What Are Your Odds Of Getting In

Ms. Digital Media

  • 720 GMAT
  • 3.5 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from a top-ten business school with a concentration in marketing
  • Work experience includes four years in digital media, web and social analytics.
  • Extracurricular activity includes president of my university marketing association, a stint as a volunteer with my school’s English program
  • Goal: “I want to “get out of the weeds” and gain broader business knowledge and perspective beyond digital marketing, and apply my skills to either a management consulting or product marketing position.”
  • 26-year-old female Asian American

Odds of Success:

Harvard Business School: 10%
Stanford: 10%
Wharton: 35% to 50%
Berkeley: 40% to 50%
New York: 50% to 60%

Sandy’s Analysis: Digital media could mean anything from homebrew web designer to kids at Digitas and other leading ‘digital media’ outfits, so your job or jobs are important. If you are doing digital media at a no-name place, forget HBS and Stanford. You note is unclear, and hints at two jobs or many jobs, etc. Schools don’t like freelancers–just saying this for the enlightenment of the masses.

You also claim ‘social analytics’ which sounds more like stuff they do at Forrester Research, Gartner and the Yankee Group. If so, that is good but probably won’t turn the key at HBS; if not, well, less good. For the sake of argument, if you work for a Blue Chip company and have only had two jobs, this ain’t looking like HBS or Stanford. Your lowish grades at 2nd tier schools and only so-so boring (to them) extracurrics will sink you. One important note, for you and other applicants who attend schools where ‘B’ is not a failing grade, stress that you were in the top 10% of your class some place  in your app. Schools claim they know which schools are tough graders, but that is B.S. A 3.5 GPA at Harvard College is basically near flunking out.

Wharton is a maybe, sorta 35% to 50%, if background is blue chip and not flakey. You are just in their muddle middle all around and may get lucky.  Kids like you get into Haas and Stern all the time, if you show them you want to come. Do not say you want to leave weeds of digital marketing, although it’s okay to say you want to learn general management. DO NOT BE A CAREER SWITCHER. Digital is your ace in the hole, build your hand around it.