Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds

Mr. Air Force Captain

      • 720 GMAT
      • 3.56 GPA
      • Undergraduate degree in economics and business from UC-Berkeley
      • Work experience includes four years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force, currently a captain working as an intelligence officer.
      • Extracurricular involvement as the founder of a consulting group focused on the healthcare space; Completed case studies with an AIDs clinic and healthcare start-up; Was an RA for two years and organized some somewhat significantly sized student events; AFROTC on scholarship; Had internship at the national geospatial intelligence agency and at the council for foreign relations.
      • Speaks three languages: English; Spanish; Farsi
      • Goal: To transition into consulting and then eventually become a CEO
      • “GRE: Haven’t taken. Will it help?”
      • “If it’s relevant, I’m legacy at Stanford and Michigan, just not at their business schools”
      • 28-year-old White Latino Male, ethnically Latino

Odds of Success:

UC-Berkeley: 40%+
Harvard: 30% to 40%
Stanford: 20%+
MIT: 30%+
Michigan: 40% to 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: Dunno, Cap’n, this is real solid without the Latino angle, and with that, it becomes solid-er, but we need to know exactly what “White Male, ethnically latino” means, see below.

As we often note, Adcoms have a hard time unpacking the secret markers of a military career. The only two things they “get” are pilots and combat. You get some instant bonus points for those. Some schools have vets on the adcom, and that has been the case “off and on” at HBS and Stanford, though I am not sure if the current adcoms there are “off” or “on” at the moment. If any reader does know, please share in a comment.

To be honest, even at times where vets have been on the adcom, my sense was that military application outcomes could be predicted very well based on some college pecking order, GPA/GMAT and URM formula. If you were non-URM, your college and GPA/GMAT really predicted a good deal in some fuzzy but clear way that consultants like me developed a feel for.

What happened after you entered the military, in terms of what you did, where you were sent, whether you got gigs that to an insider were selective or not,  was kind of a wash in most cases (as noted, pilots and combat experience were noted and also thrown into the mix).

In your case, we got a “White Male, ethnically latino.”  To start at the beginning, you will be considered an under-represented minority at B-schools if you are in a group called “Hispanic surname.” That term itself is open to some adjustments, viz, if your mom is Latino, and your dad is Jack White, and your name is Richard White and your Latino mom raised you as a single mom in an Hispanic culture and area, and many of your friends and the surrounding culture were Hispanic, well, you just might be considered URM although it might help to use your mom’s surname as your middle name.

I am not sure what “White Male, ethnically latino” means in that context, but if both your parents are white, and you really dig Latino culture, and speak Spanish, that is not URM. If you have an Hispanic surname and look really, really white, that is URM. Maybe you can tell us more in a comment to this story.

Anyway, if you qualify as URM, this is a strong military profile, given that UC-Berkley is a tie-one school in adcom’s mind. So your 3.56 GPA overall with an honors in Econ (Econ GPA was 3.7) is OK-ish in adcom’s mind, and military GPAs are often 10 “basis points” (if that is correct term in this context, e.g. if average GPA is 3.60, military average GPA could be 3.50). You are a Captain, which is about the highest rank I know for B-school applicants (someone let me know if that is not the case).

You also add: “Extracurriculars: Founded a consulting group focused on the healthcare space. Completed case studies with an aids clinic and healthcare start-up.”

Lots of potential here but on your actual app, this will need to be unpacked more and it better remain credible. As stated, a reader is wondering how some full-time military Captain has time to “found” a consulting group, and what does that mean in this context? An AIDs clinic is always a plus, but we need more. Ditto “healthcare start-up.” These are valuable undertakings, and even if you did not “found” them, I would err on the side of credibility and be very specific about what these organizations did and what you did. If there is enough of that, it is almost as good as being a “founder.”

” Was an RA for two years and organized some somewhat significantly sized student events.”

Not sure RA has much impact in general although, sure, it could be a role that has lessons for you, but we need to hear that. As to organizing events, again, it has potential as an extracurric. But you need to be specific about working with others, what your leadership style was, and what the events were about.

“Had internship at the national geospatial intelligence agency and at the council for foreign relations.”

Not sure what geospatial outfit does but sure, these are nice stops on the future consultant highway.

“I want to get an MBA so I can transition into consulting and then eventually become a CEO.”

Ahem, consulting is real solid career choice for vets, the usual way this is stated is sorta interested in both strategic consulting and implementing guidance as a way to transition into an executive role in business like A, B, or C which interests me because blah, blah. Not a big deal but try to identify a business you would like be a leader in, and better still, role models in military guys who are now business leaders (better still, if those guys have MBA).

“I am considering going back to Haas at Berkeley, HBS, Stanford, MIT Sloan, and Michigan Ross.  . . . If its relevant, I’m legacy at Stanford and Michigan just not at their business schools.”

You got a real chance at HBS, especially if you are URM, and if not, a solid chance based on stats. You may need to make goals, influences, and your military career more “integrated,” although that does not have to be in some follow-the-dots way,  just a smart, reflective and honest way. There may not be enough magic here for Stanford, although it will depend a bit on your military competition. If you are not URM, Stanford is going to be real hard. I think this will be solid at Berk and Mich. Sloan may really like the 3.7 at Berk in Econ, especially if the Q part of your GMAT is high. They are always looking for Quanty URMs, and if you are not URM, you got a shot anyhow in just beating out the other military guys.

I am not sure about the value of being a legacy at Stanford. They may hold it against you unless you have a parent who is a huge donor. Their inchoate self-hatred and contorted view of privilege in all its variants knows no bounds and is hard to predict. I don’t see much upside, to be frank, and I certainly would not attempt to make much out of it.

The folks at Michigan take a more clear and Mid-Western view of this, in case of a tie, they may give you the base.

  • BlondeOne

    30 year old white male
    Graduated: 2015 (from unknown state school, first 2 years community college)
    Work: Very large Oil and Gas company in finance (started on FLDP program) since 2015
    GPA: 3.86
    GMAT: 750
    From Midwest large city, moved across country, lived in car for a while, “bootstrapping” my way through school
    Goal: break through corp finance glass ceiling of non-MBAs
    targets: Berkeley, Kellogg, Ross (one of the not HYP top schools)

    Looking forward to hearing your insight….

  • ifScoresWereScones

    Hi Sandy,

    2.4 GPA @ Top State School
    780 GMAT (51Q/48V, 6AW, 8IR)

    Agency side (including Digitas LBi and other recognizable names) client facing AdWords guru, promoted/transitioned three times to Associate Director. Technical work has been nominated for (but not won) premier industry award. Becoming heavily (and successfully) involved in pitch-work and interested in new business and sales.

    Goals:
    Looking for an intimate environment to explore and grow leadership before returning to marketing with the ultimate goal of becoming CMO of a brand.

    Context:
    Applied three years ago (as Sr. Analyst) to eight T15 schools and was waitlisted at five (including one of two M7s applied to). Ultimately denied at all.

    Concerns:
    I know pitching affinity is a money maker for agencies but I’m not sure how to position this in my application – I may want to stay agency side and continue pitch work after MBA, but I have been told this isn’t an attractive outlet to schools. I think I can achieve what I want to do without an MBA, but I truly want to go for the holistic business education and the people aspect.

    Low GPA. Parent was diagnosed with terminal illness during UG. Physical disability (problems focusing eyes) misdiagnosed as ADD, was fixed after college using a prism lens but affected ability to read and study during UG.

    Extras: Involvement in leadership for illness nonprofit (same one parent has), active outdoor sporting athlete.

    27M Asian American

    Target Schools:
    Tuck (TOP choice, have not yet applied.)
    Kellogg (waitlisted as sr. analyst)
    Darden (denied as sr. analyst)
    Fuqua (waitlisted as sr. analyst)
    Ross (waitlisted as sr. anaylst)

    Any others I should apply to? Plan to apply R1 during 2018 for 2019 start.

