Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Mr. Yes Minister?

Ms. Fashion Startup

  • 710 GMAT [39V/49Q) May retake to reach a target score of 730+
  • 3.4 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in engineering from a non-IIT school in India
  • Work experience includes four years; current head the women’s wear category at a Series-A fashion startup funded by Sequoia and ranked as one of India’s top three startups; 1.8 years with Deloitte
  • Consulting’s digital business & strategy group where she was the youngest team member to faciliate the launch of a separate consulting practice
  • Extracurricular involvement in various college clubs; working with a nonprofit for six years to raise money and facilitate classroom teaching
  • Short-Term Goal: Consulting – learn more on retail and supply chain
  • Long-Term Goal: To do a fashion startup in India
  • Recommendations: Manager & HBS alum at current employer as well as a Deloitte Consulting director
  • 25-year-old Indian female

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 30%+
Stanford: 20%
Wharton: 30%+
Chicago: 30% to 40%
Northwestern: 30% to 40%
Columbia: 30%+
MIT: 20% to 30%
Berkeley: 30%
Yale: 30%+
Dartmouth: 30%+

Sandy’s Analysis: Deloitte and a respected startup is a good base for Indian applicants, and being female could help a little.
You offer a school a lot of experience in the startup, e-commerce culture in Asia and that is a big plus.

Your stats are serviceable, and if you applied as is with your 710 GMAT and not the 730 you hope to get, I could see this as good shot for an admit from places like Kellogg, Berkeley, Tuck, Duke, and UVA.
You would also have a good reach chance at HBS and Wharton if you could really optimize the app and the recs, as you seem able to do from the post.

If you got a 730, you’d be real solid at Kellogg and a real contender at Wharton and HBS.
Stanford is along reach as well, especially if you can present as a Stanford do-gooder and trending biz type.

I am hesitant to tell someone with a 710 to retake the GMAT, but I am also hesitant to tell you there would no difference in outcomes with a 710 vs. 730, as silly as that seems.

Fact is, if you take schools like Wharton and Columbia and filter out the URMs (under-represented minorities), there’s a good chance that the raw admit rate for the pool of 710+ GMAT takers vs. 730 would favor the 730s by some non-trivial amount.

I’d actually love to know that stat. Adcoms are too ashamed to release real data like that because it contradicts all their blah, blah about the GMAT only counting X much, when the reality, I believe, is that GMAT counts a real bit at every 10 point level and even more so for generic candidates, such as Indians, white bankers and consultants