Student M Gets Accepted to HBS with a 3.0 GPA

Harvard Business School, Chicago Booth, UC Berkeley Haas

Student M worked in finance in Los Angeles. By developing a compelling application persona and implementing a strategic plan to overcome his low undergraduate GPA, we helped Student M get accepted to Harvard Business School, University of Chicago Booth with a $60,000 scholarship, and UC Berkeley Haas with a full scholarship!

Application Persona

The charismatic networker who connects people and communities.


Top Liberal Arts College





Areas of Interest



  • Officer at Wealth Management Firm
  • VP at Investment Firm
  • Board Member of Non-Profit Organization
  • Board Member & Director of Young Alumni Association

The Challenges

  • Student M’s GPA was well below the average GPA of students admitted to top 10 MBA programs.
  • Student M’s GMAT score was lower than the average score of admitted students.
  • Student M wanted to switch careers from finance to become an entrepreneur, but had no entrepreneurship experience on his resumé.

How Did InGenius Prep Help?

  • Student-Counselor Assignment: We paired Student M with a Former Admissions Officer from Harvard Business School and a Graduate Coach from the Yale School of Management.
  • Application Persona: We started our work with Student M by truly getting to know him—his personal background, work experience, career goals—and figuring out what was unique about him and what he was passionate about. By speaking regularly, analyzing his resumé, and getting to know Student M personally, we began to craft his application persona, which would drive all of his application components.
  • Letters of Recommendation: We started working on Student M’s letter of recommendation process early. Student M’s counselors coached him on how to build relationships with his recommenders and how to approach them when it was time to “make the ask.” This proactive approach culminated in a compelling letter of recommendation that supported his application persona and filled any potential gaps in his candidacy.
  • Essays: Student M and his counselors dug deep to think of creative ways to use his personal story and extracurricular activities to answer the essay prompts. They wanted to clearly show why he wanted to become a social entrepreneur and why an MBA was absolutely critical in his goals. Student M’s counselors worked with him on at least 10 drafts of every single business school essay.
  • Resumé: Student M’s counselors formatted and edited his resumé.
  • Additional Information Section: Student M’s counselors advised him to use the additional information section of the application to write an essay addressing his undergraduate academic performance.
  • Final Touches: Student M and his counselors took advantage of every single part of the application, including all 100 character answer sections, to tell the admissions office something new about Student M.
  • Interview Prep: When Student M was invited to interview, he scheduled a strategy session with his counselors to discuss how to answer common questions as well as how he would handle trickier questions. After this session, they scheduled a mock interview over video chat, during which his counselors asked questions in the same way he would be asked during his interview.

“Understanding how competitive admission to top 10 business schools as a financial professional is, even for students with awesome GPAs, I knew it would be almost impossible to get in. My counselors helped me strategize parts of the application I didn’t even know could be strategized and helped me show my absolute best self to the admissions office. Thank you, InGenius Prep, for giving me a chance that I didn’t think I had. I couldn’t have done it without you!”

Student M
Student M Harvard Business School

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