Profile Evaluation for HSW

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Profile Evaluation for HSW

by fin94 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:12 am
Hi there,

My applications for my top 3 choices (Stanford GSB, HBS, Wharton) have been submitted - I'm posting here for fun (okay, out of extreme curiosity) while I wait to hear back. I'm curious as to how my profile stacks up based on what people have seen this year and in previously application cycles. I would appreciate a reality check if I'm reaching too high. Note I applied to 2+2 years ago and received some feedback on this forum that I believe was overly optimistic, so any honest reactions to the below would be great!

Citizenship: US / Canadian dual-citizenship (grew up and educated in Canada)
Ethnicity: Black (African American)
Education: 3 years in commerce program at school #1 (top business program on Canada's West Coast but relatively weak nationally); 2 years in business program at school #2 (top-tier undergraduate business program in Canada and arguably best school in Canada for finance)
GPA: school #1: ~77%; school #2: ~82% (if I'm honest, my grades are probably in the ~60th-70th percentile overall)
GMAT Score: 770 (V51, Q48, 6.0 AWA, 6.0 Integrate Reasoning)

ECs: heavily focused on diversity, primarily through leadership in recruitment efforts at my 2 employers and an initiative I started at employer #2 as a Canadian response to the racially-driven civil unrest and social movement in the US in early-mid 2020 (initiative has raised ~50,000 in a few months)

Years of work experience expected at matriculation: 5
Employer #1: #1 investment bank in Canada (mergers & acquisitions - widely regarded as top group in Canada)
Employer #2: #2 investment bank in the US (consumer retail group)
International experience: ~1.5 years working on the West Coast of the US (remainder of the time has been spent in Toronto)
Primary Achievements: Received highest ranking as a summer analyst at employer #1 and as a full-time analyst at employer #2
Post-MBA goal: Entrepreneurship in consumer retail / eCommerce (I feel I do a good job of articulating the reason for this career goal in my essays)

Recommendations: One stronger than the other but would describe both as excellent / outstanding

There is obviously a lot more detail that I can provide if helpful but interested in any thoughts based on the above.



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Re: Profile Evaluation for HSW

by MargaretStrother » Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:26 pm
Hi Fin94!
Well, you've got a lot of good stuff here: love the GMAT, love the work experience. GPA: a bit low for HBS, but they might overlook it if everything else is spectacular.

However, I don't have enough material to assess your competitiveness for these programs. Missing for me is leadership, international exposure and extensive extracurricular/community involvement.

Leadership is the #1 driver of b-school admissions, but most people don't get to lead a lot of teams in i-banking, so community service becomes an important differentiator.

You have a brief mention of Extracurriculars, but I don't see any team leadership -- it might be there, but you haven't mentioned it. I'd also want to see involvement that predates 2020 -- HBS in particular loves people who've been involved in large-scale community leadership projects for several years, long enough for it to look like more than 'something you do because you're applying to b-school.'

International exposure: if you've lived or worked overseas, if your folks are immigrants, if you speak another language fluently, or if colleagues are from other countries or you work with off-shore teams, we'd definitely want to see that as well.

Mostly what makes a person Stanfordy/Harvardy, IMO, is your career vision. Where precisely are you heading, and why do you need the most elite MBA in the world in order to achieve this? What are you going to do with all this leadership training? Who needs your leadership vision and why? You know, change lives, change the world, etc.

Will you be applying to schools in Round 2? It's not a bad idea, if you're going nuts waiting for interview invites, to keep yourself busy building out your Plan B.

Margaret Strother
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Stacy Blackman Consulting

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Re: Profile Evaluation for HSW

by Indradeep1click » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:35 am

You have a fantastic GMAT score, great diversity in your profile and strong background in commerce/entrepreneurship. You can certainly build an excellent story around your previous backgrounds.

In my opinion, the drawback would be to address your undergraduate score, not a massive issue but definitely would require an address.

Apart from the quantitative aspect of your application, the critical things for HBS, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Oxford, LBS, Insead etc would be a combination of demonstration of your leadership skill (well above and beyond what is expected at your level), your desire for doing an MBA (short term and long term goal combined with why this school and why now), and your overall dreams, goals and vision. In short, the bigger the dreams and the bigger the demonstration of being a leader, the higher your chance.

Remember, these schools are looking for the next CEO of the 20 largest corporates of the world - you are already on the journey, we just need to demonstrate how that journey takes you through the school and what happens next.

Hope that helps,

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Re: Profile Evaluation for HSW

by fin94 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:04 pm
Really appreciate all the feedback on my profile! I recently received the final few decisions and wanted to share my Round 1 results in case they provide a helpful data point to anyone in the future:

- Stanford
- Wharton
- Berkeley
- Yale SOM

- Wharton
- Berkeley
- Yale SOM

Offered Admission:
- Wharton
- Berkeley (full tuition Consortium scholarship)
- Yale SOM (full tuition Consortium scholarship)

I will more than likely be accepting the HBS offer!