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An interesting post about the application process

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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 13:01
Amazing post Alex. Kudos.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 13:41
The quoted passage in the OP is true AFAIC. It's complete BS and why the whole MBA process is really a joke, but it's true.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 14:23
traffix wrote:
Great post Alex! It would be interesting to study the career progression of folks without pre-MBA business careers after thir MBAs. That would be make a ranking methodology i d be interested in.

AlexMBAApply wrote:
Now you may ask why would adcoms admit a bunch of people who don't need the credential - it's sort of like the banks being most willing to lend money to those who don't need the money (credit crisis aside).


I believe a Stanford GSB prof did a study recently (you can probably Google it). Long story short, his research concluded that the MBA really didn't have an impact on a person's earning potential over the long-term net of the cost. But note that the study is using a quantitative measure - earnings$$$ - as a proxy for success. And again, a good number of the students who go back don't do so purely for earnings potential. So there's at least one reputable study out there that says at the least - getting an MBA won't really impact your earnings potential long-term - that those who got into a top school would've done just as well without one.

One of the reasons why you'll see plenty of MBAs from top schools NOT regret their experience regardless of how their careers are turning out is quite simple. The process or experience itself is the reward. It's a life experience. It's easy to go into an MBA program (or anything) with some discrete set of "I will need to yield these list of benefits in order for me to feel it's worth it." but it's also 2 years of your life.

It's one of those valuable lessons I learned the hard way and I'm sure others have too - that as with most things, the process is the reward regardless of the goal (because the "end goal" is death ultimately). If you feel the process of living for 2 years in school without work responsibilities is worth it in and of itself, then it's probably worth it for you. And if you don't go to b-school at all, chances are you're not going to be any poorer (financially or otherwise) for it over the long-term - there are plenty of people who are doing just fine without one - based on whatever metric you wish to use whether it's money, fulfillment, ego, whatever.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 14:38
I don't think this guy's story/background is BS at all. I'm not sure why so many are disinclined to believe it here. He said he "ran" a "$100M" portfolio company. 1) The $100M number is likely the largest of either Total Revenues or Total Assets, so the equity value of the company could actually be very small, thus making the company too small for a Mega-Fund to have their partners/principals spend full-time on. 2) What exactly does "ran" mean? Was he an adviser to the CEO? Was he on the board and have significant contact with the senior mgt team? This is not unlikely for a PE professional especially given the small PC size and the person's entrepreneurial background.

I know this guy's profile sounds very impressive, so there are likely to be haters and doubters, but his profile fits very much into what kind of impressive individuals get hired at top PE shops. Further, he's not being arrogant about his credentials at all, just trying to help out the folks who think the MBA admissions process is about credentials, when it's really about story, for better or worse.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 14:49
cougarblue wrote:
1) The $100M number is likely the largest of either Total Revenues


Maybe.


cougarblue wrote:
or Total Assets,


Not a snow ball's chance in hell.


cougarblue wrote:
so the equity value of the company could actually be very small


The equity value is probably $100m tbh.


cougarblue wrote:
2) What exactly does "ran" mean? Was he an adviser to the CEO? Was he on the board and have significant contact with the senior mgt team?


If I had to guess, he was on the board. Maybe he was interim COO or something while his firm looked for new mgmt, but that is pretty unlikely.

BTW, there is your answer to why people are doubting him. He is obfuscating what he did, whether intentional or not, making what he did sound better than what is actually plausible.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 15:06
On my resume for the deals that I've closed, or the portfolio companies I've worked with, I always take the larger number...I feel like this is standard practice. Maybe he doesn't want to get into too many particulars about what his role at the PC was b/c it would give away his identity. But even so, it's not unreasonable to think that he actually ran the company if it got into trouble. For instance, I only have 4 years experience in PE, and I've been told, only half-jokingly, that if a particular company (small, even for our small portfolio) gets into serious trouble, then I'm moving out there to try and clean up the mess. Whether that's with a title like "CEO" doesn't really matter, you're representing the ownership of the company and thus have the most authority.

