I find his story rather depressing too, so I'm trying to come up with (flimsy) reasons for his travails here and make myself feel better about my own MBA prospects.
Mike has a degree from a decent school in DC, a background in operations, a consulting internship with a large government contractor, and is looking to get into brand management in the Bay Area?
It would seem to me that he insists on working in a rather different industry than the one he has the most experience in? So Mike's a career changer of sorts, which as a lot of current students here have pointed out, has been the kiss of death at many schools this year.
Moreover, most Elite/Near Elite business chools are, in my opinion, inherently regional in scope when it comes to graduate placement and Mike might have (perhaps?) done better if he were looking for a job in the DC/Va area as opposed to in Northern California?