How I got into Oxford Saïd: Managament Consultant’s Tale
We present in this post the profile of a management consultant who got into the well-known Oxford Saïd for a 1 year MBA.
Candidate: “I’m a consultant for a renowned non-MBB management consulting firm in London. I applied close to the stage 3 deadline and was pleasantly surprised to have been invited to interview. I accepted my admit and will be matriculating shortly.”
Summary: 28 year old French white male, worked for a highly regarded non-MBB consulting firm in London. Undergrad in Finance from a French Grandé Ecole.
1. GMAT: 710
2. GPA: 9.5/10.0 (French Scale), equivalent to a UK First Class Honours.
3. Work Experience: 51 months as a Consultant (2 promotions)
4. Employer: Renowned non-MBB Consultancy.
5. Extra-Curricular: Professional gymnast; Part-time French tutor.
Objective: “Transition into private equity”
Interview: “For most part of the interview, my career and objective was discussed. The interviewer took time to explain many aspects of Said – from classrooms to classmates. I had prepared for some questions before hand, but found this isn’t a good idea. Just be yourself and stay calm!”
9.5 GPA from a Grandé Ecole is very impressive. So is 2 promotions in the consultancy firm. Although the GMAT score of 710 isn’t too great, it’s easily above the Said average of 690. Great extra-curriculars: professional gymnast. Overall, there should have been no qualms for adcom at Said to admit you!
How I got into Wharton: Story of an Equity Trader
In this post we present to you the profile of a candidate successful at Wharton School of Economics. The candidate has also included interview information to benefit our readers.
Candidate: “Hi, I am a 27 years old equity trader. I applied to the UPenn. Wharton MBA program and several other programs. Finally got an admit at Wharton and Stanford. While both are exceptional schools and it was exceedingly difficult for me to choose between the two, after much thought I chose Wharton since it seemed to have a greater appeal amongst i-bankers.”
Summary: British-Indian female worked as an equity trader for a top i-bank in London. Undergrad from a top Russell League university.
1. GMAT: 760
2. GPA: First-Class Honors (equivalent of a roughly American 4.0/4.0)
3. Work Experience: Equity trading, 47 months.
4. Employer: Top i-bank in London.
5. Extra-Curricular: Athlete with several top-honors. Member and convener of several charitable societies.
Objective: “Transitioning into PE”
Interview: “The Wharton interview went really well. The interviewer seemed very impressed. I was asked questions about my career and my objectives. Since I also held lots of responsibilities in charitable societies in London, I was asked how I felt about leaving these behind and moving to the US – this was the only difficult question in the interview.”
Wow! This is a solid solid profile: 760 GMAT, with a British first-class ho,ors from a Russell League university and solid work experience at a top i-bank. Added to that excellent extra-curriculars, this profile would have been difficult for any adcom to turn away. It comes as no surprise that you were selected at both Wharton and Stanford. No more analysis on that here!
An interesting takeaway is an insight into adcom interviews which routinely many fail to convert. It shows how adcoms are going to challenge you, to see in person if you are what you claim to be. From the description of your profile I see that you were pretty much into extra-curriculars, so it was indeed a difficult question for you to answer if you were going to leave all these managerial positions to pursue an MBA. It would have been interesting to see how you answered that question.
Finally, the information that you chose Stanford over Wharton is also a bold stand. Of course both are exceptional schools – its very difficult to choose one over another. But so many others would have made Stanford their choice, as I have routinely seen.
Harvard MBA Success Story: Low GPA and Low GMAT
Before we look into the profile of a successful HBS MBA candidate, let me remind you to have a look at: how to get into HBS.
Candidate: “I started my career in a low-key branch at a MBB consulting firm in eastern Europe. Prior to that I received a master’s degree in a regionally well-known eastern European university in engineering. I worked at the MBB consulting firm for about four-and-a-half years. During this time I received a couple of promotions, and showed very steady career growth. I’m sure therefore that my LoRs which came from my line-manager and the Director of our team were solid. I had a low GPA and a low GMAT, still got into HBS because of my work experience”
Summary: European 28 year old female, with a master’s degree in engineering.
1. GMAT: 690
2. GPA: 3.0/4.0 (European)
3. Work Experience: 54 months at the time of application
4. Employer: MBB Consulting, low-key European branch
5. Extra-Curricular: Triathlon with several national awards; Women’s Self-Help network founder/convener reaching about 28,000 women in Euro-Zone; Actor/Drama performer with performances in well-known productions
Post-MBA Objective: “Moving to upper management in the present MBB firm and Setting up own consultancy in eastern Europe in the long term.”
Analysis: This is one of those profiles which gives the reader a lot of hope, however on close observation we know this is a very rare background and talented candidate. Diversity in extra-curriculars ranging from on the sports field (Triathlon) to more artistic pursuits in Drama/Theatre is certainly commendable. ‘Couple of promotions’ at an MBB in four-and-a-half years shows strong work-ethic and easily compensates for the ack of a strong GMAT, although 690 is not too bad.
GPA is below-average by American standards, but how does it compare with similar European candidates? Also prestige regional university may have been overrated by adcoms. Some European universities such as the French Grandé Ecole and the German TU9 systems command respect. But I reckon this is an eastern European university? Nonetheless, lower GPAs may have been overlooked due to the branch of study being engineering (that too with a MS), prestige under-grad and great work-ethic, in a non-engineering job.
Another important factor, though I wouldn’t like to take the credit of a great profile (notwithstanding a low GPA and a slightly low GMAT) away from the candidate, is the mention of Eastern Europe. Now how many students apply to HBS each year from eastern Europe? Not too many, I guess. This might have presented you as an exotic catch to the HBS adcom, which like other schools is keen to enhance the diversity of their class.