Handicapping Your Shot At An Elite MBA: Mr. Indian-Engineer-Turned-Strategy Analyst


Mr. College Hockey Player


740 GMAT

3.3 GPA

Undergraduate degree in economics and philosophy and from a Top 20 liberal arts college in New England

Work experience includes two years at a financial technology company doing IT work for hedge funds and past two years at a boutique management consulting firm “performing asset analysis to increase asset utilization

Earned a promotion in six months and expects another promotion soon

Extracurricular involvement as the captain of his college hockey team

Goal: To be a strategy consultant in the technology industry

26-year-old white male

Odds of Success:

Wharton: 30%

Yale: 40% to 50%

Columbia: 30% to 40%

Northwestern: 30% to 40%

Dartmouth: 40% to 50%

Berkeley: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: This is an interesting candidate. The 740 GMAT is great. The hockey is acceptable. The 3.3 could be an issue. As I often say, your GPA can really hurt you. It’s more important than anybody admits. That is one issue that you have to consider with this guy. The question is, how much trouble is that GPA going to cost him?

The 740 GMAT will buy this guy a lot. Schools will be taking a chance on him. And he’s smart enough to know that Harvard and Stanford won’t take a chance on him.

His work history is boutique-y and niche-y. His first job was doing some kind of sophisticated IT for hedge funds and his second job he described as boutique management where he was performing data analysis to increase asset utilization. My advice to this guy is to get this in more user-friendly terms.

Schools have a hard time reading the careers of people who work for unknown companies. It’s very important in your application to stress how selective they are, how important they are, and what they do. On the other hand, what the guy has done is very consistent, focused, and being at the intersection of analysis, hedge funds, and corporate development. All those things are good.

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