HELP -- Business School Chances

Bryant24's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 7

Hey guys -- want to get people's perspectives on my chances at a top b-school. My ideal schools are H/S/W, MIT and Columbia

Personal Background:

  • Kenyan (came to the States from a brief schooling stint in London when i was about 12 years old)
  • Varsity D-1 Athlete (Soccer)
  • Ivy Undergrad
  • Psychology Major
  • 3.0 GPA
  • 730 GMAT
  • Really involved in extracurricular activities in undergrad (including being head of several organizations)
  • Currently pursuing the CFA and CAIA
  • 1.5 years work experience thus far working as an analyst at a long/short hedge fund in NYC
  • Volunteer extensively at a food shelter in New Jersey and in a mentoring role at Big Brothers Big Sisters.

I am looking to apply next year or the year after (2011). So I will have either 3 or 4 years full time experience at matriculation.

Assuming I make some progress with the CFA and take an additional 2 or 3 classes in business-school type classes at Columbia or NYU at night, what are my chances at getting into H/S/W/, MIT or Columbia? Would they be improved by waiting an extra year and applying in 2011?

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Comments (30)

Nov 10, 2009

Apply next year. You might as well (your chances won't really go up by applying a year later unless you change the world).

H/S/W will be stretches, but you have enough of a shot that you might as well give them a go. MIT or Columbia are realistic assuming you apply in MIT's Round 1 and Columbia's Early Decision round respectively.

Nov 10, 2009

What could he have changed to become realistic at HSW... he's black doesn't that make up for everything he's lacking?

Nov 10, 2009
SirBankalot:

What could he have changed to become realistic at HSW... he's black doesn't that make up for everything he's lacking?

All you PC ninnies need to stop getting your panties in a bunch, Bankalot could've phrased it more tactfully, but he's not far off the mark. He's not saying URMs are stupid, or making blanket statements about the abilities of an entire group - but the fact that certain groups get blanket concessions in admissions is well known.

Business school apps are pretty much a joke to begin with, let alone if you go to a target school. Add to that the fact that OP is a URM! This website is severely skewed in the sample of b school candidates it receives posts from- the people who tend to post are either from non-targets, in which case they are (and need to be) genuinely curious about their chances, or they are from a target and f-ed around in college and are feeling the heat from the stellar apps they see around them from their peers at school.

Talented state school kids get it completely unfair - but thankfully banks do a better job of acknowledging that than admissions depts at schools, because I'd much rather be working super late/in school with someone who can work hard play hard, pull their own weight, and worked their ass off to get where they are than some dipshit who got a free ride.

I've seen URM GPAs with 3.4s to 3.6s from non-targets get into Yale Law - if you know anything about law school admissions, you know how painful that statistic is.

Basically, you have a shit GPA in a joke major, your entry shows what your priorities were in college (you played soccer, and either occasionally showed up to class, or went to every class and are braindead), 730 GMAT is a joke (but above 700 will be considered high for your demographic so you will get a pass- I have an Indian friend that was an engs major at top Ivy, near/top of his class, and had stiff competition at HBS because practically everyone in his demographic had an 800 whereas he had a 790); your profile sucks, but the fact that your URM will make up for it anyways, so just consider yourself lucky.

Nov 10, 2009

Wow...racist.

Nov 10, 2009

I've seen two posts from SirBankalot today which both made me think we should ban this guy. Patrick, what do you reckon?

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Nov 10, 2009

That's not racist. Schools openly target underrep minorities.

Nov 10, 2009

A hf analyst and Division 1 (well, ivy league) athlete? Hell yeah he can get into a good mba program.

Nov 10, 2009

His comment suggests that being black makes up for allshortcomings, that's a racist comment.

Nov 10, 2009
Ortsman1:

His comment suggests that being black makes up for allshortcomings, that's a racist comment.

Well it worked for Obama. Hayo!

Free Consultation

We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from MBA Vantage Point team. Learn more.

Nov 10, 2009

You help yourself with a good GMAT score and relevant work experience. Why was your gpa low? That's the weak spot in your profile. How did you do in quantitative and financial courses you took? If those grades were relatively low also you should consider taking an accounting course or something along those lines and making sure you do very well in it.

You could apply next year and if you can address any questions about your low gpa and what that might imply vis a vis mba program performance, you're a solid candidate.

How to Address Your Weaknesses in Your MBA Application - http://bit.ly/SmTdo
If you're a U.S. citizen, you should check out MLT's MBA Prep program (www.ml4t.org).It's a program designed to increase the pipeline of talented minorities in MBA programs and leadership positions. As for SirBankalot's comment, it is offensive and discriminatory to make a statement that someone's race compensates for weak qualifications. Business schools target under-represented groups. They want more of them to apply. They are not in the business of admitting unqualified candidates to their program.