Another reason why I believe him is b/c when I read any of the guy's posts about PE, I feel like "I couldn't have said it better myself." The guy is spot on.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 15:12
cougarblue wrote:
On my resume for the deals that I've closed, or the portfolio companies I've worked with, I always take the larger number...I feel like this is standard practice. Maybe he doesn't want to get into too many particulars about what his role at the PC was b/c it would give away his identity. But even so, it's not unreasonable to think that he actually ran the company if it got into trouble. For instance, I only have 4 years experience in PE, and I've been told, only half-jokingly, that if a particular company (small, even for our small portfolio) gets into serious trouble, then I'm moving out there to try and clean up the mess. Whether that's with a title like "CEO" doesn't really matter, you're representing the ownership of the company and thus have the most authority.

Another reason why I believe him is b/c when I read any of the guy's posts about PE, I feel like "I couldn't have said it better myself." The guy is spot on.


Agreed. There is nothing questionable about his posts and I have no reason to believe he is a troll.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 15:17
cougarblue wrote:
I always take the larger number...I feel like this is standard practice.


I would say standard practice would be "Deal Value," which would be Enterprise Value (which tends to be the largest number anyway) in banking and Equity Value or Enterprise Value in PE (I would say the choice would correlate with whether you are VC or LBO).

I don't think anyone is saying he is not in PE. I just think his style of writing naturally raises suspicion of hyperbole in people. In fact, I would say it is highly likely that he has a very solid resume, as that would explain why he was rejected by a couple top programs over someone with cancer/drug problems/etc... :roll:
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 15:26
Bokke wrote:
cougarblue wrote:
I always take the larger number...I feel like this is standard practice.


I would say standard practice would be "Deal Value," which would be Enterprise Value (which tends to be the largest number anyway) in banking and Equity Value or Enterprise Value in PE (I would say the choice would correlate with whether you are VC or LBO).

I don't think anyone is saying he is not in PE. I just think his style of writing naturally raises suspicion of hyperbole in people. In fact, I would say it is highly likely that he has a very solid resume, as that would explain why he was rejected by a couple top programs over someone with cancer/drug problems/etc... :roll:


You're going to anger a lot of people with that post (primarily the last line).
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 16:10
I guess the kinds of companies we buy don't lend themselves to Enterprise Value terminology, but I see your point and suspect you're right, it sounds like you probably have at least a banking background--I don't.

Bokke wrote:
I don't think anyone is saying he is not in PE. I just think his style of writing naturally raises suspicion of hyperbole in people.


"...the guy could be a complete fraud. Not everyone who posts BS there is a nut job. He very well could be posting BS about his stats and stuff...it could be an applicant."

"I have to agree with the dissidents. Not to offend, but there is a strong aroma of bulls**t coming from that story."

These were what I was referring to. I didn't think his style was particularly self-aggrandizing or anything else...what exactly rubs people the wrong way with what he said? (Note: I am not the guy on BW.)
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 16:15
cougarblue wrote:
I guess the kinds of companies we buy don't lend themselves to Enterprise Value terminology, but I see your point and suspect you're right, it sounds like you probably have at least a banking background--I don't.

Bokke wrote:
I don't think anyone is saying he is not in PE. I just think his style of writing naturally raises suspicion of hyperbole in people.


"...the guy could be a complete fraud. Not everyone who posts BS there is a nut job. He very well could be posting BS about his stats and stuff...it could be an applicant."

"I have to agree with the dissidents. Not to offend, but there is a strong aroma of bulls**t coming from that story."

These were what I was referring to. I didn't think his style was particularly self-aggrandizing or anything else...what exactly rubs people the wrong way with what he said? (Note: I am not the guy on BW.)


Finance people and their straight-shooter communication style tends to elicit either jealousy or anger with a lot of people.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 17:07
cougarblue wrote:
I guess the kinds of companies we buy don't lend themselves to Enterprise Value terminology, but I see your point and suspect you're right, it sounds like you probably have at least a banking background--I don't.

Bokke wrote:
I don't think anyone is saying he is not in PE. I just think his style of writing naturally raises suspicion of hyperbole in people.


