Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds

After a year as an operations analyst for a major New York bank, she went west and has worked for nearly four years in Silicon Valley for a major social media player in supply chain operations. This 26-year-old white female boasts super stats: a 760 GMAT and a 3.89 grade point average from a top 40 private university. She hopes to get an MBA to move into an strategic planning role at an early stage tech company.

After earning an undergraduate degree in philosophy and economics at a top 25 university, he became a reporter at the Financial Times and ultimately moved into a senior management role at a financial news startup that serves the investment banking community. With a 720 GMAT and a 3.75 GPA, this young 20-something professional now wants an MBA to transition into i-banker job.

After a two-year stint as a counter terrorist intelligence analyst for the Defense Department, this 27-year-old African-American woman joined an experiential nonprofit that largely works with underserved youth and veterans. As the development and corporate relations manager in a large regional office, she hopes to go to business school to transition into a corporate social responsibility role at a for-profit or hybrid company. She has a 690 GMAT and a 3.62 GPA from Duke University where she majored in history and political science.

All three of these candidates and several more want to get through the door of a highly selective MBA program at one of the world’s very best business schools. Do they have a chance?

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, work backgrounds and career goals 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.)

Awesome news man reading a newspaper

Mr. Muckraker


  • 720 GMAT (43Q/47V)
  • 3.75 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from a top 25 university with a double major in economics and philosophy (As in almost all statistics, econonics and math classes)
  • Work Experience includes a year as a reporter at the Financial Times, working on a Pearson Venture fund-backed financial news service; one year as an editor at an energy commodity benchmarking/forecasting company; currently in a senior management role at a financial news start up that serves the investment banking community
  • Extracurricular involvement includes four years of varsity tennis; program director at a nonprofit that uses tennis as a vehicle for empowerment for kids with autism; member of the development committee at another nonprofit that sponsors tennis clinics in underserved neighborhoods
  • Goal: To put his understanding of the energy industry to use at a power and utilities group at an investment bank; eventually would like to join an infrastructure investment firm

Odds of Success:

Columbia: 40% (Early Decision)
Wharton: 30%
MIT: 25%
Yale: 40%+
NYU: 50%
Georgetown: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: What we have here is a very attractive, Ivy League kind of literate guy who did well. You have solid basics, with a 3.75 GPA and a 720 GMAT. He also say she has a lot of extras around tennis. You are a tennis playing, writer type. This is proof of mama don’t let your children double major in economics and philosophy. If he just majored in economics, he might have been able to go straight into an investment bank. Quick learner that he was, he realized that he would rather be eating these cup cakes rather than writing about them and so he then transitioned over from writer to editor to editor of more proprietary, high-value insider publications. By hook and crook and hard work and intelligence he has transformed himself into a financial writing innovator.

I think you should apply to Wharton. Why you omitted Wharton, I don’t know. I like you and schools will like you. Admission committees are often composed of people like you, liberal arts business who had an interest in business. The fact that you are a writer means you are probably well spoken. Wharton might say we could use a guy like you. You are a few basis points on your GMAT below Wharton’s numbers but they might very well eat that given that you are not the typical i-banker. You seem more articulate, fun loving, and more well read than the typical investment banker.

The question is can you get hired by an i-bank? The more important question is would an admissions committee think you can get hired by an i-bank? I think you need to say you want to go into financial publishing, like Rupert Murdoch. That might be an alternative career and one that is more attractive to an admissions committee.

Your chances at Wharton are about 30%, depending on the cohort they put you in. If they assign you to the investment banking cohort, you might pop out because your background is so interesting. But that is a very competitive cohort and they have people like that coming out of their pant’s pocket. That’s why you might have more of an edge if you compete as someone who is interested in financial publishing.

It’s clear you are not the plain vanilla investment banker type.

  • Ms.Mathy

    Dear Sandy,

    Thank you very much for doing this, my stats are:

    – GMAT: 750 (expected from practice test, haven’t taken the real test yet)
    – Undergrad GPA: 3.7 from (Harvard/Yale/Princeton) (currently a senior) with full scholarship
    – Major: Double major in Applied Math/Econ
    – Goal medal from national mathematics olympiad in high school
    – Went to a gifted High School on full scholarship
    – Work Experience: one internship at a hedge fund, one internship at a growth private equity fund and one internship at an infrastructure private equity fund in NYC
    – Long Term Goal: investing in infrastructure/healthcare in developing countries
    – Vietnamese (not American), first generation to go to college, low income back ground, work to support myself through college and high school

    Applying to HBS 2+2, Stanford Deferred and Yale Silver Scholar

    Thank you again!

  • BobCha

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks so much for running this series. I come from a quant finance background and hope to go into MBA to pursue product management. I’m wondering if my relative lack of work experience is going to be a problem for my application. Any feedback you could give me would be highly appreciated.

    163-Q 165-V 5-W GRE
    3.76 GPA
    Undergraduate degree in Economics & Statistics from a top 5 Ivy+ school (Chicago, Stanford, MIT)
    Work experience includes an internship in economic consulting and a 2 year full-time rotational program at a bulge bracket bank in quantitative risk management
    Extracurricular involvement in college includes student government treasurer, VP of an international community service organization, and founding board of a culinary magazine in college. Extracurriculars during full-time employment include internal community service board member in the bank, alumni engagement committee for the rotational program, and volunteering at a food co-op.
    Completed CFA level II
    Proficiency in R, Python, and Matlab
    Fluent in English and Chinese
    Short-term goal: To switch to a career in product management for a Machine Learning technology product
    24 year old male Asian American (25 at matriculation)
    Applying to Chicago, HBS, Stanford, Kellogg, Berkeley, and MIT Sloan

  • adsieg01

    Hello from China! I have a unique profile and I would appreciate if you could evaluate it.
    Please provide suggestions on stretch schools and perhaps some more probable schools.

    I am an American but I have lived in China since graduation (3 years)

    Currently working as a teacher at one of the top language schools in Shenzhen, China. I have started a couple small businesses including a cooking school and English education consultancy. I’ve written and sold an Ebook on a website I built myself.

    GMAT: 720
    GPA: 3.2
    Undergrad was Business Administration with a minor in entrepreneurship (University of Louisville)

    Extracurricular activities
    -Eagle Scout
    -Founding Father of fraternity
    -Top performer on collegiate sales team
    -Resident Assistant
    -Highly fluent in written and spoken Mandarin Chinese (HSK 5)
    -Placed in multiple business competitions
    -Official mentor for undergrad entrepreneurship team

    Goal: Leverage my Chinese network and experience to help bring American products and services to the Chinese market.

  • giorgia.lazzerini@hotmail.it

    Hi Sandy and John!

