Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Mr. Himalayas

    • 790 GRE (equal to a 760 GMAT)
    • 3.5 GPA
    • Undergraduate degree in physics from an elite liberal arts college in the Rockies
    • 3.9 GPA (master’s)
    • Master’s degree in environmental engineering from Stanford
    • Work experience includes teaching physics for one-year; did research on materials for a quantum computer; currently a market research analyst on the clean tech industry for Bloomberg
    • Extracurricular involvement as a professional rock climber for five years with North Face and a National Geographic archaeological team in Nepal; produced two documentaries and a feature story in National Geographic; have scaled numerous big peaks in the Himalayas; helped to build two children’s libraries and a mountain clinic in the Himalayas; have media citations from BusinessWeek and Bloomberg TV
    • Goal: To transition to a top strategy consulting position in the clean energy industry, with the eventual goal of starting a company well-positioned for a global energy transition
    • 26-year-old white male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 30% to 40%
Stanford: 30% to 40% (helped by your Stanford master’s)
Wharton: 40% to 50%
Columbia: 50%+%
Northwestern: 50+%
Chicago: 50+%
Tuck: 50+%
MIT: 50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, some zigs  and zags,  but you got one type of “the smart guy/ REAL MAN” profile that many adcoms go for—especially since the basics—GPA and GRE are solid (not sure you need the GMAT, but check reqs of each school).  The trick is to make your mountaineering/Nepal experiences synch up with Clean Tech goals and present yourself as a guy interested in science, research and business, which does synch up with your resume.

I’m not sure how Bloomberg rates in terms of B-school selectivity but your prestige background and elite think tank experience might put a halo around you. Being on TV, even Bloomberg TV, also is a plus. You might have a hard time presenting yourself fully for HBS on their new anorexic application-–a real clear and focused resume will be important, as will strategically filling out those 200 character mini-questions they ask about each job (description, accomplishments, reasons for leaving).  Make sure your recs confirm your goals and sound like you know the clean tech business, which you may already really do anyway.