Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Nuclear Vet
GMAT 770, GPA 3.86
Stanford GSB | Mr. SpaceX
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
MIT Sloan | Mr. Latino Insurance
GMAT 730, GPA 8.5 / 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Founder
GMAT 700, GPA 3.12
Wharton | Mr. Data Dude
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Triathlete
GMAT 720, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Mr. MBB Private Equity
GMAT TBD (target 720+), GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
INSEAD | Mr. Media Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.65
Yale | Mr. Yale Hopeful
GMAT 750, GPA 2.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. MBB Transformation
GMAT 760, GPA 3.46
Wharton | Mr. Swing Big
GRE N/A, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. CPG Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tesla Intern
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Supply Chain Data Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Global Consultant
GMAT 770, GPA 80% (top 10% of class)
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB/FinTech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Digital Indonesia
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. LGBT Social Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.79
Stanford GSB | Mr. Oilfield Trekker
GMAT 720, GPA 7.99/10
Kellogg | Mr. Big 4 Financial Consultant
GMAT 740, GPA 3.94
Stanford GSB | Mr. Mountaineer
GRE 327, GPA 2.96
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Rice Jones | Mr. Simple Manufacturer
GRE 320, GPA 3.95

Handicapping Your MBA Odds

dreammanMr. Latin America


  • 670 GMAT
  • 3.7 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Georgia, full scholar
  • Work experience includes four years at a national insurance carrier. Joined company out of undergrad in an business analysis rotational program (functional areas spanning sourcing, operations, and underwriting). Graduated from program and quickly promoted twice into current role as a financial analyst for personal insurance risks. Position quant heavy, mainly focused on risk management strategy and analysis in order to increase return on equity and profit margins in assigned territories.
  • Extracurricular involvement while an undergrad in community outreach projects aimed at increasing the academic preparedness of under-represented minorities in the U.S.
  • Goal: To transition into management consulting in top three or Deloitte; longer-term to evolve into global management consulting role focusing in emerging markets (i.e Latin America)
  • 25-year-old Peruvian male

Odds of Success:

Stanford: 15%

Northwestern: 30% to 40%

Duke (invited to interview): 50%

Yale (invited to interview): 50%

Emory: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: Are you a US citizen?  That is a pre-req to being considered a URM at U.S. schools. If not, you are an International student, which is good, but in terms of pure admissions mojo, not AS good  (although Peru is a mildly exotic, and my guess, under-represented country).

Let me give you the bad news first. All companies and industries are not created equal in the admissions game.

You noted: “4 years working at a national insurance carrier. Joined  . . .in an business analysis rotational program (functional areas spanning sourcing, operations, and underwriting). Graduated from program and quickly promoted twice into current role as a financial analyst for personal insurance risks. “

That sounds like a solid accomplishment  . . . if recited to the mother of your future spouse.  She would be glad to know that you are a solid guy with a good job for a national firm that we all may have heard of. The adcom directors at major U.S. business schools think different about jobs, they want to know  how selective is it to get that position and what does it ‘pre-say’ about you, e.g.  that the smart fellas at that company chose you, and how much work does their work save the adcom.  Basically, how selective is the job.

When someone applies to B-school from McKinsey, well, most adcoms think, ‘McKinsey put a lot of time into selecting this person . . . amid many other smart-ish persons, and come to think of it, we and McKinsey sort of look for very similar things.’Sooooo, while your job history does show great accomplishments at your job, it does not break open the doors at Stanford. FOOTNOTE: if you are a Hispanic U.S. citizen, and a certified, URM, well, Stanford does recognize certain national firms as very good feeder spots for URMs. The oft-noted (and real!!!!) black women admitted to Stanford from Big-4 (or 3) accounting firms being an excellent example.

If you not a URM, I don’t think you are getting into Stanford. If you are, it is going to be hard, too, but possible.  As to other schools, you  potentially fall into  their  sweet spot  due to a solid GPA, upstanding professional success, and realistic goals.

You noted: “Kellogg, Duke (invited to interview), Yale (invited to interview), Goizueta.” I think with proper execution, which seems to be the case, based on interviews you have already received, you got a real solid shot at those places. A 670 GMAT is a bit low at all of those places, so think about retaking. Your  strong 3.7 GPA in economics gives your non-Stanford schools some comfort (along with the  Quant nature of your job) that you won’t have any trouble. Some consulting firms also consider your GMAT, even after you are admitted, and given your goal to be a consultant, another reason to think about getting a 690 if possible.

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.