You Won’t Believe Who Harvard Business School Just Rejected


Mr. 2+2 Childhood Dream


  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.21 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in biotechnology from IIT Guwahati
  • Work experience includes a two-month internship at Futures First, a multinational finance firm, developing algorithmic trading strategies despite no prior background in finance; two months at Phoenix Comtrade, a multinational agri-commodity firm, devising marketing strategies for a new rice brand
  • Extracurricular involvement as a convener of the annual cultural festival in college, the third largest in India, leading a team of more than 250 students; member of the entrepreneurial development cell; also did a startup in college that broke even in a few months; a debater who has won parliamentary debates; also play tennis and drums
  • Post-career MBA goal: To develop a startup ecosystem in India “as I strongly believe that entrepreneurs are key to development”
  • “Getting into Harvard has been my childhood dream and thus applied to just HBS”
  • 22-year-old Indian male

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, your dreams may still come true about HBS admission, but as noted, 2+2 is hard and lottery like, possibly more so for Internationals. Your financial engineering, trading, algorithm- creating internships did not help because trading and algorithm making are not favored jobs at HBS. No doubt, you could find some dudes there with that background, but they are not favored. That is more so for 2+2.

Your goals and internships did not align. You have OK but marquee extracurriculars and a STAND OUT focused leadership story. Goals are sorta OK, but anyone could have patched in those same goals to their story. You did not come by those goals via experience. All of that, on top of 2+2 is hard and equals a ding because there is nothing really compelling that is driving you in.

Graduate, work for McKinsey, then work for some frequent feeder brand name tech or finance company and reapply. You should get in then. Write back if I am still alive.

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