Ms. Burger King
- 690 GMAT (43Q, 42V)
- 3.87 undergraduate degree in international studies and Spanish from Duke University
- Work experience includes two years at the Burger King Corporation, starting as a management trainee working in marketing analytics for Latin America; quant-heavy role involving forecasting sales and analyzing promotional performance; was promoted first in my class of 30 analysts to marketing manager in Central America; led marketing strategy for 10 countries in region, spending 50% of time in country; led a turnaround plan for the Honduras market resulting in positive EBITDA for the first time in several years; received the VIP award for work there, an honor given to just 3% of employees globally; then left Burger King seven months ago to join a tech startup as director of marketing
- Extracurricular involvement as university editor of the Duke student newspaper (wrote 2-3 articles per week for 2 years); member of Duke Business Society; recruitment chair of my sorority; did a study-abroad program in Madrid; currently mentor inner-city high school students through LaunchU, the Junior League Chicago (women’s service organization); avid runner, dancer, baker
- Goal: To transition into global brand management or international business strategy for a multinational company
- 25-year-old Hispanic female
Odds of Success:
Northwestern: 40% to 50%
MIT: 30% to 40%
UCLA: 40% to 50%
Columbia: 40% to 50%
Sandy’s Analysis: What we’ve got here is a 25-year-old Hispanic female with a 690 GMAT that is good enough if they like you. That is something they will wink at if they like you. And there is a double whammy here because you are a Hispanic female. You have a great career. You’ve had a quant-heavy role and were promoted first in a class among 30 analysts in Latin America, with half your time in-country.
Leaving Burger King after two years to join a tech startup as director of marketing is surprising. As we always say with startups, adcoms want to know if it has venture backing or is it your two friends in their mother’s kitchen. What that company does and what you do there is very important to your story. In any case, you have solid goals given your work experience and impressive extras.
I don’t think you are a reach at HBS. With serviceable execution and a powerful recommendation from someone at Burger King, you could make it there, especially if the tech startup is legit and not a joke. You are competing with other URMs and you have a powerful case. If you had a 720 GMAT, you would walk into Harvard. I don’t think the 30-point difference is going to stop you. You have a really good chance there. Everything in your story is real solid and tight, from your living-in-country experience in Latin America to your work in marketing analytics.
I’m not sure why you would want to do the Wharton/Lauder program. My advice: The Lauder thing is like saying, “Forget everything else I told you. What I am really interested in is political science and Latin America.” It’s a nutty idea. I don’t think you have a Lauder profile. On the other hand, you are what Kellogg dreams about. MIT would have an easier time of not getting excited about you because of the GMAT score and because they have a small entering class. UCLA would go for this, and you could never tell at Columbia because they are so protective of their yield. If you want to go to Columbia, you really need to show an interest in the school. I would visit and try to work up a New York angle. Otherwise, you could end up on Columbia’s waitlist.
Bottom line: You have a bright future and you will have it your way.