Harvard | Mr. Overrepresented MBB Consultant (2+2)
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Guy
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Rice Jones | Mr. Tech Firm Product Manager
GRE 320, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Billion Dollar Startup
GRE 309, GPA 6.75/10
Chicago Booth | Mr. Mexican Central Banker
GMAT 730, GPA 95.8/100 (1st in class)
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Harvard | Mr. Tech Risk
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Ms. Strategy & Marketing Roles
GMAT 750, GPA 9.66/10
Harvard | Mr. Bomb Squad To Business
GMAT 740, GPA 3.36
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 To Healthcare Reformer
GRE 338, GPA 4.0 (1st Class Honours - UK - Deans List)
Foster School of Business | Mr. Corporate Strategy In Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.32
IU Kelley | Mr. Advertising Guy
GMAT 650, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Yale | Mr. Lawyer Turned Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Whitecoat Businessman
GMAT 740, GPA Equivalent to 3(Wes) and 3.4(scholaro)
MIT Sloan | Ms. Digital Manufacturing To Tech Innovator
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Healthcare Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Columbia | Mr. Developing Social Enterprises
GMAT 750, GPA 3.75
Yale | Mr. Education Management
GMAT 730, GPA 7.797/10
Columbia | Mr. Neptune
GMAT 750, GPA 3.65
Darden | Ms. Education Management
GRE 331, GPA 9.284/10
Columbia | Mr. Confused Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. 2+2 Trader
GMAT 770, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr Big 4 To IB
GRE 317, GPA 4.04/5.00
Stanford GSB | Ms. Engineer In Finance – Deferred MBA
GRE 332, GPA 3.94
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Second Chance In The US
GMAT 760, GPA 2.3

Getting Through The Elite B-School Screen

Ms. Magazine Journalist

  • 690 GMAT
  • 3.8 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in journalism from a top public J-School
  • Work experience includes year and one-half as assistant editor at a national magazine
  • Extracurricular involvement as chapter leader of local alumni association, sorority house chair, co-founder of field hockey club, and member of the Society of Professional Journalists
  • 23-years-old

Odds of Success:

Harvard Business School: -30%

Tuck: 40%

Darden: 40% to 60%

Duke: 40% to 60%

Kellogg: 40+%

Berkeley: 40+%

Yale: 40+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, I like journalists, and I am sure John does to, but a sad fact is that people I personally like (Romantics, Day Care teachers, stunt men and stand-up comics) are often not the types that appeal to B-schools. That National Magazine you work for better be more close to The Atlantic than to Sassy or Coupon News. That can really make a difference, especially in essay execution, because writing about working with Paul Volcker on a story about The Fed is a lot more powerful than writing about working with Snooki on a story about being fed. (Once again, more interesting to B- schools, but you can give me Snooki.)

Also, it is a bit unclear what Assistant Editor means, that is often a catchall that could describe many different things, but we wonder how senior the job can be since you have only been there 18 months. The kind of woman with your background who gets into HBS is often Ivy, real high GPA, AND real high GMAT and works at The Wall Street Journal or New Yorker (jobs only Ivy kids get anyway) and then puts together some classy, name- dropping essays, and has recommendations from a big shot publishing honcho.

You may almost be that, since you got the GPA, but the GMAT becomes important because you don’t have Ivy education, and most people, rightly or wrongly, don’t think a 3.8 at journo school is like a, oh for instance, a 9.5 at IIT, New Delhi, or 4.8 at MIT. Your extras are so-so, there is not a lot of what HBS likes to call “impact beyond yourself” by which they mean helping victims in inner cities versus what you do have, which is helping your field hockey teammates or your fellow journos at the Society of Professional Journalists.

Once we take HBS out of the picture, if you can leverage your journo stories, drop some names, and come up with some legit reason why you need an MBA (that could be hard, don’t say to save magazines, but probably okay to say to manage new media projects blah, blah) well, who knows, someone like you can round out the class. So chances at Tuck, Darden, Fuqua, Kellogg, Haas and Yale could be in 40% to 60% range, although your story, your reasons, your likeability (to them not me) is what is going to push you through.

Each of those schools takes and dings kids like you, so execution, showing them the love, and luck really count.