Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Ms. Fortune 100, Mr. Military, Mr. Pawn Shop, Ms. Private Equity, Mr. Boutique M&A

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.

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