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Nov 10, 2009
formerMD:

As for SirBankalot's comment, it is offensive and discriminatory to make a statement that someone's race compensates for weak qualifications. Business schools target under-represented groups. They want more of them to apply. They are not in the business of admitting unqualified candidates to their program.

can someone explain to me how this works? you imply that certain races do not = weak qualifications, then attempt to back this up by saying certain people are targeted for admissions outside of the mainstream process with the sole determining factor of race? maybe you haven't heard of a certain little piece of litigation by the name of bakke?

to OP: my advice to you would be to ham up the minority/immigrant bit here. I wouldn't bother taking courses outside of what you're doing now, as there will be people who will have much better college qualifications and I honestly don't think CFA matters for BS. Plenty of people also work to put themselves through school and have high grades and the package, so your best bet is to do other activities outside of school that give you a more compelling 'story.'

I would also take advantage of any minority programs there may be, as well as tailor my apps to every place I apply. I would strongly lean towards saying Wharton is out for you as it is more quantitative as far as bschools go. I would strike MIT and Stanford as well. Harvard and Columbia may be more sympathetic to your story if you can spin it well. I can't tell you with a good deal of accuracy which range your candidacy would fall into (depends on factors like prestige of where you worked, etc..) as I do not have experience with a large number of URM apps, but from what I have seen from a large range of overall bschool apps, I would aim at a lower tier of schools, consider certain places (S/W/MIT) out of reach completely, and apply to a couple of reaches with a very potent spin. (H/C/Tuck) That is my stark advice to you...

Nov 9, 2009

Thanks for the constructive comments formerMD.

The GPA was low due to two factors. In the beginning I was irresponsible and found it difficult to manage D1 Athletics and working to help pay for school.

Would my progress in the CFA program help to alleviate concerns about my quantitative skills? I also plan on taking a couple of courses as well in economics and finance.

I have heard of MLT but if I am applying to business school next year, it appears as though the deadline has passed for me so I would have to wait a year and apply in 2010 to be a member of the b-school class of 2012.

Thanks you all for the comments and advice.

Please keep them coming!

Nov 10, 2009

op - Don't listen to NYC monkey. 730 GMAT is above average for hbs and will partially make up for your bad gpa.

You have an outside shot at Harvard and Wharton and a very good shot at top 10 schools like Columbia or Dartmouth Go to this site.

http://www.beatthegmat.com/ask-an-mba-admissions-c...
You will see that not everyone who gets into a top school is a superstar. You have one huge advantage that that some of these dumbasses don't understand - a cool story.

And no, the CFA will not be a deal.

Nov 10, 2009

being an immigrant does not automatically = a cool story. anyone looking to sell themselves (first to B school then in life in general) will know that its all about how you package it. they don't give a damn about your background if it doesn't look like you've got potential

most Indian kids are immigrants/kids of immigrants and still have crazy competition amongst their own as I described about my friend earlier. What buyside means by 'story' is (your specific) race..

like I said, you can get a pass on your numbers but it all depends on the spin. I would invest my time and even money if necessary if I were you...

Nov 10, 2009

I'm an american born white christian you fucking moron. And I will have no problem getting into b-school

Starting out in Kenya and making it to an ivy league school while playing college soccer is rare and impressive, and yes it is a good story. If you can't see the difference between that story and one of the 10M Indian IT guys with good gmats is beyond me. AdComs tend to be liberal and liberals love stories about africans overcoming shit

Nov 10, 2009

Good job pulling up an old thread to post personal attacks rather than adding substantive discussion, but I'm in a good mood, so I'll bite -

  1. I am already working at GS/BX/etc. You are a fool to assume otherwise when there is little indicative information on the topic. The fact that I am making my career decisions based on the long-term and that I am even in a position to do so, while you are busy justifying low scores on an online forum, speaks volumes in and of itself.
  2. Your comments defending a poor GMAT score seem to be largely self-serving as you have a low 710 yourself. (Full disclosure - I am not Indian, and had an 800.)
  3. I have gotten into 3 of the schools OP mentioned, with the exception of MIT/C, which I did not apply to. I therefore have a greater degree of orientation to speak from than someone with a poor score who works in asset management. If you bothered to look at the other thread I've posted, I'm also involved in HFs in some capacity, which leaves me with a greater orientation as far as work experience for BS goes as well.
Buyside <span class=keyword_link><a href=https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1145861&am... rel=nofollow>CFA</a></span>:

I'm an american born white christian you fucking moron. And I will have no problem getting into b-school

Starting out in Kenya and making it to an ivy league school while playing college soccer is rare and impressive, and yes it is a good story. If you can't see the difference between that story and one of the 10M Indian IT guys with good gmats is beyond me. AdComs tend to be liberal and liberals love stories about africans overcoming shit

Now let's look at these comments. First, consider this: not everything that is rare is impressive, and not everything impressive is rare. And neither necessarily makes for a good story.