    Many thanks,
    Scones

  • MCHealthcare

    Thank you for your input! I’ll absolutely be giving you a call come interviews.

  • M7Hopeful

    Hi Sandy,
    -23 year old hispanic/black male
    -Current job: Finance on cutting edge R&D projects for Facebook/Google (Not directly related to main advertising businesses)
    -2015 Graduate of a large state school in Florida (finished in 2 years)
    -3.0 GPA (big weakness)
    -710 GMAT with Q being slightly higher than V (I am planning on retaking it in Q1 2018 to increase it in hopes of offsetting my GPA more)
    -Prior work experience is 2.5 years in an FLDP for a leading Pharmaceutical/Healthcare company
    -Born in Central America before immigrating to the US
    -I volunteer teaching kids to code in the Bay Area and am also involved with Boys&Girls club
    -Goal: Transition to a product management role in tech.
    -Target Schools: Stanford, Haas, HBS, Columbia, Wharton, Booth
    -I am looking at applying in 2 years.

    thanks in advance.

  • caa123

    Hi Sandy,

    I plan to apply in 2-3 years time when I have more experience under my belt. I’ve just started my graduate job so some of these are predictions. Thank you for all the work you do and I hope you can give me feedback on my profile.

    GMAT – 730 (predicted)
    GPA – 3.7 (Converted from UK equivalent – First Class Honors)
    Degree – Masters in Aerospace Engineering from mid-tier college, respected for engineering. Two awards gained during time there.
    Research – Two research papers published at international conferences in the area of manufacturing finances
    Graduate job – 2-3 years (predicted) work experience at elite consulting firm (Non-MBB) in strategy and operations, member of sports and social committee, involved with recruitment
    Previous experience – Year internship in business operations with large European aircraft manufacturer
    – Summer internship with Big 4 audit firm
    – Summer internship with software startup
    Volunteering – County youth officer for music for 5 years
    – Child protection officer for local organisation for 2 years
    – Visited local primary school helping children with reading difficulties for 6 months
    Extra-curricular – Music Tutor for 5+ years
    – Represented college at national level in athletics
    – Expanded Irish student consulting group to my university
    Reason for MBA – Gain a great understanding of business/finance/strategy and open career doors
    After MBA goals:
    Short-term – MBB or strategy role in tech
    Long-term – COO/CEO multinational company / Start my own company

    White male, currently 24 (applying 26-27), Irish/British, residing in Ireland
    First generation college student

    Schools – HBS, Wharton, Haas, Sloan, Columbia, LBS, Tuck

    Thank you in advance.

  • phildave55

    Good day Mr. Kreisberg,

    It’s been a pleasure reading you, thank you for your service. I’m hoping you can further help me understand my situation and identify what may be reach schools and reasonable schools.

    – 32 y/o Canadian white male
    – Sr HR Consultant (compensation) @ Fed Gov’t of Canada
    – 2010 graduation in soc. sciences / public admin (left a year early to take a great job offer resulting from a 25h/week internship)
    – bad GPA (2.3 – focused on internship and football, which both gave me job opportunities)
    – 710 GMAT, 44V 43Q
    – 5 promotions in 7 years work experiences in various levels of gov’t (mun., prov., fed.)
    – Background: small town Quebec French first language speaker, went through university as a way to play football – signed a pro football (CFL contract) but chose the longer term career (aforementioned great job offer). Never intended to go to uni, wanted to be a co.
    – Extracurriculars: coached college football teams, set up charity events for football/breast cancer, board of governors for football alumni, board of governor for condo board, helped set up a football program for First Nation

    Goals: transition out of HR, transition out of public service (maybe?)

    Schools: Ivey, McGill (in Canada), Judge, Said (in UK) and…not too sure about US???

  • rs5713

    Hi Sandy, looking forward to hearing your thoughts:

    – Applying to the HBS 2+2 and Stanford Deferred programmes.

    – 23 year old Indian male;

    – Moved to the United Kingdom for Integrated Bachelors + Masters in Engineering (#1 UK Engineering School) and then to Oxbridge for an MSc in Finance & Economics. Been here for nearly 4.5 years now.

    – Job Lined up following graduation from masters: Associate Consultant at Bain & Co. London

    – Undergrad GPA: First Class Honours (Highest Grade in the British System – equal to 3.7 GPA?)

    – GMAT: 750 (Q50, V41, AWA 6.0)

    – Previous Internships: Summer Analyst in Trading at Tier 2 Bulge Bracket American Investment Bank (Think Citi/Merrill Lynch)

    – Goal: Go back to Bain after MBA and then move into a Strategy role at a tech firm after 2-3 years.

    Extracurriculars: VP of Finance Society (3000 members; 25 students in team); Co-Founder of Investment Club; Vice-Captain of Varsity Cricket Team; Member of Table Tennis Varsity Team; Author for an online Financial Media magazine that is looking to disrupt the financial media space (e.g. FT, economist, etc.) where I write articles mainly on M&A and the global markets for a readership of >10,000 members.

    I would also like to add that I am a reapplicant to both HBS and Stanford deferred programmes. I applied last year with a 720 GMAT, 3.4 GPA, without the additional degree at Oxbridge, without a job lined up following graduation from university. I also stated my post-MBA goal was social entrepreneurship in my essays in the previous year.

    Thank you for taking the time. I look forward to your insight!

  • hbsguru

    lots of solid accomplishments here and a solid plan that builds out fr. your past.
    URM woman also a plus. Have Pres. Bush drop a note, he’s looking pretty good these days.
    You are deeply in the mix. Not sure you need a safety school beyond ones you list.
    Check back for a mock HBS interview. 😉
    Apply to Stanford, too.

  • hbsguru

    guys like you get into HBS all the time, and Stanford might like the stats and nuke experience. A lot depends on military cohort your year, but you are real solid.

  • Nuketech

    @hbsguru:disqus Thanks for the input! Any idea as to my chances at regular admission? I am somewhat concerned about educational background (state school)

  • hbsguru

    THANKS, those are interesting numbers, but my guess is, if somehow you could control for just white males in the military (ahem my apologies if that is not you), they would be even MORE spread out. My point being that for military applicants, the single GPA/GMAT algo counts a lot, and any jive, leadership, cool stuff, etc, you did in military is not fully understood by adcoms in most cases, and hence less impactful on outcome. Pilots, combat, Special Forces excepted a bit.

  • Nuketech

    I am somewhat concerned about educational background (state school)

  • Will

    Hey Sandy, I’d love some feedback on my candidacy.
    29 year old white male
    3.97 GPA from the University of Utah. Business Admin major, graduated 2016, Magna Cum Laude, Dean’s List (I did not graduate high school. Tested into a community college, transferred after a year, and hit the ground running)
    740 GMAT (49Q/42V) (orig 700, retook after 3 weeks)
    From Boston, but Canadian dual-citizen
    Served 2-year LDS mission in Uruguay (Spanish Speaking)
    Current Job: Operations Analyst for a small business healthcare third-party-admin. Strong project management and operations skills
    Worked throughout school, only current job is post-graduation (just over 1 year). Previous Analyst experience at Goldman, Wells Fargo, and Discover
    No school extracurriculars, as I was working
    Post-school extras include:
    Junior Board Member/Activities Coordinator for Non-profit for underprivileged youth
    Green Ambassador for my company. Lobbied management to undertake environmental initiatives, which I spearheaded
    Chicago Council on Global Affairs Young Professionals Network (active in speaker series and meetups)
    My goal is to work in management consulting for BCG or Bain, focusing on renewable energy. Long-term move to GE Energy Consulting and help transmission and distribution firms expand
    I’ve applied to Tuck, MIT, and Johnson. MIT denied me w/o an interview. Johnson has admitted me. Tuck is my dream school. If I don’t get in. I’ll apply to Duke, Darden, Yale, and Michigan in R2
    Thank you in advance!

