The 2016 Ding Report: Why Great Applicants Are Often Rejected


Mr. MD


  • 720 GMAT
  • 86/100 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from an Israeli University
  • Graduating with an medical degree from an Israeli University in four months
  • Work experience includes four years in an elite intelligence unit in the Israeli Defense Forces, managing teams of 30 analysts; promoted to HQ to establish new desk from scratch. Won several awards; also worked one year during medical school as a researcher for a digital health startup
  • Extracurricular involvement creating a cancer therapeutics venture during med school; solid volunteering background, establishing a project to promote healthcare in rural areas in Israel
  • Goal: To pursue a career in biotech entrepreneurship
  • “Essays were focused on my mission to save lives, shaped in part by my father’s death and the strong experience of saving lives during military service and medical school”
  • 30-year-old male from Israel


Harvard-Denied without interview

Stanford-Denied without interview

MIT Sloan-Denied without interview

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, I like you, but as noted time and time again, business schools DO NOT LIKE ENTREPRENEURS, despite what the schools say!!!! It’s just too real, too important, and too hard to judge. More work for mother, and there is not all that much they can teach you, although sure, schmoozing is a plus.

Is everyone clear about that now? You are one of many people with sorta the same story and disappointing results.

In your case, for a guy coming out of an MD program, you did not fit another pattern. HBS and Stanford (not sure about MIT) see the MBA-MD program as training basically future medical administrators, guys who run hospitals, goverment agencies, blah. blah.

I am also not clear about the timing–Most MBA-MD types in USA are part of a joint program, where they start business school before earning MD. I’m not sure if after year two of med school (I think), so you were not in that cohort, and technically you were not “joint degree” but a guy with MD now wanting to go to B school. That is a real unusual timetable for them (H and S admit, in rare cases, practicing docs especially ones interested in transitioning to e.g. hospital administration but that wasn’t you, either.)

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