Can You Get Into A Top MBA Program?

Mr. Boxer

  • 750 GMAT (expected)
  • 3.65 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in biology from a small liberal arts college in Texas
  • Work experience includes one year at a family company and a two-year internship with four different dentists; eight months as a Princeton Review SAT instructor; ten months working with the CEO of a medical device startup; also started a small math company and working on launching a prep company
  • Extracurricular involvement as an avid boxer who is going to fight in the Golden Gloves tournament this year; played basketball in college for a church; pro bono tutor through my math company; feed the poor once a week
  • Goal:
 To pursue my prep company idea on a higher level; also interested in venture capital or climbing the ladder in medical sales and assuming a regional manager position
  • 27-year-old Hispanic male

Odds of Success:

Stanford: 10%

MIT: 30%

Yale: 40%

London: 30%

Cambridge: 40% to 50%

Texas: 50+%

Rice: 50+%

Notre Dame: 50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: WELL, given the zig-zagging number of things you have done already, schools may think you have taken too many punches in the ring. You really need to simplify both what you have done and what you want to do. Venture capital is pretty much impossible to break into right out of business school without IB or PE experience prior. So don’t even mention that: it will just signal how out of the mainstream you are, in terms of both understanding how the game is played and not being aware how odd your background is.

On the bright side, if you get that 750 GMAT, and you have a 3.6 from an OK liberal arts school,  and if you are convincingly Hispanic both in terms of DNA and affiliations, well, that could get you a good deal of forgiveness for your aborted dental career and what seem like a good many short-term, no-blue-chip jobs.

Saying you want an MBA to grow your math prep company is not advised. It won’t help, believe me, even though many successful MBA consulting companies are led by MBA’s (it seems to be a near-major at Wharton) admissions boards themselves don’t really like prep companies of any type, which is the real point.

You really need to put this “dog’s breakfast” of jobs and aspirations into some toast-and-jam format, probably by saying you want to be consultant, which is something that could conceivably grow out of this soil, and more importantly is an aspiration that an MBA could help you with. Plus an Hispanic male with a 750 GMAT and degree from any top 10 B school, would not have a hard time getting a consulting gig, even with MBB.

I’m not seeing this as Stanford. Your resume is just too choppy. But other places you mention should be doable. As could, with that 750 GMAT, Chicago, Kellogg and Tuck. All of whom will appreciate your background, stats, and impressive volunteer work.

Golden Gloves is a small plus to schools, although I am impressed. Good luck with your fight.

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.