HSW Chances - Former Consultant/Currently PE-VC

This is my first time posting in the b-school forum and I'm not sure if this type of question is posted much, but I thought I would give it a shot. What are my chances at HSW given the following credentials:

- Attended top 10 undergrad (e.g. Dartmouth, Duke, UChicago)
- Majored in applied math and economics
- GPA 3.75 / GMAT 730
- Worked at Parthenon post-undergrad for 2 years
- Externed at a social impact investment fund (e.g. Acumen, Unitus) for a few months
- Currently work at technology-focused growth equity firm (e.g. Spectrum Equity, JMI Equity)

I guess that is my resume in five bullets. Beyond these bullets, what does HSW look for in their applicants? What should I be focusing on at my current job to maximize my chances of getting in?

Thanks for the help.

United States - Northeast
United States - South

Comments (7)

Feb 21, 2014

Leadership, impact, and community service.

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

Feb 21, 2014

Starting at HSW in the Fall so I'm not yet the best judge, but from what I've seen of other admitted students, I think you are competitive for one of the three - worst case, another M7. IMO, pretty cool that you did the social impact externship. I think it will differentiate you, but don't think you're covered on extracurriculars - They like to see activities and impact outside of work. However, I've also heard they are a bit lenient when it comes to this for PE types that work a lot. Someone from PE/growth/VC world will have more specific advice, but I think standing out among your peers is difficult given the competitive applicant pool...as is showing leadership. I can't really speak to success rates, but I've always thought APM types at Google probably have good stories for bschool - they might not have direct reports, but they create or take over an idea/product and lead a multidisciplinary team to market...dealing with all of the interpersonal and organizational hurdles along the way. If you have done something like this internally or with one of your portfolio companies, think about if it could be a worth-while part of your candidacy. I don't want to be too prescriptive, but the takeaway is to think about working with people, being accountable for the team's efforts, and having an impact, not being the smartest guy in the room. The soft stuff matters a lot.

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Feb 23, 2014

are we tapped out here?

Feb 24, 2014

Good stuff from @CorpDev86. I think he's right on with most of his analysis. You have a decent shot at H/S, a good shot at W, and a very good/great shot at the rest of the M7. I agree that your externship is really cool and a differentiatior - how have you extended that experience now that you're back at a regular job? To me, to hit those extras that CorpDev mentioned, you should continue some involvement in that area. It's a natural fit.

Or, to play it even further, and I'm probably talking out of my ass here, what about somehow getting involved with a technology focused social impact movement, given your current work experience. I am not knowledgeable at all on this topic, but something like branchless banking in developing countries. Given your social impact investing background, I'm sure you have plenty of ideas.

For b-school, I always like extras that combine your work experience with your interests/other experiences. They're genuine and usually quite doable. What are your post-MBA goals, if I may ask?

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Feb 24, 2014

I can't speak to H/S because I haven't done a lot of research on them but i think you are in a good spot for Wharton. Given decent GMAT and strong GPA at top school. Wharton loves people from Venture Capital, I looked at acceptance rate by industry for Wharton and VC acceptance was 2.5 times higher than average. http://www.mbadataguru.com/blog/admissions/how-muc...

I agree with everyone who says to get leadership and extracurriculars. I planned a big charity at work with a committee of people I managed to get some additional leadership experience on my resume. Good luck!

Mar 16, 2014

@BGP2587 it's funny you say that about extending my social impact experience to tech because that is exactly what I did. I focused on the tech sector in India and assisted the MPs with due diligence on various companies and markets.

I guess the big take away from this is being a leader and making an impact in both your firm and your community (or communities in developing countries?)

Mar 16, 2014