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Bad Attitude

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Bad Attitude [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2007, 18:35
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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) :

"A lot of people get caught in the trap of telling us what they think
we want to hear, we just want essays that show a person's personality,
they shouldn't be concerned about what they think we want to hear," -
Jackass Ad-com #1

"When we read essays, we want very specific examples of why you want
to do XYZ. We expect applicants to have a crystal clear vision of why
they need an MBA, what companies they might work for, what specific
classes they're interested in," Jackass Ad-com #2

"Some essays people mention specific companies they want to work for
and positions they want. This is silly because we know many people
want to change industries, and that level of detail seems silly, so we
really just look for people with a good sense of their own strengths
and weaknesses," Jackass Ad-com #3

"Don't just give us a bunch of examples of why you're a great leader,
tell us why," Jackass Ad-com #4

"Show, don't tell," Jackass Ad-com #5

It all gets aggravating after a while, all the contradictions. There
were some discussions here (or was it on BW) where people were arguing
over Stern essay #1 that asks "Why an MBA?" Some people said that the
question necessarily implies "Why Stern?" while other people said,
"Read the question, they don't ask about Stern in that essay so don't
address that, ad-coms want to know that you can follow the
directions."

At the end of the day I kind of have this bad attitude, like F all of
that stuff, here's my application, if you don't like the fact that I
didn't mention specific classes then F off. Or if you don't like that I DID mention specific classes, F off. And if you think my career vision is too
specific, F off. If you think it's too vague then F off. How do you like me now?
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2007, 06:45
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Exactly, I mean I can go over my transcript and try to remember anecdotes from my undergraduate classes but really, I'm not a young knucklehead like I was back then, I've moved on, ask me about something I've done recently.

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.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2007, 08:46
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johnnyx9 wrote:
Exactly, I mean I can go over my transcript and try to remember anecdotes from my undergraduate classes but really, I'm not a young knucklehead like I was back then, I've moved on, ask me about something I've done recently.

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.


I am pretty much the sameway as is probably 95% of population, but the problem is MBA degree is training for future CEOs and once you become a CEO you can't think of doing things for yourself, you have to work with community and do things that benefit others around in more meaningful ways then throwing a superbowl party for example.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2007, 07:18
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standard wrote:
Best thread ever!

We want to add diversification to the class - We want everyone all around the world to submit their apps, so we can earn more money.


Its not about the money. This is peanuts in the end guys. It's about acceptance rate and percieved eliteness. They encourage as many applicants as possible to apply because it makes the school appear more competitive. This isn't just for grad programs, they do it undergrad too. In fact, I was just having a conversation yesterday with an admissions director who was telling me about how they moved to a common app "in order to bring in more applications and bring our admit % down a bit". She then smiled and said "And get our rank up!".
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Re: Bad Attitude [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 11:57
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2007, 18:47
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HA! And SCREW YOU! I don't want in your stinkin' school anyway.

Yep, totally bad attitude. And for some reason, I developed a nasty dislike of Harvard, and I didn't even apply there. I mean, I read their essay topics, checked out their site, and then decided I was mad at them.

I am over all of that now (well, except HBS. Still mad at them), but I was cranky and crabby by the time it was over. And normally my disposition is as sweet as honey. I mean, I'm the original sunshine-and-light.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2007, 07:52
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Amen to that...

The comminity service aspect I think is such a scam. Its either Habitat, United way or other large organizations that dominate this front.

A friend's freind was rejected at Wharton a couple of years ago. Her feedback was lack of community service. She started doing habitat and wrote some leadership experience on it as a re-applicant and guess what - she got in. This reaks of opportunism.


johnnyx9 wrote:
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.

Last edited by agsfaltex on 30 Jan 2007, 15:27, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2007, 09:13
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Yeah, good point. I totally agree that someone who is willing to work with their community at a young age is someone who will be a good alumnus and someone who will be a good business leader. It's a shame that people who are naturally inclined to help others are hard to distinguish from the glut of people who do community service for the sake of b-school apps.