  • 2020Hopeful

    Thanks for the advice. I’ll keep working on the GMAT.

    Regarding sniffing out military admit rates for HBS with 720 vs 740, there’s a website that claims to have a regression model on admit rates with 500+ data points per school. The guy might even be a friend of yours (calls himself MBA Data Guru.)

    I ran my profile through his model with 720/740/760 GMAT with these results for acceptance likelihood:

    – Stanford: 7/10/14% (not a target school for me, but for the sake of conversation)
    – HBS: 33/37/42%
    – Tuck: 41/46/51%
    – Sloan: 19/21/23%
    – Kellogg: 32/35/39%
    – Darden: 42/45/49%

    I don’t think the model should be used for much more than conversation. There are obvious flaws – small sample size, no consideration for strength of undergrad college or employer, unknown age of data, no consideration for execution of applications, etc. Regardless, his model seems to agree with you: Stanford highly unlikely and improving my GMAT score would not make a super dramatic difference, but a very real one nonetheless.

  • Nuketech

    Thanks for the input! Any idea as to my chances at regular admission?

  • hbsguru

    Grrrrr, I like you but consulting is tuff place to apply from, and as you note, you are working for fringe (but well respected) firm which DOES NOT SEND KIDS TO B SCHOOL AS A RULE.
    You will be competing with applicants fr. MBB itself, and other better known consulting firms (to adcoms) hi-performing liberal arts folks, etc. Your extras are silver or silver plus but it is not clear that they will push you over the finish line at HBS. Powerful app execution could help, esp. if you weave in the many strands of story above (first gen, mentoring, women empowerment, etc).
    Sloan is always looking for someone like you to balance their usual collection of X, but you could sure meet them 1/2 way and more by getting a BIG GMAT or GRE score, if it is no diff to you,
    take the GMAT. Sloan really believes in that test, for ratings and probably for real.

  • hbsguru

    sounds real solid, altho that Stanford program only has 3 winners (I think) you being a Mid-West farm lad with solid US ARMY experience and good stats, could be in the running.
    My guess is, applying and not winning will not be a handicap to reg. admissions, and may help if you are in the top 10 or so from whom they picked 3. That would bring you to adcom attention.

  • hbsguru

    Looking forward to it.

  • Nuketech

    Sandy, looking forward to your insight:
    -28 year old white male
    -Current job: Military officer (nuclear submarines)
    -2011 graduate of large state school in the midwest (think Kansas, Nebraska)
    -3.8 GPA (B.S. in Economics and Math)
    -169Q/163V GRE
    -12 months advanced training in nuclear reactor operations (top 10% of my class)
    -3.5 years on submarine, multiple leadership roles and awards
    -2 western pacific deployments to “contested” areas
    -Background: Grew up on a farm in the midwest
    -Essays focus on rural upbringing and leadership lessons learned while in the military, and how’d I’d like to transition to the technology sector
    -Extras: Taught myself computer programing, currently taking CS classes at local university, I volunteer teaching computer programing at Boys & Girls Club, volunteer at Habitat for Humanity and university alumni association, co-founded student club while participating in NROTC in college.
    -Goal: Transition to technology sector (ideally at a startup, and ideally in the midwest)
    -Essays focus on rural upbringing and leadership lessons learned while in the military, and how’d I’d like to transition to the technology sector
    -Target schools: Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Berkeley (applying R2 this year)
    – I am applying for the Stanford USA MBA fellowship (this year’s focus is on the midwest, and I have strong midwest connections), I am curious if you think this will in anyway affect my application
    Thanks for the insights!

  • Paul Kelly

    Sandy, looking forward to your insight:

    -28 year old white male
    -Current job: Military officer (nuclear submarines)
    -2011 graduate of large state school in the midwest (think Kansas, Nebraska)
    -3.8 GPA (B.S. in Economics and Math)
    -169Q/163V GRE
    -12 months advanced training in nuclear reactor operations (top 10% of my class)
    -3.5 years on submarine, multiple leadership roles and awards
    -2 western pacific deployments to “contested” areas
    -Background: Grew up on a farm in the midwest
    -Essays focus on rural upbringing and leadership lessons learned while in the military, and how’d I’d like to transition to the technology sector
    -Extras: Taught myself computer programing, currently taking CS classes at local university, I volunteer teaching computer programing at Boys & Girls Club, volunteer at Habitat for Humanity and university alumni association, co-founded student club while participating in NROTC in college.
    -Goal: Transition to technology sector (ideally at a startup, and ideally in the midwest)
    -Essays focus on rural upbringing and leadership lessons learned while in the military, and how’d I’d like to transition to the technology sector
    -Target schools: Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Berkeley
    – I am applying for the Stanford USA MBA fellowship (this year’s focus is on the midwest, and I have strong midwest connections), I am curious if you think this will in anyway affect my application

    Thanks for the insights!

  • M

    Hi Sandy,
    What’re my chances at HBS and Sloan? I wouldn’t be applying until Round 1 2018. Thanks so much!

    -24 year old female
    -B.A. in English from Tufts University (2015)
    -GPA: 3.72

    Work:
    – (Sep 2015 – Present) Analyst at market research/strategic consulting firm in financial services industry
    – Author thought leadership content about emerging trends in the wealth management space, engineer market sizing models, and ownership over two flagship reports. Spearheaded market sizing that’s been cited in Forbes, Fortune, and WSJ.
    – Promoted once in 2 years at the firm
    – Niche but well-known in industry
    – Firm hasn’t sent anyone to a top-tier B-school, or any B-school actually (most people move on to asset management jobs)
    – (June 2014 – June 2015) Internship at wealth management firm working with retail investors, managing pre-sales and financial planning process

    Goals:
    – Post-MBA: consulting at McKinsey, BCG, Bain
    – Long-term: Chief Strategy Officer at a wealth management/digital advice platform

    Extracurricular:
    – In college:
    (1) Taught low-income high school kids health education classes for 4 years (coordinator of the entire program for 1 year; group leader for 2 years; educator all 4 years)
    (2) Helped plan a day of on-campus activities for local community kids (4 years)… plus other random activities like newspaper copy editor, sorority recruitment director, etc.
    – After college:
    (1) Alumni interviewer for my college (two years)
    (2) Professional women’s network member in an organization that supports positive mentoring relationships between college women and pre-adolescent girls in underserved local communities (two years)

    Other:
    -GRE: Haven’t taken yet – expecting V:165 Q:165 AW:5.5
    -“Principles of Finance” course after college at Harvard Extension (grade: A)
    -First generation in United States
    -Bilingual (native Russian speaker)

    Thanks again!

  • M

    Hi Sandy,

    What’re my chances at HBS and Sloan? I wouldn’t be applying until Round 1 2018.
    Thanks so much!

    -24 year old female

    Education:
    -GRE: Haven’t taken it yet but expecting V:165 Q:165 AW:5.5
    -GPA: 3.72
    -Dean’s List all semesters
    -Bachelor’s degree in English from a top liberal arts school (2015)
    -Took a “Principles of Finance” course after college at Harvard Extension (grade: A)

    Work:
    – Currently at a market research/strategic consulting firm focusing on the financial services industry
    – I author thought leadership content about emerging trends in the wealth management space, use data analysis to engineer market sizing models, and manage two annual reports.
    – Promoted once already in just over 2 years
    – Small, niche firm but well-known in industry — hasn’t sent anyone to a top-tier B-school that I know of

    Goals:
    – Post-MBA: management consulting at McKinsey, BCG, Bain
    – Long-term: become Chief Strategy Officer for a wealth management/digital advice platform

    Extracurricular:
    – In college: (1) Taught low-income high school kids health education classes for 4 years (coordinator of the entire program for 1 year; group leader for 2 years; educator all 4 years) and (2) Helped plan a day of on-campus activities for local community kids (4 years)… plus other random activities like newspaper copy editor, sorority recruitment director, etc. I did A TON in college. Is that worth mentioning?
    – After college: (1) Alumni interviewer for my college (two years); (2) Professional women’s network member in an organization that supports positive mentoring relationships between college women and pre-adolescent girls in underserved local communities (two years)

    Other demographics:
    -First generation in United States
    -Bilingual (native Russian speaker)

    Thanks again!

