Harvard | Mr. Captain Mishra
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. Lady Programmer
GRE 331, GPA 2.9
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer To PM
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (with Honors)
Yale | Mr. Tambourine Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Ms. Eternal Optimism
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
McCombs School of Business | Mr. CRE
GMAT 625, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Double Eagle
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Wharton | Mr. Rural Ed To International Business
GRE 329, GPA 3.6
IU Kelley | Mr. Jiu-Jitsu Account Admin
GMAT 500, GPA 3.23
Wharton | Mr. Sales From Law School
GMAT 700, GPA 11/20
Columbia | Mr. URM Artillery Officer
GRE 317, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. UHNW Family Office
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Chicago Booth | Mr. International Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85
Ross | Mr. Saudi Engineer
GRE 312, GPA 3.48

McKinsey’s Oops Recruiting Moment


Marvin Bower would be turning over in his grave.

Some MBA students at top three business schools who expressed an interest in working for McKinsey & Co. are steaming over an stock rejection letter they recently received via email from the prestigious global consulting firm.

The rejections began with the rather disinterested salutation: “Dear %PREFERRED.”

MBAs on the receiving end of the emails say they are startled that a firm as widely admired as McKinsey would fail to send out personalized letters to candidates when they are rejected for an associate consulting job. The largest single recruiter of elite MBAs in the world, McKinsey can hire nearly 500 MBA graduates a year. Surveys of MBA students consistently show that McKinsey is the second most desirable MBA employer, behind only Google.


“I am so shocked that recruiters can come to campus and get away with stuff like this,” complains one second-year student at a top two business school who asked that his name not be used. “I didn’t expect that out of McKinsey. given the history they have with the school and their reputation. It’s surprising. It feels like the HR people are being lazy. If they do this here, just imagine what it would be like at other schools?”

McKinsey's Eileen Coleman sent out the stock rejection letter

McKinsey’s Eileen Coleman sent out the stock rejection letter

Bower, the visionary who made McKinsey & Co. a powerhouse in the post-war period by heavily recruiting top MBAs, would probably be just as appalled. He was known as a stickler for professionalism and proper etiquette. Bower once insisted that his consultants wear long socks because, he said, “raw flesh in business meetings was simply not appropriate.”


The letters from McKinsey’s Eileen Coleman, manager of MBA recruiting operations, went out last Friday (Sept. 27). Less than 24 hours later on a Saturday afternoon, Coleman dispatched an apology to the MBA students who were rejected.

“I wanted to follow up on the recent email you received from me with our application decision and apologize for the impersonal salutation which was ultimately sent from our system incorrectly,” wrote Coleman, who works out of the firm’s Boston offices.  “As you can imagine, I am embarrassed this happened. I fully appreciate it was already a difficult message to receive and that getting a very impersonal greeting likely did not make it any better.”

Oops. An email to Ms. Coleman for comment was unanswered at publication time.

(Read the full letter of rejection on the following page)


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