Mr. Aerospace Engineer
- 710 GMAT (V:38, Q:49)
- 3.4 GPA
- Undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from Technion, Israel.
- Work experience includes three years of military service (“special intelligence unit where I did some supervision on others”) and seven years in defense corporations; currently an aerospace engineer with a major defense company
- Extracurricular involvement in “Engineers Without Borders,” developing a plan to raise the livelihood of rural communities in Nepal; also volunteered to help gifted youth and renovate homes of less fortunate families; avid photographer; practices Brazilian martial arts, likes trekking and backpacking
- Goal: To work in the technology field as a product manager or in a marketing position and evolve to senior management
- 29-year-old Israeli male
Odds of Success:
MIT: 30% to 40%
Stanford: 20% to 30%
Sandy’s Analysis: Totally solid story with OK grades and OK GMAT, and work history from what I imagine are solid defense companies, plus some interesting military service (I’d go light on the part where you note, “Did some supervision on others . . .” as an intelligence officer, although I think you may mean, supervised others in the office.) I think your chances at core schools you mention—Haas, Kellogg, Booth and Wharton—are real solid given that your stats seem to fall in line there (e.g. average the GPA at Wharton is 3.5 and you have a 3.4 from a distinguished technical program) and your goals and what you have done synch together so clearly. I’d say chances at those places are solid with proper execution, strong recommendations, etc.
MIT goes for guys like you as well, although you might do better there to tell some innovation story, rather than product manager goal. Stanford is going to be harder because your stats are a bit low there. You could do yourself a favor by leveraging your Engineers Without Borders Experience in Nepal in the essay set. I would use that in Essay One (What matters most . . .) rather than the short one (which does not really count much).
At Stanford, try to revise your goals as well. They ain’t looking for “product managers” or future VP’s at defense contractors over there, at least not in the admissions process. I’d throw an app into HBS as well, you got some real solid HBS app raw material, and they like engineers. Same advice as to goals: Try to be more exciting, innovative, and if possible add some do-good halo to your goals story. You want to get involved in engineering problems which solve issues like water shortages, sustainability — “green” stuff.