Predicting Your Odds of Getting In

Mr. PR

  • 710 GMAT
  • 3.26 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from a well-respected liberal arts college in New York
  • Work experience includes five years at a leading public relations firm, advising
  • corporations through mergers, acquisitions, proxy fights, litigation support and crises; writing press releases, speeches, letters and working closely with financial journalists.
  • Extracurricular activities include cooking, watching sports, running, biking, hockey.  Organized activities include one-off fundraisers for charitable organizations. In college, I had leadership roles within my fraternity and community-focused internships.”
  • Goal: “To develop strategy and finance skills to become a management consultant, with a focus on early stage media companies. Long-term I want to become an entrepreneur and launch a specialized PR firm.”
  • 27 years old

Odds of Success:

Wharton: 10%

Columbia: 10%

New York: 20%

MIT: 10%

Yale: 20%

Dartmouth: 15%

Virginia: 20%

Yale: 15%

Sandy’s Analysis: This all fits together as a story, but the thing that will keep you out of Wharton, Sloan and maybe Columbia is your low GPA and what they consider a Silver not a Gold job at PR firm (a lot will turn on whether firm is a top-three PR firm–not that I know what they are, but that is important. And again, has anyone from your firm applied to B-school in the past five years and with what results?).

You seem like a smart and likeable PR guy with background in fraternity, hockey, sports, etc. That and a low GPA causes a bit of a mal odor at some business schools. They put it all together as Jock-Pol-Backslapper. The fact you have been highly successful at work is certainly good, but to someone who is looking at your profile askance, they may say you did that through boyish charm, “jogging” type persistence, and press release writing and not hard analytical skills, etc.

Let me state, I like you. I’m just trying to warn you how adcoms think. Again, a good deal may turn on the reputation of your firm. I think Tuck (a reach, but being popular and getting along with people are not negatives there) and Darden are your main chances, and you would do fine there.

I’d also put a chip on Duke. Stern does not seem a fit, and Yale may have a “phantom limb” kind of reaction, “this is the kind of guy we used to admit, but don’t any more.”  Focusing on “early stage” media companies seems a bit overly specialized and wet-dreamy. Just say you want to be a consultant, with a possible focus on communication and media companies.

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