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Diversity, really?

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Diversity, really? [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 07:25
I see on many of the top school's websites they push for people with all kinds of backgrounds. I wonder about this... even looking at these boards (not a great sample of overall,i know) many people have the same backgrounds. Lots of Indian males... lots of IT and Computer Engineering... lots of business undergrads... lots of dudes in their late 20's. So do you think people with undergrads and work experience in an industry like media or humanities has a chance? Maybe a better chance because they are an unique applicant?


Looking for your opinions..

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Yes [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 07:40
I think people with unusual backgrounds can have a very good chance IF they are competitive relative to other candidates with such backgrounds.

In other words, say School X is looking at applications and they sort all the consultants in one pile, all the i-bankers in another pile, then they have a pile with journalists, Peace-corps people, a photographer, and a physical therapist. The i-bankers will be "competing" with each other for spots, and the unorthodox people will be "competing" with each other for spots.

So if a school allocates 100 spots for i-bankers, and there are 600 i-bankers applying, competition will be tough. If the school keeps 50 slots open for people from "different" (humanities etc...) type backgrounds, and there are 80 such people applying, competition might not be as stiff, but still you will be going up against people who may have very good profiles even if the volume is not as high.

I think schools definitely look for people with unusual backgrounds to add to the diversity. I'm guessing these people are a small percentage of the people that apply, and it's possible that they're not as inclined to spend as much time on these sorts of websites as people in finance or consulting who spend a lot of time on their computers.

Sorry this post is rambling and all over the place, just throwing some ideas out here.
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Re: Yes [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 08:52
johnnyx9 wrote:

I think schools definitely look for people with unusual backgrounds to add to the diversity.


Do schools want these "unusual backgrounds" to stay within their industry or do they have no preference?
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 09:32
I don't think schools care whether you're staying in the same industry or switching to something completely different, as long as a person's goals make sense.

Let's say you're a journalist and you want an MBA so that you can assume a general management role at a major newspaper after graduating, and maybe from their move on a more business-oriented track within journalism, like maybe you want to be the CFO or the CEO of some publishing institution. That would make sense to an ad-com.

But if you said that you want an MBA so you can switch to investment banking, it might seem like a strange transition to the ad-coms. If there's a reason you want to make that switch, and the reason is compelling, then I'm sure they would be happy with that.

At the end of the day I think business schools want to make sure that they're not admitting people who (1) have no idea what they want to do, but are sort of interested in something very lucrative or (2) want that school's MBA credential just so they can have that credential.

Obviously people change their minds all the time with respect to their ultimate career goals, but I think ad-coms just want to see that a person is capable of putting together an intelligent career plan. If work in pharmaceuticals and really want to move into something else via an MBA, maybe it makes sense to say in your essays that you want to continue in pharmaceuticals just for the sake of having an intelligent well-structured career plan.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 14:32
IMHO the big deal for schools to want you to have a "diverse" profile is the unique input you can provide during coursework. Being a rhinoceros trainer is a *solid* advantage compared to the horde of IT geeks (yup, I'm one of the horde). However, you steel need to be smart and competitive - they don't want a retard just because he's a swahili interpreter.
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sure... [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 15:33
Thanks... of course, I am making the assumption that other things in the app would check out. Just curious on people of different work industries.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 15:57
I currently work in the insurance industry and have prior healthcare industry experience. With a background in biology, I'm looking to move back into healthcare/biopharmaceuticals.
I was hoping that my science background would be a plus.
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Re: Yes [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 15:59
johnnyx9 wrote:
So if a school allocates 100 spots for i-bankers, and there are 600 i-bankers applying, competition will be tough. If the school keeps 50 slots open for people from "different" (humanities etc...) type backgrounds, and there are 80 such people applying, competition might not be as stiff, but still you will be going up against people who may have very good profiles even if the volume is not as high.


