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Bad Attitude

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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 02:02
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aviroop wrote:
no disrespect to anyone... and no job is worthless.. We learn valuable from everything.. besides, I think I would have a better chance getting into H/S/W if I was a milkman than some fancy internal auditor...

lots of community service, a very different job, and possibly the biologicial father of many unknowing kids in the suburbs..


I totally agree... I was always fascinated by the milklman when I was a kid... probably because he was the one bringing choco milk... I'm pretty sure though that he was not my dad...
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 07:06
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You've also got to realize that within each class, you are only competing for a percentage of the seats available. I, as a white male, am not fighting for any seats allocated to international students, females, or minorities. I am also not competing with Wall Street dudes from PE or IBD.

My only real competition is similar military applicants applying to a school. Since the schools are looking for a diverse makeup, they can only select a fixed amount of various industries, ethic groups, and international candidates. Your odds inside your group are increased by your GMAT, etc., but if you are an IBanker, you probably need to score higher on the GMAT than I do because your background is more common and you have (probably) a higher intellectual pool of people vying for the same seats.

So....that should explain a lot of the BS that seems to occur with less qualified applicants getting in. Yeah, you might be much better qualified than I am or someone else, but if your pool of seats has been maxed out and my pool of seats hasn't, I stand a much better chance of being excepted.

This also makes for the application process being much more of a game of chance than anything else. Depending on the popularity of MBA's, economic conditions, people applying in your particular year, and what you decided to do for the past 5 years (plus college) all converge to give you some random chance at getting to Harvard.

Now if you're not breaking 650....this theory might not fit your mold as well regardless.... :shock:
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 07:41
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mr_gondola wrote:
You've also got to realize that within each class, you are only competing for a percentage of the seats available. I, as a white male, am not fighting for any seats allocated to international students, females, or minorities. I am also not competing with Wall Street dudes from PE or IBD.

My only real competition is similar military applicants applying to a school.


This is definitely true...different groups have different standards. Just like demographics. Someone made a point on here about an Indian vs a person from similiar situation in a rural area, both had tough lives and raised themselves up but the Indian's chances were going to be far less. Thats because there will be plenty of indian's with similar stories but far fewer people from here. I know my wife who is thinking of applying next year would be wise to play up her parents not having high school educations, working fulltime to put herself through school, her father losing his job multiple times because they closed and reopened and then closed the mill her worked at, and all sorts of hurdles she had to overcome to get where she is. She works in software so its a competitve group but her background is part of what will set her apart since there will be plenty of other people with similar experience who moved up at the same pace, have better GPAs or better GMATs...pick your strengths and work with them.

The military one is also like that, they look for the special folks because I think you would be surprised how many veterans and active duty apply. And schools tend to have the favorite segments to draw from. The older military people I have met have been pilots for the most part. Another very popular group are the submarine guys, I had a couple come up and talk to me at MIT since one actually spent time at where I work and knew some people I work with. Then people with interesting stories, the silver star winners, special forces, someone who had an unusual career. They definitely look for that wow factor in a way, the people who have done something impressive or have an interesting command with lots of people beneath them. A lot of applicants and students I have met have been Iraq vets, which gives lots of interesting experiences to draw on. They also love academy grads, a lot of military people I met were guys from the service academies.

Military is definitely going to be easier than a lot of applicant pools but be careful you dont fall into the trap of "I will get in cause I was military and can show leadership." The day I visited tuck there were three guys getting out of the military next summer, out of a group of 10 people that day. They actually out numbered the bankers. Also from what a few people have told me some schools put a higher value on the military people than others.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 11:53
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Well I retook the exam after a 720 in first attempt and scored 760 1- did not think the score was reflective of my abilities 2-you wont submit a half hearted essay, so why should you compromise on one of the more quantifiable stats that schools look for? 3-I have a not so spectacular GPA, so needed every bit I could 4- I plan on MC after my MBA and I know the top firms ask for your GMAT, so figured might as well try to bump it up when I could. 5- I am a 'what if' person. So atleast with my score, I know that GMAT Is not the reason I got dinged from all the schools (if it happens to be that way).



