Wharton | Mr. Top Salesman
GMAT 610, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Nuclear Vet
GMAT 770, GPA 3.86
Stanford GSB | Mr. SpaceX
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
MIT Sloan | Mr. Latino Insurance
GMAT 730, GPA 8.5 / 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Founder
GMAT 700, GPA 3.12
Wharton | Mr. Data Dude
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Triathlete
GMAT 720, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Mr. MBB Private Equity
GMAT TBD (target 720+), GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
INSEAD | Mr. Media Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.65
Yale | Mr. Yale Hopeful
GMAT 750, GPA 2.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. MBB Transformation
GMAT 760, GPA 3.46
Wharton | Mr. Swing Big
GRE N/A, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. CPG Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tesla Intern
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Supply Chain Data Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Global Consultant
GMAT 770, GPA 80% (top 10% of class)
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB/FinTech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Digital Indonesia
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. LGBT Social Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.79
Stanford GSB | Mr. Oilfield Trekker
GMAT 720, GPA 7.99/10
Kellogg | Mr. Big 4 Financial Consultant
GMAT 740, GPA 3.94
Stanford GSB | Mr. Mountaineer
GRE 327, GPA 2.96
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52

Breaking Through The Elite B-School Screen

Mr. Hedge

  • 680 – 720 GMAT
  • 2.6 GPA (Yes, I partied and didn’t go to class)
  • Undergraduate degree in finance from a large state school
  • Work in Bermuda for a large multi-national reinsurance company doing corporate finance. Did a year and one-half stint with a small hedge fund in Luxembourg and a year and one-half stint with another small but top performing hedge fund where I bought credit default swaps (CDS) on large banks and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in late 2006 and early 2007
  • Became a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) (hopefully proving I didn’t earn a 2.6)
  • Proficient in French
  • “I’ve also done risk analysis and planning for a national trust and presented the findings and solutions to the board”

Odds of Success:

Harvard Business School: Zilch

Stanford: Double zilch

INSEAD: A wonderful long shot

Schools Ranked 10+: 10%

Red: 50%

Black: 50%

Lucky 17: 38-1 odds

Sandy’s Analysis: You may be the guy that Ms. Junior League above is looking for while she is marketing director of Tiffany. You breeze in asking how much is that necklace in the window, since you need an au revoir amuse-bouche for your pal from last night (I am assuming yours was a date where the amuse-bouche comes last).

She is taken with your Amex black card with its twinkling LED lights, and your need to jet back to Bermuda.

Man, what a story–parties, no classes, Luxembourg hedge funds, re-insurance deals in Bermuda, dude, this is Animal House meets Casino Royale. Alas, while I am your biggest fan, I fear most top 10 business schools will not be amuse(d).

They have, ahem, a low gag reflex when it comes to a 2.6, and the very few who swallow that, will not be able to get down trading MBS’ in early 2007, and fiddling while Rome was, if not yet burning, being drenched in gasoline.

Although let me repeat, I salute you. Have you thought of INSEAD? As a crazy long shot? Tell them that your school operated on a 3.0 GPA system. They love Americans (I am assuming you are one?). And having a guy from Bermuda might build out their international flag collection.

I also got a feeling, should you get in, you would have the time of your life. It IS a party school, amid much else, and my guess is, along your trail of tears, which stretches from those drunken nights at Big State U. through tossing together those vintage ’07 MBS’ on Wall Street, to Luxembourg’s Hedge Fund Alley, and on to the tonier re-insurance precincts of Hamilton, you have quite a fun-time repertoire. If you don’t make it there, in one word, the school and the car: Bentley.

To end this on a serious note, a 710+ GMAT, the CFA, and a TOTALLY DE-SNARKIFIED SELF-PRESENTATION, with perchance some careful omissions, might get you in via the playboy entrance at schools sort of ranked by U.S. News between 15 and 25.

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.