Handicapping Your Personal MBA Odds


Mr. World Bank

  • 710 GMAT
  • 4.6 out of 5.0 GPA (Top 10 of class)
  • Undergraduate degree in finance from a top Russian university
  • Work experience includes two years as a senior consultant in transactions advisory services for Ernst & Young, working on fundraising projects for the largest Russian banks and oil & gas companies; and three years as an investment analyst for the International Finance Corp. of the World Bank
  • “I’ve closed a number of high-profile deals in health care, agribusiness and manufacturing industries in Eastern Europe and Middle East (Belarus, Greece, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine)”
  • Extracurricular activities include volunteering at the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace; founding member of the Moscow IB (investment banking) club; have been playing soccer and hockey for more than 15+ years (was a captain of the university soccer team); black belt in martial arts
  • Goal: To continue career at IFC as an investment officer but to eventually run a developmental financial fund such as the IFC Cleantech Fund aimed at supporting investments in the green energy technologies
  • 26-year-old Russian

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 40%

Wharton: 50%

Chicago: 50+%

Dartmouth: 50+%

New York: 50+%

London: 50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Come on down. Smart Russian guy with top 10 percent grades “in Finance from a top Russian university” 710 GMAT, two years at Ernst & Young (Transactions Advisory Services),  which is a tier-one gig in Russia btw says Sandy, “fund raising” for the largest Russian banks, followed by International Finance Corporation (IFC), The World Bank Group for three years, with high-profile deals in healthcare, agribusiness and manufacturing  in such trendy hot spots as Eastern Europe, Belarus, Greece, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine . . .works for me.

Long term goal: head and manage “a developmental financial fund such as the IFC Cleantech Fund  . . .” that is good too, even if I don’t fully know what it means, I can sense it sounds right, and all you need to do is explain it correctly in the app.

You got a real solid and integrated story (education, work, interests). With solid execution, guys like you get into Harvard, Wharton, Booth, Tuck, NYU Stern and LBS.  At HBS, you will be competing with internationals and some U.S. kids with similar solid grades, OK GMATs and impressive IFC-type gigs, so it will be a matter of executing clearly on the application and not blowing the interview.

But even saying that, this is a real solid story which almost writes itself. Guys like you usually get into Wharton, and at other schools it will be a matter of convincing them you want to come.

(See following page for index of all previous entries in our MBA handicapping series)

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