Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Ms. Pre-Med

male banker

Mr. General Motors

  • 730 GMAT
  • 3.62 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from UC-Berkeley
  • Work experience includes three years in a strategic role at General Motors, with one promotion; Working on project to decrease fleet CO2 emissions while trying to maximize profit for the company; also two prior internships at a Nuclear Power Plant (Duke Energy)
  • Extracurricular involvement in a social fraternity, Engineering Honor Society, and member of a finance committee
  • Goal: To pivot to a leading consulting firm (McKinsey or Bain) in the energy sector
  • 25-year-old male (at time of matriculation)

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20% to 30%

Wharton: 30% to 40%

Virginia: 40%+

UNC: 50%+

Duke: 40%+

Emory: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: You have a real solid profile with some core issues target schools really like including your STEM background and also using your STEM training at big, bad General Motors to do good. Your history of working in energy is also impressive. You’re the right age with the right experience in applying to a highly selective business school.

Your application should be real solid at Duke, Darden, Emory and UNC, all of which are sorta safety schools. Wharton and HBS take and ding guys like you depending on the successful execution of your application, recommendations, and not blowing admission interviews.

Sometimes, STEM wonks like you have the wrong attitude in apps, or rec writers cannot get it up.

So make sure that does not happen. You need to sound global, hip, green and smart.

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.