Stanford GSB | Mr. Corporate VC Hustler
GMAT 780, GPA 3.17
Darden | Mr. Strategy Manager
GRE 321, GPA 3.5
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Airline Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.73
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Smart Operations
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Wharton | Mr. Marketing Director
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Healthcare Startup
GRE 321, GPA 3.51
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Air Force
GMAT 610, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Sustainable Business
GRE 331, GPA 3.86
Wharton | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Yale | Ms. Impact Investing
GRE 323, GPA 3.8
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Food Waste Warrior
GMAT Not written yet (around 680), GPA 3.27
Stanford GSB | Ms. Future Tech Exec
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Columbia | Mr. Aussie Military Man
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0 (rough conversion from Weighted Average Mark)
Harvard | Mr. Hopeful Philanthropist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.74
Stanford GSB | Mr. FinTech
GMAT Not Taken Yet, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Analytics Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1

You Won’t Believe Who Harvard Business School Rejected This Month

Geeky Guy

Mr. Data Scientist

  • 730 GMAT
  • 8/10 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in engineering from a Top 10 engineering school in India (think BIT/NIT)
  • 3.9 GPA
  • Master’s degree in engineering from a Top 5 U.S. engineering school
  • Work experience includes two years working as a data scientist at an e-commerce company.
  • Extracurricular involvement as a volunteer teacher (10+ hours a week in the past two years)
  • “Harvard ding was kinda expected but Booth Ding was a surprise for me”
  • “Do you think I should hope for an interview call from Sloan & Wharton?”
  • Indian male

Sandy’s Analysis: A lot at Harvard Business School depends on what they think of your company. They favor Bigfeet like Amazon, Facebook, and Google. If you are doing data analysis at some no-name e-commerce company, that could be the same as the “middle-market PE curse.”

Your college and GPA are solid. HBS might just like other similar kids more, Booth ding is a surprise unless your execution on the application was damaging or unclear. Sloan goes for this profile, but they get a lot of them. Both Sloan and Wharton may turn on company prestige and GPA at college.

Bottom line: You are in a crowded part of a crowded space, so some luck is certainly involved, and small execution boo-boos as to goals, recommendations, and capturing your experiences could have out-sized consequences. That is how borderlands work, alas.

DON’T MISS: DINGED? LET SANDY TELL YOU WHY NOW

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.