Wharton | Mr. Steelmaker To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.04/4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Two Job
GRE 330 GRE, GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. The Builder
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. High GRE Low GPA
GRE 332, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Gay Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Analyst To Family Business Owner
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. FBI To MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.85
Chicago Booth | Mr. Overrepresented Indian Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 8.78/10
Tuck | Mr. Infantry Officer To MBA
GRE 314, GPA 3.4
Darden | Mr. Program Manager
GRE 324, GPA 3.74
Tuck | Mr. Smart Cities
GRE 325, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Biz Human Rights
GRE 710, GPA 8/10
Harvard | Mr. Food Tech Start Ups
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. International Oil
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Consulting To Emerging Markets Banking
GRE 130, GPA 3.6 equivalent
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Greek Taverna
GMAT 730, GPA 7.03/10
Harvard | Ms. Biotech Ops
GMAT 770, GPA 3.53
NYU Stern | Mr. Development
GMAT 690, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Energy Operations
GRE 330, GPA 3.85
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 To Healthcare Reformer
GRE 338, GPA 4.0 (1st Class Honours - UK - Deans List)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Indian Quant
GMAT 745, GPA 9.6 out of 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Food & Education Entrepreneur
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Rice Business | Mr. Future Energy Consultant
GRE Received a GRE Waiver, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Campaigns To Business
GMAT 750, GPA 3.19

Looking For Love In All The Right Places

I'm the one with the taco in front of her face. (It seems pointless to hide because you could easily Google me, but hey.)

I’m the one with the taco in front of her face. (It seems pointless to hide because you could easily Google me, but hey.)

FEELING LIKE A GOLD DIGGER

As I sat at a cafe near Stanford and swiped left on anyone who seemed unlikely to be an MBA, I felt like a caricature of a gold digger. Looks messy? Left. Only one university in his profile? Left. A potentially incriminating photo? Left again. The fact that I was surrounded by people who seemed to be doing Really Serious Work made the situation even more embarrassing.

Most of the MBAs I found outed themselves in their bios, but I occasionally did some digging to confirm. It was always awkward to do it without sounding gauche. There was a lot of, “So, what brings you to the Bay Area?” “What are you studying at Berkeley?” et cetera.

Once, I made the mistake of telling someone what I was doing so he didn’t waste his time with me, and he wound up reporting me, so yeah. I didn’t do that again.

THE TWO ACTUAL CONVERSATIONS I HAD

Getting MBAs to talk to me was kind of hard! Though I’m not terribly surprised, because my target demographic has always been arty guys and/or hardcore nerds — and even if those MBAs felt like that on the inside, they certainly didn’t demonstrate it in their profiles.

The breakdown: I matched with several MBAs who never messaged me; I reached out to two, and only one replied (and didn’t wind up asking me out); one reached out to me and asked me out pretty persistently.

The first guy who replied was a Stanford MBA — one of the first I encountered, so I excitedly messaged him first. We talked about foods we don’t like, traveling, and where we grew up — and around midnight, he said he had to sleep and peaced out. Wherever you are, first Stanford MBA, you seemed really cool. I’m not on the dating market, but I would totally grab beers with you and talk about life or something.

I messaged the first Berkeley MBA I encountered pretty aggressively: “I’ve always been partial to Russians. (Unless you’re not Russian? In which case, Whoops!”) No wonder he didn’t respond.

Finally, a Berkeley MBA let me know that my name means “magic and mystique” in his mother tongue and asked if I was up for a drink. I asked him what he was up to in Berkeley to confirm that he was indeed an MBA student. He asked me what my dream was. I told him I wanted to work for myself and travel at some point, and then we talked more about travel and writing. He asked me to meet up with him again, and then I ghosted… I was afraid I’d get reported again if I outed myself. Sorry, second Berkeley MBA! You seemed really cool too, and I’m sure you’re having no trouble getting dates!

STANFORD VS. BERKELEY MBAs

Before I go into the difference between the Stanford and Berkeley online daters, I’ll list the commonalities. There were some clear ones:

1. Everyone was exceedingly polite. I’d heard horror stories about girls being harassed on dating apps, so I was steeling myself for the worst, but every guy I spoke with was truly nice (or at least truly mindful of his online presence).

2. Almost every guy had three kinds of pictures: The clean-cut business casual picture, the cool sports picture, and the exotic travel picture. That last category was particularly surprising for me. In these guys’ pictures, I saw beaches, beautiful landscapes, a swanky rooftop, an epic waterfall, and even the northern lights.

3. Going off that travel theme, the two actual conversations I had with MBAs were about travel: Where we’d been, where we’d like to go, etc. It’s possible that well-traveled MBAs highlight that fact because for this generation, it’s tacky to demonstrate access to wealth through possessions but relatively cool to do so through passport stamps. Then again, in general, millennials are more likely to spend on experiences than things, so it’s sort of a chicken-and-egg situation.

As for the difference, I found that the Stanford MBAs looked as if they were more likely to walk off the pages of a J.Crew catalog. They were more clean-cut, provided less information, and seemed like they took themselves a bit more seriously. The Berkeley MBAs, on the other hand, seemed much more free-spirited. Maybe it was a coincidence? Confirmation bias? What do you guys think?