Video: Handicapping Your MBA Odds: Ms. Jersey Girl

She’s a 23-year-old African American woman who works at a fast-growing government consultancy. With a 710 GMAT and a 3.6 grade point average at an Ivy League school, she’s hoping an MBA will help her develop private-public partnerships for positive social impact.

In this video, PoetsandQuants.com Editor John A. Byrne and HBSGuru.com Founder Sandy Kreisberg discuss the merits of her MBA application to several of the very top business schools in the world. It is one of Kreisberg’s most favorable assessments.

“What you have here is a golden candidate,” he raves. “She’s 23. She’s an African-American female. She went to an Ivy League prestige school. She has a solid GPA and a great life story. And she has a social service bent. This story is impressive. It is tight and fits together. She is lively from reading the report she wrote us. And she is the type of person who will be sitting next to you in a classroom when you show up at Harvard Business School or Stanford Graduate School of Business.”

Ms. Jersey Girl

  • 710 GMAT (Q44/V42)
  • 3.6 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in politics with a minor in painting at a mid-ranked Ivy
  • Work experience includes two years at a young, fast-growing government consultancy (mostly social work/juvenile justice issues)
  • “My work was pretty varied – a lot of big picture strategizing, data analysis,. Drafted a major paper directed at the next NYC mayor, not typical policy manifesto but along the lines of managing and strategy for city departments that don’t often collaborate. Everyone I work with has decades of my experience but I’ve managed to become a trusted voice and resource on a number of issues
  • Extracurricular involvement mostly revolved around volunteering in local public schools, teaching traditional subjects, drawing and painting to kids; also a political cartoonist; currently board member and co-president of an environmental/community development nonprofit
  • “I don’t want to come off as a bleeding heart, I’m actually a true INTJ and a pretty rational problem solver. I want a lucrative career but one that puts me in a position to also influence society positively and meaningfully.”
  • Goal: To earn an MBA or JD/MBA to help develop private-public partnerships aimed at positive social impact
  • “Father immigrated from a life of poverty in Jamaica, mother home-schooled me for most of my childhood along with adopted cousins whose parents couldn’t care for them. She didn’t finish college herself because she dropped out to care for her nephews before I was born. So now, my achievements are hers, too.”
  • 23-year-old African American female

Odds of Success:

Wharton: 60%+

Harvard: 50% to 60%

Dartmouth: 60%+

Northwestern: 60%+

New York: 60%+

Stanford: 40% to 50%

Virginia: 60%+

Berkeley: 60%+

To see this week’s written handicapping column with Ms. Jersey Girl’s full analysis along with Sandy’s assessment of several other applicants, CLICK HERE:

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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.