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Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds

He’s a first generation college student and American who teaches at an inner city charter school. He’s taking the GRE because he’s not strong in math and has a 3.63 grade point average from a state school. This young professional wants an MBA to transition to a non-profit education consulting firm.

A 25-year-old Asian American based in New York, she works for a healthcare tech firm after doing a stint with Teach for America. With a 700 GMAT and a 3.6 GPA, her short-term goal out of business school is to land a job with a non-profit consulting outfit.

After stints at Ernst & Young and the World Bank, she joined a solar energy startup in Nairobi where he works in fundraising. With a 650 GMAT and two degrees from the Sorbonne in France, this young Tunisian professional hopes to go to business school to land a job in impact investing.

Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru.com

What these three MBA candidates and more share in common is the desire 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 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. World Bank Plus

  • 650 GMAT (will retake with aim to get a 710)
  • 11 out of 20 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in international economics from the Sorbonne
  • Master’s degree in international economics from the Sorbonne
  • Work experience includes Ernst & Young in Tunisia for a year and one-half as a consultant, then three and one-half years as an operations analyst at the World Bank, and more recently works in fundraising for a startup in solar energy in Kenya
  • Goal: To work for an impact investment fund or a foundation
  • Fluent in English, Arabic and French
  • Young woman from Tunisia

Odds of Success:

Columbia: 10% to 20%
Stanford: 10%
London: 30% to 40%
INSEAD: 40% to 50%
Oxford: 50%
IE: 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: Just the way you present, you can go either way. You could be a very powerful interesting person with a lot of interesting jobs and an interesting background. But there is also some evidence here that you could be a bit frazzled for the same reasons. You’ve jumped around in a number of jobs and you are now working at an undefined startup in Kenya. It’s important for you to make the presentation as standardized as possible. Claiming you want a job in impact investing could be just a dream. The only people who get those jobs already have an investment background. Make your profile as standard as possible.

If the startup you work for has some independent investors or private equity money in it, that is important and you should let schools know the firm is venture backed. If that is true, it should be on your resume. You should have the name of your startup, a private equity backed solar energy firm in Nairobi with 200 employees. Otherwise, saying you work for a startup can mean anything. It can mean that you’re working on a company with your cousin. Obviously, you get more credibility with admissions if you are employed by a firm that is supported by credible investors.

I totally agree with you on retaking the GMAT. You need to get a higher score for many of the schools that you want to apply to. It’s hard to get into any elite U.S. school with a GMAT score below 700.

I don’t think you’re getting into Stanford. The school would like a lot about your profile but you are going to have a hard time there because you’re just not their standard package for do-gooders. Here’s how someone like you gets in at Stanford: You go to the Sorbonne and get a first there, you check in witha 730 GMAT, you stay at the World Bank, and you land a known position at the World Bank for hot shots.

At Columbia, it’s almost the same thing but less. Columbia reads applications with skepticism, not with love, particularly if you can’t get the GMAT up. To get into Columbia with a below 700 GMAT and a below average GPA is real hard.

On the other hand, you are a classic INSEAD or London Business School applicant. Show me the money and you could go. You’re a Euro person with high potential, fluent in three languages, with work experience in different geographies. That’s the profile of a successful MBA applicant to INSEAD or LBS.

  • Wonkyu Lee

    Hello sir,
    I was hoping if you give me any advice on my chances at a shot at a US business school.
    Any help at all would be immensely helpful to an international applicant like me who has a
    unorthodox and queer(?) background.
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    Republic of Korea, 25 year old male.
    GMAT: 780
    Undergrad: From top tier school in Korea
    GPA: 3.5/ Major: Economics
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    Work Experience:
    Army officer in the Korean Military (2 years)
    1. Currently working as a assistant war planner(operation planner) in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Work with United States Military Planners and intelligence agencies to create nation level war plans(operation plans) against north Korea .
    2. Interpreter/Aide de Camp to the Chief Director of Military Operations (3star general) – Interpreted all General level meeting between my general and US generals during north Korean missile launches and nuclear tests. This role was simultaneously done with my job as a planner.
    3. Company Commander at officer candidate school(i.e boot camp
    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    Internship Experience:
    1. Goldman Sachs FX & Derivatives Operations Summer Internship – carried out various projects to improve the operations software systems as a team with interns from all over the world
    2. UBS Equity Sales and Trading
    3. Medium size tech firm where I was given the project of coming up with a creative product that could be made with the firm’s patented “flexible battery”
    *Total Internship experience adds up to about a year
    ———————————————————————————————————————————
    Extracurricular
    1. Supported the planning and organizing process of major Korea-US Alliance events (banquets and dinners with ambassadors, CEOs, generals, politicians, etc) at a charity foundation dedicated to improving the friendship between the US and Korea.
    2. Went to alma mater’s management consulting club after working hours. Was president of consulting club for 1 semester.
    3. Captain of college basketball team while at college and won multiple national tournaments.
    4. CFA level1, in the process of getting my US CPA
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Goal: Transition to management consulting. Fell in love with being a strategist, being the brain for an organization after planning multiple military campaigns and operations. Thus started participating in consulting club and learning accounting to be able to solve consulting case problems.

    Super ambitious goal: I envision a unification of south and north korea someday. When that days comes I want to be one of the strategists to spearhead the efforts to develops businesses in the new Korea. In order to do so I want to learn from the best and work where the best firms are located which I believe is the US.

    Recommendations: Korea 4 star general, US Colonel and potentially a US 3 star general
    —————————————————————————————————————————-
    Concerns
    1. I have heard that Americans show the utmost respect to their men in uniform and that universities highly consider US military personnel for admissions. Would they however be as considerate for officers from Alliance nations who worked with the US?
    2. Afraid that lack of corporate work experience may not be met favorably.

    Target: M7

    Thank you so much!
    Have a pleasant day 🙂

  • Sandeep Somisetty

    Hi Sandy,
    Can you evaluate my chances at INSEAD, Kellogg 1Y and Stanford.
    GRE: VR: 160; QR: 170; LSAT : 95th percentile: Have admits from a couple of Top 15 law schools
    Indian Male, 29 years, Engineer from top 12 school and PGDM from top 4 school.
    Total work ex of 6 years:
    3.5 years – Working at a very large Indian power company: started off with Project Finance working with US Exim on a 600Mn USD deal – helped close financing documents and obtain first disbursement.
    Moved to Regulatory and policy advocacy role: Worked with industry associations to push for reforms in energy sector in India – responsible for many new policy reforms (as part of groups)
    Filed multiple petitions in courts and helped company win lawsuits worth ~20Bn USD.
    0.5 year – Assisted the chairman of another large power company in regulatory and policy related works
    Last 2 years – co-founded a renewable energy company (consulting and project management work) now backed by PE and traditional lenders; team of about 50 now with experience of reviving stranded hydro projects and setting up many rooftop solar projects.
    Goal: Plan A: grow network to join a start up or directly start a renewable energy company; Plan B: move to a top consult in energy practice in US; Plan C: work with a large power/energy company (not sure if that is possible as an international). Second MBA to expand network and reach out to entrepreneurs.
    Extra-currics – Lots of teaching to underprivileged students, set up infra for villagers through our company (not as CSR), set up blood donation camps, many Club president etc work at college and grad school; debating, editorial board and quizzing.
    Other factors: From a poor background, can speak four Indian languages fluently, overcame alienation as a child.
    LOR: Should manage to get good ones from my past employers.
    Thanks,

  • DesignFounder

    Hey John/ Sandy – love your columns! I’ve have a somewhat unusual background for an MBA applicant and so hoping you can handicap my odds at some of my target schools.

    – Age: 27
    – GMAT: 730 (Q44, V48)
    – GPA: 3.45, Ivy-League School, Design (BFA)
    – 1 Year: Working for Latin American Finance Minister, Investing in Local Technology Sector
    – 3 Years: Founded VC backed tech startup in advanced manufacturing space with faculty at MIT. Served as CEO from founding to acquisition by industrial company. Named Forbes 30 Under 30, etc.
    – Present: Joined VC fund (that backed my startup) investing in industrial tech startups.
    – Volunteer Work: Mentor @ NYC Startup Accelerator, STEM Mentor @ Local Public School

    Applying To:

    – HBS
    – Chicago
    – Wharton
    – Columbia
    – MIT Sloan
    – NYU Stern
    – Dartmouth
    – Yale

    Recommendations*:
    – Director of Department at MIT, Co-Founded Startup w/ Me
    – Managing Director of VC Fund, Invested in Startup, Served on Board, Hired me Post-Acquisition

    * 3-4 Alumni recommendations for specific schools (HBS, Sloan, Tuck, Columbia) from previous investors, co-founders, employees of startup

    Wondering how low GPA and verbal heavy GMAT score will affected my chances and whether having a non-tradition major will work for/ against me at the target schools on my list. And how helpful specific recommendations from alumni are vs. general recommendations from people who know me best.

  • Top10MBA

    Hello. These evaluations have been very helpful. Hoping you can give me some odds on acceptance to a top-10 to 15 MBA program (e.g. Kellogg, Dartmouth, Columbia, Yale, Darden).

