Columbia | Ms. Cybersecurity
GRE 322, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Business, Tech & Education
GRE 332, GPA 3.5
Tuck | Mr. Federal Civilian
GMAT 780, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Ms. Lucky Charm
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Digital Marketing Analyst
GMAT 710, GPA 3.27
Tuck | Ms. Green Biz
GRE 326, GPA 3.15
Cambridge Judge | Mr. Nuclear Manager
GMAT 700, GPA 2.4
London Business School | Ms. Aussie Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Deloitte Dreamer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.13
Stanford GSB | Mr. Young Entrepreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Retail Innovator
GMAT 750, GPA 3.84
Harvard | Mr. Double Whammy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Geography Techie
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
INSEAD | Mr. Media Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.65
Kellogg | Ms. Kellogg Bound Ideator
GMAT 710, GPA 2.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Emporio Armani
GMAT 780, GPA 3.03
Foster School of Business | Mr. Tesla Gigafactory
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Ms. Female Engineer
GRE 323, GPA 3.5
Darden | Ms. Teaching-To-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
Stanford GSB | Mr. Financial Controller
GRE Yet to Take, Target is ~330, GPA 2.5
Kellogg | Mr. 770 Dreamer
GMAT 770, GPA 8.77/10
Ross | Ms. Middle Aged MBA-er
GRE 323, GPA 3.6
London Business School | Mr. Impact Financier
GMAT 750, GPA 7.35/10
Chicago Booth | Mr. PM to FinTech
GMAT 740, GPA 6/10
Ross | Mr. Operational Finance
GMAT 710, taking again, GPA 3
Kellogg | Mr. Texan Adventurer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Data & Strategy
GMAT 710 (estimate), GPA 3.4

The Round 2 Ding Report For Harvard Business School MBA Hopefuls

Mr. Family Biz

  • 750 GMAT
  • 4.0 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from a southern state school
  • Work experience includes a stint as a design engineer but for the past two and one-half years have been running a small, 25-year-old family business; also did a couple of technical internships while in school
  • “The business is an HR service-based business focused on transportation and energy clients, where I have been leveraging my technology background to improve operations through automation”
  • Goal: To use the MBA as a jump-off point to management consulting
  • Essay addressed how he attempted to overcome southern rural white male stereotypes
  • “Perhaps that was a miscalculation and I should have focused more on explaining why I need an MBA”
  • 25-year-old white male
  • “I am guessing my profile was hard to fit into any one bucket, and they likely had a hard time seeing the career vision since my company is niche and there wasn’t much space to explain exactly what I do, or how I have skills/experience that would be valued in consulting. I was hoping to use the interview to clear up the confusion, but obviously didn’t get the opportunity”

Sandy’s Ding Analysis: Working in your family business is real good IF your goal is to build out the family business.
 Still, adcoms like BIG family businesses as measured by sales and employees. That said, even though your family business was “small” (your word), it actually sounds like you were getting real solid experience there. If you had managed to capture that in a powerful way (and stressed management of people instead of downsizing ;-), you could have built a base for goals adcoms support in management consulting.

You say, “I am guessing my profile was hard to fit into any one bucket, and
 they likely had a hard time seeing the career vision since my company is 
niche and there wasn’t much space to explain exactly what I do, or how I 
have skills/experience that would be valued in consulting.
”

Dude and all you other dudes reading this: never complain about space. That is really a way of saying, this was hard and I gave up.”

Then you write, “I tried to use part of the essay to overcome the southern rural white male stereotypes, but perhaps that was a miscalculation and I should have focused more on explaining why I need an MBA.”

OK, let’s not beat a dead horse. To use a southern rural saying, you seem to get what you did wrong. 😉

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.