Of course I'm kicking myself for not taking on volunteer work in the years since college, but this process has definitely broadened my view on a lot of things and I'm now begining to get involved in community service just for the sake of getting involved. I think a few other people have said similar things on this forum, i.e. applying to school made them realize that there is a lot of amazing stuff they can do with their free time.

I think going to school, as in kindergarten thru high school, I hated school so much because it was something you were "forced" to do, so through college and immediately after college it was great having more control over free time, but now as I'm getting older I realize that being commitment-averse, and just maximizing my leisure-time is kind of silly, and it's actually enjoyable to get involved with things that probably would have seemed boring or like a hassle to me several years ago.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2007, 12:34
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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.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2007, 06:56
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Tell me about it. I once asked an AdComm member during an information session to give us an example of when an applicant "wasn't himself" (as they always love to say).

Needless to say, she couldn't.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2007, 07:07
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gmatclb wrote:
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?


http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic ... hlight=640

It's a long thread. If you want the gist of it, read my first post, then my second post and then read pelihu's post where he argues yield spreads are likely much larger (which I agree with).

In short what you end up with is statistical evidence, even assuming a flat yield curve (which is totally not reasonable) - the odds of admittance with a <640 score are 10% or worse, and with a 750 or above 42% or better.
If you look at pelihu's post, its more like 7% or worse, and 52% or better.

The concept that GMAT is "just one piece" is clearly debunked - regardless of whether or not you assume flat yields across.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2007, 07:15
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I get the whole thing that it's just a song-and-dance like a job interview, but the truly annoying part is the holier-than-thou attitude from ad-coms where you get stupid contradictions like "well obviously we want the candidates to just be themselves, we want essays that show who they are, what do they enjoy doing, how they have dealt with setbacks or weaknesses, and maybe a general idea of what they want to do with their career, we know people change careers 7 times,"

while out of the other side of their mouth they're saying,

"We look for people who can show they are natural-born leaders, superhuman creatures that can see through walls and build orphanages with one hand tied behind their back, we don't want people that don't know exactly what they want to do, we want people who can tell us where they will be living when they're 50, and what the third line of their W2 will look like on July 1st 2015."
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2007, 07:26
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rhyme wrote:
standard wrote:
Best thread ever!

We want to add diversification to the class - We want everyone all around the world to submit their apps, so we can earn more money.


Its not about the money. This is peanuts in the end guys. It's about acceptance rate and percieved eliteness. They encourage as many applicants as possible to apply because it makes the school appear more competitive. This isn't just for grad programs, they do it undergrad too. In fact, I was just having a conversation yesterday with an admissions director who was telling me about how they moved to a common app "in order to bring in more applications and bring our admit % down a bit". She then smiled and said "And get our rank up!".


My next best guess. However, there is a dilemma. Most people do not submit to the hardest-to-get-in schools. Why? Because they think that the application will be dinged, probably.

That's my view, it might be wrong.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2007, 07:41
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I don't know what you mean by "most people," but certainly enough apply to Harvard and company so that HBS can maintain its 13% acceptance rate (or whatever it is). Any way you slice it, there are PLENTY of people applying.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2007, 14:10
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I agree that a lot of it is b.s. If you work in certain industries or in certain types of high stress jobs you just don't have the time to devote to meaningful extracurricular activities. I think it is really crappy to hold something like that against someone, especially if they were involved in activities in college/grad school.

Assuming I do get in to Chicago and/or Kellogg off of their respective Wait Lists, I will post a rant highlighting the things about the process that are nonsensical (from my point of view).
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2007, 09:56
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Funny thing. I totally hear you, however this didn't make me mad :) I may be a moron (and I'm quite sure I screwed a hell lot of opportunities because of that), but I NEVER fake things. I believe you can't be happy on a job, or college, or whatever that accepted your "beautified copy". Either they take me the way I am - with all my cr@p, - or we just say goodbye, why waste each other's time.

