You Won’t Believe Who Harvard Just Rejected


Mr. Trailing Spouse


  • No GMAT Given
  • Low undergraduate GPA
  • 3.2 GPA
  • Master’s degree in engineering from University of Southern California
  • Work experience includes stint with largest largest airplane company in the world before leaving to start ecommerce startup and leading licensing program
  • “Left because of military spouse and needed something to do that I could take with us” Grew startup to >$1M in sale
  • Weak undergraduate GPA due to family illness but explained in application.

Sandy’s Analysis: Grrr. Too much explaining in your short profile. They don’t like that, even if your reasons are powerful.

Your low grades are another issue, and HBS does not like trailing spouses (except on the admissions committee, but not in the admitted pool).

Your business does show leadership and adaptability, but they don’t care about that. They care about traditional excellence. Having a trailing spouse is a suspect category to them [they will say NO NO NO blah blah but true]. They already have you pegged as dropping out of the workforce to raise children, another no, no they will never admit to using as a ding filter. But true. Once you get in, you can graduate, stay home and have 10 kids, and become an adcom, but not before.

Page 11 of 11