Calculating Your Odds Of Getting In


Mr. Marketer

  • 750 GMAT
  • 3.3 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from Northwestern University
  • Work experience includes management role at Nielsen, with three promotions, consulting with fairly senior clients
  • Extracurricular involvement on executive board of fraternity, chairman of philanthropy organization, recruiter and tutor for tutoring organization, and active in company’s college recruiting
  • Goal: To work in marketing or brand management
  • 25-year-old white male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20%
Wharton: 30-35+%
Northwestern: 50+%
London: 70+%
Michigan: 60+%
New York: 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: You’re an interesting contrast to the woman directly above. You both have low-ish GPAs, but yours is a marginal 3.3, while hers was a bottom 10 percent 3.1. You both have boffo GMATs (760 for her, 750 for you) and both have lots of extras. Hers are more powerful because they impact poor girls who want to learn science and she has taken great initiatives. Yours are a mixed bag of frat and company-related gigs. That’s OK by me, but schools prefer teaching poor girls science. You also have some impressive but, again, run-of-the mill tutoring and undergraduate philanthropy orgs. My apologies if I am getting this wrong.

Nielsen, your company, is certainly a brand name to geezers like me, but I’m not sure if our non-TV obsessed readers get the same resonance out the term “Nielsen ratings” which was the YouTube hits metric of its day . Some of the adcoms go back that far, so you may be in luck. Your goals synch up with experience, so you got a clear and tight story, and one which schools are open to. This is going to be a “reach” at Wharton although not a full Hummingbird pose (I just looked that joke up, I hate Yoga) since you have a 750 GMAT and work for a brand name, and as data in last entry shows, your GPA at Wharton is probably in their 30-40 window (e.g. 70-60 percent of admits will have higher GPAs. Their average is GPA is 3.56, but you have a lot else going for you.)

I don’t see this as HBS. There’s not enough “stardust” to get you out of the low GPA /ho-hum company swamp (versus the gal before you who was Ziggy Stardust, without the Ziggy parts.)

At other schools you note: 1. Kellogg, you are in their sweet spot of marketing (as much as they sometimes try to walk away from it) and you seem their kind of guy–and their GPA 10/90 window goes all the way down to 3.19 so you would be about the same bracket as you would be at Wharton, bottom half of the class, but someone has to be there, and why not a guy with a 750 GMAT. 2. LBS, Ross, NYU–you got a real solid shot at all those places. Average GPA at Michigan is 3.4, so you don’t have all that much explaining to do. And you also seem their type, working for a company whose heyday was similar to the auto industry and both autos and Nielsen seem on upswing. LBS is pretty much open to most U.S. kids with a valid passport and any kind of pulse. NYU might give you a harder time since your shtick is not in their core, but a lot else lines up there as well.