Round 2 Harvard Business School Ding Report

For thousands of hopeful Harvard Business School applicants, there will be good news and bad news on Feb. 5th.

The school will dispatch a second wave of invites to interview with admissions staffers to Round 2 MBA candidates. But it also will, in the most euphemistic terms, “release” the largest number of applicants in the 2013-2014 admissions season. On that day alone, as many as 3,200 applicants could be dinged. founder Sandy Kreisberg will be here to provide instant analysis of candidates who get turned down this week from Harvard Business School. As he did during the first round, Kreisberg asks that applicants who failed to gain admission share their stats and background profiles so he can tell you why you were turned down.

We hope his analysis accomplishes two goals: 1) To show others that some truly exceptional people are routinely dinged by Harvard and and other top business schools simply because they accept so few MBA candidates, and 2) To give people who have generally experienced nothing but success in their lives some insight into why they didn’t pass the hurdle here.

To see his analysis of Round 1 candidates who were dinged, see The Best of Sandy’s HBS & Stanford Ding Report, Round 1, 2014

To see our original call for profiles in Round 1 as well as the back-and-forth between Sandy and candidates, see Let Sandy Tell You Why You Were Dinged

And if you were lucky enough to get an invite to interview, see How NOT To Blow Your HBS Interview

If you were dinged from Harvard or Stanford, just post your stats in the comment section and Sandy will take a shot at why you were turned down.




  • natanss

    The logic is very simple. All of those rejected are already starts and wont need a top MBA to make an impact. They just need to keep on their track.. executing what they already do.

  • sr229

    Dinged from Harvard. No interview. Round 2.
    28 year old White (Middle-Eastern) Female.
    Top 20 East Coast Near-Ivy Undergrad.
    Undergrad GPA: 3.36, International Politics major.
    Tier 2 Law School. Grad GPA: 3.80, Top 15%
    GMAT: 710 (58%/M/96%V)
    Fluent in four languages.
    Two years practicing attorney with IP litigation specialty, federal clerkship experience, international IP in emerging markets, worked only in boutique firms but on multi-million dollar newsworthy cases
    Recently transitioned into senior associate position at $20 million family-owned venture capital fund focused on tech start-ups. Personally invested in start-up now worth over $100 million.
    Currently manage strategy and legal at fund, goal is to fine-tune hard quantitative skills to go back to fund in executive capacity and to expand international markets.
    Rec’s: Former supervisor at clerkship. Former supervisor at non-profit fellowship. Could not ask direct supervisor because family business.
    Various extracurriculars – mentor for education nonprofit, fellowship at legal services foundation, former competitive piano player, treasurer of undergraduate middle-eastern student group.

  • hbsguru

    hmmmmmm, surprising. Why did you reach back to get a rec from a Prof after 4yrs of work ex. That is only mild issue I see here? If you send me a copy of the PDF you submitted to HBS I can suggest, privately, some further thoughts. What happened at other schools? What happened to the kids in your class at KKR this year. A small issue, this should have been a Round 1 application, but that was not driving the ding. At some point they get exhausted with profiles like this, but that won’t stop them fr. takng some dudes pretty similar to you off the WL.

  • HBSReject

    Rejected from HBS, no interview.

    26 Year Old Asian Male. Round 2.

    Princeton Undergrad
    GPA: 3.6 Undergrad in Econ/Public Policy. Graduated Magna Cum Laude, but had 2 C’s in difficult (high level physics/chemistry) classes.
    GMAT: 780
    Work Experience: 2 Years at Goldman Sachs in Investment Banking Division; 2 Years at KKR in their Private Equity group.
    Rec’s: One from a Partner at KKR (HBS alum) and one from Nobel Prize winning Professor at Princeton — both recs were excellent.

    President of various clubs in College, Peer Tutor, Taught Model Congress in Trenton.
    Currently involved with Princeton’s Alumni board, work with tutoring kids, am a big partner of Giving What We Can (charity that encourages effective donating).

    Honestly, I’m not really sure what happened. My essays were fine – nothing amazing, but certainly not bad. Maybe it was the C’s?