You Won’t Believe Who Harvard Business School Just Rejected

 Geeky Guy

Mr. Ed Tech


  • 161V (87%), 159Q (74%) GRE
  • 3.5 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from a public Ivy
  • Work experience includes six years as the the technical co-founder of a company after undergrad, one year in my current position as the CTO of an EdTech startup.
  • Extracurricular involvement as a college athlete on the rowing tea, fluent in five languages, founded a non-profit to promote financial literacy to high school students
  • Short-term Goal: To transition into product management at a large tech company working on an educational product
  • Long-term Goal: To found a company that leverages technology to help American students bolster their quantitative skills from an early age (look at the GMAT – we need it!).
  • Also applied to Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan, Dartmouth Tuck, and Yale School of Management
  • 30-year-old Hispanic (American citizen) male in EdTech

Sandy’s Analysis: I’m a bit surprised. Maybe, but just to speculate, your ding probably turns on your work history and your need for an MBA, given that you spent six years with your own start up and then moved to another company. That sounds solid but a lot will turn on facts and the growth record of your own company, and what happened to it. If it was a big success, some might wonder why you need an MBA degree. If it wasn’t, then you had an excuse to look for a job which took you six years to find.

Or perhaps it is something in the middle. I don’t mean to diss your six years of effort, but this is just an odd profile, and a lot will turn on reality and how you presented that experience, and also what your current company is like. There is nothing in your work history that gives schools any anchor in credibility. A lot might have turned on how you presented your work history and need for MBA because Hispanics with your GPA and GREs are wanted by schools to some degree but that won’t overcome an iffy work history (after seven years!). So that could be it.

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