The 2016 Ding Report: Why Great Applicants Are Often Rejected


Mr. Three Times


  • 720 GMAT (47Q, 42V) after taking three times
  • 3.5 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in communications from a Top 25 private university on the west coast
  • Work experience includes three years at Disney in brand management with three promotions; then one and one-half years at (Google/Amazon/Facebook) in marketing; now with a startup in the media division in L.A.
  • Goal: To transition out of marketing into finance/strategy in media/entertainment
  • 26-year-old white male


Stanford—Denied without an interview on third try, even though he had earlier been interviewed twice (“Very odd, as this year i had raised my gmat and taken an awesome new job that is much more ‘stanford’)”

Harvard—Denied after interview and being placed on waitlist, after having been denied twice before without an interview


Chicago (Booth)

UC-Berkeley (Haas)

Columbia Business School

Sandy’s Analysis: Quite the story, thanks for sharing.

It shows many things:

At Stanford:

1. They love, love Disney, and love Goog, FB, AMZN too;

2. All that being said, they love high stats just as much. Haha, Next time take the GRE, as you know, Bolton thinks it is just as good. It does not have to be reported to USNEWS as a boo boo, and Bolton needs to start earning his director’s fees. Never mind, just kidding.

I am also not clear that career goal out of marketing into finance was a wise choice. It just seems like show me the money, and it nudges you into the super competitive PE bucket, although just saying this for others. In your case, I am not sure that that goal made a difference in your outcomes. Still, this was lining up as a super marketing story instead of what you turned it into, another “I want to be rich” story.

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