Cambridge Judge Business School | Ms. Story-Teller To Data-Cruncher
GMAT 700 (anticipated), GPA 3.5 (converted from Australia)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Startup Founder
GMAT 740, GPA 4
Kellogg | Mr. Operator
GMAT 740, GPA 4.17/4.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Transition
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Harvard | Mr. STEM Minor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.78
INSEAD | Mr. Sustainability PM
GRE 335, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Business Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Productivity Focused
GMAT 700, GPA 3.6
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Tech Engineer
GRE 310, GPA 4.0
McCombs School of Business | Mr. CRE
GMAT 625, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Finance Nerd
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Army Marketing
GRE 327, GPA 3.8
Darden | Mr. Financial World
GMAT 730, GPA 7.8
Harvard | Mr. First Gen Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Wharton | Mr. Global Perspective
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
INSEAD | Ms. Marketing Supe Latina
GMAT 720-740 (anticipated), GPA 3.1 (last two years 3.4)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Financial Solutions
GRE 313, GPA 3.62
Wharton | Mr. Valuation Specialist
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Commercial Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Schoolmaster
GMAT 710 (to re-take), GPA 3.5 (Converted from UK)
Wharton | Ms. Atypical Applicant
GRE 314, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Mr. Passion Projects
GMAT 730, GPA 3.15
MIT Sloan | Mr. MBB Transformation
GMAT 760, GPA 3.46
Yale | Mr. Army Logistics
GRE 310, GPA 3.72
Stanford GSB | Mr. Clown
GMAT 740, GPA 3.85
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. Sans-Vertebrae
GMAT 730, GPA 3.78

Predicting Your Odds of Getting In

She has awesome stats: a 770 GMAT and a 3.93 grade point average in biochemistry and neurobiology. A first year medical student, she wants to apply for a joint MBA/MD program.

He’s a 27-year-old public relations specialist who has advised companies engaged in mergers and acquisitions, proxy fights and other crises. Now he wants an MBA to help him develop the strategy and finance skills to become a management consultant.

After brief stints in financial consulting and sales and trading, he’s now a portfolio management associate at a large, well-known firm. With a 730 GMAT score and a 3.73 GPA, this 25-year-old hopes to gain a top MBA to move up the ranks.

Sandy Kreisberg, HBS Guru, in Harvard Square

What these applicants share in common is the goal to get into one of the world’s best business schools. Do they have the raw stats and experience to get in? Or will they get dinged by their dream schools?

Sanford “Sandy” Kreisberg, founder of MBA admissions consulting firm HBSGuru.com, is back again to analyze these and a few other profiles of actual MBA applicants who have shared their vital statistics with Poets&Quants.

As usual, Kreisberg handicaps each potential applicant’s odds of getting into a top-ranked business school. If you include your own stats and characteristics in the comments, we’ll pick a few more and have Kreisberg assess your chances in a follow-up feature. (Please add your age and be clear on the sequence of your jobs in relaying work experience. Make sure you let us know your current job.)

Sandy’s candid assessment:

Ms. Doctor

  • 770 GMAT
  • 3.93 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in biochemistry and neurobiology from the University of Washington
  • Work experience includes internship and research as I am a first year medical student at the University of Minnesota
  • “I am looking for schools with MD/MBA joint programs and hope to get into one of the accelerated MBA programs.”
  • International student from China, fluent in Chinese and English

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20%

Wharton: 30%

Chicago: 30%

Northwestern: 30%

Cornell: 40%

Columbia: 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: Jeepers, I’m impressed. I think you’ll get in someplace with those high stats, although you will need some jive as to why you want a joint degree. The usual suspects are Health Care Management (e.g. run a hospital or HMO) or pharma or medical device executive, or on occasion government service or some combination of the above.

A really hot field now is IT + medical records, since everyone thinks that better medical record technology is going to save everyone $$$$ and provide the basis for Medicine Ball (data rich protocols to optimize care, a la Money Ball, don’t hold your breath.)

At HBS, they usually have about 12 docs or so, but those students are often from Harvard or Yale Medical School, and often have MD’s already and then get the MBA, sometimes during residency or early training.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure of the logistics of joint degree programs. The best thing you can do is figure out what your GOAL for those programs would be, from the list above, and then head in the direction of that goal by choosing electives and jobs—that would really strengthen your chances and story.

Please take my predictions with one very big grain of salt because I don’t know enough about joint degree programs. But if you do well in med school, and create some record, which leads to a joint-degree goal, I think you will be successful. Saying you want to help reform medical care delivery in China would be a BOFFO thing to say, but you would need some record of working in China or working with organizations which do that.

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.