Darden | Mr. Corporate Dev
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Equity To IB
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Cornell Johnson | Mr. SAP SD Analyst
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
Kellogg | Ms. Public School Teacher
GRE 325, GPA 3.93
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Military MedTech
GRE 310, GPA 3.48
Stanford GSB | Mr. Latino Healthcare
GRE 310, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Army Officer
GRE 325, GPA 3.9
INSEAD | Mr. Future In FANG
GMAT 650, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Mr. Aspiring Leader
GMAT 750, GPA 3.38
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Advisory Consultant
GRE 330, GPA 2.25
INSEAD | Mr. Marketing Master
GRE 316, GPA 3.8
Darden | Ms. Marketing Analyst
GMAT 710, GPA 3.75
Harvard | Mr. Hedge Fund
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred MBA
GMAT 760, GPA 3.82
Stanford GSB | Mr. Robotics
GMAT 730, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Yale | Mr. Army Pilot
GMAT 650, GPA 2.90
Kellogg | Mr. Double Whammy
GMAT 730, GPA 7.1/10
INSEAD | Mr. Tesla Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. Tech To MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 2.4
INSEAD | Ms. Investment Officer
GMAT Not taken, GPA 16/20 (French scale)
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Startup Of You
GMAT 770, GPA 2.4
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Admit
GMAT Waived, GPA 4.0
UCLA Anderson | Mr. International PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.3
Harvard | Mr. Policy Development
GMAT 740, GPA Top 30%
Ross | Mr. Brazilian Sales Guy
GRE 326, GPA 77/100 (USA Avg. 3.0)
GMAT -, GPA 2.9

Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Mr. Saudi Arabia

  • 700 GMAT
  • 3.6 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in engineering from a public university in North Carolina
  • Has nine years of experience in operations with the largest oil and gas company in the world, running an 85-employee division and a $120 million budget
  • Have made a career change where I now advise management and develop company strategies “so I am badly in need of an MBA degree”
  • Selected among the top 1% of 58,000 corporate employees
  • Little extracurricular involvement
  • 32-years-old

Odds of Success:

Harvard Business School: 20%

Stanford: 10%

Wharton: 25%

MIT: 40%

Chicago: 40%

NYU: 40+%

Sandy’s Analysis: HBS and Stanford do not take 32-year-old Oil Guys, and the Oil Guys they do take from Exxon, Shell, BP and Schlumberger usually have both high GPA and GMATs and some added factor about extras or do-gooder stuff. The fact you are leading tons of people and managing a budget of XXXX millions is actually a negative since it smells of an Executive MBA or some other program like the one-year Stanford/MIT Sloan Fellows program for mid-managers.

By saying your goal is “to take on more responsibility and future role. My degree will be sponsored by my company” you are positioning yourself for those programs and giving full-time MBA programs reasons to ding you, or more likely, write back or call you and suggest applying for the EMBA (they sometimes do that).

MIT itself, despite its Sloan Fellows program, might be impressed if they think you will add to their mix, and are not a nerd. Lack of extras, as Mr. Garcia, the adcom there, has stated, is not an issue for him. Wharton could admit you because they run older, you got a lot to offer, and the fact you will be employed after graduation and don’t need any scholarship is always a plus.

As to Chicago and NYU, you are not their main meal, but they could find you an attractive side dish, and the numbers all add up, including no need to give you any scholarship.

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.