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

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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.

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