You Won’t Believe Who Harvard Business School Just Rejected


Mr. Economics Litigation


  • 730 GMAT
  • 3.7 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Brigham Young University
  • Work experience includes three years at a top economic/litigation consulting firm

    Goals: To go into product management at a large tech company (Google/Amazon etc) to tie back to my EE background, then hopefully transition into an upper management role at a small tech firm or start-up.

  • Extracurricular involvement includes a two-year mission for LDS church, head math instructor for a prison education outreach program; also teach a class for youth at my church, lots of intramural sports in college and leagues post-grad).
  • Wrote essay about what pushed me into wanting to get an MBA rather than a PhD in engineering (grew up thinking about PhD, loads of research experience in high school/college)
  • “Guessing ding came because I have mostly silver and not gold in my profile. Thoughts?”
  • Received interview invites to Booth and Darden, still waiting on other schools
  • 26-year-old white male, dual citizen of EU/US

Sandy’s Analysis: Sort of, though it’s hard to say what your cohort is. Economic-litigation consulting is an acceptable feeder space to HBS but not favored. My guess is percents admitted from that space vs. investment banking and management consulting are less by a bit. That plus odd-ish goal positioning (how does EE degree lead to product management at Google or Amazon?). Not a big deal but other parts were similarly off a bit and also you wrote a rather odd seeming essay–what pushed me into wanting to get an MBA rather than a PhD in engineering (HUH, who cares??) and nothing super duper pushing you in. Well, that would be a perfect “non-storm,” yes, e.g. silver not gold.

What probably screwed you most was getting the litigation consulting job — that was a bad platform to use to get into HBS, and you almost admit as much in the rest of your application strategy, goals and essays which tends to ignore it.

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