Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Chicago Booth | Mr. International Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85
Ross | Mr. Saudi Engineer
GRE 312, GPA 3.48
Harvard | Ms. Consumer Sustainability
GMAT 740, GPA 3.95
Columbia | Ms. Retail Queen
GRE 322, GPA 3.6
Tuck | Ms. Confused One
GMAT 740, GPA 7.3/10
NYU Stern | Mr. Health Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Regulator To Private
GMAT 700, GPA 2.0
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
MIT Sloan | Mr. Spaniard
GMAT 710, GPA 7 out of 10 (top 15%)
Harvard | Ms. Marketing Family Business
GMAT 750- first try so might retake for a higher score (aiming for 780), GPA Lower Second Class Honors (around 3.0)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred MBA Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Colombian Sales Leader
GMAT 610, GPA 2.78
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Family Business Turned Consultant
GMAT 640, GPA 3.0
Tuck | Ms. BFA To MBA
GMAT 700, GPA 3.96

Handicapping Your B-School Odds

Mr. Solar

  • 800Q 670V GRE
  • 3.2 GPA
  • 26-year-old Hispanic male (with a Hispanic surname)
  • Undergraduate degree in geological sciences from Princeton University
  • 3.8 GPA master’s  degree in statistics from a top Ivy
  • Completing master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California while working full time
  • Work experience includes developing and managing renewable power with a Fortune 500 company; commissioned largest solar farm in New England ($10 million) and largest solar farm in Northeast ($100 million); currently manage largest solar farm in all of the eastern U.S.A; one of the youngest managers in company history
  • Extracurricular involvement running a small Internet business with a partner at Harvard that paid for all my college costs (partner went on to Stanford GSB directly out of Harvard and it was a significant part of his story); also ran a small energy company that bought and sold natural gas in my junior and senior years; founder of Minorities in Commodities USA, a support/information network focused on minorities in the commodities industry or those looking to enter (2 years); founder of Othello Group, a GRE/GMAT tutoring network focused on minorities
  • Goal: To become a major energy developer or manage a large player in the field

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 30% to 40%

Stanford: 30%

Wharton: 40% to 50%

Columbia: 40% to 50%

Dartmouth: 30% to 40%

New York: 50+%

Yale: 50+%

MIT: 40+%

Sandy’s Analysis:   Hispanic with Hispanic surname,  800Q/670V GRE’s, some impressive GPA’s in grad school, and a low-ish,  but you say near average GPA at Princeton in “geologic sciences” (hard science does not get any harder, I imagine) , plus a Fortune-500 job and you also work on a big solar farm???  Sounds solid to me, as are extras, so this is a case of just executing on basics, getting super recommendations, and not blowing key interviews.

You may, along with millions of others, find the HBS application annoying because it will not let you explain all the above in any extensive way, but you can get most of it into the application and resume in outline, 200-character format (they count a space as a character by the way), and we just have to trust them to pay attention to the fine print, which they usually do.  Really take up a lot of space on resume to describe your extras, even if it means going to two pages.

The Stanford, “What matters” essay may give you more room to breathe, so you need to thread some story there about how X or Y (energy or being Hispanic) has helped you grow, and try not to give a “greatest hits” reel but instead some growth stories.  Your chances at other places should be solid if you can convince them you want to come. Your goals and motives, as stated – “become a major energy developer or manage a large player in the field”—are real solid.

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