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Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds

Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Sandy Kreisberg (left) and John A. Byrne

Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Sandy Kreisberg (left) and John A. Byrne

She’s a 25-year-old young professional who works for a marketing startup that advises such major clients as Unilever, Google and Frito-Lay on how to market to Hispanic customers. With a 700 GMAT and a 3.7 grade point average, she hopes to get an MBA to transition into a traditional brand management job.

After nearly four years at a big four consulting firm, this 28-year-old Italian woman became a private trader, something she’s been doing for the past three and one-half years. With a 760 GMAT and a pair of master’s degrees in accounting and international management, she now wants to get an MBA in the hopes of landing a job at a hedge fund.

He’s currently pursuing a master’s degree at Columbia University in management science and engineering. But this Indian graduate student now wants to apply to Harvard, Stanford and Yale for deferred admission so he can use the time in between his current master’s and his MBA to start a company.

Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru.com

Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru.com

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.)

Ms. Brand Manager

 

  • 700 GMAT
  • 3.7 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from a top public college in Virginia
  • Work experience includes two years at a marketing startup that advises such large companies as Unilever, Google and Frito-Lay on how to market to the Hispanic and multicultural consumers in the U.S.; reports directly to the president of the startup who will write her a glowing recommendation
  • “Although the company is small, it is seen as a thought leader in total market strategies”
  • Extracurricular involvement as an advocate for brand marketing via total market strategies
  • Goal: To be a brand manager who progresses to a top marketing role
  • 25-year-old female

Odds of Success:

Northwestern: 40% to 50%
Duke: 40% to 50%
Virginia: 40% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: Your chances turn on some things we don’t know. You say, for example, that you graduated from a top public college. If you have a 3.7 from UVA, that’s great. If you have a 3.7 from a public school in Virginia without a national reputation, that’s another thing. A lot of this will also turn on what an admissions committee thinks of the company you are working for. It’s small and likely unknown so you are going to have a lot of explaining to do.

If the firm is, as you say, a thought leader in total market strategies and your boss writes a glowing letter on your behalf, that is a real plus. But often times, presidents of companies don’t know how to write glowing recommendation letters. You are someone who can actually use a consultant because you have to package the company you work for, including getting someone to help the president write a powerful recommendation.

There is a level of inflation in a great recommendation letter that some don’t get. A great recommendation letter should go something like this: “My name is Joe Blow. I have worked for the XYZ company for the past 35 years. During the course of that time, i have worked with 68 people in the applicant’s peer group. This person is ranked one or two out of those 68 people based on her analytical abilities, her teamwork skills, her ability to innovate, and an unprecedented ability to bring in new business which has never been done by anyone at her level.

You clearly know your story by the target schools you’ve chosen. If you execute in a servicable way, I think you have good odds at all of them. There’s a lot to like here but you have to make it real. You’ve got to make it specific, describe campaigns and do a better job in using the correct language for what you do.

  • Mr. I-Banker

    Hi Sandy and John, thanks so much for running this series and a happy new year to both of you. Grateful if you could let me know your thoughts.
    Currently working in investment banking (2nd year Associate) at a 2nd tier bulge bracket bank (think Deutsche, UBS, Barclays). Post MBA goal is to return to investment banking in my current firm and team. This may sound crazy but I like to follow Marc Andreessen’s advice that one should do the job where one can really contribute and that is the case in my current setup – I like them and they like me. Have always dreamt of pursing MBA at top school but thought application at IB analyst level too junior and only joined my current team last year (previously worked in major financial centre, think NY/LON, now in local office). Wanted my current office to really buy into my MBA application as I want to return there so application last year during relocation from financial centre to local office wasn’t an option. Rationale for MBA is 1) gain access to strong alumni network and 2) add university with internationally recognized brand name to CV. These 2 points are important for my long-term career plan as I want to return to banking and am coming to the career stage where “who” you know is as important as “what” you know. My family does not have network (first in my entire family to graduate college).
    Work history
    – Worked full time at home country’s largest bank during undergrad to finance studies
    – Internships at said bank’s NY office during u-grad
    – joined current firm right out of undergrad
    Stats
    – 28y/o caucasian male
    – undergrad GPA c.3.1 – 3.3 from top5 undergrad business school (should I position this as 1st gen college grad / work through college issue?)
    – GMAT 720 (80/80 split)
    – fluent in 3 European languages
    Target schools:
    – Insead
    – Oxford Said
    – Cambridge Judge
    – IE Business school
    – Cornell 1y programme
    – Columbia J-term programme

