What Are Your Odds Of Getting In?

Mr. Consultant in Germany

  • 730 GMAT
  • 3.7 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics and business from a German University  with a semester abroad at an Ivy League school
  • Work experience includes work for a global top five consulting company in Germany after interning at a small hedge fund, bulge bracket investment bank in equity sales, and at another consulting company
  • Extracurricular involvement as a volunteer in a children’s ministry at church and a year doing community service in the U.S.
  • Goal: To “move to the U.S. and either work in consulting or for a start up. Hope to launch my own startup
later or work in a non-profit

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20-35%

Wharton: 30% to 45%

Stanford: 15-20%

Columbia: 30% to 50%

Kellogg: 30% to 50%

Chicago: 30% to 40+%

Berkeley: 50%

MIT: 30%

Sandy’s Analysis: Hmmm, real solid across the board. A lot will depend on how your consulting company is viewed by those schools, and the best way to figure that out is to find out what its record is in MBA admissions over the past one to four years. This may seem like common sense but it is an inquiry frequently overlooked. HR may keep track of this, or you may need to make some polite inquiries to fellow workers in the U.S.

Another issue may be what you do, e.g. strategic consulting versus accounting, with a preference at U.S. business schools for strategic consulting. So whatever you do, make it sound like strategy consulting, and if, in fact, that IS what you do, well, make sure that comes across.  Germans used to be “rare-ish” at HBS, e.g. there were only seven German passport holders in the class of 2001, while that number typically runs to 14 per class over the past three years.

(As a comparison, France had 19 in the Class in 2001 and 12 more recently; someone explain this to me? Is Dee a closet Germanophile? I don’t think so. It might have something to do with the perceived value of a Harvard MBA in Germany, and who knows, the reunion of East and West Germany).

I am not sure that saying you plan to “move to the U.S.”  as part of your goal statement would add anything. You should try to generate substantive goals, e.g. alternative energy consulting (just to pick a current cliché), and then let the geography chips fall where they may. Nor is your end point, “later, work in non-profit” – that just sounds pasted on, and in combination with work in U.S., dunno, sounds like you are just generically smart and ambitious. I got no beef with that but schools prefer applicants who feign wanting to impact the world and not just their own place in the world. A small issue, you seem like a totally nice guy, but you will be competing against some equally accomplished but app-savvy guys and gals, and at real selective places (H/S/W) that could make a difference.

Once you mildly sculpt your story, as suggested, your chances at Harvard and Stanford are in the GLY . . . range (Guys Like You Get Dinged and Guys Like You Get Admitted –depending on execution, recommendations, luck, and not blowing the interview). Wharton takes kids like you with solid execution. Columbia would be a solid place as would others you mention.

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

Part XVI: Handicapping Your Odds of Getting In

Part XVII: What Are Your Odds of Getting In

Part XVIII: Assessing Your Odds of Getting In

Part XIX: Handicapping Your MBA Odds