Dream Schools: Handicapping Odds

Mr. Operations

  • 780 GMAT
  • 3.71 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Work experience as a manufacturing engineer at a top-heavy construction machinery maker in the Midwest
  • Extracurriculars include teaching English and interview coaching with local Hispanic population. Involved in local theatre company with lead roles in several performances.
  • 24 years old
  • Latino-American

Odds of Success:

Harvard Business School: 50% to 60%

Stanford: 50% to 60%

Wharton: 60% to 70%

Kellogg: 60% to 70%

Columbia: 60% to 70%

Sandy’s Analysis: Seems to be the Trifecta and more: 1. Minority, 2. Jumbo GMAT, 3. Solid GPA from an iconic school, and 4. You even work at a place that actually makes stuff. Guys like you should get into Harvard, Stanford or Wharton so long as there is no-damaging execution, in other words, just don’t screw it up. Schools really are on the look out, they say, for manufacturing types, and assuming the Latino deal is solid, in terms of actual influence and even name and activities versus having some great grand mom from Cuba hidden in your family tree, well yeah, this is all good.

Make sure those clowns at the factory can write the usual exaggerated recommendations (sometimes factory types in the Mid-West suffer from this affliction called telling the truth, a real danger for a recommendation writer. Just show them this handy dandy recommendation converter:

Translation:  “Outstanding” equals average. “Best person I have ever seen” equals will lead the free world based on his impact here and that is not only my opinion but also our CEO, who will be calling you.

And don’t blow the interview at HBS. You can blow it at Stanford. They will enjoy taking you and frosting the alum who dared to say your motives for going to Stanford seemed murky and your teamwork answers were egocentric. As if Derrick Bolton cares about egocentricity when you got a 780.

Handicapping Your MBA Odds–The Entire Series:

Part I: Handicapping Your Shot At a Top Business School

Part II: Your Chances of Getting In

Part III: Your Chances of Getting In

Part IV: Handicapping Your Odds of Getting In

Part V: Can You Get Into HBS, Stanford or Wharton?

Part VI: Handicapping Your Dream School Odds

Part VII: Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Part VIII: Getting Through The Elite B-School Screen

Part IX: Handicapping Your B-School Chances

Part X: What Are Your Odds of Getting In


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.