Let's breakdown both categories: There are, as you hinted, a large number of international applications. OP's candidacy is therefore not rare. And compared with Indian applications - both have "made it" immigrant stories, both have worked their way over, both have contributed to cultural groups/extracurricular activities they are sympathetic to, but the Indians generally tend to have higher grades as well as particularly impressive technical/quantitative abilities. Therefore, their situation is more 'impressive' compared to OP's.

But if you knew the first thing about admissions, you'd know it doesn't work out that way. You get compared with your demographic. Therefore, the 10m Indian IT kids that apply will be mixed into the pool of US Indian guys, and they will all have to beat out each others top scores, and ultimately because seats are allotted per demographic, a lot of people with high numbers and impressive (but not rare) stories will get turned down. OP will be mixed into the pool of African/(Americans) and a percentage of that pool will make it in. Anyone who look at admissions demographics can tell you that this demographic's percentage is pretty low. Therefore, for OP to stand out as rare and/or impressive among his pool he must have something particularly distinguishing about his candidacy - as we said earlier, there are plenty of international apps (African too) and a low admit rate for the African demographic as a whole, so since neither his background or his stats are particularly stellar, he has a low percentage of getting in via this demographic. IF, however, OP had something massively unique about his background - he had served in an African army, saved genocide victims, etc. - then he would be rare, and if he had top grades, some special fellowships, worked at a top place - then he would be impressive and maybe rare depending on who else is in his batch. And then, he could leverage one of those things and spin it effectively to overcome his other shortcomings.

What I find most disturbing about your post is the phrasing you used - liberals adcoms love Africans overcoming shit - it implies that Africans are a special subset of immigrants who deserve 'special' admit standards although all immigrants overcome the same shit. Your comment was in fact the standout racist one on this thread. It ignores the fact that there are African/(Americans) who can, and do, perform at a higher level than OP. You could have taken issue with the quotas that seem to exist within admissions, which would have meant that you would have had to impose guidelines to judge across demographics. However, there are no clear rules with such an analysis, as Caucasians, who make up the largest admit category, and are therefore not exactly rare, are also not impressive numerically against the significantly smaller admit group of Indians; so this method is moot for our purpose of discussion. But instead, you chose to assume that because this candidate is African, his poor grades can be made up for by his race which somehow supposedly also equals his story.

Further, your comments about being a white Christian male being able to see the merits of those "Africans overcoming shit" seem to be geared towards getting praise for being able to overcome a stereotypically pervasive bias amongst your demographic. Unfortunately, you stepped on your own foot with the bit about the IT Indians! Maybe you are selective about where to be impartial, or maybe whitey is just pissed that his job got outsourced to a 15 year old that can chomp numbers at the blink of an eye. Or maybe, like the author of the rant on my old thread (you read it all the way through, didn't you?), you're Chinese and have an axe to grind. Either way, enjoy your mediocrity!

PS. New York is indisputably the finance capital of the world - anyplace in the world would honestly be a step down from it! But the fact that you think Mumbai is anyway equatable to Siberia and Mogadishu means you are seriously out of touch and/or a hillbilly honky.. India and China are the hot spots for any and all ventures/growth right now! And between the two, for savvy engineers, India is obviously the no brainer. I'm sure you know this, though, as its all spelled out in my old thread ;)

Nov 10, 2009

NYCmonkey = desperate unemployed loser

Why are you even talking shit? You have to travel across the ocean just to get a job. Have fun in Mumbai you fuckin loser. (Nothing against Mumbai but it is a step down from NYC)

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/finance-in-india

nycmonkey:
Whats the WODS for finance in India - specifically GS and BX in India, if I want to spend a year or two there as an analyst but come back to NY for my long term finance career. Firms now seem to be hiring more in Europe and Asia compared to US, but what is deal flow going to be like in India in the near term, how is the ability to lateral from analyst to assoc at different locations within GS and BX specifically?
I know how different it is- lifestyle changes, etc. but I just want to spend some time there because I'm interested in starting a (non-finance related) business on the side.
Also GS office there is very generalist because deal flow is not as heavy as US, that is the way finance in India differs from US finance just as HK finance is quite specific to the few things HK companies need - would being jack of all trades master of none be a good or bad thing? It seems like you would get much more responsibility (a plus), and still good modeling experience.
So would it be possible to just lateral because of the experience/brand names/recommendations from senior bankers, or

Nov 10, 2009

Tip: I hear Lazard is hiring for their Siberia office. You might be able to lateral into the Mogadishu office after a year.

Nov 10, 2009

Hey Briant24, if you are going to apply to business schools, do it right, and take advantage of every option available to you.

If you are going to angle for URM and play the story, you will definitely want to explore certain programs:

1 - MLT MBA Prep
2 - Toigo Fellowship
3 - Consortium for Graduate Studies

The Consortium can provide up to a full ride. My brother got a full ride to 3 T10 schools that way, use it ...

Freeze those knees, my chickadees!

Nov 10, 2009

.

Nov 10, 2009

didn't bother reading anything on this thread,
but just wear these bad boys to your interview ------------------------------------------->
and you'll be a shoe-in. everyone loves white aldo shoes.

Nov 9, 2009

I hate the tone that this thread has taken now. I want to make it clear that I in no way, shape, or form insinuated that 1. I was going to be playing up my being an underrepresented minority or 2. that my status as a member of this demographic should serve as an eraser of sorts or qualifying characteristic in my application. I do not believe that anything in my original post would even lead one to think I meant any of the two above statements. I merely listed that I was Kenyan in-so-far as I feel like my immigrant experience has been a big part of my life story thus far and I believe a big part of the business school application is telling your story.

I graduated with a 3.8 GPA and 1520 SATs from a well known and prestigious private school and was given scholarships to play at most major D1 soccer programs. I elected to go Ivy for the education and intellectual challenge; so I am not an "affirmative action" admit as one poster saw fit to post. I worked in college to help pay for my education and to help my family out. In college, I was captain of my team, a leader in several student organizations. However, these are not excuses for my poor GPA. There were countless other students I encountered in college who balanced far more on their plates. My lack of focus/immaturity and poor time management decisions were the reason for my woeful GPA my first two years of college.

To those who have provided constructive criticism, thank you. To those who have not, thanks as well. Your statements brought about dialogue (however wrong the form, direction, and platform) to a controversial topic.

Now, please on to the original topic.

What can I do to improve my chances at a top business school (short of building a DeLorian and traveling back in time to redo my first two years of school -- although if I did build a DeLorian, HBS would definitely have to give me a second look)?

Nov 9, 2009

bump

Nov 11, 2009

It would help to wait a year if you can move up positions at the HF but I don't think getting a CFA or taking business classes will make you that much more attractive.I'd say you have a decent shot at those schools given your stats, just spin your story right in the essays. Being black does give you an advantage too.

Also, do you drink power thirst?

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Nov 10, 2009

Unfortunately, on this site, any post that mentions race gets this type of treatment. Welcome to WSO.

As for your chances. I'm a year behind you, therefore not very keyed into MBA admissions. But I think that holding off a year would be very helpful.
Both to build up work experience (gain potential leadership stories that you can use to tie into captain position) and to show your commitment to your current volunteer activities. I think this will give you a better shot at your selection of schools. The only thing going against you is your GPA but with your strong GMAT you should have a real chance with great essays and recs.

I would definitely suggest looking into the programs mentioned on the board though, they look legit. Best of luck.

Nov 14, 2009

i have been reading shit on this forum for months now, never posted anything.

but i must say, there have been a bunch of retarded posts on this thread, lots of ignorant racist shit and lots of tree-hugging liberal spittal. but nycmonkey, although you made a couple of fair points, that shit about "practically everyone" from that particular demographic getting an 800 on the GMAT f'ing clinched it. that is out there man. 30-50 people score that max every year, from about a quarter million test-takers...no, i would very much doubt you are one of the 30. and even if i concede that (though from your writing i doubt you have that kind of intellectual horsepower, and for other reasons too, i don't), i can do naught but laugh my fucking ass off at the suggestion that you or your indian friend with the 790 know such hordes of perfect scorers, and that he suffered because of that score being too low. you really should look into a specialist for that severe head-in-own-ass condition (not to mention tongue-up-india's-ass affliction). i see too many of you fucking chronic liars, or in your case, exaggerators all over the fucking internet, particularly on WSO.

btw it's good you have an ear to the ground wrt the major shifts in growth potential that are underway. shows good sense. but i'd urge you to stick to your US based job for a while. no one takes youngsters seriously in that part of the world. when you're a proven commodity, they'll be willing to entertain the idea of hiring you. it is very easy to get rosy impressions from the economist and wsj. packing a bag and heading over for the immense growth potential is no fucking easy feat. but this isn't death of a fucking salesman now is it? and you don't want to end up as a prostitute in manilla now do you? that won't look good next to the GS/BX stint. stick with your company. maybe see what presence they have in HK, singapore or mumbai in a few years time (i kept the list to business environments where you can get by with English). make a move when you've got plenty of stripes.

btw i have nothing against you personally. am hoping you can take some criticism without getting your panties in a bundle.

and also, i'm not chinese...just a disclosure cause that's going to be the obvious inference.

Nov 15, 2009

What's to stop me from saying I'm black?

Nov 15, 2009
May 9, 2018