Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare PE
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Military Quant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Kellogg | Mr. Concrete Angel
GRE 318, GPA 3.33
Kellogg | Mr. Maximum Impact
GMAT Waiver, GPA 3.77
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Ms. Interstellar Thinker
GMAT 740, GPA 7.6/10
Harvard | Mr. Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Ms. Female Sales Leader
GMAT 740 (target), GPA 3.45
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Gay Techie
GRE 332, GPA 3.88
INSEAD | Mr. Product Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 63%

Handicapping Your Odds of MBA Success

Mr. French I-Banker

  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.58 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in finance and marketing from a B-school in Paris; graduated as valedictorian of class
  • Work experience includes two years at a boutique investment bank in New York specializing in power and utilities (three alumni from my school worked at the bank and all went to Tuck for their MBAs; boss is a Harvard undergrad and Harvard Law School grad who has taught at the B-school, and has connections on the Harvard University board)
  • Extracurricular involvement at school part of a student organization that welcomes U.S. exchange students; also founded a club on the GMAT in semester abroad program at Emory University
  • Goal: To work in asset management for a hedge fund, private equity firm or mutual fund
  • 24-year-old French Caucasian male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 40+%

Stanford: 20% to 30%

Wharton: 40% to 50+%

Columbia: 45% to 50+%

MIT: 40% to 50+%

UCLA: 50+%

NYU: 50+%

Cornell: 50+%

Texas: 50+%

USC: 50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Lots to like including being valedictorian of a select B-school in France and 740 GMAT—be sure to stress the valedictorian part, since 3.58 GPA is usually not valedictorian numbers here in the grade-inflated USA. The fact that someone at your boutique has connections at HBS could come into play. Let’s just consider that an outlier and deal with what we got. Given firm history and Tuck’s preferences for charming (I assume) banker types, you got a real good shot there, and you might like it. Most kids do. It’s worth a trip to feel the merchandise. That will give you a real feeling about the environs.

I notice you did not list that as an option, but it’s worth doing so. At H/S/W you are in the lottery. I’m not particularly seeing this as Stanford, mainly because there’s nothing super-duper driving you in, and coming from no-nam-ish New York IB won’t help and there is just not much ‘save-the-world’ jive in your story as told to us, if you left that out, well . . . I could change my mind.

HBS will be a toss up, and you could be a case where app and essay execution really count. You need to come up with some stories there that are more interesting than anything you listed in your short profile. Wharton should be do-able with serviceable execution of their application, which is due out any day now, possibly even before Fete Nationale.

MIT will go for your solid stats, and they are always looking for brainy people plus banking and asset management are not (yet) dirty words there. They almost are at H and S. Other schools you mention, UCLA, NYU, Cornell, Texas-Austin, and USC should be real solid and just a matter of convincing them you want to attend.

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.