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BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ?

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BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 11:35
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Few questions in business school apps perplex me.
The list and my responses follow. I wanted to know how other's handled them

a) List down all schools you are applying to

Is it fair ? How is it an indication of the my candidacy ? And, above all why am I expected to tell you all that in my app?
I think even if the school wants to know, I am more likely to talk about in an interview setting than the app with an honor code. I have chosen not to answer this question, whenever and wherever asked. What about others ?

Did all of you answer it ? Honestly and completely etc etc ?

b) The complete address and phone number of my all my previous employers.
First the schools don't need them and will never use them. Some of these, even I don't even remember. I wonder if the employers will, of the internships I did in high school. But honestly, why ? I am not a national security threat being scrutinsed right ? You most likely have the recos from my most recent one or two employers. I am a prospective applicant as of now. Call me for interview and ask me for documentation of my work experience. Or better still use the employers name to find out if you are really want to talk to them (which I would think is a rare possibility).

c) Which university my mom graduated from. This, I honestly don't know and I never asked my mom

I left most such fields blank. What do you guys think and how did you handle such questions ?

Last edited by itsmystery on 28 Jan 2010, 11:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 11:42
Is this Tepper? I remember them asking a boatload of questions.

I answered them all, and I know which university my mom attended.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 11:53
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Well for some schools, lots of those fields are required, meaning you can't actually submit the application without filling out the fields.

I totally get your frustration, but here's where I think 2 of them come from:

Mom's university: On top of wanting to know if you have any ties to the university, my guess is that understanding your family background may paint a more complete picture of you, although I agree that there are a lot of assumptions being made on their part if they will assume certain things are or aren't true based on where your parents went to school (other than whether they're an alum of the school you're applying to)

I don't know how many previous employers you have, but I don't think the schools necessarily need you to write every single summer internship you had going back to high school. I had several summer internships during college and 1 part-time job and I didn't include every single one on my applications, largely because there wasn't enough room, and because some of them were somewhat irrelevant to my career path, so i included the most recent summer internship, my part-time job, and all of the full-time, post-college jobs I've had. But in terms of including phone #/address, I bet that it's so a) if they felt they needed to check up on a particular job they have the info to do so and b) it makes people feel like they can't lie/embellish because the school now has the information to check up on them if they need to. I'm sure there are people out there who might try to lie.\

As for other schools applied to--only one school asked me this question, and at the time, I hadn't decided exactly which schools I was going to be applying to, so I left it blank (it wasn't a required field) and no one ever asked again.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 12:08
A) I don't think answering or not answering this will cause you any harm. I was honest, the way I see it, if I really want to have a relationship with a school, I might as well be honest from the start. I actually had an adcom interviewer bring up my choice of schools and comment that my selection showed I had done my homework and that it showed my interest in a certain "type" of school.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 12:39
well, maybe I need to point out that
1) I am an international. My parents live in a different country. Infact most of my experience is from a foreign country
2) I have largely had a stable career with no part time jobs.

And that I have chosen to not tell school any of the above, so far. Is this the reason my interview calls didn't come through :shock: :evil:
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 12:46
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The question about what other schools I applied to bothers me a little, because I worry that they're using my choices to strategize about whether I'm likely to attend their school... but it's not a huge deal. I confess that I am especially irritated by questions about my parents' backgrounds.

At the most, if the school is interested in knowing whether I have a connection to their program, they should do the same thing that they do with siblings and significant others: A yes-or-no question like, "Did either of your parents attend [School Name]?"

Even so, I kind of hate the idea of legacy. (You are going to tell me that legacy is not the only reason that schools ask these questions, that it's really important to them to build a sense of community and accept people who have good "fit" and so on. That's fine. I accept that. But let's accept legacy for the weird and yucky factor that it, too, plays in admissions decisions.) And I can't imagine the use of knowing anything more than whether my parents went to the school to which I am applying. Why do you want to know specifically where? What assumptions are you making? My parents might have gotten advanced degrees in their developing nation -- that doesn't mean they're ballin'. They could be cabbies or cashiers here.

And I guess it's interesting to know what they do... but it shouldn't matter except maybe insofar as it has affected my opportunities. I guess if your daddy is a senator and my daddy is a used car salesman, you've probably had more access to education and opportunity than I have; so my trajectory may seem more impressive. But what if my daddy's a used car salesman because he recently got laid off at his high-powered corporate job for embezzlement or something? And if my parents never graduated high school, it's certainly cool that I've made it all the way to grad school, but if it's relevant and I have any sense I'll be writing about that in my essays anyway...

I suppose something about these types of questions just rubs me the wrong way. Something that has echoes of ... influence-mongering, politicking, nepotism. I don't mean to hijack the thread, so: rant (more-or-less) over.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 13:00
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I hear you. Responding to some of those question felt like getting poked with a stick.

I didn't mind the parent's college. I know it's just one random data point but if your parents both went to harvard, it's most likely (not def) that you had a certain type of upbringing. For better or for worse, I don't know. I just told them where my Mom went.

As for other schools, I hated responding to that one. I felt that I may not get in to my reach school (correct so far) and that my target schools wouldn't take me because they thought I may go somewhere else. It sucked but I responded truthfully and it didn't keep me out.

