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Chances for Elite MBA Programs

greenscreen34greenscreen34 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
Hello everyone,

I am currently in the process of taking my GMAT exam, for I am interested in pursuing an MBA. I would like to pursue an MBA to build my knowledge in finance and expand my network. I believe after my MBA, I would like to either continue in finance/consulting for a few more years and eventually go down an entrepreneurial path

My background -

Undergrad: Top 25 university with a B.A. in Economics
GMAT: 740 (In the process of retaking, aiming for 760 or higher)
Undergrad GPA: 3.55/4.00
Experience: One year at a middle-market investment bank (beginning my second year)
Three strong recommendations from university professors

Programs of high interest -

Harvard Business School
UChicago Booth
Columbia Business School
Northwestern Kellogg
Dartmouth Tuck
UPenn Wharton
Yale School of Management

Other programs of interest -

Stanford GSB
UC Berkeley Haas
UCLA Anderson
NYU Stern
MIT Sloan
UVA McIntire
Duke Fuqua
UMich Ross
Cornell Johnson

I would appreciate what you believe my chances are for each school.

1. Not enough time working? Ideally I'd like to try and enter a PE firm for another two years before applying, or perhaps switch to consulting
2. Should I pursue a full-time MBA or just part-time MBA and continue working? While I understand the full-time MBA students have better resources to recruit, it just seems that the 2 years forfeited working is not worth the one (or maybe two) chances to break into a different, or possibly even the same industry.
3. How do I go about writing the essays? Are there any services that would provide MBA admission guidance or counseling?

Replies to: Chances for Elite MBA Programs

  • greenscreen34greenscreen34 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,607 Senior Member
    Your schools are all reaches. Undergrad GPA is meh.
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 3,316 Senior Member
    Don't see it happening, a good friend of mine went to Wharton with a much worse GPA (but it was in electrical engineering) however he had three years of very unique experience outside the U.S.
  • dla26dla26 Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    It's been a while since I applied to and graduated from b-school (Columbia), but unless something's changed, I'd say that those schools are all reaches. I'm not too concerned with the undergrad GPA (especially depending on which school and what your courseload was), but your work experience is pretty shallow.

    One thing that stood out for me was that every person that I met in my time in b-school had done something I hadn't met anyone else who had done that before. (Awkward phrasing, but hopefully you get the idea.) In my immediate 5-person study group alone, there was an ex-Marines captain who had served in a combat zone - and had graduated from a T20 undergrad school. Another person went to MIT undergrad and Stanford for his masters in Electrical engineering. The 3rd person worked directly on the Clinton-Gore campaign and was recommended personally by the then-Secretary of the Treasury. The 4th was a woman from Pakistan with an accounting background. (Probably the least impressive, but I hadn't met any other professional women from Pakistan!) For my part, I'm an American who got a masters degree from a top Japanese university and wrote my masters thesis in Japanese and then worked for a Japanese blue-chip company for several years. IIRC, my undergrad GPA was 3.7 and my GMAT was 740. I got dinged by HBS and Stanford GSB but got into Columbia.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,447 Senior Member
    Traditional 2 year MBA programs prefer applicants have two (2) to five (5) years of post-undergraduate work experience when matriculating.

    Stanford & Harvard prefer younger applicants than do the rest of the M-7.

    Your current GMAT score of 740 is adequate for all elite MBA programs.

    There are many MBA application consulting firms.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,447 Senior Member
    Traditional 2 year MBA applications have been declining overall, but probably not so for the M-7 (flight to quality).

    Several schools have scrapped their traditional 2 year fulltime MBA programs. Iowa Tippie is one of the most recent. They will still offer part-time programs both regular & executive. Tippie is introducing a one year masters in finance.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,447 Senior Member
    Your GPA is adequate--only low for Stanford & Harvard, and a bit low for Berkeley. Most M-7 like to see 3.6 or a slight bit higher GPA.

    Not sure that PE experience will offer much of a boost, but is worthwhile for diversity of WE along with your IB work.

    Most important is that you have a clearly defined career path as expressed in your statement of purpose.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,447 Senior Member
    Just checked admit rates, yields & # of apps for the top 25 MBA programs. Number of applications are up--except for a few such as Emory, Georgetown & Indiana plus one or two more.

    Since OP listed 16 of the top 25, I'll just list the acceptance rates for 2017 for all of the top 25.

    1) Penn-Wharton-19.2%
    2) Harvard-11%
    3) Stanford-6%
    4) Chicago--20.8%
    5) Northwestern-Kellogg-20.2%

    6) MIT--11.5%
    7) Dartmouth-Tuck--23%
    8) Columbia--16.5%
    9) UC-Berkeley--12%
    10) Yale SOM--17.4%

    11) Michigan-Ross--25%
    12) Duke-Fuqua--22%
    13) Virginia--24.5%
    14) Cornell--30%
    15) UCLA--22%

    16) NYU-Stern--21%
    17) CMU-Tepper--29.5%
    18) Texas--28%
    19) UNC--37%
    20) Emory--40.8%

    21) Indiana-Kelley--35%
    22) Univ. of Washington--Foster--22%
    23) Georgetown--47.8%
    24) Notre Dame--42%
    25) Rice--27%
  • UCBUSCalumUCBUSCalum Registered User Posts: 983 Member
    The rankings changed for 2018, especially #s 21 - 25. See link below:


  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,447 Senior Member
    @UCBUSCalum: Thanks ! My rankings were from Poets & Quants so they will be different than US News.
  • greenscreen34greenscreen34 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @dla26 i appreciate your insight on the aspect of being unique. I will definitely pursue something that perhaps is not as typically found in most candidates' applications, but also is worth my while.

    @Publisher thank you for giving me a better sense of where my scores and GPA stand. I'll surely work for another few years before officially applying.
  • fivesagesfivesages Registered User Posts: 228 Junior Member
    Assuming you will be applying for the Fall'19 start, you would have close to 3 years of experience by then. Majority of the applicants from IBs and the top management consulting firms only usually have 2-3 years experience. You should be fine with respect to experience. Also, I don't think your GMAT score or GPA are going to hold you back, except may be Stanford, Harvard and Wharton. As @dla26 alluded to it, I think you may be light on the activities/service factor. If I were you, I would strengthen that...get involved! You don't need to solve world's biggest problems to get into the top MBA programs, but you do need to be involved, in a meaningful way, on the service/do-good front. Good luck!
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