Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Ernst & Young
GMAT 600 (hopeful estimate), GPA 3.86
Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
Yale | Ms. Biotech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.29
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Marine Executive Officer
GRE 322, GPA 3.28
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Ms. Global Empowerment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.66
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Armenian Geneticist
GRE 331, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 1st Gen Grad
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1
Ross | Mr. Travelpreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 2.68
London Business School | Ms. Numbers
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
IU Kelley | Mr. Fortune 500
N U Singapore | Mr. Naval Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
INSEAD | Ms. Spaniard Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 8.5/10.00
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthtech Venture
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5

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.