- 720 – 740 GMAT (projected, have not yet taken)
- 3.3 GPA
- Undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University
- Work experience includes three years as a technology consultant with Deloitte after internships with Accenture and a state Senator who is now state treasurer; profiled on Deloitte’s Facebook page
- Extracurricular involvement as vice president of engineering council in college, a student senator, creator and organizer of a local soccer team for two-plus years; member of an influential educational non-profit (most members are CEOs, superintendents, principals, and general counsels)
- “Extensive outreach as NCSU alum, working with engineering dean, the entrepreneurship provost, career services, and various organizations; networked with the founder of HowStuffWorks.com, a senior director at WNYC, a former director of Manhattan GMAT turned entrepreneur, a prominent civil rights lawyer and an author featured on the Colbert Report, Obama’s former Special Adviser on Green Jobs”
- Goal: To attend Stanford to round out my knowledge of business
- “During enrollment, launch a disruptive tech startup; if it fails, I plan to return to the firm to focus on disruptive mobile technologies and possibly try again in a few years. In 5-10 years, I want to leverage my business success to become involved in politics either as a politician or in an executive position at a policy oriented NGO”
- 26-year-old white male
Odds of Success:
Harvard: 30% to 40%
Sandy’s Analysis: As with last guy, long story even shorter. As to Stanford, if you know the Deloitte guys who get kids into Stanford, and you seem to know a lot of people, or anyone else who gets kids into Stanford, and they are willing to go to bat for you, well, you may get in. Try to get that projected score of 720 on the GMAT. As a rule, white guys from with a 3.3 from NCSU who work at Deloitte do NOT get into Stanford, but you seem to be a star, and a very active networker and schmoozer, with a lot of tangible leadership accomplishments. So who knows?
Let me make one thing super clear when it comes to networking and B-school admissions: it is rifle shot, not a shotgun spray. Knowing 20 people, as you seem to, is fine. But the deal closes, and only closes, when one of them is willing to spend social capital on your case. So you need to figure out, especially at Stanford, who is the one. As to goals, and launching a disruptive start-up while you are there, blah, blah, dunno. That is just hot air. Got any history of doing anything like that? Anyway, as I have often noted, goals separated from tangible accomplishments supporting those goals, are nice, but they never have as much impact as their poetic creators hope.
Going back to your firm, as you also suggest, is more down-to-earth, and something you have done before, but it helps to generalize that, viz., “interested in using technology consulting as a gateway to discover exciting ways of linking my interest 1 and 2, etc . . .”
Schools don’t like to think of themselves as taking kids from Firm A and returning them to Firm A two years later and $250k poorer. Schools like to delude themselves into thinking you will get some ‘transformational mojo’ for the $250k. As to your starry goals of think tanks, NGOs, politics. Hmmmmm, sure but you need to have that story emerge more tightly and precisely from your projected consulting gateway, your interests, and your actual accomplishments so far.
From the looks of how many “A-/B+ list” friends you have, that could be a business plan. Friendster Elite or TED Jr.–a gathering place for late blooming low GPA guys who are trying to crash into the majors. Just kidding but you get the idea.
Oddly, you may have as good a chance at Stanford or HBS –if any of your wide circle of friends has real pull there — than you have at Berkeley and MIT. I think a strong recommendation from Deloitte should get you into Berkeley. MIT is always idiosyncratic, and they got lots of guys like you, and you don’t seem a natural fit.
In light of the GPA, make it easy on your mentors, and get that 720 GMAT. I think your long list of pals includes a director of Manhattan GMAT. Ask him if he has any tips or can you get you a super tutor.