Do You Have The Right Stuff To Get In?

Mr. Airline

  • 710 GMAT
  • 3.76 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in finance from Brigham Young University
  • Work experience includes one year at a boutique litigation consulting firm, valuing lost profits and developing/rebutting expert testimony, and two at an airline company developing a labor analysis group and negotiating with union groups. Also had undergraduate internships with Citigroup in Tokyo and Johnson & Johnson and spent two years as a Mormon missionary in Tokyo
  • Extracurricular activities include head coaching a middle school lacrosse team, various church activities, and Boy Scouts.
  • Goal: To join an aircraft leasing firm in an operations or finance role or to join an aviation consulting/advisory firm


Odds of Success:

Harvard: 10% to 25%

MIT: 25+%

Wharton: 30% to 45+%

Dartmouth: 30% to 45+%

Duke: 50+%

Virginia: 50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: This is a “just-off” HBS/LDS profile because your jobs are off the beaten path and goals are too narrow. Also, hold onto your hat, a 3.76 could be in the lower half of BYU GPA HBS admits.  Lots of HBS admits seem to roll out of BYU with 3.9’s etc. but that is a subtle point. The real thing that is going to make HBS hard is your off-the-grid and, possibly to them, not super-selective jobs. Your type of litigation and labor consulting IS represented at HBS but usually those candidates work for blue chip firms in those fields, not boutiques.

Even if you get past those subtle and never-spoken prejudices, there is nothing driving you into the school in terms of stardust. For purely gaming-the-system purposes, you should have continued on at either Citigroup in Tokyo (a real plus) or J&J, a classic HBS feeder firm. Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Duke and Virginia are all in range given your solid stats and your pretty solid story plus the Japan angle, which is impressive in general.  Unfortunately it does not synch up with your goals. That’s another reason you would have been better at Citi with a story about doing banking in Asia, if getting into HBS is all that matters to you. Then, POOF, it all fits together.

At all schools, I might say you are interested in strategy consulting, not aviation consulting, per se.  Or just phrase your goals more broadly.  Being that specific is something you do when you are applying above your head, and you want to assure the school that you will be employable. You don’t need that card and some schools might object to you using them to get your “ticket punched” at your old job rather than being open to an, ahem, “transformational experience.”  The only exception to that might be MIT, which has expertise in aviation and even a wind tunnel.

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

Part XX: What Are Your Odds Of Getting In

Part XXI: Handicapping Your Odds of Acceptance

Part XXII: Handicapping Your Shot At A Top MBA

Part XXIII: Predicting Your Odds of Getting In

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