Darden | Mr. Military Communications Officer
GRE Not taken yet, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Navy Vet
GRE 310, GPA 2.6
MIT Sloan | Mrs. Company Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 2.92
Yale | Mr. Gay Social Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 2.75 undergrad, 3.8 in MS
Kellogg | Ms. Retail To Technology
GMAT 670, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Aspiring FinTech Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Fill In The Gaps
GRE 330, GPA 3.21
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
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
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)
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

Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Ms. Fortune 100

sales guy

Mr. Boutique M&A


  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.95 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in accounting from Binghamton University, completed in three years
  • Work experience includes two years in investment banking at a well-known boutique M&A firm (think Moelis, Greenhill, Guggenheim, Centerview), with an offer for promotion, and three years in corporate development for a Fortune 500 but not well-known company (10+ closed transactions and promotion)
  • Extracurricular involvement as the founder and president of a social fraternity, vice president of a selective mentorship program, chairman of a young leadership board for a small nonprofit, and a mentor in New York City
  • Goal: To become a private equity partner or the CEO of a Fortune 100 company
  • 26-year-old male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20%

Stanford: 10%

Wharton: 30% to 40%

Columbia: 30% to 40%

Chicago: 30% to 40%

MIT: 30% to 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: Ouch, not seeing this at Stanford unless you got some politically correct adversity story up your sleeve or press-stopping leadership story (real rare). They got white boys up the whazoo with similar stats and what may be better jobs (to them). Stanford usually takes white boy corporate types who are tying to get in on, ahem, merit, from a very limited set of their favorite Fortune 100 companies. Not clear yours is that. That is the question. Same analysis for your chances at Harvard Business School, but the door there is much wider.

If somehow I am reading your chronology backwards and you started in corporate development and then moved to Centerview partners that might make things easier, but still not seeing this as Stanford, unless someone at your job is wired there and willing to pound on the table. Wharton goes for this deeply, as does Booth, and MIT.

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.