Looking For Love In All The Right Places

dating apps

“How’s this picture?”

My friend raised his eyebrow. “You’re just smiling with a dog. It makes you look personable, but…”

“Not hot,” I said, groaning. I’ve never been good at crafting dating profiles that actually appeal to anyone; I’ve always preferred meeting potential dates in person, like some kind of Luddite.

That’s why when I got challenged to search the  furthest reaches of the online dating world for Stanford and Berkeley MBAs, I couldn’t resist. Would they be easy to spot? How would they present themselves? How would they signal attractiveness to potential dates? Or one-night stands? (No judgment.)

So there I was, putting together a Tinder profile on a Saturday night. My friends eventually convinced me to go with a beach picture (“it makes you look fun!”):

For my Tinder profile, I wrote a simple poem:

my name is maya
i live in san francisco
and i love haikus

I did the same thing with my Hinge profile, and made my OKCupid profile a bit more substantial. A friend convinced me that in the “You should message me if” section, I should write “P/E Ratios.” It didn’t hook any MBAs, but I did end up having a cool conversation with a trader and professional poker player — so there’s that.

With my profiles ready, I mentally prepared myself to swipe away.

THE DATA ON MBA DATING

A 2015 survey of Wharton MBA students found that the two most popular apps were Tinder (used by 63% of students who said they went on online dates), followed by Hinge (54%), OkCupid (19%), CoffeeMeetsBagel (7%), and Facebook (…not sure that counts, but you do you).

Wharton’s just one school, though, so I looked into some more general stats. According to Pew Research Center, 22% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 have used online dating sites or apps.

Anecdotal evidence tells me that in the Bay Area, that percentage is likely much higher; almost every person I know has tried online dating at least once. From a Thrillist post on dating in San Francisco: “Basically, everyone who is single is on Tinder. Or Match. Or OKCupid. SF is tech-savvy and one of the benefits to that is that people actually aren’t afraid to online date. So go ahead, swipe right. Just not if there are pictures of tigers or duck faces involved.” Word.

Plus, CoffeeMeetsBagel found that male MBAs do pretty well in online dating: the MBA was the second most popular degree (the MD beat it, but not by much). Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for female MBAs: the MBA came in third-to-last, right before PhD and Master’s. The Bachelor’s was the clear winner.

I wound up focusing on three apps: Tinder, OkCupid, and Hinge (since CoffeeMeetsBagel only gives you one match a day, it wasn’t a realistic option). Tinder by far yielded the most confirmed MBAs — six from Stanford and seven from Berkeley. OkCupid yielded one Stanford MBA, and Hinge yielded none (which makes sense, since Hinge connects you with people who have mutual Facebook friends with you, and I’m not fancy enough to have loads of MBAs in my network).