Rice Jones | Mr. Student Government
GMAT 34 (ACT for Early Admit Program), GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare PE
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Military Quant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Kellogg | Mr. Concrete Angel
GRE 318, GPA 3.33
Kellogg | Mr. Maximum Impact
GMAT Waiver, GPA 3.77
Wharton | Ms. Interstellar Thinker
GMAT 740, GPA 7.6/10
Harvard | Mr. Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Female Sales Leader
GMAT 740 (target), GPA 3.45
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Gay Techie
GRE 332, GPA 3.88

Handicapping Your B-School Odds

Mr. Football

  •  740 GMAT (48Q; 44V; 5.5AWA; 8 IR)
  • 3.23 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from a top five liberal arts school
  • Work Experience: Two years boutique M&A Investment banking with financial sector focus followed by two years on internal acquisitions team for a public company that has a strong reputation as a serial acquirer in financial sector
  • Extracurricular involvement as a collegiate football player; a three-year starter;  sector head for student investment club, sector; elected as economic department student representative in junior year, volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Goal: to transition from acquisitions of asset management firms into asset management and eventually to launch my own firm
  • 25-year-old white male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20%

Wharton: 30%

Dartmouth: 40% to 50%

Columbia: 30% to 40%

Virginia: 40% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: This is pretty simple. There is nothing driving you into HBS and grades and competition from ultra-qualified applicants  in finance will probably doom your application there, unless your firm has a history of placing their favorite jocks there. Dee Leopold is not a big sports fan, although, sure, she respects the category in general, especially if you were captain, or can make out some leadership roles, if so, she might cut you some slack on grades, given that football takes up a good deal of time, and you got a 740 GMAT kicker.

You also have another small problem in that your career seems to have leveled off, or that is the way many would read, “2 years boutique M&A Investment banking w/ financial sector focus followed by 2 years on internal acquisitions team for a public company that has a strong reputation as a serial acquirer in financial sector . . . .” Although let me say that you do a nice job of pre-empting that view by the way you describe the 2nd job. The issue is, whether schools believe you.  And what they know of your company, and its success at placing kids in top-tier business schools.

Wharton is the same story, for the most part,  with the slight tilt in your favor because their finance hole is bigger, so your chances are better. Tuck is a place that could go for you. You seem their type and the banking/football axis actually works there. Columbia might go for the 740. Apply early decision if possible.  Darden is money. Or should be. You are totally their type.  A good deal of the outcome at all places will turn on what they think of current employer (and if current employer has pull at any schools).  Also try Chicago and Kellogg. You got a lot going for you and a lousy GPA, that equals a roulette situation. So more chips help.

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.