- 750 GMAT
- 2.9 GPA
- Undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from MIT
- Work experience includes four years as a trader at a quantitative hedge fund
- Extracurricular involvement is extensive with community service, mentoring underprivileged youth and performing arts
- Goal: “Management in renewable energy related manufacturing or R&D firm”
- “Applied Round 1 to HBS, GSB, MIT, Kellogg but have already been declined without interview from HBS.”
- 24-year-old African-American male who was born in Cameroon, lived in France and moved to the U.S. at the age of 11
Odds of Success:
MIT: 25% to 50%
Kellogg: 35% to 50%
Sandy’s Analysis: Hmmmmm, Harvard does not like traders at quant hedge funds, because, well they don’t. The only Hedge Fund types HBS really likes are DONORS. They also see trading as something they cannot teach, something which does not require management or leadership skills. All that said, African-American males with 750 GMATs and an MIT degree, even one with a 2.9, could be attractive, so if you had been interviewed, I would not have been surprised. It was a worthwhile roll of the dice.
I hope you did a good job minimizing the 2.9, beyond saying you had a lot of extras and was distracted. What goes for HBS also goes for your chances at Stanford. They don’t like traders either, or a 2.9, but could blink if they find the rest attractive. Let’s face it, with a 750 GMAT, it’s not like these places are taking much of a risk.
If you were able to cook up some story based around your interesting upbringing, well, you got an outside chance, although I think it’s less than 15%. MIT might take you based on GMAT and the fact that “hedge fund” and “trader’ are not dirty words over there, and they have a hard time recruiting African-American males. So chances there are in the 25% to 50% range. Kellogg might go for the 750 and the community service.
Not sure what I make of your goals: “Management in renewable energy related manufacturing or R&D firm.” That seems to come out of no place. Here’s a million dollars worth of advice. Find some big shot at your Hedge Fund who can make some phone calls for you–that is one way guys like you get into Stanford, and also MIT and Kellogg.
Does anyone at your firm know Andy Lo? He is the big Sloan School financial engineering honcho. If someone called him and said you were worth a look, that could really make a difference.
Really go through all your contacts, and their contacts, and try to get a phone call made on your behalf. Get your sales pitch together with more tailored goals to something you have done.
Handicapping Your MBA Odds–The Entire Series: