You Won’t Believe Who Harvard Business School Just Rejected



At the most elite levels, admissions can be remarkably cruel and impersonal process. The talent pool for any top MBA program is so deep and rich in outstanding candidates who at first glance seem like shoo-in. Yet, they get unceremoniously dinged, often without an admissions interview.

They come from Ivy League schools, boast near 4.0 grade point averages and GMATs that are in the top 5% of all test takers. They work for gold-plated firms and have stellar extracurriculars demonstrating clear leadership potential.

Their carefully crafted applications are submitted. They get the typical auto-response thanking them for their interest in a school. They anxiously wait months for an answer. And then, in a brief, punishing email, they are, in the euphemistic words of Harvard Business School’s admissions director, “released.”


Consider this 22-year-old young professional who was a 2+2 applicant to HBS and just received his round two rejection. He is currently enrolled at Brown University where he majors in economics and political science. He has a 3.96 GPA and a 760 GMAT score, which puts him in the 99th percentile of test takers. He has interned during the summer at Goldman Sachs, working in both investment banking and debt capital markets. At Brown, he founded a finance journal that now boasts more than 150 members. His recommendation letters were written by a Goldman Sachs managing director and a Brown administrator who has worked with the candidate in student government.

Or how about this 28-yer-old Japanese American applicant who went to a Southern Ivy (think Duke or Emory), scored a 760 on the GMAT, and offset his 3.1 GPA with a 4.0 alternative transcript in five courses. For the past four and one-half years, he has worked at a boutique economic consulting firm. He runs a Tsunami relief effort in Japan annually, and his essay focused on how entrepreneurship in Japan can bring great societal value to the country. His recommendations were penned by a Harvard Business School professor and a partner at his firm who is an HBS alum.

Or consider a completely puzzled Teach for America alum who scored 780 on the GMAT and has a 4.03 GPA from a top 20 university in a highly demanding major–engineering. He plays a leadership role at his local church, devoting five to eight hours a week in volunteer work there. In his Harvard admissions essay, he wrote about why he is so deeply passionate about education and yearns to dedicate his professional life to erasing educational inequality.


All three and more were turned down by Harvard Business School in its second round decisions that went out Feb. 4. They are all exceptional candidates, yet what they share in common is an HBS rejection. There may be some consolation in the fact that these round two applicants–and many others you’ll read about here–are among thousands of people who were dinged by HBS this month.

In fact, some had GMAT scores as high as 780. Or GPAs as high as 4.0 from the very best Ivy League schools. They work for Fortune 100 companies and major global consulting firms, investment banks, and startups (see below our table of applicants who were dinged by Harvard. We’re talking Goldman Sachs, Google, Procter & Gamble, and McKinsey, Bain or BCG. They generously shared their raw stats and profiles with Poets&Quants in the hopes of gaining some insight into why they didn’t make the cut.

Among the 32 dinged candidates who provided stats, the median GMAT was an astonishing 750. It goes to show that high scores are no assurance of an admit at Harvard Business School.


For some candidates, it might be easy to isolate a factor or two that led to the ding. But for many of them, it’s very much a mystery–particularly without the ability to see the entire application submitted to HBS. Their brief profiles and stats, however, demonstrate how random success can be when the applicant pool is filled with so many exceptional candidates.

So how come these truly extraordinary applicants couldn’t get in?

We asked Sandy Kreisberg, founder of, who more typically does our MBA handicapping column, to take a look at the backgrounds and stories of these candidates and tell them why they failed to get into Harvard.

Of course, it’s no small hurdle to get into HBS. The average GMAT score for the latest class enrolled at HBS is 727, while the undergraduate grade point average is in nose bleed territory as well: 3.67. HBS rejects 88% of the people who apply to its full-time MBA program, and that’s from a pool where there is a lot of self-selection going on. Most applicants who simply don’t have the basic stats won’t even bother to apply. And for the record, some of these dings even stumped Kreisberg.

If you also were rejected by Harvard or Stanford and would like an assessment from Sandy, go to Let Sandy Tell You Why You Were Dinged and provide your profile and stats in the comment section.

These Harvard MBA Applicants Were Dinged In Round Two


7803.80Top public in southChemical engineeringFounder of fashion importerM34Caucasian
7804.03Top 20EngineeringTeach for AmericaM25Caucasian
7703.58Top 5 engineering universityEngineeringOilfield ServicesM29Indian American
7703.90Oberlin/CarNAWorld Bank/UN & top bankM26Caucasian from midwest
7603.96BrownEconGoldman SachsM222+2
7603.50SEC universityNABig 4 & major bankM28Caucasian
7603.10Duke/EmoryNAEconomics consulting firmM28Japanese American
7603.70OxfordMathSmall VC in LondonM27British
7603.00Canadian UniversityPsychMarketing at mobile app startupM25Chinese
7603.8Top 15 U.S. UniversityMechanical engineeringMcKinsey & major gaming companyM25Caucasian
7603.70Top Local UniversityNAM/B/BM25Asian
7603.70Harvard/StanfordNAMajor consulting firmF24Caucasian
7504.00Top 15 public universitySTEMBulge-Bracket InternM222+2
7503.70Top 3 U.K. universityComputer scienceGoldman Sachs & top impact investing firm in IndiaF25Indian
7503.50Indian university in MumbaiEconP&GM26Indian
7503.92Columbia/DartmouthEconIntern at Goldman, MS, BlackstoneM212+2
7403.75Top 25 CollegeNAFounded e- commerce companyM29Caucasian
7403.20Top 10 Engineering in IndiaEngineeringNiche analytics firmMNAIndian
7403.21IIT GuwahatiBiotechnologyFinance & Ag internshipsM22Indian 2+2
7303.60H/Y/PMechanical engineeringFounder of social ventureF222+2 Indian
7303.70BYUElectrical engineeringEconomic consulting firmM26Caucasian EU/US citizen
7303.70Indian Institute of TechnologyPsychMarketing at mobile app startupM25Indian
7303.53Top 10 public universityFinanceGoldman Sachs & microfinanceM27First gen Hispanic
7203.40Ivy LeagueEconomicsU.S. Army & regional bankM29First gen Caucasian
7103.55Haas/RossFinanceGoldman SachsM24Asian American
7103.00NAEngineerOil & gas construction managementMNALebanese
7003.70University of IllinoisElectrical engineeringIntel R&DM27Indian
7003.70Top Canadian universityBusinessBig 4 auditor & top  i-bank in CanadaM26Asian
GRE: 161V (87%)/159Q (74%)3.50Public IvyDouble majorCTO of EdTech startupM30Hispanic
GRE 169V (99th percentile) 164 Q (88th percentile)3.76Ivy LeagueLiberal ArtsBrand marketing consultancyF26Caucasian
GRE: 161V/159Q (85%V/74%Q)3.49BYUPoli SciGoogleM26Gay Mormon
GRE: 168Q/166V3.75University of ChicagoEconMcKinsey & GoogleM27Asian

