Predicting Your Odds Of Getting In

Ms. Environmental Engineer

  • 690 GMAT (Retaking it)
  • 3.6 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in environmental engineering from a university in India
  • 3.6 Graduate GPA
  • Master’s degree in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University
  • Work experience includes four years as an environmental engineer with one of the top consulting firms in the field; worked on a wide variety of projects related to water supply, water treatment, river and bridge systems
  • Extracurricular involvement as a volunteer with terminally ill patients; also ran my first marathon this year and raised money for charities doing development work in India
  • Goal: “Want to get into strategy and financing for environmental projects; In the long term, I see myself heading environmental infrastructure projects in developing countries”
  • 26-year-old female born and raised in India

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20% to 35%

Stanford: 15% to 20%

Wharton: 30% to 40%

Yale: 50%+

Berkeley: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: Sounds good to me. Get a 700+ GMAT and a lot of this will turn on how well known your company is. You are similar to guys who work for oil companies, many of whom have comparable backgrounds (Indian degree and US masters). They work all over the world, have lots of interesting experiences, and often get involved in extras related to their firms.

The difference is, there is no Exxon-Mobil of water–so that becomes important. Has anyone from your company applied to B-school? That could help, if schools know the company. Being a woman in this business is also a plus. Spend some time on essays dealing with how hard it is to gain authority with males at all levels in the infrastructure biz, which includes execs, field managers, and what I imagine are lots of hourly-wage worker types.

Volunteer work with the terminally ill is always a plus. Undergrad extra- currics count, so don’t throw those away. You got an outside chance at HBS, Wharton and Stanford. Your GMAT becomes more important than usual, as it is with the oil guys. Try to get over 700.

“In the long term, I see myself heading environmental infrastructure projects in developing countries . . .” BINGO.


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?

Part XI: Breaking Through the Elite B-School Screen

Part XII: Handicapping Your B-School Odds


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