- 720 GMAT
- 3.6 GPA
- Undergraduate degree from a West Coast public ivy
- Work experience includes a stint with a financial advisor working at a regional independent RIA in my first job after college, mostly in client service; quit job to enroll in intensive summer business program at a top B-school to transfer into the marketing field and then did stints at boutique marketing strategy firm, a marketing research firm, and a university serving well-known clients. Also worked as an online content writer at a tech startup and currently do research and analytics at top advertising agencies for CPG companies, among others
- Extracurricular involvement includes leadership positions in various student groups and honor societies on campus, volunteer at soup kitchen, tutor high school students, mentor young people and am a member of an elite professional women’s organization founded by Goldman Sachs executives
- Fluent in three languages
- Goal: To work at a multinational company in Asia or the emerging markets in a marketing role
- 25-year-old female minority who struggled as an immigrant in a low-income neighborhood, having come to the U.S. during her teen years
Odds of Success:
Stanford: 10% to 15%
Harvard: 20% to 35%
Northwestern: 40% to 50+%
I think you got a solid story here and need to focus on the thread of this which is marketing and advertising to CPG clients (Consumer Packaged Goods, to those of you out there who never use soap, toothpaste, or cereal or those of you who do and just never knew those were called CPG’s by insiders.)
The real mystery here is what a female minority from a public Ivy with a 3.6 — and later a 720 GMAT — was doing taking her first job out of college with a “Financial advisor working at a regional independent RIA in West Coast . . . did mostly client service, but licensed and sold securities and insurance . . .” which is a fine job for an ambitious white guy who discovered he was serious about life after getting a 3.2 at a Tier 2 school and his girlfriend knocked-up???
We expect you to be working at some kind of consulting firm or management rotation program at a Fortune 500 company. So that may take some explaining. As will some of the other gigs you list (“online content writer!!!” Kiddo, that is what I DO!!), but once you find your footing, this becomes a solid story of someone who is now in engaged in something hip and traditional. That may be a strong enough anchor to make your other five jobs and checkerboard and odd career not count against you so much. Your extras are better than average, and more than average, so that is another plus.
The confusion noted in career paths may sink you at HBS and Stanford, who have a window for minority females, but prefer them to be really clearly packaged from Blue Chip companies or blue chip small companies, and not have as much baggage as you do in a career path. Just a feeling I am getting, despite all your positives and excellent stats.
One thing you can do at those schools to really better your odds is to get some support from that elite woman’s organization you belong to (founded by Goldman Sachs). If you can get someone at that organization who is on speaking terms with Dee Leopold or Derrick Bolton to be your champion — that could help. SERIOUSLY!
Otherwise you are close. I think you stand a good chance outside HBS and Stanford just based on your stats and compelling story, especially at schools like Wharton, MIT, and Columbia, who are always looking for minorities with high stats, especially MIT. But I’m not sure MIT would be your cup of tea and marketing is not their strong suit. I think you are really in line at Fuqua and Kellogg. I would not bother with Insead unless you want to work in Europe afterwards.
Your stated goal, to work in a Fortune 500 company in marketing is right on. I would not say you want to work in Asia/emerging markets, that does not fit this picture. Unless you are Asian, and if so, well, I got some bad news for you, that could change this picture a bit, since that is not as much as an in-demand minority as the Latino/Afro-Am/Native American trifecta. Although you have a strong adversity story as well, so that helps in the crazy calculus of B-school admissions. Getting your career path to make sense will be one necessity and telling your adversity story (and perhaps braiding it with your career path) will be another.