Assessing Your Odds Of Getting In

Captain Military

  • 620 GMAT
  • 3.1 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in management and systems engineering from the U.S. Military Academy
  • Work experience includes seven years of service in the U.S. Army as a captain who has done two combat tours. Commanded a company of 152 soldiers and served as deputy senior logistician in a unit of 2,700 soldiers. Currently a basic training instructor for newly commissioned officers
  • Short-term goal is to work for a consulting firm with a federal practice in the defense sector. Long-term goal is to start a company that specializes in preparing enlisted soldiers who are about to transition from the military to the world of academia and earn their degrees. Picture a version of MLT for soldiers.
  • “With the exception of Duke, I will be applying through the Consortium.”
  • 30-year-old African-American male

Odds of Success:

Dartmouth: 30%

Duke: 30% to 40%

Darden: 35% to 45%

Cornell: 35% to 50%

Michigan: 35% to 50%

UNC: 30% to 50%

Indiana: 30% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, I’m impressed with your service and leadership and the schools might be as well. What you might find, however, is that after the battlefield smoke clears, your GMAT and GPA remain. Schools are willing to blink at one, but both of yours are below average for those schools, although GPA only by a bit.

Obviously, there is lots to like in your profile and that may tip it. All those schools take applicants with each of your scores, and you could be a solid case to take a chance on. I’m not sure your goals–defense consulting and MLT for soldiers–are doing you as much good as you imagine.

The picture schools get is of a guy who cannot get his head out of the military and defense. You might just say strategic consulting, period, in order to apply skills you have learned in the military and help companies grow and add jobs. And say you want to be an impactful leader of companies, and you admire companies like General Electric and blah and blah for creating great products and jobs and helping communities.

Long term, your commitment to help enlisted guys transition from the military and earn degrees shouldn’t be a business goal per se. You should make it a passion you will pursue in addition to industrial leadership. Possibly as well as part of working for a Fortune 500 company or major consulting shop.

I think your choice of schools is shrewd and it is just a matter of finding an adcom willing to blink about the 620 and 3.1. All of those schools do in some cases, and your case is pretty compelling.

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