Recently realized I want an MBA - Do I have a shot at Harvard, Wharton, Stanford?

Hello everyone - I recently realized that I want to apply for MBA programs in a year or two and was wondering about my chances at these top programs. Previously, I had been thinking about a PhD, but I think that an MBA is more up my alley and will help me achieve my career goals. I apologize for the length, I'm not usually one to keep things brief, which is probably something I should work on...

I was wondering what kind of places I should be looking into in the future - do I have a chance at HSW? If not, other M7s? CBS/Booth/Kellogg? Yale SOM? Princeton MFin? I'm a little concerned about my work experience not being exactly what some of these places look for.

Thanks in advance for everyone taking the time.

I've outlined my bio below:

I'm currently working as a derivatives trader at a highly regarded quantitative options market making firm in Chicago, working on some small quant/coding projects on the side (experience in Python, R, Matlab). I'm planning to have 2-4 years of experience under my belt by the time I matriculate. In addition, I spent my junior summer interning in investment banking at a top BB (GS/MS/JPM), but elected not to return to IB as I decided it wasn't for me.

GRE: 334; Quant 170 (97%) Verbal 164 (94%) Writing 4.5 (82%)

I graduated from a top-20 undergrad with a major in Applied Mathematics and a minor in Economics, ending with a 3.7 GPA (if it makes any difference, I had above a 3.8 through my junior year then did significantly worse my senior year). I also completed a concentration in physical sciences, taking classes in Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Physics, and Biology.

In terms of EC's:

Undergrad: Co-President of the Investment Banking Club for 1 year, as well as Captain of a club sports team for 3 (did very well in this sport in high school - had several d1 offers but elected not to pursue in college). Additionally, I competed with a team in a start-up challenge put on by a major corporation at our school in which we took 1st place out of ~30 teams and actually had the opportunity to receive funding, but chose not to pursue the opportunity (I can go into more detail if necessary). I was also in a fraternity and was pretty involved, but not directly through leadership positions.

Postgrad: I only graduated this past Spring (trying to look as far as I can into the future) but I engage in a significant amount of volunteering/community service, some through my company and some on my own time.

An additional couple of questions:

Is it worth me taking the GMAT if I want to apply to business school? I've heard some schools prefer it but I've taken and scored well on the GRE already.

Post-MBA, would it be realistic for me to get a job at a hedge fund like Elliott, Bridgewater, Citadel, etc. given my pre-MBA experience? What other options might I have?

Thanks a lot! Really appreciate you taking the time.

Best Response

Agree with this. Your only weak spot is that I've heard(and this is just hearsay) that traders have a tougher time at top MBA programs as they aren't viewed with the same prestige as banking/consulting etc.

You also don't really need an MBA for trading so that also factors in.

If you can spin a good story as to why you need an MBA to move away from trading and into xxx that would probably be best.


What matters is if the MBA can help you get to where you want to go.

Elliot - no

Other HFs, yes but remember the super prestigious ones maybe have 2 spots at best and you are competing against all other MBA business schools">M7 candidates plus potentially any banking recruits as well.

So if your goal out of bschool is Top 20 HF or bust, I would rethink going in.

Also - the 3 HFs you picked seem wildly different to me. Any particular focus you are targeting or was it just the prestige?


I don't see how an MBA makes sense given your goals. Not sure what strategies you're interested in (your 3 picks are quite random) but most quant funds would prefer a "real degree", i.e. a graduate degree in math / cs / finance / economics, over an MBA.


You wish. Top MBA programs look for people who were successful doing whatever job they had, not people who were unsuccessful and blame their failures on their particular job then hope to reposition themselves and jump into another hoping for a different outcome


Your profile seems strong, suggesting you 2-3 MBA business schools">M7 that fit your future career aspirations etc. hiring MBA consultant would also add value. PM me if you want a contact of MBA Consultant Gluck!


Aut dolor aut voluptates et repudiandae velit a. Accusamus porro aut reiciendis alias rerum expedita. Sapiente dolore explicabo reiciendis illum adipisci. Deleniti deleniti a et velit provident voluptatem harum placeat. Adipisci veniam eum expedita.

Voluptas earum repudiandae voluptas omnis quod aut. Possimus et dolores aspernatur nihil voluptate rerum aliquam. Fugiat repudiandae repellat voluptas hic impedit a sed.

Enim optio occaecati soluta animi. Magni porro impedit ab ipsa quia non quod animi. Ad hic mollitia odit culpa repudiandae vero deleniti. Vero earum sit iure voluptas iusto est. Rerum laboriosam distinctio voluptatum inventore vitae possimus doloremque. Cumque et et tenetur ad nulla.

A aliquam asperiores quod atque consequatur deleniti. Eveniet voluptatum sit dignissimos dolore nostrum. Qui nobis non sit veritatis minus modi. Totam adipisci quibusdam nisi et.


Iure nulla magnam debitis rerum in placeat saepe. Dolorem illo fugiat iste omnis harum asperiores architecto. Aut animi similique a ipsam voluptates quia quia. Voluptatem similique expedita nam. Rerum sint ipsam soluta aperiam. Aut perspiciatis perferendis quas ut voluptates.

Est expedita aut ut omnis corrupti laborum. Reprehenderit perspiciatis et aut quia. Fuga et qui sed quaerat aut cupiditate.

Career Advancement Opportunities

February 2024 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company 02 99.4%
  • Goldman Sachs 19 98.8%
  • Lazard Freres 01 98.3%
  • JPMorgan Chase 05 97.7%
  • Perella Weinberg Partners (++) 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

February 2024 Investment Banking

  • Harris Williams & Co. 28 99.4%
  • JPMorgan Chase 11 98.8%
  • Lazard Freres 05 98.3%
  • Morgan Stanley 07 97.7%
  • William Blair 03 97.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

February 2024 Investment Banking

  • Lazard Freres 01 99.4%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.8%
  • Goldman Sachs 17 98.3%
  • Moelis & Company 06 97.7%
  • Lincoln International 04 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

February 2024 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (5) $648
  • Vice President (19) $385
  • Associates (81) $263
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (12) $184
  • Intern/Summer Associate (32) $172
  • 2nd Year Analyst (60) $169
  • 1st Year Analyst (193) $159
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (140) $101
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”