Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds

Ms. Global Product Manager

  • 720 GMAT
  • 3.4 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in business from a national university in Southeast Asia
  • “I didn’t excel in some quantitative subjects, but I hope to compensate with GMAT quant”
  • Work experience includes two years with a top ten global electronics company, working in product management (I was the youngest to join this team since 2015 — they never hired fresh grad); Two promotions; team awarded with the best performance for an important product launch
  • Extracurricular involvement includes two years as a part-time for a United Nations-branded NGO, where she led the tech forum events for investors, founders, students, enthusiasts
  • Short-term goal: A transition to product management at FAANG-level companies
  • Long-term goal: An STEM education platform (e.g. an app like Brilliant) that is accessible for students in less developed countries in terms of cost and understandability
  • “This stemmed from the fact that my childhood friends, who were less fortunate and could not afford thorough education, now don’t end up in decent places (like I do)”
  • 25-year-old female, from a less developed side of Southeast Asia

Odds Of Success At Target Schools:

MIT: 20%

Michigan: 30%

Washington: 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: What was the Quant part of GMAT in percentile?

The GMAT is important for applicants like you who do not come from frequent flyer colleges. Adcoms may not know your school and especially if you are using a GMAT score to negative low quant grades in college.

This is real important.

If your GMAT Q is less than maybe 70 percent, you might think of taking some quant extension courses in stats and calculus to make the point that you are okay with numbers. Adcoms also appreciate the fact that you are a “sit still, eat sh#t, and spit it back type,” since that is their ideal applicant and student (profs LOVE that type, all the leadership BS notwithstanding).

The tech NGO/Professional braid is a good one. Your long-term goal is acceptable BS for this exercise. Just make sure the career path leading up to that song and dance is traditional. Schools like to know that you can be employed at graduation. They really don’t care much after that but your BS is OK and even GOOD, if you can platform it correctly.

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.