    * 25 year old white American male. First generation student if that matters. I won’t apply until I’m 27 though.
    * BA in psychology from a private school ranked in the 70s according to U.S. News. 3.55 GPA. Also have a Masters of Public Policy (M.P.P.) from a good, but not great public school. 3.94 GPA.
    * Expecting a 700-720 GMAT score when I take it.
    * I worked for about 3 years at a boutique public sector healthcare consulting firms. Was promoted once. Currently working at Booz Allen, also in public sector healthcare consulting. Expecting a promotion at Booz before applying to programs. My engagements are quantitative analysis or policy writing focused for the most part; I also have some client-facing experience.
    * Involved in extracurricular activities in undergrad including president and vice-president of two different clubs. Currently a volunteer with my local town Board of Elections since I am passionate about local government and civics.
    * My rationale for getting an MBA is to transition from public sector to private sector work in healthcare, ideally with an MBB firm, or in a major company in the healthcare industry.

    Thanks!

  • dplynch1@crimson.ua.edu

    Sandy- thanks for what you do. Could you handicap my shot at some of these #8-16 schools?
    – 29 year old American male
    – 720 GMAT
    – Undergrad: Southern Public (Georgia/Alabama/Florida) Civil Engineering, 2.86 GPA (3.56 in last two years after getting my act together)
    – Graduate: MS Aerospace Engineering from West Coast public ivy 3.43 GPA
    – Work experience: 4 years at a medium-size employee-owned defense contractor, performing on multiple DoD projects with increasing roles of responsibility. Currently with same company working on-site at the Missile Defense Agency as a data analyst running models for ballistic missile attacks.
    – Volunteer experience: 2.5 years on the BoD for the local young professionals organization, and head of early career development for young professionals organization within my company.

    -Goals: Transition to a management role with a technology firm, preferably in aerospace and defense.
    – Other: Avid Crossfitter, ultramarathoner
    -Targets: Tuck, Duke, Darden, UNC, McCombs (+ a hail mary to MIT?)

  • Brandon Newman

    Hi Sandy, I’m currently unsure if I should try to shoot for some good schools:

    Age: 26, M
    GMAT: 740
    School: UCSB, 3.21 Computer Science

    Work experience:
    If I apply this fall, 3 years software engineering experience at “hot” ERP tech company. I’ll also have received 2 promotions, and potentially a move to a more prestigious role by the time of application

    Extra curricular:
    I’ve volunteered with Hillary for America, and run fundraising and accounting for my local March for Science. I’ve also worked with BlackGirlsCode and another group that encourages underrepresented participation in white-dominated fields. I also teach programming part time at General Assembly. Unfortunately, it’s all fairly recent work the earliest being August 2016.

    Goals: Consulting or tech product management.

  • PattenP

    Hi Sandy,

    I would appreciate your thoughts on the following:

    – 28 year old Indian female (born in India, but lived in 4 different countries growing up)
    – 3.1 GPA from a top tier liberal arts school ( Amherst Middlebury,Williams), double major in Economics, Political Science (low GPA due to severe illness in freshman year, hockey stick curve the rest of the years)
    – 720 GMAT (quant higher than verbal)
    – 3.8 GPA in all finance courses taken in undergrad
    – NYC based, 4 years of work experience in financial services, currently in a management role doing strategy & operations at a startup
    – Founded non-profit in India during college, still involved in that
    – 2-3 hours per week spent volunteering with a NY based non profit
    – 3-4 hours per month spent on college/high school alumni activities (organizing networking events, alumni interview committee)
    – Hoping to do consulting in the short term, start my own business in the long-term

    Targets: Duke, Kellogg, Sloan, McCombs, Yale, Darden

  • HBS 2+2

    Hi Sandy,

    Would love to know your insight on my profile for HBS 2+2. (19 year old Nigerian female)

    GPA: 3.42
    GMAT : 710
    Major: Information Systems Management and Social Entrepreneurship from a private university in the U.S

    One internship at a big 4 CPA firm in Nigeria and another at a mid-tier CPA firm as an IT consulting intern in .

    I’m currently on the exec board of a student organization aimed at learning more about business across cultures. Also one of the pioneers of She’s the first, an organization providing empowerment to females from low income backgrounds.

    I was also in one of the African countries a year ago, there, along with a few other course mates, we held workshops for students in a bridge program. Teaching them basic business communication skills, entrepreneurial processes and just fundamentals of professional selling.

    Probably, the most important, I founded a very website about a year ago, that has helped a few African Entrepreneurs, plan on working on it, full-time post graduation.

    I’m moving back to Nigeria in May to start my youth corps and would be working at McKinsey&Co. there as well.

    What would you suggest I include in my essay? and would you say I have a shot?

    Please your insights would mean a lot!

    Thanks

  • HBS 2+2 applicant

    Hi Sandy,

    -21 year old Indian
    -Engineer (non-IIT)
    -Internships at 2 startups (One aggregating Hyperlocal services and other socio-political startup)
    -Internship at one of the top startup incubators of highest ranked IIM ( worked on a research of an upcoming fund of millions of $)
    -Secured job at J.P.Morgan as Technology Analyst
    -GPA – 9.06/10
    -GRE – 322/340 (Q-168,V-154) AWA-5.0 (Will counter low Verbal in Recommendations)

    Extra-currics
    -Danced for winners of a global beauty pageant during their India tour
    -Winner at other dance competitions
    -Spearheaded Entrepreneurship Cell at college
    -Code for Good hackathon by J.P.Morgan (Develop software for NGO)
    -Scholarship by state government

    Other
    -Started up twice
    -Tech project catering to bettering lives of patients with paralysis

    Recommendation
    -Professor at college
    -Direct supervisor at Incubator internship

    -Admit from ISB (FT Global Rank 27, First rank in India) through YLP a program similar to 2+2

    Questions
    1. What are my chances for 2+2?
    2. Which way should I spin my essay story? What should I include/exclude from essay?(Dance + (Social) Entrepreneurship is my current play)
    3. How to should I weave my recommendations? Any important points to address?
    4. Should I mention ISB YLP admit on resume/essay?
    5. Is tech analyst at J.P.Morgan India good or bad? Considering 3-4 years down the line, I want to be at H/S/W?
    6. If not JP, then which specific companies in India would be a strategic fit for H/S/W 3-4 years down the line? (I have a possible opportunity at Bain Capability Centre)

  • Chris

    Sandy,

    Hoping you can shed some light on a bit different of a path towards an MBA:

    -29yr old white male

    -730 GMAT

    -3.6 GPA in Economics at Ivy League U.

    -2.4 GPA at private university before military time.

    -Sergeant in the military in-between. Served as a Sniper for 6 years, 2x combat deployments in leadership positions. Commanded 12-15 person teams.

    -Currently: 2 years in consulting (Oliver Wyman, LEK, etc.)

    -Mostly social sector and finance sector projects.

    -Summer after graduation was spent working with a children’s education non-profit in India.

    -2 to 3 hrs per week volunteering with non-profit, helping veterans apply to universities.

    -Hoping to make transition to (or start own) non-profit consulting company focusing on social sector clients.

    -Targets are HBS, Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, Wharton, or others you think may be applicable.

    -it’s been a bit troublesome trying to get some insight on where I stand exactly. Especially given the poor GPA and coming from military background, back into an undergraduate program, and out into the strategy consulting world.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

  • hbsguru

    Deloitte and Respected Start-Up [as you note, be sure to include that in resume and essays) is a good base for Indian applicants, and being Female could help a little.

    You offer a lot about start-up, e-commerce culture in Asia etc and that is a big plus.

    Stats are serviceable, and if you applied AS IS (w. 710 GMAT and not 730)

    I could see this as good shot at admit from places like Kellogg, Berk, Tuck, Duke, UVA.

    You would also have a good reach chance at HBS, Wharton, if you could really optimize the app and recs, as you seem able to do from the post.

    If you got a 730, you’d be real solid at Kellogg and a real contender at Wharton and HBS.

    Stanford is OK long reach as well, esp. if you can present as Stanford do-gooder/trending biz type.

    I am hesitant to tell someone w. a 710 to retake GMAT, but I am also hesitant to tell you there would no diff in outcomes w. 710 vs. 730, as silly as that seems.
    Fact is, if you take schools like Wharton and Columbia and filter out URMs, good chance the raw admit rate for pool of 710+ GMAT takers vs. 730 would favor the 730s by some non-trivial amount.

    I’d actually love to know that stat. Adcoms too ashamed to release real data like that because it contradicts all their blah, blah about GMAT only counting X much, when the reality I believe is that GMAT counts a real bit at every 10 point level.

    Adcom=pissants.

  • Ms Startup

    Hi Sandy,

    Could you please evaluate my profile?

    Indian/Female/25 yo
    GMAT Score: 710 [39V, 49Q, 6.0 AWA, 8 IR] (Considering to retake, target score 730+)

    Work Experience: (~4 Years experience till now)
    Academic Profile: Engineer from a non-IIT.
    GPA: 3.4 on a scale of 4.0

    – Currently Heading the Women’s Wear Category at a Series-A Startup (funded by Sequoia etc) The startup has also been ranked as one of top 50 startups in the world by Bloomberg and one of India’s Top 3 Startups.
    – Launched the Men’s wear category
    – Launched brick and mortar stores across the country to facilitate multichannel sales

    1.8 Years of Experience with Deloitte Consulting:
    -Worked with the Digital Business & Strategy group tasked with consulting clients on Digital business transformation
    – Youngest team memer to faciliate the setting-up of a separate consulting Practice

    Extra Curricular :
    Headed various clubs in college
    Worked with a non-profit for ~6 years to raise funds and faciliate classroom teaching.

