Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Ms. Finance Real Estate


>Ms. Glamour Tech


  • 730 GMAT
  • 3.65 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in computer science at a “good European university”
  • Work experience includes three years as a software engineer for a big Silicon Valley company (think Google, Facebook or Twitter); first job out of college on an H1B visa in the U.S.
  • Have had a leadership position on two projects and a lot of interaction with product management across different teams; also mentored interns and new hires at company
  • Extracurricular involvement mentoring a group of eighth-grade girls who built a mobile app and created a business plan as part of an international contest meant to introduce more girls to the tech world; also mentored a woman as part of the Hackbright program designed to introduce more women to programming; speaker at universities for women engineers
  • Short-term goal: To move into product management for a tech company in Silicon Valley
  • Long-term goal: To return to my home country in Eastern Europe as a senior manager in a tech company (“the country has very good engineers, but lacks good managers”)
  • 25-year-old white female from Eastern Europe, first person in my family to go to college


Odds of Success:

Harvard: 40% to 50%

MIT: 50%+

Columbia: 50%+

New York: 50%+

Yale: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: If you ever wanted to know what it takes to get into HBS, here is one model. Be a female engineer at a glamour Silicon Valley shop (think Google, Facebook, Twitter) for the past three years with a 730 GMAT and 3.65 at “good” Eastern Europe University, with a plan to go into tech product management at Silicon Valley, and then return to your original country in eastern Europe as a tech manager.

Real solid extras including:

– mentoring a group of 8-grade girls for an international contest dedicated to introducing more girls to the tech world

– mentoring a woman as part of the Hackbright program which introduces more women to programming

– speaking at universities and panels for women engineers

To state what I hope is the obvious: most top schools like having anyone from Google, Facebook and Twitter because those companies are believed to have state-of-the-art tech cultures and cool dining halls and etc. Even mighty and snooty Stanford will bend over a bit for a glam tech admit. It has several kids from Google HR, I’ve been told. HR is not a river which flows much into elite B schools and it would be a real, real interesting stat to see how many OTHER HR peeps are at Stanford and where they come from.

As to poster, are a glam engineer, so put Stanford on your shopping list.

As to schools you asked about Harvard, MIT, Columbia, NYU, and Yale.

Harvard would go for this for all the above reasons. Plus, your stats check out, ~Google envy, female engineer, real nice community service, totally clear short-and long-term goals.

MIT is always looking for smart women, they will jump at this.

Columbia and NYU may wonder a bit if you will actually come, so you really need to stress some NYC blah, blah in your application to reassure both schools that you are serious about them.

Yale would be delighted but may really sniff you hard at an interview for why you want to go to SOM. So my advice is to drop Yale and add Stanford to your mix of target schools.

Stay where you are, have fun, keep your tan, and good luck.