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About Me:

740 GMAT (41V, 49Q) 3.6 GPA in Economics and Politics (double major, graduated a year early) from a nowhere liberal arts school, 2.5 years as an analyst at a rating agency (S&P/Moody’s), 2.5 years as an associate at an endowment for a well known think tank (niche I know, but has many ties to the university/HBS in particular). passed CFA lvl 1, URM, consistent volunteer work and promotions. I have a feeling i just didn’t have that special sauce HBS is looking for?


Undergrad School: Small Liberal Arts

Undergrad Major: Economics, Political Science

GPA: 3.6

GMAT: 740

Age: 26,  Ethnicity: Black or African American

Extracurriculars: Consistent volunteer work

Work History:

Title: Analyst

Industry: Banking & Finance

Company: Top Firm

Length of Employment: 2 yrs, 6 mos

Title: Associate

Industry: Banking & Finance

Company: Top Firm

Length of Employment: 2 yrs, 6 mos

Post MBA Goal:


Target School: Harvard

Status: Rejected


  • John A. Byrne, P&Q Founder & Editor-In-Chief |

    With a profile likes yours, it’s easy to be discouraged by your rejection at Harvard Business School. I find it somewhat surprising, given your high GMAT score for a female URM. But HBS is much more elitist in its admissions than many people realize and the stats just prove it. If you are from a “nowhere liberal arts school,” that certainly hurt you. In HBS’ Class of 2020, nearly one in five HBS students did their undergraduate studies at Harvard, U Penn, Stanford, Yale or Princeton. In fact, 24 universities had 10 or more HBS students, and these accounted for 49% of the total class. I can guarantee that your “nowhere liberal arts school” was not among those 24 colleges. And being an analyst at …

    1 month ago Read the full review
  • mbaMission |

    Hey Ms. URM. Krista Nannery from mbaMission here. On the surface, you seem to have it all..great stats, interesting work experience, and as you note “consistent volunteer work.” So I’m really curious about your application execution here. How did you use your HBS real estate? I hope you spent the majority of your essay telling them interesting things about YOU and not spending more than a tiny bit of space on Why HBS. Also, we’re missing out on your goals here. Do you want to do something that HBS can help you with? Other things I’d dive into with you if you were my client: leadership experiences, business impact, and any special expertise you have. What can your HBS classmates learn from you? I would …

    1 month ago Read the full review

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  • Sandy Kreisberg, The HBS Guru |

    Lots to like including these stats: 740 GMAT, 3.6 GPA and being a female URM. Your work history is silver not gold, and if folks at your current endowment job indeed have contacts with HBS, it is your job to make sure they worked them into the recommendations, phone calls, extra letters… or all of the above. There are no rules on such things, which is something people often do not realize. So you need to be an activist and bold in working those connections. Ditto at other schools.

    2 months ago

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