    Recommendations: –
    Manager at the current employer (HBS Alum)
    Deloitte Consulting Director

    What do you think of my chances at Top 10 in the US?

    Thanks!

  • InfoSeeker

    Sandy,

    I would love your advice on my prospects for any top MBA school. Mine is a story of great stats with some nasty twists:

    GPA: 3.86 (magna) from a no name state school in Finance
    GMAT: anticipated 750+ based on practice exams
    Work experience: rotational financial leadership development program at very large blue chip company after graduation.

    Here’s another issue: college transcripts combine 3 different colleges. 1 year from 2005-2006 (which brings my GPA down, ala mater GPA is 3.9something). Then two years in community college before transferring to final college. Hence I am old (will be 30 this year).

    Do I have a shot at a top MBA program? Or should I focus all my energy into working my way up? Possibly stick it out for a few years before going to an “executive” program?

  • Not at HBS. Total silence. The school plays completely by the book.

  • HBS round 2

    Do you ever get hint or info before the official decision date? Do they call ever? Do they contact to verify your recommendations?

  • Thinkingaboutmba

    Thank you for the response! The list is in chronological order (JPMorgan and Credit Suisse are the banks). The first two years are in middle office / operations, the next 1.5 years are in investment management trading for portfolio managers, the current 1+ years are in the finance division working on strategy and analysis for the bank.

    Are there any specific schools that you think would be a good fit?

  • hbsguru

    Good story can help you break out of your bucket, in this case, service academy /military bucket. It cannot perform miracles, even small ones, that have no basis otherwise in your file.
    I like to say that a good story can allow you to stand up VERY straight, but it cannot make you TALLER. But you will appear taller and sometimes that is a critical diff.
    But if you are 5’10” and story can make seem like 6 feet, but the entrance req. is 6’2, you aint getting in.

  • dplynch1@crimson.ua.edu

    Sandy- thanks for what you do. Here’s my story:
    29 year old American male
    168Q 158V GRE
    ~720 GMAT (anticipated)
    Undergrad: University of Alabama, Civil Engineering, 2.86 GPA (3.56 in last two years after getting sober and getting my act together)
    Graduate: MS Aerospace Engineering from UCLA, 3.43 GPA
    Work experience: 4 years at a no-name medium-size employee-owned defense contractor, worked multiple DoD projects with increasing roles of responsibility. Currently with same company working on-site at the Missile Defense Agency as a data analyst running models for ballistic missile doomsday scenarios; I hold a Top Secret clearance.
    Volunteer experience: 2.5 years on the BoD for the local young professionals organization, and head of early career development for young professionals organization within my company. Volunteer at a local treatment center to share my story with younger alcoholics.
    Goals: Transition to a consulting role working with technology firms, preferably in aerospace and defense.
    Other: Avid Crossfitter, ultramarathoner, nine years sober
    Targets: Tuck, Kellogg, Duke, Darden, UNC, McCombs (+ a hail mary to MIT?)

    Notes: There is a big rift in my pre- and post-sobriety grades. Are schools going to freak out about the sobriety thing? Should I avoid mentioning it? It’s a big part of who I am.

  • Chris

    I went to Columbia. Thanks for the help!

  • Chris

    US citizen

  • hbsguru

    are you US citizen, or Canadian (Ivey)? Makes a diff.

  • hbsguru

    hmmmmm, lots of consultants on Poets and Quants, good luck in your search.

  • Chris

    Sandy,

    Hoping you can shed some light on a bit different of a path towards an MBA:

    -29yr old white male
    -730 GMAT
    -3.6 GPA at Ivy (Economics)
    -2.4 GPA at private university before military time.
    -Sergeant in the military in-between. Served as a Sniper for 6 years, 2x combat deployments in leadership positions. Commanded 12-15 person teams.
    -Currently: 2 years in consulting (Oliver Wyman, LEK, etc.)
    -Mostly social sector and finance sector projects.
    -Summer after graduation was spent working with a children’s education non-profit in India.
    -2 to 3 hrs per week volunteering with non-profit, helping veterans apply to universities.
    -Hoping to make transition to (or start own) non-profit consulting company focusing on social sector clients.

    -Targets are HBS, Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, Wharton, or others you think may be applicable.

    -it’s been a bit troublesome trying to get some insight on where I stand exactly. Especially given the poor GPA and coming from military background, back into an undergraduate program, and out into the strategy consulting world.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

  • Abhishek Srivastava

    Thank you so much Sandy, Appreciate your help.

    I am looking for a Admission Consultants who can help me put my story in a B-School likeable format.

    Still a long way to go! Getting an MBA from a top 7 US college has always been a dream to me, not for the packaged advantages but mostly for my passion to learn. I hope i am able to communicate this clearly to the Adcom. Thank you for the quick evaluation.

  • hbsguru

    Do you think a 720 can be a red signal?
    Well, it’s at, or a bit below average for Top 7 schools, but I think they may factor in other positives in your story, as you outline in above posts. Career path you outline above makes sense, just present it clearly. Lots to like here, just be real clear about what you do.

  • timothycronin21@live.com

    Can you please evaluate my profile?

    Age 26/ Male / White from North Massachusetts suburb

    Went to a small (2,600 student) liberal arts college in MA. Graduated with a bachelors in Economics & Political Science with a 3.78 GPA. Was elected student body president my senior year, and did a one year study abroad program at Oxford University (Oxford GPA 3.87).

    My GMAT score is a 730.

    Work experience is taking over management and ownership of my family-run small-business that specialized in mobility and disability services. I’ve been CEO/President/Owner of the company for the past four years, it is based in a suburb of Boston. Since taking over I have worked with my father to expand its reach into roofing, construction, and carpentry services. At the time of my taking over the company had minimal profits and now has three full time employees (not including me), is profitable.

    I’m active in my regional chamber of commerce, and created a charity associated with the aforementioned company that fundraises through annual events and donations to provide free services to low income members of the community who are disabled.

    I have recommendations from my time at Oxford, my college’s President, other top academics at my college (Econ dept. chair etc), the President of my chamber of commerce.

    My goal is to leverage the connections and knowledge I gain in business school into a senior level (or senior-level track) position in a large regional construction firm.

    What are my odds of getting into HBS or entering another top MBA program in the north eastern?

    Thank you.

  • Abhishek Srivastava

    Thanks a lot for the quick revert.

    Do you think a 720 can be a red signal?

    I forgot to mention that I belong to a family of India’s top notch Doctors and i am the only Engineering graduate in the family, as I followed my heart to a different career.

    Shop term goal – Move towards the business side of the Banking / Consulting industry which has a huge scope of process improvement.

    Long term goal would be to get into management consulting in the Healthcare / Education space and get a good global exposure. Eventually come back to India to make health care and education available at a lower cost, for below poverty line citizens.

  • MBAnewbie

    Appreciate your quick feedback here, Sandy. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I do not come from an exotic country in Asia.

    Why do I not smell Stanford? Do you have any high-level tips on how to differentiate myself from MBB peers?

    Thanks again!

  • hbsguru

    you will be competing mostly w. MBB consultants globally. Unless you come fr. exotic country in Asia [Bhutan, Myanmar].
    That is a tuff pool. HBS is possible w. serviceable execution, Stanford also, but more of reach, this doesn’t smell Stanford, but I could be wrong. G’luck.

  • hbsguru

    those are real solid choices. Get a 740 GMAT and apply to Wharton.

  • hbsguru

    hmmm, top 7 USNEWS.

  • NAJB

    Haha, fair enough. Thanks for handicapping my odds, Sandy.

  • hbsguru

    haha, you’re insistence on asking more questions and favors, is NOT TUCK-Y, just so you know. Not sure how to play Entrep’ship group, you might say you are interested LT in finding ways to be innovator etc. in insurance, but ST, you would like to be in biz development, etc. at financial/insurance company. 😉
    sk

  • Abhishek Srivastava

    Hi Sandy,

    Could you please evaluate my profile?

    GMAT – 720
    Age – 25 Y / Indian / M
    Bachelor’s of Engineering in Computer Science from a 14th Ranked Engineering College in India.
    CGPA – 3.8
    Firm – J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
    Line of Business – Asset Management – Global Investment Management
    Industry – Financial Services
    Work Experience – 3+ Years
    2 Promotions – From Analyst to Senior Analyst and Currently an Associate

    Highlights :

    1 Patent
    4 Globally Published Books with Leading Publishers Taylor & Francis (CRC Press) & Several Research Papers on Technology and Banking.
    Lead Coordinator for the Rotary Club – Health / Education with intense amount of volunteerism work for the below poverty line citizens.

    Role – I Design / Architect and Develop Award Winning, State of the Art Banking Analytics Applications to help the Alternative Investment group of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

    These Applications cater the needs of the CIOs/ Head of AM (1 down to Jamie Dimon) and Several other big shots in the firm, around the globe, hence getting a good exposure from US to Asia Pacific across the hierarchy.

    Due to the Problem Solving and Consulting nature of the Job, I have a good exposure from back office, middle office and front office process’ of Asset Management. To conclude in short these Applications are the reason that win big bucks and Deals to our group during client pitching.

    I am targeting the top 15 MBA colleges of US. Could please help me narrow down my B school hit list and where i stand a fair chance?

