McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Columbia | Mr. Government Shipyard
GMAT 660, GPA 3.85
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Midwest Or Bust
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Ms. Traveling Banker
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Yale | Mr. Whizzy
GMAT 720, GPA 4.22
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Global Technological Solutions
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Columbia | Mr. Indian Software Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Tepper | Mr. Technology & Community
GMAT 650 Practice Test, GPA 3.05
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Corporate Finance Leadership
GMAT 660, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. Stray Cat Savior
GRE 338, GPA 3.92
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Berkeley Boy
GRE 329, GPA 3.67
Harvard | Mr. Future Hedge Fund Manager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.75
Yale | Mr. Addiction Recovery Activist
GRE 323, GPA 3.87
Stanford GSB | Ms. Government To EdTech
GRE 323, GPA 14/20 (B equivalent)
Tepper | Mr. Miner
GMAT 680, GPA 8.01 India / 3.3 US
Harvard | Mr. Half-letic
GMAT 720, GPA 3.45
Harvard | Mr. Strategist
GMAT 750, GPA 73%, top of the class (gold medalist)
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Ms. Biotech Leadership
GMAT 710, GPA 3.78
Wharton | Ms. Experiential Beauty
GRE 315, GPA 3.32
Wharton | Mr. Law & Entrepreneur
GRE 325, GPA 3.86
Tepper | Mr. Experiential Marketer
GMAT 660, GPA 2.8/4.0
Wharton | Ms. Investment Banker
GMAT 720, GPA 8.65/10
Kellogg | Mr. Platoon Commander
GMAT 710, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. Techie Turning Tides
GRE TBD, GPA 3.35

MBA Handicapping: Is Stanford & Haas A Hail Mary For This 33 Year Old?

 
Harley is 33 years old. He works as a regional survey manager for the U.S. Census Bureau. He has a 3.3 GPA and an overall 321 GRE score.

His target MBA schools? Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, UC-Berkeley Haas, Duke Fuqua, UT-Austin McCombs, and Washington Foster.

The big question is whether a Hail Mary pass at a stretch school is worth the time and effort for a slightly older candidate, in a job that is not a feeder into elite MBA programs, with below-average class stats.

The answer? It very well might be if you have a compelling narrative that makes you jump out of the pile of MBA applications at a school. Harley has a strong story to tell. He grew up in poverty in California, went through three high schools before getting into community college, but was able to transfer into UC-Berkeley where he majored in media studies. There was a time where he was effectively homeless, sleeping on borrowed sofas in friends’ apartments and sometimes in his car. And he’s a first-generation college grad.

His passions, moreover, are clearly motivated by personal experience and hardship. At Berkeley, he led a program that helped community college students get into UC schools. He also led a program to help inmates earn their GEDs. And this spring, he launched a nonprofit called PandemicProfessors.org that offers free tutoring to students in low-income communities. The organization matches volunteer tutors, largely well-meaning college students with children K-through-12 who need help with their studies.

In this episode of Fridays With Sandy, HBSGuru.com Founder Sandy Kreisberg assesses Harley’s odds and story, providing valuable advice along the way and a bit of tough love, too.

If you would like to participate in a future Fridays With Sandy webinar, you can contact Sandy and P&Q Founder John A Byrne here.

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