Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Darden | Ms. Unicorn Healthcare Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Semiconductor Guy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Social Scientist
GRE 330, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Over-Experienced
GRE 330, GPA 3.0

MBA Handicapping: 32-Year-Old Pro Rugby Player: Can He Get Into H/S/W?

Sasha played professional rugby for nearly six years in Europe before landing a job with a privately-held renewable energy company in the U.S. With a 710 GMAT score and a 3.63 GPA from Rutgers Business School, this 32-year-old program manager would now like to take the next step in his career with an MBA.

A first-generation college graduate, he’s aiming high, even though he is not from either a feeder undergraduate school or a feeder employer to an elite program and he would not matriculate until he’s 33 years old, outside the 26-to-28-year-old sweet spot for the most highly selective business schools. His targets: Harvard Business School, Wharton, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, and Yale School of Management. His post-MBA goal is to become a consultant with MBB, ultimately to return to Eastern Europe to help the region in some way.

The big question: Can he overcome those obvious downsides in his application by playing up the fact that he is a first-gen candidate who played professional sports and has racked up two promotions at a company that has employed him for five and one-half years? His raw scores, after all, are slightly below average for Harvard and Wharton. Should he retake the GMAT? Should he apply to a wider range of business schools?

In this episode of Friday’s With Sandy, HBSGuru.com founder Sandy Kreisberg assesses his odds at the top schools and offers some valuable advice and pointed questions to sharpen Sasha’s candidacy.

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

AN HBS MOCK INTERVIEW WITH A UNICORN TECH GUY

HARVARD/STANFORD/WHARTON FOR THIS SILVER, NOT GOLD RESUME?

IS STANFORD AND HAAS A HAIL MARY FOR THIS 33-YEAR-OLD CANDIDATE?

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

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.