Source: Poets&Quants


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  • SoCalBohpGal

    All 3 of these people have obvious issues that I can already see would be a couple of points against them. All 3 has ties to other schools. The first 2 already were doing things that don’t scream “leadership potential” as much as they scream “Already leading” in their style, and in their way. Harvard, I’m sure, doesn’t want nor need more students dropping out that are, in essence, over-qualified.
    Although the 3rd applicant just seems a bit confused… He has an engineering degree, states he wants to work on educational equality, and is applying to business school? It seems this guy is scattered, and while he might test well, he seems all over the map when it comes to his direction! His (or her) rejection was pretty easy to understand, and until this person gets more focused, it seems like they might not be ready for graduate-school much of anywhere.
    The first two, at least the way it comes across as presented here, seem to already be well on their way to doing tbeir own thing. If they have thr knowledge & wear with all to be able to do what they’re already doing, what is their purpose of attending HBS, or anu business school for that matter. They aren’t “showing potential”, they are already doing things many graduates from a graduate degree program would be proud to be doing!
    Not everyone is cut out for college! Some can FAR surpass what even their professors can teach them!
    I knew a 13-year-old kid that was accepted at a junior college at age 12. He wasn’t learning much of anything from his teachers at school, except when they had computer problems, he was called out of class to fix their computers, tell his teachers how to fix this or that, etc.
    When he went to junior college, he ran circles around his instructors, was absolutely bored, just not quite as much as he had been, and he already was a brilliant, self-taught programmer.
    He did attend a ” 2-year” program in computer networking, learned a few things in that program, was able to get experience wiring & securing the network at a high school & his prior college (via an adult education program).
    He too had 98-99th%tile test scores nearly all his life, had been EXTREMELY bored at school, was moved up 2 grades, and teachers didn’t know what to do with him. He’s an avid reader, retains knowledge & applies it well.
    He had his 1st paid job at 12 years old fixing an ISP’s mail system error on his family’s ISP, his mom displays a picture of him proudly of him on a keyboard of a computer at “5 months old”, he started programming when he was 7 years old, at 14 & 16, government agency employees wanted to recruit him, yet he wasn’t interested. He was still interested in being a kid, and didn’t want to live a ” secrecy lifestyle “.
    Our colleges and universities are not about our ” best & brightest” as they once had been, but are about who “fits” into money-making goals of the school.
    I knew another kid that had applied to medical schools, and did so as a “White, American”, even though he was Italian-American. He too was top of his class, an Eagle scout, a straight A student. His applications were rejected. At the urging of a friend, he applied again, the next year, as a ” Hispanic” and was accepted with open arms.
    Then there’s that Senator who claimed on her forms that she was part American Indian, and was accepted, yet because she was less “American Indian” than the quota for being accepted as a tribal membet, it’d come back to bite her, very publicly I might add, in the rear-end.
    Our schools have lost their way, from K-12 through college. They are no longer institutions about education, but have become cash cows for handouts of tax dollars.
    When I went to kindergarten, you had to pass a test, be able to read at a certain level, know how to count from 1-100 forward and backwards, know some basic addition and the concept of subtraction, to be able to start non-remedial kindergarten. Yes, there was remedial kindergarten classes that taught basic skills to get kids ready for regular kindergarten. Most kids had 2-parent homes, and mom stayed home and taught their children these basic skills.
    By the 1980s, most kids weren’t taught these skills at home, yet some kids were. I had to wonder what the parents did for the first 5 or 6 years of their children’s lives. It wasn’t uncommon to see kindergarten papers from kids teaching them left to right, drawing lines from things such as bees to a bee hive (pictures), as these kids (many of them) didn’t know how to read. The school work these days would be, back in my day, and where I went to school, remedial.
    We learned binary & basic programming skills, engineering basics, etc. by 3rd grade. We used programmable calculators, ticker-tape readouts, etc. by junior high school (Middle School or 7th and 8th grade). Education was valued back then, although even then, not as much as it had been in previous years.
    It’s sad that our education has become more of a business to get money from college students and their parents (+ tax dollars when kids are of compulsory education age… 5 or 6-16-18.) Before it wasn’t about attendance, and I don’t believe schools were paid based on attendance back then, although I could be wrong. The emphasis was on learning, and applying what was learned to real-life situations.
    Kids back then often strived to work hard at learning, as they worked with companies to solve real problems, such as how to deal with heat, expansion & contraction of concrete while building overpass bridges (5th grade), war alternatives & negotiation with other countries & their cultures (4th & 5th grade), programming computers to make life easier (3rd grade on), along with music, arts, cultural values, and of course, math, reading, English, film, physical education (including sports, some within classes were manditory, exercise & classes about why we exercised were manditory), critical thinking (logic), psychology, biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. were all part of a routine education.
    I am aware that this wasn’t taught everywhere, as we moved when I was in junior high school, and the local school was roughly on average, 5 years behind the schools I had attended previously (& I am being generous). The schools had a large minority population, and many parents sent their children to private schools (& still do!) in that neighborhood.
    I met other kids whose parents had also moved, and I re all a Japanese girl that had attended school in a large city in Japan, whose schools were all day, while parents worked, and were years ahesd of the schools I had attended.
    Our school systems were just starting to fail then. Some had failed already, as there was not an emphasis on competition, or education in some communities.
    Where we’d moved was a community with mixed backgrounds, high and low incomes, as well as a strong middle imcome community within the community. It was CLEARLY far more difficult for teachers to teach the spectrum of students they had to deal with. School districts dictated to teachers, in the new district, what books would be used, which sadly had good, advanced teachers frustrated, as schools taught to the lowest common denominator, for the most part.

    Those who taught “Gifted” programs had far more freedoms, yet were still bound by books, programs that had kids bored.

    I had an algebra book in high school for math that I had used in grade school (5th or 6th grade), so the class “challenge” was keeping a notebook by the teacher’s standards! I was absolutely bored, worked a job splitting fire wood, paid for my own exam, and tested out of school. Today schools have lobbied hard to keep kids stuck in such schools, as they are paid by attendance, NOT the quality of education.

    It’s sad!

    I recall when IQ & even parts of state testing were declared “racially biased”. It has NOTHING to do with race, but culture & how much education is valued, which was proved with studies, yet that stuck, IQ tests were no longer to be used in schools, and competition hasn’t even been kept, nor has the values of a good education, which should , IMHO, be based on bettering one’s self, and our communities and our country, our world.

    We’ve lost SO much by allowing our educational systems to be simply something kids have to do, and by not being goals based, not even for bettering one’s self.

    How will we ever keep our country with our freedoms if we allow this ” slacker” attitude to continue?

    There are CLEARLY neighborhoods & even states that are better at promoting education than others! Sadly, we’ve allowed a lazy, slacker “culture” to dictate much of our educational system, then made that our “standard”.

    It isn’t a real culture that has created this, but lazy individuals who don’t value an education or even a job, that have brought us ALL down, and not the other way around.

    While there are some sub-cultures in 3rd world countries that don’t value education, I believe most actually do. There are some that can’t imagine what their children might be capable of, which happens, yet most parents are very happy to see their kids accomplish things that they’ve only dreamed of, or had never even imagined.
    We’ve bowed to lazy or uninterested persons who scream ” racism” or some other label, whenevee they’ve been asked to do anything.

    Our country put together a rocket system, tracking systems, and everything the space program entailed, then put men on the moon in less than 10 years from JFK announcing we would (with no idea then exactly how we would do that!)

    We, as a country, as people, hardly pay attention any more to our space program, or the medical & other advances made by our best and brightest! Very few, even adults, can tell you mich at all about any of the accomplishments made by NASA, nor the names of those who have flown the missions or done the experiments, some of which are kids in schools that are connected to the real world, and care about the advancement of mankind!!!

    We’ve lost many, many, most people from this last generation. Many of these kids “know” a LOT about fashion, they can do basic skills, yet many have few job skills.

    There are some very competent kids from this generation that are skilled, that DO contribute, and that have skills, YET when we are pumping out college graduates that believe the world is flat, that the trips to the moon were “The Matrix” and all made up by someone and filmed on a sound stage, when we have college graduates that can’t figure out how to read dociments, who are occasionally even illiterate, we’ve essentially lost at least one generation!
    These people can’t teach either, as they don’t have the skills, nor in many cases, thr critical thinking skills to figure it out.
    And some graduate from college, cry that they “can’t fimd a job”, yet have NO idea of how to create their own, or not even the idea enters their mind to start their own company!

    We have SERIOUS problems in pur educational systems! When progessors are teaching kids to whine and cry about ‘Social Justice’ issues, instead of problem-solving, worrying about ‘Privledges’ & pseudo equality rather than how we will manage our infrastructure, our next projects, health issues and so on; when we have people that cannot function through the day without a TV, cell phone or at least a laptop or lord firbid, a desk top computer someone else has programmed to ” figure out their problems” (even UCLA has drag & drop “coding” classes that actually count for credits!!! They are so limited & SO easily manipulated, it’s sickening! I did more in 3rd grade, literally!), then we, as a people, as a country, have absolutely failed!

    We need to bring back REAL education, where kids can graduate from high school after 13 YEARS with state instructors, and be able to get a job that can take care of 2 adults and a family.

    Jobs are supposed to be easier with computers and robotics, yet these kids are totally lost in the BS, and many cannot function in the adult world after yet another 4+ YEARS in college on top of the 13 in school and the 5-6 before that at home with theit parents, &/or in preschool!

    Honestly, from my view of Harvard grads over the last several years, those I have met, talked to, etc. Few can filter out the garbage they’re taught and really do well, so these people are honestly likely better off going elsewhere. Where Harvard was once one of the, if not the most respected university in the US, they’ve fallen quite hard, as have many others. UC Berkeley is another school, in fact all the UCs it seems, are caught up in teaching this “social justice” crap, have “safe spaces” for mentally ill students and faculty that in my days of college, would have undoubtedly been at least homeless, if not in state hospitals. Today they’ll be on welfare, or constantly filing lawsuits against employers, which seems to be what they’re taught, as very few have any idea what the Constitution actually says, nor will they bother to read it, as they’re taught to be lazy, and to bitch and moan.
    In my day, we not only read it, we had to memorize it, had to read many other documents written by the authors, and those who signed it, then form opinions based on those readings AND defend our views, listen to others from 4th grade, until we moved to a place where people didn’t care about it.

    These guys are likely better off going to another school, where substance, education, thoughts, ideas & critical thinking skills, as well as job skills matter!

    It would seem Harvard has nothing to offer them either, and it’s a tough cookie to swallow, yet the amount of garbage taught to amount of substance seems to cobfuse many of these kids.

    They do have a great medical school IF a student can filter out the crap ( psychology psychobabble… Note: not all psychology is psychobabble!)& stick to medicine.

  • Their carefully crafted applications are submitted. They get the typical auto-response thanking them for their interest in a school. They anxiously wait months for an answer. And then, in a brief, punishing email, they are, in the euphemistic words of Harvard Business School’s admissions director, “released.”

  • Eugen
  • Really an interesting and amazing post. Thanks for sharing this wonderful informative Blog here. I have some Idea to share with you.

  • Roch Yang

    May I mention being the target of black, Melanesian, Polynesian, and Non-White Hispanic gang-bangers in my Californian city when I apply year for a post-doctorate programme?

  • Phil

    I’m retired and 67. I had my first management position at 29. My career was from 23-60, 37 years. All of it was in high tech firms. Plus four years in technology field in the Air force.

  • @@walker

    Nor is it technically a religion, FYI. It is a way of life.

  • Engineering MBA

    Indian students do have a difficult time getting into the 2+2. No wonder the two of them have been rejected:

  • A

    The problem is being a male caucasian in today’s liberal PC world of academia.

  • Kazim Nawab

    Jews are not really “white people”.

