Top Business School Chances

joejoe's picture
Rank: Chimp | 10

I'm trying to gauge my chances of getting into top 5ish mba programs, given my stats and story.

Education:
Big 10 Finance Degree (3.1 GPA)
Solid extra curriculars (investment club, finance club, etc.)

Work Experience:
3 years at top IB boutique in M&A / Restructuring (think Greenhill, Lazard, Blackstone)
Will be 2 years at top middle market private equity fund (~$3bn AUM)

Recs:
Very solid from former alums, Partners and MDs at work and F500 CEO types

GMAT:
~700 level

Extracurriculars:
Mentor in non-profit, board of non-profit, political campaigns

What are my chances at H/W/S or 2nd tier schools (Kellogg, Booth, Tuck, Columbia)? Want to either stay in PE post-mba or start own business. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Region: 
United States - Northeast

Comments (23)

Apr 28, 2010

H/S large reach
W pretty large reach
K/B/C/T more realistic but not safeties

Good work experience, they'll mark the checkbox on extracurriculars but nothing extraordinary, but GPA is low. And when you say ~700 level GMAT, do you mean like 680 or 720? Because there is a fairly large difference. After 730 or so it becomes more of a check the box exercise than anything else, but that 680-720 range can be pretty critical in my opinion.

I suggest you post in Alex's thread that's stickied in the forum as his advice is pretty spot-on.

Apr 28, 2010

K/B/C/T more realistic because b-schools generally want to have a very diverse class, and not the typical finance people. If H/S/W does not have a large pool of typical BB and mega fund candidates then you stand a chance, well at least within the range of "finance people." It has gotten ever more competitive recently with the downturn as well as schools shunning away from taking large pools of finance people, given the, "fabolous fab'" image. My advice, diversify your experience if you absolutely want to go to H/S/W or apply to as many schools as possible to have a broader choice at the end.

Apr 28, 2010

looks like a great profile. get 700+ gmat for the gpa issue, write good essays that do justice to your "story", and you should have a chance everywhere. obviously i am writing this is based on research, not personal experience.

Apr 28, 2010

How did you ever get into Greenhill with a 3.1 from a non target? Networked your ass off?

Apr 28, 2010

MsCleo -
IMO grades don't matter as much as people think - at least for prospective jobs (not b-school). Got in through a lot of networking and persistence.

Apr 28, 2010
joejoe:

MsCleo -
IMO grades don't matter as much as people think - at least for prospective jobs (not b-school). Got in through a lot of networking and persistence.

Yeah, you just got lucky in when you got out of school. In todays market you'd be working ops or unemployed, sigh bad timing sucks

Apr 28, 2010

I guess the more logical question would be how much did grades hurt from a PE recruiting perspective or dealing with HHs? A lot of openings have a 3.5 minimum.

I think a high GMAT can negate a low GPA. H/S are always tricky for most people. If you can explain the low GPA, I think Booth, Kellog, MIT and Columbia are possibilities. Try to get on gmat club forums. They had a discussion about low GPA success stories. That should be helpful. Post your question in Alex's thread too.

Interested in the low GPA to PE transition though

Apr 28, 2010

Insecure much?

Apr 28, 2010

You have a somewhat decent shot at the 2nd tier schools you mentioned. The first is out of reach. You've got fairly good work ex and extra curricular, but nothing special. You GPA is quite low for even the 2nd tier school you have mentioned. In your case, you need to be aiming for 740+ GMAT, and making sure that every other aspect of your application is solid which might help make up for you low GPA. I would also suggest looking at schools outside of the top 10 such as Cornell, Darden etc as you'll probably have a somewhat better shot at those schools. Although I think getting in anywhere in the top 15 is going to be difficult.

Apr 28, 2010

Its very unpredictable. I know people who got dinged at those second tier schools but then got into the top 3. For example, dinged at W, in at HBS. Dinged by Chicago, in at Wharton. Also, dinged at Kellogg, in at HBS. In at H/S, dinged by Columbia.

Apr 29, 2010

i'd advise you to speak with a legitimate b-school consultant. i think people here are painting way too bleak a picture...someone very close to me got into several of the schools you mentioned, including two of hsw, with exactly the same gpa, program, school, ECs, but much more down-to-earth work ex in finance. as ace says, "it's very unpredictable". don't NOT apply to top 3, top 7, etc. just because someone on wso (or anywhere) said you shouldn't...unless it's that school's adcom haha. to come back to point, get a good gmat (this is not very hard to do), write good essays, and apply to more than just 2 or 3 top schools. good luck buddy.

Apr 29, 2010

Thanks Island. Appreciate the thoughtful response.

Apr 30, 2010

I posted a similar "what do you guys think about my profile" thread awhile ago and immediately regretted it. Who cares what these people think. Everybody thinks they know shit they don't. Do your thing and show why you are unique...forget the rest.

