Stanford GSB | Mr. Entrepreneurial Bassist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.61
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Second Chances
GRE 310, GPA 2.5
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Cornell Johnson | Mr. IT To IB
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
Kellogg | Mr. Green Business
GMAT 680, GPA 3.33; 3.9 for Masters
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Account Executive
GMAT 560, GPA 3.3
NYU Stern | Mr. Military Officer
GRE In Progress, GPA 2.88
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Commercial Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Smart Operations
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Darden | Mr. Strategy Manager
GRE 321, GPA 3.5
Ross | Mr. Airline Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.73
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corporate VC Hustler
GMAT 780, GPA 3.17
Wharton | Mr. Marketing Director
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Healthcare Startup
GRE 321, GPA 3.51
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Air Force
GMAT 610, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65

Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Mr. Valedictorian

  • 750 GMAT
  • 4.0 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in science with first class honors and valedictorian at Kenyan University
  • 3.0 Graduate GPA
  • Master’s in medicine and surgery
  • Founded a company and grew it to more than 80 clients in two years
  • Extracurricular involvement as student leader in HIV/AIDS advocacy group
  • “Would like to get into healthcare venture capital for the developing markets”

Odds of Success:

Harvard Business School: 10%

Stanford: 10%

Wharton: -20%

Columbia: -20%

Kellogg: -30%

Cornell: 30%

Sandy’s Analysis: Dunno, need more info, and I may not fully understand your graduate degree? Is that a medical degree? Are you eligible to get certified to practice medicine in the U.S.? Have you ever practiced medicine? What kind of company did you found? And why, given apparent success, are you putting it on hiatus to attend MBA program.

Getting into venture capital in most cases requires prior experience in banking or VC itself, although sometimes a VC shop will make an exception for subject matter expert, and yes, doctors, which is why I ask.


Well, let’s start with the good stuff, 750 and the 4.0. That is great but what we expect to see next is some selective and classy job at a government agency or consulting company or, after your Bachelor of Medicine degree some alliance with an institution that business schools have experience with.

Lacking that, you really need to explain the reasons why you started a company and what it does. Schools are very skeptical of African credentials as a hangover from a raft of scandals involving false transcripts and invalidated standardized tests. I don’t have a handle on the current state of this, but I do know that makes it doubly important for African candidates to have established jobs, since the schools think the employers on the ground are best able to filter out credential irregularities in the first instance.

Without that, I am not seeing this as an HBS, Stanford, or Wharton admit unless you can convince them of bona fides of schooling, work, etc. and decision making processes. Other schools may require the same. That is a gateway issue for you. It just could be that your post was too terse on details. If so, pay attention to what I note above and adjust accordingly.

Handicapping Your MBA Odds–The Entire Series:

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.