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

Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru

P&Q has scoured the internet for HBS Round 2 DING profiles and turned them over to Sandy Kreisberg, the tell-it-like-it-is HBS Guru for his gut reactions.

See below for Sandy’s two cents on why these round two applicants were dinged, without even an invite. If you want to add your own DING profile and get Sandy’s acid-reflux response, just use the comment section below to get his assessment.

Consultant Dinged By HBS But Interviews At Wharton, MIT, Booth, Kellogg & Tuck 

The Basics:

  • 720 GMAT
  • 3.44 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in a quantitative major at an Ivy school
  • Work experience includes three years of consulting internationally and internships in the U.S. in private equity and venture capital.
  • Extracurricular involvement shows a record of consistent service and volunteering outside work and during undergraduate years
  • Goal: Continue in consulting (sponsored)
  • 24-year-old female

Application Outcomes:

Harvard Business School (dinged without interview)
Stanford Graduate School of Business (applied, waiting for outcome)
Wharton (interviewed)
Chicago Booth (interviewed)
Northwestern Kellogg (interviewed)
MIT Sloan (invited to interview)
Dartmouth Tuck (interviewed)

Sandy’s Analysis: So we have a white girl with a lower than average GPA and GMAT. We do not know if your work experience is with a prestige consulting firm such as McKinsey, Bain or BCG, and that is real important.

Successes at other schools (getting interviews) is a great dataset of where the rubber meets the road: To wit, what separates Harvard Business School from others.

But your ding is not surprising. Applications like this one are also better received in round one at HBS.

Nonprofit Guy Dinged By HBS But Interviews At Wharton, Booth & Kellogg 

The Basics:

  • 770 GMAT
  • 3.68 GPA
  • Work experience includes six months in special needs education, just over two years in the Peace Corps and just under a year (11 months) in a grassroots nonprofit
  • Short-term goal: Management consulting
  • Long-term goal: Leader in the corporate social responsibility space
  • 26-year-old white male

Application Outcomes:

Harvard Business School (dinged without interview)
Stanford Graduate School of Business (applied, waiting for outcome)
Wharton (invited to interview)
Chicago Booth (interviewed)
Northwestern Kellogg (school-initiated interview)
Yale SOM (applied, waiting for outcome)

Sandy’s Analysis: Grrrr. Lots to life for a Peace Corps type. Your outcome at Harvard could have turned on the prestige of the post-Peace Corps nonprofit or general application executive, especially explaining how special education/Peace Corps and grassroots nonprofit led to goals.

You wrote: “long term leader in CSR space.” WTF does that mean? Probably it’s not a big deal, but how informed were you able to be in an essay about what the CSR space is and key influences and how those led to your goals?