Profile evaluation for top MBA programs

Guruno1's picture
Rank: Chimp | 15

Planning on applying to B-school next year, and wonder if you guys could help me with some career advice.

My profile:

M23, Sweden
Undergrad at Stockholm School of Economics
GPA: 3.7
GMAT: 740 (50Q, 41V)
Work experience: Two years at a small PE shop (about 5bn dollars in current funds, offices in five countries), well recognized here in Scandinavia, but probably not so much in the US. Also did two separate internships at top tier investment banks here in Sweden during my undergrad.

Main concern is that my WE wont hold as my main targets are HBS/Stanford/Wharton. Another option for me is to do an Mfin at MIT/LSE/Oxford, but would rather prefer an MBA as I believe it would be better for my career advancement (MBA --> associate, Mfin --> analyst)

Do you guys have any advice, considering my wish is to land an offer at a BB after school, and how would you rate my chances of getting admitted to the top MBA-programs?

Comments (16)

Nov 25, 2018

In general, the U.S. MBA programs want more Europeans so that will help you. Your academic stats are excellent. Your work experience sounds good, but be prepared to show leadership, impact, and fit with each of these 3 programs, which happen to be quite different in their approach the graduate management education. Also clarify your goals, and be prepared to say why you want to go the BB route. What do you hope to accomplish?

You might be interested in "Focus on Fit: 4 Steps to Showing Fit in Your Application."

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

    • 2
Nov 25, 2018

That's a good point, will definately make an effort to make my profile seem like a good fit for the different programs I am applying to. Do you not think my lack of experience will set me back compared to the competition?

Nov 25, 2018


If you have two years of experience now, you will have 3 when you apply and almost 4 when you matriculate. That is slightly less than average for most MBA programs, but really not a big deal. And at Stanford the average amount of work experience is 4 years. The key is to show that you have accomplished in your 4 years what it takes most people 5 -6 to do. In other words you have to show that you are a person who makes an impact, a difference -- that you are a contributor.

I saw that another poster suggested you consider LBS or INSEAD and you replied that you want a U.S. experience and a Wall St. experience. You may want to consider Columbia's J-Term. Unless you really want the internship over the summer ( and realize that CBS allows for "in-semester internships." ) J-terms may be a good option for you since you already have PE experience.

As it happens I interviewed for our podcast a CBS J-term student who has a background in PE and intends to return to PE after he graduates. That podcast will air this Tuesday. You'll be able to find it then at .

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

    • 2
Nov 25, 2018

It depends. Your stats (GPA, GMAT) are solid and your work experience seems to be progressing nicely. With just 3 years of work experience, you would be on the low end of the 80% range for most of the top US MBA programs. But perhaps you have been promoted and in just a short period of time have managed people, projects and budgets.

Beyond your work and stats, what do you do? What are you passionate about? Do you do anything outside of work through which you have developed leadership skills? Is any of your experience outside of Scandanavia?

If you are considering applying in fall 2019 to start an MBA program in 2020, now is the time to assess your profile and take steps to address any weaknesses (real or perceived).

One option would be to apply NOW for an MFin program. Work a few more years post MFin then apply to top MBA programs when you can clearly articulate what your goals are, why you need an MBA and what resources you will leverage through each specific MBA program to put you on track to achieve your short and long-term goals.

This article might be a helpful read:
MFE or MBA: Tips to Help You Decide

    • 2
Nov 25, 2018

I believe I have several traits outside of just school and work that could help my application, but nothing extraordinary (which may be exactly what these schools demand...)

My weaknesses would include lack of leadership experience post undergraduate and work experience outside of Scandinavia, do you see value in trying to exit my current job in order to address these weaknesses? Do the admissions at these schools obsess so much about such experience?

Have considered doing an MBA after an MFin, but then the whole deal with MBA being a "shortcut" to the associate role falls through, so not sure how much value it is in doing an MBA afterwards in that scenario.

Free Consultation

Vantage Point MBA's clients are accepted to the top MBA programs at a 3x higher rate than the average acceptance rates. Request a consultation with their team to learn how they can help you gain admission to your dream schools. Learn more.

Most Helpful
Nov 25, 2018

European candidates are generally well received and less represented than applicants from other regions of the world. If you aren't applying until fall 2019, you have time to address your softer post undergrad leadership experience. You might also look for opportunities to get experience/exposure outside of Scandanavia.

It is great that you are starting to think about your profile early since it allows time for you to make the appropriate adjustments. While you may not think your traits are 'nothing extraordinary' they are likely YOU and something only YOU can present through an application.

You might take a look at this article
Build Your MBA Leadership Profile

When you feel ready, feel free to reach out to Stratus for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your profile. We find that folks who start with us early have more options and often substantial merit scholarships!

    • 2
Nov 25, 2018

Why not an MBA at LBS or INSEAD? They're more likely to recognize the PE fund you're working at and will have a better knowledge of SSE, while still giving you the option of joining a BB as an Associate.

Nov 25, 2018

Mostly because of wanting to do IB in NY, which I guess would be a lot easier to land from an US school as opposed to an European

Nov 26, 2018

Just my 2cents, but have you considered the cost of an MBA, from such a PE fund you could certainly move to IB as an Analyst and in BBs there is internal mobility to move to the US.

Nov 25, 2018

For the mentioned schools I will probably be eligible for a special scholarship which will cover my tuition, so luckily the cost of an MBA wouldn't set me back too much!

Do you have any knowledge of how the internal mobility thing works out? Is it easy to get a transfer from say London to NY within the same bank after two years as an analyst and still be in the race for a promotion the next year?

Nov 26, 2018

Usually you as your bank and they tell you to go for it but it depends on a case by case basis - ie at GS after 2 years you either change team/division or move to an other office

Nov 26, 2018

H/S are reaches, but I think your resume and post-MBA goal that would resonate well at Wharton, Booth (slight reach), Columbia (target) and NYU (safety). All of which place well as well or better than H/S for BB IB.

Plenty of other schools to consider as well. With your goals, limiting to H/S/W doesn't make sense.

Nov 28, 2018

Harold Simansky
Senior MBA Admissions Counselor
Stratus Admissions Counseling
Harold.Sima[email protected]

If you wish to speak to me directly through a free consult click

    • 1