    Jews are descendants of an ancient middle eastern population whose paternal ancestor was the founder of haplogroup J born about 30k years ago and resides in the near and middle east. Both Jews and Arabs are descendants of haplogroup J, while most Northern Europeans “white people” are not.
    The so called “white people” you are talking about (i.e. Europeans) are descendants of an ancient human population whose paternal ancestor was the founder of haplogroup R and lived about 30k years ago in Central Asia (not the middle East). Haplogroup R’s descendants are mostly found in Europe and India but not very often in the middle east. This is why East Indians, Afghans and Persians speak “Indo European languages” but Jews speak a Semitic language similar to the Arabs.

    So, this idea about “white people” inventing things as if Jews and Europeans as the same people, but Arabs, Indians and Chinese are not have little support in science. One can easily argue that the push towards scientific invention in Europe was the result of more free time in Europe after climate changes (Europe became milder and middle east became arid) also the discovery of the Americas and use of Africans slaves and had nothing to do with race.

  • everyone knows alex 2.0

    also your girl lost her v card to a peasant

  • everyone knows alex

    honey he’s in debt capital markets. you have no privilege in that group, so never fear, lack of exit opps is here

  • asd;’flakdslf;as


  • UrSchoolisBetterthanmine

    Rice is more selective than Georgetown and yet you say Georgetown should be grouped with Duke? It’s all arbitrary if you ask me, just name the school…

  • Cylton Collymore

    John Stanard, inventor of the refrigerator, George Sampson, creator of the clothes dryer, Alexander Miles and his elevator, Lewis Latimer and the electric lamp, Dr. Mark Dean is a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is in the National Hall of Inventors. He has more than 30 patents pending. He is a vice president with IBM. Oh, yeah. And he is also the architect of the modern-day personal computer. Dr. Dean holds three of the original nine patents on the computer that all PCs are based upon. I used to work for George Alcorn at NASA from 1996-1998. Look him up.

    It took me ten seconds to pull this up and this is a simple list and not exhaustive… Dumbass.

  • Smalltime

    A friend taught at HBS & described most students as ‘duds’ and ‘professional test takers.’ That’s right. Most HBS admits were *highly qualified* at taking HS tests & the SAT(Student Aptitude TEST)=got into top undergrads. Then they excelled at undergrad tests, the GMAT(Graduate Management Admission TEST), and job interview tests=got into HBS.

    Just cause you circle the right answer 10,000 times on a piece of paper doesn’t mean you can actually DO anything. Or that you have even basic critical thinking(or social*) skills.

    Met a few of them. Most are fairly frightening. Narcissist sociopath test takers who try to steal your bread plate at lunch & think you don’t notice. You could trick most of them with a rubber band and shiny pocket mirror.

    *Anyone see the Youtube video of the guy who won the HBS Public Speaking contest a few years back? He was the most robotic un-charismatic public speaker I have ever seen. (laugh 5 seconds, fake smile, hahahahha, wow, head tilt, waist pivot, what a great audience, fake laugh, robot arm pivot, hahahaha). And yes, since he won, everyone else in the school was presumably worse.


    I will match my net worth that my “Nothing Companies” have provided me, against yours anytime.

    It appears from your ramblings above that you have a problem keeping a job, as you quote “spending my career working for consulting firms (Plural) and investment banks (Plural) being just one more MBA in a sea of MBAs.” It appears that you are just another number on the employee roster.

  • Matt J

    And it’s evident you work for some nothing company if you only have 2 MBAs. Maybe I’m just jading spending my career working for consulting firms and investment banks being just one more MBA in a sea of MBAs. But for those kinds of MBAs making the kind of money they want to make, no one cares about “pulse of the world” or “employee complaints”.

  • Jedih

    Harvard and other ivy league schools is only good in one thing. Rejecting people.Also the people there are not more exceptional than other people. They are hard working people who are good in test taking, which is something completely different than being intelligent. Harvard people is not better than other people. Far from it.

  • bwanamia

    Check yo prilij.

  • Let’s Be Honest

    ‘So how come these truly extraordinary applicants couldn’t get in?’

    Hmmmm. Maybe because they are not black? Doesn’t take a PhD to figure that out. Just look at the ‘Applicant’ column.

  • Matt J

    How about “everywhere” dum-dum. I think mostly the “benefit” those people are demanding is to not get shot by the cops or beaten up in the street. Maybe not have to suffer institutional racism that keeps them out of certain neighborhoods or jobs.

  • Matt J

    Is it ok to just be honest and say “I’m really freakin smart and want to work for Goldman or McKinsey and make a ton of money?” I mean that’s what it all comes down to anyway. Why pretend there’s more to it than that?

  • Yomi

    You couldn’t have said those words any better! Goddamn you hit the nail right on the head. There’s absolutely no need to be proud of things that where handed to you straight from birth. These are things you can’t change and just happened to be born with

  • Puccini

    So, knowing that HBS rejects 88% of the applicants, why do all the MBA advisors keep telling people to apply there? It may not be the right school anyway, and it is really a waste of time and money. Look around people – there are some great schools not on the Top 5 list.


    6000 comedians out of work, and you’re trying to be funny.

    It’s evident that you are middle management or lower. As you don’t mind spending someone’s dollars i.e. shareholders, for a Prima Dona, and you don’t have to listen to complaints from other respected employees about Mr. or Ms. Prima Dona.

    It’s evident you don’t have a lot of work experience, if you even have a job.

  • Are you even serious?

    We want Prima Dona Harvard MBA. Nobody cares about University of Missouri or University of Peru MBA!

  • Are you even serious?

    We want Prima Dona Harvard MBA. Nobody cares about University of Missouri or University of Peru MBA.

  • jimismash

    You probably generalize about someone you know very little about based on sex and race.

  • bwanamia

    Check your envy.

  • DiversityTruther

    Okay Mr. Goldman Sachs ‘finance journal’ ‘2+2 Brown University,’ allow me to tell you how it is.

    First of all, I see that you’re a ‘white male’ — wow! What a surprise! Also, even though you didn’t clarify this, I’d bet my good money that your version of a male is a cis-gendered one. Good for you! It feels good to have all those advantages huh?

    Let me guess a few more things about you:

    You probably have a very serious long-term girlfriend and you’ve got the next several years of your life all planned out, and you were hoping that HBS was going to be your girlfriend too and give birth to everything you’ve ever wanted and more. Check your privilege.

    You probably have almost entirely all-white friends, and when you have non-white ones you probably joke behind their backs in ways that you hope they never discover. Check your privilege.

    You probably think that you’re better than people because you’re from somewhere with money like Westchester or Beverly Hills, and because you’re socially liberal and care about people like ‘the gays’ and whatnot, but still have the ‘economic discipline’ to see conservative economic policy as the beacon of hope it is. Check your privilege.

    You probably go on vacations to all sorts of festive locales (Mexico maybe?) to mingle with the locals and take in all the culture, but then spend the entire time ‘rolling’ on ‘molly’ and ‘tequila’, with not a care in the world. Check your privilege.

    You probably go off-meal plan to restaurants all the time without a care in the world, but can hardly be bothered to leave a penny behind for your fellow neighbors in this neighborhood we call life. Check your privilege.

    You probably use your middle initial in emails to make you seem ohhhhh so important but really that’s just the privilege talking (honey, I hardly even got a last name). Check your privilege.

    You probably love fluffy little dogs but fucking hate nappy little dawgs. Check your privilege.

    You probably wear a mix of flannels and Vineyard Vines, like a quintessential preppy little boy. Don’t even get me started, hun. Check your privilege.

    You probably sincerely think that finance is an instrument for good in the world. LOL. Check your privilege.


    In my company we have two MBA’s one from the University
    of Missouri, and one from a University in Peru. They perform as well as any MBA
    and better than most, no matter what school they got their MBA at. Both
    provided excellent information and solid solutions. They interface well with
    the employees no matter what their status in the company is.

    I have an acquaintance who hired a Harvard MBA, who is paying 30% more, does
    not get along with the employees, and maintains a Prima Dona Attitude, and has
    clients who refuses to deal with him.

    Which MBA do you want, the over rated Prima Dona Harvard MBA, or a well-rounded
    MBA in tune with the pulse of the world?


    In my company we have two MBA’s one from the University of Missouri and one from a University in Peru. They perform as well as any MBA no matter what school they got their MBA at. Both provided excellent and solid solutions. They interface well with the employees no matter what their status in the company is.

    I have an acquaintance who hired a Harvard MBA, who is paying 30% more, does not get along with the employees, and maintains a Prima Dona Attutide, and has clients who refuses to deal with him.

    Which MBA do you want?

  • cactusbob

    Silly me. By reading the heading, I was looking to see some famous names. But I should know better than that by now.

  • croozn

    I think Yogi Berra said that.

  • WTF

    John and other moderators (if there are any). The rules say “Disqus never moderates or censors. The rules on this community are its own.” But who care about the rules, right?
    A bunch, and I do mean a bunch, of messages have simply disappeared. They were posted for 5-20 mins and then suddenly were gone. Little green men or just someone has issues with what is being discussed? And please don’t tell me the messages were in the “pre-moderation limbo” because they weren’t. Can send you a screenshot. :/

    Anyways, thank you your holiness for keeping an eye on us. Always liked the big brother stuff. Gonna need a tinfoil I guess. But hey, whatever floats your boat and makes you feel superior.

  • Phil

    Uh sorry it’s math you know,and I realize it’s a challenge for young folks; the Air Force became a separate branch of service in 1947 –before I was born.

    I served during the Vietnam War (you can google that if you haven’t heard of it) so when you look at footage from that war and you see “aeroplanes” you’ll understand they are part of the “Air Force” for one side or the other.

