What Are Your Odds of Getting In?

Mr. Marcom

  • 158 GRE (Math)
  • 163 GRE (Verbal)
  • 3.89 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from a small liberal arts college
  • Work experience includes two and one-half years as a research associate at a small hedge fund, a year as an independent contractor for several start-ups doing business development, and now working for a boutique investor relations/financial media consulting firm
  • Extracurricular involvement as captain of the men’s diving team at college, a student government leader, and traveled for a semester backpacking through Patagonia doing several service projects. Since college, I have been a marathon and triathlon mentor and team captain
  • “I realize my career progression story is a little complicated. But my angle is to leverage my experience managing financial media and communications into an internal marcom job.”
  • 27-year-old white male

Odds of Success:

Northwestern: 40% to 50%

Yale: 40% to 50%

Columbia: 30% to 50%

NYU: 40% to 50%

Vanderbilt: 50+%

Duke: 50+%

Emory: 50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Your history is a jagged little pill– and I am not sure if it is the pill that is going to make you larger or the one that does nothing at all (WTF am I talking about?).  On the other hand, you have solid grades, close to 80/80 GRE splits, and your school background is fine.

The fact that you never worked for a name brand company does not give schools much to anchor on, and as noted by me many times, adcoms hate people who work for themselves, no matter how many times they say they don’t, especially in cases like yours, where it seemed desperation.

“Boutique” is also a semi-dirty word in a resume like yours, which could mean A-Z in terms of size, seriousness, etc.  To the extent that company is serious in terms of revenues, history, and number of employees, make that crystal clear.  All that said, this is where the solid grades, and even the impressive physical fitness and treks you list,  help you out a bit, because despite having a cracked career, you seem like a solid guy who, in fact, actually belongs in, as you note, “an internal marcom job.”

The schools you target actually cotton to internal marcom and external marcom, so we got another good fit. I don’t think Kellogg and Yale and NYU are long shots. That is why one gets good grades and GRE’s, which those schools respect. I think if you do some adequate job explaining your career moves, you got a real solid shot at those places.

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