But then again- there is no right or wrong answer to that choice.

ryguy904 wrote:
riverripper wrote:
ryguy904 wrote:
So is this group under the opinion that if one gets a 750 and can put halfway decent essays together, he/she is better off than a 680 with good essays?


I would rather be a 710 with stellar esssay. Below average anything means you need to be strong in all other areas. Weak undergrad means stronger work experience. Weak work means very strong extras. Weak GPA means strong GMAT.

However, you want the best essays you can get. The better the essays the better your chances. Good essays will work for super star applicants. But if you arent a McKinsey consultant or a banker at Goldman or an IT guy at Google...you are going to need to set yourself apart from the pack and the best way to do that is great essays and recs.



I hear ya RR. I am at a 680 and applying to H/W/Chi/Colum/NYU/Kellogg. I'm not sure if I can bump up to 710, or if it is worth the risk of scoring 680 or lower on a second attempt. I have been spending A LOT of time on the essays and believe that I have pretty solid recs (but hey, who doesn't think they have solid recs?). Perhaps it's just my analytical mind at work, but I'm trying to get some sort of comfort factor, since the fact is, I am BELOW average on the GMAT. My GPA was 3.8 from a Cal State School, and I am a CFA Charterholder. I'm hoping that those factors with the best essays I can put together will get me in to one (or two!) of these schools.

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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 12:14
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I think the GMAT score also has to take timing into account. You dont want to be studying for and taking the GMAT in December if you hope to apply this year. Your efforts of going from a 700 to a 750+ are going to take away all your time from applications. Applying in R2 with a 700 is far better than R3 with a 750+ (some schools wont allow internationals in during R3 because of visa issues).

You are right about my stellar...but I think that with enough thought most people can pick out great stories and make them work well. Stellar essays for Chicago GSB would be pretty easy even without a lot of great material. Essay 1 is a the typical why an mba, why now, why here...not much required for experience there, essay 2 is whose shoes...once again no material required. #3 was the PPT and that can be a shot at creativity and its only 4 slides so hopefully anyone could come up with enough interesting stuff for 4 slides.

MIT on the other hand, god help you if you dont have great experiences to draw from.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 14:01
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mNeo wrote:
anadimisra wrote:
mNeo wrote:
dosa_don wrote:
Well I personally think that the whole 'stellar' essays thing is a little misleading.


I agree. Stellar essays mean nothing without stellar stories or background.


I disagree mNeo. No one verifies stories from your background.


Well, even a made up story can make an essay stellar. But it is still the story making the essay stellar, not just the way of delivery. I am not trying to weigh how many people completely make up stories for essays. Hopefully not a lot of them. But, what I am saying is that without content, your "way of delivery" is not as valuable. We end up focusing too heavily on where each sentence should go, how many words our essay should have etc instead of focusing on the content of the essay.

Think about it .. if you are an amazing essay writer, but you have absolutely no stories to tell, then will you be able to convince MIT adcom? Check MIT's essays .. and tell me how can anybody write admit-worthy essays without strong stories (Made up or not). What kind of amazing essays can you write without content anyway?


Remember MIT also does not have blind interviews. They are performed by adcoms who know your application very well. Also they use behavioral interviews, so its pretty much a sure bet that they are going to dig into your essays. During my visit they talked about a girl whose essays they loved and were going to admit until they interviewed her and it was obvious that she had written what she felt they wanted to hear even though she had no clue beyond what she wrote.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2007, 03:42
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It's one thing to have ulterior motives when doing an activity be it volunteering etc. but it's entirely different to exaggerate or falsify activities. I don't think an applicant's geographic origin matters, there is corruption everywhere. Personally, I think it's fine to finesse accomplishments a little (paint them in the best light) but if an applicant falsifies accomplishments to get into bschool it reflects poorly on his/her ethics.
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Re: Bad Attitude [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2010, 16:37
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This goes to show, once again, that this place can have people get into good schools and not be uptight. Great that the "calling.... " threads exist, better that the venting thread did, but - really -through this process you should let rip on here. Some of you will be really funny, really expressive folk and some great writers. Keep yourself sane, your compatriots entertained and run things like this.

ah, the golden generation. Not as good as it used to be (even if folk get in harvard more now)....
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Re: Bad Attitude [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 16:16
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Thanks for the PM :lol: :lol: I appreciate your effort in taking Johnnyx9's legacy forward. He was mostly talking about adcoms, but you took it to another level.

