Stanford GSB | Mr. Financial Controller
GRE Yet to Take, Target is ~330, GPA 2.5
Kellogg | Mr. Texan Adventurer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Tuck | Mr. Metamorphosis
GRE 324, GPA 3.15
Stanford GSB | Ms. Retail Innovator
GMAT 750, GPA 3.84
MIT Sloan | Mr. Unicorn Strategy
GMAT 740 (estimated), GPA 3.7
Darden | Ms. Teaching-To-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
Cambridge Judge | Mr. Nuclear Manager
GMAT 700, GPA 2.4
London Business School | Ms. Aussie Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Kellogg | Mr. Geography Techie
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Aussie Sustainability
GMAT 650 (retaking to boost chances), GPA 4
Wharton | Mr. Food & Beverage
GMAT 720, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Just Jim
GRE 335, GPA 3.99
London Business School | Mr. Impact Financier
GMAT 750, GPA 7.35/10
Kellogg | Mr. Sales Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.00
Columbia | Ms. Mechanical Engineer
GMAT 610, GPA 3.72
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. CRA11
GMAT 720, GPA 3.61
Harvard | Mr. Impact Investment
GMAT 760, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Private Equity
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. Worker Bee
GMAT 710, GPA 3.56
Columbia | Mr. Alien
GMAT 700, GPA 3.83
Columbia | Mr. MD
GMAT 630, GPA 3.24
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Digital Marketing Analyst
GMAT 710, GPA 3.27
Harvard | Mr. AI in Asia
GMAT 760, GPA 3.25
IMD | Mr. Future Large Corp
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Career Coach
GRE 292, GPA 3.468
Marshall School of Business | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
NYU Stern | Mr. Long Shot
GRE 303, GPA 2.75

Handicapping Your MBA Odds: Mr. Tech Marketing Manager

He’s a 27-year-old product marketing manager for one of the hottest tech firms in the world. Think Google, Facebook, or Twitter.

And he has a degree to boot in math and finance from a top Ivy League school. Think Harvard, Yale, or Princeton.

With a 730 GMAT and a 3.4 grade point average, he has now set his sights on getting into an elite business school. What are his chances?

In this video, PoetsandQuants.com Editor John A. Byrne and HBSGuru.com Founder Sandy Kreisberg discuss this candidate’s profile and handicap his odds of getting into Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and MIT Sloan–his target schools.

Mr. Tech Marketing

730 GMAT

3.4 GPA

Undergraduate degree from an Ivy League school in math and finance

Work experience includes product marketing manager at Facebook, Google, or Twitter, responsible for go-to-market strategy, product evolution, and marketing for a “very high-profile advertising product and one advertising product doing amazing well,” previously worked in consulting and also built a startup in private equity operations

Extracurricular involvement in multiple campus and fraternity leadership positions, founder of a student-run investment fund, and founder of an entrepreneurship forum to bring venture capitalists and industry leaders together

Goal: To move out of adtech to either find startup team or startup idea while in B-school and eventually move into the VC industry

27-year-old Asian American male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 30% to 40%

Stanford: 30%

Wharton: 50%+

MIT: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: What we have here are two great candidates and whether or not you combine the two into one great candidate is a very interesting question. If he were a product manager at Google and had these qualifications and wanted to go on in product management and then business leadership in the tech industry, that would be a great profile. If he had a startup history and then wanted to go to business school, that is a good story.

The fact that it is a hybrid story doesn’t make it better. Business schools are like doctors. They don’t like complex stories. What doctors want is for you to go in, give your symptoms, then diagnose you and say here is a pill that can fix this.

By presenting a complex story, you begin to wonder what this guy really wants and what is really driving him and why he is leaving a product management role at a premier company to go to business school.

What business schools like is people who are already on one track and want to stay on that track. I don’t care what they say. What they like is someone who works for Google, has been successful at Google, and guess what, wants to go back to Google. What he should tell business schools is that he wants to become a mega-manager at Google.

His odds for Harvard are pretty good. But a 3.4 GPA even in a STEM major is on the low side and I hate to say it but that could hurt him at Harvard and Stanford. But MIT loves this guy. It’s a school that would buy the hybrid model, and MIT loves Google more than Stanford does because it is just farther away and more rare. Wharton will go for a guy like this. As so often is the case, he has to convince them he wants to go there.

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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.