  • Kai Lun

    Hi Sandy,

    Really interested in your thoughts on my profile. Your work is certainly more solid than the hundreds of online mba chance calculator out there

    Undergraduate degree from a top tier Australian university: Bachelor of Commerce and Honors in Engineering (2nd Class Div 1)

    GPA : 71/100 (To my knowledge, GPAs in Australian university are on average much lower)

    25YO Asian Australian with 3 years of work experience
    Fluent in English, Indonesian and some Chinese

    Internship with a laboratory @ my university doing research and experiments on developing new commercial drugs
    -Spent 0.5 year with Australia’s largest commercial insurance company. It was more of stepping stone than a career
    -Spent 0.5 year with one of the big 4 accounting firm doing International Taxation as part of the graduate program, before moving to the Management Consulting division concentrating on operations consulting (been doing it for about 2 years). I have been promoted to a senior position, within a record time.

    GMAT: Aiming for 700-710

    Extracurricular:
    -Founding member of a society back in University and subsequently became the secretary
    -Currently sitting as a Board Director for a non-for-profit organisation (~$1m valuation)

    Goal: MBB – transition from being an operation footsoldier to a high-level strategic thinker

    Aim: INSEAD,HAAS, KELLOGG, BOOTH, WHARTON, COLOMBIA

    Thank you very much in Advance!

  • AK

    female:)

  • AK

    Hi Sandy,

    Could you provide a brief feedback on my stats as well:

    Age: 28

    GMAT: 710
    IELTS: 8.5

    Undergraduate degree in Business Administration (from outside US) – GPA 3.9
    Master degree in international business and management (from UK) – Merit

    Experience: internship during undegrad. 1.5 years in retail (consumer electronic), started as assistant product manager, promoted to product manager after 1 year. 2 years in education in middle east as a TA and in administration. 2 years back home in healthcare sector (1.5 year as ERP project manager and later a head of unit, and now head of financial reporting).

    Planning to switch career to financial consulting (later in the career focus more on healthcare)

    Volunteered in several NGO in the past, and participated in project to help small business find investment.

    Currently CFA Level II candidate
    Fluent in English, Russian, Georgian.
    Citizen of Georgia

    Thanks a lot in advance!

  • Xin

    Thank you. I’ll remember this when I apply. You have an amazing story.

  • HBS’17

    Thanks, but I think you are drifting a bit into irrelevancies. Just to give you a quick perspective: i was an international student (from Russia) at the school that’s ranked outside Top300, got a job at one of the Big4, got a green card after being sponsored and enrolled at HBS after 4 years. Oh yeah, my GPA also was 3.6.

    That’s the reason on my initial response, your background is much stronger than mine considering the Uni you went to. I think you have a chance at HBS if you don’t say that the reason for you moving to Europe was your inability to get a job. Believe me, it’s a major turn off.

  • Xin

    Oh it’s quite alright and your comment wasn’t inaccurate. I was looking at back-end jobs at 2nd tier banks/ financial companies
    that are filled, increasingly, by interns. It’s sadly a huge trend. Banks like BBH, Fidelity, etc. are moving their labor overseas (Manila, India, etc.) and filling positions by recent graduates, which results in a turnover of over 30% in the first year. Jobs that I’m looking at or interested in are finance consulting/management, and also real estate financing. It’s ridiculous how dangerouslythings are financed in China. Banks are giving out mortgages at 15% interest a year (the modern standard) to just about everybody. A friend finances his family hotel with tens of millions of debt at a ridiculous 9% a year. Obviously something is going to go very wrong. This is relevant because I want to build my career post MBA in wealth management in China. So far it’s run by low return state banks, lots of little funds, and grandma and grandpas haphazardly playing
    the stock market. You would gag at the incompetency of these so called wealth management companies, many of whom invest all their clients’ money into their friend’s company’s IPO (I’ve interned at several before). I would like to be a stabile hold that people can safely leave their assets.

