Can You Get Into HBS, Stanford, Wharton?

Ms. Pink Collar Career Switcher


  • 720 GMAT
  • 3.7 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in communication from the University of Southern California; also took university extension courses in economics, calculus, and statistics
  • Three years as a public relations strategist at Wells Fargo
  • Extracurricular activity includes being on the Young Alumni Council’s marketing committee, vice president of the Young Professionals Network, and a regular volunteer for a assistance that provides groceries and meal delivery to clients with HIV/AIDS
  • Reasons for MBA: To switch careers to investment management; acquire skills to become an influential female business leader and move out of the “pink ghetto”
  • Minority

Odds of Success

Harvard: Better than 40%

Stanford: Better than 40%

Wharton: 60%

Kellogg: 60% to 70%

Yale: 60% to 70%

MIT Sloan: 50% to 60%

Sandy’s Analysis: Ms. Pink Collar, come on down! Tons to like, but I gotta ask, what kind of minority are you? I mean–just between me, you and the world, and no offense to anyone–there are minorities, like black women who are the children of single mothers from the inner city, and minorities, like debutantes from Miami who just happen to have Spanish Surnames. If you are close to the black woman from inner-city story, congratulations. You have a perfect trajectory. To wit, okay schooling, excellent grades, doofus communication job at Blue Chip Company, where you learned how to fib to customers and government agencies (schools like that! It shows deep business potential), and a 720 GMAT! Plus meals on wheels to HIV/AIDS!

This could be Stanford!

As noted prior, Stanford almost reserves one or two seats for black women from Big Four firms, since it is seen, as in your case, as a “pre-finishing” school on your long climb to the top (USC–Wells Fargo–Stanford, has a nice ring to it). In that model, you are aces. To the extent you are the grand daughter of Cuban Casino Owners who came to Miami right after Castro, well, the story is less compelling, but a minority is a minority is a minority. Soooooo don’t go changing your name to Rockefeller.

You should definitely look at HBS and Wharton, too, for the same reason you would be attractive to Stanford. One piece of advice:

You Say: Reasons for MBA: switch careers to investment management; acquire skills to become an influential female business leader; move out of the “pink ghetto.”

I say: Don’t be talking about leaving any ghetto, got that. And don’t say you want to switch to investment management, that is real code for asset management for rich people, and in your case, what is worse, unintended code for “I want to be rich myself.” Shame on you! Of all the crazy reasons to go to B-school!

You need to say you want to be an impactful leader in communications, especially as a WHATEVER-YOU-ARE WOMAN, who can help the disenfranchised tell their stories and help emerging companies find their audiences. Spend an hour on Google finding out about folks who actually do that, and say that is your deal. If only that HIV/AIDS meal team could get their story out. If only communication consultants helped outfits like that. There are so many worthy and untold stories. Hmmm, I’m sniffing the cappuccino foam in Palo Alto.

Arcane Knowledge Bonus Point: The only way you could up this profile is to be a guy! It’s a little known secret but a real number of minority women have 720 GMATs. A much smaller number of minority guys do. One of those issues no one has the brass to discuss much, but a well-known factoid in advanced admission circles.

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