  • WTF

    I do appreciate your post. And I do see your point. But you’re so consumed by your “own world” that it’s just boring to argue with you.

    Church says gay teens are worthless and the teens are upset and even kill themselves? Well, sorry, but I personally don’t give a thing about what church says. And if those teens spent more time studying they would too.
    You want to see real problems? For a change spend a couple of months in rural Africa. See how life treats kids over there. And then, after you’ve seen real issues, we’ll talk about discrimination and gay problems. Deal?
    I don’t know your 24 yr old friend, and frankly I don’t want to. But since you were a successful manager who hired so many people in the past you better know that there are always at least two sides to every story. And maybe your friend was just plainly stupid and was fired because of that. Because, to be honest, in today’s world I would faster believe that the Pope sleeps with a goat rather than in the accusation that a company like McDonalds would risk being sued and loosing battle because of one 24 year old gay from nowhere. He is your friend, but he does not cost hundreds of millions in potential loses. You should know better.

  • Phil

    They won’t let me label your comment ra ci st but it is. Bye. I have no desire to debate social or mental Darwinism as reflected by race. I thoght that died with Hitler.

  • WTF

    “Are blacks or natives or Chinese too untalented to do
    the kind of work that produces a Nobel award?” – maybe there is no shame to admit that, yes. The best athletes are black people. The smartest ones are, predominantly, Jews and Europeans. And if you’re to ashamed to admit that this is how humanity has developed – then sorry, but it’s your own problem.

    Please do me a favor and tell us how smart Chinese are channeled out for…making shitty copies of something invented in the 1950s in the Soviet Gulags. Or maybe you can share with us how many black/native geniuses have we seen over the last 3000 years? Was Archimedes black/native? Nope. da Vinci? No. Sir Isaac Newton? Not as far as I’m aware. Einstein? Also no.
    And also, since you were in AF and spent 40 years in the tech industry, be a sport and tell us names of the people who invented the jet engine, the computer, the internet, the microchip, and literally thousand of other things that have changed our lives. Were those people Chinese/Native/Black? My crystal ball does not think so.

  • Phil

    For some reason your other posts are not ‘active’ and I cannot reply to them. SO

    I’m retired I’m not dead. I see the reality for young people is
    somewhat different but I also volunteer at an LGBT center and see those kids first hand every week. I hear the stories that you obviously don’t. I know also that old people are still running the world. And most of the companies. And nearly all of the
    schools. And the churches. Especially the churches that tell gay teens they are worthless, sinners. I know a kid who walked through snow in his bare feet for hours, got terrible frostbite to escape a church school that was ‘fixing’ him. That was last winter. That kid has more courage and determination than almost anyone I know. Is that not a valuable asset to bring to any table?

    Explain the current suicide rate for gay teens being four times that of straight teens in current day non discriminatory wonderful America. And the rate is 50% for trans teens. Explain the fact that 20% of homeless youth are LGBT. In comparison, the general youth population is only 10% LGBT.

    Show me how having to struggle with self-identity, acceptance, rejection, and integration into society alone and unaided for ones most formative years doesn’t equip someone to bring unique perspectives and understanding to work.

    Explain to me why my 24 year old friend gets fired as soon as he comes out at McDonald’s…yes they have a non-discrimination policy which doesn’t mean there isn’t discrimination.

    Those are REAL PROBLEMS.

    I don’t appreciate people who whine about pretty much anything. I was not noted in my career for tolerating whiners. But to suggest that the real world experience of gay people, even young ones today, is not a challenge that offers the opportunity to develop and contribute differently is blindfolded.

  • Phil

    Why do Nobel prizes mostly go to white people?I could provide some of the ways in which black or yellow or red people are channeled away from the pipelines that produce the Nobel but that’s probably not going to satisfy you. So let me reverse the question: what could possibly account for this other than privilege and subtle (even unintentional or subconsious and systemic)

    Are blacks or natives or Chinese too untalented to do
    the kind of work that produces a Nobel award? You’d have a hard time selling that idea.

    For other races to win Nobel prizes you need a system to create scientists that doesn’t channel them out at an early age, that encourages them, that mentors them; and a system that doesn’t direct them to applied research or engineering or some other facet of science unlikely to produce Nobel quality work.

    Now then why are most governors white, straight men? Because our system selects out others. It is changing but it is not changed.

  • Bastion

    No, you’re not bitter at all. The background has been insightful, truly. Thanks for sharing.

  • Phil

    This was in 2000-2002 time frame and I think it was just that they were all pretty young and inexperienced in a lot of ways. They had an analytic approach drilled into them and faulted me for not using it. (Though I did show them I used it when it made sense –I am good with Excel…)

    An example: when we screwed up an order we sent an apology and gift box to customers. We included some minor product stuff and a $25 AMEX gift certificate. The total cost was about $30 per box and we sent about 100 a month. Of course we worked on minimizing the need to send them, cleaning up the problems, but our business was growing 20% per WEEK for two years so even as we knocked down problems the scale of business kept us busy. We considered it a huge success that we kept complaints and errors pretty much flat while growing that fast.

    Naturally at some point $3000 a month was worth looking at to cut costs, and I was asked what we could do. I gave it after a full 5 seconds of thought. I said as a practical matter the only thing we could do was eliminate the gift certificate or find a cheaper one. They didn’t like that and ruled it out; and it didn’t have a spreadsheet attached…

    Finally they assigned an HBS MBA to look into it and he did a thorough analysis, over the course of a week, interviewing staff, reviewing the process, investigating the costs of each item, etc. which showed we could send the boxes via parcel post instead of priority mail and save ~35 cents per box. About $35 a month.

    Then I pointed out that if we did we’d have to buy the boxes (they are free for priority mail) and that reduced the savings to about 5 cents. So we could save $5 a month and that analysis and discussions cost us about $2000 I suppose. We had to have a meeting with two VP’s just to discuss the situation… (sorry do I sound bitter? No I reiterate my respect for these guys, just not in isolated situations.) Oh we kept the priority mail it gave a better message to customers.

  • Wow

    Air Force in the 1800s?! WOW!

  • WTF

    “Let’s add up the number of white male governors in the US for the last decade and see who is winning the race?”

    Someone has raised this question before. But why do you think most Nobel Prizes go to…white people? Jews and Europeans. Racial discrimination as well? Or it’s just a simple fact that those people…I dunno…smarter and develop more useful ideas? And don’t even think telling me about how underfunded others’ researches. Have you seen how much money has been spent in China/India lately? Results? Yep. A Chinese copy of the Soviet Antonov 26 and a shabby “copy” of the BMW X5.

  • Phil

    I am indeed 65 and have not had a career so lofty as Mr Cook, but I’ve worked for companies whose names you would recognize plus a startup or two. I am now retired. I started working at McDonald’s at 17. I did not include them in the ‘high tech career’ part nor did I include my stint in the Air Force… 😉

  • He was being sarcastic.

    He was being sarcastic.

  • WTF

    “I speak not from theory but from a 40 year career in high tech firms.” So, it seems like we have someone who is 65+ years old on this board? And who, considering his other posts, is in a managerial position and has been successful in his career. Plus this person is, apparently, gay. Hmm…Mr Cook, is that you? But why do you have to lie about your “40 year high tech career”. You did not start working at 14, did not ya?

  • Bastion

    I think the Harvard Case Studies are outdated and that could be one possible explanation of why your former colleagues always seemed to lack the intuition to make some basic decisions without seeing absolute hard and sometimes unnecessary evidence.

  • cbtman01

    How can anyone be proud of what nature or fortune gave them? I am proud of my own achievements, but I am not proud of my nationalty, hair color, or sexualty, as they were given to me. I am happy for some of those things and not for others, and that is that. I am not proud of the religion, prejudices, an culture I received for having been born in a particular place or within a particular family. Again I love some of those things and despise others. I am not proud of my children achievements or my favorite sport team’s victories, as they are theirs, not mine.
    I love it when those things happen, but I do not blame anyone when the do not. I think that we should use the word “pride” less often to gain a better perspective of its real meaning. Perhaps, it might help us to understand each other better, too.

  • Phil

    My niece was not admitted to Princeton as an undergrad. Perfect SAT, 4.0+ grades. Two years as an exchange student in Germany and Denmark. yadda yadda. Her dad is a professor of Physics, and he reached out to his circle of colleagues and finally got the answer: “Yeah, pretty typical and we already had 7 from Connecticut.”

    I also worked with a lot of HBS folks and they were all very very good. But I was the oldest guy in my dotcom and while I admired their knowledge and discipline sometimes they missed the obvious things and were a little bit burdened by their analytic processes. They seemed to need a spreadsheet to make any decision where I could tell them the right answers in ten seconds. (I don’t mean to suggest that there is not plenty of need for analytics, just that experience sometimes allows you to cut to the chase without much need to analyze SOME problems.)

  • Phil

    Actually I don’t cite Wikipedia in formal research but if you want to research a subject it’s usually the best place to start. Yes it can be quite biased and wrong but MOST of the time it isn’t and quite often the articles have extensive referencing of sources that CAN be used. So if I want an overview on something, I usually start with Wiki and then I generally know where to look for more or more authoritative sources.

  • Phil

    I didn’t look at the facts because your point is irrelevant, but I
    would suggest that it is possible that whites are not a majority, yet are still the largest group in California. But I probably am better with numbers and concepts. than you.

