Your Chances Of Getting An Elite MBA

Mr. Market Researcher

  • 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:

Yale: 20%
Cornell: 30% to 40%
Texas: 40% to 50%
UCLA: 40%
USC: 50%
Columbia: 10%
Dartmouth: 10%
Berkeley: 10%

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.

Handicapping Your MBA Odds–The Entire Series

Part I: Handicapping Your Shot At a Top Business School

Part II: Your Chances of Getting In

Part III: Your Chances of Getting In

Part IV: Handicapping Your Odds of Getting In

Part V: Can You Get Into HBS, Stanford or Wharton?

Part VI: Handicapping Your Dream School Odds

Part VII: Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Part VIII: Getting Through The Elite B-School Screen

Part IX: Handicapping Your B-School Chances

Part X: What Are Your Odds of Getting In?

Part XI: Breaking Through the Elite B-School Screen

Part XII: Handicapping Your B-School Odds

Part XIII: Predicting Your Odds of Getting In

Part XIV: Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Part XV: Assessing Your Odds of Getting In

Part XVI: Handicapping Your Odds of Getting In

Part XVII: What Are Your Odds of Getting In

Part XVIII: Assessing Your Odds of Getting In

Part XIX: Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Part XX: What Are Your Odds Of Getting In

Part XXI: Handicapping Your Odds of Acceptance

Part XXII: Handicapping Your Shot At A Top MBA

Part XXIII: Predicting Your Odds of Getting In

Part XXIV: Do You Have The Right Stuff To Get In

Part XXV: Your Odds of Getting Into A Top MBA Program

Part XXVI: Calculating Your Odds of Getting In

Part XXVII: Breaking Through The Elite MBA Screen

Part XXVIII: Handicapping Your Shot At A Top School

Part XXIX: Can You Get Into A Great B-School

Part XXX: Handicapping Your Odds of Getting In

Part XXXI: Calculating Your Odds of Admission

Part XXXII: Handicapping Your Elite MBA Chances

Part XXXIII: Getting Into Your Dream School

Part XXXIV: Handicapping Your Shot At A Top School

Part XXXV: Calculating Your Odds of Getting In

Part XXXVI: What Are Your Chances Of Getting In

Part XXXVII: Handicapping Your Business School Odds

Part XXXVIII: Assessing Your B-School Odds Of Making It

Part XXXIX: Handicapping MBA Applicant Odds

Part XL: What Are Your Odds of Getting In

Part XLI: Handicapping Your Odds of MBA Success

Part XLII: What Are Your Chances Of Getting In

Part XLIII: Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Part XLIV: Can You Get Into A Top MBA Program

Part XLV: Assessing Your Odds of Getting In

Part XLVI: Handicapping Your Dream School Odds

Part XLVII: Handicapping Your MBA Odds

Part XLVIII: Assessing Your Odds of B-School Success

Part XLIV: Handicapping Your B-School Odds

Part XLV: Your Odds of Getting Into A Great School

Part XLVI: Handicapping Your Shot At A Top MBA