"...the guy could be a complete fraud. Not everyone who posts BS there is a nut job. He very well could be posting BS about his stats and stuff...it could be an applicant."

"I have to agree with the dissidents. Not to offend, but there is a strong aroma of bulls**t coming from that story."

These were what I was referring to. I didn't think his style was particularly self-aggrandizing or anything else...what exactly rubs people the wrong way with what he said? (Note: I am not the guy on BW.)


You're missing the point. I am not saying that his claims are bullshit- I don't know or care. I am saying that his argument is taking a very complex subject (the judgment of whether a person, relative to another, is worthy of an admit to a top program) and paring it down to the essays as the single component that those decisions turned on.

You cannot take two people, summarize their qualifications in a page, and propose that it is obviously one aspect that got them admitted/dinged. That is like saying:

"I know these two guys who ran for President- let me run down their profiles: one bravely served in the military, was a long-time well-respected Senator, and had loads of foreign policy experience. The other had no military experience, and had been a Senator for merely two years, but his speeches were eloquent and beautiful.

Who do you think won the election?

It wasn't the first candidate. Clearly, the candidate who gives the best speeches wins the election."

My point is that his story, as told, is an obvious attempt to downplay one person's accomplishments and promote his own- NOT with the intent to impress anybody or lie- but rather to draw a conclusion. In reality the female applicant in question likely had many terrific accomplishments that he did not mention, that contributed to her acceptances. I would love to believe I could, despite every shortcoming in my background, sit down and write brilliant essays and get admitted to Harvard based on that alone. However the app process is way more complicated than that. There are applicants who can write prose to rival Faulkner who just aren't getting into certain programs for other reasons.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 18:57
agold wrote:
You're going to anger a lot of people with that post (primarily the last line).


The smiley is meant to indicate that it is a joke, but I will admit that I was trying to offend some people. :wink:
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 19:23
cougarblue wrote:
I guess the kinds of companies we buy don't lend themselves to Enterprise Value terminology, but I see your point and suspect you're right, it sounds like you probably have at least a banking background--I don't.


Very perceptive of you (on calling out my service to the "great satan" :lol: ). What kinds of companies does your firm buy? I would say that you can modify the concept of Enterprise Value to suit any deal, except for maybe distressed companies as the whole point of that space is to buy at a discount to the company's true value (even then, you could apply median, or even 1st quartile, metrics to the company for a hypothetical EV, but I wouldn't do that).

BTW, I don't put deal values on my resume (I do put an aggregate deal count and deal value though). I think it is tacky, personally. I've thrown plenty of senior analyst resumes into the trash can because all they can state on their resume is the biggest deals they have done (which, if you know anything, you know that the bigger the deal, the less work a junior banker had to do [and the easier the deal was for the I bank in general]). I want to know what you actually did on your deals, not the dollar value of the biggest deal you made a graph in Excel for a single PPT (if that - you'd be surprised how many people will claim the biggest deal their firm has done whether they even helped the other analyst in the print room for it or not).

Then again, I don't have size envy about who worked on the biggest deal. I know setting up a data room for a small deal gives you pretty much the same experiences as doing that for a large deal. I don't care about the deal, I care if you have set up a data room or not so I don't have to do it if I staff you on my deals.

/rant


cougarblue wrote:
"...the guy could be a complete fraud. Not everyone who posts BS there is a nut job. He very well could be posting BS about his stats and stuff...it could be an applicant."

"I have to agree with the dissidents. Not to offend, but there is a strong aroma of bulls**t coming from that story."

These were what I was referring to. I didn't think his style was particularly self-aggrandizing or anything else...what exactly rubs people the wrong way with what he said? (Note: I am not the guy on BW.)


That is my whole point though. His writing style is eliciting those responses. Personally, I am with you and agold. I think he is being mostly honest, if a little melodramatic.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 19:37
Excuse the string of posts here...

atlmba2009 wrote:
I am saying that his argument is taking a very complex subject (the judgment of whether a person, relative to another, is worthy of an admit to a top program) and paring it down to the essays as the single component that those decisions turned on.


Personally, I read it as the "message" the entire app delivered, not just the essays.


atlmba2009 wrote:
You cannot take two people, summarize their qualifications in a page


Sure you can. Hell, I can summarize two people in a couple sentences, let alone a page.


atlmba2009 wrote:
That is like saying:

"I know these two guys who ran for President- let me run down their profiles: one bravely served in the military, was a long-time well-respected Senator, and had loads of foreign policy experience. The other had no military experience, and had been a Senator for merely two years, but his speeches were eloquent and beautiful.

Who do you think won the election?

It wasn't the first candidate. Clearly, the candidate who gives the best speeches wins the election."


That is not like saying that at all. My response to that would be that you didn't summarize the two candidates adequately, which is why you are drawing an inaccurate conclusion from your summary.


atlmba2009 wrote:
My point is that his story, as told, is an obvious attempt to downplay one person's accomplishments and promote his own- NOT with the intent to impress anybody or lie- but rather to draw a conclusion.


I would agree with this, which is why I made the comment that his style elicits skeptical responses.


atlmba2009 wrote:
In reality the female applicant in question likely had many terrific accomplishments that he did not mention, that contributed to her acceptances.


Having two X chromosomes is a terrific accomplishment now? :wink:

(sorry, I could not resist :P )


atlmba2009 wrote:
I would love to believe I could, despite every shortcoming in my background, sit down and write brilliant essays and get admitted to Harvard based on that alone. However the app process is way more complicated than that. There are applicants who can write prose to rival Faulkner who just aren't getting into certain programs for other reasons.


The difference is Faulkner is free to write fiction. An applicant is not. It is really not the quality of the writing that helps your case for acceptance, it is the story you are telling, and that story has to be at least partially true (which is also why it's not just the essays that count, it is the supporting evidence, so to speak, that you present in the rest of your app).
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 19:57
Bokke wrote:
atlmba2009 wrote:
That is like saying:

"I know these two guys who ran for President- let me run down their profiles: one bravely served in the military, was a long-time well-respected Senator, and had loads of foreign policy experience. The other had no military experience, and had been a Senator for merely two years, but his speeches were eloquent and beautiful.

Who do you think won the election?

It wasn't the first candidate. Clearly, the candidate who gives the best speeches wins the election."


That is not like saying that at all. My response to that would be that you didn't summarize the two candidates adequately, which is why you are drawing an inaccurate conclusion from your summary.


DING DING DING!!!!! You just disagreed with me by reaffirming my original point.
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 20:03
atlmba2009 wrote:
DING DING DING!!!!! You just disagreed with me by reaffirming my original point.



If you think me saying YOUR summary was poor is reaffirming your point that NOBODY IN EXISTENCE can effectively summarize people, than sure, I reaffirmed your point... :roll:
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2011, 20:50
good post
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Re: An interesting post about the application process [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2011, 06:06
Bokke I guess you're just trolling, but...

Bokke wrote:
atlmba2009 wrote:
You cannot take two people, summarize their qualifications in a page


Sure you can. Hell, I can summarize two people in a couple sentences, let alone a page.

atimba wasnt saying that you couldnt summarize two people's qualifications in a page, atimba was saying you cant summarize two people's qualifications in a page and propose that it is obviously one aspect that got them admitted/dinged. still, clever


Bokke wrote:
atlmba2009 wrote:
That is like saying:

"I know these two guys who ran for President- let me run down their profiles: one bravely served in the military, was a long-time well-respected Senator, and had loads of foreign policy experience. The other had no military experience, and had been a Senator for merely two years, but his speeches were eloquent and beautiful.

Who do you think won the election?

It wasn't the first candidate. Clearly, the candidate who gives the best speeches wins the election."


That is not like saying that at all. My response to that would be that you didn't summarize the two candidates adequately, which is why you are drawing an inaccurate conclusion from your summary.

Which is what atimba is saying the OP of the article did. hence the "DING DING DING" that you missed the point of
Re: An interesting post about the application process   [#permalink] 04 Aug 2011, 06:06
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