My Chances at Top 25 MBA Program

So I am studying for the GMAT right now and have gotten the materials I believe I will need to crush it. I am curious as to what you guys consider realistic for schools considering my background.

I went to a state school (top 90) partied a lot first two years got awful grades then finally put the pedal to the medal but ended up short of a 3 point overall for my undergrad. I also graduated as a non finance major. My background includes two years at a HQ of large mortgage company and a year of investment sales in CRE.

I am slowly realizing I want to be on the buy side instead of the sell side. Assuming I get a 720+ on the GMAT is top 10 realistic or even top 25? Just looking for honesty here.

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Comments (17)

Aug 23, 2017

top 10/15 seems unlikely but with a 720+ somewhere in the 15-25 range should be a fit

Aug 23, 2017
Frank Slaughtery:

top 10/15 seems unlikely but with a 720+ somewhere in the 15-25 range should be a fit

Would Ross be a stretch or tepper?

Aug 24, 2017

You might have a chance at something like Ross, but you have to crush the GMAT, like 740+. The super low GPA is a killer assuming you don't have some hook like being an URM, but you can make up for it with an awesome GMAT.

Aug 23, 2017
Pmc2ghy:

You might have a chance at something like Ross, but you have to crush the GMAT, like 740+. The super low GPA is a killer assuming you don't have some hook like being an URM, but you can make up for it with an awesome GMAT.

Yeah I figured GPA would be a killer, I have a turn around story for my grades though. First two years awful grades and then turned it around the last few.

Aug 24, 2017

the question is not you had this GPA that GMAT, this HQ job that sales job, but why should b-school take you in for anything. They can literally reject you and find someone comparable, so it's the way you make that pitch.

if your academics all sucked, that's not a great sign but not a death siren. if everything else also has little highlights, then you're probably done.

M7 MBA, iBanking. Top MSF grad. AntiTNA. Truth is hard to hear! But... :
DickFuld: Yeah....most of these people give terrible advice.:
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Aug 23, 2017
wsorookie789:

the question is not you had this GPA that GMAT, this HQ job that sales job, but why should b-school take you in for anything. They can literally reject you and find someone comparable, so it's the way you make that pitch.

if your academics all sucked, that's not a great sign but not a death siren. if everything else also has little highlights, then you're probably done.

Understandable, I mean I haven't done below average in any of my jobs not that they ask about my performance really. I am of the opinion that if I crush the GMAT coupled with a turn around story with my grades and a reason for applying to the specific program then I should be alright. Outside of some of the Ivy's I feel like they appreciate the hustle more than some Asian who crunched numbers for the past 4 years.

Best Response
Aug 24, 2017

It's Why MBA and Why you. You're probably confident of the Why MBA question, which is why I pressed for Why You.

And also I found your "Asian who crunched numbers for 4 years" comment to be pretty racist and stupid to be brutally honest. You think IB isn't crunching numbers and deal decks, except about 100 hours per week?
If you can get in anywhere, you'll sure see some of these guys, and schools were sold because these guys are more capable than just crunching numbers. they aren't anything beneath you, they are simply different in capabilities. Real view in a M7 program.

M7 MBA, iBanking. Top MSF grad. AntiTNA. Truth is hard to hear! But... :
DickFuld: Yeah....most of these people give terrible advice.:
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Aug 23, 2017
wsorookie789:

It's Why MBA and Why you. You're probably confident of the Why MBA question, which is why I pressed for Why You.

And also I found your "Asian who crunched numbers for 4 years" comment to be pretty racist and stupid to be brutally honest. You think IB isn't crunching numbers and deal decks, except about 100 hours per week?
If you can get in anywhere, you'll sure see some of these guys, and schools were sold because these guys are more capable than just crunching numbers. they aren't anything beneath you, they are simply different in capabilities. Real view in a M7 program.

I did not mean to offend, I poorly attempted to illustrate a point. Insight is what I'm looking for and your opinion is beneficial. I'm just stating that what I bring is different than what they would bring, obviously IB is tough and there's a ton of value in a heavy finance field. It's just harder to gauge the grit of the number cruncher, there are different values there.

