Am I m7 material? What schools should I apply to?

I'd like a little help in deciding which schools I would be competitive at and should apply to. I'm looking at applying round 2 of this application season.

BSE & MSE from Michigan in Industrial & Operations Engineering
GPA: 3.34/4.0 for undergrad and 6.5/8.0 for grad (which translates into exactly between a B+ and A-, or a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale)
GMAT: 730/96%, Quant: 49/88%, Verbal: 40/89%

Work experience:
2.5 years as an "Industrial Engineer" at a top semiconductor company
1 year contracting as a "Data Analyst" at a top internet company
9 months to date as "Manufacturing Program Manager" (full time) at the same top internet company (not managing people, just doing supply chain management)
No major gaps in work. The top semiconductor company is just a 'solid' company, but the top internet company is actually kind of prestigious to work for (equivalent to Goldman/McKinsey?) if you're in tech; don't know if that counts for anything for b-school admissions. This will give me ~4 years of experience on application and ~5 on enrollment.

Extracurricular activities:
Volunteer once a week for a few hours doing street outreach for homeless youth
Photography assistant (have assisted doing candids for a few weddings, may be shooting solo for a friend in a month)
Pick up ultimate frisbee twice a week (is that really even worth anything?)

Why applying to b-school:
I want to transition into ibanking/consulting (is ibanking even an option still??) with an exit strategy of VC/HF. Ideally, I am looking to leverage an MBA into a job at a BB, nice boutique, or M/B/B.

So do I have what it takes to get into an m7 school? I think Columbia/Wharton and maybe Sloan would be great since I am interested in finance, and HBS/Stanford would be awesome, but probably pretty impossible to get into. Am I aiming too high? Should I be looking at Yale/Haas/Anderson instead? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated as I would like to apply to 4 or max 5 schools. Should I try to figure out where to apply?

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Comments (16)

Sep 17, 2008 - 2:52am

Is it even difficult to get into an M7...? Many of those schools have over 20% acceptance rates...

I was under the impression that anything under H/S is more-or-less a safety school...

Mar 22, 2010 - 2:46am

You have no glaring weaknesses:
solid GMAT, decent GPA, good work experience and ECs
You will have to craft essays that address your job hopping (3 companies in 4 years) and post grad goals but you would be competitive at all of the M7 but probably do not a special enough profile for H/S. Good luck.

This is pretty on point, IMO. You have a strong shot at all except H, S and probably W. You just need to write killer essays and get very strong recs. Good luck.

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Best Response
Sep 17, 2008 - 11:55am


not that I have a mba (or plan on getting one), but they're great for finance and more quantitative/analytical than wharton. I did wharton undergrad, and we took the same finance classes as MBAs. My impression when I started in S&T was that Wharton had an edge in IBD and UChicago was preferable for trading.

  • 2
Sep 17, 2008 - 12:02pm

Chicago's a great school and places very well on the Street, but, honestly, you go do an MBA so that you can party your ass off for 2 years... and you won't be doing that at Chicago. True, some programs place better into certain professions than do other programs, but, if you're actually smart and can get into a good school, you'll ultimately have a variety of options anyway.

Sep 17, 2008 - 12:13pm

b2 - very true comment. the guys I know with MBAs who had prior experience in a demanding industry (f500/engineering/finance/VC/etc.) saw it as a 2-year vacation.

on the other hand, a lot of the best people I've worked with kept on working instead of going back to school, and rose a lot faster. this doesn't really apply to people switching careers.

  • 1
Sep 18, 2008 - 4:03am

It's a great school for the likes of you and others who aren't in the 99th percentile. I'm sure, with your credentials, Taylorman, you'd kill to get an admit to Chicago.

People who are smart, however, will end up at H/S.

Sep 18, 2008 - 9:24am

no matter what degree you have, you'll never be successful if you're a douchebag

Mar 22, 2010 - 9:38am


You were accepted into a top 15 straight out of college? The funny thing about the internet is that anyone can say these sort of things.

Point is, you never got your MBA, and you were only accepted into a top 15 school so what gives you the right to call other schools safety schools or easy schools?

My friend was accepted into Stanford GSB right out of college, if you want impressive, that's about as good as you get. And come to think of it, he wasn't a conceited jerk....hmm...

  • 1
Mar 22, 2010 - 9:49am

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