  • YTDRD

    Hi Sandy,

    – 26 year old white male
    – 3.67 GPA from small private university (accounting major)
    – 710 GMAT (47Q, 40V)
    – 4 years in Audit at Big 4
    – CPA
    – Passed level 1 of CFA/taking level 2 in June
    – Strong extra-curriculars (leadership roles including board member of non-profit, lots of volunteering, etc.)
    – Short-term goal: IB or Asset Management

    Target Schools (Round 1): Yale, Dartmouth, Virginia, Michigan, Duke

    Any thoughts/recommendations?

    Thanks!

  • NAJB

    Got it, that makes sense. For what it’s worth, I have been told I come off very professional and well put together during interviews and I am hoping that will help me in this process. I will definitely be taking advantage of the applicant initiated interviews at Tuck. Per your experience, do you believe doing so will improve my odds?
    I forgot to include Duke in my list of schools. I plan on submitting Tuck and Duke apps during their EA rounds.
    I agree with your explanation of the “Story”. The reason I want to speak a little about entrepreneurship is because my long term extra curricular activity has been leading an Entrepreneurship group and I don’t want the Adcoms to be confused about that. On the other hand, your right, insurance type guys are not super common. It is imperative that I put together succinct, well structured essays about my career goals around consulting and insurance.
    Although I would like to stick to top 20 schools with a good consulting placements, are there any other schools that you believe I should consider?

  • FeedbackWelcome

    Hey Sandy, would love your feedback:

    – 28 year old white male, married with kids
    – GMAT 700
    – GPA: 3.4 undergrad, 4.0 masters in engineering from southern state school (think Alabama, Georgia, Clemson)

    Work Experience:
    Global specialty chemicals in roles of increasing responsibility from R&D, sales, sales management, product management, strategic marketing promoted each 1.5 year term

    Extra Curricular: captain of varsity soccer team in college, Blue Key Honor Society. Member of Executive Board for nation’s oldest continuously operating orphanage – finance committee. Helped restructure the organization to manage funding shortfall during recession.

    Awards: honored by university as top 10 young alumni within the past 10 years. Paired with business-unit president in division-wide mentoring program.

    Goal: leverage corporate business development experience to a career in corporate development, M&A, investment banking

    Target Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Booth, MIT, NYU, Columbia

  • hbsguru

    1) What is the kind of “nice guy” Tuck goes for and how can I best position myself to them?
    ANS: this may start a fireworks show. Tuck likes prep, smart, near-IVY, regular guys and gals without sharp elbows, team minded, often athletic, community oriented, etc. etc.
    Sure, many variants of that, but you do get interviewed on campus by other Tuckies and that is a good deal of a smell test because class is small, you are in the woods, etc. The difference between that guy, and let me exaggerate this for clarity, and a guy like YOU could be very subtle but real. It’s the difference between a very nice first date and the desire for a 2nd one. Guy with your background [up from community college, works for insurance company] could just come off as a hick, in many subtle ways that no one would ever articulate. Not saying that is the case, dude, I don’t know you, and in this area, touch and feel can count a lot, just the way you present at 30 mintues walk around campus or interview at coffee shop. Those ways could be insecurity, manners, even way you talk, etc. My guess is, to pick an EASY metric, Tuck has more kids who are NOT first gen college than other schools, altho I am happy to take a beating on this, if anyone has stats. So all those are things which could go wrong, in some real subtle way THAT NO ONE EVER TALKS ABOUT, with profile like this.
    If those elements were present, working for Insurance company would be seen as confirming data.

    2) What do you mean stick to the Fort. 500 companies story?
    OK to say you want to do Strat Consulting, that is great default ST goals. Just go lite on entrepr’nership –schools often view that default ‘does not know what he wants to do’ and risky for rankings. One of your attrations to schools is that you are solid Insurance type guy who can eat that sh!t and advance in it.
    That is rare experience, company starters are dime a dozen.

    3. Lastly, can you give me % on admission odds to each school?

    Columbia-Tuck-20-30 pct,
    Darden, Ross, Cornell, Emory,& CMU –sorta 35-50.

  • NAJB

    Thanks for the reply, Sandy! I have a couple questions,
    1) What is the kind of “nice guy” Tuck goes for and how can I best position myself to them?
    2) What do you mean stick to the Fort. 500 companies story?
    Lastly, can you give me % on admission odds to each school?
    I appreciate your time and the info would be very useful to me.

  • MBAnewbie

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you for the awesome post!

    It would be great to get your feedback:
    – 26 y.o. Asian male, non-U.S. citizenship (age at matriculation 28; currently on H1B visa)
    – 3.95 GPA from Top 15 University, majors in math and finance
    – 2nd year consultant at Bain & Company (straight from undergrad)
    – 760 GMAT
    – 2-year military service
    – Long term goal: IPO with a biotech company (potential opportunity to join a small biotech company down the road)
    – Short term goal: 4-6 month biotech externship this fall

    I would love to go to HBS or Stanford. Do I have a shot at either?

    What pool of candidates will I be competing with? U.S.-based consultants? International professionals in the U.S.? International consultants from their respective countries?

    With appreciation,
    MBAnewbie

  • hbsguru

    grrrrr, this is a likable “up” from Community College story, my fear is that you did not go up enuf, esp. for Columbia (they don’t like adversity stories unless you got adversity plus gpa/gmat gold) Tuck (they may go for this, in theory, but facts and fit may be an issue, you may not be their kind of nice guy). Other places are good spread of likely admits.
    I would say you want to stick w. ~Fort 500 companies, etc. that is strong backbone of your story, and reason you are likable.
    Fintech consulting, insurance-y jive, etc. No one is crazy about insurance, but everyone has it, etc. Present yourself as someone who can really add to class.

  • hbsguru

    ok story in a real competitive bucket, a lot will turn on what they think of jobs and banks, hard to figure out what you actually do, and if list above is in chrono order or reverse.
    And that is saying something.
    Is that ONE bank or 3, etc. etc.
    if 3, you may have worked for nearly 50pct of bulge bracket firms in the world.
    anyway, given that IB is tuff bucket, you need GMAT sorta 710-740 to be average in that crowd, and 750 to stand out.

  • NAJB

    Can you please evaluate my profile?

    US Citizen, Male, Asian American
    Age at matriculation- 26
    Total work experience at matriculation- 4 years
    GMAT- 700
    Undergrad School- Community College for 2 years then UC Riverside for 2 years
    Undergrad GPA- 3.8 Transfer GPA & 3.15 at a 4 Year GPA- Combined GPA is roughly 3.47
    Degree- Bachelors in business administration

    Work Exp – Wealth Advisor for 1.5 years at Guardian Life
    I was on the Client Advisory side and functioned as a consultant, of sorts, working with the client-side (Stakeholders, CFOs, etc). to strategize insurance programs, business tax planning, and estate planning. This firm worked highly in a team environment.

    After that I began working at AAA Insurance as a Product Management Analyst. This role married two interests of mine, data analytics and gave me the ability to work on big projects within our company. This position required a high level of team collaboration with many other business units as well as helped develop my data analytic skills. This role and this department is considered one of the more “prestigious” within the company as our projects directly effected revenue, customer retention and growth. I will have worked here for 2.5 years when I matriculate at an MBA school. Prospect for me to receive a promotion looks slim not because I am undeserving but because it takes a long time for people to get promoted (i.e. all the managers in my department were working for 4+ years before they got promoted). I have stood out among the analysts the joined at the same time as I did for my leadership and team collaboration skills.

    Extra Curriculars-
    I have been the Vice President of a Young Entrepreneurs non profit organization for 2. years. The objective of this group is to promote an environment for young entrepreneurs to network, incubate ideas, form partnerships and learn from experts. We are also involved in working with at-risk high school youth in helping them create and start businesses through another Young Entrepreneur Academy. My responsibility is to increase our member base and increase participation at our events. We have grown to 2,000+ members in 2 years and average 25+ members per event.

    I really want to mix in my entrepreneurial desires although I work in a corporate environment. I would like to get into strategy consulting after my MBA and after that join a young, exciting Insurtech start up that is poised to be a mover and shaker in the world.

    Goals with MBA:
    Short Term: Management Consulting

    Target schools: Columbia, Tuck, Darden, Ross, Cornell, Emory,& CMU.

  • mbatbd

    Hi Sandy,

    I would love to get your feedback:

    GMAT: 700 (taken twice, Q40 V46 and Q44 V41)
    GPA: 3.4
    School: NYU Stern Undergraduate, Marketing & Econ
    Work: 3 years in marketing at a leading asset manager, 1 year in product management at a top online broker
    Volunteering Experience: Consistently volunteered (5 years) and lead various committees at a food workers’ rights nonprofit, volunteered through a city sponsored mentorship program, helped develop the multicultural network at work
    Goal: To work as a Product Manager in a top tech company, or in fintech
    Asian Female
    Dream Schools: Wharton, MIT, Northwestern, Cornell, or anywhere you think is appropriate

    One additional question- should I take the GRE? I’m a little concerned about my quant score, as I don’t believe I can improve it much more.

    Thanks!

