Handicapping Your Shot At a Top Business School

Second Brother:

  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.9 Grade Point Average
  • Undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan
  • Work experience at McKinsey & Co.
  • Average extracurricular activities

Odds of Success:

Harvard Business School: 70%+
Wharton: 80%+
Columbia: 80%+
Tuck: 85%+
Chicago Booth: 85%+

Sandy’s Analysis: “The brother who stays home is at a disadvantage. It would have helped if he had a sexy job, but he doesn’t. INFOSYS is a good job, but Dell is not a tier-one feeder to HBS the way that Apple, Microsoft, and Google are. The Dell cohort at HBS usually have real nosebleed stats or powerful people at Dell who support them because of extraordinary accomplishments.

“The McKinsey brother gets McKinsey odds everywhere, which are very high. (More than 60 partners at McKinsey, for example, are Wharton alums and at least one Wharton graduate works in 71 of McKinsey’s more than 90 offices around the world, according to the firm’s website. Some 50 members of Wharton’s Class of 2011 were former McKinsey consultants.) He’s in the wheelhouse as long as he executives well on the application and recommendations. The way he does not get in is interview upset or really low performance at McKinsey.”

Mr. Near Ivy

  • 630 GMAT
  • 3.9 Grade Point Average
  • Near Ivy Public – Michigan, Virginia, Berkeley
  • Work experience at Near Ivy consulting firm– Accenture, Booz, IBM
  • Average extracurricular activities

Odds of Success:

Harvard Business School: Less than 20%
Stanford: Less than 10%
Wharton: Less than 15%
Michigan: 30% to 50%
Duke: 40% to 50%
Kellogg: 30% to 45%

Sandy’s Analysis: “The GMAT is way too low for Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. HBS would wink at a 620 in some cases, if there were another positive story someplace. HBS admits from non-tier one consulting companies happen, but the stats are usually rock solid and there is a gender, identity-politics story as well in the background.

“At any rate, for all schools, this applicant should take the GMAT twice to show seriousness. This seems impossible at Wharton unless there is some explanation for the low GMAT based on identity politics. Other schools will need evidence that the GMAT is not a fair reflection of his chance of success.”

DON’T MISS: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU APPLY TO CHICAGO BOOTH or WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU APPLY TO STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS