Best Of Sandy’s HBS & Stanford Ding Report


Dinged at Harvard, Stanford and Columbia (No Interview)


  • 710 GMAT
  • 3.4 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in economics from Rutgers University with a minor in music
  • Work experience as a financial analyst at Citigroup in New York for two years and in corporate strategy for Citigroup in London for one year; also co-founded a film production company that creates music videos. Have over 500 million views on YouTube and have been featured  on such prominent media outlets as MTV and VH1
  • Goal: To obtain an associate position in the media practice of a prominent investment bank
  • 25 -year-old Indian American male
  • (Born in California, Lived in India for 10 years before college)

Sandy’s Analysis: No mystery here. What we got is silver or less, not gold, along the total stats chain: schooling, GPA, GMAT and jobs (well, they were OK but it might depend). Your accomplishments in film and music videos is some X factor that could have pushed you in but did not because schools devalued it, for the following reasons:

1. They dont care–anyone can start a music vid company and many idiots have

2. They don’t understand–what is a music video, what is YouTube and why should we care (yeah, they know, but it just ain’t their thing)

3. You did not present it right

4. All of the above in some way

Film is a word that adcoms treat with great skepticism, often the refuge of the uncertain and the dreamy. Unless you work for Disney. or a leading Mega Agency (but even then, adcoms may not be following Nikki Finke as closely as you do).

Columbia was best bet, given NY, hip locale and outlook (dont believe it for a minute).

My guess is, your low GPA was a zit on their magazine rankings they did not want to take on, and all the other stuff I mentioned.

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