N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Gmat
GMAT 690, GPA 73.45 % (No GPA in undergrad)
Harvard | Mr. 1st Gen Brazilian LGBT
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
USC Marshall | Mr. Ambitious
GRE 323, GPA 3.01
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Tuck | Ms. Nigerian Footwear
GRE None, GPA 4.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Low GPA High GRE
GRE 325, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Finance Musician
GRE 330, GPA 3.6
NYU Stern | Mr. Hail Mary 740
GMAT 740, GPA 2.94
Harvard | Mr. London Artist
GMAT 730, GPA First Class Honours (4.0 equivalent)
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
SDA Bocconi | Mr. Pharma Manager
GMAT 650, GPA 3,2
Kellogg | Mr. Young PM
GMAT 710, GPA 9.64/10
Wharton | Mr. Indian VC
GRE 333, GPA 3.61
MIT Sloan | Mr. Tech Enthusiast
GRE 325, GPA 6.61/10
Harvard | Mr. Midwest Dreamer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3

Handicapping Your Elite B-School Odds

Ms. HBS 2+2 Wannabe

  • 780 GMAT
  • 3.87 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree with three majors—math, biology and economics—from a non-Harvard, Yale, Princeton Ivy
  • Work experience includes stints in two neuroscience labs during school, one with a Nobel Laureate chemist; a consulting internship with a pharmaceutical contract research organization; a one-week externship at Deloitte Consulting and a one-month internship with GE Capital; currently working part-time at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
  • Extracurricular involvement includes starting a microfinance club on campus, being chair of an undergraduate research board and a cultural advocacy board, president of an honor society and also led a housing project for immigrant refugees
  • Goal: “Interested in healthcare/biotechnology management and business development, but not sure yet of the specifics (this is where I hope the 2+2 program will help mold my career trajectory).”
  • 20-year-old Southeast Asian female with very low income, first generation college student

Odds of Success:

Harvard 2+2: 50+%

Stanford (sleeper 2+2 program): 40% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: This looks like a solid HBS 2+2 profile to me. Also note you can apply to Stanford’s “knock-off” 2+2 program (2+2 plus 1 year later than Harvard’s), less well known, but the same deal. You apply as a college senior and then defer for two years. Details are on the Stanford website. A 780 GMAT goes a long way–not the whole way, but a long way, along with what seems like a solid, if zigzagging 3.87 undergraduate record, they will get the idea. The real strength of this profile is that you are a science/math major who can actually show a good deal of  interest in bio-tech–and not writing algos for Hedge Funds (although one cannot predict the future).

Accordingly, your internships at labs should be stressed rather than the work you have done at banks and GE Capital. You need to handle those “finance-type” gigs as ways of finding out how big banks work and not secret trysts with the love cannot speak its name (you want to be a  . . .BANKER). To the extent you did any healthcare etc work while working in those soiled temples of finance, you should highlight that.

You say “ . . . overall I’m interested in healthcare/biotechnology management and business development, but not sure yet of the specifics (this is where I hope the 2+2 program will help mold my career trajectory). .  .” As Dee Leopold sometimes says in interviews, when she hears a really good answer . . .”BINGO.”

You’re also active on campus and coming from poor, first-gen background is another plus. You got a lot of energy from the accomplishments listed above: three majors, two minors, what seems like eight different jobs and heading many organizations. If you can figure out some way to bottle that, well, you can bring down gas prices and get Obama re-elected.

At any rate, this is a solid 2+2 profile.

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.