Do MBA programs look at the prestige of undergraduate college?

<p>Hello,
I am a naturalized citizen majoring in finance (so don't make fun of my English). I would like to obtain an admission to a prestigious MBA program in US.</p>

<p>This is my profile:</p>

<p>Major GPA 4.0 / Cumulative GPA: 3.92
Senior (but will be graduating in 3 semesters)
Audit internship at KPMG
3 years of U.S. military service (to get my citizenship) as an airborne infantry/ served in Iraq, obtained a medal.</p>

<p>I have not taken GMAT yet.</p>

<p>I have an interview with SEO for Hong Kong investment banking. If I do get an internship with SEO, I will have an investment banking (corporate finance) experience under my belt.</p>

<p>I attend the University of Houston, a business school that has a poor ranking.</p>

<p>Do I have a chance to be admitted to a prestigious MBA program although I come from a university that is not well-known?</p>

<p>It will be a little bit tougher but the short answer is "yes". Do very well at work, get promoted, take on impressive leadership responsibilities, and rock the GMAT.</p>

<p>I have looked over quite a few resume books from a few leading business schools and this is a mix of undergraduate school represented. Of course you'll see a lot of the more prestigious institutions (Harvard, Penn, Northwestern, etc.), at least at the more highly ranked programs, but there are a lot of smaller, "lesser" schools represented as well. </p>

<p>Calicartel is probably right, it might be tougher, but there is question that a student from Houston can get into a top school. If you do end up working at an international bank and show some real leadership and quality achievement on your resume/application (coupled with a solid GMAT score) I see no reason why you wouldn't be competitive for a highly ranked b-school. </p>

<p>The fact that you have a very high GPA and of foreign birth will be helpful as well, in my opinion. Diversity is an important factor that schools consider and the more diverse and unique you are (assuming you're qualified as well), the more appealing you'll be to the school, at least in theory. </p>

<p>I have seen a number of b-school resumes with military service as well. You can count that towards your work experience most likely, *especially if you have some sort of leadership experience from the military. That will also set you apart and add to your overall appeal. </p>

<p>You have some strong positives that could garner well for your application. Now just make sure you do well professionally, post-undergraduate, and do well on the GMAT and you'll do fine I'd wager. </p>

<p>Good luck (and thanks for your service, by the way)!</p>

<p>How would an American university be able to find out the level of prestige of the universities in foreign countries? </p>

<p>I'm sure, Haas must have heard of Oxford in the UK. But has Haas heard of University of Malaya or Chulalongkorn University in Thailand? Those are the top schools in their respective countries, BTW.</p>

<p>Thanks guys, it's a big relief. I will just focus on my professional side then.</p>

<p>Oh BTW, dut 99002, you don't have to thank me. I should thank you for paying your taxes =P</p>

<p>
[quote]
But has Haas heard of University of Malaya or Chulalongkorn University in Thailand? Those are the top schools in their respective countries, BTW.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Most top business schools have relationships with dozens of schools around the world, all of which are at or near the top in their respective countries. </p>

<p>How would business schools know about universities in Thailand? How do you know about them? Do you have some sort of top secret clearance into information that is hidden to the general public? Do admissions staff members not get paid to do this type of research?</p>

<p>
[quote]
But has Haas heard of University of Malaya or Chulalongkorn University in Thailand? Those are the top schools in their respective countries, BTW.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>i dont know about malaya, but UCLA has definitely heard of chulalongkorn since most of the thai students they admit went there (and they admit several thai students every year)</p>

<p>yes, life diverges from hs... princeton/yale/harvard is obviously the optimal choice of undergrad</p>

<p>
[quote]
Do I have a chance to be admitted to a prestigious MBA program although I come from a university that is not well-known?

[/quote]

That's should not bother you. In fact, going from U of Houston to a well-known IB firm will be looked upon favorably. Get a good mentor and manage your career carefully post college. In few short years, you should make a great candidate for many top b-schools - assuming you still need an MBA then.</p>

<p>They do somewhat, it's not that big of a deal.</p>

<p>Not that big of a deal?
Yes, it is. A 4.0 a Houston is not the same as a 4.0 at A HYP.
Those who attend more prestigious universities are better prepared than those at lesser universities. Yes, people from lesser universities get in very often because Grad school love a mixing, but it is much much harder to do so.</p>

<p>For a lesser rep school, the top business schools will look for other signs of leadership for a reason to admit - high school office, evidence of successful entrepreneurship, (don't laugh/cry) significant family business that the applicant may take over some day, anything that signals likely success in later life and indicates that this is someone they will be proud to claim as an alum.</p>

