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H/W/S selection criteria

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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2008, 08:42
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So ONLY applying to H/S/W makes very little sense to common applicants (And they usually don't).


I just found an interesting thing while poking around on admissions411 this morning, that I think illustrates your "and they usually don't" point well. If you look at the distribution of (admittedly self-reported and non-randomly sampled) GMAT scores for people who applied to Stanford last year, and compare it to the distribution of people accepted, they are almost identical.

What you'll find is that the 10th and 90th percentiles match nearly exactly if you assume that non-reporting scores belong within the middle 80%. The mean and median come no where close to matching, but I suspect that most of those non-reporting people are in the 10th-50th percentiles.

The implication is that GMAT scores actually don't matter at all in the admissions process. Once someone makes the decision to apply, someone with a 660 has the same chance of getting in as someone with a 760. Of course people could inflate their scores on admissions411 (and no doubt some do), but an alternative interpretation is that people are actually very good at judging their chances of being admitted. Aside from the $250 application fee, it takes a large investment of time to write essays, and you use a fair amount of "personal favor" capital in getting people to write letters. So people only apply to places where their self-evaluated chance of being accepted times the personal cost is worth the potential rewards.

Efficient markets at work. 8-)

Of course (and sadly), the evidence also supports the inflated reporting and self-selection for admissions411 theories as well (or better), but I find my theory attractive nonetheless.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2008, 15:07
one thing that happened to me out of pure chance in terms of recommendations was that my recommendors assumed that I could see what they wrote after they submitted it. After they finished their recommendations they came up to me and asked me if it was good enough. :lol:
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2008, 14:03
They way I look at an MBA degree is as merely a step in the career path of one's life, although a very critical step. MBA is always part of a bigger picture and shall not be a goal of itself, rather a tool to reach a broader goal in career, success, and life. For some people, spending two years at Harvard or Stanford MBA is a huge waste of time and money. For others, many others actually, an MBA degree can be the single most influential event in their life, the point of a huge change in life that leads to unexpected high level of success. For people in Finance area, for instance, may find getting the CFA charter more focused and effective than getting an MBA, and thus getting a Wharton MBA may not be the best choice for them. On the other hand, people in a particular industry may not accelerate and move to managerial positions unless they get better understanding of business, for they come from non-business backgrounds, and need the MBA designation to be trusted to run a huge manufacturing company. Furthermore, in evaluating the value of an MBA degree one must consider other attributes than just the money or career position. Intellectual growth and international exposure are two examples, amongst others.


I'd love to read your comments on the following qoutes:

" Given that Wharton attracts far more aspiring I-bankers, your competition for on-campus recruiting will probably be much higher there. Whereas at Stanford, the same prestigious banks will come for a much smaller group of students."

" Pedigree plays a larger role in Harvard MBA admission than any other factors. It is almost a requirement to have some type of a pedigree, either from undergrad school or employer, to get into Harvard "
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2008, 14:11
dosa_don wrote:
Yep- and my point is that he applied there not because of brand name but for whatever be the reason. In fact, I believe he also studied at UCB. He has said that he might choose Haas over Kellogg.


riverripper wrote:
dosa_don wrote:
Take Kry for example- the dude loves and adores Stanford and am pretty sure he would be the same even if it were ranked 15th.


Kry went there for engineering so he already has an attachment to the school. I am sure thats common for a lot of schools, people who want to Chicago want GSB, NW want Kellogg, if you really enjoyed your undergrad then you already know that you like the school so its a safer bet that you will enjoy it than another school.


I guess I'm a bit late to the discussion, but River is right, to me, Stanford and Haas are at the top of my lists because of the culture, the strong enetrepreneurial program, and the location. Brand is good and all, and I am aware of it, but in the end, if I do get into Haas, I would probably choose it over any other school except for Stanford (which I've already been dinged). Part of it is because I went to school at both schools and know the culture and way of life well, the other part is that they have exactly what I'm looking for in what I want to do in the future.

