Handicapping Your Odds of Getting In

Mr. Biotech

  • 750 – 800 Q GRE (waiting for final scaled score)
  • 670 – 770 Verbal
  • 3.9 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from University of North Carolina
  • 4.0 masters GPA
  • Graduate degree from UNC
  • PhD in genetics
  • Founded a biotech company, raising $2.6 million. Still operational, but not to revenue. Also founded a health-fitness focused IT company and am raising a first round in the first quarter of 2012. Expect to stay involved with company, albeit in a reduced role, through business school
  • “B-school will make me a better leader, manager and allow me to grow the business faster by leveraging information and networks gained during MBA.”
  • “I’m applying with the new GRE scores. Haven’t seen a single analysis done on a PhD-holding entrepreneur applicant using the GRE to apply.
  • 30-year-old South Asian

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 30%
Stanford: 30%
MIT: 40% to 50+%
Duke: 50+%
UNC: 50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: You ain’t got a GRE issue, you got a WTF issue. WTF are you applying to B school for?

Your answer, “B-School will make me a better leader, manager and allow me to grow the business faster by leveraging information and networks gained during MBA.”

Well, not that it matters, but the only part of that statement which is, in fact, true is that B-school may help you network. It will not make you a better leader or manager nor will it help you “leverage information” whatever that means.

All that being said, I can’t think of any better reasons you could give, which goes to show, there ain’t any real reasons. I don’t know what your real story is, but if only 30 percent of the above is true in some meaningful way– e.g., your Biotech company is a ‘real’ Biotech company and that is not your way of saying you are selling cat urine extract on the internet to former coke addicts who want to think they are still doing cocaine (former addicts will understand this, something about doing coke smelled or tasted like cat urine, really, those were the days)–well, dunno. I just don’t see the value to YOU, or more importantly, to any VC, in you getting an MBA.

But so what? If you are still interested, for whatever reasons, you need to make it clear that you are doing this not as a serial entrepreneur wash out but as someone who is just, well, sensational and crazy in a good way.

Will the schools see it this way? That is hard to predict. I think you are not getting into HBS or Stanford because they just don’t need your high numbers and will ask the same questions I am asking. And if they get past that, they may wonder, correctly, if you will drop out, once you find out how boring the whole deal is. But allow me to hedge my bets in this way.

One thing you do have going is not what the school can do for you, but what you do for the school. That is potentially a lot, given that you appear to be one hell of an interesting entrepreneur with a lot of war stories and the added lottery ticket stub of possibly becoming a zillionaire if any of those companies work out. I do not overlook this.

MIT might bite because they sometimes fall for big numbers alone, and yours are real solid, and they might see some value in your being an actual example of what they claim they are trying to turn out anyway. Duke and UNC should admit you just to put you in the front window of their stats, visiting days, and brochures.

If you get blanked at MBA level, look into the Stanford-Sloan program, the one-year B.S. in business degree program, which operates out of both MIT and Stanford. If you went to the one at Stanford, you’d get a LOT of the networking value and save yourself a year. I know grads of this program. They had backgrounds sorta similar to yours, and they were happy campers. Go visit and check it out.

Seriously, for those of you who do not know these programs, see links below. They are designed for guys whoa re beyond normal MBA parameters and tilt toward entrepreneurship.

MIT Sloan Fellows Program | MITSloan.mit.edu

Stanford Sloan Master’s Program: Stanford GSB

Handicapping Your MBA Odds–The Entire Series

Part I: Handicapping Your Shot At a Top Business School

Part II: Your Chances of Getting In

Part III: Your Chances of Getting In

Part IV: Handicapping Your Odds of Getting In

Part V: Can You Get Into HBS, Stanford or Wharton?

Part VI: Handicapping Your Dream School Odds

Part VII: Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Part VIII: Getting Through The Elite B-School Screen

Part IX: Handicapping Your B-School Chances

Part X: What Are Your Odds of Getting In?

Part XI: Breaking Through the Elite B-School Screen

Part XII: Handicapping Your B-School Odds

Part XIII: Predicting Your Odds of Getting In

Part XIV: Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Part XV: Assessing Your Odds of Getting In