Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Ms. World Bank

Ms. Google

  • 760 GMAT
  • 3.85 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in computer science and philosophy from No. 1 ranked university in Israel
  • Work experience includes two and one-half years as a software engineer at Google after a two-year term in the Israeli Airfare as a flight coordinator
  • Goals: Entrepreneurship in the e-commerce spectrum, providing software optimization for small-to-medium size brick & mortar retailers
  • 26-year-old female Israeli

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 40% to 50%

Stanford: 30% to 40%

INSEAD: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: There’s lots to like in your profile, including your gig with Google and your time in the military as a woman, whether it was required or not. Your stats are in nosebleed territory from the 760 GMAT which puts you in the 99th percentile of testers to the 3.85 grade point average in a dual major. That means only 1% of the people who sit for the GMAT did better than you.

So with proper execution, you stand a good chance at Harvard Business School. You can never be sure about Stanford, mainly because they admit a much smaller class and the acceptance rate at the school is just 6.1% compared to Harvard’s 10.7%. One key question is, Do you know size of Israeli cohort there? It would not surprise me if it is smaller than you might expect, but hard to prove any bias unless it is sorta zero. At HBS, the Israeli cohort kicks in from three to eight or so each year.

At INSEAD, you should be a walk in. They have a much higher acceptance rate, in the low 30s, and would love to have someone with your stats and profile.

One important suggestion for you regards your career goals. Saying that you want to do “entrepreneurship in the e-commerce spectrum, providing software optimization for small-to-medium size brick & mortar retailers is way too wonky and over specific. Clean it up. Just say you are interested in e-commerce and e-commerce tech and analytics which could mean having a career in one of three areas.

Otherwise, you’re in great shape with that 760 GMAT and a 3.85 from the best university in Israel.

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.