    I would love you to review my profile and handicap my odds for the following schools:
    NYU Stern

    This is my profile:

    28 years old, italian white female

    1. GMAT: 760 (Q50,V42)

    2. Education
    Undergraduate: GPA 3.76, major in economics and finance (from a top 10 public universities)
    Graduated one year later because of personal problems
    Master’s degree: GPA 3.96, major in accounting and finance (same university)
    Master’s degree: GPA 3.98, major in international management (from the best italian university for economics and finance)
    Before my bachelor’s degree I attended the faculty of engineering for one year for then switching to economics.

    3. Work experience
    3 and a half years into a big four consulting
    6 weeks abroad (Egypt) as part of a European Voluntary Service’s project to protect woman rights
    3 and a half years as private trader

    4. Leadership and volunteering
    Tennis team captain
    Co-founder of an association which raise money to allow children and young women to have an education
    Member of the italian association for people with down syndrome

    5. Extracurricula
    Completed all three CFA levels
    Excellent knolodwege of C, C++, Java
    Fluent in english and spanish

    Short-term goal: switch to the hedge fund industry

    Thank you for your time.

    Best regards.

  • Jack Man

    Hello John and Sandy

    I want to apply to Harvard’s 2+2 , Standford’s Deferred MBA and Yale Silver Scholar.
    I dont see many videos for 2+2 programs, can you make a video?

    GRE – 327/340 Q:165 V:162 AWA: 4.0
    Both these programs except either GRE or GMAT
    Toefl – 118/120

    Undergrad (2011-2015)
    Top 20 engg colleges in India. (GPA 8.7 out of 10.0)
    -In top 5 of class
    I graduated in Industrial Engg (NOT SOFTWARE, NOT ALL INDIANS CODE !)

    Had 2 internships in manufacturing firms, the role was more like Internal Consulting.
    Went to grad school at Columbia, directly after undergrad.

    Grad School – Columbia University (2015-2017)
    GPA – 3.77 currently
    -During my undergrad I Realized that I needed to learn more
    -Pursuing a STEM masters in Columbia’s Management Science and Engineering (ITS NOT AN MBA).
    -I take half my courses in Operations Research(Maths and analytics) and the other half in Columbia Business School’s DRO dept (only Decision, Risk and Operations courses)
    – I had a taste for Harvard’s case methods but only specific to operations. I want to be well rounded, learn more about entrepreneurship and leadership.

    – Worked year-long as a Part time consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton and Cubesmart (as part of the coursework)
    -Pretty close to starting my own business

    My family has a manufacturing business that employs many unskilled workers. It involves heavy manufacturing but it has a lot of trade and other aspects to it as well.
    I intend to go back at some time in the future (I’m the only kid in the family)
    Here is my story, I know I have to go back and manage my family business, Its my social responsibility. But before I go back, I wanted to try something for myself. I have a great start up idea that I want to try, but I don’t want to risk getting kicked out of the US in 1 year if my start up doesn’t take off. I have spoken to multiple VCs and they love my idea.

    I believe this MBA will not only enable me to be a leader and capable of managing my family business, it will also empower me in the sense that I will have a safety net. In the 2 years before I go to B-school I am free to try anything knowing that if I fail, I still have Harvard or Stanford. Plus I won’t get kicked out of the country just yet.

    I want to emphasize both these aspects when I apply
    1. The MBA empowers me to become a leader and lead my family business to greater heights.
    2. The MBA acts as an safety net and empowers me to start my own business in the US.

    So in the time between my masters and MBA, I can start my business, try and fail and try again till I succeed.

    Extra Curriculars

    -While in School, I was in the NCC (analogous to ROTC in the US)
    – Was a part of the Indian Red Cross for 2 years.
    – ENTP personality type (like Ms. Jersey :P)
    – I may work in Consulting after an MBA to recoup costs.

    Are there any other 2+2 programs I should apply to? and What are my chances at Harvard, Stanford and Yale’s deffered program?

  • LotionGuy

    Hi Sandy,

    Would you mind providing some feedback on my profile?

    25 year-old white male
    3.88 GPA at Top 20 Public University, Chemical Engineering Major
    GMAT 740 (50Q/41V)

    Work Experience:
    – 3 years as Product Development Scientist (by matriculation date) for large multinational FMCPG company (think J&J, P&G, or Unilever), with one promotion
    – role covers formulation bench work, visiting factories for first-production runs, project management, working with marketing, supply chain, etc.
    – summer internship with same company in Mumbai, India (only one intern selected for international assignment)

    – outreach to teach STEM classes / encourage STEM education in inner-city high schools,
    – chair of a team of 12 that planned a student Chemical Engineering Conference with over 22 universities and 240 students attending
    – undergraduate research in nanotechnology (3 semesters)

    Goal: Either return to a FMCPG company in corporate strategy or join/found disruptive consumer goods start-up

    What are my chances at Harvard, MIT, Yale, and Wharton? Am I stretching too much?

    Thank you very much for your time!

  • MathGal

    Hi Sandy,

    I am a female, 3.98 in STEM at lower-ranked ivy. GMAT 750. Worked three years at Bulge bracket bank. 1 year at PE. Want to transition to consulting at MBB. I have my heart set on Yale, but would also consider Wharton/CBS/Booth

  • civilengineer

    forgot to list the schools. Would love to know my chances at: HBS, Stanford, LBS, Booth, Yale
    I would be applying in Round 2.

  • civilengineer

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for doing these reviews!

    GMAT: 760 (49Q,44V)
    Education: 3.6 BS in engineering from an Ivy, 3.5 MS in engineering from Stanford
    Demographics: 27 year old Asian American female
    Work experience: 4.5 years as a structural engineer (in infrastructure, i.e. bridges and tunnels) at a multinational global design/engineering firm, with 2 of those years working abroad (Europe). Learned the local language (to a working proficiency) within 2 years despite having no exposure to it prior to arriving in Europe.
    Extracurricular: volunteer work within the civil engineering industry, including positions as president of civil engineering society in undergrad and community service chair post-grad and volunteering for an organization promoting architecture/engineering to high school students.
    Post MBA goal: Short term – to leverage my hands-on technical background into a business strategy role in infrastructure, which is a field in desperate need of innovation and disruptive thinking. Long term – high level management strategy for global engineering/tech company.

  • Grateful

    Hi Sandy,

    I’d really appreciate your feedback on my profile:

    1. 740 gmat (50Q, 41V), 3.5+ GPA magna cum laude from HYP, full scholarship, majored in politics. Won several writing awards, wrote several books published by international publishers (Mandarin rights bought and published by top state-owned publishers in China).
    Female from Southeast Asian country (think Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia or Indonesia) – multilingual

    2. 3+ years experience in investments/commercial banking (govt investment then top American bank in Southeast Asia). Promoted early, apart from front-line role in commercial banking, led 40+ strong volunteer/CSR committee directly reporting to CEO (role typically held by SVP or director) and pioneered CSR education programs from bottom up that had highest participation + positive feedback. Strong recommendations from board member + C-level executive.

