The Round 2 Ding Report For Harvard Business School MBA Hopefuls

Mr. Economics Analyst

  • 770 (50Q/45V) GMAT
  • 3.97 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in mathematics and economics and international studies from a mid-tier private school
  • Work experience includes four years in economic consulting (at one of the top companies in the industry) as an analyst with promotions and project management experience
  • Good recommendations from direct supervisors
  • Essay addressed growing up in a small town, struggling with identity until college, and starting LGBT affinity group at current company
  • “I’m guessing essay content wasn’t what they needed to hear”
  • 25-year-old white, gay American male

Sandy’s Ding Analysis: 
Economic consulting is a small though legitimate feeder universe to HBS, though it’s worth noting that in a recent analysis of Harvard’s Class of 2020, there is only one MBA student from Charles River Associates and none from either NERA Economic Consulting or Cornerstone Research, three of the top firms in your industry.

My guess is it wasn’t to your advantage to apply in Round 2 (guys like you should apply R1) and maybe some odd execution with your application to Harvard or your essay was enough to make them like other guys more from the same cohort.

The topic of your essay is fine. Heart-felt issues in essays can sometimes go off the rails. I also hope you explained someplace why you wanted an MBA in the first place and what your career roadmap looked like.

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