    However you keep talking and the more you do the more you SOUND like a r a c i s t and a ho m o ph obe, not to mention an entitled whiny angry guy.

    The filters don’t let me say those words even though I am not actually accusing you of being either…I’m sure you’ll say that you are not, you’ve already said it, but that’s what you SOUND like. To my not-overly-sensitive ears. FYI. And when you sound like that you might want to think about whether you sound like something that is actually what you are.

    I doubt my opinion on that matters to you, but having been a manager who hired and evaluated and promoted and assigned people for a long time I’d advise you to keep an eye on that. In today’s business world there is not a lot of room for that sort of thing. For every company that wouldn’t care there would seem to be several thousand that would find you unsuitable to work in their company because you sound that way.

    So and you won’t want the people you work with to hear these opinions. I suspect you don’t share them with your ‘gay friends’ either, because they would most likely walk across the street when they see you coming.

  • Brian

    You keep saying that, but not all are born into that. You can be a white male Christian and born to parents who have labor jobs or no jobs at all. You have to realize that not all white men are born into privilege.

  • amar

    Asking for the same treatment and rights as all the other groups of people receive is not whining or expecting special treatment.

  • Brian

    Misguided and dangerous? You act like because someone is born Caucasian they have no obstacles to overcome. That line of think in itself is misguided and dangerous.

  • mickrrussom

    Harvard. Lol. Most of the horrible policies of our current failing government are harvard wonks. Corrupted entitled babies who got a rubber stamp. Harvard wonks have destroyed companies too. I have worked with five, yes 5, HBS grads who were present at my first hot startup. Wow, those clowns drove it into the ground so fast it was sad. You see HBS folks have one thing in common – someone put a big blue ribbon on their chest that means nothing but they look in the mirror and pose with it every day. I’d rather listen to a guy like John Paul DeJoria any day of the week than an HBS guy. HBS people are cogs in the machine that need the machine to stamp them with a seal of approval. They are the masters of manipulation, self-aggrandizement and propaganda. They are from my experience poor employees and I would naturally avoid them as they cost too much and can destroy a business with great efficiency.

  • Phil

    So the fact that you’ve identified four successful minority politicians means that (a) discrimination no longer exists (b) those who experienced it derive no added value from the experience. Right.

    Let’s add up the number of white male governors in the US for the last decade and see who is winning the race? I don’t have that data but I’d bet you $100 it’s above 75%. That is what is called “disproportion” isn’t it?

  • Phil

    We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.

  • mickrrussom

    Identity politics is the rule of the day. They divide everyone into subgroups to better control the population while the criminals and thieves continue their racket. Divided we fall.

    And yes, the gay fascist mafia is out of control these days. Its sad thats a badge people wear.

  • Phil

    Um, I can pretty much tell you he has no friends of color nor gay friends. He has acquaintances who don’t know who he is really.

  • Phil

    I’ll chip in and say that a (not huge) majority of people now approve of gay marriage, which was not the case a couple of years ago; though that is a LONG way from saying that they don’t devalue or discriminate against LGBT people in one respect or other. You’re arguing the wrong point. His ‘facts’ are accurate, their value is what’s missing. Acceptance legally and in a poll doesn’t mean that LGBT people don’t still have a tough row to hoe. And if San Francisco is his frame of reference, then sure, there’s little discrimination against gay people. A few murders here and there but heck…

  • Phil

    Plus the fact that of those 37 about 25 didn’t allow gay marriage as recently as last week…ok last year …suggests that perhaps LGBT is actually something that gives people a different life experience…

  • Phil

    Hmmm clearly you don’t quite grasp the concept, much less the value of “diversity”. I suggest you bring these ideas up in your interviews and you’ll at least get a better grasp on “hardship”, “humility” and “unemployment”.

    People who have different experiences and backgrounds add new ideas, ways of thinking, and spot different things in attacking a problem, I speak not from theory but from a 40 year career in high tech firms. Having people around you who are different from you is an asset in many ways, and it is recognized by those of us who have actually done the work. Not merely schools but employers know that diversity actually, in a real world job, can lead to better ideas, identify new markets, avoid mistakes, and suggests creative and out of the box approaches.

    To suggest different people don’t bring different hings to classrooms or to business problems is to suggest that you lack imagination as well as experience. Oh my first management position was creating and being executive director of a peer counseling program at a major college (as a volunteer and without support from the administration, it was 1976) — a program my experience as a gay man suggested was desperately needed. I learned a lot from creating it (including my first experience looking down the barrel of a gun) and it was indeed a part of the reason I got my first career management job. So I’m disappointed to hear that my LGBT background didn’t add to my leadership skills as you say…

    Or your comments could be fairly categorized as whining, there’s that too.

    Ignorant, whiny, overprivileged, and insufferable would be the recommendation this white, middle class, highly educated, (gay) male, retired senior manager would write on your evaluation, were I to interview you.

    Of course you won’t let them see this side of yourself, so maybe you’ll become a decent human before the word gets around.

  • Phil

    Yah, keep digging. I could lend you a shovel.
    There just might be a difference between “whining” and “experiencing and learning”, but perhaps for you those are not valid distinctions, When I say “for you” I mean “in your own life you haven’t distinguished between whining and dealing with extremely challenging discrimination” or anything much, really. Don’t apply to work at any firms and express these attitudes, unless you wish to learn more about unemployment.

    Oh and I’m retired, I’ve done my entire career– and a lot of it was with HBS grads, who were quite a bit more decent than you. My point is (1) I don’t whine and never did (2) you give off a very unpleasant vibe that class people would smell in short order.

  • Phil

    Evidently you don’t read the homeless/suicide stats for gay teens. It may be that growing up gay is a tad bit more challenging than you realize. From your comments you aren’t really much at realizing, so….

  • peevee

    “The average GMAT score for the latest class enrolled at HBS is 727,
    while the undergraduate grade point average is in nose bleed territory
    as well: 3.67.”

    If you look at the rejected candidates who have GMAT>727 AND GPA>3.67, who would improve average scores of HBS on BOTH metrics, all of them are Caucasians or Asians/Indians. Their rejection is simply “affirmative action” at work, HBS had to make space for inferior candidates of preferred races.
    If you look at the stats in most Ivy unis, racial discrimination against Asians/Indians is INSANE. This is simply a fact, sad and shameful fact (and I am not an Asian/Indian).

  • Hoss1

    22 years old? I always thought you were supposed to have some concrete experience in the real world before going for your Master’s/MBA. It’s nice to see Harvard still thinks so too.

  • Jake Stein

    Funny, when you have no point you accuse someone of hate.

  • Jake Stein


  • Jake Stein

    You are wasting your time arguing with such a walking contradiction as RebeccaRobot. Robot fits her well. LOL

  • Jake Stein

    What a numb skull comment. Save yourself, Rose, from your own lack of intelligence.

  • Plowboy

    They were able to reach the level they are at because “God Fearing Christians” walk in the blessings of God. If more people would walk according to the will of God and quit living like hell, then they too could be blessed by God in life. Whether you agree with this or not doesn’t change the truth.
    God bless

  • Rose

    Humm. Do your gay friends a favor.., Share this with them and save them from you.

  • Andrew

    “Shocker”? Buddy, this isn’t a shocker. You haven’t gotten a single promotion, are applying from an over-represented country, worked at seemingly blah companies, worked on a relatively small app, and just have a median GMAT for Stanford. Try not to fool yourself. You are a longshot for both of these schools. There are many other great schools though.

  • Billy Bob Cooter

    GPA, UG reputation, and GMAT are only 3 factors. Essays, career goals, and how the MBA will help your goals are all critical factors that determine whether an applicant receives a ding or an acceptance letter. Also, uniqueness if very important. HBS doesn’t want a class full of bankers from Goldman Sachs and consultants from McKinsey who went to Ivy League schools for Undergrad; HBS wants a diverse class with individuals from a wide array of industries, geographies, and functions to help make their class the most well-rounded. So even if you’re above “average” in GPA, GMAT, and UG reputation, you’re still not guaranteed to get in because there might be someone else just like you (i.e. similar UG school, similar industry/function, similar career goals, etc) who is slightly better than you in some minor way.

  • Fd

    It probably to the candidates benefit being rejected at a business school – even Harvard. Some people might be genuinely after an education by getting into a Business school, however the big motivator is a the fancy title and whatnot. The candidates have already accomplished a lot in their careers, only blind people would think they would not be capable of learning by themselves, or of managing a project. Who are in the wrong here are employers who expect a degree means anything at all.

  • Nomad

    Hi Guys,

    Recently, i got a ding from H,and S. I am hoping for some feedback on my profile. Why could that be?

    Indian, Non-IIT [Top 10 Engg. colleges]
    6.5 Years of work ex (at the time of application) – NO IT
    GPA: 72% (~3.2 [not sure how the schools convert from %age based grading system])

    GMAT: 740

    1. Worked for 2 years with a niche analytics firm (ZS Associates – Reputed in schools like Kellogg) – Pretty Vanilla and something I would like to forget. This was basically an orientation into the real world for me. Did have a few accomplishments though.

    2. Left the company for a startup (worked for 9 months) – Failed.
    Travelled, immersed myself into traditional indian culture ([spirituality, Yoga, Vedas, Ayurveda, etc.] Think Steve Jobs in his earlier life). This phase had a profound impact on my existence as a whole which I explained. Got back to Corporate sector again.

    3. Worked for another two years with another analytics firm (not very well known, but got a good designation): Consulted SVPs of a fortune 500 firm. Worked with clients across 8 countries. Worked on change management project involving about 1000 employees. Left after 2.5 years.