    3. MBA goal – Transition from finance to entrepreneurship – thinking Fintech

    R1: Stanford, Wharton, NYU
    R2: Harvard, MIT, Booth

  • Omar Zafar

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you for all of your help and being a great resource.

    I was wondering if you could provide some input on my background and schools that I would like to apply for.

    Undergrad Background:
    My background includes a 3.65 GPA in finance and economics at a non-prestigious undergrad (think Marist/Fairfied/ Bryant/Ithaca College). Fair amount of extracurriculars. Held numerous leadership roles and volunteer experience. I held an officer at my honors society.

    Work Experience:
    1 year in corp finance at a media firm (think Oglivy Mather/ Omnicom Group/ Edelman)
    1 year in financial services as a controller on a fixed income derivatives desk (think Goldman Sachs/JP Morgan/Morgan Stanley)
    Will have two years work experience as a pnl analyst at a large commodities firm (think ADM/Bungie/ Louis Dreyfus) on a trading desk. At the time of my application

    Volunteer Work: SAT tutoring for disadvantaged juniors. Roughly 2 years

    GMAT: 660 Second Attempt. Im terrible at standardized tests. Honestly I am pretty sure this not gonna get much higher. During my undergraduate program I took quantitative courses such as Calc I, Calc 2, Econometrics, Statistics, and Financial Math. I was thinking about highlighting this in my application to make the admissions officers more comfortable on my Math.

    Will be 28 at the time of when I would start my MBA. Born in the USA and an American Citizen. Ethnic background- Half south asian half latino. My last name isn’t Spanish but my first name is. When I apply I am definitely not gonna include the South Asian aspect of my background, but would I be able to mention that I am latino. I did that in my undergrad college applications.

    Business Schools of my Interest:
    London Business School
    Carnegie Mellon University
    University of North Carolina
    University of Virginia
    Duke University

    Goal: My goal with the MBA is work in corp finance for a tech/ biotech company

  • Aditya Akhauri

    Hey Sandy, here are my stats (Indian male) –

    GMAT – 710
    GPA – 3.0 in UG at National Institute of Technology, India
    3.05 in Masters in Management (Communications) from MICA India which is Asia’s leading communication school.
    at time of joining – 3 + years as brand and communication strategist at Publicis, the global advertising giant. Campaigns and brands that I have worked on have won Cannes Lions and I have very strong career progression. Currently, I am heading strategy at a division of Publicis India.

    Extra curricular activities – Founded the quizzing society
    at my PG college, was the main quizmaster for UG college’s quiz fest which I had co-founded, some radio jockeying, theater work in university, contributor to various travel blogs, won some robotics and
    debate competitions in college too.

    Career aim – Currently, am advising CMOs and Brand heads on communication strategy and helping them craft branding strategies. However, I find this role limited and want to move to a more holistic consulting role.

    Schools aimed – Duke, Kellogg, Indiana, Emory, Ross, Washington (Foster)

    According to you what are my chances in the aforementioned schools and are there any other schools you might want to suggest?

  • GigaHertz

    I find it hilarious when people go to B-Schools to become entrepreneurs. It means that those who were already entrepreneurs pre-MBA or without MBA are far more creative and intelligent than this lot.

    MBA for corporate or banking career. Understandable. MBA for a job (even if it is in a startup) and then a startup of your own. Understandable. MBA and then immediately a startup of your own when you have huge debts. Foolish. Naive. If you are already rich, then that is a different story.

  • SuccessfulEntrepreneur

    They say schools like HBS take you if you have a successful startup with VC funding?

    I say that is BS. If you are already at that stage, why the hell would you need an MBA degree.

    Sometimes, B-Schools behave like con artists.

    If an entrepreneur applies to a B-School it can mean:

    1. In his industry, only such schools can provide powerful networking tools. He needs that degree to get in touch with the right folks to push his venture forward further.

    2. His business is not running so well so he wants out, or he was a failed entrepreneur.

  • Ms Tech

    Correction – Internships were 4 months each.

  • Ms Tech

    Applying this year, 2nd round. Would greatly appreciate your opinion on my chances.
    – 25 years old female Software Engineer from a Canadian university best known for Engineering
    – Undergrad 84% converted to 3.7 GPA on a scale of 4 (top 15% of the class)
    – GMAT 730 (49Q/39V) (taken thrice, gradual growth from first time score of 700)
    – Immigrated form SE Asia during senior school years, now Canadian citizen
    – Currently working with a top tech silicon valley company(promoted once already. Will complete 2 years of work experience before admission to MBA)
    – 6 internships (6 months each in major tech companies, last 2 resulted in full time job offers)
    – Organizer for the local chapter of a “Women in tech” empowering program, also involved in organizing a female techmakers’ conference. Mentored lower years female students for smooth transition into STEM courses during university years.
    Target schools – HBS, GSB, Wharton, Booth & Sloan.
    Long term goal to get into a leadership role in a leading tech company or lead my own.

  • Tarun

    Hi Sandy, would love to get your advice on my odds at top schools. Thank you!

    25 year old
    Indian male
    3.7 GPA in engineering from Stanford
    GMAT: 750
    Languages: Mandarin, Hindi, Spanish

    Work experience: College internships in investment banking (Hong Kong) and equity research (Mumbai), 1 year at a San Francisco-based PE fund (firm blew up and they fired everyone), 2 years at top asset management firm doing co-investments in PE / distressed credit, 2 years of impact investing (if I apply this cycle)

    Extracurricular: President of the local chapter of an education nonprofit (promoted from core volunteer), volunteer at a healthcare social enterprise started by a Stanford GSB professor.

    Career Goals: Consulting focused on energy sector -> renewable energy investing (I think my story is pretty good, tie it into growing up in China and India)

  • Indian

    Amrita University is ranked one! WTF. Troll.

  • xxxxxxxxx

    Hi Sandy, thanks so much for an invaluable source of information.

    I would love to get your ideas and advice on a Fall ’17 application:

    26 years old
    Asian-American female
    3.4 from an ivy league, in economics + literature
    3 years in consulting at a Big Four
    740 GMAT (46 verbal, 47 quant)
    National athlete since 2008

    I would love advice on which schools I should apply to, for a long term vision of taking over family business

  • TransitioningEngineer

    Hey Sandy, I would love to gather some insight on the strength of my application.

