Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds: Mr. Yes Minister?

Mr. Strategy

  • 760 GMAT
  • 3.55 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics and math from an Ivy League (not HYP)
  • Work experience includes two and one-half years at a large financial institution in corporate strategy and strategy for asset management division
  • Extracurricular involvment in mentoring younger colleagues and interns at firm and troubled youth outside the firm; tutoring and teaching adults math for high school equivalence degree, volunteer with disable youth; former four-year varsity NCAA athlete
  • 24-year-old white male hoping to matriculate at age 26 or 27

Odds of Success:

Columbia: 30%
Yale: 30%
Chicago: 30% to 40%
Northwestern: 30% to 40%
MIT: 30%
Wharton: 30% to 40%
Dartmouth: 30% to 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: Your 760 GMAT and OK GPA from an Ivy are rock solid starts at schools like Columbia, Yale, Sloan and Wharton, who are, these days, stats centric. A lot will depend on what exactly your job is. You say, “2.5 years at large financial institution in corporate strategy and strategy for asset management division.”

That could mean anything depending on whether your employer has a track record of sending kids to elite B-schools (if not, that’s not good for you, given that you work in a large financial institution, and the best thing you could do is switch your job to some similar function at a well-known top B-school feeder firm.

All that said, your 760 GMAT score answers a lot of questions at most schools. On the other hand, you are sorta in same bucket as white guys from established IB and PE shops, and that is a really tough bucket with steep competition.

As you sense, that bucket could keep you out of H and S. However, you are real solid at Kellogg and Tuck. A “smart, corporate, athlete type” should get into both those schools with serviceable execution on the applications.

Your extras could help, too, but a good deal of this is going to turn on what schools think of your current job and company.