I figure it's best to just lay it out there. They know most people don't apply to one school. This process can be real random and unless you are perfect (and even if you are) you never know if you will get into school X so you need a back up plan. Schools won't hold it against you for being practical.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 14:16
I totally agree with you, but I'm sure they have their reasons for asking those questions.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 15:24
I think it was a tactical mistake to not answer these questions. Answering the questions is unlikely to hurt you. Not answering the questions certainly won't help matters and could possibly hurt your chances. The first choice has virtually zero downside. The second choice has no upside and only downside potential. The right choice is clear.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 22:11
slingfox wrote:
I think it was a tactical mistake to not answer these questions. Answering the questions is unlikely to hurt you. Not answering the questions certainly won't help matters and could possibly hurt your chances. The first choice has virtually zero downside. The second choice has no upside and only downside potential. The right choice is clear.


Perhaps for the parents' education/employment. However, the previous posters are arguing that answering the "what other schools are you applying to" question honestly and completely could have significant downside risk.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2010, 07:21
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My understanding was that they see which schools you've sent the score report to-doesn't that kind of tip them off about which schools you either applied to or were thinking about applying to?

I applied to 7 schools in R1 and because I was staffed on a project that had me out of town/busy when 4 of them were due-I had all my score reports ordered for every school I was applying to in R1 & R2 by Wharton's deadline. Because I was under the impression that the schools with the later deadlines were definitely going to see that I had scores sent to multiple institutions, I just declared every school I had applied to.

As far as the phone numbers/addresses go-Carnegie Mellon sent me a "You will be subject to a background check conducted by a private company" notice once I got in. Perhaps they gather the information ahead of time so they don't have to ask you later. And in terms of listing all your employers-my assumpton was that they are checking to see career progression and whether you can demonstrate job growth and promotion (I think it's also somewhat reflective of a pattern of decision-making). I definitely wrote up all my previous employers, mainly because I had a unique work history that tied directly into my goals essay. It's a very tedious process, so I recommend keeping the information catalogued on a seperate word file so you don't have to do the address/telephone no./where did I work again dance every single time. Also, it was important to me to show that I was working because my job history is longer than the average candidate (I've been out of undergrad for 10 years). So only putting 1 or 2 jobs leaves out years and years of work history for me.

The only school for which I raised an eyebrow was Tepper and that's because they wanted a seperate word file uploaded showing al my salary history and job promotions back to high school. And considering my age, that's a lot of stuff to fill out, half of which I don't remember. But I tried my best and I guess they were fine with what I submitted because I ended up being accepted and offered a scholarship.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2010, 08:16
The question about where else you are applying is just for reporting purposes internally, to better understand who their peer schools are, and build statistics.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2010, 10:33
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I think it's for yield purposes.

rhyme wrote:
The question about where else you are applying is just for reporting purposes internally, to better understand who their peer schools are, and build statistics.
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Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ? [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2010, 20:00
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Thanks you everyone who responded. I guess I am going to tow the line hereon. ( And then we accuse MBAs of herd mentality)

Mufflebrown, I wanted to clarify that schools do not get to see other schools that you sent your score to. I know this because I have clarified with GMAC (the GMAT testing agency). They only get the first page of the candidate score report copy which has the profile info you chose to disclose at the test center, the scores percentiles etc etc.

I have no objections to a background check once I get in. And and I agree that it is fair. Thanks for warning me about Tepper. I am considering starting and application and knowing what to expect prepares you. Like you, I have been out of undergrad for very long too.

muffeebrown wrote:
My understanding was that they see which schools you've sent the score report to-doesn't that kind of tip them off about which schools you either applied to or were thinking about applying to?

I applied to 7 schools in R1 and because I was staffed on a project that had me out of town/busy when 4 of them were due-I had all my score reports ordered for every school I was applying to in R1 & R2 by Wharton's deadline. Because I was under the impression that the schools with the later deadlines were definitely going to see that I had scores sent to multiple institutions, I just declared every school I had applied to.

As far as the phone numbers/addresses go-Carnegie Mellon sent me a "You will be subject to a background check conducted by a private company" notice once I got in. Perhaps they gather the information ahead of time so they don't have to ask you later. And in terms of listing all your employers-my assumpton was that they are checking to see career progression and whether you can demonstrate job growth and promotion (I think it's also somewhat reflective of a pattern of decision-making). I definitely wrote up all my previous employers, mainly because I had a unique work history that tied directly into my goals essay. It's a very tedious process, so I recommend keeping the information catalogued on a seperate word file so you don't have to do the address/telephone no./where did I work again dance every single time. Also, it was important to me to show that I was working because my job history is longer than the average candidate (I've been out of undergrad for 10 years). So only putting 1 or 2 jobs leaves out years and years of work history for me.

The only school for which I raised an eyebrow was Tepper and that's because they wanted a seperate word file uploaded showing al my salary history and job promotions back to high school. And considering my age, that's a lot of stuff to fill out, half of which I don't remember. But I tried my best and I guess they were fine with what I submitted because I ended up being accepted and offered a scholarship.
Re: BSchool App- Why am I expected to disclose ?   [#permalink] 29 Jan 2010, 20:00
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