    Basic Background Statistics:
    23 years old
    White Male
    3.51 from The University of Texas, Mechanical Engineering
    Executive Board Member of Interest Free Loan Non Profit Organization
    Fraternity Treasurer/Academic Chairman
    Entrepreneurship Student Government Agency Fundraising Director/Event Coordinator

    GMAT: 730 (46q, 45v)

    Professional Experience:
    – Professional Development Rotational Program at Pfizer. Manufacturing process improvement. Large scale capital project management. Participation in various committees to install volunteer, educational, and social activities and initiatives. Attended Project Management and Innovation Training Seminars.

    Short Term Goal:
    Transition from my technical engineering background into middle management in order to gain valuable insight and growth in interpersonal relations.

    Long Term Goal:
    High level operations management with focus on long term strategy.

    I am looking to transfer into the business/finance sector or a large consulting firm before applying to schools to ensure I have applicable skills/experience. Do you think this transition is necessary or would benefit my application?

    With all that said, how do you think my chances to the Elite programs are?

    Thank you for your advice and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  • brent.m.godfrey@gmail.com

    Hey Sandy-

    Would love your input and feedback:

    Basic Background Stats:
    31 year old white male
    3.53 from top Ivy (think Harvard/Yale) in History
    Captain of volleyball team, co-founder of civic engagement social venture in college (teaching applied civics/advocacy skills in local high schools), bluegrass band member while in college

    GRE 165 Q, 167 V, 5.5 AWA

    Professional history:
    – Naval intelligence officer 3.5 years (2013-present); led cross-functional intel teams on two deployments (performed in top 5% of peers); selected for
    – Full time firefighter in New Orleans for four years (2008-2012)
    – Concurrently ran (on off days from firehouse) service learning program for MBAs from top schools (think GSB, HBS, Booth, Kellogg, Tuck, Yale, Haas, Columbia) at local startup incubator (think organizing teams of students to come down and do pro-bono consulting for local ventures in wake of Katrina); doubled size of program and built out entrepreneurship education programming for local entrepreneurs

  • dmitry.vasishev@yandex.ru

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you for this amazing resource! I have gone through all the past issues of Handicapping… and made several major changes to my resume and essays based on the advice you are giving here.

    It would be amazing if you get a chance to evaluate my profile.

    730 GMAT (48Q / 43V / 6IR / 4AWA) – do you think this is worth retaking? I spent only a couple of weeks preparing and did not prepare for AWA at all. I could very realistically bump up my score to 750 (my practice tests ranged 720-760).

    ~3.55 GPA in International Relations from a top Russian university (most competitive undergraduate program in the country)
    ~3.4 GPA MSc Comparative Politics from LSE

    27-year-old Russian male originally from a working class family in Siberia.

    Work experience includes 20 months at the public sector practice of a Big3 consulting firm (market leader in Russia) in several non-client facing positions. I started as an intern in public sector research and was promoted to an SBA-level position within one year (fastest promotion along this track in at least 10 years, confirmed in recommendation letters). Top 5% in my cohort in the latest evaluation. I am the first person to be hired to my current position, which is basically a business development analyst for the firm. I help formulate our public sector strategy for the region and prepare letters of proposal to potential clients (not technical / legal but analytical parts).

    Prior to my current job, I spent 8 months in Washington, DC. First, I worked for 5 months as a research intern at a major U.S. policy think-tank (not Brookings, but definitely in the top-10) with a former Russian high-profile economic policy maker, and then another 3 months working as a summer research fellow at a smaller international-focused think-tank researching tax policy. Other that policy research, I did a bit of writing, with one op-ed published by Forbes (online).

    My extracurriculars have also mostly been based on policy and politics. I have been quite actively involved in the Russian democratic opposition (election monitoring, campaign volunteering, electoral research) and did a lot of extracurricular conferences, seminars, and summer schools on economic reform and democratization. No significant formal leadership positions.

    Post-MBA goal: switch to a post-MBA client-facing position in management consulting for the public sector at my firm or another Big3 to get more leadership opportunities and to accelerate my progression along the partner track. Eventually, I would like to contribute to policy making in Russia and the region either from a senior consulting position or from inside the government.

    Other than my low GMAT AWA and IR, I am concerned about a 6-month gap in my work history after returning from the U.S. First, I traveled for 2 months and then it took my firm 4 months to go through all the tests and case interviews. It wasn’t painful unemployment – I was preparing for interviews and enjoying my free time but I don’t know if it will look bad on my resume.

    Target schools: Columbia, HBS, MIT, Booth, Wharton, Stern

    Thank you in advance!

  • Yamini Tare

    Hi Sandy,
    I’m still undecided about applying this year and think I’ll need more time.
    I still have to take the GMAT and am scoring 710-730 on practice tests.
    Graduated from a private Univ in India with a GPA of 3.3.
    Graduated from my Masters at Texas A&M with a GPA of 3.5. Bothe degree majors were in Biotechnology.
    I am working as a Senior Manufacturing Associate at a Research start up working with stem cells for the last 3 years.
    Extracurriculars- involved with alumni mentorship, work with epilepsy and arthritis foundations as a volunteer. raising awareness for girls and STEM

    short term goal- strategy consultant with pharmacuticals
    demographic- 27, Indian , Female
    Looking for- Tuck, Duke,Wharton, McCombs,Ross
    Would really like to know your views.

  • Steven

    Hi Sandy,

    I’m apply for Fall 2018 and wanted to see what you think of my profile:

    -Graduated from a well known engineering school in Massachusetts (Spring 2013) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering (GPA: 3.3)

    -GMAT: 620 overall, 41Q/34V but an 8IR (92%) and a 6AWA(90%)
    I took it a second time and scored lower, so I chose to cancel my scores
    -GRE: 156Q, 154V, 4AWA

    -Took online classes recently in Accounting, Corporate Finance, and Operations Management through Wharton online

    -Work Experience: 2 years working for a well known silicon valley based law firm writing patent applications for startups and fortune 500 companies like Rolls Royce. Switched to strategic consulting working for a well known DC think tank working mainly for DoD and intelligence agencies

    -Extracurricular’s: Fraternity, volunteer little baseballl coach, tutor to high school students in low income housing

    -Demographic: white, 27 year old (at time of matriculation) male

    Short Term Goal: Leave public sector consulting and join commercial side at MBB or lower tier firm

    Looking to apply to: Duke, Darden, Emory, Michigan, Kellogg, or Stern

  • comique

    Hi Sandy,

    I would appreciate if you could give me some feedback. Thank you in advance.

    since 1 year, top consumer financial services company in the US in marketing strategy & analytics role, leading the company’s site optimization to get new customers. Change of career was because the new role is more entrepreneurial.
    Prior to current role, 2 years as a quant in Sales and Trading for a major foreign bank.

