Best Of Sandy’s HBS & Stanford Ding Report

male banker

Dinged at Harvard and Columbia


  • 720 GMAT (V40, Q48)
  • 3.56 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in business administration and legal studies from UC-Berkeley
  • Work experience includes 3.5 years at a large Chinese state-owned enterprise as business manager (started out as associate and promoted to more important roles handling market analysis, sales/trading of resources, contract negotiation, and project development of large scale resources projects.)
  • Extracurricular involvement is limited, though recently became involved with volunteer work as a basketball coach
  • Goal: To acquire skills in management and finance to make me a leader for upcoming large scale projects (although I quit in order to prepare for gmat as my work was too demanding); long term wise growing my own international business in resources development and investment.
  • 27-year-old male

Sandy’s Analysis: Applying to B-school while unemployed is often reason enough for getting dinged at HBS, especially in light of the above. There are exceptions, of course. Working for a Chinese State Owned Enterprise was an interesting angle and might have been exploited on applications. Goals need to be refined and personalized, even if made-up a bit. Adcoms like a certain amount of detail in general management stories.

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