  • Xin

    I understand your tough love. There is always a way to get to a job and I admit I could’ve kept searching. But with my goal set at an MBA it wasn’t optimum to continue to search when I had an alternate path to an organization of worldwide scale. My resume is a tier stronger than if I had taken your suggestion and waited till a Big4 took the bait. Since you’re
    attending HBS and have been thorough this process, will you give me a fair assessment?

    Also, the reason I called it untraditional is 1. Because I haven’t seen anyone else walk this route (WTO to MBA) and 2. It makes a catchy hook. In hindsight #2 reason isn’t very valid. Literally everyone has some form of this in their requests. Lol.

  • HBS’17

    Thanks for expanding and sorry for coming off as rude, but would you mind sharing what kinds of jobs you were hoping to get? And perhaps what are some worst companies that you would accepted to work for if given a choice before moving to Europe?

  • Xin

    Hi. Sorry I’ll expand a little on that. This was in 2013 when the US economy was recovering. People in the financial sector were getting laid off left and right and those that got hired back were seasoned. This was exacerbated by the fact that I’m a Chinese national. The US protects “their own” especially during tougher times. People didn’t want to take as many chances or go through the hoops of sponsoring me. I had originally wanted to graduate and work for a good firm for a few years and then go to a good MBA program. The only company that gave me an offer was TJX as a procurement officer. While this is an steady profession and offers a path up the ladder, it doesn’t fly very well on MBA applications. So, I went to Switzerland for a 1 year masters and a path to the WTO (a lot of professors work or have worked there). So far it has been working out ok. However, I don’t want to continue this route and want to go back to the private sector. The WTO is like a tiger without fangs or claws.

  • HBS’17

    Don’t want to be a party killer, but are you serious? You went to a top 50 US university with a 3.55 GPA and couldn’t find a job? Big4 and other companies hire these type of profiles by thousands in the US. Don’t think it was your GPA that couldn’t get you jobs, but your inability to search. Since you posted your question here I guess it’s fine to tell you the truth: being a loser doesn’t mean your track record is “untraditional”.

  • Xin

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for running these articles; it has helped me gain a
    lot of perspective into what ADCOM is looking for in applicants. However, my
    track record is a bit non-traditional. I would appreciate it if you gave some
    feedback.

    750 GMAT

    3.55 GPA BSBA in Finance (w/ a minor in entrepreneurship)

    Went to a top 50 US School (Case West/BU/UCB/NEU)

    3.9 GPA Masters in International Law and Economics

    Earned at University of Bern, Switzerland

    24 Year Old Asian Male, Citizen of China

    Work Experience includes:

    6 months at a Financial Service Company

    6 months at a Wealth Management Company (Fidelity/Wellington/Vanguard)

    2 years at the WTO as an economist

    Schools: Top 7 + Dartmouth (especially want to go to HBS)

    I haven’t gotten a promotion, because the WTO is very bureaucratic
    and awards promotions based on seniority. I went to get my masters because
    there were no good jobs for a person with a bad GPA of 3.55 from a mediocre
    school. I mean rent would eat up half my salary. So, I went to Switzerland for
    a Masters and managed to land a gig at the WTO through recommendations from my
    professors. I want to go back to China to work in the private sector, especially
    the financial sector. There are a lot of opportunities there and not a lot of
    solidified structures or leaders. That is my motivation of attending a MBA
    program. Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks!

  • Applicant

    Can someone cover what HBS is looking for in extracurricular/awards and how important/necessary college activities is even 5+ years out of school? thanks!

