- 680 GMAT
- 3.74 GPA (completed in 3 and a half years)
- Undergraduate degree in finance from Southern Methodist University, in honors economics program
- Work experience includes one and one-half years as a research analyst at an affiliate of BNY Mellon; founder and CEO of a startup in food tech for the past year
- Extracurricular involvement as a volunteer with an organization that fights childhood obesity (tie-in to my business)
- Extensive travel and volunteer experience including service work in India, Australia, and Africa and visiting 26+ countries
- Goal: To use MBA for a career in the non-profit sector
- “I co-founded a startup last year, which makes it slightly more difficult for me to assess my chances, as I’m not sure how B-schools view this in general”
- 25-year-old white female
Odds of Success:
Georgetown: 40% to 50%
Sandy’s Analysis: A lot depends on the size (sales, employees, venture capital investments) and other reality metrics of your start-up. Schools want to know if it’s a digital version of a lemonade stand or a real business. Does it have a powerful website (schools will look at that, if they are semi-serious about you).
You say it is in “food tech.” What does that mean? Off the top of my head, that doesn’t sound like an easy in-your-garage startup.
Beyond that, you have the problems most start-up founders/applicants have: If your business is booming, why are you leaving to go to business school? If not, well, yes it is a valuable experience but these days, almost everyone and her sister has a start-up of some kind on her resume. That is why the size, sales, and any VC funding are real important.
In your case, you quit a job to do this (that is the way I read your career summary). That can be read as bold or evidence of burn out, and your job in the application is to make it appear bold. But the way to do that is to have some results.
“Currently volunteer with an organization that fights childhood obesity (tie-in to my business) Want to use my MBA towards a career in the non-profit sector.”
Hmmmmm, we now get story three in this short account of your professional life. Saying that start up ties in with do-gooder organization is a possible plus, if you were to project a career in entrepreneurship but then adding that you want to use an MBA degree toward a career in the “non-profit sector” throws us for a loop. That leads a cynical thinker to the bad cascade of thoughts that you did not like banking, did not like your start-up, are at loose ends, and envision some salvation at a non-profit.
Just saying. If that is not the case, you need to make it real clear.
I’m not seeing this as HBS or MIT because your stats and resume prestige are both on low side for those schools.
Yale is often hard on non-profit wannabes just to prove that “non-profit” is no longer their sweet spot (as it used to be). Other schools you note, Georgetown and Berk are plausible, as might be Kellogg if you get your story straight.
I would present these facts as “I’m someone with both analysis and start-up experience who is interested in leading an innovative company in a field I am interested in [say what that is and give examples]. I am applying to B-school to build out those specialist skills and learn general management.” It is OK to say that your start-up did not fully succeed, if that is true. What you need to be very careful about is making it seem that it was real, success or not, and not just a way to justify leaving that bank job.