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


Mr. Real Estate PE


  • 750 GMAT
  • 3.2 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from a lower Ivy
  • Work experience includes a year at a hedge fund and then four years at a tier 1 real estate private equity firm with a track record of sending students to HBS
  • Essay explored first generation student, non-traditional track to PE
  • Goal: To pursue social impact investing
  • 27-year-old Asian-American male


    Sandy’s Ding Analysis: Private equity is an elite feeder bunch and lots of guys with no boo-boos (e.g. your 3.2 GPA) and a more conventional and likable story. That’s my guess,

    You also have an odd-ish set of jobs and your job map and GPA raise some issues that many solid gold candidates in your IB/PE cohort do not have. Why not just take every dude with an Ivy degree, a 3.75+, 730+ GMAT, bulge bracket IB followed by Gold Plate and frequent feeder PE firm over you? Well, they did, and had no more room.

    What did you think your secret sauce was?

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