  • GlobeTrotter83

    Hi Sandy, below is my profile if you’d like to review it:

    -Ivy League Undergrad in Applied Economics
    -GMAT: 710
    -GPA: 3.5
    -Work Experience: 10 years
    *7 years at a highly regarded asset manager in PE real estate (Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, JP Morgan)
    *1 year career gap to travel and care for ailing grandmother
    *1.5 years at highly regarded Asia-based asset manager in institutional sales for Asia equity and credit

    Still refining my goals but could either be to move into a real estate strategy role at a lifestyle company like Disney, WeWork, Marriott, or go the route of FinTech.

    Given my age I am considering a mix of 2-year and one-year options: UCLA, Haas (FT & PT), Stanford MSx, MIT Sloan Fellows, Kellogg 1 year.

  • NULL NULL

    Hi Sandy, below is my profile if you’d like to review it:

    -Ivy League Undergrad in Applied Economics
    -GMAT: 710
    -GPA: 3.5
    -Work Experience: 10 years
    *7 years at a highly regarded asset manager in PE real estate (Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, JP Morgan)
    *1 year career gap to travel and care for ailing grandmother
    *1.5 years at highly regarded Asia-based asset manager in institutional sales for Asia equity and credit

    Still refining my goals but could either be to move into a real estate strategy role at a lifestyle company like Disney, WeWork, Marriott, or go the route of FinTech.

    Given my age I am considering a mix of 2-year and one-year options: UCLA, Haas (FT & PT), Stanford MSx, MIT Sloan Fellows, Kellogg 1 year.

  • Mr. Banker

    Hi Sandy, just to add, my work mainly revolved around tailoring solutions for corporates to manage their debt and risk exposures. This involves a lot of enterprise and even innovation at times, and I can site examples to support that claim. In my latest job at the smaller shop in the Middle East, I have worked in multiple roles ranging from Sales (actively pitching proposals to clients) to Trading.
    Target schools are HBS, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg and CBS

  • Mr. Banking

    Hi Sandy
    Details as follows:-
    1)Indian male engineer applicant. 760 GMAT (Q50, V44, IR6, AWA6)
    2) Work Experience:-
    Internship – Bulge bracket bank abroad – sales & trading
    Full time (3 years) – Bulge Bracket bank in India – sales & trading
    Full time (1 year) – Regional Middle Eastern Bank in the middle east – smaller setup, but more impact – awarded “Employee of Quarter” – donned multiple hats
    3) IIT graduate (top engg collg in India), graduated top of class – silver medalist, GPA 8.5/10.0
    Qualified CFA L2
    4) Extracurriculars – Editor of department newsletter in college. Managed recruitment program at bank. Active member of CSR program – titled “CSR Champion”. Worked as a consultant to small scale entrepreneurs in Africa since 2014. Worked in Japan and Cambodia for two different causes.
    5) Co-founded startup to formulate and sell a unique insurance product targeted at low income laborers in the middle east. This is currently in talks. This provides help to laborers from Indian subcontinent working in the Middle East who are under socio-economic stress and exploitation.
    6) Goals – To leverage EM financial markets experience + MBA to work in finance practice of a major consulting firm – longer term goal to set up own regulatory and risk consulting practice in India/Middle East to benefit from huge potential growth in bank regulation and compliance advisory in these regions (currently lacking – Indian banks plagued by bad assets)

    Would love to know your thoughts.

    Regards,
    Mr. Banking

  • British Military

    Hi John and Sandy

    Appreciate you running this series. Wonder if you could offer me your thoughts and any recommendations please. I’m from the UK and of the main US school I’m targeting is Wharton but feel free to rate my chances among other top schools in your country or other factors which may influence me as I am of course less acquainted than yourselves.

    I am preparing for the GMAT so please give your views on what I need to be scoring and consequences.

