Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Healthcare Provider
GMAT COVID19 Exemption, GPA 3.68
Kellogg | Ms. MBA For Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Controller & Critic
GMAT 750, GPA 6.61 / 7.00 (equivalent to 3.78 / 4.00)
Kellogg | Mr. PE Social Impact
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.51
MIT Sloan | Mr. International Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Enthusiast
GMAT 730, GPA 8.39
Chicago Booth | Ms. Future CMO
GMAT Have Not Taken, GPA 2.99
Said Business School | Mr. Global Sales Guy
GMAT 630, GPA 3.5
N U Singapore | Mr. Just And Right
GMAT 700, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Youngster
GMAT 720, GPA 3.55
Columbia | Mr. Chartered Accountant
GMAT 730, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Spanish Army Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3
Kellogg | Mr. Cancer Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Financial Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.78
Kellogg | Mr. CPA To MBA
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Sustainable Finance
GMAT Not yet taken- 730 (expected), GPA 3.0 (Equivalent of UK’s 2.1)
MIT Sloan | Ms. International Technologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Art Historian
GRE 332, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Harvard Hopeful
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Yale | Mr. Philanthropy Chair
GMAT Awaiting Scores (expect 700-720), GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. Startup Musician
GRE Applying Without a Score, GPA First Class
Chicago Booth | Ms. Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.5
Columbia | Mr. MGMT Consulting
GMAT 700, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. Future Family Legacy
GMAT Not Yet Taken (Expected 700-750), GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Big 4
GMAT 770, GPA 8/10

The Ding Report: Who Was Rejected & Why

Ms. Retail

  • 740 (49Q/44V) GMAT
  • 3.2 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in business from a top Canadian college (think Queen’s or Ivey)
  • Work experience includes three years at WalMart; was in a

    rotational leadership program for one year, promoted to a buying position, promoted second time to manager on a strategic project.

  • Extracurricular involvement as founder of a networking organization for women that has gained press attention and won an award
  • Good recommendations from current boss and awesome recs from former boss who is also a good friend
  • Goals: To remain in retail consulting but gain broader exposure
  • 24-year-old Canadian female

Outcomes:

Dinged without an interview by HBS

Sandy’s Analysis: Grrrrr. you have a low GPA and you work at a retailer—which is not exactly on HBS’ friends and family list (a short one). Generally, retail is not a favored feeder industry. My guess is the number of ‘buyers’ admitted to HBS each year could be zero to two, with the weight toward zero.

So this was a narrow window to begin with. The size and reputation of the company (in their mind) plays a huge role here And even then my guess is that the kind of retailer HBS likes is a WalMart or a Target, huge places with a big footprint. You obviously solved that issue because you are at WalMart.

So I think you were dinged because of execution or HBS simply filled its small bucket of peeps like you in R1, or bad luck.

My advice: Reapply for next year’s round 1 and really execute on your story and make sure those Canadian rec writers lose their typical moderation. Lots to like in this profile.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.