I think it would be just as funny without the language :wink:
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Re: Bad Attitude [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 00:09
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@ Hazay! Amazing write-up
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Re: Bad Attitude [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2011, 14:45
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crackfire2003 wrote:
One more nugget. They do NOT read all of your application. Yes Sir, you heard it first here. I say this as I uploaded a ppt for an essay (the school asked the applicants to use any method they wanted. Guess which one it is) and they never even viewed the god damn thing and proceeded to send a ding letter.

I did ask them about this pecularity and was greeted with the "we take a holistic approach towards profile evaluation". Evasive much. Any ways my two cents are that if you are from India and have an average GMAT (read 720) then don't bother applying to at least the one school I mentioned here.


That's probably true that they stop reading some applications early on. What is unknown is whether that point is after your basic stats (Age, GMAT, GPA, etc.), or after reading a couple of your high profile essays (ie. career goals essay). I tend to think that the statistics definitely give them a basic understanding of which pile they just place you in, but then you can still blow them away with that first essay. I'll give the example of what a Columbia adcom told us during an information session. I'm paraphrasing here but it was something like:

"I was looking through this applicant who had a terrible GMAT score. I was flipping through the pages, and noticed that the person made over $1 Million last year. This grabbed my attention, then I read his goals essay and found out that the person was an ex-NFL player who later became an entrepreneur. I wanted him in my class. Plus he had a very high GPA."

This sounds like the application was on its way to the "reject" pile until the adcom saw something unusual (applicant's salary in this case). He then proceeded to read the goals essay, and made up his mind to admit the person. He was looking for the "wow" factor and found it early on in the application. In my honest opinion, the wow could have come in the first essay too. But it's a gamble when you leave the wow to the third essay. You need to showcase yourself enough to grab the attention of the adcom way before that so the third essay can be the icing on the top.

One exception to this would be if you submit a third essay that is completely out of the ordinary, and delivered to the office. If you send them a beautiful painting (or whatever unique) that you made, I'm sure that you'll catch their attention. If all you bring to the table is a link to youtube, you need to make them want to click that link in the first place.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2007, 19:14
aaudetat wrote:
HA! And SCREW YOU! I don't want in your stinkin' school anyway.



Let's just hope my boss will let me keep working there after he wrote me a recommendation and i just got dinged all over the place.. "You still here, damn"
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My ranting [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2007, 19:35
There are several things that drive me nuts from this process:

1) How some Top school students or alumni think they are superior beings. Typically, from the people I've met, the younger ones are the most conceited.

2) Always-on overexcited students / alumni. Chill dude(tte), just confess you sometimes watch(ed) TV and cut the BS on the experience being so intense that you only slept 2 hours / day for months at a time.

3) Club - mania: the process made me feel as if you are worthless unless you have led or founded some club(s). Well it just happens that clubs are not so common in this part of the world. Does that make my extras weak? I would not say so, they were just not developed within the "club" frame.

I know my post will not be very useful but I needed to let off steam and came across this post.

Cheers. L.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2007, 20:27
For me the subjectiveness of the whole process did the trick.

Cornell/Darden think it can know an applicant with only two 400-word essays.
Chicago/Haas and others think it can do that with 5 essays.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2007, 20:35
I had a horrible interview with UCLA. I have a graduate degree and around 7 years of work experience. The interviewer harped on what electives I took during undergrad (Heck, I don't remember) and my social activities during college which were plentiful but....HELLLOOO ?! I have grown up and have more recent things to talk about. I have moved on with my life...why don't you move on ?




jaynayak wrote:
For me the subjectiveness of the whole process did the trick.

