MBA Handicapping: Is Stanford & Haas A Hail Mary For This 33 Year Old? by: Sandy Kreisberg & John A. Byrne on June 12, 2020 | 4,660 Views June 12, 2020 Copy Link Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Reddit 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. DON’T MISS PREVIOUS FRIDAYS WITH SANDY EPISODES HOW DO HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL & STANFORD GSB VIEW HR TYPES? IS THIS ENGINEER A FIT FOR BERKELEY HAAS & MIT SLOAN? IS 2+2 HBS POSSIBLE WITH A 680 GMAT HOW A WHITE MALE WITH LOWER STATS GETS INTO COLUMBIA & WHARTON CAN YOU GET INTO STANFORD FROM YOUR FOURTH JOB? WILL STANFORD & HARVARD BUY THIS STORY? FULLBRIGHT, FAMILY POULTRY BIZ, PAKISTAN + HBS? HOW TO EXPLAIN SIX JOBS IN FIVE YEARS TO A BUSINESS SCHOOL SHOULD SHE RUSH TO APPLY NOW OR WAIT FOR THE NEXT CYCLE? HOW TO GET INTO HBS WITH A 3.2 GPA WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HARVARD’S 2+2 DEFERRED ADMISSIONS PROGRAM GETTING INTO KELLOGG & MCCOMBS FROM PLUTO (NOT THE PLANET) HOW DOES THIS MCKINSEY ANALYST NOT GET INTO HBS & STANFORD? A HIGHLY RANKED MBA FOR THIS CONCERT PIANIST? SWIMMER, TECH FOUNDER, BANKER, COMEDIAN TRIES FOR H/S/W BAINIE, BYU ATHLETE = H/S/W? INTERVIEW ADVICE FOR MILITARY CANDIDATES — AND OTHERS A 770 GMAT & A 4.O FROM LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS — WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED FOR HARVARD’S 2+2 FAANG APPLICANTS TO STANFORD & HBS ARE OFTEN SUCCESSFUL. THIS GUY SHOWS WHY GROUPON TO HBS? THIS GUY MIGHT DO IT WHAT IT TAKES FOR A NON-IIT FROM INDIA TO GET INTO HBS 2+2 OLD, WHITE MALES WITH A CHANCE AT HBS? MBA MOCK INTERVIEW: A MORGAN STANLEY STAFFER GETS A DRILLING GRE FOR 2+2 SUPERSTARS: HOW LOW CAN IT GO? SAY ‘YES’ TO SILVER OR ‘HOLD OUT’ FOR GOLD? WHEN WHITE MALES SHOULD RETAKE THE GMAT 3.4 GPA, 700 GMAT & HISPANIC: CAN HE GET INTO HARVARD, MIT, KELLOGG? CAN THIS LIFE SCIENCE CONSULTANT GET INTO COLUMBIA & KELLOGG? DO FEMALE INDIAN TECHIES HAVE AN EASIER TIME WITH THE HBS ADCOM? CAN THIS INDIAN IT MALE GET INTO HBS WITH A 3.4 GPA BUT A 750 GMAT? WHERE RETAIL BUYERS & BRAND SPECIALISTS GET MBAs CAN THIS EX-AIR FORCE OFFICER-TURNED-SOFTWARE-ENGINEER CRACK THE MBA CODE? CAN THIS TARGET STAFFER GET INTO HARVARD OR STANFORD? HOW PETRO ENGINEERS CAN GET INTO A TOP MBA PROGRAM LONG DISTANCE CALL: HOW DOES AN AUSSIE TELECOM GUY GET INTO STANFORD? IS THIS 30-YEAR-OLD ENERGY GUY HEADED FOR HBS? GETTING IN IF YOUR STATS ARE BELOW THE MEDIAN WHAT GMAT DOES THIS LATINA GOVERNMENT ANALYST NEED? REAL GOOD ODDS FOR THIS INDIAN DO-GOODER. HERE’S WHY MILITARY-BANKER-HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL? HOW TO AVOID LANDMINES IN YOUR 2+2 INTERVIEW THE REAL HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL 2+2 INTERVIEW Comments or questions about this article? Email us.