- 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
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.