Kellogg | Mr. IDF Commander
GRE Waved, GPA 3.0
Yale | Mr. Army Pilot
GMAT 650, GPA 2.90
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Army Officer
GRE 325, GPA 3.9
Berkeley Haas | Mx. CPG Marketer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.95
Yale | Mr. Healthcare Geek
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Education Reform
GRE 331 (Practice), GPA 2.92
USC Marshall | Mr. Low GPA High GMAT
GMAT 740, GPA 2.44
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Against All Odds
GMAT 720, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
GMAT -, GPA 2.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Consulting Hopeful
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Operations Analyst
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Wharton | Mr. Senior Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future VC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Ms. Access To Opportunities
GRE 318, GPA 2.9
Tuck | Mr. Product Marketer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Ms. Finance For Good
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
UCLA Anderson | Mr. International PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
London Business School | Mr. Midwest Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.69
Harvard | Mr. Policy Development
GMAT 740, GPA Top 30%
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Champion Swimmer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. NFL Team Analyst
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Tech Auditor
GRE 332, GPA 3.25
NYU Stern | Mr. Washed-Up Athlete
GRE 325, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Southern California
GMAT 710, GPA 3.58

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


Mr. Global


  • 730 GMAT
  • 3.88 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from a “second-tier” Ivy League university
  • Work experience includes working for a high tech startup in Berlin, working on business development and strategy
  • Internships during college with the Council on Foreign Relations, UN Peacekeeping, 11 months with Egypt Endeavor, and a summer course in Beirut
  • Spent three months at Deutschebank in Berlin, writing a report on the Middle Eastern economy post Arab Spring; 11 months in Endeavor Egypt
  • Extracurricular involvement
  • Fluent in Arabic, German and French, several languages, having spent a lot of time abroad in the Middle East, among other places
  • Goal: To work for a tech firm or a larger consulting from in the U.S.; Long-term wants to start an international venture capital firm
  • 25-year-old American male

Odds of Success:

Stanford: 50%

Harvard: 50%

Columbia: 50%+

MIT: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: Mr. Global has Stanford written all over him. He’s got the stats. He’s got the politically correct summer gigs, and the right intentions. He is their kind of guy.

Let me burst one balloon, first. This business of going to a second-tier Ivy just goes to show what a humble guy this is. From an admissions committee perspective, all Ivies are great. If you are an ambitious high school senior, you might become fixated on HYP (Harvard, Yale, and Princeton).

The 730 GMAT is the perfect GMAT. That means he is a super normal smart guy. Any higher and you start thinking nerd or idiot savant.  A 3.88 GPA shows he is hard working and focused.

People who want to get into Stanford should pay attention here: The Council on Foreign Relations, UN Peacekeeping, the summer course in Beirut,  11-month stint at Endeavor Egypt. That is music to Stanford’s ears. They love exotic people like that. They love people in combat zones and those in the Middle East. They love people who are supporting the under=developed populations. They just like that kind of exotica. That’s what makes this guy attractive.

Then what he does is balance that out with three months at Deutschebank in Berlin writing a report on the Middle Eastern economy. I don’t know if that was a contract gig or started at the bank and decided it wasn’t for him. That could be a glitch he needs to explain.

He then moved to a high tech startup in Berlin. I don’t know what that means but it sounds good. It would help if that is a real company with venture capital backing or sales—any metric of reality. You could say that your roommate’s business plan is a high tech startup.

His goals make sense, too. He should sell his interest in venture capital as a desire to fund Impactful startups in underserved areas in emerging and innovative industries. This guy is going to go where the global need is and where impact can be made. With acceptable execution, he has a 50% chance of getting into Stanford.

Columbia is very shrewd about sniffing out people who use them as a safety. So he has to make a case why New York is important if he wants a chance to get into the school.

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.