Cornell/Darden think it can know an applicant with only two 400-word essays.
Chicago/Haas and others think it can do that with 5 essays.
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Re: Bad Attitude [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2007, 10:03
johnnyx9 wrote:
By the end of the whole application process I was pretty tired of it
all. Did anybody else get tired of second-guessing everything? There
are some hypocritical elements of the "ad-com" stance. Montauk's book
has quotes from ad-coms where they talk about what they look for, and
there are a lot of conflicting things that drove me nuts. For instance
things like (making these up) :



well said , even i had the same opinion after going thru the app proces

For Ex: GMAT is just one data point - Jack Ass # 1

Second: Take it as many times as u want - Jack Ass # 2

what the F....K is that..if GMAT is so important ..just come and say..sub 700 score DONT EVEN bother to apply

Along these lines, i could find many issues

Recos: Dont try to write them..but COACH THEM

Give him ur essays, goals etc/....I bet majority of the appln write their own recos and get them rubber stamped..

i can go on and on...
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2007, 10:04
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That's another aggravating part of the whole process, all the pretense. I mean, I'm a good person and everything, but no, I'm not really "passionate" about my work, I'm passionate about sitting on a beach and reading a book. I'm passionate about watching football on Sunday, I'm passionate about going out on the town with friends. My work? Yeah, I enjoy it, and I know that I'm making some small but important contributions to my industry, but I'm not some genius that's making waves in the industry, otherwise I wouldnt' need to go to your godam elitist school. And no, I don't have any community service to speak of, maybe that makes me selfish because I spend my free time playing sports and doing things for myself, but hey, I'm not going to go out and rack up some token community service just for my application.

Couldn't have expressed this any better.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2007, 16:43
rhyme wrote:
heck I know one guy who just called up his Fraternity president and got him to say he'd been actively involved for years in their community service activities, even gave him a "title"-


that's pretty disturbing actually (and I come from Eastern bloc). i would hope that when I work on a team with MBA students in one of the top institutions there is some threshold of integrity.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2007, 20:02
rhyme wrote:
Wow what a thread. It's funny in a sense, I had been thinking about this over the last few weeks. Now that I've been through it, I realize just what a pile of bullshit the whole process is - from applicant to adcom. The number of applicants I've seen take on roles solely for the purpose of admission, who really don't care - heck I know one guy who just called up his Fraternity president and got him to say he'd been actively involved for years in their community service activities, even gave him a "title"- all the way to the adcoms that preach GMAT doesn't matter but the numbers speak for themselves. Just find the Kellogg thread, there's absolutely no question that GMAT plays a huge role. Unless you believe that the GMAT is actually a great predictor of ability - and thus those with high GMAT scores will likely have better careers and better essays - there's absolutely no question that the numbers do 100% play into the whole thing. I'm tired of hearing from adcoms that GMAT "is just one piece" - its like my telling you the engine of my car is just "one piece". Sure, thats true, but without it, I'm not going very far am I? Just be honest and say "Yea, its just one piece, but if it's not good, your odds are slim. Not impossible, but substantially harder. We care because it affects our rank, so we need to be careful with GMAT scores." That would seem to be a much more honest answer.


Which Kellogg thread are you referring to? The R2 thread? I just read it and don't see anything referring to the GMAT.

Post a link?
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2007, 20:19
HA! This thread delivers!!!

Adcomm: Please tell us in your essays what makes you unique.

Me: What makes your school unique?

Adcomm: We're good at making leaders... blah blah blah .... BS.

Bottom line is every applicant and every school is the same.

Me: I have a 2.2 GPA and a 420 GMAT. Do I have a chance at your school?

Adcomm: It's hard to say. I'll have to see the rest of your application. (in his mind: You dumbass, I want your money)
  [#permalink] 30 Jan 2007, 20:19
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