    – 1st Class Honours degree in Economics from a Russell Group university, semester abroad exchange at a European university.
    – Internship at Deloitte.
    – Three years on a consulting graduate scheme at Accenture.
    – Four years as an Officer in the British Army.

    Bee in my bonnet about not having gone to a top school and looking to make amends.

    Thanks,

    A

  • MA

    Hi John & Sandy,

    I would really 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. What would my chances be?

    21y/o Asian Female at a top 50 public 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: 720, retaking it and expecting a higher score

    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

    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. *Currently, I have an offer in the consulting division of one of the Big 4.
    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. The family business is large (1B+ revenue)

    Leadership Roles/Research/etc at University:
    CURRENTLY:
    1) Research Assistant – Conducting research on poverty in developing countries
    2) In Charge of a medium sized club (80 members)
    3) Student Tutor
    4) TA for an Information Systems course

    PAST
    1) Treasurer for a small club (10-15 members)
    2) Founder of an initiative to help the local homeless community
    3) Mentor for a middle schooler
    4) Member of a service sorority on campus

  • 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. I am applying to Chicago, HBS, Stanford, Kellogg, Berkeley, and MIT Sloan

    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)

  • BMor

    Hi Sandy,

    Very interesting work. I come from a slightly different background than some, so I would be both interested in odds as well as general recommendations (what to emphasize in applications?)

    28 y/o male from a small country in the EU, GMAT 750
    STEM undergrad from Top 5 worldwide school; Top 5% of class
    Masters in Top 5 European business school; no ranking available
    Exchange with Booth MBA
    2y in boutique / mid-size consultancies in UK, CH, DE, and others (internships and FT; currently in London)
    2y in IT entrepreneurship (business and tech lead)
    1.5y in STEM research (part time during studies; several articles published)
    Side projects in PE, VC
    Number of enterprises and initiatives started, including one that has 2’000+ members and 50k+ social reach
    Winner of several hacking and other competitions, fluent in 2 (conversational in 2 more) languages

    In mid-term I want to go to more technology oriented role either in consulting or VC; USA is more exciting in this field, hence I am strongly considering an MBA school such as Booth, Haas, MIT, Columbia (what else would be a good choice?)

  • keven lariviere

    Hi Sandy, great work ! Please rate me – VERY atypical profile, an HR headache, GOOD or BAD?
    720 GMAT
    3.4 GPA Engineering Undergraduate from Canadian University (first year below 2.00 GPA due to personal/family circumstances , last two years above 3.6+ GPA)
    Professional certificate in Strategic planning from top US University (Harvard / Stanford / Booth)
    Work experience:
    1 year Internship in project management at Big Oil (Exxon / Shell / Chevron)
    1 year Technology consulting at top IT Consulting firms (Deloitte / Accenture / IBM)
    0.5 year Business project management at top 5 Canadian bank (TD / RBC / CIBC)
    1.5 years Brand management at top CPG company (P&G / Unilever / Nestlé)
    Extracurricular: A lot of pro bono consulting / strategic planning for major non-profits in Canada. Director of a corporate governance non-profit promoting board of directors training to young professionals.
    Goal: in three letters, MBB. I have been a generalist problem solver since the beginning of my career and I want to stay this way post-MBA for a few years with a strategy powerhouse like McKinsey. Coming from a non-target Canadian school with a relatively low GPA due to exceptional personal situations (I was carrying my family for two years by working full-time during my engineering studies), my goal was to get top brands on my CV no matter in which industry to help me land an offer at MBB.
    Target Schools: Harvard, Booth, Kellogg, Wharton, Stanford, Tuck
    28 years old visible minority male (immigrated to Canada with family from Africa 15 years ago)

  • Sara

    Hi John and Sandy,

    I am a female of minority/immigrant background, immigrated to the US freshman year of high school. I am currently working in the finance department of a tech company in Silicon Valley, so far most of my experience has been in FP&A and in tech. I graduated from undergrad in 2009 from UC Berkeley with a major in Political Economy, I switched majors from Microbiology junior year after taking a few economics courses and due to crazy organic chemistry classes my GPA is close to 3.2. Right out of college I joined an AmeriCorps program and later on I was hired by the non-profit that I was matched with. After 2 years I applied for the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study abroad where I received a master’s of finance degree and worked for a few months then came back home to the US. I have not yet taken the GMAT, but I understand I need 700+ score to get into top programs. I wanted to know what you think my chances are for Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley and if there are any other programs you would suggest applying to with my background. Thank you for all your help and time!

