MBA Handicapping: Big 4 Consultant, 33, 2.9 GPA . . . Keep Reading by: John A. Byrne on February 12, 2022 | 2,402 Views February 12, 2022 Copy Link Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Reddit You’d be hard pressed to find a more unusual candidate for a full-time elite MBA program. Jose is 33, having graduated with his undergraduate degree last year with a 2.9 GPA. But while his age and his grades might raise red flags in admission circles, he also has a compelling story of a hard-working, scrappy young professional. A first generation college grad, he immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala at the age of nine when his family moved to Los Angeles. On his SAT, he scored in the top 1% of all test takers, earning him a spot at the highly selective Cal Poly. But after a year and one-half as a computer science major, he dropped out to help his family. Jose ended up taking a job as a bank teller and quickly worked his way up to a personal banker. He joined Molina Healthcare in what was originally a part-time position and climbed his way to a senior corporate finance analyst at the Fortune 500 health care provider. After a seven-year stint with Molina, he landed a plum job as a senior business consultants with EY. And along the way, he returned to college at Cal State in Long Beach after a ten-year gap to earn his degree in business administration and information systems. He helps to mentor Latino professionals. He has run fundraising events and organized supply shipments to a non-profit that helps underserved diabetics in rural Guatemala, and he has personally delivered food and supplies to children in his home country as well. Now he has set his sights on a highly ranked MBA. His target schools: Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, USC or UC-Irvine. What are his chances and how can he tell his story in such a way to overcome his age and his grades? In this episode of Friday’s With Sandy, HBSGuru.com Founder Sandy Kreisberg and Poets&Quants Editor John A. Byrne assess his odds of admission and offer some critical advice. Sandy being Sandy also provides a dose of tough love to Jose. If you would like to participate in a future Fridays With Sandy webinar, you can contact Sandy and John here. DON’T MISS PREVIOUS FRIDAYS WITH SANDY EPISODES HBS WITH A 2.9 & AN INDIAN MALE? WHY THIS GUY COULD BE THE ONE DOA? DOES THIS TED TALK SUPERSTAR SOUND SCRIPTED? DO WHITE MALES NEED BETTER STATS THAN SCHOOL AVERAGES TO GET IN? HOW TO USE YOUR INTERNATIONAL BACKGROUND TO GET INTO HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL YOU WANT TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS AFTER B-SCHOOL: SOME GREAT TIPS HOW TO OPTIMIZE A ‘WOMEN IN TECH’ STORY FOR B-SCHOOLS SURGEON JOINS FAMILY BUSINESS — BE PREPARED TO EXPLAIN WHY WHY HARVARD, STANFORD & WHARTON LIKE PILOTS HBS INTERVIEW TIPS FOR NON-LIBERAL ARTS MAJORS EGYPTIAN VC GUY — GREAT START FOR H/S/W . . . AND THERE IS MORE CORE ANSWERS FOR COMMON B-SCHOOL QUESTIONS WHEN DOES A 710 vs. A 730 GMAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, MARINES: HOW TO EXPLAIN TRANSITIONS IN YOUR B-SCHOOL INTERVIEWS SANDY TRIES TO FLUSTER THIS SUPER START 3.9/770 CHINESE PR WOMAN WHILE JOHN GOES GA-GA H/S/W ADMIT TIPS FOR FINANCIAL GUYS 2+2 SUPER APPLICANT — CAN HE GET AROUND A LOW GRE H/S/W TIPS FROM THIS DESAI AT EXXONMOBIL SANDY’S TOUGH LOVE FOR A SUPER STAR WITH A 650 GMAT HOW TECHIES & ENGINEERS BEAT OUT THEIR PEERS AT TOP MBA PROGRAMS HOW DO ACCENTURE CONSULTANTS GET INTO WHARTON? APPLYING FOR HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL’S 2+2 FROM ABROAD HBS WITH A 3.4 & A 770? WHARTON? 