Kellogg is a great school and all, which is why I even applied, but in the end, its programs might not help me do what I want to do.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2008, 22:45
In my experience, the candidates who ask the question of what a particular set of schools is really seeking are usually missing the point entirely. It seems like these candidates want the "answer" to be revealed as some sort of code that can be cracked or possibly gamed if one is diligent and crafty enough. In the most simple terms, I have seen that the students who stand the best chance of admission to the most selective schools are the ones who show they don't really need it- attending school X is not the difference between success and failure but the difference between being great and being superlative. Put in a less cryptic way, schools are attracted to students who make it clear that they are already highly skilled indviduals with broad (and deep) set of achievements. These students focus not on what they can take away from the institution in terms of prestige but what they can add to the insitution through their skill and life experience.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2008, 23:51
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Hjort, the question still is how does a school determine that a candidate has already achieved success. There are certain employers (World Bank, McKinsey etc) who are huge feeders to H. A certain amount of this success must be due to the fact that H believes securing a job in one of these places is in itself an achievement. This is what me and other posters on this forum call as being "pedigree hungry". Schools recognize success as long as it is represented in one of the forms they identify with. So, even if I worked for a company which is even tougher in terms of recruitment, it may not help me if H does not really understand the nuances involved.

So, I guess the question we are trying to answer is "What are some things that H perceives as successes?". Now, I know there are certain things that are not perceived as such. Like being from India and from IT. I take this example not to provoke any furore, but just to give an example. Similarly, someone who graduated from IIT would hold an edge over someone who made another school choice (based on fit rather than ranking. Isnt that what we recommend to people who come to this forum for advice?) which is less known to H. Therefore, lesser mortals like me who have no recognizable academic or professional pedigree search for answers in the hope that we can try our best to get into the best possible schools.

Hjort wrote:
I have seen that the students who stand the best chance of admission to the most selective schools are the ones who show they don't really need it- attending school X is not the difference between success and failure but the difference between being great and being superlative.


Furthermore, if HSW selects candidates who dont really need an MBA, then doesn't that defeat the purpose of an education. Isn't education a tool to achieve better successes rather than a reward for past accomplishments. Mind you, I dont disagree with the methods used by any school to select students. Its their prerogative to select whomever they want. But the said approach, if true, doesn't make sense to me especially when schools publicly place a premium on a strong Why MBA? answer.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 12:34
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let's accept this, NC: Admission process is there to show selectivity, and we support it because of a hoax named "Fit". None of us who wants to get into international business and has enough pedigree to get in Harvard will go to Moore School of Business or Thunderbird because of the program's focus on international business. None of us who wants a medical field related MBA will go to John Hopkins while having enough pedigree to get in Harvard or Stanford. Even if we do not have enough pedigree, we try.

The word "Fit" hs come in picture because of schools and has been nourised by our lack of strength to say that we have a dream to go to such and such school for what we can gain from there (including alumni and brand name) and don't care about "fit" for the time we study. I hear people on this forum, "I felt I did not fit in the culture there." ???? Do you really think one school has only one culture and other schools does not have the same? Come on, they don't care about FIT AT ALL when they select. How do we find "Fit"?

Fit is not necessary, or we will need a new school for every person. Schools know that, but still if they publish the exact selection criteria, H and S might be at 80% selectivity since only people with realistic chance will apply.

Tell me how many of us, applying to 6-7 schools, fit in each of those? And why most of us "find a fit" in only M7 or top 10 schools? Why almost nobody finds a FIT a schools ranked beyond 20 in all the rankings, if he has enough credentials to get in a top 10?
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 12:44
Agree on the whole fit thing. The only "fit"'s I can understand is when someone choses S over H as H is all case (or Darden over Duke?). Or living in a small town or city. But other than that-all the schools are collaborative, analytical (to an extent) and other such qualities are pretty much the same.