Aug 24, 2017

nbd

M7 MBA, iBanking. Top MSF grad. AntiTNA. Truth is hard to hear! But... :
DickFuld: Yeah....most of these people give terrible advice.:
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Aug 29, 2017

Based on the comments, I don't know if this is encourage is just saying if you don't have a good enough story you're SOL

Aug 23, 2017
NikeAir23:

Based on the comments, I don't know if this is encourage is just saying if you don't have a good enough story you're SOL

Sounds pessimistic can you elaborate or are you just being a naysayer?

Sep 6, 2017

The sub-3.0 GPA is a real killer. You'll have to do extremely well on the GMAT and have performed really well in your career in order to get in a top 15. Could you take any remedial classes? Is your employer reputable? If you were able to "hustle", as you claim to be able to do, into a reputable company and do well, then your story will sound much more believable. Always remember that admissions committees don't know you, so they aren't just going to take your claims prima facie. Buyside is very difficult to break into, especially w/o prior IB/buyside/equity research experience. Do you have anything in your profile that shows a trajectory toward buyside? Case competitions, CFA, personal investing, etc. I'd argue it's the 2nd hardest post-MBA career option to break into after PE/VC. You may want to develop a different post-MBA goal that is doable and realistic. Again, you have to make them believe in you, not just show them that you believe in yourself. Plenty of people already believe in themselves.

Aug 23, 2017
Brad-Headley:

The sub-3.0 GPA is a real killer. You'll have to do extremely well on the GMAT and have performed really well in your career in order to get in a top 15. Could you take any remedial classes? Is your employer reputable? If you were able to "hustle", as you claim to be able to do, into a reputable company and do well, then your story will sound much more believable. Always remember that admissions committees don't know you, so they aren't just going to take your claims prima facie. Buyside is very difficult to break into, especially w/o prior IB/buyside/equity research experience. Do you have anything in your profile that shows a trajectory toward buyside? Case competitions, CFA, personal investing, etc. I'd argue it's the 2nd hardest post-MBA career option to break into after PE/VC. You may want to develop a different post-MBA goal that is doable and realistic. Again, you have to make them believe in you, not just show them that you believe in yourself. Plenty of people already believe in themselves.

To answer the question I haven't taken the CFA or done any Case Competitions, I have done REFM classes but I realize it isn't really a point of emphasis for interviews. I believe I could tie my experiences together into something that makes sense, but would likely focus on top 10-25 assuming a score of 720+. Would connections be beneficial here? I have connections through family but not sure how much use they might be.

The firm I work for currently wouldn't ring bells as the cream of the crop but the team I work on has provided me with exposure to multiple $30 mil+ deals to work on within my first year. I wouldn't by any means call my work experience "elite" but I have done better than the average.

Sep 6, 2017

Connections need to be pretty incredible to get in to a top MBA program. And you still need to be borderline. They won't take someone who is clearly not who will bomb their recruiting metrics.

The type of connections that can help:
Family alums that are major donors (I'm talking they probably need to be worth 9 figures to have donated enough for the school to care) or very influential people (dad is partner at a megafund, etc)
A recommendation from a major VIP (such as - CEO of a F100, major political figure/head of state, etc - it needs to be a BIG deal and even the school will be evaluating how close the relationship is)
Family who are influential members of the university - professors, deans, etc

That's pretty much it. Having a cousin or friend that works in an admissions office probably won't count for anything - they take efforts to avoid conflicts of interest. I know someone who spent years working at an M7 in an admin role hoping to get into the business program and at the end of the day their experiencde wasn't valued by the university.

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Sep 6, 2017

Also - your work doesn't need to be at the most elite level, as long as you provide them ways to benchmark your personal progression and performance against your peers and show that you have been an outperformer.

Sep 6, 2017

You made a comment about ROSS, so is it possible you're in the Metro Detroit area? Just curious because I'm planning to take the GMAT early 2018 and I'd like to form a study group in that area.

Aug 23, 2017