Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
Stanford GSB | Mr. Lost Trader
GMAT 760, GPA 3.93
Said Business School | Ms. Ordinary Applicant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.37
Stanford GSB | Mr. Start-Up To F500
Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Founder
GMAT 700, GPA 3.12
Harvard | Mr. M&A Post-Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.6
Yale | Mr. Consulting Escapist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Banking To Startup
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Master’s To MBA
GMAT 760, GPA 3.4
USC Marshall | Mr. Versatile Entrepreneur
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
INSEAD | Mr. Aerospace Manufacturer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Education Non-profit
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Real Estate Developer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.12
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Immigrant Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Fintech Entrepreneur
GMAT 710, GPA 3.04
Yale | Ms. Business Start-Up
GRE 312, GPA 3.6
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Cornell Hopeful
GMAT Targeting 700+, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. Big Fish, Small Pond
GMAT 790, GPA 3.88
Tuck | Mr. Crisis Line Counselor
GMAT 700, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Digital Engineer
GMAT 700, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. IB/PE To Fintech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.14
USC Marshall | Mr. Supply Chain Guru
GMAT GMAT Waiver, GPA 2.6
McCombs School of Business | Mr. First-Time MBA
GRE 332, GPA 3.3
HEC Paris | Ms. Public Health
Chicago Booth | Mr. Music Into Numbers
GMAT 730, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Top Salesman
GMAT 610, GPA 4.0

Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Mr. Second MBA


Mr. Investment Analyst Bound For Hedging


  • 760 GMAT (Q 50/V 44/AWA 6/IR 8)
  • 3.6 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in finance from a large state school
  • Work experience includes two years at a bulge bracket bank as a back office financial analyst and two years (current) at a boutique fund as an investment analyst
  • Extracurricular involvement as a volunteer for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and a local church, a tutor for people taking the U.S. citizenship exam, and a mentor for alumni
  • Goal: To transition to fund management for a hedge fund or mutual fund
  • 25-year-old Asian American male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20% to 30%

Wharton: 30% to 40%

Columbia (early decision): 50%+

NYU: 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: CBS Early Decision will go for this story, and especially the 760 (they like 760s no matter what the race or national origin of the test taker is!). And you seem just their finance type.

Ditto for NYU Stern, although you may have to give them added security that you are not just using them for safety, which you are. I would hold off applying there until you hear back from Columbia.

Wharton takes guys like you depending on execution and not flunking the group grope interview.

HBS is a maybe, depending on luck, solid execution, etc. They get lots of applications from guys like you, many with better pedigrees and similar stats (although a 760 GMAT is sorta rare, to HBS 730-740 ain’t much different than 760– that is NOT true at Wharton, MIT, Columbia. That’s my informed guess, although I cannot cite peer reviewed articles and double blind experiments and data sets to prove it. Also HBS might appreciate the “work your way out of the back room story.”

Getting into Columbia ED and then going to Wharton or HBS down the road is an expensive proposition, about $6,000 I think (the amount you need to deposit at Columbia to RSVP the early decision).

Good luck and hire me for your HBS mock interview, if it comes to that!

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.