Assessing Your Odds Of B-School Success

Mr. NFL

  • 770 GMAT (99 V, 85 Q)
  • 3.8 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in human and organizational development as well as English and history from Vanderbilt University
  • Work experience includes more than three years in licensing/marketing/business development at the NFL Players Association, with some interesting, high-level involvement during the NFL lockout (on the commercial side, not labor side); overhauled licensing business and launched an e-commerce site
  • Extracurricular involvement in intramural sports and fraternity leadership position
  • Goal: To develop quant and leadership skills in order to pursue a senior-level strategy/general management position in sports. “
  • I want an MBA to give me the broad business understanding to — in combination with an appreciation for technology — bring a more progressive perspective to an industry that often lacks innovation”
  • 26-year-old white male

Odds of Success:

Stanford: 30+%
Harvard: 40% to 50+%
Northwestern: 50+%
MIT: 60+%
Wharton: 50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Schools love #1 entertainment and sports gigs like Disney, NBC, and Viacom, even ESPN and the Gold Channel. The NFL Players Association is close enough, although you would do better with the NFL period.  (A lot of girlie adcoms may not know the difference, although many others probably know more about sports than me—an aboriginal Brooklyn Dodgers fan, and have tuned out lately amid the alien and corny Sox Nation types here in 02138.)  Plus a 3.8 from Vanderbilt, which is a manly and well-regarded regional school, and a boffo 770 GMAT make you quite the solid fellow.

Also, it seems you been doing actual work there, and have a lot of support.

Getting into Stanford is like a 55-yard field goal where a lot of things, some intangible, would have to line up. Your What Matters Most essay would need to find the sweet spot somehow. I’d also try HBS, which has way more room,  and is just as star struck.  Your chances there, just based on solid stats and prestige-y job are pretty good, and you barely have to explain what goals are. As often noted, Sloan takes just about anyone with a 770 GMAT and a pulse and the pulse is sometimes optional if some family member can pay tuition. I also think your chances at Wharton (which has a lot of sports management courses) and Kellogg are real solid.

As to your goals,  “To develop quant and leadership skills in order to pursue a senior-level strategy/general management position in sports. . . .an MBA . . . in combination with an appreciation for technology – [to] bring a more progressive perspective to an industry that often lacks innovation.”

Sure, try to flesh that out, and mention you might be interested in media as well, since sports is a big chunk of many networks’ income stream, not to mention the challenge of monetizing digital. Your experiences with licensing and e-commerce are actually more interesting than the lock-out/labor stuff, which is hopelessly so last century, in terms of goals. However, you might have some powerful stories there for old-timey essays like discussing a significant accomplishment or a time when you contributed to an organization.