GPA. He hopes to use an MBA to shift to being a strategy consultant for the technology industry.
She’s a 31-year-old woman who has worked at the same financial service technology company for eight full years. But outside of work, she is clearly a person seeking adventure: she is into mountain biking, kayaking, hiking and yoga. With a 680 GMAT and a 3.4 GPA, this white female professional wants to earn an MBA to make a transition into consulting.
What these 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 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 to be published shortly. (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.)
This week’s batch is a special video collection of candidates’ chances. So you can watch the video tape dissection or simply read what Sandy has to say about each applicant’s odds to get into their target schools.
Sandy’s candid lowdowns:
- 730 GMAT (first try)
- 3.57 GPA
- Undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Kansas, graduating in three and one-half years
- Work experience as a U.S. Marine, having served two combat deployments
- Was commissioned at the age of 21 and will come out as a captain
- 25-year-old male
Odds of Success:
Wharton: 40% to 50%
Chicago: 40% t0 50%
Sandy’s Analysis: This is a case where everything lines up. The University of Kansas is the kind of school that Harvard and Stanford like to accept people from if they can.
The 3.57 in accounting is a couple of eyelashes on the low side, but the 730 GMAT helps him there. And then he has had a distinguished military career with two deployments. As I have said many times, admissions officers have a very difficult time hashing out a military career. Ghey don’t know what a golden career is versus a silver or bronze. One of the things they do understand are deployments. He’s got that going for him and he seems to have graduated to captain in what seems like a fast amount of time. That’s helpful.
Depending on how this guy tells his story, guys like this get into Harvard certainly. Stanford there might be a missing X factor that we don’t know about. At Harvard, he is in the hopper for sure.
Business schools are open to the military, but in their minds, there is the good military and the bad military. They’ll never admit this, but in the bad military are those who conform to the stupid stereotype of military people: that they are gung-ho, that they follow orders, and aren’t very reflective. If he presents that way, he will damage himself. A good military candidate is reflective, non-kinetic in anything other than a combat situation, and likable.
It’s a question of how you come cross. Do you have a more fluid body language. If you go in there with the yes-ma’am, no-ma’am stuff, they don’t like it.