  • JR

    Hi Sandy,

    Any feedback you could provide on my profile would be really appreciated.

    GMAT: 730 (48Q, 41V)
    Education: 3.7 GPA in Mechanical Engineering from a private midwestern university.
    Work Experience: 3 years as an engineer at a Fortune 200 heavy equipment manufacturer. I work to develop new products, which is often technical, but does allow me to work across multiple teams and interface with customers. I am hoping to relate this experience to a possible career in consulting.
    Extracurriculars: Volunteer in an organization to read weekly with elementary school students. Member of a social fraternity in college.
    Goals: Short term goal is to work in consulting to gain business experience and understanding. Long term goal is to work in an energy or environment related position, though frankly I have not truly really honed the long term plan.
    25 year old white male.

    I am currently considering Kellogg, Tuck, Fuqua, Darden, Johnson, and Goizueta, though would be open to recommendations. I am planning to apply Round 1 next year.

  • structuralengineer48

    Sandy,

    I would really appreciate if you would review my profile:

    GMAT: 680
    Education: B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from the top civil engineering program.
    3.1 GPA undergrad, 3.5 grad.
    Work experience: 2 year at a mid-sized engineering firm (nothing sexy). 2.5 year at a top 3 structural engineering firm working on high profile high rise buildings both domestically and internationally.
    Age: 28.

    My undergrad GPA is a killer, I know, but I do have a sad sob story I can write about (GPA trending upwards too). Asian/LGBT/international male (but will become a permanent residence in a year).

    Shooting for Kellog and maybe Ross.

  • chemalytics

    Hi Sandy,

    Really appreciate your time in doing this and hopefully you find my profile interesting enough to evaluate.

    Background

    Work experience: 2 years at an F500 chemicals company in UK. (controls/automation engineer -> project engineer) 1 year as an Analytics Consultant at Deloitte Advisory USA in risk analytics.

    Internship: With one of the major international orgs (WB, IMF etc).

    Publications: 3, not amazing work but in the analytics space.

    Extra curriculars: Many leadership roles in school, college and post-university including: school government, marketing head for large university clubs, promoting STEM education in local community, currently leading the deployment of solar power in rural India through a start up I started in graduate school (finalists in two major international social enterprise competitions).

    Undergrad school/major: Top 3 UK University, Chemical Engineering

    Undergrad GPA: First Class Honours (UK System) ~ 3.8 GPA

    Other education/coursework: Grad School, Masters in Econometrics (3.82 GPA), Duke University

    Race/nationality: Indian, Indian

    International experience: Born in India, grew up in Thailand, 6 years in UK and 3 years in USA. Worked in all three countries.

    Sex: Male

    Age: 28 at matriculation

    GMAT Score: 720

    MBA Info

    Goal of MBA: I want to be a leader in data science consulting. Post-MBA, join MBB and become a key part of their growing big data/analytics practice.

    Target schools: H/S/W. MIT Sloan (Top choice), Columbia, Booth, Kellog, Fuqua, Yale, Tuck, Michigan, LBS, & INSEAD.

  • Mr. Muni Credit

    Hi Sandy, can you review my profile?

