Sandy’s Drive-By Analysis Of R2 Harvard Business School Dings

PE Guy Accepted At Booth & Tuck With Money Now Trying For HBS

The Basics:

  • 750 GMAT
  • 3.7 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from a top 10 U.S. university
  • Work experience in growth equity and private equity investing at a family office
  • Applied in round one at Booth and Tuck
  • 26-year-old male

Application Outcomes:

Chicago Booth (interviewed and accepted with scholarship $$)

Dartmouth Tuck (interviewed and accepted with scholarship $$)

Harvard Business School (Applied in R2, waiting for the outcome)

Sandy’s Analysis: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: White male PE guys fight it out in a very crowded octagon.

The fact that you work for a family office in private equity is not a primo line on your resume unless it is your own family office and the size of the assets under management is substantial. But you already have two good offers and trying to get a third from Harvard is a good idea.

Clearly, you have a shot, given the reception you’ve gotten from Booth and Tuck, with inducements to sign up. But HBS is a different game so the outcome there could be different. Not only is HBS’ admit rate less than half that of Booth and Tuck, but the school’s applicant pool will also have more of your type which makes it even more competitive.

Military Officer Dinged By HBS But Interviewed By Wharton & UVA Darden 

The Basics:

  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Work experience as a military officer for six years
  • Extracurricular involvement as an NCAA Division 1 athlete
  • 29-year-old male

Application Outcomes:

Harvard Business School (dinged)

Wharton (invited to interview)

Virginia Darden (interviewed, awaiting outcome)

Sandy’s Analysis: Truth is, Harvard Business School has a hard time ranking military applicants. The only gold stars they recognize are pilots and special forces. If you don’t fall into either of those categories, you really need to be special. If you are not special–and 98% of applicants are not–a low GPA can be fatal because there are too many other guys with the same story and better stats.

Your 740 may have helped you survive the quick flush at HBS, but by the time they go through the stack again, you were down the toidy. My guess is that most non-pilot, non-special forces, non-URM male military admits to HBS have both really high GPAs and GMATs.

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