While having what would be considered an average profile to below average profile for top schools, your friend's strategy of applying to third tier schools is a good one. One reason is that far fewer international applicants apply to his target schools, which could give him an edge where he lacks one in other areas. Sometimes family business experience is discounted by the adcoms, so make sure he is able to quantify and qualify his contributions there to innoculate concerns from the adcom that he was "given" the job at the family business without "earning" it. Tell him to contact us if he would like help--frankly his profile sounds like one that might benefit from a consultant as he navigates the admissions process.
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