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Can I get into Harvard / Stanford? McKinsey, GMAT: 710

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Can I get into Harvard / Stanford? McKinsey, GMAT: 710 [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2013, 12:53
Hi,

currently I am thinking about applying for the Fall 2015 MBA Intake. Would love to get into Harvard (prio 1) or Stanford (prio 2). How would you assess my profile? How much of a strong candidate am I? In Fall 2015, I will be 25 years old, white male.

Undergraduate: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Germany)
B.Sc. Business Administration (GPA: 1.8 out of 5.0)
B.A. Philosophy (GPA: 1.3 out of 5.0)

Graduate: London School of Economics & Political Science
M.Sc. Accounting and Finance (Grade: "with Merit", grading scheme is Pass / Merit / Distinction).

Work Experience (until Fall 2015):
2 years of working for McKinsey & Company as a Consultant in the German office

GMAT: 710 (Quant: 66%, Verbal: 95%)

Extracurriculars:
- Founded a substantial non-profit organization with tangible, tough not incredible success in Germany
- Obtained prestigious scholarships in Germany (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, ...)

Story / Career Goal after MBA:
- Taking over our family business in Germany ( ~ 60 EUR mn turnover p.a.)

What do you think about my GMAT? It is the test I used to get into the LSE master. The Quant score is pretty low... Will I need to take the risk of retaking it? Where would you apply as a backup school in the U.S. where I would have a pretty safe chance to get in?

Thanks! This will help me a lot. Best!
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Re: Can I get into Harvard / Stanford? McKinsey, GMAT: 710 [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2013, 16:56
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Thank you for your question - your GMAT is just fine for those schools. It is hard to wow HBS or Stanford with a GMAT score since plenty of folks with 770 and 790 apply.

You seem to have accomplished a lot already at a fairly young age, you show that you are determined, and can be taught. I don't know the german GPA scale - but GPA is very important in BSchool and average in the US is probably around 3.5+ for the top 10 schools (out of 4 where 4 is the highest).

I would mostly be concerned with your GPA and work experience. You will have only 2 years - will that be enough to show progress, leadership, maturity, and accomplishments? At the time of application you will only have 1 year of experience. That's going to be tough. 2 years tends to be on the low end of acceptable for bschool.

One question I could see Adcom asking you is why US? You are in EU, you intend to work in EU, why HBS besides the name? Why not LBS or INSEAD or IE?

P.S. If you are planning to take over the family business, do you feel only 2 years at McKinsey is enough?
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Re: Can I get into Harvard / Stanford? McKinsey, GMAT: 710 [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2013, 12:05
On the German scale, 1.0 is the highest. So if you posted your GPA on the German scale, that's very good. As bb said, your GMAT is sufficient for any school, including GSB and HBS. Your McKinsey experience is awesome, too. I'd say you have a great shot, but you should probably gain one or two years more work experience to maximize your chances.
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Re: Can I get into Harvard / Stanford? McKinsey, GMAT: 710 [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2013, 12:49
What bb and missxmelon said is true. 2 years is on the thin side for a lot schools now. As for your GMAT, 710 is ok but won't stand out. If you think you are capable of scoring higher, then it definitely can't hurt.

One thing you will have to think about is how you will stand out against other consultants. It is a big feeder into business school and you will be compared against from a similar background.

As for other US b-schools, it depends on what you are looking for. City or campus, big class size or small class size? Totally understandable but so far it looks like you thought about Harvard and Stanford because they are generally thought of as the two 2 schools.
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GMAT (28/02) | Profile (11/03) | Networking / Research (01/04) | Recommendations | Essays / Online applications | Interview

My 710 (Q50, V36) Debrief + 740 (Q48, V44) Update:
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Re: Can I get into Harvard / Stanford? McKinsey, GMAT: 710   [#permalink] 16 Nov 2013, 12:49
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