You’d Never Believe These MBA Applicants Were Just Rejected By Harvard Business School

Mr. Aerospace Engineer At A Global Top Three Airlines

  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.2 GPA
  • Undergradute degree in aerospace engineering from a public university in the U.S.
  • Work experience includes two and one-half years working as an engineer for one of the top 3 airlines in the world and two previous years as an engineering design and testing consultant with a small aerospace consulting company
  • Extracurriculars include founding a charity to rescue African children from dangerous situations and sponsor their education; lso a student government senator in college
  • Essay focused on “why I became an aerospace engineer (plane crashes in my country growing up that affected people I know) and the obstacles that poverty put in the way of accomplishing that dream. Discussed long-term goal of starting an aerospace consulting firm aimed at reducing plane crashes in Africa.”
  • Recommenders include current boss and boss at old company. “Didn’t read recs but certain they gave great recommendations.”
  • Post-MBA Goal: Transition to a consulting role at McKinsey, Bain or BCG
  • 25-year-old African Male (U.S. Green Card holder)

Sandy’s Analysis: Grrr.

First, I am not sure if African “Green Card Holder” is technically an under represented minority (URM) at most schools. URM’s must be minorities (African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Surname etc.) and U.S. citizens. My guess is that Green Card holders are NOT URMs by that definition, but of course, schools can treat you as a real interesting international/African, which is OK, but probably not the bonus zone that URM’s are in. Speaking generally, all comments on this single point welcome.

Moving right along, we got:

A 740 GMAT–EXCELLENT

A 3.2 GPA in aerospace engineering from a state university in the South/Midwest–RED FLAG

Work experience, including two and one-half years working as an engineer for one of the top 3 airlines in America and the world.

YOU GOT ME, IS THIS A SUPER SELECTIVE JOB? DON’T AERO ENGINEERS TYPICALLY WORK FOR AIRPLANE DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING COMPANIES LIKE BOEING AND NOT AIRLINES? SORRY IF I GOT THIS WRONG BUT HOW MANY DUDES FROM YOUR WORK COHORT TYPICALLY APPLY TO MBA PROGRAMS? THAT IS ALWAYS ONE INTERESTING METRIC.

Accomplished big projects. Very technical role

WELL IF YOU SAY SO. THAT COULD HELP, BUT WE STILL NEED ANSWER TO QUESTION RAISED ABOVE

Work experience two years prior: Worked as an engineering design and testing consultant for a small aerospace consulting company that contracts with the big airlines.

AGAIN, NOT SURE I KNOW THE STATUS HIERARCHY IN THIS INDUSTRY, BUT IS THAT A SELECTIVE JOB? THAT IS A REAL IMPORTANT FACTOR TO B-SCHOOL ADCOMS, WHO USE PRIOR JOBS AS ONE OF THEIR MAJOR FILTERS. [HEY, WHY SHOULD THE ADCOM LADIES BOTHER FIGURING OUT HOW GOOD YOU ARE WHEN COMPANY HIRING OFFICES HAVE BIGGER BUDGETS AND MORE EXPERTISE????]

Extra curricular: Started a charity to rescue kids in Africa from dangerous situations and sponsor them through school.

WELL THAT IS GOOD IN GENERAL. A LOT WOULD TURN ON SIZE, OUTCOMES, BUDGET, YOUR ROLE, WHETHER THIS WAS REALLY AN ORGANIZTION OR JUST A ONE-OFF GIG BY YOU.

Was also a Student government senator in college amongst other EC.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Essay: Talked about why I became an aerospace engineer (Plane crashes in my country growing up that affected people I know) and the obstacles that poverty put in the way of accomplishing that dream. Discussed long- term goal of starting an aerospace consulting firm aimed at reducing plane crashes in Africa.

DUNNO MAN, THIS SOUNDS ALL OVER THE PLACE AND ODD. AIR CRASHES ARE NOT HIGH ON THE LIST OF THE PROBLEMS THE WORLD NEEDS TO SOLVE, V.S. SAY
DRUNK DRIVING CRASHES, AIDS, FAMINE, DISEASE, ETC. ETC. YOU SEEM TO HAVE FOCUSED ON SOLIVING CRASHES AS YOUR PASSION, BUT THAT JUST DOES NOT SOUND INFORMED OR CREDIBLE TO ME, OR A BIG TOPIC AMONG AERO GUYS, ALTHO, SURE SAFETY IS BAKED IN.

ALSO, AMONG ALL AIR CRASHES, NOT SURE HOW MANY ARE DESIGN BASED, VS. TERRORISM, BIRDS (FOR REAL), ETC. HAPPY TO BE EDUCATED ON THIS BY SOMEONE WHO KNOWS, BUT YOU SEEM TO BE CRASH CENTRIC. ALSO, NOT SURE HOW AN MBA LEADS TO REDUCING AIR CRASHES IN AFRICA.

I MAY HAVE THIS ALL WRONG BUT MY GUESS IS YOUR APP/GOALS WERE CONFUSED, ALL OVER THE PLACE AND UNCONVINCING.
FOR INSTANCE, BELOW IS THE DESCRIPTION [TAKEN OFF WEBSITE] OF WHAT A LEADING AERO CONSULTING FIRM DOES–MOST OTHERS ARE SIMILAR–DUNNO MAN,
READ THIS OVER. ONE THING THEY DO NOT DO IS PREVENT CRASHES!!!!!

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AS A REAPPLICANT, I WOULD STEER MY GOALS MORE INTO THAT JIVE, AS BORING AS IT SOUNDS.

About the Author...

John A. Byrne

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.