    4. While working on my last job, co-founded a mobile app company with a user base of 25k and a turnover of $75k (pretty amazing by Indian standards, given how difficult it is to do business here) in the domain of social welfare and mobile governance. Trying to sell my stake before MBA. It is pain running it, when I have limited business knowledge.

    1. Quite immersed in Indian traditions (not an extremist, but like to enjoy the best of both worlds)
    2. Avid reader of business books
    3. Marathon runner (amongst the top) – Half Marathon time of 1:22, Hiker (4000m+ – 2 times)
    4. Organised fests in college
    5. Extensive social work – teaching unprivileged kids, giving presentation to college juniors on how to land jobs, etc.

    Future plans:
    Create a firm of my own and run it (back in India). This time better prepared with a relevant skillset.

    Why MBA?
    Congregation of best minds. Wish to enrich my experience. Developing skillset for business. Also use downtime in my MBA to work on another idea.

    My inputs:
    1. No promotions (although the designation jump was pretty awesome)
    2. Male, Indian, Non IIT (the wannabe lot)
    3. Low GPA (not sure how the colleges took it)
    4. Average GMAT?

    H ding was expected, but S was a shocker given I had entrepreneurship, etc. Or maybe I am in a world of my own.

    Also, will you be willing to take my case if I reapply? It’ll be 7 years of work ex this time and not much of a change from previous year. Don’t wish to apply to other b schools because of a lack of focus on entrepreneurship.


  • Learner4Ever

    Could it just possibly be that the admissions staff at these elite schools are just a bit jaded from all the change the world nonsense that is spouted off in these application essays? You want to save Nigeria from starvation? Check. You and about 10,000 other applicants across the country. Replace Nigeria with any other third world country, inequality, hunger, etc. Check and ditto. In watching the way things are heading now, I’ve said for awhile that when you get a bunch (and by a bunch I meant a lot) of folks who think they can change the world (because that is en vogue now), you simply end up with a bunch of noisemakers. Sounds to me like the admissions folks have figured this out.

  • NoLoveForTech?

    Even then they are rejecting Google kids left & right. My roommate works at Google and I worked at Google before switching to Twitter and both were also dinged with no interview. Both had 3 promotions in 5 years and leadership roles, one had people management experience with 80/80 percentiles on the tests and solid (not perfect) GPAs. I can’t imagine what else you would need if you weren’t at a “hip” place, especially if the two of us and the other guy above (gay Mormon Googler) all got rejected.

  • Numenorean2

    it has never occurred to you the fact that the buttons “U” and “I” located next to each other, has it?

  • You’re an Idiot

    Nufsaid, do your gay friends and friends of color realize how much you hate them?

  • Numenorean

    Hindu is not a language you know just an fyi

  • NotEnoughSaid

    I’m pretty certain that they say they don’t *discriminate* based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Not that they don’t take someone positively for those characteristics.

    B-School education is partially designed to introduce students to the fact that you can solve the same problem 1000 different ways. If everyone at a school has similar background and similar upbringing, who came from a similar geography, socio-economic background, same race, same gender, same religion, etc. then you limit those possible solutions.

    From an education perspective, this weakens your program. The schools design admissions to seek out and look for top leadership talent who are 100% capable and motivated who *also* fulfill a full diverse picture.

    You state that LGBT students don’t bring anything new into a classroom. I ask you this, does a woman bring something different to the classroom than a man? A WASP from NJ something different than a 1st generation college graduate African American from Atlanta? Upbringing matters and for LGBT students their sexuality is a major factor that shapes how they look at problems vs heterosexuals.

    Additionally from a practical standpoint, employers are actively seeking out top LGBT talent. How does a top B-School (whose job it is to fill those talent slots) look if they don’t have a pipeline of students an employer desires? Even if the above didn’t convince you, please look at it from the practicality perspective and realize that there is a reason Admissions looks at diversity, and it isn’t hypocrisy but it is just good business sense.

  • NotEnoughSaid

    You clearly are misrepresenting the quote above. You quoted my previous comment stating “GOOD LGBT applicants” (emphasis added) but then proceed to talk about *every* LGBT applicant. I agree that leading a squad and saving a company and jobs is leadership.

    Do you think that serving in a leadership role in a non-profit that saves the lives of suicidal youth isn’t leadership? Does the communications director for the organization successfully lobbying the US Congress to pass LGBT protections into Hate Crime legislation not count as leadership? How about the group that is getting the FDA to reconsider its ban on taking blood donations from gay & bi-men, are they not leaders? What about military officers who came out in defiance against DADT, is that not leadership or is that just “whining about being gay.”

    My point is actually a lot in line with yours but instead of painting an entire group of people with a broad stroke I was highlighting the fact that the LGBT community, *by nature of the fact that most of its 40-65 population died* has more opportunities for younger leadership that has a larger impact on individuals. This is relevant to B-School not because someone is gay and “proud” of it, but because they have leveraged that in a leadership role.

    At the LGBT preview weekend at Harvard, Dee Leopold talks about how she couldn’t care if you were openly gay in your application or not. What she cares about is what you have done with that. So yes essays about having a tortured life is not going to get you in. Essays about how that tortured life led you to XYZ organization where you took on a major role and implemented ABC? Absolutely that is relevant.

    Do you see the difference here?

  • guesto

    You are right: saying Duke/Harvard would be no different. It would be equally misleading and you’d be justified in being annoyed because, as good of a school as Duke is, it is not Harvard. However, I have heard few such comparisons. The much more prevalent comparisons on this site (and elsewhere) are simply grouping all the private southern schools into one giant, amorphous “Southern Ivy” blob that is totally inaccurate in my opinion. The gap between Duke and Wake Forest/Emory/Rice is not the same distance as that between Harvard and Cornell. The former is substantially wider. A lot of the NESCAC schools are similarly being misrepresented. “Oh yeah, I went to a small New England college, think Williams/Amherst/Bates, whatever.” What???

    To your point, in the interest of accuracy on this site, it’d be nice if such misrepresentation could be addressed in the profile analyses. I hereby propose a new G/N/D category: Georgetown, Duke, Northwestern. Those schools have far more in common with each other than some of the other schools that they’re being compared to, and the new category would let folks who went to G/N/D depict themselves more accurately and ideally reduce the absurd Northwestern/Purdue or Georgetown/Villanova chicanery that’s going on.

    These ridiculous groupings remind of the “Yada Yada” Seinfeld episode. “Yeah Duke/Emory, some SEC school like LSU/Vanderbilt cuz they’re the same, think Berkeley/USC, yada yada yada…” To paraphrase Seinfeld, “You’re yada yada-ing an important part!”

  • pq

    Looks like the Dukies are seriously peeved that their school was compared to Emory. Can’t say I blame them though.

  • Robert

    Come on like i am stupid enough to include politics in my application or anything off topic for that matter.

    PS: avoiding the truth and living in denial is not my thing , and that wont change no matter what degree i get , and i believe that many more people should be like that ,the world would be better off .And admitting your own mistakes and flaws is the first step towards overcoming them ….

  • Mike

    “A lot of the U.S. is the 18th century Middle East” Huh? This is hyperbole, right?

  • gerhard

    “terrorists or criminals”…now it is explained why they rejected you… you have to change your attitude if you want to be a responsible and trusted business person. be careful..

  • Elie

    yeah i know.
    but the irony is that Lebanon has 4 Mil population while China has 1200 Mil and the same for India
    i really wonder where all those Lebanese applicants keep coming from lol .
    probably there are many Lebanese -American dual nationals applying , i know many in my company , one of them was also rejected by HBS in round 1 but my profile and GMAT are much better than his….

    your name sounds German by the way , many Lebanese over there in Germany , but they are mostly terrorists or criminals honestly !! .

  • gerhard

    My friend, im sorry for the bad news but keep in mind that being lebanese is your weak point. Most if not all top business schools are fat of your nationality along with india and china.

  • mistic

    So, you think the stakeholders in a company instead of taking another qualified person will take the white guy just because of his characteristics? hahaha You’re lying to yourself. When you talk there’s discrimination against lgbt even if it’s legal in that state, that’s smth we have to fix, but not by introducing institutionalized discrimination against the most successful group. Btw whites are the global minority. Everyone talk about percent of x,y,z in forbes 100 or I don’t no where, but no one seems to acknowledge that Nobel Prizes or let’s say better Fields Medals are taken by the same type of guys even if education field leveled a long time ago. I also saw recently an article about HR from Google apologizing there are not enough women in Google’s CS Degrees roles despite the fact they are making 21% of workforce and they have only 17-18% of CS Degrees and one feminist said they want to be 50% hahahah

  • Elie

    Wow , glad to see my profile up there (Lebanese Oil and Gas guy, age is 27 by the way , GPA 71/100)

    i forgot to include a couple of things

    I am only one of two people from my batch who were promoted twice in 4 years , and the other guy is actually the nephew of our company’s CEO .

    My work experience spans in 4 countries, (including IRAQ) , none of these 4 countries is my native country by the way . I completed my duties in construction using crews who have never ever laid foot in an Oil and Gas field before and these crews were made of people from china , Iraq , India ,with some turks and Iranians and none of them speak the same language or even know english . How many applicants have done that ???

    and yet i was dinged in the round 2 by the guys at LBS , HBS , WHARTON and BOOTH .