    740 GMAT
    3.6 GPA
    Undergraduate degree in Management from Bucknell
    CFA Charterholder
    Work experience includes 5 yrs at major Asset Management company. I started in Operations but then was accepted into T. Rowe’s selective Analyst rotation program. Most graduates of the program go to major M7 programs.
    Extracurricular involvement as a Little League Baseball coach and Treasurer of a local Municipal Bond Club
    Strong recommendation letters expected
    Goal: Leverage previous experience with big data and MBA to improve Municipal Credit analysis. I know this is arguably too specific, but I want to continue a career in Credit Analysis and think big data is under-utilized in this area.. an area where I could be ahead of the curve. I also think i can be well positioned to analyze the coming public pension crisis.
    28-year-old white male

    Looking at Wharton, Tuck, Columbia, Duke, Darden

  • Mr. Advertising

    Hi, Sandy!

    Hope you find my profile interesting enough to be considered! 🙂

    Profile:

    – 30 years old male from Brazil
    – GMAT: 670 (Q44/V37) – I’m going to retake it aiming a 690/700 (I have to be realistic lol)
    – TOEFL: 110
    – Undergrad on Communications, major in Advertising (GPA: 8.8 / 10.0); Grad on Communications Management
    – 3 years working as a Sr. Marketing Strategist for IBM at Ogilvy & Mather Sao Paulo, one of the most prestigious ad agencies in the world; before that, I worked for small local agencies in my hometown
    – I’m a super awarded student and professional – got many medals during Undergrad school and won the first-ever Cannes Lion for IBM Brazil
    – I’m also a professional actor and co-founder of a theatre group – we’re now rehearsing a new play and I’m having the opportunity to work on every aspect of it
    – Extracurriculars: 3-month exchange program in New York; took a lot of courses, including Miami Ad School’s Strategic Planning Bootcamp; always writing and producing content around advertising and technology
    – Personal background: my mother is Taiwanese and my father is Brazilian, so I have a multicultural experience even at home; a lot of relatives live in the US, some of them are alumni from top BS (Harvard and Columbia, for example); I’m a proud gay man and my partner is also applying for an L.L.M. at most of the schools I’m thinking of
    – Focus: leave advertising agencies and work for the Entertainment industry, which is my true passion (looking for a business position – not production at all!)

    Schools: Kellogg, Anderson, Haas, Stern, Marshall, LBS

    Thanks a lot!

  • MA

    Hi John & Sandy,

    I would really 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.

    21y/o Asian at a top 50 public 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: 700, retaking it and expecting at least 720+

    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

    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. *Currently, I have an offer in the consulting division of one of the Big 4.
    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. The family business is large (1B+ revenue)

    Leadership Roles/Research/etc at University:

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

    PAST
    1) Treasurer for a small club (10-15 members)
    2) Founder of an initiative to help the local homeless community
    3) Mentor for a middle schooler
    4) Member of a service sorority on campus

  • DummyApplicantsGuru

    80% chance at Harvard
    45% chance at UT Austin
    95% chance at UCLA
    Less than 10% chance for Arizona State.

    As seen above, no need to spend money on all applications when UCLA is the perfect fit for you. Let me know if you would like to sign up for a formal consultation. Can help to increase your chances at Arizona, and you could defy the unfavorable projections in similar fashion as Donald Trump.

    Regards,
    DummyApplicantsGuru

  • Cedric J

    Sandy,

    I would appreciate your evaluation of myself. 27 year-old white male.

    Work Experience:

    3.5 full-time years at a private-label dietary supplement manufacturer, a small but fast-growing corporation. Started as cost accounting intern during undergrad and worked from there all the way up to VP of Finance for the last 4 months, with a few promotions in between, including accounting department manager. I oversee the accounting department, purchasing department, new product development, production and all financial negotiations with customers and vendors.

    Most notable accomplishments are centralizing the accounting function within operations which redesigned workflow through the entire value chain. Personally wrote the company’s first sales commission program that went into effect January 1st, 2016, with the goal of motivating account managers to bring in new customers and also new products from existing customers. Revenue from the latter increased by 156% and revenue from the former increased by 111%, both as of 2016 Q3.

    Education:

    Undergrad in finance from a university in Utah. 3.56 GPA.
    Certified Management Accountant in progress. Passed exam 1, will sit for exam 2 in two months.

