Karim’s work experience speaks volumes for his admission chances at Stanford, Harvard and Wharton. He’s been a portfolio manager for the Middle East and North Africa for 500 Startups which recently rebranded itself as 500 Global. The venture capital firm has $1.6 billion in assets under management.
In his role there, he manages two funds, a $33 million fund with 181 portfolio companies for which Karim runs all of the operations, providing support for all of the startups and helping to guide companies through exists. He also manages the operations of another $20 million fund that expects to invest in 100 companies over the next three years. He sits on the Investment Committee where he helps to interview and select startups to invest in.
Sure, his stats are pretty solid. He scored a 730 on the GMAT with puts him right at the median score at both Harvard and Stanford, though his 3.4 undergraduate grade point average from the American University in Cairo. And by the way, before working full-time, Karim served in the Egyptian Air Force, was a venture-backed entrepreneur on three startups, and worked part-time and interned in multiple startups and startup support organizations. He also was I was a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu competitive athlete, having won the silver medal in the National Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition in Egypt in 2015.
His post-MBA goal? To join a leading venture capital firm in the U.S. for three to five years and help them expand into the Middle East.
In this episode of Friday’s With Sandy, HBSGuru.com founder Sandy Kreisberg assesses his chances of admission at the big three business schools and provides important advice for Karim to overcome a GPA score that is below the average for those three target MBA programs.