- 730 GMAT
- 3.3 GPA
- Undergraduate degree in economics from Western University in Canada (3.7 and 3.8 GPAs in final years)
- 3.8 GPA
- Master’s degree in accounting from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada
- Work experience includes working an an analyst for a Fortune 500 oil and gas company, then PwC as an auditor for three years; promoted three times to senior associate
- “Was a stay-at-home father coming out of undergrad for 2 years. Wrote the CMA and CFA exams during this time hoping they would help with my job search when I return to the workforce. But I was caught between the new graduate and experienced hire streams coming out of parenthood, so I took the best available option which happened to be a call centre gig at CRA (Canadian equivalent of IRS) before the oil and gas company”
- Extracurricular involvement as the treasurer of a chapter of large international nonprofit that aims to improve communication access and educational outcomes for children with hearing loss; nursery school teacher at church; and also sit on parent panels of the Calgary Educational School Board and an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program.
- Goal: “My son has profound hearing loss. My goal is to commercialize the hearing stem cell research once the technology is ready to be rolled-out. I hope to go through the MBA to transition into the pharmaceutical/biotech industry, get some experience in their rotational program, and either work in the venture capital arms of these biotech to invest in startups furthering the delivery of hearing loss solutions, or starting my own business if these’s a lack of entrepreneurs in this area. MBA also gives me the networking opportunity to meet consultants/PE/VC/healthcare professionals who will be extremely valuable in my endeavour to commercialize hearing loss research”
- 29-years-old at matriculation
Sandy’s Analysis: As to HBS, too much is going on here (some of which is not your fault, as you note, but they don’t care(. You have silver but not gold jobs at accounting and government agencies and that is not helping. Audit is a dirty-ish word at HBS. PLUS, goals in biotech are coming out of no place (even though your son’s disability explains your motive, but you have no experience in those industries).
All that and your age and fragmented career makes this not worth sorting out to them, and even if they did, there are just a lot of guys in your bucket [PWC, audit, etc] with better stats and clearer stories. As noted often, audit/PWC is often where H/S/W go to find under-represented minorities, especially black women who are U.S. citizens. What you might have been thinking is that your many extra currics and stay-at-home father story would be a proxy for that. It isn’t. URM is a legal set of pretty clear requirements. Schools are ALSO open to appealing other narratives, such as yours, but that is a much more narrow and subjective gate into Harvard Business School or any other highly selective MBA program.
When applying to other schools, my strong suggestion is to drop the bio-tech PE/VC idea and say you want a rotational gig in finance roles at pharma companies, with a long-term goal of becoming Chief Financial Officer or on that track.