Rejected By Harvard Business School? You’ve Got To Be Kidding!

Ms. Civil Engineer

  • 750 (50Q/42V) GMAT
  • 3.6 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in civil engineering from a mid-tier Ivy
  • Graduate degree in civil engineering earned part-time while working
  • Work experience include four years as a structural engineer in public transportation, 1.5 years in mid-size firm and 2.5 years in large firm
  • Extracurricular involvement as head of civil engineering competition team, student professional organization; after college as volunteer at various organizations for people with disabilities
  • Recommendations from from direct supervisors, both solid letters
  • Goal: To gain a job in product management in architecture-engineering-construction focused tech company
  • “Do you think, given my age and post-MBA goals, that I stand a chance at GSB even with this ding at HBS”
  • 25-year-old Asian-American female
  • Sandy’s Analysis: Your goals to do product management in architecture/construction in a tech company are separate categories sometimes.

My question to you is, do you really need an MBA for that??? And not sure what your goal means exactly. Did you explain that goal in your application? What is the product you are managing?

Sorry for my ignorance, but I’m smarter than most adcoms. It might have been better to say goals were more in line with consulting engineering and construction. The following passage below is from the McKinsey website. Sure, it is stupid BS, and hateful, but it does kinda smell of what is extruded by MBAs and not architects. The goals you hint at don’t necessarily emerge from your work history while consulting always does.

Since 2008, McKinsey has worked with more than 100 of the world’s

largest E&C companies. In addition to our work with the industry, we

have global experience working on all major asset classes—from

residential single-family homes to national power plants, and from

regional roads to transcontinental railways.

Our teams bring a unique combination of strategic advisors,

researchers, senior industry professionals with decades of hands-on

experience, and functional experts with backgrounds in areas such as

lean organization and risk.

We often work with companies on end-to-end transformations. Combining

our experience in operational transformation and restructuring, our

deep understanding of the E&C industry, and insights and

inspirations from other industries, we help companies make significant

improvements to their operations.

Blah. Blah. It goes on, but I think you get the point.

I think Stanford will be an uphill climb for you because nothing is pushing you in. After the smoke clears, both schools look for mostly the same things.

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