Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Navy Vet
GRE 310, GPA 2.6
Stanford GSB | Mr. Pizza For Breakfast
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
INSEAD | Mr. Behavioral Changes
GRE 336, GPA 5.8/10
Chicago Booth | Ms. IB Hopeful
GMAT 710, GPA 2.77
London Business School | Mr. Indian Banking Leader
GMAT 750, GPA 3.32
Columbia | Mr. Infra-Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.68
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Top Performer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Ms. Comeback Kid
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
Darden | Mr. Military Communications Officer
GRE Not taken yet, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Ms. Retail To Technology
GMAT 670, GPA 3.8
Ross | Mr. Top 25 Hopeful
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Qualcomm Quality
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Ms. Hotel Real Estate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
Yale | Mr. Gay Social Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 2.75 undergrad, 3.8 in MS
MIT Sloan | Mrs. Company Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 2.92
Wharton | Mr. Cross-Border
GMAT 780, GPA 3.7
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Career Change
GMAT Have yet to take. Consistent 705 on practice tests., GPA 3.5
HEC Paris | Mr. Introverted Dancer
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Mr. Safety Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Aspiring FinTech Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Fill In The Gaps
GRE 330, GPA 3.21
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Texas Recruiter
GMAT 770, GPA 3.04
USC Marshall | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Entertainment Agency
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Quant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7

Calculating Your Odds of Admission

This 25-year-old has the perfect background for an elite MBA: An undergraduate degree from an Ivy League university and a prestige job with Google. He also co-founded a non-profit that teaches software coding to under-represented high school students in New York. But his first try on the GMAT led to a 620 score.

He works as a project manager for a leading health care IT company. With a 760 GMAT and a 3.76 grade point average from a top ten liberal arts college, this 23-year-old wants an MBA to move into strategy consulting.

He’s a 25-year-old consultant at a second-tier firm who has helped lower income families with tax prep and legal issues. With a 750 GMAT and a 3.95 GPA, he hopes an MBA will allow him to land a job with McKinsey, Bain or Boston Consulting Group.

Sandy Kreisberg, HBS Guru, in Harvard Square

What these would-be MBA candidates 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 assessment:

Mr. Would-Be Social Entrepreneur

  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.8 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in business from Brigham Young University
  • Work Experience as a sell-side research analyst at a top-tier middle market investment bank
  • Extracurricular involvement includes two years on an LDS volunteer mission in Chile, five years as a middle school boys’ basketball coach, and one year in student government; also founded a new BYU organization to help sophomores prepare for business school
  • Goal: “To couple my quantitative and analytical skills gained through work as a research analyst with a broader understanding of management in order to pursue international work as a social entrepreneur and enable Latin American business leaders to become great employers in their communities”

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20% to 30%

Stanford: 10%

Wharton: 30% to 45%

Northwestern:  40%

Chicago: 40+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, I like you, but as noted before, 3.8 is considered a “low-ish” GPA at BYU (only partially kidding, but lots of BYU accounting majors apply with 3.9-4.0) and being a sell-side research analyst is not something that puts a fire in the hearts of many adcoms. Neither does your goal to work as a research analyst post-MBA and “somehow” turn that into social entrepreneurship in Latin America.   Your extras, including the LDS mission to Chile and internal BYU activities are OK but not exciting to adcom beyond the usual value they place on LDS missions. Adcoms prefer extras which impact communities beyond yourself, the Chile mission partially does that, but the BYU stuff was all “inside baseball.”

Those are the reasons you will have a real hard time at Harvard and Stanford. There’s nothing really driving you in, and you have a mildly boring story.  Your social enterprise plan for Latin America does not have a enough reality traction from your past activities and sounds tacked on to sound good.

Wharton takes guys like you based on solid stats alone, but you need to clarify your post-MBA goal ideas. Try saying financial consulting, possibly with a focus on Latin America, based on your mission to Chile and leave out social do-gooder ideas for the time being.  Guys like you get into Kellogg and Booth all the time.  I might change my mind on HBS if your firm has a history of placing kids there, and they have decided that this year, YOU ARE THE ONE, or some version of 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.