  • MCHealthcare

    Hey, gurus!

    – 24 years, Female
    – Hispanic (Puerto Rican descent, born USA)
    – Undergrad: 3.52 GPA, BBA, Southern Methodist University (May 2015, graduated a year early)
    – Graduate: 4.00 GPA, MPH, George Washington University (May 2018)
    – GRE: V165, Q163
    – Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar
    – Work Experience: 2 years in healthcare consulting; firm is bronze and not an MBA feeder
    Senior analyst at a healthcare brokerage firm since Jan 2016. Have received one promotion and the annual “volunteer spirit” award (a big deal internally). I consult clients on federal compliance (ACA, ERISA, etc.), health risk management research, and design managed care medical plans/funding.
    Note on work/school: I am working FT and getting MPH as non-traditional student (night classes, etc.)

    MBA Targets (for entrance in Fall 2019, NOT 2018)
    -Wharton HCM (healthcare mgmt program)
    -Harvard
    -Columbia
    -MIT
    -Yale
    -Safety school recommendations? Should I wait to apply for Fall 2020 and have 4.5 years work experience?

    Past experience:
    – Office of President George W. Bush (in his personal office, post-presidency) (2014)
    – Internships with multiple hospital systems, completed their ACA-required Health Needs Assessments
    – Published several research and opinion pieces on various healthcare topics
    Extra Curricular:
    – Volunteer Experience: EXPANSIVE, mostly work with healthcare and Latino organizations. On undergrad’s Board of Hispanic Alumni, chaired multiple fundraiser and auction events, Junior League, etc.
    – Leadership: Was diversity committee secretary in Student Senate, received high level scholarships for both BBA and MPH, have been awarded multiple research grants and conference scholarships, etc.

    MBA Goal: I would like to get into Big 4 healthcare consulting post-MBA.

    THANK YOU! My curiosity is burning…

  • JohnAHD

    General hint taken Sandy! Mansplain reduced:
    – 27 Male, Venezuelan-Syrian. First generation college student.
    – GMAT: Practice test scores so far 720. Won´t apply with less than that.
    – GPA: 3.0 Industrial Engineering in top engineering school in Venezuela (explainable), fellowship to exchange for a year in France. Graduate Diploma on Marketing (not scored) and currently on Financial Management (3.8 so far)
    – WE: 2y9mo (at matriculation) in Market Strategy roles in Top 3 global Risk Consulting and Broking company: Willis Towers Watson. 1 promotion so far; led and managed projects of large impact, and intl exposure. Wouldn´t call it a great feeder. Before that:
    –1y1mo in P&G in Market Strategy and Planning as mostly full-time intern (used the time during which my school was on strike due to socio-political instability), awarded a 5/5 score. Rejected offer in R&D (only available post) due to vocational objectives. (Venezuela)
    –6mo internship in Client Strategy at French multinational in its headquarters (Paris)

    EC and awards:
    – 1yr Job at an NGO (after office, weekdays) for human rights and international activism regarding Venezuela´s situation.
    – 3yrs attended,+ 2 years led my schools team for Harvard´s Model UN in Boston. The two years I led it, we obtained large delegation awards, positioning my team above even Ivy Leagues and schools with more experience, resources and recognition.
    – Volunteered in the rural indigenous area of Venezuela for diagnosis and solution of health and nutrition problems of these communities (2w)
    – Languages: Spanish, English, French, Arab.
    – Other (less relevant): Placed 41/9000+ and 47/6000+ honor roll for admission tests in college; University and municipality recognition for international representation of the country, participated in two other leadership conferences, nominated for best subject final essay by teacher. Traveled to 25 countries and twice as many cities abroad
    Goal: Transition into strategy consulting to apply the macro business perspective I´ve been wanting to develop. Long term: Rebuild my country from the private sector as a regional corporate leader/entrepreneur.
    – Target schools: Kellogg, INSEAD, Darden, Booth, Emory, Tuck. (Worth a try in H/S/W?) (round 1/2 of 2018)
    I wish to know your perspective since due to the economic crisis I live in, where a minimum wage is around ~4 USD, every application dollar counts and even hurts.

  • Shankar Ram A

    @hbsguru:disqus I think I missed what I wanted to do after my MBA. Sorry for that.

    Right post the MBA I want to advance in Product Management with a focus on Education. I am thinking companies like Google, a startup in this space or my own employer. I do not want to talk about consulting firms focused on education as I find product companies a lot more passionate about making a difference which is important to me. I would love to hear your thoughts on whether this is too specific or if something doesn’t seem right.

    For the long term, I want to start a company in a field like EdTech or AgriTech in a developing country like India. The immediate post-MBA experience being a Director of Products or a VP would definitely be helpful in understanding the bigger picture before getting back into starting up a company.

  • Keegan McNamara

    All of that sounds good to me – I appreciate the feedback and I’ll make sure to hit up the guru when I start actually drafting my apps senior year. Have a good one!

  • hbsguru

    this is some tuff and rancid advice but it is in-line with everything I have said about military applicants, viz. that to adcoms all military careers are opaque except pilots, combat and maybe Special Forces. You got a lot of stuff w. nuclear plant management and planning that is actually indicative of a future in private sector executive/MBB etc. gigs. Linking that story to Energy, etc. given your background, is good idea, and may buy you one app brownie point.
    So what can you do in light of that over next x years in military,.
    1. NO HARM.
    2. Here is the ugly part: get that 720 GMAT to a 740.
    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA you are saying, all that leadership, nuke managemnet, additional training, International exp. and you are saying get STINKING GMAT fr. 720 to 740?
    No, I am not saying it, the girlie-girls on the adcoms are saying it and so are whomever pulls their strings. Of course, no one would ever say that out loud. You got a real solid 3.8 fr. service academy, you got a 720 and a perfectly fine military career.
    I don’t think there is enuf gold here for you to get into Stanford, Guys like you get into HBS and not, and it is one HELL of an interesting question to sniff out the admit rate at HBS for military personal with 740 vs 720 over past 5 years. I’m just guessing, but I got a feeling the difference would not be super dramatic but it would be real. I also think same inquiry at your other target schools would be very convincing as well. Sloan is GMAT believer!!! Other places just go with the flow, but the flow is along lines of what I am saying.
    Make a game of it, as if you were preparing to run a marathon.
    There is little else you can do that anywhere near compares.

  • hbsguru

    WELL, this is a promising 2+2 start, keep up the 4.0, take GMATs X times til you get a 760 or otherwise max out your DNA, and do not get arrested–2+2 likes profiles like this b.c. you are the type of kid who take risks during your pre-matric years vs. working for boring IB, so plan on doing that, and meanwhile, sure, keep up selective and tech internships.

  • hbsguru

    GENERAL HINT

    could posters, esp. LONG POSTERS (we love you)
    START by making it real clear in first sentence how old you are, what
    year you graduated or will graduated, where you work NOW, what the firms
    track record is for kids who have applied to B schools FROM THERE, and
    where you have worked b4 then with dates. Plus gender URM status etc.
    Then you can add all the mansplainin’ etc.
    As I hope the prior posts have made clear, THAT, and not the mansplain’ is mostly what determines fate at B school.

  • Keegan McNamara

    Hiya fellas,

    First of all, I wanted to thank you guys for the tremendous amount of advice and data that you provide to this community as a whole – it’s a damn feat!

