Handicapping Your MBA Odds: Ms. Nielsen’s, Mr. Coca-Cola, Ms. Payday Loans, Mr. CPA, Ms. Naval Academy, Dr. Baseball


Ms. Naval Academy

  • 760 GMAT
  • 3.96 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in quantitative economics from the Naval Academy, graduating in the top 1% of the class
  • Work experience includes five years as a surface warfare officer, working on board ships stationed in both Yokosuka, Japan, and San Diego, leading divisions of up to 45 people
  • Extracurriculars involvement in varsity lacrosse, deputy director of the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference, director of main volunteering organization at the Naval Academy
  • Authored two published essays in top economics journals and passed CFA levels 1 and 2
  • Goal: To work in impact investing
  • 27-year-old female

Odds of Success:

Stanford: 40%

Harvard: 40% to 50%

MIT: 50%+

Berkeley: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: Lots to like, including female service academy, super-hi GPA and GMAT, quant background, and “5 years experience as a Surface Warfare Officer” –not sure what the means but neither do adcoms and it sounds for real.

You could get into all those target schools with merely serviceable execution, and not blowing your interview at HBS. I am not sure what Stanford’s take on service academy types is, ANYONE?, but over there, just say something personal and non-warlike for Essay A.

P.S.: “Intends to work in Impact Investing following graduation.”

They may let that slide but those jobs are real hard to get after graduation if you have not worked in investment banking, private equity, or venture capital prior to business school. It’s certainly okay say that is long-term interest, but sound informed about the field, and maybe say you would start in consulting. Cannot go wrong with that.

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