Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Mr. Deloitte

sales guy

Mr. Selling Machine

  • 700 GMAT
  • 3.8 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from a top Midwestern private university (think Washington University, Northwestern, Notre Dame)
  • Work experience includes five years in sales with a top CPG company (think Johnson & Johnson, SC Johnson, Clorox)
  • Promoted three times, have had four different jobs, analyst, customer manager, trade finance, and sales manager, and now manages 15 employees
  • “Made very significant sales that generated millions in continued revenue and profit for the company”
  • Extracurricular involvement in Hispanic affiliation networks within company, including mentor program leader, diversity recruiter, Boys and Girls Club; volunteer overseas for three summers building orphanages and churches in impoverished communities
  • Goal: To transition from CPG sales to brand marketing, eventually becoming a vice president of marketing and to build diversity networks and diversity presence at the executive level
  • First person in family to graduate college and will be first with a master’s degree
  • 26-year-old Mexican American

Odds of Success:

Stanford: 25% to 30%

Harvard: 40%

UCLA: 50%+

Berkeley: 50%+

Yale: 50%+

Texas: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: Mr. Selling Machine–love that name.

This is a tight URM/Hispanic story, and if we added 20 GMAT points and gave you a sex change operation, you would be, in addition to a selling machine, an admit machine.

As often noted here about Stanford, there is a real history of one or two minority female admits per year from Big Four, which is considered an excellent transition experience for URMs by Stanford, and you could be a variant of that since even though a male, you are still a 3.8 (in Economics!) with a 700 GMAT and that is still pretty good.

Schools are looking for Hispanics and a 700 GMAT is acceptable, bolstered by your strong academic record and what appears to be a very solid career, viz. “five years in sales with a top CPG company . . .promoted 3 times . . . . and am now managing 15 employees.” CPG (Consumer Product Goods) is a classic career entry job for URM types as well as non-Ivy types — and you are both.

Your goal, to “transition from CPG sales to brand marketing . . . ,” becoming

a VP of marketing and building “diversity networks and diversity presence at the executive level . . .” is right on the money. The fact that you have a track record as a “mentoring program leader” within your company as well as a diversity recruiter makes this even more solid.

Stanford might go for this depending on Hispanic competition and your ability to tell your first generation college story with the right Stanford angle.

HBS takes applicants like you all the time, depending on serviceable execution and recs, and not blowing the interview.

Other schools you mention–Anderson, Berkeley, Yale and McCombs–should be admits if you can convince them by visits and “tail wagging” that you want to go.

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.