Kellogg | Mr. Hope-I-Get-In
GMAT 720, GPA 3.62
Foster School of Business | Mr. Tesla Gigafactory
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Digital Marketing Analyst
GMAT 710, GPA 3.27
Kellogg | Ms. Kellogg Bound Ideator
GMAT 710, GPA 2.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Business, Tech & Education
GRE 332, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. MBB Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
SDA Bocconi | Mr. Hotel International
GMAT 570, GPA 2.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Career Coach
GRE 292, GPA 3.468
Wharton | Mr. Corporate Monster
GMAT 750, GPA 9.12/10.0
Darden | Mr. Deloitte Dreamer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.13
Columbia | Ms. Cybersecurity
GRE 322, GPA 3.7
Tuck | Mr. Federal Civilian
GMAT 780, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Ms. Lucky Charm
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
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
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
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Emporio Armani
GMAT 780, GPA 3.03
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

The Round 2 Ding Report For Harvard Business School MBA Hopefuls

Mr. Latino Startup

  • 700 GMAT
  • 3.4 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in management information systems from a top-five undergraduate business school
  • Work experience includes four and one-half years for a tech startup in Silicon Valley; the fifth employee of the B-to-B firm, he has received two promotions
  • “I had great project management, sales, operations and product management experience. I am directly responsible for sales of 40% of user subscriptions (~$600k annual revenue), I set up and led the Mexico Office (one of three global offices) and expanded our presence to five Latin American countries. An interesting recent challenge was that I recently also took management over US clients which gave me a great perspective on how to position technology and innovation in the market.”
  • Extracurricular involvement as the leader of a Latino student organization that he turned around; also leads a mountaineering group
  • Strong recommendation letters from the CEO and COO of the startup company he works for
  • Essay addressed “the business-technology gap in Latin America, and how high empathy with corporate buyers is needed to closely align technological solutions to their needs”
  • Post-MBA goal: To land a job in product management and ultimately become a tech entrepreneur in Latin America.
  • Hispanic and middle eastern male with dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship

Sandy’s Ding Analysis: Well, the 700 GMAT/3.4 GPA got you off on the wrong foot. My guess is the rest of your application did not push you out of the pit.
 I’m impressed with the work accomplishments you outline above, but I hope your app and essays did not come off as a brag sheet.

There is a real subtle — but real– difference between noting strong accomplishments as part of a winning narrative and bragging and lecturing in some macro way Just saying. You also told us: “
I wrote about the business-technology gap in Latin America, and how
 high empathy with corporate buyers is needed to closely align technological solutions to their needs.”

Man, that seems a bit random and granular, and what does it have to do with
 your immediate post-MBA goal of I “going into product management to strengthen my ideation 
and marketing skills to then become a tech entrepreneur in Latin 
America?”

Some of this outcome might be ONLY working for one start-up for 4.5 years, although that is subtle. Usually, HBS admits have two jobs post-college and the selectivity of the first job and your ability to leverage that into a solid second job is another marker in your app. We don’t have that here, although sure, many folks get into HBS with one start-up job (usually sooner than 4.5 years).

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.