    Anyways i have moved on ,, i feel sorry for the other guys though , so many people have dedicated so much time for extra curriculars simply to impress HBS … at least for me i didn’t do any extra curriculars so my only loss is the time and money spent on applications
    (i mentioned in my extra curriculars the fact that i was standing as a guard in my village to watch for any terrorist activities from nearby Syria , but risking your life defending your community which is a Christian minority unlucky to be living right next to the syrian borders filled with terrorists is not really enough extra curriculars , even superman cant get in these schools ) .

  • nufsaid

    Finally. Boring conversation anyway.

  • RebeccaRobot

    Are you suggesting that 37 states voted for legalization of gay marriage? And that Wikipedia / all of the internet / every news source are misrepresenting this “fact”?

    You are entirely unwilling to seek out facts that support reality (you would call this “an alternative viewpoint”) and I’m not going to attempt to feed them to you, so arguing is pointless. Good day.

  • nufsaid

    “Do a simple Wikipedia search” – nuff said indeed. If you rely on Wikipedia as your main source of information, then no wonder we have such different points of view.

    No offense, but Wikipedia is by miles the last place I’d go to get the most accurate data about anything.

  • RebeccaRobot

    You don’t seem to understand. The fact that 74% of the U.S. has legalized gay marriages does not, in most of those cases, correlate to support for gay marriage in those areas. The most recent cases of legalization are in areas where gay marriage is most opposed. Do a simple Wikipedia search for gay marriage in the United States, please, and look at method of legalization; I don’t have the time to explain this to you.

    The fact that whites are a minority in California is, in fact, irrelevant for the reasons stated above.

  • nufsaid

    Of course. But you did not answer my simple question nor did you provide any evidence. It’s just blah blah blah :/

  • nufsaid

    Whoa. Again, you said that 50+% of the US are against gays. I said not. And to support my point, besides personal experience, provided simple fact that 74% of the States have legalized gay marriages. You called it BS as well as the fact that whites are minority in California.
    When I provided a link to the actual report that whites are minority, you said it was irrelevant. And you did not provide anything to add weight to your claims.

    We were talking about discrimination and you wanted to talk about old money. But if you want to talk about money, then think how wealth was divided in the begging of the 20th century and how it’s now. See the picture yet?

    It’s really nice talking to you, Rebecca.

  • RebeccaRobot

    Again, not relevant to any actual point above. What is the white power/wealth share?

  • RebeccaRobot

    Those “Amish towns” that you speak of – the full states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, and others, not to mention most of Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, Utah, and similar places – contain a very large proportion of the U.S. population.

  • nufsaid

    You say, “Whites are the largest group in California”
    Headline from thinkprogressDOTorg, “As Of Today, California No Longer Has A White Majority”. Date: July 1st, 2013.

    No contradiction whatsoever.

  • RebeccaRobot

    That does not contradict my point at all.

  • nufsaid

    Right. I don’t have access to google or news indeed.

  • nufsaid

    Yep. We have a black President (for the second term in a row), an Asian mayor in SF, the previous mayor in LA was Mexican…but yeah, you’re right.

    Maybe people in your Amish town care, but the rest of the world (most of it anyway) have lives that are not so shallow and empty to care about your bedroom preferences. Sorry.

    You know where I’m from, and I also can add that I’ve been (for at least 1 night) to 48 States. And I can’t agree with you, because I have not seen widespread gay and/or black discrimination. But what I’ve been observing is that these groups keep demanding more rights and benefits than “powerful whites”.
    Maybe you should tell us where you’re from. Then it might be easier to understand your point. But right chance.

  • RebeccaRobot

    I don’t understand that first paragraph. Yes, in many of the states where gay marriage is legal, it was by judicial action, not legislative action. Thus, the majority of the individuals in those states are against gay marriage, but it is legal anyway. Claiming that you need evidence about discrimination against LGBT suggests that you don’t have access to Google or the news.

    Demanding benefits is not claiming to be better if the benefits simply bring you up to the same level as everyone else. That’s claiming to be the same.

    Whites are the largest group in California (though, granted, it is close). However, they have a disproportionately high share of leadership positions and wealth. There is no need to demand benefits if you’re already in power since you already have those things.

  • nufsaid

    Okay. So, we need to get something straight here. You claimed that more than half of the U.S. states are against/biased against gays. When I provided you with real facts you said, “Nah. It does not represent the real picture.” But now you’re saying that the 13 states did not legalize gay marriages because the wast majority of people in those states were against it. So, you have to pick a side here. It’s either 50+% of America is against it or, as the statistics show, not. There is no way to be “a little bit pregnant”. Also, why don’t you provide any solid evidence to support your claims that people are biased against gays? So far, I’ve heard a lot of opinions but no evidence… :/ makes me feel like I’m back in kindergarten.

    Forcing people to respect and demanding benefits – is claiming to be better. You might be surprised but white people are minority in California, but I don’t hear them demanding more jobs for themselves and deporting Lations.

  • RebeccaRobot

    Perhaps YOU don’t care. That doesn’t mean that NO ONE cares. And I can’t think of any group demand benefits that are anything but in-line with the rest of society.

    Wealthy white straight male Christians are absolutely and undoubtedly still the most powerful group in society by a longshot. For evidence, see……. well…….. leadership in just about field…….. It would be insulting to every other group to suggest that those individuals reached those positions on merit.

  • RebeccaRobot

    In many cases of states legalizing gay marriage, the majority of individuals WERE against it (Alabama, Texas, etc).

    No gay person is arguing that they are BETTER than anyone else. They are arguing that they are not any WORSE than anyone else.

    In many cases, this discrimination does, in fact, lead to a powerful story. You can’t discredit it just because you’re not explicitly the one that held them down (or at least attempted to).

  • GeorgiaTech>Michigan

    In that case, I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that the applicant attended Emory.

  • John

    What? You sound deranged!

  • Rads

    I guess it’s no different from a candidate saying he attended “Duke/Harvard”. Although I’d be annoyed by someone who made that statement because it is disingenuous.

  • JS

    The metrics shown above tell us absolutely nothing. You know what’s telling? An applicant’s own unique story that will set him or her apart from other applicants. Yet another meaningless article that only encourages people to self select when applying to business school. Step it up P&Q by realizing that articles like this do not add any value to prospective MBAs who are anxious enough as it is.

  • rentseeker

    Haha, I was thinking the same. Probably they want a foot in Japan, so they need a japanese national.

  • rentseeker

    Well said.

  • joe

    should that be reduced to around 850 since 2+2 are early admits?

  • Say what

    Didn’t the Harvard Dean just lament the lack of “Japanese” applicants, and then right here did they not just reject a Japanese applicant?

  • nufsaid

    Yeah, yeah. Sure. If the wast majority had been against this, there is no way it would have gotten through. Perhaps you mistaken the word “Democracy” for the word “Dictatorship” :/
    And let me tell you something. I don’t have anything against gays (as I’ve said many times, I’ve got gay friends) or any other category or people. I’m okay with anyone, with any religion, political views, etc., but right to the moment when a group starts to demand attention, says it’s better/special than others, etc. Then I have a serious problem with that. Shouting how difficult your life is because, for instance, you like to play with your аnus and demanding that everybody see you as “special” and respect that makes you nothing more than another version of the Nazis. Those guys were pretty confident they were “special” as well.

  • nufsaid

    White straights belong to a powerful majority group? In Texas? Perhaps, but life has changed since the 1950s you know. As have the country and its population profile.

    And speaking about discrimination, I’m sorry, but these days I only hear how African Americans talk how everybody is against them, how gays are whining about the same thing, how Asians, Indians, Lations, etc. are demanding more rights and want everybody to learn Chinese, Hindu, Spanish. But I have to repeat myself, unless you live in an Amish village in the middle of Pennsylvanian, NO ONE CARES what do you like to eat, listen to, or do in your bedroom. People have their own lives to care about your preferences. Once people admit it and stop demanding some benefits because “they are different” then we’ll get rid of racism, Nazism, etc.

  • RebeccaRobot

    Pride of belonging to a powerful majority group is misguided and dangerous. There are no obstacles to overcome – you start with an advantage. This attitude has historically fostered more discrimination (Nazis, KKK, Westboro, etc).

  • RebeccaRobot

    Most of those were judicial, not legislative. Additionally, even in the small number of cases where laws were passed, there was barely a majority in support. Most importantly, legalization of marriage does not prevent discrimination or civil rights abuses against those individuals (see: every racial / religious / sexual orientation minority group).

  • nufsiad

    Hi John. Thank you for you reply. I really appreciate it. But nope. The comments were posted (it’s pretty easy to go around the moderation filter). If it was not you, it was someone else with moderator rights. But anyways, no hard feelings. We have a very interesting discussion anyway.

  • nufsaid

    I replied to you a couple of times, but John Jong Un deleted my posts. But anyways, since you’re one of those who are proud of something they did achieve or put any efforts towards, I’d go beyond the moons of Saturn just to avoid sitting with you at the same table at a dinner party.

  • JohnAByrne

    I didn’t delete any of your comments. Without seeing what you wrote, it’s possible that your comments are caught in our moderation filter which is meant to stop personal attacks, obscenities, and spam from showing up. I’ll check.

  • nufsaid

    Yes, I do live in SF. And I do have a lot of gay friends and acquaintances. And, surprise, surprise, they realize that being gay is NOT something they should brag about since no one gives a damn.

    And by the way, last time I checked there were 37(THIRTY SEVEN) states that have legalized same-sex marriages. And in case you forgot, there are only 50 states in the U.S.

