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Do the adcoms check the boards?

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Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2012, 15:49
This just crossed my mind. I found an old post (2.5 years ago) on this topic, but nothing more recent. Here's the thing: it's great to have publicly accessible information, e.g. GMAT, GPA, work experience, age, gender, schools applied to, etc., but those data points would fairly easily allow an admissions member to figure out who you are. I know what you're thinking: "no way they would waste their time or energy doing that on every person." And you're right. There's no way they do that systematically, as it would be a huge waste of resources.

But here's another thing. If I was on an admissions committee, and I had a big stack of applications to read, I would find it a lark to take a break and see if I could find people on these boards and match their very polished application to their supposedly candid blog posts. Has anyone ever heard of this happening?

Regardless of how often it happens, it makes me feel very guarded about what I write. Then again, you should be guarded about everything you write online (I work in an industry where we see the results of legal discovery, and believe me, whatever you write is discoverable).
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2012, 18:38
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I'm pretty sure they're watching you right now... all of them! Haha, what you say is true, and I'm sure it happens sometimes. But not very often, and not very likely. There are also a ton of privacy settings on GMATclub that allow you to disclose as much or as little info as you want... so I agree that there are def people that could use a little more descretion when posting... but that the same time, you probably aren't running much of a risk at all. Plus, Adcoms understand you're human! Just because you are posting on a forum, and talking with others that are going through the same process, doesn't mean they would look negatively upon it...

Nooowww, I have seen cases where persons have disclosed their company name, position, name, or title, and that companies IT program tracked them down IMMEDIATELY and told them to remove it. Haha, a nice little slap on the wrist.

So if i must make a recommendation to people, don't put your company name, don't put your name in the username or anywhere else, don't write your email address, or anything that would be easily identifiable to you. Other than that, you are good. In this day and age, I wouldn't be surprised though if it happens sometimes though, I continuely am surprise with what people disclose on the site...
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2012, 18:51
I'm sure that they read the boards all the time and they probably find it amusing, but I don't think they'd spend all day trying to find out every last detail to guess who is who.

However, like GMATLA said, don't disclose too much specifics on yourself. However often times, there are may be many folks who work in the same companies and industries, and have similar majors.
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2012, 19:05
SealTeamCeltics wrote:
This just crossed my mind. I found an old post (2.5 years ago) on this topic, but nothing more recent. Here's the thing: it's great to have publicly accessible information, e.g. GMAT, GPA, work experience, age, gender, schools applied to, etc., but those data points would fairly easily allow an admissions member to figure out who you are. .



that's why you don't post personally identifiable information on the internet- derpppp!! lol
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2012, 19:47
I post as if the admissions committee can find me. I think most people view this as a liability, but I actually view it as an opportunity. :)
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 05:33
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method wrote:
I post as if the admissions committee can find me. I think most people view this as a liability, but I actually view it as an opportunity. :)


That's right, me too. I'm too embarrassed to tell the adcoms this, but I rescue orphans on the weekends and have founded four successful companies, one of which was Facebook (I didn't want to take the credit from Mark). I also play the oboe in a symphony, climb Mount Everest every quarter, and rescue sea lions from oil spills. And I actually got an 800 on the GMAT, but I didn't want to make others feel self-conscious.
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 05:51
SealTeamCeltics wrote:
method wrote:
I post as if the admissions committee can find me. I think most people view this as a liability, but I actually view it as an opportunity. :)


That's right, me too. I'm too embarrassed to tell the adcoms this, but I rescue orphans on the weekends and have founded four successful companies, one of which was Facebook (I didn't want to take the credit from Mark). I also play the oboe in a symphony, climb Mount Everest every quarter, and rescue sea lions from oil spills. And I actually got an 800 on the GMAT, but I didn't want to make others feel self-conscious.


