Best Of Sandy’s HBS & Stanford Ding Report

Woman Drinking Coffee

Dinged At Stanford:


  • 760 GMAT
  • 3.5 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in biology and English from a ‘Baby Ivy” east coast private college
  • Work experience includes five years across two startups, with funding and major media, as head of marketing and operations; five years of international work experience; founder of my own company which was successfully acquired; led teams of up to 15
  • Was named to list of 30 best under 30 in tech in an international magazine and have won awards from two industry leading corporations
  • Extracurricular involvement in youth volunteer work and programs engaging women in science and tech
  • Goal: To run a startup accelerator with a focus on helping companies with international ambitions
  • 27-year-old female
  • “Honestly, I’m at a loss. Even students and faculty thought I’d be a shoo-in. My guess would be GPA and unknown companies? As a side note, I’ve noticed GSB has an awful track record for women in tech matriculating.”

Sandy’s Analysis: “As a side note, I’ve noticed GSB has an awful track record for women in tech matriculating.”

Oh boy, light my fire!!!!!!!!!!! If there is any chance at all of piling on and accusing Stanford B-school of hypocrisy, well, I am ready, willing, and have done so many times in the past.

I believe you were rejected because of your lowish grades. A 3.5 in an era of grad inflation is well below the current 3.73 average at Stanford. And I would bet that your company was not cool enough for Stanford or world changing enough.

Despite all the public BS about how much Harvard and Stanford loves startups, if you had said you wanted to start RentTheRunway or even Snapchat in your admission story, that would have been a negative, especially if you had no startup experience. Schools are suspicious of startups because any moron can do one and many have.

Also See: A Harvard MBA’s View of Sandy’s Ding Analysis

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.