    Extracurriculars:

    Baseball, 4-year college career. MLB draftee by Phillies out of high school. MVP of team one season. Tore ACL in knee 4 times and delayed baseball career. I gave everything I had to playing the game because I was good enough to play in MLB. I was better than my brother who played in the MLB and he would admit that. I played until it was literally impossible to continue.

    Main reason for attendance at undergrad university was a stellar baseball program with a large MLB scouting attendance, which makes sense for those trying to get into pro ball. Injuries and lack of focus on class hurt GPA and delayed entering the workforce.

    3-sport athlete in high school; baseball, basketball, football – state champ football player. Class president one year.

    Hobbies: Weight lifting, pick-up basketball, flag football, umpiring and coaching little league, hiking, traveling.

    GMAT: 720 94%; Q47 65%, V42 96%

    Why MBA:

    I want to transition back into finance as a fund analyst. Long-term goal is fund manager. When I interned at my current company, I loved it so much, and was given an offer I could not refuse after undergrad, and decided to stay.

    Back-up plan is corporate finance in planning and budgeting because I am good at it already. Plan C is to return to my current company who is bending over backwards trying to keep me from leaving.

    Target Schools:

    UT Austin McCombs #1 – I have visited twice and is by far my dream school. Great for finance and I love the city of Austin.

    Harvard – Another brother of mine went to Harvard Law and thinks I have a good shot. He is now working in private equity law in Houston.

    UCLA Anderson

    Arizona State – I grew up in Arizona and have good network there to leverage. The tuition scholarship is obviously a plus.

    Thank you.

  • guest

    This looks like a T15 profile with a shot at M7/T9

    Would apply to Wharton, Booth, CBS (early), Stern, Yale, Cornell

  • mbabound

    Hi Sandy, would you be able to review me?

    Background

    Work experience: 3+ years at a major DC think tank working in
    Human Resources (promoted twice in those three years), internships at an
    economic development nonprofit and another think tank.

    Extra curriculars: (from college)—Leadership positions in Model United
    Nations team and the student-run conference for high school students. I don’t
    have any volunteer experience from after college which I know is a weakness

    Undergrad school/major: Big 10 State School, International
    Relations

    Other education/coursework: Harvard CORe Certification—pass with
    honors, SHRM-CP certification

    Stats

    GMAT Score 690—41V (94%), 44Q (54%)

    Undergrad GPA: 3.69

    25 year old white American female

    Goal of MBA: I want to get an MBA or possibly a dual MBA/MA in
    HR and then move in to Human Capital Consulting. My “back up” career is to do
    corporate HR.

    Target schools: Cornell is my number 1 school with their dual
    MBA/MILR (Master in Industrial Labor Relations) program. Any other suggestions
    for programs?

  • Brad Headley

    Hi Sandy, what are your thoughts on this admissions season? Do applicants seem generally stronger than last year? Do you think # of applicants will be up?

    Also, do you mind doing a profile review?
    27 year old white male in Philadelphia
    3.5 years of public accounting experience doing audit and tax for a 300+ person regional firm (was fastest growing accounting firm in U.S. in 2014, but of course unknown name to adcom)
    Since August, been at a Fortune 200 insurance company in the investment accounting dept.
    Extremely heavy involvement in Republican politics before, during, and slightly after college, including strong leadership positions.
    GMAT: 760; GPA: 3.4 from Univ of Delaware
    CPA and have passed all 3 levels of CFA
    Looking to transition into investment management / equity research. I would preferably like to specialize in the defense/aerospace sector. I enlisted in USMC reserves during college, but I received medical discharge about a month into boot camp. Since then, have helped numerous pro-military / pro-troops groups, including Homes for Our Troops and, currently, the USO (about 8 hours/week). I want to combine my skillset (finance/accounting) and my hobbies (huge news junkie) with my values (serving our troops) by going into equity research within the defense sector — allocating financial resources to companies best positioned to meet demands of military and service members. Also open to generalist investment mgmt positions.

    Thanks!