So no, I didn't "tell what they wanted to hear" anywhere. I did structure it in a way they request, but nothing more. My integrity costs more than the gawddamn school can offer.

...we'll see if this approach wins me anything...
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2007, 14:59
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I wont say I am bitter, but the whole process definitely is frustrating and annoying at times. There are so many little things that just get under my skin. Nothing is worse to me than the holistic approach. You know one adcom said it one day and they all latched on that it was a good idea. Even if it is true it is so over used...and you know they could easily tell 1 in 4 people not to even waste their $250, instead they tell them its holistic and everyone has a chance.

The application process definitely is helpful for weeding people out. You really have to want to do this to put yourself though the GMAT and then the App process. Now a lot of people don't put nearly the time and effort in that the average person here does. I talked to one person applying who said they did their essays in a couple weekends for 3 schools...I took almost three months for 3 schools.

We definitely added to our own stress, anxiety, and paranoia...
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2007, 18:03
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ashish.mahendra wrote:
No matter what schools say, GMAT is the most important factor in the end. GMAT scores are a big factor in deciding the rankings. Afterall, schools have to improve on the rankings coz that means more applicants and more money in grants/sponsorships the next year.

... you need to serve the community and thats a differentiating factor too.


Your GMAT statement is wrong, you seem to be falling prey to a common misconception. A school could easily fill a class with a bunch of 750+ kids if they wanted to. A quick look at admission411 which is very heavily populated with people who have incredibly high GMATs, the mean and median for all the top 10 schools is 730 or so, shows that GMAT isn't going to get you in. There really is no benefit of having an average above 710, thats where all schools are located...it has gone up slightly over the years but so has the amount of 700+ scores.

Yes the GMAT does play a roll in rankings but isn't the only factor. A school wouldn't want a bunch of quant jock, super nerds who all have 790s making up your class. Once you are above 720 you are above every schools average so your score good enough for every school. A good score wont get you in but a bad score can certainly keep you out but the same can be said for any factor...terrible work experience, horrible GPA, bad recs, bad essays. To get in you need to put together a complete package with all the right factors, and yes a solid GMAT is important.

As for community service, its another plus in your column but it wont keep you out. Schools realize people work lots of hours and have other commitments. I already have been accepted to Kellogg this year and my extracurriculars are non-existent. Kellogg is one school that has a reputation of putting a lot of emphasis on extras, so that illustrates it is possible. All my free time is spent renovating my antique house, I do 20+ hours a week on my house on top of working. I made sure to talk about that since I wanted them to know that it wasn't because I dont care but because I had something that dominated my freetime.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2007, 18:19
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Hey HBS,

My aplologies If I came across badly.

I didnt mean to be offensive.

I do however am not a great believer in "Circumstances." Its you efforts , ability and motivation that drive you to do the work you do.

"Circumstances "cant dictate one's life. You work at least 8-10 hours a day.You cant let circumstances decide what you're gonna be doing for one-third of your life.

BTW, my "circumstances" at least financially don't permit me to pursue my dream of an international MBA. For an Indian, its investing more than a lifetime's earnings. But I'm still investing time and money in this dream.

What should ideally drive people is the passion and motivation, not "Circumstances". As long as you live in a democratic society and a free country, you can drive "circumstances" to your benefit, not let them define what you do..........................
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2007, 20:02
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Yup, I do agree that the admissions process is a big, stinky pile of BS. And it gets that much more crappy when some young, high-flying PE associate who loves 'consuming' (http://www.leveragedsellout.com/2007/05/fwd-a-suitable-girl/) gets into HBS (for reasons I really can't fathom) and some poor average-joe who worked hard to put himself through college, get a job and make a life for himself doesn't because his 'profile' is not good enough. Bollocks.
  [#permalink] 04 Dec 2007, 20:02
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