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Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Guy
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Harvard | Mr. Billion Dollar Startup
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Chicago Booth | Mr. Mexican Central Banker
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Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
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Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Mr. Big Data

engineer

Mr. IEEE

 

  • 710 GMAT (Q/49, V/38))
  • 3.6 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla
  • 3.8 GPA
  • Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Missouri-Rolla
  • Work experience includes two years with a major Silicon Valley hardware company (think Cisco/Qualcomm/Nvidia/Cadence)
  • Two internships with big microchip producers during college
  • Extracurricular involvement as vice president for IEEE student group in college and treasurer for HKN society for exceptional engineers, mentor to several college projects for juniors a part of the clubs (IEEE/ HKN)
  • “Organized all high school friends and alumni to raise funds and awareness to build a skate park in the small town of Missouri where I grew up. Got the park built which is a major recreational place in town today. Over the past decade trade has been dying off in my hometown so joined hands with some old friends and people from town and currently working for ” revive <town-name>” mission”
  • Grew up in a trailer park, son of a single parent, in rural Missouri, first generation college graduate
  • “Worked part time all throughout my student life, was forced to work for couple years after high school graduation due to a lack of resources”
  • Goal: To use MBA to help small start-ups leverage contact and resources in under-privileged locations
  • 27-year-old American white male

Odds of Success:

Northwestern: 30% to 40%

UC-Berkeley: 30%

Chicago: 20% to 30%

MIT: 20% to 30%

Stanford: 20%

Harvard: 30%

Sandy’s Analysis:  What we have here is a white male electrical engineer from the University of Missouri, with two years of experience at a core Silicon Valley hardware company. You have another interesting angle because you were brought up by a single parent in a trailer park. So you have a powerful adversity story.

You present a very interesting case of where a story like this falls. You’re a good, smart guy. I like you and you have a little bit of gold on your resume. But you are not getting into Stanford because you don’t have fhe X factor. Stanford isn’t intersted in poor white people. They are interested in rich white people who help poor people who aren’t white. Stanford just isn’t interested in white ethinic adversity stories, unless there is one from Princeton who then got a job at Google, an A+ company, not just an A company, and your GPA is a little low.

Your chances at harvard are much better. Harvard is bigger. They are more open to this story than Stanford, and it is Harvard. You are totally solid and want to transition into tech management or consulting. Someoone has to bang you on the side of your head when it comes to your goals statement. This is a classic consulting story. What you need to say is that you want to be a consultant to help tech companies with their growth strategies. You are a classic Harvard tech guy from a third-tier educational backround.

And what’s not to like about you? You are a self-made young man, who worked himself up from a trailer park, who went on to get a master’s degree in engineering, and youw have a great gig in Silicon Valley after doing internships with a couple of well-known chip companies.

The execution on your resume becomes really important at a lot of your target schools. You need to get two strong rec letters from the hardware firms you’ve worked for. I rarely say this but you could use a consultant or a really good friend to get your story right on the money.

My advice: Hire a consultant to help you make the most of your story.