Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Navy Vet
GRE 310, GPA 2.6
Stanford GSB | Mr. Pizza For Breakfast
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
INSEAD | Mr. Behavioral Changes
GRE 336, GPA 5.8/10
Chicago Booth | Ms. IB Hopeful
GMAT 710, GPA 2.77
London Business School | Mr. Indian Banking Leader
GMAT 750, GPA 3.32
Columbia | Mr. Infra-Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.68
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Top Performer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Ms. Comeback Kid
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
Darden | Mr. Military Communications Officer
GRE Not taken yet, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Ms. Retail To Technology
GMAT 670, GPA 3.8
Ross | Mr. Top 25 Hopeful
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Qualcomm Quality
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Ms. Hotel Real Estate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
Yale | Mr. Gay Social Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 2.75 undergrad, 3.8 in MS
MIT Sloan | Mrs. Company Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 2.92
Wharton | Mr. Cross-Border
GMAT 780, GPA 3.7
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Career Change
GMAT Have yet to take. Consistent 705 on practice tests., GPA 3.5
HEC Paris | Mr. Introverted Dancer
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Mr. Safety Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Aspiring FinTech Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Fill In The Gaps
GRE 330, GPA 3.21
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Texas Recruiter
GMAT 770, GPA 3.04
USC Marshall | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Entertainment Agency
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Quant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7

What Are Your Odds Of Getting In?

An Eagle Scout, he works in equity research at a large asset management firm. With a 740 GMAT and a 3.55 grade point average from a highly ranked university, this 27-year-old professional wants an MBA to some day start his own investment management company.

A first generation college graduate, he boasts undergraduate and master’s degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology. For the past two years, he has been working in a quantitative derivatives role for a bulge bracket bank and now wants an MBA to help him make the switch to venture capital.

After a stint as a law clerk for a federal appellate court judge, this 26-year-old attorney has been working in corporate law for a Top 20 law firm. With a 700 GMAT and a 3.8 GPA from a state university, he is hoping an MBA will allow him to transition into investment banking or corporate strategy.

Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru.com

What these MBA applicants share in common is the goal to get into one of the world’s best business schools. Do they have the raw stats and experience to get an invite? Or are they likely to end up in a reject pile?

Sanford “Sandy” Kreisberg, founder of MBA admissions consulting firm HBSGuru.com, is back again to analyze these and a few other profiles of actual MBA applicants who have shared their vital statistics with Poets&Quants.

As he has in the past, Kreisberg handicaps each potential applicant’s odds of getting into a top-ranked business school. If you include your own stats and characteristics in the comments (please add your age and be clear on the sequence of your jobs in relaying work experience), we’ll pick a few more and have Kreisberg assess your chances in a follow-up feature next week.

Sandy’s assessment:

Mr. Eagle Scout

 

  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.55 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from a well-respected, non-Ivy school (think Georgetown, USC, UCLA, UVA)
  • Work experience includes four years at a large asset management firm, with $400 billion+ assets under management; started out as a junior PM and transitioned into full-time equity research; firms has hired MBAs from Harvard, Wharton and Tuck but has no history of sending anyone to an MBA program
  • Extracurricular involvement as an Eagle Scout; studied abroad in Rome; worked for a professional sports team during college; assisted undergrad athletic department with game-day operations; mentor and two sequential leadership positions for a national non-profit helping low-income students get into college; member of city’s young professional civic engagement group, which assists the mayor in shaping city policies. Attained CFA charter; avid sports fan, completed a marathon, and enjoy traveling to beaches all over the world (Sicily, Florida, Australia, Thailand, France, Caribbean).
  • Goal: To develop a global network of intelligent investors and business contacts.
  • Long-term goal: To start my own investment management firm (could probably use some guidance)
  • 27-year-old white male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 30% to 40%

Stanford: 20% to 30%

Wharton: 40+%

Chicago: 50%

Columbia: 50%

MIT: 40% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: Hmmm, Eagle Scout with 3.55 from a UVA-type school and a 740, with “4 years at a large asset management firm ($400 billion+ assets under management)” doing lots of things and landing in equity research. Totally regular white guy, well-meaning (“mentor, and 2 sequential leadership positions for a national non-profit helping low-income students get into college”) and “member of city’s young professional civic engagement group.”  And importantly, “firm has hired MBAs from HBS, Wharton, Tuck, but no history of sending anyone to an MBA program . . . .”

Close one, but guys like you often do not get into HBS or Stanford but often get into Wharton. Beyond that, you are “solid” at places like Chicago, Booth, Columbia, MIT (add Tuck, they go for straight arrows like you) — all of which will like your smarts, your many and strong white-bread attributes, and your accomplishments. At HBS and Stanford, there is just nothing driving you in, and your legacy of “silver” not “gold” schooling and employment often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The issue there is whether your real solid extras and solid enough stats will be enough.

I take very seriously your firm’s lack of success in placing people in MBA programs — either because people do not apply or do not get accepted. That just strikes me as odd. The one long shot is to have a big-shot at your firm call or bang on the table at HBS and Wharton and say, “Hey there, we hire clowns from your programs, sooooo, how about a little reciprocity???” (Well, that would be the sentiment; I assume big shots know how to communicate that idea.) At Wharton, that could help too but they could like you all by yourself since you are solid, have a super GMAT, and they don’t consider finance a dirty word.

“Goal: to develop a global network of intelligent investors and business contacts. Long-term: to start my own investment management firm (could probably use some guidance).”

I would recast this along the lines of becoming a leader of an investment management firm focused on A, B or C (do some homework) where A, B and C are interests, passions, and experiences of yours. It really helps to sound focused on some part of the market, although, sure, it is just whistling in the dark.

Here’s a list (from Wikipedia!), bang on 20 of these and you may get the idea.

Ideas could include investment management firms focused on types of investments or types of investors.  It’s all B.S. but it helps to sound smart and informed and focused.

If you read the websites of some of those companies, you will get the right buzzwords. Then, it is just a matter of finding the ones which work for you and making them your own.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.