Part II: Your Chances of Getting In

Ms. Hospitality (studiobokeh)

  • 660 GMAT
  • 3.7 Grade Point Average
  • Undergraduate degree in art and communication from UC-San Diego
  • Work experience in marketing at a well-respected international hospitality design firm
  • Strong extracurricular involvement in ethnic identity organization and some involvement in other organizations

Odds of Success

Harvard Business School: 20% or less

Columbia: 40% to 55%, if you apply early admission

New York University: 55% to 70%

Chicago Booth: 40% to 60%

Michigan: 40% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: “A 3.7 is good, but your GMAT is low-ish and you’re your current job does not sound selective. Having a hard-to-get job—one where you can be compared to other rising hot shots—is another one of those dirty little secrets of the admissions game.Your chances at Harvard are remote. Booth takes kids like you with solid execution. NYU is wary, but apply. Not Ross. A lot will depend on what schools think of your current job in terms of selectivity and as a platform for your goals.”

Mr. Canada (Arjun Singh)

  • 710 GMAT
  • 3.93 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from a Canadian university
  • 3.72 Graduate GPA from a very good Canadian university
  • Work experience with a small analytics consulting company
  • Extracurricular involvement in leadership positions on student council and student clubs; awards in business case competitions

Odds of Success

Harvard: 35% to 50%

Stanford: Less than 35%

Wharton: Less than 50%

Kellogg: 50% to 60%

Tuck: 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: “Your GMAT, GPA and schooling are fine, but I ask you to consider the dirty little secret mentioned above: ‘How selective is your job?’ and  what is the history of your firm sending kids to business school? Harvard, Wharton and Stanford respect analytics firms, especially the big blue chip firms like Nera, CRA and Rand, but less so the smaller firms. That might not be a deal breaker, but it will be a big hurdle. If your firm does not have a record of employee admission success, you will have a real burden in explaining how selective it is, and who the owners are, and what projects the firm has done. Lack of interesting extras and no-name firm might be too much to overcome at H/W/S but solid other stuff might do you fine at most other schools.”


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