Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. Healthtech Consultant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.44
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31
Harvard | Mr. Software PE
GMAT 760, GPA 3.45
Kellogg | Mr. Social Impact Initiative
GMAT 710, GPA 3.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
INSEAD | Ms. Spaniard Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 8.5/10.00
Rice Jones | Mr. Carbon-Free Future
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Navy Nuke
GMAT 710, GPA 3.66
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
London Business School | Mr. FANG Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 2.9
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
Wharton | Mr. Hopeful Fund Manager
GMAT 770, GPA 8.52/10
London Business School | Mr. LGBT Pivot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Rice Jones | Mr. Student Government
GMAT 34 (ACT for Early Admit Program), GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4

Handicapping Your Odds Of Getting In

Mr. Nerdness


  • 770 GMAT
  • Undergraduate degree in computer science from a well-known regional university in India (non-IIT)
  • 3.9 GPA (master’s)
  • Master’s degree in engineering management from Stanford
  • Work experience includes one year in a local strategy consulting shop in India, working with Fortune 50 clients, and two and one-half years at a Big 3 management consulting firm
  • “Interned for a summer a few years back directly under extremely well known CEO of Fortune 500 company in India. Potential letter of recommendation from him”
  • Extracurricular involvement as founder of a mentoring program for 200+ students and significant leadership position with alumni association for undergrad college, volunteer consultant with Teach for India, working with a $200 million+ company in India on their CSR strategy
  • Goal: Return to consulting firm to gain experience with the education practice
  • Long-term goal: To make a difference in education in India possibly as a not-for-profit CEO of an educational foundation
  • 26-year-old Indian male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 40% to 50%

Stanford: 25% to 35%

Wharton: 50%+

Chicago: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: Huh? You want to know what the impact of a Masters in Engineering Management from Stanford (3.9) is for an guy with top grades from a well-known Indian non-IIT and a 770 GMAT who works for a ‘top 3″ consulting company (not McKinsey, as you say, meaning Bain or BCG, with lots of powerful extras, including a legit letter of recommendation from an Indian CEO big shot  (whom you worked for) and do-gooder political work, neatly package in the education field, where you consulted for Teach for India and have recently worked “with a $200 million+ company in India on their CSR strategy”?

Guys like you get dinged and admitted to HBS and Stanford and Wharton and Booth depending on execution, luck, recs and not screwing up (at HBS mostly) the interview.This is real strong, and my guess is, other applicants from your ‘top 3’ consulting company have applied to those schools, soooooo, make a little chart of who they are, and what the outcomes were, and use your mega brain to figure out how come the answers are what they are.

To answer your nominal question, ‘What role the Stanford Masters in Engineering Management will play in this?’–hmmmm, zilch to positive. Adcoms certainly won’t hold it against you. It confirms your top academic performance to the extent there was any hangover from not going to IIT, and in general lots of kids from India do that.

Just get your story straight, which you appear to have done already, try to be in the bottom half of all Bain and Bain-type applicants in the ANNOYING category, and get a bit lucky. Kids like you get into H and S on a regular basis. Stanford is smaller and more unpredictable, but you gots like to like. Just do a serviceable job on the “What Matters Most To Me” essay according to their PC lights, you seem off to a good start, but consultant types often let the wolf’s skin show through the Granny essays, so don’t do that.  At Wharton and Booth it is more a matter of convincing them you want to come.

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.