5 YEARS OF FINANCE + 4 YEARS OF MARINES = HBS? APPLYING AFTER 30: DO’S & DON’TS MOCK HARVARD 2+2 MBA INTERVIEW: SANDY GRILLS THIS GUY (FOR HIS OWN GOOD) HBS WITH A 3.2 GPA??? IT COULD HAPPEN. CAN THIS INDIAN MALE WITH A 3.4/710 LEAPFROG HIS COHORT? CAN THIS PGA ANALYST LAND AT HBS? HOW TO MOVE FROM PURE TECH TO STRATEGY CONSULTING THREE ODDBALL JOBS NEED EXPLAINING, INCLUDING DOG DNA WITH INTERNSHIPS AT TESLA, TWITTER, SPACEX & THE CIA, DOES HE HAVE A SHOT AT HBS? WHICH LATIN AMERICAN PASSPORT HELPS THE MOST AT HBS? GREAT STATS, PUBLIC IVY DEGREE & FANG JOB. WHY HE’S GOING TO GET DINGED ANYWAY 2+2 WITH LOW STATS: SANDY SAYS IT COULD HAPPEN SUMMA, 780: HBS LIKES THAT, WHARTON LOVES THAT, DOES STANFORD WANT MORE? ARE ALL OF INDIA’S ITT’S CREATED EQUALY? MAYBE NOT FOR ELITE MBA ADMISSIONS BIG 4 — LAUNCH PAD FOR H/S/W? HOW THIS POWERFUL CANDIDATE SCREWED UP HIS FIRST HBS APP 4.0/760, CALTECH: MINEFIELDS FOR 2+2 YES AT HBS WITH A 3.0 & A 680 — THIS GUY’S ‘TWIN’ DID IT 2+2 POSITIONING FOR FINANCE TYPES 40% QUANT YET HIGH ODDS FOR HBS 2+2. FIND OUT WHY SALES GUY, 31. HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL? HERE’S HOW THE BASICS OF GETTING AN MD-MBA CAN THIS BAND LEADER JAZZ HIS 3.3 GPA INTO HBS 2+2? WORKING AT MCKINSEY HELPS HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL WITH A 670? HERE’S HOW TOO YOUNG FOR HBS, EVEN WITH A 750 GMAT? MEXICO, MASTERCARD, MAESTRO: 3 HOOKS FOR AN M7 ADMIT? AVERAGE GMAT & GPA? CHECK. SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BUST INTO BOOTH & KELLOGG? OVERCOMING TWO STRIKES: A LOW GPA & A LOW GMAT 720 VS. 740 GMAT: THE SLIM DIFFERENCE CAN BE HUGE HOW TO MAXIMIZE A 320 GRE AND A 3.4 GPA HOW ASIAN IB/PE APPLICANTS SHOULD PRESENT THEIR STORY TO H/S/W CAN THIS WHITE SOUTH AFRICAN GUY CRACK STANFORD & HARVARD? APPLYING TO H/S/MIT FROM LATIN AMERICA WITH A 770 WHERE SHOULD THIS BMW ROCK ‘N’ ROLLER GO TO B-SCHOOL? CIAO!!! EURO ADMISSIONS FOR BIG 4 TYPES DON’T SCREW YOURSELF IN THE FIRST TWO MINUTES OF AN ADCOM INTERVIEW CAN THIS MULTI-RACIAL MAP MAKER FIND HER WAY TO AN ELITE MBA? UNEMPLOYED POT EXEC GOES FOR TOP MBA. WE SAY MAYBE. ARE WE SMOKING SOMETHING? A 770 GMAT & TWO NO-NAME EMPLOYERS EQUALS WHAT? CAN THIS INDIAN MALE GET INTO HARVARD IF HE DID NOT DO HIS UNDERGRAD AT IIT? WILL THIS GUY’S FAST FOOD EXPERIENCE GET HIM BLACKBALLED AT HBS DESPITE A 770 GMAT & 4.0 GPA? CAN THIS BLACK FIRST-GEN ENGINEER GET INTO HARVARD OR STANFORD? GETTING INTO WHARTON & HARVARD WITH A 720 GMAT & A 3.6 GPA WHAT ENGINEERS NEED TO DO TO GET IN HOW DOES AN INDIAN APPLICANT STAND OUT AT THE M7? CAN SHE TURN SILVER INTO GOLD FOR WHARTON & COLUMBIA? CAN THIS 32-YEAR-OLD FORMER PRO RUGBY PLAYER GET INTO H/S/W? 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 Comments or questions about this article? Email us.