Darden | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
USC Marshall | Mr. Ambitious
GRE 323, GPA 3.01
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Gmat
GMAT 690, GPA 73.45 % (No GPA in undergrad)
Tuck | Ms. Nigerian Footwear
GRE None, GPA 4.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Low GPA High GRE
GRE 325, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Finance Musician
GRE 330, GPA 3.6
NYU Stern | Mr. Hail Mary 740
GMAT 740, GPA 2.94
Harvard | Mr. London Artist
GMAT 730, GPA First Class Honours (4.0 equivalent)
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
SDA Bocconi | Mr. Pharma Manager
GMAT 650, GPA 3,2
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Mr. Young PM
GMAT 710, GPA 9.64/10
Wharton | Mr. Indian VC
GRE 333, GPA 3.61
MIT Sloan | Mr. Tech Enthusiast
GRE 325, GPA 6.61/10
Harvard | Mr. Midwest Dreamer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Foster School of Business | Ms. Diamond Dealer
GRE 308, GPA Merit
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Undergraduate GPA
GMAT 720 (Expected), GPA 2.49
Stanford GSB | Ms. Try Something New
GMAT 740, GPA 3.86
Darden | Mr. Military Missile Defense
GRE 317, GPA 3.26

Assessing Your Odds Of Getting In

Ms. Retailer

  • 740 GMAT (74% Quant, 99% Verbal)
  • 3.6 Grade Point Average
  • Undergraduate degree in political science from Ivy League university
  • Work experience includes managing a $100 million-plus category for a big retailer in the Chicago area with P&L responsibility
  • Extracurricular involvement in leading a test prep team for socio-economically disadvantaged high school juniors
  • Goal: To help develop a Chinese retail company into a global powerhouse like Wal-Mart
  • “I was just denied by both Harvard and Wharton; Stanford and Kellogg still pending. Wondering whether I should apply to Booth or MIT second round or whether those schools are concerned about my quant background.”
  • 25-year-old Asian-American female

Odds of Success:

Harvard: Ding

Wharton: Ding

Stanford: 20%

Kellogg: 45+%

Chicago: 50+%

MIT: 30% to 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: Thanks for sharing. If you had sent me your stats and asked about Harvard and Wharton without noting the dings, I would have said there is lots to like and I would have been very positive about Wharton, just based on them taking lots and lots of applicants like you. Not sure what happened at either place. Could have been execution of application or just bad luck. Both happen.

Do you have any blue chip experience? Is, for example, the retailer you work for local or a national brand? That can really matter. Anyway, let this be a lesson to folks who say I am too cynical. Wharton might have blinked a bit at the 74 percent Q score on the GMAT. But that should have resulted in one of their spooky letters, not a ding.

Sloan takes kids like you and is always looking for smart women. I think your chances at Kellogg are good (but I thought your chances at Wharton were good), and jeepers, you should get into Chicago if you can convince them you want to go.

H and W deny kids like you with great applications, so not sure execution is your problem, but it might be. You might want to have a consultant look over your applications to Chicago or MIT in some quick way, just to make sure you are not doing something really wrong, although I doubt it.

S**T Happens in this game, and what happened to you is Exhibit A.

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.