Handicapping Your MBA Odds — Mr. Political Strategist From India

He’s a 26-year-old engineer from India who doesn’t want to be an engineer. He’s currently a public policy consultant to a minister in the Indian government and is managing the minister’s election campaign, leading 20 full-time staffers and nearly 1,000 volunteers. With a GMAT of 710 and having graduated in the top 10% of his “not-so-great” engineering school in India, he hopes to someday get an MBA.

His target schools are among the very best in the world: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and Yale. His goal is to someday launch his own political consulting firm in India.

Mr. Political Strategist

  • 710 GMAT (Q 77/V 92)
  • Top 10% of graduating class
  • Undergraduate degree in engineering
  • Work experience includes one year at a small non-profit as a project manager then as an assistant director; two years as a campaign manager for the 2014 general elections in India for a sitting Minister in the Indian Cabinet of Ministers, and one and one-half years as a public policy consultant to the same Minister at one of the Ministries in India.
  • “Built and now manage a team of close to 1000 volunteers and 20 full time employees in a $5 million campaign”
  • Extracurricular involvement starting a non-profit to educate underprivileged children where he manage close to 80 volunteers. Captain of State cricket teams.
  • Goal: To start a political strategy consulting firm that focuses on grassroots organizing. “I love what I do as a Campaign Manager, and the reason I want an MBA is so that I can get better at it.”
  • 26-year-old male from India

In our video, HBSGuru.com Founder Sandy Kreisberg assesses the candidate’s chances at getting into an elite MBA program and offers some tough-love advice. “I feel for this guy,” says Kreisberg. “I think he was forced into the Indian engineering education track. But based on his GMAT score, with a high verbal and a little quant, he is not a natural engineer. He is a consultant. What he now has to do is convince an admissions committee that he has the political connections and contacts to position him as someone who in 15 years will be among the 100 people in India with influence.”

Despite the high hurdle Kreisberg imposed on the candidate, he gives the young professional very good odds at his target schools.

Odds of Success:

Harvard Business School: 40% to 50%

Stanford: 30%

Wharton: 40%

Yale: 50%+

Find out why.

 

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About the Author...

John A. Byrne

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.