Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Mr. Junior Olympian

  • 700 GMAT
  • 3.6 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from a Rutgers University-type school, while running a multi-million business throughout college (family turmoil)
  • Work experience as an investment banker in New York for three years, with a year-long stint in an operational role at a bulge bracket i-bank
  • Extracurricular involvement as a three-time junior Olympian, captain of the junior Olympic team and a national champion athlete; also serve on the board of two non-profits for children
  • 27-year-old South Asian U.S. citizen

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 10% to 15%

Wharton: 20+%

Chicago: 40+%

Kellogg: 40+%

Columbia: 30% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: Hmmmm, a lot of silver here instead of gold, including Rutgers-type school, Junior Olympics and not Olympics, operational role at IB, and wrong type of minority (South Asian, which don’t count for nada in adcom’s eyes).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m impressed with all that, having a good deal of silver, if not bronze and cooper (and lead) in my own life, but I am not applying to business school.

This ain’t smelling like Harvard or Stanford, if that is your question, nor will super-duper extras help you at Wharton, where silver goes to nest, in many cases. Guys like you are real solid at places like Chicago (where extras count), Kellogg and possibly Tuck.

But somehow I get a vibe that is not what you had in mind. I’m not sure what managing a multi-million dollar family business in college means, although I’ll take the hint about family turmoil, but still? Anyway, that won’t help as much as you might hope. It is too real. Given numbers and New York (if so) center of gravity, Columbia is a good choice. These stories fill out their application very well, and they like bankers, and you seem employable after graduation.

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.