Not sure if your sarcasm is meant to be insulting or funny, but I think if you follow people's posts you can tell who is genuinely helpful to others. You can also tell which schools people are truly excited about. If an officer were to find me on GMATClub, I would have no regrets about the posts I make, and they would almost certainly be a positive reflection of my intent and potential with a school.
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 05:55
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SealTeamCeltics wrote:
method wrote:
I post as if the admissions committee can find me. I think most people view this as a liability, but I actually view it as an opportunity. :)


That's right, me too. I'm too embarrassed to tell the adcoms this, but I rescue orphans on the weekends and have founded four successful companies, one of which was Facebook (I didn't want to take the credit from Mark). I also play the oboe in a symphony, climb Mount Everest every quarter, and rescue sea lions from oil spills. And I actually got an 800 on the GMAT, but I didn't want to make others feel self-conscious.


and your name implies that you are Navy SEAL and play for the Celtics!
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 06:01
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method wrote:
SealTeamCeltics wrote:
method wrote:
I post as if the admissions committee can find me. I think most people view this as a liability, but I actually view it as an opportunity. :)


That's right, me too. I'm too embarrassed to tell the adcoms this, but I rescue orphans on the weekends and have founded four successful companies, one of which was Facebook (I didn't want to take the credit from Mark). I also play the oboe in a symphony, climb Mount Everest every quarter, and rescue sea lions from oil spills. And I actually got an 800 on the GMAT, but I didn't want to make others feel self-conscious.


Not sure if your sarcasm is meant to be insulting or funny, but I think if you follow people's posts you can tell who is genuinely helpful to others. You can also tell which schools people are truly excited about. If an officer were to find me on GMATClub, I would have no regrets about the posts I make, and they would almost certainly be a positive reflection of my intent and potential with a school.


It was supposed to be funny. I guess I failed on that one. However, it was meant to prove a point: it is far more likely that your public persona will hurt you rather than help you, since your application is a highly primed and polished presentation of yourself. No need to spend too much more time talking about this; the moral of the story is don't post lots of information about yourself.
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 06:02
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krazo wrote:
SealTeamCeltics wrote:
method wrote:
I post as if the admissions committee can find me. I think most people view this as a liability, but I actually view it as an opportunity. :)


That's right, me too. I'm too embarrassed to tell the adcoms this, but I rescue orphans on the weekends and have founded four successful companies, one of which was Facebook (I didn't want to take the credit from Mark). I also play the oboe in a symphony, climb Mount Everest every quarter, and rescue sea lions from oil spills. And I actually got an 800 on the GMAT, but I didn't want to make others feel self-conscious.


and your name implies that you are Navy SEAL and play for the Celtics!


I was saving those as the trump card
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 06:26
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SealTeamCeltics wrote:
It was supposed to be funny. I guess I failed on that one. However, it was meant to prove a point: it is far more likely that your public persona will hurt you rather than help you, since your application is a highly primed and polished presentation of yourself. No need to spend too much more time talking about this; the moral of the story is don't post lots of information about yourself.


I guess I don't see the universal conclusion in your "moral of the story." GMATClub members have been posting information about themselves and gaining acceptances for years. Anyone who posts GPA/GMAT/WE/Age/Round is identifiable by a school, and that's a LOT of people here. I don't think too many people are fearing the consequences of their posts, nor should they. It's an overwhelmingly positive community here.

Also, GMATClub members often outperform the stock acceptance %s. It seems counter-intuitive to suggest that posting in the fashion that many of us do mitigates our chances. It seems more likely to me that the sharing of information between members is actually increasing our chances.
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 09:28
method wrote:
Also, GMATClub members often outperform the stock acceptance %s. It seems counter-intuitive to suggest that posting in the fashion that many of us do mitigates our chances. It seems more likely to me that the sharing of information between members is actually increasing our chances.


Well said.
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 10:00
I've been told to watch what I say online. I take and leave that advice as I see fit. While most of us aren't posting first, last, birth date, and SSN numbers so everyone can know who we are, I also don't think a lot of us truly trying to hide our identities from the adcoms (or anyone else). I think we've all seen (or made) some posts that are head scratchers, but in the grand scheme of things I highly doubt that adcoms are actively looking for us. Do I think a student adcom member or associate admissions director may read these forums and recognize applicants, sure. But I don't think they're taking copious notes to add to their files on us. Heck, most of what I hear from adcoms is that they find these sites amusing and think that most applicants need to take a chill pill.
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 11:07
They probably check it and get some amusement. I don't think they will try to track us down.