    I’m a fairly exotic type to be prowling around here, so I’d appreciate your perspective on my (hopefully) interesting case.

    Truncated Resume:
    – Colorado native and current sophomore math and physics double major at CU Boulder, transfer 4.0 GPA from Tulane University in NOLA. I transferred for financial reasons (gotta love the in-state tuition!) and had the same majors there. I know the GPA might seem preliminary, but I took a few senior-level math classes my freshman year so it should be decently indicative of my ability
    – White Male, 19, 35 ACT (haven’t taken GRE or GMAT yet, but I’m anticipating mid 700s)
    – Amazon Software Development and Data Science internship last summer (freshman summer). They wanted me back ASAP and I figure I need the cash, so I’m part-timing as a full-blown (read: non-intern) Software Dev during the school year and I’ll be returning as an intern for them again this upcoming summer as a Research Scientist, which is a role that is usually strictly reserved for graduate students (my bosses were impressed by my work last summer and have said as much)
    – 1 of 2 CU Boulder partners for a university focused VC firm, Contrary Capital, that’s backed by some big name LPs
    – Interned every summer of high school in software engineering and graphic design roles at a few startups in the Boulder and Denver tech scene
    – Volunteered for the robotics team at a low-income elementary school in NOLA back at Tulane
    – Was Co-Director of the ACEing Autism chapter at Tulane (taught tennis to kids with autism)
    – Club tennis member at Tulane and here at Boulder (I figure proficiency in a country-club sport can’t hurt)

    Goals and Target Schools:
    – My short term goal is to gain the entrepreneurial and managerial chops to be able to become a successful tech entrepreneur. I feel like I have the requisite intellectual horsepower and experience on the engineering side from all of my internships, but I really want to mold myself into more of a complete package
    – Longer term, I want to be a technical CEO at a large tech company of my creation
    – I’ll be applying in 2020 for deferred enrollment at HBS 2+2, GSB, and Yale SOM (Silver Scholars)

    Any advice or feedback would be very much appreciated. Hope you guys get a kick out of my profile!

  • JohnAHD

    Sandy! I don’t want to bother you but if you find the time to give me your POV I would appreciate it a lot. Really, a lot. (In the older comments of this post) thanks in any case.

  • Shankar Ram A

    Hi Sandy @hbsguru:disqus ,

    Wanted to evaluate my odds and see how I could convince one of the M7 adcoms!

    – Indian Male Engineer, 28
    – 770 GMAT (Q51, V44, IR8, A5.5)
    – GPA 8.99/10 (First class with Distinction) from NIT [ranked ~10 in India]
    – Worked in IT at an MNC for around 1.5 years, moved to a tech startup for around 6 months, ran my own software consulting startup with a partner from the UK for around 1.5 years and now into Product Management at a leading EdTech company for close to 3 years
    – Completed a few courses related to Management from coursera

    From a work experience point of view, there are a lot of impact points in terms of being an early hire to being promoted every year to being an important part of the company’s growth story. I traded running a profitable startup to joining a rising company. Took a huge pay cut as education was a much more impactful problem to solve.
    The role I am in needs a lot of cross functional collaboration and some level of leadership. I have worked in an MNC and also with a number of foreign clients. Although no one from my company has applied for a global MBA, there is some brand recognition for the company itself as being disruptive (featured in the cover of forbes india, reviewed by HBR).

    Coming to extra curricular, I love hardware projects around sustainability. Have built a grid-tie solar system to power a school building, researched and assembled cost effective water purification systems, currently looking at hydroponics and how it can impact agriculture here.
    Have volunteered for causes starting with leprosy (recognized by the organisation) and more recently in the education space.

    Planning to apply to M7 schools. I personally think I might be a good fit at Sloan but want your analysis on the same. Also, would love to use your from-scratch editing service if you think that would improve my odds of getting into a top school.

  • 2020Hopeful

    Sandy, hoping for some insight:

    – Applying in 2019, matriculation 2020 (must see out military contract)
    – Stats below reflect age/work experience in August 2019 when applying
    – 27y/o US military officer
    – 720 GMAT (48Q, 41V)
    – 3.86 GPA (math) from service academy
    – 5.5 yrs experience:
    – 6 months additional training after graduation
    – 18 months forward deployed to Japan in operations/planning/leadership role
    – 14 months nuclear power training
    – 28 months leadership/reactor plant management role (current job)
    – Strong performance evaluations
    – No significant extracurriculars
    – Short Term Goal: MBB to increase business exposure, seek to help companies reach strategic goals
    – Long Term Goal: General Management, likely in energy sector to leverage nuclear background
    – Target Schools: HBS, Tuck, Sloan, Kellogg, Darden

    – Question: How do I make myself more competitive before applying in 2019?

  • hbsguru

    thanks, those are both helpful and hopeful stats, we should start an IIT feature.

  • IIT Alum

    IIT alum here.
    I went to Wharton with 7.3/10.

    I know at least one more person who went to Wharton with 7.9/10.
    And one who was 6.7/10 and got into Kellogg.

    Just like all the advice here, you need an interesting profile and solid GMAT to support your story.

  • hbsguru

    thanks –real helpful and the kind of stats hard to find anyplace. Any other IIT alums who can chime in, please do, with profiles or stats.
    sk

  • mysteryguy

    Not true. Know of another 7.9 who got at Bain. However, you have to be too good to get in with these low scores. Read – peer reviews and extra curric leadership.

  • Kunal

    Same IIT-Delhi alum as above. Most of the HBS, Wharton, Stan guys or for that matter any of the M7 schools, I know from IIT had above 8.4/10. But guys between 8 and 8.4 get in as well.
    I also know two 7.9 at Booth.

  • hbsguru

    you got a real solid shot at H and W, fer sure. Stanford is always hard to predict, b.c. it is small and often odd in its decision making. But apply, this is not a Hail Mary pass, you got a lot to like.

  • hbsguru

    😉 be real glad to grill you during our mock interview about all those job changes,
    -how come you changed at thtat time
    -what was unexpected when you got there
    -compare the cultures of old job and new job
    -name something you really liked about new job, old job,
    -what was most proud accomplishment at job 1, 2 and 3.
    -who was best manager
    –what advice would you give companies 1 2 3 etc.

  • Question

    Thanks for the wisdom, Sandy.

  • SyedZaidi110

    @hbsguru:disqus Thanks a lot Sandy! after your evaluation my self confidence is sort sky rocketed for a while. Yeah I have been moving a lot, in regards to workplace and thats what I have to explain in my applications. I agree with the GMAT thing right now I am focusing on my apps and trying to find right recommenders to do the job. Honestly looking forward to the application rounds and would definitely reconnect for the HBS mock interview.
    Cheers!
    Syed

  • Ric Assassin

    Also, adding a follow up to my previous follow up.

    Is there any RED FLAG you see in my profile which makes you go like.. No dude, just not cut for H/S…? Please do let me know on that too apart from my entrepreneurial stints.

  • Israeli Applicant

    Thanks Sandy. It is hard to join a biotech in a business role (vs. what GP’s usually do which is medical affairs). If I do explain that and give a believable story – could you give me concrete odds at H/S/W? thanks!

  • hbsguru

    That is kinda the received wisdom and I agree with it. If any reader has a different view or different evidence, or just more evidence, please share.

  • hbsguru

    haha, lots to like and top schools also like to have GP’s around for geezer profs with bad tickers and stressed out classmates –Israeli a small plus my guess, esp. since you are ‘real’ Israeli and not some kid fr. Tel Aviv who went to prep school in USA and has lived here for past 12 years.
    A lot of this may turn on you coming up with any biotech markers in your story, e.g. have you consulted with any firms, done research, etc. That would help.
    You also need to answer the question, “Duh, doc, why don’t you join biotech firm now, how hard would that be?”
    It might in fact be real hard, and if so, you need to include that in your analysis of why you want MBA. Esp. if you have tried and were told, duh, we love guys like you, esp. w. MBAs.
    Anyway, you need to sound knowing and passionate about bio-tech to rebut idea that you are yet another burned out doc looking for a lifesaver or two years off. If you can do that, you can overcome the age 33 issue, which is a shadow in your story but not necessarily fatal.

