Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Ms. Advertising Agent

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Ms. Social Enterprise

 

  • 660 GMAT (Will retake to get a 700+)
  • Masters in Management from a top European business school, no GPA under the French education system
  • Work experience includes internships in private equity and auditing at one of the Big Four in France; moved to Canada upon graduation three years ago and worked for two years as a financial analyst in a French international travel retail company and one year as a finance manager at the top Canadian telecom company
  • Extracurricular involvement as a volunteer at a pro-bono consulting organization, board member at a Canadian non-profit organization
  • Goal: To use the MBA to move into a socially responsible investment/impact investing/social enterprise and consulting for non profits
  • 26-year-old white female from France working in Canada

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 15%
Stanford: 10%
London: 30%
INSEAD: 30% to 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: HBS and Stanford are going to be real hard with this profile because you have too many jobs, too many unrelated jobs, and too many recent jobs at no-name companies. I realize that after your masters degree your full-time work is straightforward, “2 years as a financial analyst in a French international travel retail company and 1 year as a finance manager at the top Canadian telecom company” but those gigs are scored as “non-selective.” That means, in the minds of top schools, those jobs are not considered prizes. The schools may bend the rules a bit because you are not a US preppy, and a gig with a top Canadian telecom company might be viewed as OK, if it were a leadership rotational program or in-house investment banking job. But it does not sound like that is what you are doing. You say “finance manager” which sounds a bit like audit, selling new accounts, or collecting bills. If it is more than that, make it crystal clear.

I don’t think a better GMAT, even a 720, would flip the outcome at H and S, although it would help you at other places such as INSEAD and LBS.

If you got a 700+ GMAT, you could be in range for U.S. business schools like Duke, Darden, Berkeley, USC, maybe even Tuck, if those interest you. If your goal is return to Europe, you might do better with Euro schools in the first instance.