  • TinyG89

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts – your posts are extremely useful, and I love the honesty. I would appreciate your thoughts on the following:

    – 28 year old Indian female (born in India, but lived in 4 different countries growing up)
    – 3.1 GPA from a top tier liberal arts school ( Amherst Middlebury,Williams), double major in Economics, Political Science (low GPA due to severe illness in freshman year, hockey stick curve the rest of the years)
    – 720 GMAT (quant higher than verbal)
    – 3.8 GPA in all finance courses taken in undergrad
    – NYC based, 4 years of work experience in financial services, currently in a management role doing strategy & operations at a startup
    – Founded non-profit in India during college, still involved in that
    – 2-3 hours per week spent volunteering with a NY based non profit
    – 3-4 hours per month spent on college/high school alumni activities (organizing networking events, alumni interview committee)
    – Hoping to do consulting in the short term, start my own business in the long-term

    Targets: Duke, Kellogg, Sloan, McCombs, Yale, Darden

  • International European

    Thanks for the advice Sandy, much appreciated! Do you think besides looking to get a strong GMAT, taking CFA Level 1 might boost my chances?

  • Engineer to Consulting

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for your help, would appreciate any insights.

    – 27 year old male, mining engineer from Mongolia
    – GMAT: 690
    – GPA: 3.5
    – Undergrad degree in mining engineering from a state university in US
    – Work experience: 6 months as a mining industry analyst n UK
    3.5 years as a mining engineer at a large mining company

    Target schools: Insead, Columbia, LBS, Cornell
    Target industry: Consulting

  • Chris

    Sandy,

    Hoping you can shed some light on a bit different of a path towards an MBA:

    -29yr old Caucasian Male
    -730 GMAT
    -3.6 GPA at Ivy (Economics)
    -Sergeant in the Marine Corps in between. Served as a Sniper for 6 years, 2x combat deployments in leadership positions. Commanded 12-15 person teams.
    -2.4 GPA at private university before military time.
    -Currently: 2 years in Consulting (Oliver Wyman, LEK, etc.)
    -Mostly social sector and finance sector projects. Typically strategy-based.
    -Summer after graduation was spent working with a children’s education non-profit in India.
    -2 to 3 hrs per week volunteering with non-profit, helping veterans apply to universities.
    -Hoping to make transition to (or start own) non-profit consulting company focusing on social sector clients.

    -Targets are HBS, Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, GSB, Wharton, or other’s you think may be applicable.

    -it’s been a bit troublesome trying to get some insight on where I stand exactly. Especially given the poor GPA (no disciplinary issues by the way) and coming from military background, back into an undergraduate program, and out into the strategy consulting world.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

  • hbsguru

    As to below, it helps if those HBS, STAN and MIT grads could really get behind you, since you seem to be a star in the department. Fact that company does not typically send kids to HSW etc. is an issue, esp. since internal consulting is iffy job in many cases [depends]. Dunno, if you can transition to feeder firm and do well there, that could greatly help, but that is asking a lot. I think w. solid app execution and your real good stats [760!] you prob. got a shot at Col, MIT, etc. even if you do not do that.
    Big Firms that B schools respect are firms that send them admits year after year, if looking for another job, just sniff around and see if kids fr. that new job routinely apply to top B schools and get in. That is best test, obviously, other quick metrics are salary bump, size of firm [Fort 100 etc. ] and how hard it was to get the new job.
    __________________________
    YOU WROTE:

    Does it help that in my small team (~10 people) at work most of the
    people have already received MBA and typically from Stanford, Harvard,
    Sloan, booth, Kellogg? They typically only take one analyst every other
    year (and everyone else has 10+ years work experience) so relatively
    little history of sending kids from my group to B-school. If this work
    is less promising for me to get into a top school, does it make much
    more sense from a career/MBA acceptance standpoint to get another job at
    a better feeder firm, and what types of firms would those be given my
    work in business strategy (essentially internal consulting)?

  • Strategicman

    Thanks so much for the reply. In some ways this is better than what I’d thought because I didn’t realize my 760 could be that important.

    I am concerned about my work experience though. My company is much more a feeder for some good but not great schools (like Cornell, Georgetown, Texas level schools) but not M-7 level. Does it help that in my small team (~10 people) at work most of the people have already received MBA and typically from Stanford, Harvard, Sloan, booth, Kellogg? They typically only take one analyst every other year (and everyone else has 10+ years work experience) so relatively little history of sending kids from my group to B-school. If this work is less promising for me to get into a top school, does it make much more sense from a career/MBA acceptance standpoint to get another job at a better feeder firm, and what types of firms would those be given my work in business strategy (essentially internal consulting)?

    Two things I left out that may be relevant. First promotion was in one year after undergrad while most people take 2-3 years to get first promotion. Anticipating I could get a second promotion in next year or two if I stayed before B-school. And I’m fluent in French, Chinese, and German, all learned in school or alone at high school age or later, so I have some international interest (for job would be interested in working abroad) if that helps at any school.

    Thanks so much again for your insights.

  • hbsguru

    the 760 GMAT and OK GPA from Ivy are rock solid starts at schools like Columbia, Yale, Sloan and Wharton, who are, these days, stats – centric. A lot there will depend on what exactly job is. You say, ” 2.5 years at large financial institution in corporate strategy and strategy for asset management division.” That could mean anything depending on if company has track record of sending kids to elite B schools (if no, not good, given that is large financial institution) and what you do. I am assuming you plan to stay for 2-3 more years.
    Best thing you could do is switch job to some similar function at well-known Top B school feeder firm. All that said, 760 GMAT answers a lot of questions to most schools.
    On the other hand, you are sorta in same bucket as white guys from established IB and PE shops, and that is tuff bucket.
    As you sense, that bucket could keep you out of H and S.
    You are real Kellogg and Tuck, “smart, corporate, athlete type” and should get in there.
    Your extras could help, but a good deal of this is going to turn on what schools think of current job and company.

  • Thinkingaboutmba

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you so much for doing these posts. They are extremely helpful and honest. Was wondering if I could get your insights:

    – 27 year-old Asian American female (speak fluent Mandarin)
    – 3.5 GPA from NYU Stern Undergraduate, Majors: Finance and Economics, Minor: Philosophy
    – 2 years in analyst program at a US bulge bracket bank
    – 1.5 years in portfolio management at a US bulge bracket bank
    – 1+ years in strategy/analytics at European bulge bracket bank
    – Passed all three levels of the CFA
    – volunteer with school children through a reading program
    – volunteered abroad twice (teaching and working with children)

    What schools should be targeted, and what GMAT score do you think is needed?

  • Curious

    Wow, talk about spinning a good story! I’m rethinking how I should’ve presented myself to HBS now but in ‘soft’ cases like these, would you say a good story can overcome average or weak GPA/ GMAT stats? Or do these stories only make a real difference after all stats are in order? In this case, military tax form filler did go to West Point which has plenty of prestige associated with it. Does at least 1 element in an app need to check the ‘obvious prestige’ box?

  • hbsguru

    🙂 well, for openers, their type of military is often liberal arts-y, thoughtful. PC-ish, liberal on social issues, etc. Once had a West Point guy, Asian, whose major military deployment was to Gitmo where he spent his time helping the full-time grunts stationed there (about 200 guys or so at the time, maybe more, this was a while ago) fill out their tax returns. That was it. He was no accountant but filling out a 1040 for a single guy on military pay is not exactly rocket science. He wrote about dealing w. diverse types at the base and helping them understand basics of tax code. Essay was about finding different ways to work w. guys from different backgrounds who often only had High School degree. His GPA/Gmat were in line w. HBS.
    ADMIT, even tho that is not a sterling military career by most lights.

  • Strategicman

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for your help, would appreciate any insights.

    GMAT: 760

    GPA: 3.55 in economics and math from Ivy (not HYP)

    Work experience is 2.5 years at large financial institution in corporate strategy and strategy for asset management division.

    Formal mentorship experience within firm (younger colleagues and interns) and outside firm for troubled youth. Have led classroom math tutoring and teaching for adults trying to get high school equivalence degree (2 hours every week). Volunteer with disabled youth as well. Involved in leadership with affinity group in company as well.

    Very active and former 4 year varsity NCAA athlete.

    24 year old white male. Hoping to matriculate in 1.5-2.5 years (at age 26-27)

    Target schools: Columbia, Yale, Booth, Kellogg, Sloan, Wharton, Tuck

  • hbsguru

    grrr, as often noted, Big 4 tax work is considered silver not gold experience, elite schools do not view that gig as ultra competitive, they way they view elite IB and Strat Consulting jobs. It is cert. solid experience. 3.5 GPA fr. LSE is OK but not super duper either.
    Your targets are
    Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Dartmouth, MIT, LBS
    Not seeing this as HBS or Stanford under normal circs. Some mega GMAT [~760] might help if if rest of app, recs, story, etc. is real glowing. Min GMAT there could be ~720 (not seeing this as Stanford in any case, unless you have some other URM, adversity story].
    Yale, Columbia, MIT and also Tuck will unfort. rely on GMATs a lot in case like this, since nothing else is WAY in your favor–you really could use 730 there to be in the running.
    LBS is least GMAT centric, try getting over 700 w. 80% on both sides.

  • Mr. Start-up

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks a lot for replying. I have a lot of INSEAD connections from current and previous employers rather than Stanford.

    TBH, I am not even 100% sure if I actually should invest in an MBA. Time to think, I guess.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Curious

    Interesting! I feel like this line of insight is very useful.

    A “Breaking the adcom’s code” type of post, dedicated to the soft things outside raw stats might be nice to have if you’ve the time to do it, Sandy!