    GMAT 700 (Q49, V35, IR7)
    MA in Math from an Ivy school, GPA 3.9
    BA in Econ from a top 10 European school, GPA 4.0
    CFA 2 passed
    won several scholarships

    Currently tutor math to out of school LGBT students to complete high school equivalency exam.

    Move into Investment Management, eventually start a fintech company doing retail/consumer investments. I really like investments and want to make it more accessible to anyone.

    Stanford, HBS, Booth, Tuck, Haas, Kellogg, Duke.

    Male, 28, from South East Asia.

  • ladyengineer

    Hi Sandy,
    I love this series and I was wondering if you would estimate my odds:

    Tagline: Female engineer working at an energy storage start-up in Silicon Valley looking to jump to impact investing in the energy/cleantech sector

    – 26 year old white female
    – BS in MechE and International Relations
    – 3.9 GPA from top 5 engineering school
    – 167Q/169V GRE (applying to dual degree programs)

    – TFA out of college teaching HS math (algebra and geometry)
    – 3 years as mechanical engineer at venture backed energy storage start-up. No promotions but big responsibility and $$ gains

    Extracurriculars (now):
    – Currently tutor part time (for $$ and volunteer)
    – Performance salsa dancing
    – Aluni interviewer for alma mater
    Extracurriculars (college):
    – VP in sorority
    – President of engineering honors society
    – BBBS volunteer
    – Teaching Assistant

    Goal: Get an MBA and joint environmental degree (MS or MEM) to get broad exposure to the business world as well as to deepen my understanding of the energy sector. Use this and past engineering expertise to transition to impact investing in cleantech

    -Stanford (MBA + E-IPER)
    -Duke (MBA/MEM)
    -MIT (LGO)
    -Wharton (MBA/MES)

  • ladyengineer

    Hi Sandy,
    I love this series and I was wondering if you would estimate my odds:

    Tagline: Female engineer working at an energy storage start-up in Silicon Valley looking to jump to impact investing in the energy/cleantech sector

    – 26 year old white female
    – BS in MechE and International Relations
    – 3.9 GPA from top 5 engineering school
    – 167Q/169V GRE (applying to dual degree programs)

    – TFA out of college teaching HS math (algebra and geometry)
    – 3 years as mechanical engineer at venture backed energy storage start-up. No promotions but big responsibility and $$ gains

    Extracurriculars (now)
    – Currently tutor part time (for $$ and volunteer)
    – Performance salsa dancing
    Extracurriculars (college)
    – VP in sorority
    – President of engineering honors society
    – BBBS

    Goal: Get an MBA and joint environmental degree (MS or MEM) where those programs are available to enable a career switch from engineering to investing

    -Stanford (MBA + E-IPER)
    -Duke (MBA/MEM)
    -MIT (LGO)
    -Wharton (MBA/MES)

  • argentinaapplicant

    Hi Sandy, curious if you can estimate my odds. I’ve just applied to the schools on my list, so we’ll see soon enough.

    27-year-old white female from US
    730 GMAT (46q, 45v)
    3.84 undergrad in International Relations + Economics from Brown.
    Fluent in Spanish; currently learning Portuguese.

    4.5 years experience working at Big Four in Buenos Aires, Argentina — Only non-native Spanish speaker in consulting service line.
    Started as basic “assistant”-level, promoted twice and am now in my second year as a senior consultant. Began on projects in financial sector and after two years switched to mass manufacturing / mass media sector (within same company).
    Current project of 1.5 years at mass media company CRM implementation in five countries – Organizational Readiness workstream leader.

    Post-college: Alumni interviewer for alma mater; coordinate student and alumni network for BA-based test prep startup; participant in athletic general training group.
    College: Co-president of IR department student group, implemented peer advising program and made recommendations for curriculum overhaul (that were ultimately implemented); tutor of recent refugees through university program; summer volunteer in health clinic in rural Dominican Republic.

    Goal: Work on LatAm market entry strategy for a US-based tech firm. Leverage local knowledge and experience in large-scale regional projects, plus strategy perspective from MBA.

    Schools: Stanford, Haas, Kellogg, Yale, Columbia.

  • ematwood@gmail.com

    Hi Sandy, curious if you can estimate my odds. I’ve just applied to the schools on my list, so we’ll see soon enough.

    27-year-old white female from US
    730 GMAT (46q, 45v)
    3.84 undergrad in International Relations + Economics from Brown.
    Fluent in Spanish; currently learning Portuguese.

    4.5 years experience working at Big Four in Buenos Aires, Argentina — Only non-native Spanish speaker in consulting service line.
    Started as basic “assistant”-level, promoted twice and am now in my second year as a senior consultant. Began on projects in financial sector and after two years switched to mass manufacturing / mass media sector (within same company).
    Current project of 1.5 years at mass media company CRM implementation in five countries – Organizational Readiness workstream leader.

    Post-college: Alumni interviewer for alma mater; coordinate student and alumni network for BA-based test prep startup; participant in athletic general training group.
    College: Co-president of IR department student group, implemented peer advising program and made recommendations for curriculum overhaul (that were ultimately implemented); tutor of recent refugees through university program; summer volunteer in health clinic in rural Dominican Republic.

    Goal: Work on LatAm market entry strategy for a US-based tech firm. Leverage local knowledge and experience in large-scale regional projects, plus strategy perspective from MBA.

    Schools: Stanford, Haas, Kellogg, Yale, Columbia.

  • Sarath

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for the great advice in here. Would you mind giving me some feedback?

    30 y/o Indian with a 730 GMAT and 6+ years experience.

    Story so far:
    1986 > Born in India
    1989 -2004 > Grew up / schooling in the Middle-east
    2004 – 2008 > Undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Amrita University (Ranked 1 – Private Uni. in India) – CGPA 7.43/10 – Graduated in 2008
    2008 – 2010 > Worked for 2 years (1 year in India and 1 year in the Middle-east) as a Mechanical Engineer for top construction company in India – good responsibility in challenging work environment with varied roles > Bid team, design, site execution
    2010 – 2011 > Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the UK – Loughborough University (Top uni. for mechanical engineering masters) – (60.8%)
    2012 – 2016 > Worked for 4 years for Atkins, UK as Consultant Engineer in the Oil & Gas Sector – Great responsibility, technically challenging, client management > oil & gas asset
    2016 > In the past 8 months – moved back to the middle-east to a role as a Freelance Consultant in a smaller organisation – holistic and varied responsibility

    I want to work as a product manager in a leading tech. firm. Passionate about and highly interested in the renewable energy sector. Need management and business skills, and the brand name from an MBA to take on a leading role in such a firm.