  • Question

    Thanks for the insights, Sandy — so you think HBS and GSB are probably about the same for ‘old timey’ stuff like PE, consulting, etc, and GSB might be a bit better to get funded and start a company given proximity to Silicon Valley and the strong connections to tech?

  • hbsguru

    yes, if you had to make a llst. Of course, a list may only be the start of your own decision making. HBS and Stanford are sort of becoming like Yale Law School and Harvard Law School, the small, super elite school vs. the big, elite school.
    There are reasons to attend each. In terms of YOUR value in the marketplace, not much difference from the POV of employers. That is if you are doing the ‘old timey’ stuff of looking for job in PE, consulting, etc.
    If your goal is get funded and start a company, well, that might be a diff. analysis.

  • Israeli Applicant

    Hi Sandy, a bit of a curveball:

    – 33 y/o Israeli Physician
    – 750 GMAT (48Q/45V)
    – 3.3 GP at top Israeli medical school (most selective in country)
    – 6 years of clinical experience: – Served as a physician in top tier unit; managed other physicians, paramedics, medic
    – Promoted to Captain after 2 years (early), Major by appointment in my last role (also early promotion)
    – Stong LOR from former managers
    – No meaningful XC
    – Short term goal: joining a large biotech to hone my business skills
    – Long term goal: starting my own biotech

    Target schools: H/S/W, MIT, Booth

  • Question

    So would you say GSB is currently the #1 business school in the country given it seems to have won the cross-admit battle with HBS for at least the last five years or so?

  • hbsguru

    My view is the BEST ranking is that which orders schools by how willing applicants would be to go there. So ranking Wharton above HBS strikes me as unsound, given that most kids admitted to both, would chose HBS.
    As a rule, USNEWS seems to capture this best. I am deeply suspicious of rankings which move around a good deal year to year. Academic reps are not that fast-moving, even in these volatile times.

  • hbsguru

    thanks, real helpful. Any other IIT reports out there, they are really helpful, and interesting. Bain in USA is rumored to have like 720 GMAT cut off for kids applying to Bain fr. B schools, esp for summer gigs.

  • hbsguru
  • Shubhendru

    Sandy, I know two guys, one got into HBS, the other rejected by Stanford, waitlisted and then rejected by HBS; this dude went to Wharton. Both of them were guys with 9.4/10. They won the silver medal for graduating at the top of their class (The gold is won by the person with the highest CGPA, often something like 9.9 or even 10/10). Both of these guys went to consulting firms (MBB) and then elite PE shops.

    The one interesting thing that surprised me about the IIT guy above is how he got into Bain with a 7.9/10 from IIT-D. I’ve often been told that there is a cutoff around 8.4-8.5/10 to get interviewed by the elite firms – MBB, Goldman, etc.

  • JohnAHD

    Yes! Of course I would clarify that better in the app. I didn’t want to take much of your time with my already convoluted and long post. To summarize: Willis Towers Watson is the merger between 3rd largest broker (British) and 1st largest Employees benefits consulting (American) why I’m here? Well, although I did get in some consulting firms, in the country there are no MBB and the rest either 1) lack international projection or 2) big 4s solely dedicated to audit. I choose correctly when it came to actual management exposure and experiences. Do they send to B-Schools? Yes, but not from this country and In general I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a feeder. Hope this helps clarify my profile. Let me know your thoughts Sandy and thanks again!

  • Former_HBS

    Sure thing Sandy. Any thoughts on the new PQ rankings?

  • Ric Assassin

    Thanks a lot Sandy for taking out time for comments.

    One of my mechanical engrg alumni (with a similar GPA) made it to GSB last year with a full ride. But let me tell you that he had done his Public Policy degree too from another uni in India. So yeah.

    Yes, I would like to add that I am torn between my actual attempt at GMAT (eyeing 750+) and a very demanding job, so toastmasters ORrrr working on a tech product that I want to make (to reduce casualties in the events of road accidents) and patent it, which one will be better?
    Also, do my “entrepreneurial stints” add nothing to my profile for GSB or HBS? My name was in the newspapers for one such stint! And how do they look at being a delegate at HPAIR at Harvard or similar stuff for entrepreneurship panel?

    Also, “victim view”….pheww. Well, if it adds, and am not lying, it was sheer failure and heartbreak and depression which drove me into music and I am a self learned musician. So yeah.
    Plz oblige me with your views, it would be so great!
    Thanks!

  • hbsguru

    thanks for the first hand exper.
    when considering average gmat, it sometimes helps to adjust for gender and URM etc.
    Average white male GMAT at HBS could be above 730 my guess.
    Not sure if military ‘intelligence’ is considered any diff than any other military gig by adcoms?
    Is it considered so inside military, e.g. you need to be selected, pass tests, stay in for 6 years etc.
    sk

  • Former_HBS

    @hbsguru:disqus some comments:

    1. Since when 730 is below average at Wharton/HBS?
    2. How’s military intelligence gold? (as opposed to pilot/combat)
    3. Captain is not the highest rank. We had a lieutenant-colonel at our class…although – yes, Captain is by far the most common.

    Cheers

  • hbsguru

    Stanford going to be hard, low GPA and non-gold schooling, even tho current job is a plus, there is no super gold driving you (Desi male!!!) in that I see.

    2) Guitarist and vocalist/poet. Lots of performances on national stage.
    yes but are you also blind?
    Anyway, I like but this needs to be connected to Stanford’s victim loving view of the arts.
    HBS chances are in reach zone for same reason, but door is wider. K and Fuq. are good calls and should be in the zone.
    Toastmasters. Read my analysis of what schools look for in EC’s in the full profiles –lemme know where you think Toastmasters falls in that analysis. Altho let me add, if it words for you, and many believe in it, sure, great. Just don’t expect bonus points fr. Stanford for self improvement, they prefer kids born that way.

  • hbsguru

    what I did not understand clearly enuf was the company you work for

    Top 3 global Risk Consulting and Broking
    company

    That will become more clear on actual app, where company is named.
    You may have mentioned but do they send kids to B schools, could be an issue, if no, you may need to explain company more and what it does, and why you work there, etc. Not damaging per se, just something they will want to understand, that can be done in couple of lines on resume.

  • hbsguru

    This is real solid, my friend and consistent. You may need to explain how come so many jobs, but Pakistanis with world-class tech educations and jobs are always a plus to B schools. Guys like you get in all over depending on execution, recs and luck (and not blowing interview). I’m not sure what your anxiety about the process is, did I miss something?
    g’luck and check back for a mock HBS interview. Stanford goes for this profile as well, even with a 720 (don’t take again, just get cracking with the apps).

  • hbsguru

    anyone know the guy next to him?
    Anyway gotta love #dreamsdemandhustle
    Did he learn that at HBS?? I have a feeling he learned that in Queens.
    Wearing hats to class is probably OK after you have been admitted, but I would not reco for interview to the full time program.

  • hbsguru

    TODAY’S FUN NEWS:

    LL Cool J is a Harvard grad

    FR THE BOSTON GLOBE

    . . .

    The Queens-bred rapper, whose real name is Todd Smith, shared the news via Instagram, posting a pic of himself raising his hand in a class at Harvard Business School.

    “Completed the Business of Entertainment media & sports program @harvardhbs,”
    the rapper wrote in the caption. “It was a life altering experience.
    Learning is cool… #dreamsdemandhustle #dreamsdonthavedeadlines lets
    go!!!! Ps. The head of the program & my professor @anitaelberse was absolutely gangster. #ironsharpensiron.”