"Fit" to me is another "holistic"- just a buzz word that is included by b-schools (and hence applicants) in their evaluation criteria.



hbs.aspirant wrote:
let's accept this, NC: Admission process is there to show selectivity, and we support it because of a hoax named "Fit". None of us who wants to get into international business and has enough pedigree to get in Harvard will go to Moore School of Business or Thunderbird because of the program's focus on international business. None of us who wants a medical field related MBA will go to John Hopkins while having enough pedigree to get in Harvard or Stanford. Even if we do not have enough pedigree, we try.

The word "Fit" hs come in picture because of schools and has been nourised by our lack of strength to say that we have a dream to go to such and such school for what we can gain from there (including alumni and brand name) and don't care about "fit" for the time we study. I hear people on this forum, "I felt I did not fit in the culture there." ???? Do you really think one school has only one culture and other schools does not have the same? Come on, they don't care about FIT AT ALL when they select. How do we find "Fit"?

Fit is not necessary, or we will need a new school for every person. Schools know that, but still if they publish the exact selection criteria, H and S might be at 80% selectivity since only people with realistic chance will apply.

Tell me how many of us, applying to 6-7 schools, fit in each of those? And why most of us "find a fit" in only M7 or top 10 schools? Why almost nobody finds a FIT a schools ranked beyond 20 in all the rankings, if he has enough credentials to get in a top 10?
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 13:01
dosa_don wrote:
Agree on the whole fit thing. The only "fit"'s I can understand is when someone choses S over H as H is all case (or Darden over Duke?). Or living in a small town or city. But other than that-all the schools are collaborative, analytical (to an extent) and other such qualities are pretty much the same.

"Fit" to me is another "holistic"- just a buzz word that is included by b-schools (and hence applicants) in their evaluation criteria.


I am of a completely different opinion. Let's assume a business school is similar to a company. I dont think to think of it that is that far fetched. I have been working in several different companies and there is something like a company-specific atmosphere, culture etc. This culture - or whatever you may call it - is set forth by the CEO/board/leaders and is cascading down into the company. Do you disagree?

I say the same applies to business schools.

En garde! :)
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 13:10
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dosa_don wrote:
Agree on the whole fit thing. The only "fit"'s I can understand is when someone choses S over H as H is all case (or Darden over Duke?). Or living in a small town or city. But other than that-all the schools are collaborative, analytical (to an extent) and other such qualities are pretty much the same.

"Fit" to me is another "holistic"- just a buzz word that is included by b-schools (and hence applicants) in their evaluation criteria.


I am of a completely different opinion. Let's assume a business school is similar to a company. I dont think to think of it that is that far fetched. I have been working in several different companies and there is something like a company-specific atmosphere, culture etc. This culture - or whatever you may call it - is set forth by the CEO/board/leaders and is cascading down into the company. Do you disagree?

I say the same applies to business schools.

En garde! :)


Do you mean one would choose Darden over Stanford for case method????


Regarding culture of school, if there is really a specific culture and they look for fit then if you are a (3.5-4.0) IVY League and Big 3 consulting and 760 GMAT and belong to minority, you become plasticine or what?
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 13:19
hbs.aspirant wrote:
[

Do you mean one would choose Darden over Stanford for case method????


Regarding culture of school, if there is really a specific culture and they look for fit then if you are a (3.5-4.0) IVY League and Big 3 consulting and 760 GMAT and belong to minority, you become plasticine or what?


The latter are credentials on paper, I was arguing culture here, which is obviously not tangible in numbers.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 13:33
branson wrote:
hbs.aspirant wrote:
[

Do you mean one would choose Darden over Stanford for case method????


Regarding culture of school, if there is really a specific culture and they look for fit then if you are a (3.5-4.0) IVY League and Big 3 consulting and 760 GMAT and belong to minority, you become plasticine or what?


The latter are credentials on paper, I was arguing culture here, which is obviously not tangible in numbers.


and how will the culture evolve? Culture cannot be imposed by CEO or Dean, policies can. If people get in based on credentials on paper and past "non-academic" accomplishments, there can not be a unique culture specific to school. This is not something measurable , so we can endlessly argue.