    Looking to apply to: Stanford, Harvard, Sloan, Haas, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, Ross, Duke


  • WESTern

    I’d say you stand a good chance to Ivy schools MBAs such as Mendoza, or the M7 schools such as Brown MBA!

  • alexander.h.dempsey@gmail.com

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you in advance for your insight.

    Demographic: 26 year old Caucasian male

    Academics: 3.7 finance and accounting double with minor in economics from strong southern regional school (think similar to Davidson)

    GMAT: 720 (49Q, 40V)

    Work experience: Started off with 1.5 years in transaction services valuation at PwC. Job was considered one of the top placements of my class considering zero IB relationships with the school. I then transitioned to a large top-tier hedge fund (with a large HBS contingent) in their private asset valuation group, primarily focusing on renewable energy investments. I was planning on applying to MBA programs to help me transition to my end game of getting a job at a multi-lateral development bank, when I received an offer from the IFC, where I currently work developing financial products for climate change mitigation.

    Extracurricular Activities: Was very active in my undergrad. Was in Business honors program, President of the campus Habitat for Humanity chapter, volunteered at the animal shelter, was VP of my class and of two other organizations. Post-grad I have continued work for Habitat as a board member of the local contingent, I have been involved with my alma-mater as a career adviser and have served on the local alumni boards, and I just took level 3 of the CFA.

    Career goals: Either return to IFC or work for an emerging market PE in Infra (I want to continue on the renewables/cleantech path).

    Desired Schools: HBS, Yale, Columbia, Haas, Duke, Michigan

  • MS.2+2

    Hi Sandy,

    I saw that you were recently giving feedback. I would appreciate any comments/suggestions you may have for me. I am going to apply for the HBS 2+2 program & Stanford Deferred Admissions Round 3. Thank you in advance!

    21y/o Asian at a top 50 college (part of the Honors Program)
    Majors: Information Systems & Finance; getting certificates in both Entrepreneurship (based of the Harvard case method) and Leadership
    GPA: 3.73
    GMAT: Scoring in the 720-740 range on practice exams

    Job Experience/Internships (Starting From Most Recent):
    1) Currently working on my own app idea and developing a business plan
    2) Interned at a large consulting tech company (think Accenture, SAP, Cap, IBM)
    3) Interned abroad at a non-profit organization started and supported by one of the Big 3
    4) Interned abroad at a prominent wall street law firm
    5) Worked as a Personal Assistant at a pediatric center (but filled in the role of an office manager and managed all the employees on a daily basis)

    Why 2+2/MBA?
    SHORT TERM: I want the ability to take risks and be more flexible in the career path that I choose. I want to start my own tech company and have the freedom to take risks knowing that I will attend HBS/Stanford after 2-4 years.
    LONG TERM : I am going to join my family business and I want to make sure that I am equipped to be an asset to the firm and that I can help expand it. I want to develop a holistic perspective on the business world as well as take courses on family business management.

    Leadership Roles/Research/etc at University:

    1) Research Assistant – Conducting research on poverty in developing countries
    2) In Charge of a medium sized club (80 members)
    3) Mentor for a middle schooler
    4) Student Tutor
    5) TA for an Information Systems course

    1) Treasurer for a small club (10-15 members)
    2) Founder of an initiative to help the local homeless community
    3) Member of a service sorority on campus
    4) Also worked part time at the university call center for a semester junior year

  • hbsguru

    well, you prob know more than me what ops gig is selective in tech company, I was just making the point that from B school POV, the care if job is selective for that company, I’ll leave the details to you.

  • Mr. National Guard

    First off, thank you for picking my post to evaluate. All really helpful insight. Since I first posted, I took the GMAT again and scored a 730. Curious as to how much you think that this affects my chances. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say. Thanks again!

  • BB Ops Analyst

    Yes got it! Had no idea supply chain ops in tech companies were selective… data center strategy ops at my BB certainly isn’t viewed that way

  • hbsguru

    Ops is good thing in an Ops company, e.g. a tech company, where they hire for ops and getting that job is super selective. Ops is bad thing in PE firm, where you are back office, and the job is way more selective.
    Ditto. management consulting, investment banking, etc. in all those jobs, B schools dont value ops experience as much as they do exp. kids hired from super competitive process at near Ivy colleges, etc. etc. Got it now???

  • Good luck to you!

  • BB Ops Analyst

    Sandy, when is operations a good thing and when is it bad (or at least not necessarily good)? You mention that a female in Operations is a huge plus here, yet other times you say i.e. “MIT where Ops isn’t a dirty word”

  • TR

    Thanks for the feedback Sandy! Do you think my chances would be significantly lower if I applied for fall 2017 admission?

  • AnxiousR1HBSwoman

    Thanks John!! 🙂

  • AnxiousR1HBSwoman

    Sandy, Help!

    Has HBS released the Round 1 interview invites yet?! This time, there was no post on the director blog the day before outlining next steps, and I can’t figure if invites went out at noon like always? Do you know if they’re out yet? Wonder what happened to HBS trying to reduce anxiety in the process.

  • hbsguru

    that is a real solid profile with some core issues target schools really like: viz. STEM background and ALSO using STEM training at big, bad General Motors to do good. History of working in energy, etc. Right age, right experience. This should be real solid at Duke, Darden, Emory and UNC, all of which are sorta safety schools. Wharton and HBS take and ding guys like you depending on execution of app, recs, not blowing interviews, etc.
    Sometimes, STEM wonks like you have the wrong attitude in apps, or rec writers cannot get it up,
    so make sure that does not happen. You need to sound global, hip, green and smart.

  • hbsguru

    so far so good. Need more info, e.g. GPA, age, application history, what exactly you do and who is your employer. Also what is track record of others applying to B school fr. your peer group at work.

  • somsquared

    Hi Sandy,

    I have a 770 GMAT. White female from midwest, working in Oil and Gas. I am curious at my chances at an M7 like Harvard, Cornell, CBS or Wharton. Thanks

  • AC

    Thanks Kevin! I’m from a low GPA background myself (Southeast Asian – think Singapore/Thailand/Malaysia) and studied at an Ivy majoring in English/Political Science. Currently project manager at a financial data provider. Fingers crossed for HBS interview invites which come out this week. Your story gives me some hope!

