Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds

This A-Hole ‘Fucked Around in School’ & Has A 3.2 GPA After Taking Online Courses To Boost His Transcript

  • 790 GMAT
  • 3.2 GPA
  • “Fucked around in school but have fixed (my) GPA somewhat with online courses in math and computer science, now at a 3.2”
  • Undergraduate degree in political economy from a top from liberal arts college
  • Work experience includes two years as an analyst at a top college endowment fund with one promotion, and the past two years at a hedge fund (also promoted to associate after one year)
  • “The fund is not very big but has a very successful record. Not too many go down the MBA route from the firm as they don’t really need to but those that do usually go to top schools”
  • Extracurricular involvement as a director at an NGO that helps underprivileged inner-city kids with college, tutor in the past with both NGOs and for pay, runs a blog on politics and philosophy, past volunteer in political campaigns and lead a political club in school
  • Has two ‘fairly successful’ side businesses, one in e-commerce and the other an AirBnB
  • Short-Term Goal: To work at a hedge fund/PE firm/top VC
  • “I’m alittle tired of the research grind and want to explore options/do something a little more fun for a bit. Looking to leverage my financial mind and investing know how for the post MBA gig”
  • Long-Term Goal: To set up my own practice
  • 27-year-old Indian male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 10% to 20%
Stanford: 10%
Wharton: 20%
Northwestern: 20%
Chicago: 20%
MIT: 20%
Columbia: 20%

Sandy’s Analysis: Your case needs to be presented through the lens of a boring and smart future PE guy vs. how you present it now, to wit: A hipster asshole savant with a 790 GMAT.

You are in a super competitive cohort of non-URM hedge fund males, and the fact that you work for a quanty or lesser known firm that does not often send kids to business school could be another issue.

Leading business schools have soft quotas on PE and hedge fund admits, and within that group, soft quotas on boring males like you.

Leading schools also have to service the leading PE firms and hedge funds because they often hire kids back, so it is mildly corrupt. All that works against you.

As noted, a 790 GMAT sometimes washes away a number of boo-boos and some adcoms at MIT or Booth may go big time for that, just to give the bored profs someone who can actually do math. And, ahem, add some quantum juice to U.S. News’ MBA rankings which count average class GMAT scores.

An adcom’s real worry, besides you being an asshole, is that you seem to be a confused asshole, which is way worse. I’d really wear my game face during the application and not write anything odd, cute, fun, or whimsical. as you have a natural A-hole tendency to do.

I’m not sure what to make of your two side businesses, “one in e-commerce and the other an AirBnB. Guys like you are supposed to be too busy for that, and it may actually make adcoms wonder if the hedge fund gig is really the side job, either in your mind, or even in fact.

You also noted that you ran a “somewhat successful blog on politics and philosphy” and have volunteered for political campaigns in the past. Those blogs could be dangerous as well, especially if by successful, you mean they attract other odd A-holes. It is not a matter of what your politics are, although let’s be honest, adcoms run left of center, but the fact that you have created a collecting point for other oddballs like yourself.

It is hard to put my finger on why all this could set off a girly adcom alarm bell, but it can, especially depending on how it is presented.