Stanford GSB | Mr. Fill In The Gaps
GRE 330, GPA 3.21
Darden | Mr. Military Communications Officer
GRE Not taken yet, GPA 3.4
INSEAD | Mr. Behavioral Changes
GRE 336, GPA 5.8/10
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Texas Recruiter
GMAT 770, GPA 3.04
USC Marshall | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Qualcomm Quality
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
HEC Paris | Mr. Introverted Dancer
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Navy Vet
GRE 310, GPA 2.6
Kellogg | Ms. Retail To Technology
GMAT 670, GPA 3.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Entertainment Agency
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Quant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Ross | Mr. Top 25 Hopeful
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Well-Traveled Nonprofit Star
GRE 322, GPA 3.0
Yale | Mr. Gay Social Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 2.75 undergrad, 3.8 in MS
Wharton | Mr. MBA When Ready
GMAT 700 (expected), GPA 3.3
London Business School | Mr. Low Undergrad GPA
GMAT 760, GPA 65/100 (1.0)
Harvard | Mr. Aspiring FinTech Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Ms. Hotel Real Estate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
Columbia | Mr. Infra-Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.68
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Vigor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Comeback Kid
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
London Business School | Mr. Family Investment Fund
GMAT 790, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Ms. Freelancer
GMAT 710, GPA 5.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Sans-Vertebrae
GMAT 730, GPA 3.78
INSEAD | Mr. Business Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0

Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Ms. Fortune 100

woman at work

Ms. Private Equity


  • 760 GMAT
  • 3.7 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in biochemistry and economics from an Ivy League university (Think H/Y/P)
  • Work experience includes two years as an investment banking analyst in a bulge bracker investment bank (Think CS/BAML/Barclays/DB), and two years as a private equity associate in a large-cap, sector-focused private equity fund
  • Extracurricular involvement as a laboratory researcher for four years while in college, president and senior cabinet member of several science student organizations, current volunteer in education non-profit and mentor for women in finance
  • Goal: To pivot toward biotech private equity investing
  • 25-year-old Asian-American female

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 30% to 40%

Stanford: 20%

Wharton: 40% to 50%

MIT: 40% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: This is totally solid, at each step. Kids like you get in and dinged at Harvard and Wharton depending on execution, recommendations, not blowing your interview and luck. Stanford may require some X factor about helping victims or being one, and a lot may turn on how connected your current PE firm is with them.

As often noted, Stanford is the most greasy, dark, secret, and plays favorites adcom of the top 10 and if you add to that their hypocrisy well, don’t get me started.

A lot of the outcome will depend on serviceable execution and the backroom status of current PE firm.
You probably don’t need to apply to more places, Just execute serviceably and try to make strong connections from your lab work to your very real desire for goals in biotech PE.

You noted that you are a current volunteer in education non-profit and mentor for women in finance. No one really cares about inside baseball jive like that, Stanford certainly does not unless those women are former victims of sumpthin or slaves, and I don’t mean 80-hour slaves from IB.

OK better than zilch but not going to tilt anything at Stanford.

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.