  • TR

    Hi Sandy,

    I’ve decided to apply to B-school for Fall 2018 and wanted to see what you think of my profile:

    -Graduated from UC-Berkeley (Spring 2015) with a degree in Industrial Engineering (GPA: 3.62)
    -GMAT: 730
    -Work Experience: General Motors – strategic role to decrease fleet CO2 emissions while trying to maximize profit for the company (will have 3 years of experience by matriculation). Just promoted over my first year
    -Two prior internships at a Nuclear Power Plant (Duke Energy)
    -Extracurriculars: Social Fraternity, Engineering Honor Society, Finance Committee (all in college)
    -Demographic: 25 year old (at time of matriculation) male

    Short Term Goal: Pivot into leading consulting firm (McKinsey, Bain) in the energy sector

    Looking to apply to: Darden, UNC, Duke, Emory, Wharton and Harvard


  • hbsguru


  • Kevin

    Call it luck, but it happened haha trust me i was shocked when i got in. I did go on a campus tour and got acquainted with HBS’ staff and students which i think went a long way. I also don’t know anybody in my previous role that applied to an M7 and got in.

  • nvlang3@gmail.com

    Hi Sandy and John,

    I’ve been reading a number of these from the archives and am surprised that Deloitte seems to be a detractor for you (or neutral best). I am wondering if that is the case for all types of Deloitte experience and would appreciate if you could review my profile. Thanks so much!

    GMAT: 770 (Q50, V45)

    Undergrad GPA: 4.1*
    (*Ross weights A+’s as 4.4 / 4.0. As a side note, I’ve been wondering how to present that on my applications. I calculated my unweighted GPA myself, and it is a 3.97 – but my official GPA as listed on my transcript is a 4.098 out of 4.0)

    Undergrad School: University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business (admitted preferred admit as a freshman)

    Work Experience: Interned for Deloitte as a Summer Scholar in Strategy and Operations after Junior year. Have been working there in S&O for the past 3 years since graduating in 2009.

    Industry Focus: Have worked exclusively in Health Care since joining Deloitte, specifically focusing on Health Care Providers. Experience across many facets including Supply Chain, Performance Improvement, Revenue Cycle, M&A and Clinical Effectiveness. Clients include some of the nations largest health care organizations. Worked internally preparing Deloitte for MACRA and other new CMS regulations. Have specialized in analytics and modeling and analyzing hospital encounter and spend data.

    Sponsorship: Sponsored by Deloitte for 100% of MBA costs

    Extracurricular Involvement: Put in a lot of hours each year organizing Deloitte’s annual Impact and Service Day for my local office but with M-Th travel and long hours, haven’t found much time for anything too impactful outside of Deloitte.

    Target Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Duke, MIT

    Goals: To go to a school with supplemental Health-Care focused options such as certificates, clubs or concentrations. Would like to return to Deloitte (or another consulting firm) to continue doing Health Care Management Consulting or potentially Health Care related Venture Capital.

    Demographic Info: 25-year-old white female from Minnesota.

  • hbsguru

    Wow, the 780 No H-S Interview Club: I find that surprising, esp. for HBS, given info at hand, e.g. high GPA, big corp work, etc.
    Good luck, check in for a mock interview if you get one this time, I’ll be happy to go over this in depth using your old and new apps at that point.

  • hbsguru

    I don’t think you are getting in to HBS on those facts and ones you add below.
    740 is fine score but HBS will not overcome 1. low GPA, 2. non-selective job (to them, dont blame me). I am assuming job is non-selective since audit usually is, and F-500 companies often have lots of auditors.
    Here is valuable metric: How many people fr. your company/role applied to HBS in last 5 years and what outcomes.
    As noted, many times, HSW often uses Big 3 audit companies (not auditing role in F-500 but that could work too) as hunting grounds for URMs.
    To wit, the almost reserved space or two at Stanford every year for the black woman from Big 3 Audit. That is NOT a myth, that has happened with regularity over past many years.
    Just out of curiosity and not to be provocative, why do you think they should admit you.
    If they want audit kids, they will chose fr. Big 3 w. better stats (of whom there are many), if they want white males fr. big public uni, ditto. 740 is not a door buster at HBS.
    Nor, let me add, is 780 all by itself.

  • hbsguru

    depends on profession. See my long answer above.

  • hbsguru

    Hmm, schools bucket people for “diversity” reasons, and that has expected consequences. Top schools are not going to admit a class with 40 percent Desis, or 40 percent IB/PE types, or 90 percent US citizens or 30 percent of people over 32 or 40 percent consultants or 20 percent military, or 94 percent white people etc. etc.
    You can find out what the size of those buckets are by looking at any recent school profile, which breaks out the class into those and other buckets. Those buckets are not going to change more than 1 or 2 percent per year.
    Once you have that as the background, all the rest follows. If you are adcom looking over X Desis and the average GMAT score for that bucket is Y, you might wind up taking people with GMAT scores in the top 20 pct of that bucket, for lots of reasons, including why the frig not!
    I’m only oversimplying a bit, since those buckets are not exclusive, e.g. you can be a Desi and a banker or a white male veteran consultant. Nonetheless the buckets I’ve identified don’t change much, somehow.
    HBS has taken 5 percent US military for a while, e.g. ~ 50 people (it used to higher a long time ago, so to some extent that bucket got screwed a bit by diverstiy). If you want to get admitted to HBS, you need to be in the top 50 of that bucket. Since, as I have noted many times, HBS has slight idea of what makes a successful military career, beyond Spec Ops and pilots, they often default to GPA/GMAT.
    Same is true with other buckets alto maybe less clarity.
    Not sure if this answers your question.
    Schools do not initially fish for GMAT/GPA, they fish to fill buckets, and top of bucket is sometimes by definition, GPA/GMAT high flyers.

  • gabrielrc4@gmail.com

    Hello Sandy, Can you please assess my profile? i’d like to hear your thoughts, it would be a very useful guideline!
    • Demographic: 32-year old white male from Rio de Janeiro – Brazil.
    • GMAT Practice tests around 750.
    • Undergrad: Petroleum Engineering from top 5 engineering school in Brazil – 2.8 GPA (Worked as Geometry teacher preparing students for military academies during most of my time in school)
    • Work experience: 6 years as Drillilng Engineer for BP including 3 years of offshore work. Due to the downturn in the oilfield, i became the Single Point of Accountability for drilling activities in Brazil and worked with Business Development, Project Management and Budgeting.
    Military Experience with 3+ years of service in the Brazilian Naval Prep Academy and Naval Academy
    • Extracurriculars: Public Relations of Students Corps in the Naval Prep Academy, Mathlete and Judo Athlete; Reservoir engineering teaching assistant and Reserch Assistant fellowship during undergrad.
    • Parents without college degree.
    • Aim to work with alternative energies or data analytitcs (maybe both!) starting with consulting and them moving to a big company.
    • Target schools: Kellogg, Ross, Duke, Tepper, Emory, U Toronto.

  • Nila

    To go off this question – Sandy, do you think Indian-Americans (born and raised in the US, but of Indian origin) are seen in the same light as Indians straight from India?

