You Won’t Believe Who Harvard Just Rejected




  • 750 GMAT
  • 3.9 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in accounting from Brigham Young University, cum laude graduate
  • Master’s degree in accounting from BYU
  • CPA
  • Work experience includes two and one-half years with a litigation support/economics analysis firm
  • Extracurricular involvement includes a mission for church, teacher for a seven-year-old class, a four-year-old class and a 13-year old class
  • “
My essay focused on teaching myself SQL when no one in the office knew it, and teaching others. Also focused on my leadership as a missionary and how that’s shaped my career”
  • Goal: To transition into consulting with a focus on analytics for a firm such as Accenture
  • Other target schools: Dartmouth, Northwestern, Virginia, UNC
  • “I’m feeling pretty discouraged. Any chance I could improve my profile enough for HBS next year? That is probably the last year I’d be willing to go to business school, given my age and family situation
  • 27-year-old white male, married with two children

Sandy’s Analysis: Harvard Business School gets a lot of impressive LDS (Latter Day Saints) applications and has to make some lottery-like decisions on them, favoring non-CPAs, as you suggest.

You’re the first ding we’ve seen from the LDS camp and that’s somewhat interesting because the new head of admissions at HBS is Chad Losee, who did missionary work and is an LDS member. It just goes to show that even someone like yourself with super solid stats isn’t going to make the cut.

Of course, saying you want to JOIN Accenture might have been the cherry on how tier 2 this application was to them in terms of jobs and companies (although data analytics is certainly an OK goal).

HBS is pretty open to re-applicants. In last year’s entering class, 94 out of 900 plus first-year students were re-applicants. But I don’t think this profile is getting a different outcome from HBS next year, especially if nothing really changes. So try one of your other slightly less selective schools and you might be going to business school next fall.