On the face of it, you wouldn’t think an MBA candidate with a 670 GMAT and verbal-quant splits of 90/41 would have much of a chance at Harvard, MIT Sloan, or Chicago Booth, and perhaps only slightly better odds at London Business School, Carnegie Mellon Tepper or NYU Stern’s Tech MBA.
But then you haven’t yet met 29-year-old Nihal. She’s that rare gem in the elite MBA applicant pool who is a successful female professional from the Middle East, with an impressive 3.93 GPA from the Arab Acqdemy for Science & Technology. Nihal works as a human resources technology consultant with CivilSoft, a Middle Eastern provider of payroll and other HR services.
While her GMAT score is currently 670, she plans on retaking the test and on practice exams has scored a 710. But even at 670, her score is more than 200 points higher than the average score achieved by GMAT test takers in Egypt. Nihal’s post-MBA goal: To return to Egypt and advance her career in HR technology to improve her country’s talent competitiveness.
How many students enroll in Harvard’s MBA program from the Middle East? Here are the stats:
Iran – 0
Israel – 8
Jordan – 1
Kuwait – 2
Lebanon – 7
Saudi Arabia – 9
That puts Nihal’s MBA application at the top of the pile, even more so because she is a woman.
In this episode of Fridays With Sandy, HBSGuru.com founder Sandy Kreisberg assesses her odds and provides some tough love of what she needs to do to seal the deal.
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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