Your Chances Of Getting An Elite MBA

Mr. Technology Analyst

  • 710 GMAT
  • 3.98 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Illinois
  • Work experience includes one year in the management development program at PNC Financial Services and eight months as a technology analyst at Accenture
  • Extracurricular involvement in college as the vice president of a business honors fraternity (Beta Gamma Signa); volunteer basketball coach in boy’s league
  • “During my junior year, I took time off to train for a singing/acting career in Korea. I was a trainee in a large entertainment company”
  • Goal: To attend a Top 15 business school
  • Korean-American who plans to apply to business school in about two years

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 10%
Stanford: 5%
Chicago: 20%
Northwestern: 20%
Columbia: 20% to 30%
Berkeley: 20%
New York: 30% to 40%
Michigan: 30% to 40%
UCLA: 30% to 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, let’s summarize: Asian-American male, 3.98 in accounting from Tier Two School, one year at PNC financial services and then a tech-consulting gig at Accenture which will be two–three years when you apply with a 710 GMAT. That adds up to a solid if boring story, which is relieved somewhat by your junior year in Korea as a singer/actor/trainee in a large entertainment company.

This is pretty solid in terms of stats—you should be in-line at places like Berk, NYU, Mich, UCLA, UVA, Duke, and Darden, which are all Top 15 schools. Just keep doing good work at Accenture, line up some recs, figure out why you want an MBA and execute cleanly.  I’m not seeing this as HBS or Stanford, not enough stardust (despite your entertainment background) and nothing else driving you in. Wharton admits kids like you who have really tight stories based on your solid stats, and making work history clearly line-up with goals and solid recs.

You should be a coin-flip case places like Booth, Kellogg, Columbia (try Early Decision) and maybe Yale as well. What you need to do is 1) Really thrive at your tech consulting job at Accenture; 2) Try to make this story more interesting by developing a signature extra –curric story, if you enjoy coaching basketball. Try to develop that into something powerful involving poor kids, or also coaching with school work. But mostly do outstanding work at Accenture, get great recs, and say you want to be a consultant when you grow up. You’d be solid, employable, and  . . . .that is 90 percent of the battle at most schools.