These people have better things do.
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 11:15
To the poster above (I'm deliberately not quoting your post or using your username in this post to prevent it showing up in web searches), I'm writing this merely to illustrate my point. If it's disconcerting, please don't take it the wrong way. I do this sort of stuff for a living, so it's just to prove how easy it is to discern someone's identity online. I looked at your blog (which is awesome, by the way!), which gives your location but not your name. I then googled your username to find your twitter feed, which contains your (presumably) real name. I could then look you up on facebook, in which the location matches the blog, so I would be willing to bet it's you. I did all this in approximately 2 minutes.

While, as other posters have said, it is extraordinarily unlikely that it would affect your candidacy, the point is that it IS possible, and sadly extremely easy, to identify people online. If you use a unique username across all your blogs/forums/Twitter/etc., the person searching can then find all your postings online, for better or worse.

When I first started at my job, one of my colleagues gave me a useful piece of advice: "don't EVER put ANYTHING in writing that you would be uncomfortable having read back to you in court." While that may be extreme as general advice, it holds true in something as sensitive as MBA admissions.
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 11:24
Do it on me, PM me the results! I'm curious if I'm searchable since I'm one of the most active members on the boards. Haha, I feel the same way. I even see that you had you username changed just for this reason. Good choice by the way!

I am exactly the same way, I can track anyone down especially if they use the same username across cites. I've specifically tailored my profile so that you can't do the same thing (or so I hope). And I would encourage others to do the same b/c sealteam has an excellent point.

I mean think about it, over 20% of michigan ross admits are members of the GMATclub. That just includes the Admits. Would it be silly for the Adcoms not to take a peak? As much time as they don't have to review our background, its strange that their only job is to review our background. haha
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 11:47
GMATLA wrote:
Do it on me, PM me the results! I'm curious if I'm searchable since I'm one of the most active members on the boards. Haha, I feel the same way. I even see that you had you username changed just for this reason. Good choice by the way!

I am exactly the same way, I can track anyone down especially if they use the same username across cites. I've specifically tailored my profile so that you can't do the same thing (or so I hope). And I would encourage others to do the same b/c sealteam has an excellent point.

I mean think about it, over 20% of michigan ross admits are members of the GMATclub. That just includes the Admits. Would it be silly for the Adcoms not to take a peak? As much time as they don't have to review our background, its strange that their only job is to review our background. haha


I'm crunching on a deadline right now, but I'll give it a shot later. My guess is that if you have a totally unique username then there shouldn't be a way for me to cross-reference it, but you never know. And you're right...I did change my username for that reason.
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 12:15
SealTeamCeltics wrote:
To the poster above (I'm deliberately not quoting your post or using your username in this post to prevent it showing up in web searches), I'm writing this merely to illustrate my point. If it's disconcerting, please don't take it the wrong way. I do this sort of stuff for a living, so it's just to prove how easy it is to discern someone's identity online. I looked at your blog (which is awesome, by the way!), which gives your location but not your name. I then googled your username to find your twitter feed, which contains your (presumably) real name. I could then look you up on facebook, in which the location matches the blog, so I would be willing to bet it's you. I did all this in approximately 2 minutes.

While, as other posters have said, it is extraordinarily unlikely that it would affect your candidacy, the point is that it IS possible, and sadly extremely easy, to identify people online. If you use a unique username across all your blogs/forums/Twitter/etc., the person searching can then find all your postings online, for better or worse.

When I first started at my job, one of my colleagues gave me a useful piece of advice: "don't EVER put ANYTHING in writing that you would be uncomfortable having read back to you in court." While that may be extreme as general advice, it holds true in something as sensitive as MBA admissions.


I've done it to myself numerous times and I know it's pretty easy to back track into my fb and twitter and blog. I don't say anything I don't stand behind. Like I said, I don't think most people are trying really hard to be anonymous. While I might not use my real name anywhere (not even twitter and fb), I'm under no illusions that someone can't and won't eventually match all of my aliases to my real name.

And thank you for the compliment on the blog :)
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Re: Do the adcoms check the boards?   [#permalink] 29 Feb 2012, 12:15
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