The thing is they really don't work this way. There isn't a "100 consultants" quota, or a 100 ibankers quota.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 17:06
Ryhme,

Well I guess schools don't have actual quotas, but they do have general percentages of industry types at some schools. When I visited HBS the student who worked at the admissions office who was showing me around said that (I forget the exact numbers here so bear with me), "They break the class into sections of 90, and each section always has the same mix of consultants, bankers and finance people. They keep it the same every year."

So if there was like a ten thousand percent jump in the number of super-smart Rhino trainers that apply this year, I think they will still keep their percentage of those sorts of unorthodox candidates at a certain level. The thing is bankers and consultants are pretty much sure-bets for the school. They're people who will further the school's legacy because they're already on a track to be succesful and rich, so schools want to have a solid base of those types.

Also this kid at HBS told me that the class of 2008 includes two UFC fighters which I couldn't believe. Pretty interesting stuff.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 19:46
Of course, you need to be strong in all of the areas adcoms look at - see Hjort's post (http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=19450) for more.

Many, many applicants will be acceptable in all areas. That's the first thing you need to worry about. Next, how can you stand out? Being Junior Investment Banker #1457 isn't going to help you stand out. But if you're a top-notch opera singer who wants to get into the business side of theatre...well, now you're interesting.

Being interesting will help you tell a fresh story and be memorable. Being memorable (in a good way) will only help you.

And being interesting has nothing to do with how many elephant trainers they're looking for this year.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 19:47
johnnyx9 wrote:
Also this kid at HBS told me that the class of 2008 includes two UFC fighters which I couldn't believe. Pretty interesting stuff.


What's a UFC fighter?
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2007, 23:07
aaudetat wrote:
johnnyx9 wrote:
Also this kid at HBS told me that the class of 2008 includes two UFC fighters which I couldn't believe. Pretty interesting stuff.


What's a UFC fighter?


http://www.ufc.com/
basically, that's a mix-fight
those guys are tough :)
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2007, 05:45
helg wrote:
aaudetat wrote:
johnnyx9 wrote:
Also this kid at HBS told me that the class of 2008 includes two UFC fighters which I couldn't believe. Pretty interesting stuff.


What's a UFC fighter?


http://www.ufc.com/
basically, that's a mix-fight
those guys are tough :)


I wonder how those essays read...

"My three years experience as a UFC fighter started when I joined an underground fight to the death rally in southern Dallas. Only 19, I was scared that I might not be able to leverage my teamwork and leadership skills to win the matches. The stakes, after all, were high. If I failed, I would die.

During my first match, when I stepped into the barbed wire ring, I immediately thought of Lagan, and remembered the movie's important words "Break your opponents neck with your fist, not with your fingers. Murder everyone". I approached Blagojevic, my Russian opponent, and realized that teamwork would be critical in achieving my success. I yelled to the audience to throw me a shank, and as I completed my roundhouse, contacting with Blagojevic's now fractured jaw, I grabbed the shank in mid air. You see, I had contacted Misha and Roman, members of the Russian Mafia who wanted Blagojevic dead earlier in the week. By building a team - myself, Roman and Misha, we knew we would succeed in our goals. They agreed to smuggle in a rusty iron shank. Twisting off my left foot, I drove the shank into his throat. The arterial spatter coming from his severed vena cava, covered me in the taste of success: blood.

That night, as Blagojevic's body was being dumped into a trash bin behind the strippers house, I reflected. I realized then that I had succeed in part due to the shank sticking out of Blagojevic's neck, but also in part because I had leveraged my communication skills to "yell for a shank".