Here's a buddy:
2.6 GPA
670 GMAT
6 Years work in military intelligence
Accepted: Wharton, Chicago, LBS, Columbia

Any D-bag who tells you that you have no chance at certain schools, especially with your solid stats, is a fool and you don't even need to hear that. Good luck.

Apr 30, 2010
navyrugby:

I posted a similar "what do you guys think about my profile" thread awhile ago and immediately regretted it. Who cares what these people think. Everybody thinks they know shit they don't. Do your thing and show why you are unique...forget the rest.

Here's a buddy:
2.6 GPA
670 GMAT
6 Years work in military intelligence
Accepted: Wharton, Chicago, LBS, Columbia

Any D-bag who tells you that you have no chance at certain schools, especially with your solid stats, is a fool and you don't even need to hear that. Good luck.

Agree. A teammate of mine had a 2.8 GPA, worked for a small recruiter for 3 years and just got in Chicago.

"The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher." - Oscar Wilde

Apr 30, 2010

Single instances are not the norm; people provide general advice based on an initial request for such. And that "6 years work in military intelligence" is looked upon incredibly favorably by most schools. What better demonstrates work ethic and leadership qualities under pressure than the military? Nothing, and it's one of the prime sets of intangibles any school / business looks for.

Apr 30, 2010

@ navyrugby: then you are agreeing with me.

i sometimes think that it is counterproductive not just posting "profile evaluations" and the like, but even reading them. i think it can demoralize and limit you if you aren't smart enough to separate the wheat from the chaff. like navy says, "do you thing and show why you are unique". these forums, gmatclub, beatthegmat, alex chu and stacy blackman are just resources, not ultimate authorities. "single instances" actually make up a huge number in the aggregate. and if one person has done it with your stats before, why can't you be the next? it's one thing to be realistic, another to be negative. forums with "experts" laying down the law - for instance, "you have NO chance at hws, you might have an outside chance at xyz second tiers" - will drive you to be the latter. take the useful points (the facts, the concrete knowledge, the strategies, how to make your profile more attractive vs why you shouldn't apply since your profile sucks, etc). And discard the negativity and shit that won't take you anywhere.

btw, f undergrad gpa as the be all and end all of intelligence/performance/value measurement. OP got a killer job straight out of undergrad, and likely killed it to get that PE gig. OP: again, get that high gmat, write good essays and get your story across, and you should be straight. and again, like i said, don't NOT apply to xyz program because someone on the internet said you shouldn't. i am not encouraging you to ONLY apply to hws or do something stupid...be smart, hedge your bets, apply across tiers, and put in effort in each application. just don't NOT apply to some program cause you were deemed unworthy on an internet forum, not with that work experience and ECs for god's sake.

if it's something that you want to do, shouldn't you do it anyway? if the desire is internal and the conviction is strong, shouldn't you follow it through despite what people are saying? 5 years ago, if you posted your stats on this forum, would anyone at all have said this is where you would be 5 years in the future? ghl/laz => MM PE (>3 B AUM). HAHA hell no.

Do ya thing bud and good luck with HWS. Just make sure to let them know you are unique!

again, best of luck op!

Apr 30, 2010

H/S will be a reach but I think you have a solid chance at all the rest. I just went through the application process this year, and there were a number of people with a background comparable to yours at Wharton, Kellogg, and Chicago. A lot of it comes down to luck of the draw. I'd imagine it's the case at Columbia and Tuck too but I didn't apply or visit those schools. Anyway, believe it or not, a good barometer is where recent employees at your current firm ended up going to school. In any case, I would still encourage you to apply to all of the best schools -- your profile will be competitive at any of the top schools, but do realize that it really does come down to a crapshoot because there are many people with a similar or better profile as yours. The only other consideration to keep in mind is that applying to more than four schools in one round will be brutal; I was pretty much ready to go ape once I finished my applications, but thankfully I didn't have to apply to anymore schools during round 2 as I found out before the holidays where I'd been accepted.

Best of luck!

Apr 30, 2010

Yes, Island, I absolutely agree with you.

Apr 30, 2010

2.9 GPA / 720 GMAT with offers to Chicago and Columbia.

May 1, 2010
ACEinTHEhole:

2.9 GPA / 720 GMAT with offers to Chicago and Columbia.

It's a shame that such accomplished students from either of those schools would have to share their resources with someone as boneheaded and unimpressive as you.

May 1, 2010
SirBankalot:
ACEinTHEhole:

2.9 GPA / 720 GMAT with offers to Chicago and Columbia.

It's a shame that such accomplished students from either of those schools would have to share their resources with someone as boneheaded and unimpressive as you.

Thanks man, that means a lot coming from you.

May 1, 2010
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