Chicago Booth | Mr. Semiconductor Guy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Darden | Ms. Unicorn Healthcare Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Social Scientist
GRE 330, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Over-Experienced
GRE 330, GPA 3.0

Getting Into Your Dream School

Mr. Varsity Baseball

  • 700-720 GMAT
  • 3.6 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from a top 100 university
  • Work experience includes an internship at boutique investment bank, a year and one-half at a large well known healthcare IT company, a six-month stint in BPO sales, and two and one-half years with another large, well-known health care provider, working on reform strategy and collaborative care partnerships. Current company frequently sends employees on par with my role to top 5 schools, and also recruits from them
  • “I’ve built good rapport in all my roles, could probably get good recommendations from some “heavier” hitters (VPs, SVPs, bishops).  What would you recommend?”
  • Extracurricular involvement during college as captain of the varsity baseball team, co-founder of students in philanthropy, founder and president of a Catholic athletic group, led a dozen students to Honduras for two week long service trips. Currently
  • Developing chapters for the same Catholic athletic group at high schools and colleges nationally, a Big Brother mentoring at-risk youth, a volunteer at a non-profit helping to plan the annual 5K fundraiser to promote entrepreneurship and community leadership for at-risk youth
  • Goal:
”To bridge the gap to private equity, working in growth strategy specific to healthcare. (Is this appropriate, or should I go the entrepreneurship route? Consulting? PE is what I want, but I understand I need the story to fit)”
  • 26-year-old Hispanic male
 (25% Hispanic but with surname)

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 30% to 35%

Stanford: 15% to 25%

Wharton: 30% to 45%

Northwestern: 40+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Dunno man, you say GPA was 3.6. That is pretty close to average at HBS and Stanford (3.67 or so, roughly speaking) and above the average GPA of the rest of the Top-10. If you get (or have gotten, unclear from your note) a 700-720 GMAT, that should do you fine. With a Hispanic surname, major athletics, lots of volunteering, and continuing extracurrics, you got a chance at all schools. Your real weakness is mildly zig-zagging career and three instead of two jobs. But schools will blink at that if they otherwise like you. The fact that current firm sends kids to top-5 schools is real positive. Why not you?

Your stated goal, “Bridge the gap to private equity, working in growth strategy specific to healthcare,” and your question, “Is this appropriate, or should I go the entrepreneurship route? Consulting? PE is what I want, but I understand I need the story to fit?” is well asked, and the answer is, say you want to do consulting. Stay away from PE. You don’t have any full-time, prolonged IB or finance background, and your zig-zagging pre-MBA career (including a stint in Business Processing Outsourcing sales) is not the kind of resume PE firms look for, even if you are interviewing from H/S/W.

You cannot go wrong saying you want to be a consultant, and possibly becoming a leader in reforming Health Care, by helping other companies, joining a start-up after consulting or starting your own. Recommenders should be from supervisors in first instance, and folks who actually know your work first-hand; heavy hitters and bishops are OK for one out of three at HBS, or should be saved for emergency phone calls, etc.

If you get the 700+ GMAT, get counted as a Hispanic (should happen), clarify this shaggy dog story, and present some sensible goals based on that clear story, you got a shot at HBS, although you will need to sound like more of a success than above sounds like. Stanford may go for this, given the high level of do-gooder stuff, and Anderson Cooper trips to crisis zones. Other schools will be impressed by the same issues and they have wider doors.

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

Part XXIV: Do You Have The Right Stuff To Get In

Part XXV: Your Odds of Getting Into A Top MBA Program

Part XXVI: Calculating Your Odds of Getting In

Part XXVII: Breaking Through The Elite MBA Screen

Part XXVIII: Handicapping Your Shot At A Top School

Part XXIX: Can You Get Into A Great B-School

Part XXX: Handicapping Your Odds of Getting In

Part XXXI: Calculating Your Odds of Admission

Part XXXII: Handicapping Your Elite MBA Chances

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.