Stanford GSB | Mr. Entrepreneurial Bassist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.61
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Second Chances
GRE 310, GPA 2.5
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Cornell Johnson | Mr. IT To IB
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
Kellogg | Mr. Green Business
GMAT 680, GPA 3.33; 3.9 for Masters
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Account Executive
GMAT 560, GPA 3.3
NYU Stern | Mr. Military Officer
GRE In Progress, GPA 2.88
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Commercial Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Smart Operations
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Darden | Mr. Strategy Manager
GRE 321, GPA 3.5
Ross | Mr. Airline Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.73
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corporate VC Hustler
GMAT 780, GPA 3.17
Wharton | Mr. Marketing Director
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Healthcare Startup
GRE 321, GPA 3.51
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Air Force
GMAT 610, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65

Your Odds Of Getting Into A Top School

Mr. Surgeon

  • 730 GMAT
  • 3.9 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in pre-med from the University of Toronto
  • 3.7 GPA Med School
  • Currently in fourth year of surgical specialty training
  • Extracurricular involvement as a physician volunteer in an underdeveloped country and a couple of articles published in peer-reviewed journals
  • Goal: Big dream to apply business models to public health care in order to increase efficiency or to start my own consulting firm
  • 28-year-old Asian male, fluent in Cantonese

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 30% to 40+%

Stanford: 20% to 30%

Wharton: 50+%

MIT:  50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Come on down, Doc! That is a hunk-a, hunk-a powerful resume, and while no one loves surgeons as much as they love marine biologists, well, they do respect them. The trick of getting into HBS or Stanford for you will be selling your BIG goals in some specific and supported way. As noted, most docs at HBS are from Harvard or Yale medical school, or Harvard teaching hospitals, but Toronto has some classy cred in these parts that might serve as a substitute.

What you really need to do is get powerful docs and profs to support you and your goals.  The one downside I see  is that none of your many powerful pluses synch up with reforming health care delivery, and surgeons are not known for thinking big. They are known for big egos, which is a different matter. I might say you want to reform surgery instead of healthcare, in terms of delivery of services, especially in under-served areas, which could mean areas of Canada or the undeveloped world. That way your volunteer gig “adds up.”

Becoming a consultant after all that training seems like a weak idea to me. You need to appear as a reformer and not a pre-mature burn out. Consulting would seem to throw away your surgical training. The docs I have known at HBS have used it as a career extender, not a blatant career change. You don’t list schools, but what I said for HBS would also be true for Stanford, Wharton, and MIT.  You can get a lot of guidance on this by checking out the Association of MD/MBA Degrees website—full of programs and developments.

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.