Rejected By Harvard B-School? Don’t Feel Bad. You’re In Great Company

male banker

Mr. Boutique Consultant


  • 770 GMAT
  • 3.8 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from MIT
  • Work experiences includes two years at a boutique consulting firm, then another year at a different boutique consulting shop, and finally six months at a third consulting firm
  • Goal: To go into the healthcare field
  • “I didn’t get into HBS. And I know why — it’s my work experience. I did get into Booth, but I don’t think I want to go. I really want Harvard. Do you think its worth reapplying in Round 1 of next year (so I’d have two years at this current job). Is this a bad decision?”


    Sandy’s Ding Analysis: Hmmm, your guess about the ding may be right. Also, you have three jobs instead of the usual two, and many consulting kids admitted to HBS have spent two years at McKinsey, Bain or BCG and then two years at a specialized consulting firm or even finance or in a Fortune-500 industry role.

    Your resume is all boutique consulting, with three separate jobs. There’s no obvious super reason to prefer you over the hot shot kids from M/B/B. That’s my good guess for your ding. A lot depends on what they think of your consulting shops. Have they been feeders to HBS in the past?

    Not sure what to say about reapplying to HBS next year in Round 1? Not sure more experience at that third job is going to tilt this differently. I’d think real hard about Booth.

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