Harvard | Ms. Gay Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Mr. Two Job
GRE 330 GRE, GPA 3.63
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Analyst To Family Business Owner
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. FBI To MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.85
Chicago Booth | Mr. Overrepresented Indian Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 8.78/10
Tuck | Mr. Infantry Officer To MBA
GRE 314, GPA 3.4
Darden | Mr. Program Manager
GRE 324, GPA 3.74
Tuck | Mr. Smart Cities
GRE 325, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Biz Human Rights
GRE 710, GPA 8/10
Harvard | Mr. Food Tech Start Ups
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. The Builder
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. International Oil
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Consulting To Emerging Markets Banking
GRE 130, GPA 3.6 equivalent
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Greek Taverna
GMAT 730, GPA 7.03/10
Harvard | Ms. Biotech Ops
GMAT 770, GPA 3.53
NYU Stern | Mr. Development
GMAT 690, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Energy Operations
GRE 330, GPA 3.85
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 To Healthcare Reformer
GRE 338, GPA 4.0 (1st Class Honours - UK - Deans List)
Wharton | Mr. Steelmaker To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.04/4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Indian Quant
GMAT 745, GPA 9.6 out of 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Food & Education Entrepreneur
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Rice Business | Mr. Future Energy Consultant
GRE Received a GRE Waiver, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Campaigns To Business
GMAT 750, GPA 3.19
MIT Sloan | Mr. Special Forces
GMAT 720, GPA 3.82

MBA Handicapping: Is Stanford & Haas A Hail Mary For This 33 Year Old?

 
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.

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