You Won’t Believe Who Harvard Just Rejected


Mr. Media


  • 780 GMAT (Q49/V51)
  • 3.6 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from an Ivy League school in humanities
  • Work experience includes five years as a business journalist at a prominent national magazine; also started a small online media business on the side
  • Goal: To do a startup in tech or media
  • Other Targets: Stanford, MIT, UC-Berkeley, Columbia, Wharton, NYU, Yale
  • 27-year-old white male

Sandy’s Analysis: GRRRR. TOO BAD! You would have been a plus at Harvard Business School, but they don’t like journos as a rule, except maybe from the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Plus, the school tends to have a memory, especially when it has been burned. It was a former reporter for The Daily Telegraph in London who got his MBA from Harvard in 2006, only to write a pretty scathing book about HBS called Ahead of the Curve. Among other things, Philip Delves Broughton wrote about the “booze luge” at HBS (though that is hardly unique to Harvard) and other less savory aspects of student culture.

So sure, starting that media business on the side was a plus and it gave you a chance, but either not enough of a chance, or it was poor execution on the overall application, or just bad luck that got you rejected. Or maybe Philip Delves Broughton.

I think other schools may go for either your stats or story or both. Maybe not Stanford but others you note should be solid chances.

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