A Mixed Review on Poets and Quants

 A week or two before starting this blog I had my MBA applicant profile analyzed by Sanford “Sandy” Kreisberg,  a well-known MBA admissions consultant and founder of HBSguru.com. His brand is based on his style as a “straight-shooter”–giving you the most blunt opinion possible about your chances at various business schools (that you choose).

My review is published here on the popular MBA Admissions website Poets & Quants, a leading MBA admissions blog started by John Byrne, the founder of C-Change Media and former editor-in-chief of Business Week. I didn’t give Sandy 100% of my information (which wouldn’t be smart given that practically everyone reading P&Q right now is one of my competitors for 1 or more schools), but I gave him enough to make a fair judgment.

As one might expect, he was pretty hard on my age; but I actually appreciated his candor (I got exactly what I paid for/expected). Its always better to have a good handle on what you’re up against and why. The other weak point was that I did not turn in a GMAT score, another key factor to being considered for admission to top schools. Leaving this key data point out makes it more challenging for someone to give feedback on your profile; however, he did briefly speak to a scenario where I made a score closer to the high end of my target range. Actually, his analogy went something like this: “a 760 will make you smarter (to adcoms) but only billions of dollars can make you younger”. I got a kick out of that.

Speaking of which, whenever I read the profiles that Sandy critiques on P&Q I snicker privately at how just about everyone who submits claims to have a 700+ GMAT score (similar to how almost everyone on BeattheGMAT.com somehow has at least a 650 when the average score is about a 500)…umm…yeah *sideeye*. Are most of these people lying, or is 700 or so the minimum score that people in GMAT land are willing to repeat in public despite the fact that hundreds of applicants gain admission to the top 10-15 programs with 660-690 every year? And if your score is, in fact, less than the 700 threshold wouldn’t you stand MORE to gain from a critique from Sandy? Wouldn’t you have an even greater need to get some expert feedback on how to position yourself against the competition? I mean, I’m just saying; but I digress.

What I liked most about Sandy’s review of my (purposely partial) profile was his praise of some of the more intangible aspects of my application that he felt were particularly strong. Since this is the area where most MBA applications tend to stumble a bit I feel good about getting such positive feedback about this aspect of my candidacy from someone like Sandy.

Well, time will tell. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 34 years, its to be emotionally even keel about these kinds of things. I get neither over excited nor down in the dumps about any given turn of events while in pursuit of a goal. I stick to my plan with a great deal of tenacity (and a few drops of    hardheadedness) and let the chips fall where they may. Once I know I’ve given my absolute best effort, I can live with whatever outcome is ultimately meant to be.

, , , , , , ,

About mbaover30

Wharton MBA and admissions expert

View all posts by mbaover30

Subscribe to the MBA Over 30 Blog

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

10 Comments on “A Mixed Review on Poets and Quants”

  1. bschool2013 Says:

    You make a good point about the GMAT – I think a lot of people self select out based on their scores and don’t target top schools. Sure it’s a little intimidating when a school’s median is 700 (90%ile), but that means half the class is below that – i’ts impossible for everyone to be above average!

    It’s downright scary when you think about Harvard’s avg GMAT of 730. Being in the 96th %ile of all test takers on the planet makes you “average” at Harvard.


  2. cheetarah1980 Says:

    I remember reading Sandy’s critique of your profile a few weeks ago. I’m over 30 and managed to find my way into a few MBA programs and I am more than sure that you will too.

    I agree with your sentiments about all of the high GMAT scores reported on MBA blogs. I think part of it is self selection bias (people don’t report lower scores), most people posting on these sites are shooting for Top15 schools which tend to have higher GMAT averages, and of course some folks just lie.


  3. cheetarah1980 Says:

    I got into Kellogg, Booth, and Wharton. It took a while but I finally decided on Booth. I applied to Stanford too but wasn’t accepted. It looks like we have similar tastes in schools.

    As for whether or not to apply to Kellogg and Booth or one of the two I think it depends on you. Some people find that they have a definite fit with one school over the other. If you find that’s the case for you then only apply to one. If you’re like me and find that you have equal yet different fits at both schools, then apply to both and see what happens. You also mentioned entrepreneurship @ Kellogg. I think they have a lot more going on than meets the eye. Hit up one of the members of the BMA (Black Management Association). They should be able to lead you to the entrepreneurs at the school who can tell you about all of the resources. From my recollection of KDPW (Kellogg Diversity Preview Weekend), there are many.


    • mbaover30 Says:

      I think its awesome that you got into such amazing programs. You have just given me gold. There is actually a young lady that I went to undergrad with (same major; met a pre-freshman summer program and still keep in contact) who is a first year student at Kellogg. I plan to speak with her to get more 1st-hand info on that school. If you would be so kind, I’d love to speak with you about booth. If you have a member account on P&Q and/or BTG, my name is “mbaover30” on both. If you reach out to me via PM on one of those I’d love to trade email addresses and converse about your school.


  4. mbaover31 Says:

    Well, Im starting the 1Y Kellogg program in a month. Im also over 30 (31 this year) and faced a similar challenge last year applying to business school. It is possible! Good luck with your process!


    • onthefence Says:

      @mbaover31 just turned 31 F100 corp startegy guy here considering the Kellogg 1Y program – interested to get your take on the program and how it compares to the 2-year program and other comparable 1-year alternatives (e.g. INSEAD, Oxbridge, Columbia J-term, etc).


      • mbaover30 Says:

        Hey there onthefence. I haven’t really looked into one year programs because I’m focused on the 2-year experience. My interpretation is that the 1 year program gives you the same core experience, but less in the way of giving you the chance to really go deep into various areas of interest via electives as well as the international opportunities and additional bonding/networking that a 2-year program provides.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: