- 740 GMAT
- 3.9 GPA
- Undergraduate degree with double major in accounting and finance from a top 40 public university (think Southern football school)
- Work experience at a “brand name bulge bracket investment bank” as a controller
- Extracurricular involvement holding a leadership position for a selective club that worked directly with the dean and a leadership position for a professional business fraternity
- Goal: “I want to break into IB and eventually VC to pursue funding educational tech companies focusing or revamping and redesigning America’s educational system. Our education infrastructure is out of touch with the changing demands of the twenty first century and we need private companies to lead the way because government is dropping the ball.
- 26-year-old white male
Odds of Success:
Harvard Business School: 20% to 30%
Wharton: 30% to 50%
Chicago: 35% to 55%
Berkeley: 30% to 60%
Duke: 40% to 60+%
Virginia: 40% to 60+%
Sandy’s Analysis: Real simple question, and maybe you can help us: “How many kids from your function/office at the investment bank have ever applied to B-school and what are the outcomes?” That is your best metric. If the answer is 20 over the past three years, well, snooping around those 20 stories and gut checking the outcomes will tell you if you are getting into HBS.
Although, based on your stats, if anyone ever got into HBS, you will too, unless that other person was a minority or had some other exceptional victim-helper story. As noted, also many times, one key consideration for top schools is how hard is your job to get? Is it harder than landing a job at the Big Four? My thinking is yes. All that said, the reason you won’t get into HBS or Stanford is that you are too boring–from their point of view.
I find working with the dean, leadership in business frats, and professional mentoring riveting, but schools like Stanford and HBS somehow prefer it if you do things which impact communities more alien to your home turf. There is nothing driving you into those schools, and you actually might have a hard time getting into Harvard or Stanford with this profile even if you were in real IB (certainly into Stanford).
At Wharton, with solid execution, it could happen because numbers are real solid. For sure, you are in line at Booth, Haas, Fuqua, and Darden, although you may have to really put your best suit and tie on at Booth, for reasons similar to HBS. This ain’t smelling like a Sloan admit, but they have been known to fall for white bread guys covered with very high stats as jam, which could be you.
As to your stated goals: “I want to break into IB and eventually VC to pursue funding educational tech companies focusing or revamping and redesigning America’s educational system. Our education infrastructure is out of touch with the changing demands of the twenty first century and we need private companies to lead the way because government is dropping the ball.” Hmmm, you need to find out the PC way to say the same thing. Channeling Ron Paul is not good for applicants.