  • nufsaid

    “The good LBGT applicants don’t talk about their coming out, but how it
    has shaped them to be a better leader and, how they have used it to put
    themselves in leadership roles.” – right. Thanks for making my point. I can’t wait to learn how being gay has shaped every LBGT applicant to become a better leader. I hope you realize that leading a squad in a battle is leadership, saving a company and hundreds of jobs is leadership, but whining about being gay is NOT leadership.

    P.S. John (or whoever it was), thank you for deleting my other posts. I guess we lost the main freedom – freedom of expression. Right? Good for you, man. Consider moving to Russia/North Korea. People over there are crazy about dictatorships

  • mistic

    Wow, such a discriminating comment. Being LGBT has no particular influence on leadership. Also they don’t bring anything new into classroom. Maybe I’m wrong, but let me know how they think differently about some business issue. The idea is that if you take someone based on gender you are discriminating and they clearly state they don’t admit people based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and they do just that, so much hypocrisy, it makes me throw up.

  • guesto

    Seriously. Think we can all deduce that that candidate went to Emory – Emory is great but it is not on the same plane as Duke. At all.

    Never understand some of these groupings. I get that these candidates are trying to be anonymous and are proud of the school they went to, but I’m also guessing that you can assume that the school they attended is really the lowest common denominator of whatever group they claim to be in. E.g. first candidate “top public in south” — if he went to UVA/UNC, he would write that, since those are actually hands down the best public universities in the south, needless to say some of the best public universities in the country (only behind Berkeley and Michigan). But I’m guessing Mr. Public South’s school was probably UGA/Alabama, which makes the 3.8 there a little less impressive. Similarly, Mr. 760/3.5 at an “SEC University”…I’m also gonna go ahead and guess that this is ‘Bama/UGA/UF and not Vanderbilt, which is also an SEC school. Because if you went to Vanderbilt, you would have written that you went to a “Southern Ivy,” in my opinion the most ridiculous category because you have people saying degrees from Wake Forest and Emory are the same as degrees from Duke, Georgetown, or Davidson. The former two are great schools, don’t get me wrong, but I find it hard to believe an employer or admissions officer looks at all those schools the same. Heck, Duke has been a top 10 USN school for years now!

    Anyways, my point is that from what Sandy has indicated with HBS, where you went undergrad is a big factor. So personally I’m a little more stunned at the 760/3.7 gal from Stanford (let’s be honest, it’s Stanford…if you went to Harvard you’d write HYP) getting dinged than the person with a 3.10 from Emory or a 3.8 from UF.

  • mistic

    Is it ok if I’m proud I’m hetero? Or if I’m white? Or just a certain categories are allowed to be proud of a particular feature, cause last time these two features were accused of being “x-istic” or “y-istic”?

  • Jay

    Yeah yeah. Maybe it’s time to grow some teeth and finally have something against some stupid places already?

  • Guest

    You are not alone fellow UC grad!

  • Bastion

    Hasn’t it always been this way though, John? Even more so now given the increased competition from abroad but even if you look at the undergrad level, a lot of this has been going on already. Hundreds of candidates who Harvard (or any other elite school) doesn’t have room for.

  • JohnAByrne

    This website has nothing against Duke. This is how the applicant reflected his undergraduate degree.

  • hbsguru

    True, but just for the record, HBS admits ~1000 kids for a class of ~930-940.

  • hbsguru

    I agree, at some point admit to HBS becomes lottery like, but one factor, esp. for white, males, is what tech company you work for–they are always looking for kids from Goog, Apple, Facebook and other ‘hip’ places. In order to get in from OK but non-hot tech company, you do need some X factor.

  • RebeccaRobot

    You live in SF? Then you’re right, people are tolerant there, and that’s great! But in at least 50% of the U.S. (likely more), that is not the case. A lot of the U.S. is the 18th century Middle East.

  • hbsguru

    were you interviewed??

  • NotEnoughSaid

    The good LBGT applicants don’t talk about their coming out, but how it has shaped them to be a better leader and, how they have used it to put themselves in leadership roles. The LGBT rights movement offers a lot of unique organizations who have very young senior leaders that have a huge impact on several industries. From Healthcare to Politics to HR, there are LGBT organizations led by young individuals who are applying to MDA programs like HBS. While it might not be about a business challenge, it is about leadership.

    Additionally, one of the main constructs of all elite B-schools is the diversity of thought and opinion in the classroom. Hell, HBS Sections are engineered to drive this diverse conversation. The LGBT voice on its own, (regardless of the leadership opportunities above) is an added value to the classroom, if only to help people like you who “have gay friends” to stop thinking of people, human beings, as less than because their experience is different from yours.

    Finally, despite the crude-nature of your request, LGBT people are not allowed to donate our organs. In 29 states it is legal for a boss to fire an employee just because they are gay. So while you might have a particular world-view from San Francisco, I’m guessing that the Gay Mormon who went to Brigham Young University in Utah is going to have a struggle that helped define him, and help shape him as a leader who is going to be more compassionate towards all types of diversity.

  • Dilbert

    Dinged by Harvard in Round 1. Undergrad from a premier engineering institute in India (IIT) followed by management consulting and then private equity (among the top 3 PE firms globally). UG GPA: 3.4, GMAT:760.

  • Jakson

    Nufsaid, I say this with all due respect, but my initial conclusion after reading your post is that you’re an idiot. I knew I was going to be disgruntled when I read about someone who was declaring himself “tolerant” and then bragging about the fact that he has “a lot of gay friends,” but nevertheless I still read on. Yes, being proud to be gay is a legitimate feeling. Just as someone may be proud to be American or Greek, or a poor guy from Alabama who paid his way through college, or a woman in private equity. Now, I know plenty of gay classmates who did not mention their sexuality in their application essays, but also plenty that did because for them it was a more powerful way to represent themselves. Neither is wrong. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant.

  • Nufsaid

    Is it me or 99% of gay applicants choose to “tell a heartbreaking story of coming out of the closet”? Are you freaking kidding me? Seriously? I am straight but live in San Francisco, so perhaps I’ll choose this subject for the basis of my essays to, drumroll, a BUSINESS school.

    I’m very tolerant and have a lot of gay friends but people who love to have pleasure in a different way, please realize that NO ONE cares about your sexual preferences. If it were the 18th century in the Middle East, then some probably would, but not in this day and age, not in the States and not at Harvard. And it also applies to the fact that a lot of people are proud to be gay. Seriously? You’re proud to have a different sexual preference? Oh man, why don’t you go and donate all you internal organs to people who have a better chance. Than it’s going to be something you can be proud of.

  • Ouch


    James B Duke must be rolling in his grave!

  • Nigel

    It probably has to do with the fact that Fuqua doesn’t advertise on this website.

  • Greer

    I’ve said it before and will say it again…..there aren’t enough spaces and way too many high qualified applicants.

  • NoOneCares

    Better fire up the wambulance

  • Huh?

    So, “Gay Mormon” is an applicant stat?

  • Penn

    I know what you mean. People are just ignorant enough to group those schools together because they’re located in similar geographic regions. It really is astonishing. US News ranks Duke much closer to Harvard than to Emory. I feel your pain. My school gets compared to a state school for similar reasons.

  • Jay

    “Southern Ivy (think Duke or Emory)”

    What does this blog have against Duke? Since when is Duke being compared to Emory? Ridiculous.

  • Rad

    Somebody forgot to spell check Caucasian

  • DeeFan

    And their parents were not the sons and daughters of someone with influence or someone that talks to God.

    That observation was missing from the intro paragraph description of the dinged candidates

  • HarvardUndergrad

    I applied to HBS and was dinged first round (Stats: Harvard College graduate with a 3.5 GPA in the sciences and 710 GMAT score working at a major tech company with significant leadership involvement.) I interview high school seniors applying to Harvard College now and I agree, it’s about luck when you have so many applicants for so few spots.

  • bwanamia

    “In his Harvard admissions essay, he wrote about why he is so deeply passionate about education and yearns to dedicate his professional life to erasing educational inequality.”

    Anyone who applies to H/W/S or any of the other elite schools is a passionate believer in the value of educational inequality.

  • JohnAByrne

    That’s very true. Indeed, one reason why this story is so important for people to see is that all the top schools are turning down a lot of superb talent. They just don’t have enough room to accept everyone who can succeed in their programs and reflect well on the school. That’s important for people to know.

  • Crimsonite

    These were those applicants dinged w/o an interview. A pretty impressive bunch, makes me a little nervous of my own chances now!

  • fhs

    One word: Interviews!
    Another one: Fit!
    And a final one: Diversity

  • HBSNoMore

    Lol glad you caught that!

  • hbshopeful

    Great point!

    Except “MBA road” does end with “D” 😉

  • HBSNoMore

    Interesting to find myself on this list (the only UC grad), and with such impressive candidates. I’m actually 3/3 (admit/invites) for my other M7 applications, but still unsure what happened here. Any insight is futile at this point but still appreciated. For those dinged by HBS, it’s not the end of the world, humbling in fact, but I’m sure all on this list will end up at a top program and have meaningful careers. The MBA road doesn’t end with Dee!

  • Bastion

    The truth is once you get to the level of Harvard, its a crapshot. All these candidates are excellent and will go on to do great things without the Harvard diploma. I’ve always said schools like Harvard take people destined to do great things and just give them fancy diplomas. Harvard only has ~500 spots, and when you have HUNDREDS of absolute top candidates for around the world, you’re NEVER a shoe in. EVER.