    Athletes, actors, and other famous folks have become big fans of HBS prof Anita Elberse’s courses in the business of entertainment, media, and sports . . . former NFL cornerback Rashean Mathis, NBA players Pau Gasol, Chris Paul, and CJ McCollum, Irish rugby player Jamie Heaslip, DJ Khaled, and hip-hop artist Swizz Beatz.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4fb1ffdc615cfa89bf72b2a54e5092d9976a4f2eea00d20e46c8233c8302a2f2.jpg

  • Syed

    Hello John and Sandy!
    Ar’right! so I have finally got enough guts to face you guys. I would love to hear your criticism and of course some advice over my strategy would be highly invaluable.

    A little background to put things into perspective. So… I born in Pakistan in a lower middle-class family i.e. throughout my teens I had lived under 1$ per day, since the salary of my father was 100$ per month (btw average salary in Pakistan is 700$). I use to live in a 30m2 apartment, which of no coincidence was right next to the biggest slum of Karachi, because that’s what we could afford. My childhood memories include events of terrorism, target killing of relatives, frequent events of extortion y drug dealing and child abduction. To summarize, I have lived a life with extreme paucity of food, money, security, heating and cooling and worst, primary and secondary education.
    Now the bottom line has been established, let’s get rolling!

    Targeted Class: 2019 Intake.
    27/Male.
    GMAT:720
    Undergraduate: Electrical Engineering from NUST, which the top engineering school of the Pakistan, Same as IIT (Top Tier and highly selective)
    GPA: 3.7.
    Honors: Rector’s Gold Medal for the year 2012, Best Senior Capstone Project 2012, Six times Deans Honor’s List, NUST Outperformer’s Merit Scholarship

    Graduate Degree: MSc Electrical Engineering RWTH Aachen University in Germany. It stands in the same league as ETH Zurich and Imperial College London.
    GPA: 3.7 (Yeah Again)
    Honors: Awarded the Fellowship from Hans Hermann Voss-Stiftungs, German Financial Scholarship (Awarded to top5% of 50000 students at University). Candidate at BASF Explore Together Program North America. Nominated and Sponsored by German American Chamber of Commerce, New York City.
    2 Journal Publications.

    Work Experience: 5 Years.
    I have worked for the 3 fortunes 500 companies, which happens to be the leaders in their segments. The sector I have worked for included Pharma, Chemical and Renewable Energy.

    Started my career in Pakistan working as a management trainee for Johnson & Johnson (8 months)

    Moved to Germany in ’13 to work in a R&D role at startup, alongside Master’s Degree, in Renewable Energy. (1.5 years)

    The I had moved to US for 8 months started working as a Project Management intern for BASF, the largest Chemical Company of the world.

    Then I had decided moved to England. I had worked there for 6 months with SIEMENS for the segment of Renewable Energy. The role involved in the R&D unit and dealt with the connection of offshore wind farms to city centers.

    Then I was delegated to lead technical project execution team for the biggest HVDC project in Netherland and Germany. Currently I am in the same role for past 8 months.

    Languages: English, German, Dutch, Urdu and Instructional in Persian.

    Current Extra-Curricular: Could have scored a better GPA had I not being involved in EC a lot at School, but let’s talk about current.

    Mentor and Career Counselor at RWTH Aachen University.
    Volunteer at United Nation Refugee agency. UNHRC.
    Actor and Performer at Experimental Theater in Erlangen. Member of English Dramatics Society of Erlangen.
    Performing artist of the 16th Century Classical Subcontinental Musical Genre; Soaz-Khuwani.
    Concert Venues since 2011: Karachi, Glasgow, Aachen, Cologne, Stuttgart, Amsterdam and Berlin.

    Targeted Schools: HBS, GSB, Sloan, Kellogg, Stern and Columbia.

    Post MBA Goals To work for a management consultancy in the sector of Energy and Power.

    Aright Gentlemen, I am looking forward to you with my finger crossed 😀

  • JohnAHD

    Hey Sandy, Thanks for replying, I really appreciate your feedback. How about: “Role in Client Management, led projects of very large impact across all areas of Sales & Marketing for a person my age”.

  • Ric Assassin

    Hello John and Sandy!

    Ready to be grilled.

    I am planning to apply next year for 2019 intake.
    •Male/24
    • GMAT: 730 (retaking to hit greater scores)
    • UG GPA= 7.6/10
    •UG: Mechanical Engineering (graduated in 2016) from a state funded university (Say NITs in India, tier 2 ofcourse!)
    •Work Ex:
    1) Presently with India’s biggest automobile manufacturing giant. Joined as a Trainee engineer, promoted to Territory Service Manager before time. Managing the marketing, ops and strategy (Its like being the COO of my area).
    1 promotion due by year end to Assistant Manager.

    2) Worked at a big electronics major (Fortune 100) for 8 months just out of college. As a trainee engineer, did projects and a lot of cost savings in inventory and operations.

    •ECs:
    1) A lot of student-preneurship all over the last 1.5 years of uni, including helping found an international not-for-profit for connecting startups, founding a boutique consulting firm for startups and initiating (and failing at) self funded projects on cleantech.

    2) Guitarist and vocalist/poet. Lots of performances on national stage.

    3) About to join toastmasters because I love to speak and help others speak up!

    •Goal: Short term is to go into consulting post MBA. Long term is to help solve bigger and more challenging world problems through entrepreneurship, specially in cleantech.

    •ODDS of…: H/S/W/K or Fuqua. Specially GSB? Should I even dream of this?

  • Ric Assassin

    And how ODD are the odds here? :/

  • hbsguru

    THANKS DUDE. REAL HELPFUL 😉
    It would be super helpful to know the average IIT X/10 score for HBS, Wharton etc.
    If any IIT and H/S/W alums out there can you just post your X/10 score –and more if you want. It would really be helpful to collect data on IIT outcomes in Top 5 etc.

  • hbsguru

    YOU WROTE:
    3) 2y9mo (at matriculation) in Top 3 global Risk Consulting and Broking
    company, capitalizing current labor situation in the country taking on
    many large responsibilities (projects involving many travels, resources
    and meetings with decision makers internally and with clients):
    international accounts, head of marketing & sales initiatives. Began
    as Assistant Manager, promoted to Manager after 1y 1mo. (Venezuela)
    —————————
    I ASK
    ????????????? can you be more clear about this, real impt in light of lack freq. flyer markers in resume e.g. schooling, work, country etc. adcoms like things they know, or can trust, as anchors while considering an app. You got a lot of zig-zagging and explaining, not a good thing in general. Ever here the saying, “Doctors don’t like complicated cases.” Also true of adcoms and also true of ME.
    ___________________________________________________

  • mysteryguy

    IIT-Delhi alum myself. 7.9 is good but not that high (not in top 25% too). Most of the US B-School admits from IITs are above 8 and I’d guess the average would be 8.5.

    IIT-Delhi is quite up in the pecking order. Mostly 1 or 2. This is based on what top rankers for IIT qualifying exams choose.

  • hbsguru

    btw, anyone able to help out on this

    “Based on my own experience, an IIT CGPA of 7.9/10 is real solid but not
    bright gold (nor do I know the relative place of IIT Delhi in the IIT
    pecking order). IF ANY READERS HAVE INSIGHT ON THIS, PLEASE NOTE THAT IN
    COMMENTS.”

    Do any of our IIT readers know how selective a 7.9/10 GPA is? And is there a pecking order among IITs?

