Stanford GSB | Mr. Financial Controller
GRE Yet to Take, Target is ~330, GPA 2.5
Kellogg | Mr. Texan Adventurer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Tuck | Mr. Metamorphosis
GRE 324, GPA 3.15
Stanford GSB | Ms. Retail Innovator
GMAT 750, GPA 3.84
MIT Sloan | Mr. Unicorn Strategy
GMAT 740 (estimated), GPA 3.7
Darden | Ms. Teaching-To-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
Cambridge Judge | Mr. Nuclear Manager
GMAT 700, GPA 2.4
London Business School | Ms. Aussie Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Kellogg | Mr. Geography Techie
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Aussie Sustainability
GMAT 650 (retaking to boost chances), GPA 4
Wharton | Mr. Food & Beverage
GMAT 720, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Just Jim
GRE 335, GPA 3.99
London Business School | Mr. Impact Financier
GMAT 750, GPA 7.35/10
Kellogg | Mr. Sales Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.00
Columbia | Ms. Mechanical Engineer
GMAT 610, GPA 3.72
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. CRA11
GMAT 720, GPA 3.61
Harvard | Mr. Impact Investment
GMAT 760, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Private Equity
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. Worker Bee
GMAT 710, GPA 3.56
Columbia | Mr. Alien
GMAT 700, GPA 3.83
Columbia | Mr. MD
GMAT 630, GPA 3.24
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Digital Marketing Analyst
GMAT 710, GPA 3.27
Harvard | Mr. AI in Asia
GMAT 760, GPA 3.25
IMD | Mr. Future Large Corp
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Career Coach
GRE 292, GPA 3.468
Marshall School of Business | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
NYU Stern | Mr. Long Shot
GRE 303, GPA 2.75

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.