Handicapping: Ms. Advertising Age, Mr. Real Estate, Mr. Social Media, Ms. Finance, Mr. Unilever, Mr. Consulting, Mr. Samsung, Ms. I-Banker

Male teacher

Mr. Samsung


  • 710 GMAT (Q49/V37)
  • 3.2 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in business with a finance concentration from a West Coast state university
  • Also has an alternative transcript with Management Statistics and Management Calculus
  • Work Experience includes two years as a corporate finance analyst in Korea for Samsung Electronics, and two years in business development at an e-commerce start-up in Los Angeles; from 2011 to 2013 was in mandatory military service
  • Fluent in English, Japanese, Korean, CFA level 1
  • Living abroad experience: 20 yrs across Middle East, Asia-Pacific, & U.S.
  • Goal: To work for a consulting or tech company
  • 30-year-old Asian male

Odds of Success:

Northwestern: 30%

Virginia: 30% to 40%

Michigan: 30% to 40%

Duke: 30% to 40%

UCLA: 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: To answer a quetion in your original post, you don’t need more experience. Business schools will give you credit for military service, and you are in danger of tilting into EMBA territory.

The only reason I would put off an application is if you have not yet developed good recommenders. You’ve been in a good job at Samsung for about 16 months, and will be there for nearly 3 years if you stay until matriculation in September of 2016. That is enoough.

Except for your low GPA, you’d be a classic tier-2 applicant, and that is the range of schools where you are mostly applying. You have tried to create an alternate transcript by taking managment versions of stats and calculus and schools will appreciate the effort. Your OK 710 GMAT is a help when added to the alternative transcript.

You’ve got a mildly bumpy story, solid work, military, good exposure to biz in Asia, there is a lot to like, and your Samsung experience is key (that would be very attractive add to class mix, especially your experience at Korean headquarters).

Outcomes will depend on the execution of your applications and your recommendations. You are the kind of guy those schools admit, but you are on the cusp, this could go either way at many of your choices, almost randomly, so applying to six business schools is smart.

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