<p>"Those who attend more prestigious universities are better prepared than those at lesser universities. Yes, people from lesser universities get in very often because Grad school love a mixing, but it is much much harder to do so."</p>

<p>Not credited at all. At least for law/medical schools. I'm assuming the same for MBAs. The quality of undergrad may only make a difference when the applicants have identical numbers and soft figures...then the nod will be given to HYS grad. </p>

<p>The reason so many students from HYPMS go to top grad schools is because they are so much smarter than the general college population, and therefore have much more impressive standardized test scores, on average.</p>

<p>Even then, work experience is a HUGE factor in MBA admissions, arguable more so than any other grad program. Where and when you work is very important to them, so do a good job.</p>

<p>From what I've seen in admissions processes generally, there are three ways to think about "branding." Probably elements of all three are right.</p>

<p>A.) The most obviously true one is that as a general rule -- with significant exceptions -- top-notch universities often have more available opportunities for excellent extras, like WE. This rule has many exceptions, but the trend is there.</p>

<p>B.) The second theory is that a name-brand school will offset a low GPA, but will not make up for other missing credentials. If anything, it will highlight deficiencies in other areas. A kid graduating from Amherst with a 3.3 GPA is very understandable; an Amherst kid with a 550 GMAT is really a red flag.</p>

<p>C.) Third possibility has been directly described to me, although admittedly this is not in MBA contexts -- obviously, since MBA's don't do interviews. "When I'm picking kids to interview, if he comes from a top school I'll interview him as long as there's nothing wrong with him. If he comes from a low-ranked school, I'll interview him if there's something special on his application. Once that's done, that's all out the window and the interview is the most important thing."</p>

<p>In other words: excellence is a panacea, but if you're going to be a mediocre candidate, the branding might help.</p>

<p>I don't know which of these is true, if any of them are. But those are three models that have been described to me.</p>

<p>The average undergrad GPA for students going into top business schools (HBS, Wharton, SBS etc) have GPAs around 3.5.</p>

<p>Law school it ain't.</p>

<p>However that means your professional achievements are ultra-important.</p>

<p>With your good experience and excellent GPA so far, I'd say that a 700+ GMAT plus another good 2 or 3 years of experience will certainly get you into at least ONE good MBA program. I wouldn't worry. It sounds to me like you'll have no problem kicking some tail, as long as you keep up this current pace.</p>

<p>Yea. i'm sure you can get into a top MBA program. Especially with that experience.</p>

<p>First of all, your English is fine.</p>

<p>Second of all, I think you're okay for business school. Business school is MUCH MUCH less of a numbers game than law school, and they emphasize work experience HEAVILY. Grades don't really matter all that much. But as others before me have said and others after me will say, GMAT DOES MATTER.</p>

<p>Third of all, prestige of your undergrad college doesn't matter all that much. While it's true that someone from Wharton is going to get first pick of the most desirable and preceivedly prestigious jobs, your degree from UHouston isn't going to hurt you. You may be able to leverage that, actually, maybe talk about how you overcame the stigma attached to attending a no-name (no offense) school in a field that's very much hung up on pedigrees (finance).</p>

<p>Fourthly, I heard that experience in the military is very positively perceived in MBA admissions. So that's a point in your favor.</p>

<p>And finally, you have excellent work experience: military, finance if you get it. And no offense, but you have a subpar education. Or an education that is perceivedly subpar. Try to direct the adcom's attention away from the fact that you went to U Houston and direct their attention to the fact that you have this excellent work experience and what you got out of it.</p>

<p>Going to a top undergrad school is always better than going to just a decent one, Education wise and opportunity wise.</p>

<p>The real key for anyone at a slight disadvantage is to have great work experience, grades, and internships</p>

<p>I attended Wharton for my MBA. I had top grades & Phi Beta Kappa (BS Biology) from an unknown undergrad school, an MS in Agronomy from the U. of Missouri (another non-prestigious school), plus work experience as a scientist. I scored in the 99th percentile on the GMATs.</p>

<p>To some extent, IMO Wharton, and perhaps other large schools, are prestigious diploma mills. They have large classes to fill and are looking for people with work experience and good scores/credentials from all over the world - who are willing to pay the $$$ for tuition etc - all the better to build a multinational base that they can draw on for future donations, alumni contacts, etc! I think your international background will be a big plus, assuming that you do well on the GMATs.</p>