  • Kevin

    Yeah definitely, I’m a white male from America. Nothing too amazing on the extra currics, was a VP on the companies Millennials club and participated in several philanthropic events such as Big Brother and Make a Wish.

  • Jack

    Just wanted to share that I had a similar profile last year. 780, BS/MS from top school with solid GPA, project manager at Fortune 50 (3 years exp). I had strong extra curriculars and well executed application using an admissions consultant. Also rejected from H/S with no interview. Don’t want to waste my breath on speculation why – but, best of luck to us both this year. 🙂

  • William

    median gmat would be good to see.

  • AP

    I posted this originally on another story (Stanford Bumps Class GMAT… ). Thought I’d post it here to get Sandy’s thoughts on this –

    I don’t know if anyone can back the following with some proof –

    I have heard that schools try to bucket certain categories of people with the view of utilising their stats for a bump in their average GMAT or GPA. For example, Indian students are often expected to have a ridiculously high GMAT score because A) The school can afford that, since there are so many Indian applicants and B) Their unusually high GMAT scores will help elevate the schools average GMAT score – thereby having a noticeable impact on the schools standing in the US News rankings.

    Do you agree with that Sandy? Also, do you think the chances of Indian students with GMAT scores below 700 significantly take a hit regardless of education/experiences?

  • Mr. T

    Thanks Sandy, I’ll look at adding one of those safer schools to the application list.

    I’m not sure what happened last year; I didn’t get an interview with H or S (or W for that matter). Maybe it was a combination of having only two years of work experience and having a job that sounded a little too “operations” for their taste. Or maybe someone in the admissions office spilled coffee on the application and they had to toss it…who knows.

    I’m going to try again with a little more experience, a better (i.e. sexier-sounding) explanation of my job, and at least one solid “safe” school just in case.

  • AC

    Hi Kevin, thanks for sharing your stats. Could you add some details regarding your background? Are you an underrepresented minority? Any special talents/exemplary extra currics? Thanks!

  • Kevin

    Thought i’d put in my admission profile for the class of 2017 HBS, since Sandy doesn’t put any low quant score profiles on here. I graduated with a 2.6 from a top 50 Public University and got a 740 GMAT. I had 3 years of work experience in an audit role for a Fortune 500 company. I just wanted to point out that it is very possible to get in with a low quant score. My essay was pretty on point and rec’s were right along with it.

  • hbsguru

    that is a powerful profile.
    did you get interviewed at H or S??? if so, the interview was prob what screwed you (esp. at H!)
    Anyway, with serviceable execution, you should be a strong candidate at Wharton, Chicago, and Columbia, all of which will go big time for the 780. Also think about MIT, Kellogg.
    if you are looking for “safe” schools, try Duke and Darden, NYU Berk, USC,
    As to which schools make sense given goals, etc. hard to say, you don’t list any, but if you are interested in general management of tech firm (transition to management), well, any of those schools will be fine.
    I do not fully understand why, after earning a 3.7 at HYP, you then went to state school for MS degree.
    Anyway, w. a 780 GMAT, 3.7 in Ec fr. HYP and solid job, you should be a REAL strong candidate.
    Not sure what happened last year? What do YOU think.


  • MohawkMonk87

    Hi Sandy,

    Can you assess my profile?

    Mr. Grunt (Enlisted Military, Special Operations)

    29 Year old white male
    UGPA 3.74/4 (Tier 2 Public, usually ranked around 90-110)
    Majors: Philosophy, Mathematics
    GRAD: MA in Religion (HYP Ivy, GPA not calculated)
    GRE: V:166 Q:162 W: 4.5

    Work Experience: One year teaching high school, six years enlisted military (3 years in Special Operations, creating political, cultural, and communications products for foreign audiences)

    Other relevant factors: intermediate working proficiency in Farsi (Iran) and Dari (Afghanistan)

    Professional Goals: I would like to transition into marketing or political consulting (MBA/MPP dual degree), both of which my job in the military draws its research and practices from.

    Reaches: Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, Duke, Virginia

    Targets: Cornell, UNC Chapel Hill, Georgetown

    Thanks in advance!

  • Mr. T


    I have a brief question about where I should be applying. Last year I applied to H&S unsuccessfully; I’m going to try again this year (round 2), but I’d like to add one or two schools to the list. I’m looking for places where I would have a high chance admission and a good chance to go the typical prestigious consulting or banking route. Here’s how my application will look:

    780 GMAT
    Undergrad in economics from Harvard/Yale/Princeton, 3.7
    MS in industrial engineering from top state tech school (in my home state)
    Currently working as project manager at Fortune 50 semiconductor company, good review and promotions
    26 year old white male, first generation college

    I’m looking to add a school in the 5-15 range, but I’m not sure which ones make sense for me. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you.

  • CT

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks so much for doing these! I’d love your thoughts on my profile:

    • Demographic: 24-year old mixed-race (Caucasian & South Asian) female.

    • Retaking GMAT. Practice tests around 720 (46Q 42V).

    • Undergrad: B.Comm. from top Canadian school (think Ivey, Queen’s). 3.2 GPA.

    • Work experience: 2.5 years at mass retailer (hint: starts with W), with 2 quick promotions: Less than 1-year in selective rotational program, promoted to associate buyer (with P&L), promoted to manager on strategic project team.

    • Extracurriculars:

    Current: Founder of fitness event series designed to serve young professional women, featured in national media, sponsorship from big name health companies. Avid runner, yogi and fitness enthusiast. Published writing in Newsweek, Forbes, The Muse, and in national Canadian papers, invited to speak at some panels and conferences.

    Undergrad: leadership roles on women in business society, committee roles organizing a few conferences, volunteered abroad in Central America.

    • Goal: To transition into consulting in retail and consumer goods practice OR corporate strategy at a major retailer or consumer goods company.

    • First in family to graduate from university.

    • Target schools: Kellogg, Tuck, Yale, Columbia

  • John

    I would really appreciate your thoughts on my profile. Any feedback/advice is welcome and extremely appreciated. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read!

    Demographic: 25 year old Asian male
    Academics: MS (4.0 GPA)/BS (3.90 GPA) in engineering berkeley
    GRE: V161, Q170 (750 GMAT equivalent)
    Work Experience: 2 years as a risk management analyst at Google (promoted once). Created and managed a team of vendors in India. Switched into a data science role at google, Total 4 years at Google before start of business school.
    Extracurricular/personal: Started a computer science club elementary students of a local non-profit. Blogger and music curator for a music group.
    Career Goals: move away from being an individual contributor to becoming a product manager focused at an early stage startup focused on user growth and engagement
    Long term goal: to work in VC with a focus on early- and growth-stage investments in the consumer technology space.

    Schools: (applied R1): stanford, harvard, wharton, mit