I knew then, just as I know now, a Harvard MBA education is what I need to become the Ultimate Fighting Master of Doom(tm). Confusing my opponents with complex case studies will disorient them long enough for me to put them to sleep, for good. Yelling black-scholes equations which I poorly understand because all I've done is read case studies for two years and lack any true analytical skills, will be both exciting for the audience and for myself, as I tend to become enraged when thinking about finance. No doubt, this is something I will have to watch carefully during my study group sessions, but the doctor says medication should help. "

Last edited by rhyme on 17 Jan 2007, 05:50, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2007, 05:49
Funny stuff. Yeah I'd pay a lot of money to read those essays, can't imagine what they talk about. I also wonder how well these guys fit in when they show up on the first day of class with cauliflower ears.
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2007, 06:38
rhyme, you are really bored at your job right now, lol
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2007, 11:44
antapple wrote:
rhyme, you are really bored at your job right now, lol


yes.
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2007, 19:28
rhyme wrote:
antapple wrote:
rhyme, you are really bored at your job right now, lol


yes.


me 2. And I haven't been admitted anywhere yet!
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2007, 23:41
rhyme wrote:
helg wrote:
aaudetat wrote:
johnnyx9 wrote:
Also this kid at HBS told me that the class of 2008 includes two UFC fighters which I couldn't believe. Pretty interesting stuff.


What's a UFC fighter?


http://www.ufc.com/
basically, that's a mix-fight
those guys are tough :)


I wonder how those essays read...

"My three years experience as a UFC fighter started when I joined an underground fight to the death rally in southern Dallas. Only 19, I was scared that I might not be able to leverage my teamwork and leadership skills to win the matches. The stakes, after all, were high. If I failed, I would die.

During my first match, when I stepped into the barbed wire ring, I immediately thought of Lagan, and remembered the movie's important words "Break your opponents neck with your fist, not with your fingers. Murder everyone". I approached Blagojevic, my Russian opponent, and realized that teamwork would be critical in achieving my success. I yelled to the audience to throw me a shank, and as I completed my roundhouse, contacting with Blagojevic's now fractured jaw, I grabbed the shank in mid air. You see, I had contacted Misha and Roman, members of the Russian Mafia who wanted Blagojevic dead earlier in the week. By building a team - myself, Roman and Misha, we knew we would succeed in our goals. They agreed to smuggle in a rusty iron shank. Twisting off my left foot, I drove the shank into his throat. The arterial spatter coming from his severed vena cava, covered me in the taste of success: blood.

That night, as Blagojevic's body was being dumped into a trash bin behind the strippers house, I reflected. I realized then that I had succeed in part due to the shank sticking out of Blagojevic's neck, but also in part because I had leveraged my communication skills to "yell for a shank".

I knew then, just as I know now, a Harvard MBA education is what I need to become the Ultimate Fighting Master of Doom(tm). Confusing my opponents with complex case studies will disorient them long enough for me to put them to sleep, for good. Yelling black-scholes equations which I poorly understand because all I've done is read case studies for two years and lack any true analytical skills, will be both exciting for the audience and for myself, as I tend to become enraged when thinking about finance. No doubt, this is something I will have to watch carefully during my study group sessions, but the doctor says medication should help. "


Wrong approach, rhyme. BS doesn't care about teamwork. It's all about leadership. Who fits the description of an ultimate leader better than a dirty-mouthed blood-hungry arrogant crowd-arousing SOB of an ultimate fighter? If you do not agree with him he will reap your heart and make you eat it.
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2007, 01:24
rhyme wrote:

Murder everyone". I approached Blagojevic, my Russian opponent, and realized that teamwork would be critical in achieving my success. I yelled to the audience to throw me a shank, and as I completed my roundhouse, "


Blagojevic is a Serbian name - not Russian :) Regardless, it was an interesting essay. Bravo!
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2007, 04:14
batwings wrote:
rhyme wrote:

Murder everyone". I approached Blagojevic, my Russian opponent, and realized that teamwork would be critical in achieving my success. I yelled to the audience to throw me a shank, and as I completed my roundhouse, "


Blagojevic is a Serbian name - not Russian :) Regardless, it was an interesting essay. Bravo!


Thats true... my mistake. I just used to know this hot girl named Blagojevic, so it popped in my head. She ended up in modeling actually, lucky her. She fits in of course.
  [#permalink] 27 Jan 2007, 04:14
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