I’m in the process of applying to HBS. I grew up in Russia, emigrated to Toronto, Canada when I was 15.
I graduated from Purdue business school with 3.6 (while being a student-athlete); had internships as a research analyst in Washington and in sales and trading in New York. And currently working part-time with a Sports Agency in Russia in the marketing department… Last year I played professional basketball in France, and signed another contract in Spain for this year. What are my chances of getting in?
While I know that I can bring something very unique to class, am I too out there with perhaps not enough experience or experience that is irrelevant (pro athlete?) Let me know what you think please! Save me the 300 dollar application fee
The Harvard MBA says:
Not only is this the first question I’ve received from a professional athlete (a trend that I hope continues–I’ll be happy to jump you to the front of the line, Kobe Bryant!), Natalia also used some very clever tactics to reach out to me (which I will not disclose for fear of triggering a series of copycats). It just goes to show you that you can stand out by taking a novel approach.
The good news for you, Natalia, is that you have a lot of things going for you. You’re international, a professional athlete, someone who has worked overseas, and a woman. In addition, you’ve already proven your ability to handle the academic side of business school by doing well at Purdue, and with your traditional business roles in research and sales & trading.
Provided you can get a decent GMAT score and get some good recommendations, I’d say your $300 will be well spent.
As a side note for everyone else, that is one of the keys to gaining admission–you need to stand out, but you also need to show that you’ll be able to handle the routine work. If you have an amazing and unusual background, make sure you do something conventional (management consulting, I-banking) to show that you can handle the mundane. And if you have a mundane background, for goodness sakes, do something to stand out from the crowd. There are many more people who get an 800 on the GMAT each year than can gain admission to HBS; high test scores and GPAs are necessary but not sufficient.