  • hbsguru

    yes you will , as you note

    “WE: healthtech internship, upcoming PE internship with strong GSB/HBS ties

    Goal: stay in PE if i like it, eventual goal of lifescience/healthcare entrepreneurship”
    THAT IS STEM ENUF FOR THEM. Just fill that in, in some detail, in app. e.g.

    that PE gig will let you learn basics of investing, and 2+2 may allow you to spend 3rd year [2+3] working for start-up in bio-science, etc. which would really be great glide path to B school. Try to cite exciting lifescience companies you admire in goal statement, esp. ones w. CEOs etc w. backgrounds like yours, etc.

    They will get it, you still got a strong story here. When you get interviewed, tell them that a big advant. of 2+2 for you is that if you really HATE PE after a year, you can quit, and join bioscience outfit. 😉

    They actually view 2+2 as providing “FU money” like that.

  • Interesting

    Thanks for this clarification, very helpful.

  • International European

    Hi Sandy,

    I would appreciate your thoughts on the profile below:

    – 25 y.o female European
    – Fluent in 3 languages
    – currently Tax Consultant at Big Four in London (4 years experience)
    – graduated from London School of Economics (Finance & Accounting) with 3.5 GPA
    – CPA-equivalent qualification

    Target industry: Private Equity
    Target schools: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Dartmouth, MIT, LBS

    GMAT to be taken in May as looking for the 2018 intake – any advice on min. GMAT I should be aiming for?

  • Curious

    Thanks, Sandy. This explanation sounded much better and helped understand where you’re coming from!

  • hbsguru

    Other point:
    ______________________
    Also, you’ve got great insight and judgement from all your experience
    with helping candidates but you don’t suppose adcom who also do this for
    a living would be good at their job? It’s understandable that they may
    not know everything about every industry but honestly, do you?
    ____________________________________________
    One really important thing to consider is that adcoms are not at liberty to speak their minds clearly, they need to be “professional” and uphold university values esp. in public statements. E.g. one thing they will not do freely is rank companies in industries, e.g. banks and consulting companies, the party line is that all work is sorta equal, and some applicant applying fr. Mck or Goldman is just another applicant, sorta the same as another applicant from no-name consulting company or bank, etc. “We judge all candidates bottom up, here . . . depends on your responsibilities, advancement, lessons from your job, recs, obstacles, accomplishments, etc.” Sure. That is ONE big issue.

    That is why I stress the importance of knowing what YOUR company’s track record is at B schools X, Y and Z.

    Another issue is that adcoms often speak in code, e.g. the classic reason for failing an HBS interview. They will say you sounded ‘scripted’ –that is often a collecting point for many, many observations about how you talk, your body language, your habits of mind, even your VALUES etc. that they are not going to unpack or lack the vocabulary and insight and motive to unpack.

    Ahem, all that said, sometimes people do sound scripted in the classic sense, that they are trying to recall and read an index card that they left on their desk with a scripted answer.

    But scripted also means, and quite often means, “not our type . . .” for many reasons, many of those reasons unutterable.
    This does not mean adcoms are prejudiced, they are open to all comers, but within each group–males, military, LGBT, blacks, consultants, bankers, Asians, etc. there is some subset of “our type of X” e.g. our type of military. Folks who do not conform to that ‘type’ are often called ‘scripted.’

  • hbsguru

    In general, summer post-grad sessions are good for taking specific courses like Calculus, Stats, Micro Ec,etc. as a way to cure low grades in those courses, or lack of quant courses in general. B school adcoms appreciate the effort, it does not build ties to the school in general. I am not sure how employers look at it, but if I were hiring between 2 applicants, both liberal arts majors, and the job I was offering had some quanty parts, the fact that one of those applicants has aced Calc. and Stats in a summer course could really weigh on my decision.

  • hbsguru

    My reply to those questioning my use of the word ‘girlie’ with ref. to the HBS admissions committee is below. Not a big deal either way, but it is worth stressing that all adcoms, and esp. HBS’, are female by some very great ratio [~10-1 at HBS] and also more liberal in values and outlook than faculty and rest of administration, altho even there, it worth noting that while business schools are often the most conservative schools at most Unis, all of the academy is way more liberal than general population and even the general professional population. See below.

  • Planning Ahead

    Hi Sandy,

    I’d love to get your thoughts on doing a summer session (non-degree seeking) at a top school. I was looking into doing this after I get my bachelors degree. Any idea on how this is viewed by employers, if it’s prestigious, if it helps build ties to schools for an MBA down the road, etc.? I’ve heard mixed things about programs like this (i.e. Harvard’s extension school is viewed at very bad. Does the same go for Penn liberal and professional studies, Columbia general studies, etc.?).

  • Dave

    Hi Sandy,

    Would appreciate your insight on my profile!

    GMAT – 750
    Undergrad – Econ major at GW, 3.5 GPA
    1st job – 2.5 years Big 4 tech consulting
    2nd/current job – 2.5 years in corp strategy group at small healthcare firm
    Post MBA goal – join strategy group at hospital system or MBB healthcare group
    ECs – student leadership in undergrad, local nonprofit involvement in DC
    27 y/o white male
    Targets – Wharton, Tuck, Yale SOM, MIT Sloan

  • hbsguru

    Girly is not redundant, altho sure you may prefer female. The fact is that the HBS adcom is massively female [sorta 20 females and ~2-3 males, altho head of adcom is male]. They are also more politically left than the faculty and other administration of the school, altho you may have to trust me on that one, it is based on talking to adcom members and faculty and just the way things work in most unis and corporations, where HR (admissions etc) is often more left politically than operational units. Rave on, but sorta true enuf for our purposes, altho, sure this post is not going to be published in a peer reviewed journal.

    Those facts are worth keeping in mind, at HBS and all top B schools, because in some cases applicants somehow think that adcoms and schools in general are more gung-ho, capitalist, elbows out in their value system than they are, ESPECIALLY THE ADCOMS.

    I use ‘girly’ to underscore this point, esp. at HBS where many applicants think they are applying to some stone faced institution w. conservative values, that is really not the case on social issues. Adcom at HBS values socially progressive tenets, emotional intelligence, and for the most part Political Correctness in terms of values.

    This is worth keeping mind.

    Ahem, as to your case in point below:
    ____________________________________________________
    Case in point: “Saying you wanted combat and Special Forces experience is fine at first blush but girly adcoms may be seeing this as an odd trajectory.” This sentence will read just as well without “girly” in it.
    ____________________________________________________
    I disagree. Girly adcoms in particular may see this a macho, needless, and bragging or at least needing in explanation. Male adcoms would be less likely to think so. And adcoms at HBS are overwhelmingly female.

    That clarity is worth the very, very tiny PC misdemeanor of using the word “girlie.”

  • LGBT Leader

    Hey Sandy, really appreciate all of the information you’ve given over this series. I would appreciate your feedback immensely.

    •27 year old gay male
    •GMAT: 780
    •3.6 GPA from a state school studying economics on an extremely quantitative route, even when compared to other Econ majors (Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Diff EQ, multiple levels of statistics).
    •CFA Certified
    •Work Experience:
    5 years at the one of the largest buy side firms (think Prudential, MetLife) in their client acquisition team for their external asset management division within their overall investment division. Many of the top schools are feeder schools to the investment division of the firm I’m in (last summer’s MBA interns were all from Harvard, Columbia, and Wharton); many of my colleagues have obtained their MBA from one of the schools I am interested in, and have agreed to write me letters of recommendation.
    •Extracurriculars:
    – Volunteer 10 hours a week for LGBT organizations in the area since graduating undergrad
    – Working on creating a partnership between my current firm and a nationwide LGBT advocacy organization
    -Serving on alumni board for a chapter of my fraternity.
    – Rowing in the Masters division (rowed in undergrad before an injury put me off the team)
    – President of a professional development LGBT club in Undergrad
    – Served as a founding member and executive board member of my fraternity during undergrad
    •Ultimate Goal:
    – I would like to transition from the buy side at this firm to private equity. I believe that my experience working with other institutional clients would be a good transition point for this. If not directly to private equity, then over to investment banking and then work my way to a point where I could start my own PE firm. In addition, one of my ultimate goals is to become a leader in the industry so that that other aspiring members of the LGBT community may look up to me. I want to inevitably start a foundation for the professional development of LGBT people, specifically those that were kicked out of their homes as a teenager. I believe that everyone should be able to attain their dreams, no matter where they start, and helping LGBT people in this position develop professional skills early on in life will help them to do so.
    •Goal schools: Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Chicago, MIT

    Thank You!

  • interested

    Thanks for your comments. Once I realized I didn’t want to get a Phd I hustled to recruit for IBD, PE, and consulting internships. Now that I’m on that track I’m worried that they won’t want me for 2+2 as I won’t be pursuing a STEM/science based career. Thoughts on this?

  • hbsguru

    what can I say, you check all the boxes for 2+2, STEM, top school, OK GPA, get that 740, and good, feeder internships (you say). Women in science a good card to play, LGBT don’t hurt. Kids like you get in and do not depending on execution, recs, and luck.
    As often noted, 2+2 etc. is somewhat lottery-like but this is real solid.
    Not sure what round is best for GSB deferred admission, to be frank. If you don’t get in 2+2 etc, you will be a very solid reg. applicant down the road.

  • hbsguru

    yes, not sure about the spam.

  • LGBT Leader

    Hey John & Sandy,

    I would like to get my profile analyzed to see my chances of success, if so should I simply post it here? (It has marked it as spam twice already for some reason)

    Thanks!

  • pablonoriegar@gmail.com

    740 GMAT (49Q | 42V | 6.0AWA | 7IR)

    3.34 GPA

    Double degree in Economics and Business from the #1 university in Colombia, top 10 in Latin America

    Work experience includes 3 years in a middle office (finance & strategy) role in a top tier bulge bracket bank (GS/JPM/MS), promoted to associate. I have been working for the past 8 months in a management role in operations & biz dev in a tech Start-up in Colombia funded by Silicon Valley VCs (Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Foundation Capital, etc…). Company was founded less than 18 months ago so no track record of sending employees to MBAs yet, but management team and former summer interns include alumni from Stanford, Wharton & Tuck.

    26 year old Colombian/Spanish male

    English, Spanish and French speaker

    Extracurricular involvements include tutoring in college for high school kids, being a leader of a diversity business resource group at the bank. I was also part of a team that worked on a financial consulting project for a non-profit foundation.

    Goal: To combine my previous experience in finance and tech with a top tier MBA to work in a top VC fund or a FinTech startup

    Target schools: HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Sloan, CBS, Haas, LBS, Oxford

  • Mr. CorpDev

    Hey Sandy, would love your feedback:

    – 28 year old white male, married with kids
    – GMAT 700
    – GPA: 3.4 undergrad, 4.0 masters in engineering from southern state school (think Alabama, Georgia, Clemson)

    Work Experience:
    Global specialty chemicals in roles of increasing responsibility from R&D, sales, sales management, product management, strategic marketing promoted each 1.5 year term

    Extra Curricular: captain of varsity soccer team in college, Blue Key Honor Society. Member of Executive Board for nation’s oldest continuously operating orphanage – finance committee. Helped restructure the organization to manage funding shortfall during recession.

    Awards: honored by university as top 10 young alumni within the past 10 years. Paired with business-unit president in division-wide mentoring program.

    Goal: leverage corporate business development experience to a career in corporate development, M&A, investment banking

    Target Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Booth, MIT, NYU, Columbia

  • LGBT Leader

    Hey Sandy, really appreciate all of the information you’ve given over this series. I would appreciate your feedback immensely.

    -27 year old gay male

    -GMAT: 780
    -3.6 GPA from a state school studying economics on an extremely quantitative route, even when compared to other Econ majors (Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Diff EQ, multiple levels of statistics). Economics program was ranked in the top 20 globally.
    -CFA Certified

    Work Experience:
    5 years at the one of the largest buy side firms (think Prudential, MetLife) in their client acquisition team for their external asset management division within their overall investment portfolio.

    Extracurriculars:
    – Volunteer 10 hours a week for LGBT organizations in the area since graduating undergrad
    – Working on creating a partnership between my current firm and a nationwide LGBT advocacy organization
    -Serves on alumni board for a chapter of my fraternity
    – Took on role as a youth leader in my firm (organize events where younger members can network/ meet each other)
    – Rowing in the Masters division (rowed in undergrad before an injury put me off the team)
    – President of a professional development LGBT club in Undergrad
    – Served as a founding member and executive board member of my fraternity during undergrad

    Ultimate Goal:
    – I would like to transition from the buy side at this firm to private equity. I believe that my experience working with other institutional clients would be a good transition point for this. If not directly to private equity, then over to investment banking and then work my way to a point where I could start my own PE firm.
    – In addition, one of my ultimate goals is to become an LGBT leader in the industry that other aspiring members of the LGBT community can look to. I want to inevitably start a foundation for the professional development of LGBT people – specifically those that are at a disadvantage (i.e. Those that were kicked out of their homes as a teenager). I believe that everyone should be able to attain their dreams, no matter where they start, and helping LGBT people in this position develop professional skills early on in life will help them to do so.

    Note: Many of the top schools are feeder schools to the investment division of the firm I am currently at (last summer’s MBA interns were all from Harvard, Columbia, and Wharton); many of my colleagues have obtained their MBA from one of the schools I am interested in, and have agreed to write me letters of recommendation.

    Goal schools: Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Chicago, MIT

    Thank You!

  • interested

    Hi Sandy, thanks for doing this. I’m interested in applying for 2+2 and GSB deferred admission next year. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my profile. I was also wondering if Round 3 was advisable for GSB deferred enrollment as they don’t restrict college students to Round 3 like HBS.

    GMAT: 740 (practice test plan to devote more time to study in coming months)

    Undergrad GPA: 3.7 in biology from top 5 public school

    WE: healthtech internship, upcoming PE internship with strong GSB/HBS ties

    Extracurriculars: research, student gov, involved in planning LGBT events/campaigns, looking to get more involved in charitable ECs (promoting women in science/business) during senior year

    Goal: stay in PE if i like it, eventual goal of lifescience/healthcare entrepreneurship

    Schools: HBS/GSB for 2+2, interested in applying to Booth, Wharton, MIT if HBS/GSB doesn’t come to fruition

    Demographics: White female

  • Curious

    Meh, there’s too much confusion these days between being rude/ abrasive and being straightforward. To his credit, I do think Sandy is straightforward most of the time. But he does slip into the rude category here and there.

    Case in point: “Saying you wanted combat and Special Forces experience is fine at first blush but girly adcoms may be seeing this as an odd trajectory.” This sentence will read just as well without “girly” in it.

    “Adcom wouldn’t be familiar with XYZ industry and may not recognize you’re a superstar unless you explain it to them” –> straightforward

    “Girly adcom won’t get you’re a superstar in XYZ” –> unnecessarily sexist.

    But like I said, I still like his straight talk. He may want to tone it down with the abrasive tone once in a while (just my opinion).

  • LGBT Leader

    Hey Sandy, really appreciate all of the information you’ve given over this series. I would appreciate your feedback immensely.

    -27 year old gay male

    -GMAT: 780
    -3.6 GPA from a state school studying economics went on an extremely quantitative route, even when compared to other Econ majors (Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Diff EQ, multiple levels of statistics). Economics program was ranked in the top 20 globally.
    -CFA Certified

    Work Experience:
    5 years at the one of the largest buy side firms (think Prudential, MetLife) in their client acquisition team for their external asset management division within their overall investment portfolio.

    Extracurriculars:
    – Volunteer 10 hours a week for LGBT organizations in the area since graduating undergrad
    – Working on creating a partnership between my current firm and a nationwide LGBT advocacy organization
    – Serving on the alumni board for a chapter of my fraternity
    – Took on role as a youth leader in my firm (organize events where younger members can network/ meet each other)
    – Rowing in the Masters division (rowed in undergrad before an injury put me off the team)
    – President of a professional development LGBT club in Undergrad
    – Served as a founding member and executive board member of my fraternity during undergrad

    Ultimate Goal:
    – I would like to transition from the buy side at this firm to private equity. I believe that my experience working with other institutional clients would be a good transition point for this. If not directly to private equity, then over to investment banking and then work my way to a point where I could start my own PE firm.
    – In addition, one of my ultimate goals is to become an LGBT leader in the industry that other aspiring members of the LGBT community can look to. I want to inevitably start a foundation for the professional development of LGBT people – specifically those that are at a disadvantage (i.e. Those that were kicked out of their homes as a teenager). I believe that everyone should be able to attain their dreams, no matter where they start, and helping LGBT people in this position develop professional skills early on in life will help them to do so.

    Note: Many of the top schools are feeder schools to the investment division of the firm I am currently at (last summer’s MBA interns were all from Harvard, Columbia, and Wharton); many of my colleagues have obtained their MBA from one of the schools I am interested in, and have agreed to write me letters of recommendation.

    Goal schools: Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Chicago, MIT

    Thank You!

  • navyfinance

    Sandy, I appreciate how straightforward you are. There is not enough of it in the world today.

  • Curious

    Sandy, I love reading your columns but in all seriousness, why do you condescend on the adcoms so much? “Girly” seems to be a favourite way for you to describe them. It’s kind of sexist. (Not to mention not all adcom are female) I’m genuinely curious why you think it’s okay to talk about people like that?

    Also, you’ve got great insight and judgement from all your experience with helping candidates but you don’t suppose adcom who also do this for a living would be good at their job? It’s understandable that they may not know everything about every industry but honestly, do you? And I like that you point this out to applicants to they can address is but there’s better ways to say it.

    Still, I’m a fan of your columns and value your input. Just wanted to say my peace on the subject of how you paint pictures of people. Condescension is not cool.

  • EDTECH

    Hi Sandy, your series is a great resource and it has truly helped me form an opinion on what it takes to get into top schools. That being said I would like for you to chance my profile and shed insight on where I should pivot if I seek to attain my goals, similar profile to Mr. Inner City Teacher

    GMAT: 720
    Undergrad GPA: 3.77 in economics from State School
    WE: In 2 year commitment in TFA (either stay an extra year or move to consulting or edtech)
    Extracurriculars: Financial literacy after school program branched further than my school, involvement with professional development of students through other organizations
    Goal: work at a consulting firm with an education/nonprofit arm (mckinsey) Move into education technology space (long term)
    Schools: HBS, Kellogg, Columbia, Booth, MIT, Haas, Stern, Ross
    22 year old latino urm, 24,25 at matriculation dependent on WE

    Does this profile lead straight from TFA to MBA? Would I be better off taking a two year stint in either consulting or ed tech opposed to applying in my third year of TFA?

  • Tony O

    Hi Sandy,
    Thanks for your insight. It’s been very invaluable. Kindly help evaluate my profile.

