Darden | Mr. Engineer Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Stanford GSB | Mr. Systems Change
GMAT 730, GPA 4
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Public Finance
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Airline Captain
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Almost Ballerina
GRE ..., GPA ...
Harvard | Mr. Startup
GRE 327, GPA 3.35
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Darden | Ms. Unicorn Healthcare Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
GMAT 725, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Energy Reform
GMAT 700, GPA 3.14 of 4
Ross | Mr. Verbal Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Semiconductor Guy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3

Part II: Your Chances of Getting In

Mr. Science (az)

  • 720 GMAT
  • 3.3 Grade Point Average
  • Doctorate of Pharmacy from reputable program
  • Work experience at a large pharmaceutical company
  • Extracurricular includes alumni involvement and very active participation in an ethnic identity organization

Odds of Success

Harvard Business School: Less than 40%

Stanford: Less than 40%

Wharton: 35% to 50%

Columbia: 50% to 65%

Kellogg: 50% to 65%

Sandy’s Analysis: “Hmmmm. There is a PhD cohort at Harvard, Wharton and Stanford, but it more often includes PhDs in biology, chemistry, computer science, etc. Given that you went to pharma, though, you might be considered in that cohort. A dirty secret here is where you got the PhD. You say ‘reputable program,’ but Harvard, Stanford and Wharton almost limit PhD admits to top programs, so that is one issue. GPA is another. That combined with a degree in an off-track discipline like pharmacy could be a real cloud on your application.

“I’d say chances at Harvard/Stanford are less than 50 percent and at Wharton chances are 35% to 60% depending on execution and what you in fact do at that pharma company and how well you segue that into your goals. As for non-H/W/S schools, you are a maybe. They take guys like you, unless you’re just dishing out pills.”

Mr. Career Changer (Christian)

  • 750 GMAT
  • 3.49 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in civil engineering from a good state school
  • 3.70 Graduate GPA from same school (but did not finish thesis)
  • Recently launched a website on investing/economics and a math/physics educational channel on YouTube
  • Extracurricular involvement includes significant leadership roles
  • Speak three languages fluently

Odds of Success

Harvard Business School: Less than 30%

Stanford: Less than 30%

CEIBS: 60% to 70%

INSEAD: Better than 50%

Brigham Young: 60% to 70%

Sandy’s Analysis: “This is a case where you have done great things, but some things in the real world weigh much less on planet adcom. To wit, your YouTube lark, especially since you have zilch employment history. Your website about “investing/economics” is another one of those ideas that sound exciting but there are too many similar crackpot websites on both investing and economics out there. And that is not a topic which screams out ‘future leader,’ although it may scream out ‘future rich weird guy who owns a sports team.’ Don’t get me wrong. I’m impressed, but schools may wonder if you are the type of guy who likes to do things alone in his room rather than with others. I also am not seeing a clear need for an MBA here. What do you want to do? Do you really need an MBA?

“For those reasons, I am estimating your Harvard/Stanford chances at less than 30%, unless you can put all this together in some convincing and impactful way, which includes need for an MBA as part of the picture. Other schools you mention might accept you based on the simple fact that you are probably smarter than their average student and might be interesting to have around. Yes, dropping out of graduate school will be a negative. That confirms your ‘bad’ profile as a lone gunman. In your case, shooting stocks and YouTubes.”

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.