Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Gmat
GMAT 690, GPA 73.45 % (No GPA in undergrad)
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. 1st Gen Brazilian LGBT
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
USC Marshall | Mr. Ambitious
GRE 323, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Tuck | Ms. Nigerian Footwear
GRE None, GPA 4.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Low GPA High GRE
GRE 325, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Finance Musician
GRE 330, GPA 3.6
NYU Stern | Mr. Hail Mary 740
GMAT 740, GPA 2.94
Harvard | Mr. London Artist
GMAT 730, GPA First Class Honours (4.0 equivalent)
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
SDA Bocconi | Mr. Pharma Manager
GMAT 650, GPA 3,2
Kellogg | Mr. Young PM
GMAT 710, GPA 9.64/10
Wharton | Mr. Indian VC
GRE 333, GPA 3.61

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

 

Mr. Political Strategist

 

  • 710 GMAT (Q 77/V 92)
  • Top 10% of graduating class
  • Undergraduate degree in engineering
  • Work experience includes one year at a small non-profit as a project manager then as an assistant director; two years as a campaign manager for the 2014 general elections in India for a sitting Minister in the Indian Cabinet of Ministers, and one and one-half years as a public policy consultant to the same Minister at one of the Ministries in India.
  • “Built and now manage a team of close to 1000 volunteers and 20 full time employees in a $5 million campaign”
  • Extracurricular involvement starting a non-profit to educate underprivileged children where he manage close to 80 volunteers. Captain of State cricket teams.
  • Goal: To start a political strategy consulting firm that focuses on grassroots organizing. “I love what I do as a Campaign Manager, and the reason I want an MBA is so that I can get better at it.”
  • 26-year-old male from India

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 40% to 50%

Stanford: 30%

Wharton: 40%+

Yale: 50% to 60%

Sandy’s Analysis: I feel for this guy. I think he was forced into the Indian engineering education track. He didn’t get into an IIT but rather what he calls a mid-tier engineering school. Based on his GMAT score, with a high verbal and a little quant, he is not a natural engineer. I think he is a natural consultant.

His chances of getting into a top American school are going to turn on exactly this: whether they think this guy is going to be a big deal. What he now has to do is convince an admissions committee that he has the political connections and contacts to position him as someone who in 15 years will be among the 100 people in India with influence. If he can convince top schools that he is on that track then he has a chance. But that is going to be a hard case to make.

As a rule, if you went to the admissions office of an elite business school and said here is candidate one who has managed 1,000 people and here is candidate two with a 780 GMAT, the school would pick the 780. It would think that anybody can manage 1,000 people. Getting a 780 is tough.

I don’t doubt that you have leadership ability. But the degree is called a Masters in Business Administration. It is not a MBL, a master’s in business leadership.

Starting a charity is good. It tightly wounds his story that he is going to be an impactful leader in India. It will give schools a chance to admit an Indian non-engineer. This guy is a natural at INSEAD and I think INSEAD would be a good place for him. I think he would get in easily.

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.