- 650 GMAT
- 3.38 GPA
- Undergraduate degree from UC-Berkeley in social sciences
- “Took statistics in college twice – turned it into Pass/Fail the 1st time and passed it the 2nd time with a C-. Took Stats and Econ at UCLA extension after college and got an A for both courses”
- Work experience as a consultant at the fourth largest market research firm in the world for clients in pharma, financial, automotive, and consumer packaged goods; also had been a consultant for the U.S. government and political candidates; have active top secret clearance as a result of work with the government
- Extracurricular involvement as a social entrepreneurship fellow for a national organization and board member at nonprofit dedicated to helping minorities become tomorrow’s business leaders
- Goal: To become a brand manager at a Fortune 500 company (ideally Pharma)
- 24-year-old Latino male, first generation college student
Odds of Success:
Cornell: 30% to 40%
Texas: 40% to 50%
Sandy’s Analysis: Yale, Cornell, UT Austin, UCLA, USC, Columbia, Tuck, and Haas–those are the correct choices. Your alternative transcript with Stats and Econ at UCLA was a good move, and may give some adcom who likes your basic story (first generation college, Latino, Berk) a reason to blink at some low grades and a marginal GMAT (650).
You describe career as “Currently work as a Consultant at the 4th largest market research firm in the world (pharma, financial, automotive, CPG clients) – previous experience includes consulting U.S. government and political candidates.” A good deal of the value or not of that will depend on how many jobs you had, for how long, and what your current gig is really like. It sounds like you bounced around a bit, and some of the above smells like “contract work,” which is not a plus. Try to present your career as stable, and with an upward progression, even if it means suppressing (or omitting) any marginal contract gigs.
Once you get that straight, your stated goal, “Brand Manager at a Fortune 500 company (ideally Pharma)” is certainly in the park since that job entails a good number of the quant skills you seem to have, and is something that graduates from the schools you mention often wind up doing. I think there may be too much shakiness in undergraduate record and job history (and naked stats) for Columbia and Tuck, and Yale is looking to upgrade their stats as well, so those schools could be reaches. UCLA is shorter reach. At Cornell, UT-Austin and USC you are in the mix. Solid execution, good recs and your solid extras, might tip you in there. A good deal is going to turn on how long you have been in your current job and how much of a proxy that is for the fact that after some “this” and “that” you’ve settled down.