Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
IU Kelley | Mr. Clinical Trial Ops
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.33
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Rice Jones | Mr. Simple Manufacturer
GRE 320, GPA 3.95
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Gmat
GMAT 690, GPA 73.45 % (No GPA in undergrad)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Finance Musician
GRE 330, GPA 3.6
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. 1st Gen Brazilian LGBT
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
USC Marshall | Mr. Ambitious
GRE 323, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Tuck | Ms. Nigerian Footwear
GRE None, GPA 4.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Low GPA High GRE
GRE 325, GPA 3.2

Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Ms. Pre-Med


Mr. Fortune 50

  • 3.7 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard/Yale/Princeton
  • Master’s in industrial engineering from top state tech school
  • Work experience includes stint as project manager at a Fortune 50 semiconductor company, with good performance reviews and promotions
  • Goal: To transition into prestigious consulting or banking job
  • Dinged from Harvard & Stanford last year
  • “I’m not sure what happened last year; Maybe it was a combination of having only two years of work experience and having a job that sounded a little too “operations” for their taste. Or maybe someone in the admissions office spilled coffee on the application and they had to toss it…who knows?”
  • “I’m looking to add a school in the 5-15 range, but I’m not sure which ones make sense for me”
  • 28-year-old white male, first generation college

Odds of Success:

Wharton: 30%

Chicago: 30% to 40%

Columbia: 30% to 40%

MIT: 30%

Northwestern: 30% to 40%

Duke: 40% to 50%

Virginia: 40% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: Your turndowns at Harvard and Stanford surprise me, given your powerful profile. Did you even get interviewed at H or S? If so, the interview is what probably screwed you over, especially at Harvard.

One potential issue: I do not fully understand why, after earning a 3.7 at HYP, you then went to state school for an MS degree.

Anyway, with serviceable execution, you should be a strong candidate at Wharton, Chicago, and Columbia, all of which will go big time for your super impressive 780 GMAT score. Also think about MIT and Kellogg, both of which are good bets to land a job at McKinsey, Bain or BCG, which you seem to cherish.

if you are looking for “safe” schools, try Duke and Darden, NYU UC-Berkeley and USC. Darden’s new dean is a former McKinsey partner and the firm is taking a harder look at Darden graduates as a result.

Anyway, with a 780 GMAT, 3.7 in econ from HYP and a solid job, you should be a REAL strong candidate.

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.