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Rejected By HBS. Find Out Why

BIG 4 AUDITOR/CONSULTANT WHO TRANSITIONED INTO PRIVATE EQUITY

Profile Basics:

  • 750 49Q/42V GMAT
  • 3.82 GPA
  • Undergraduate & Master’s Degree in Accounting from a top 50 private with a reputation as a top three accounting program
  • Work Experience includes two years at a Big 4 frim in audit role with a consulting rotation, followed by one year in a back-office role at a small private equity fund without name recognition
  • Letters of Recommendation written by direct supervisors at previous job who know me well and wrote strong recommendations
  • Essay on the importance of helping others to reach full potential. Included examples of influences in my life who had helped me realize the importance of this goal.
  • Extracurriculars include extensive international experience through service mission, NGO internship, and professional project in Latin America. 
  • “I suspect that the weak points in my application are that my work experience and education are not from ultra-selective organizations given my demographic.”
  • White male

Sandy’s Assessment:

You said: “I suspect that the weak points in my application are that my work
experience and education are not from ultra-selective organizations
given my demographic.”

That explains a good deal of it, Big 4 audit is not a good place for white males to apply to Harvard Business School. That’s just a disappointing fact.

Getting gig at a PE firm (even in the back office) was a good number two job. What you need to do moving forward is get a more selective job in private equity.

You said you wrote about the “importance of helping others to reach full potential.
Included examples of influences in my life who had helped me realize the
importance of this goal.”

This sounds like scripted blah blah blah and not at all revealing nor honest, or an interesting set of stories.

About The Author

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.