  • JohnAHD

    Sandy, I got an interesting one for you:

    – 27 Male, Venezuelan-Syrian. First generation college student.
    – GMAT: Practice test scores so far 720. Won´t apply with less than that.
    – GPA: 3.0 Industrial Engineering in top engineering school in Venezuela (I switched careers in the process, considered leaving country with family, ended up staying because of war in Syria), with an awarded fellowship to exchange for a year in France.
    – Graduate Diploma on Marketing (not scored) and currently on Financial Management (3.8 so far)
    – WE:
    1) 6mo internship in Client Strategy at French multinational in its headquarters in Paris
    2) 1y1mo in P&G as mostly full-time intern in Market Strategy and Planning (used the time during which my school was on strike due to socio-political instability), awarded a 5/5 score. Offered a fixed role in only available posts: R&D, rejected it due to vocational objectives. (Venezuela)
    3) 2y9mo (at matriculation) in Top 3 global Risk Consulting and Broking company, capitalizing current labor situation in the country taking on many large responsibilities (projects involving many travels, resources and meetings with decision makers internally and with clients): international accounts, head of marketing & sales initiatives. Began as Assistant Manager, promoted to Manager after 1y 1mo. (Venezuela)

    EC and awards:
    – Job at an NGO (after office, weekdays) for human rights and international activism regarding Venezuela´s situation. (1yr)
    – 3yrs delegated,+ 2 years lead the schools team for Harvard´s Model UN in Boston. The two years I lead it, we obtained large delegation awards, positioning my team above even Ivy Leagues and schools with more experience, resources and recognition.
    – Volunteered in the rural indigenous area of Venezuela for diagnosis and solution of health and nutrition problems of these communities (2w)
    – Languages: Spanish, English, French, Arab.
    – Other (less relevant): Placed 41/9000+ and 47/6000+ honor roll for admission tests in college; University recognition for international representation of the school, participated in two leadership conferences, nominated for best subject final essay by teacher. Traveled to 25 countries and twice as many cities abroad.

    Goal: To earn the professional legitimacy that my social, economic and racial background weakens. Transition into strategy consulting to apply all I´ve been exposed to in strategy roles. Long term: Rebuild my country from the private sector as a regional corporate leader.

    Target schools: Kellogg, Booth, INSEAD, Darden, Emory, Tuck. (Worth a try in H/S/W?) (round 1/2 of 2018)

    I wish to know your perspective since due to the economic crisis I live in, where a minimum wage is around ~10 USD, every application dollar counts and even hurts.

  • hbsguru

    man, lots to like, and I think the Masters GPA and the GRE will allow schools to wink at the undergrad, altho you need to do the mea culpa jive and explain how come. This is a real strong bio-tech story, I think you will get an HBS interview with just serviceable execution.

    Short-term goal: Work at a top 3 consulting firm with continued focus on life sciences
    Long-term
    goal: Transition to life-science VC and entrepreneurship with ultimate
    goal of starting and running a biotech incubator.

    right idea, not certain if MBB hire MBAs for Life Science focus or just for general consulting, you might say ‘OR work at LS focused consulting firm like 1 2 3 . ”
    Stanford might go powerful LS background altho you would be a rare, very rare White Male with a 3.18 who is not connected to a donor. Columbia will take you if they stop and smell the roses, always a coin toss if that happens with low GPA and White, male.

  • BioEnt

    Hi John and Sandy,

    Wonderful to see the breadth of experiences and backgrounds applicants are bringing to the table. Hoping you could evaluate my chances as well.

    Straight white male 26.
    Undergraduate: 3.18 GPA in Biomedical Engineering at private, mid-western university focused on engineering and life sciences.

    Masters: 3.78 GPA at a top teaching hospital with a degree of mixed business, engineering, and clinical focus. The masters provided an overview and introduction to the skills needed to move ideas out of the clinic or lab and get new products to patients. I recognize that this is potentially a silver, but could be a sliver of gold if tied together with a easy-to-follow story in the essays.

    GRE: 170 quant, 168 verb, 5.5 writing. The only certifiable 24 karat gold part of my application.

    Work: 1 year at biotech startup in business development role, 2 years boutique life sciences management consulting continually staffed at large multi-national pharmaceutical company working on global projects. Previously worked for 14 months as an undergraduate co-op at biotech companies.

    Extracurriculars: NCAA Track and Field athlete during college (decathlon), currently doing some volunteer coaching at local high schools.

    Short-term goal: Work at a top 3 consulting firm with continued focus on life sciences
    Long-term goal: Transition to life-science VC and entrepreneurship with ultimate goal of starting and running a biotech incubator.

    Wondering if I can use the gold I do have (the GRE score) and maybe transmute the silver so that it has a yellower tint. Is a 338 GRE capable of alchemy?

    Odds at HBS, Wharton, Columbia?

    All the best!

  • bleudemons

    Are you a DePaul grad? I assume so given large, Catholic, non-target school and your close ties to Booth and Kellogg. I’m very interested to see Sandy’s response.

  • Chicago14

    Hi Sandy,

    I think you’re doing immensely great work for the business school community and was hoping you could evaluate my profile.

    – 3.46 GPA at large, Catholic, non-target university
    – 760 GMAT (50Q, 44V)
    – Completed CFA I and CFA II
    – B.S. Mathematics, concentration in Financial Math, minor in Finance
    – Undergrad Extracurriculars: served on the executive board of student organization local chapter that mentored underprivileged high school students through the college application and financial aid process
    – Work Experience: 3 years (at matriculation) in F100 LDP, rotations were Strategy Consultant in Technology, Financial Analyst in Product Ops, and Associate Research & Risk Analyst in Investments.
    – Current extracurriculars: Going on 3 years as an Associate Board member for a non-profit focused on health and HIV/AIDS prevention/awareness, engaged member of LGBTQ employee resource group at work, often acting as a liaison for partnerships between the non-profit I’m on the Associate Board of and the employee resource group at work.
    – Short-term goal: Risk Analyst at quant hedge fund
    – Long-term goal: Risk Manager/Senior Risk Officer at quant fund
    – 25 yrs old at matriculation, LGBTQ Filipino (US Citizen) male
    – Target schools: Booth, Kellogg, Sloan, Columbia, Haas, and Stern; I’ve been told I should throw in HBS or GSB in the mix, but I feel like my profile isn’t anything special and would easily be dinged
    – Other things to note: I have fairly strong ties with the LGBTQ organizations at Booth and Kellogg and frequently communicate/network with their members; as for my company’s track record of sending people to M7, no luck with tracking down stats, but it seems like the inverse of that (how many people from M7 are sent to my company) is pretty strong. Know many executives, officers, and managers that went to HBS, Yale SOM, MIT, Booth, and then EDP (LDP for MBAs) is mainly comprised of T15 graduates (Booth, Kellogg, Fuqua, etc)

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

  • Ric Assassin

    Hello John and Sandy!

    Ready to be grilled.

    I am planning to apply next year for 2019 intake.
    •Male/24
    • GMAT: 730 (retaking to hit greater scores)
    • UG GPA= 7.6/10
    •UG: Mechanical Engineering (graduated in 2016) from a state funded university (Say NITs in India, tier 2 ofcourse!)
    •Work Ex:
    1) Presently with India’s biggest automobile manufacturing giant. Joined as a Trainee engineer, promoted to Territory Service Manager before time. Managing the marketing, ops and strategy (Its like being the COO of my area).
    1 promotion due by year end to Assistant Manager.

    2) Worked at a big electronics major (Fortune 100) for 8 months just out of college. As a trainee engineer, did projects and a lot of cost savings in inventory and operations.

    •ECs:
    1) A lot of student-preneurship all over the last 1.5 years of uni, including helping found an international not-for-profit for connecting startups, founding a boutique consulting firm for startups and initiating (and failing at) self funded projects on cleantech.

    2) Guitarist and vocalist/poet. Lots of performances on national stage.

    3) About to join toastmasters because I love to speak and help others speak up!

    •Goal: Short term is to go into consulting post MBA. Long term is to help solve bigger and more challenging world problems through entrepreneurship, specially in cleantech.

    •ODDS of…: H/S/W/K or Fuqua. Specially GSB? Should I even dream of this?