Mr. Software Engineer
- 760 GMAT (practice tests)
- 3.2 GPA
- Undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in electrical engineering
- “GPA looks low on paper, but decent for STEM – does this count for anything?”
- Work experience includes four years as a software engineer for three companies; project lead at a medium-sized manufacturing company; senior engineer at a health care startup and an e-commerce startup
- Extracurricular involvement in a leadership position in a student events organization; also wrote musical scores for four campus theater productions;
- Goal: To join a top consulting firm for a few years, then transition into a technical leadership role in industry
- 26-year-old white male
Odds of Success:
Harvard: 20% to 30%
Sandy’s Analysis: As to the 3.2 in electrical engineering, and your question, “low on paper, but decent for STEM – does this count for anything?” Well, it may but you need to make that crystal clear on your resume and elsewhere, especially if you know what the median GPA for the program is, or what percentile of the class you were in.
As for the rest, “Work experience: 4 years as a software engineer for 3 different companies: Project lead at a medium-sized (not well known) manufacturing company . . . Senior engineer at a health care startup (acquired in 2011) and an e-commerce startup . . . .”
Hmmmm, that is too many jobs (by one), and too many obscure jobs (by three) for HBS, Stanford and MIT, none of whom are looking for programmers to begin with (I like programmers fine, just giving it to you straight) and when they do, they prefer programmers with ONE super PRESTIGE job at blue chip places like Apple, Intel, Oracle or even programmers for places like Goldman.
All that being said, you’ve worked in some interesting environments, and done what sounds like some solid work, and other schools you note, Kellogg, Booth, Michigan might go for that, although it would help if your test GMATs of 760 came true.
Your goals as a consultant are perfect and many guys like you do, in fact, go on to powerful consulting careers, and, furthermore, consulting companies, unlike adcoms, might value your three different jobs. So things are looking brighter.
Just get a solid GMAT and think about places like Duke and Darden (they feed kids to consulting companies) as well.