Harvard | Mr. Political Consultant
GRE 337, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. Singing Banking Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 110-point scale. Got 110/110 with honors
Berkeley Haas | Ms. 10 Years Experience
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
MIT Sloan | Mr. Refinery Engineer
GMAT 700- will retake, GPA 3.87
Yale | Ms. Social Impact AKS
GRE 315, GPA 7.56
Said Business School | Mr. Across The Pond
GMAT 680, GPA 2.8
Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
Wharton | Mr. Army & Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corp Finance
GMAT 740, GPA 3.75
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
IU Kelley | Mr. Clinical Trial Ops
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.33

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.

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.