    GMAT: 760
    Undergrad GPA : 3.6 from top-3 Nigerian university.
    Grad GPA: 3.4 from Columbia University in NY
    Work Experience: 4.5 years international banking experience from top-3 Nigerian bank.
    5 years Military Experience as a Logistics Officer. Transitioning out as Captain.
    Goal: Transition to Management Consulting or Finance.
    Schools: Emory, Chicago Booth, Darden, INSEAD, Yale, Columbia, Kellogg

    36 year-old black Male, Nigerian-American,

  • D.W.

    Hi Sandy,

    I would love to hear your feedback on my profile:

    750 GMAT
    Ivy league graduate, majored in economics and geography, 3.7 GPA
    Currently working in retail strategy and analytics for a Fortune 10 company

    Work experience
    <2 years at a small financial consulting company advising top asset management companies on their go-to-market strategy for their financial products. Worked in both the US and the UK

    <2 years at a Fortune 10 company working in customer loyalty strategy to improve customer acquisition and retention

    Goal is to lead a analytics-driven customer loyalty program for branded retailers

    26 year old Asian female

  • pablonoriegar@gmail.com

    · 740 GMAT
    · 3.34 GPA
    · Double degree in Economics and Business from the #1 university in Colombia, top 10 in Latin America
    ·
    Work experience includes 3 years in a middle office (finance
    & strategy) role in a top tier bulge bracket bank (GS/JPM/MS),
    promoted to associate. I have been working for the past 8 months in a
    management role in operations & biz dev in a tech Start-up in
    Colombia funded by Silicon Valley VCs (Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital,
    Andreessen Horowitz, Foundation Capital, etc…). Company was founded less
    than 18 months ago so no track record of sending employees to MBAs yet,
    but management team and former summer interns include alumni from
    Stanford, Wharton & Tuck
    · 26 years old Colombian/Spanish male
    · English, Spanish and French speaker
    · Extracurricular involvements include tutoring in college for high school kids, being a leader
    of a diversity business resource group at the bank. I was also part of a team
    that worked on a financial consulting project for a non-profit foundation.
    · Goal: To combine my previous experience in finance and tech with a top tier MBA to work in a top VC fund or a FinTech startupdsadas
    · Target schools: HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Sloan, CBS, Haas, LBS, Oxford

  • hbsguru

    You lost me a bit with move to Barneys (great store but . . .see below). are you part of some rotational leadership program, of which one gig is sales associate, to get a feeling for the floor? That is the good version of this, altho to be honest, you would have been a MUCH more solid and clear applicant if you were still at General Dynamics, a respected manufacturing company (manufacturing is a trendy buzz word at the moment).
    GMAT helps.
    “looking to transition into luxury retail marketing post MBA . . . .”
    Huh, even if we buy your interest in marketing, I would try to keep that open, luxury retail marketing sounds like you are more interested in luxury than marketing. And that, plus, Barneys just makes reader wonder what your real interests are.
    What adcoms like about marketing, and what schools think they teach, is the more quanty, audience segmentation, bang for the buck analysis, and testing different marketing plans, etc. etc. That is a formula that works for marketing anything, altho sure, you don’t sell cars the way you sell apples. I’d try to sound more informed about the marketing biz, and say Barneys gig gives you exposure to all aspects of retail marketing, I’d go lite on the lux.

    Not seeing this as H or S. Wharton is real reach, both low GPA and mixed signals, Kellogg is a natural fit, and I’d focus there, other M7-10 going to be mixed outcomes my guess, depending on execution, showing them the love, and luck.

  • DT

    Hi Sandy, I really enjoy reading these columns and would love for you to
    evaluate my profile.

    730 GMAT (48Q, 41V)

    3.6 GPA

    Undergrad degree in math from a top 15 liberal arts school (think Vassar/Hamilton/Wesleyan).
    Varsity athlete all four years of college, voted captain senior year.

    Work experience: Will have five years experience in supply chain management
    in the semiconductor manufacturing industry at matriculation. This includes two
    years at a Fortune 100 tech company before my organization was acquired by one
    of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturing companies, where I will have
    been for the last three years. Job role involved supply planning and direct customer
    engagement to address potential problems. I was selected to work on the account
    of one of our company’s largest and most important customers.

    Extracurricular: Volunteer work at a local LGBT non-profit, mentoring and
    providing a safe space for LGBT youth. I have also worked with several affordable
    housing non-profits (fundraising, raising awareness in communities across New
    England, and working on job sites).

    Goal: Transition to management consulting (MBB) or product management at a
    top tech company.

    27 year old gay white male

    Target schools: Tuck, Kellogg, Darden, Ross, Foster

    Thanks!

  • disqus_OJB6jI8YwZ

    Hi Sandy,

    Would appreciate your feedback with my profile:

    Age:31 year old male

    School: small midwestern adjunct on military base

    GPA:3.1

    Marine special operations logistician for 4 years. Then joined General Dynamics doing logistics for 3 years including a 16 month deployment to Afghanistan.

    Currently taken an internship position with the luxury retailer Barneys as a sales associate: looking to transition into luxury retail marketing post MBA so that it would beneficial to get some experience in the industry.

    GMAT:730

    Interested in M7

  • Gluckman J

    Thanks! Again, I appreciate what you do for this website and the guidance you give hopeful MBA students.

  • hbsguru

    Great experience and if any of those companies have direct connections to Stanford, that is the way you will get in. E.g. you know an alum who can make case for you based on proven record of operational success (if I am reading this correctly).
    Aside from that Stanford is going to be super reach. Not enuf magic here to overcome

    Desi,
    male,
    30.
    3.3,
    700.

    Kellogg may go for this and is a good choice.

    Insead, LBS, IESE should happen with serviceable execution.

    BTW, why do you need an MBA? Something to think about for real and it might be worth mentioning in apps.

  • hbsguru

    Grrrr, as I’ve often said, adcoms have a hard time sorting out the nuances of a gold/silver/bronze military career unless it includes obvious markers like pilot, special forces, etc. Your career seems super solid to me, but you will be to some degree, sparring it out with other military. You got some pluses outside military including working for state pol, varsity athlete, solid college, liberal arts, we get the picture, you’re a solid, reliable, smart guy with a 2.9 and a 700.

    “Plan on taking a summer class or UCLA Extension course in two of the
    following: calc, stats, finance. Want to show I can sit still and spit
    out the info to the tune of couple As.”

    Roger that!!!!

    That is the best thing you can do.

    Tuck (Early), Columbia, Ross, Fuqua, Johnson, McCombs, Owen

    You’re a Tuck type, but so are lots of military w. 3.6 and 720 GMATs. Ditto Columbia, which is pretty hard core about protecting their numbers. Other schools should be do-able with solid execution, which you seem to be have a knack for.
    Tuck is reach, but may happen.
    G’luck, I’m rooting for you.

  • Gluckman J

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for your invaluable insight! These articles are always a must read for me. I love your tell it how it is no BS attitude. We call that BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) in the military.

    Age: 28
    GMAT: 700
    School: Top 5 Liberal Arts (Middlebury, Bowdoin, Pomona, Swarthmore)
    -GPA 2.9 (somewhat of an upward trajectory)
    -Poor quant grades during first 2 years. Plan on taking a summer class or UCLA Extension course in two of the following: calc, stats, finance. Want to show I can sit still and spit out the info to the tune of couple As.
    -International Relations Major
    -Varsity athlete during time in college
    Work Experience:
    -6 months spent working for a notable state politician
    -Then transitioned to Active Duty Naval Officer
    -Will apply as a LTJG (O-2) but will be promoted to LT (O-3) prior to attending B-School
    -Logistics and Operations Officer
    -Haven’t deployed, but have leadership credentials and experience throughout my service
    -Consistent top performer
    Interested In: Tuck (Early), Columbia, Ross, Fuqua, Johnson, McCombs, Owen
    Goals: Will continue to tighten up vision but in short, I want to be a consultant for a few years with the long term of eventually taking over my family’s small/mid cap PE firm to the next level.
    -Strong Recs & Essays

  • Mr. Start-up

    Hi Sandy, would appreciate your feedback

    Age: 30, Indian Male, Singapore Green Card holder
    GMAT: 700
    School: USC, GPA: 3.3, Major: Finance
    Grad School: MSF@ WUSTL Olin, GPA: 3.6

    Work Experience:

    8 months of Internal Strategy & Ops Consulting at an Insurance giant in Chicago
    3.5 yrs (Analyst to Principal) at a hybrid operational accelerator/Venture Capital firm at Hong Kong focussed on media companies.
    4 deals concluded during my time and total capital invested USD20M
    3 operational secondments from the firm within portfolio companies at Venture Business Builder roles for 3-4 months each. In these roles, a lot business development and operational responsibilities and also strategic business building side to it.
    1.5 yrs as Business Development Director (#2 in APAC) for a Silicon Valley Series C funded tech firm. Directly reporting to the MD APAC, who in turn reported to COO of the firm. I was in charge of building out the business in APAC. Successfully executed strategy and generated USD4.5M revenue in the first year of ops. Managed a team of 10 people which includes sales, operations and tech personnel.

    Schools interested: Stanford, Kellogg, INSEAD, LBS, IESE

    Goals post-MBA:
    1) Venture fund looking at digital/media investments
    2) Corporate Development/Strategy roles media companies