I would rather look at things from my independent perspective and not go by the conformity. I know there will be a huge number of supporters of "Fit" and "Culture" but the real selection criteria is "Previous accomplishments" preferably non-academic, association with influential groups (academic, corporate, government or non-profit), minority factor and accomplishments of one's family.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 14:00
hbs.aspirant wrote:
branson wrote:
hbs.aspirant wrote:
[

Do you mean one would choose Darden over Stanford for case method????


Regarding culture of school, if there is really a specific culture and they look for fit then if you are a (3.5-4.0) IVY League and Big 3 consulting and 760 GMAT and belong to minority, you become plasticine or what?


The latter are credentials on paper, I was arguing culture here, which is obviously not tangible in numbers.


and how will the culture evolve? Culture cannot be imposed by CEO or Dean, policies can. If people get in based on credentials on paper and past "non-academic" accomplishments, there can not be a unique culture specific to school. This is not something measurable , so we can endlessly argue.

I would rather look at things from my independent perspective and not go by the conformity. I know there will be a huge number of supporters of "Fit" and "Culture" but the real selection criteria is "Previous accomplishments" preferably non-academic, association with influential groups (academic, corporate, government or non-profit), minority factor and accomplishments of one's family.


I, for one, believe that there is a "fit" with each school, and I believe essays and interview demonstrate a "fit" well.

If you visit a school, you will learn its culture. MIT students, for example, is known for their "down-to-earth" attitude. Now, because "down-to-earth" is not measurable, just as you mentioned, you can argue that every M7 school is the same, and I agree -- it is subjective. However, my experience of visiting MIT compare to other school visits confirms that this is true. I certainly felt that MIT students are more "down-to-earth" than any other schools I visit.

While most candidates who have high GPA/GMAT students can probably get into many top schools, I believe that "fit" is one of the reason some of them get rejected. Adcom can tell by the tone of essays and interview.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 14:01
branson-there are definitely subtle differences in culture across blue chip companies. but is the difference significant enough? yes, some companies and schools are competitive, but in the end, it is a learning process.

Crudely put- if there are "minor" cultural differences in your job, but it pays you twice as much as the other, would you still chose the one that pays you less?


branson wrote:
dosa_don wrote:
Agree on the whole fit thing. The only "fit"'s I can understand is when someone choses S over H as H is all case (or Darden over Duke?). Or living in a small town or city. But other than that-all the schools are collaborative, analytical (to an extent) and other such qualities are pretty much the same.

"Fit" to me is another "holistic"- just a buzz word that is included by b-schools (and hence applicants) in their evaluation criteria.


I am of a completely different opinion. Let's assume a business school is similar to a company. I dont think to think of it that is that far fetched. I have been working in several different companies and there is something like a company-specific atmosphere, culture etc. This culture - or whatever you may call it - is set forth by the CEO/board/leaders and is cascading down into the company. Do you disagree?

I say the same applies to business schools.

En garde! :)
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 17:46
I'm sorry, but I had to jump in here to disagree with hbs and dosa. While I understand what you're saying about schools and students using "fit" to determine part of the admit process, I do NOT agree that everyone will choose prestige over "fit".

Just take river and myself for example. Neither of us applied for HBS and Wharton because we did not feel that the culture, the program, and the location "fit" us. I can honestly say I would never pick HBS over Haas, Kellogg, or heck, even UCLA, because I do not want to spend 2 years at a school where the culture is completely different from what I like (I know I am in the small minority who thinks this way).

That is not to say that each school needs to PERFECTLY fit each student's culture, since that is impossible. But every school has a general atmosphere/culture and "fit" that they try to maintain, and that draws people of similar minds to the school. For me, it was the down-to-earth/laid back attitude, collaborative culture, and very friendly/passionate students WITHOUT any attitude. The second I sense attitude, it turns me off from the school. So far every student I've met from the schools I've applied to have had no attitude (even Stanford) and "fit" what I'm looking for. To say that fit does not matter at all is to turn a blind eye to the differences that exist at all the different schools.

Of course, nothing is just black and white, and rankings do come into play. But within each cluster, there are enough schools of different culture for people to choose from that you do NOT need to pick a lower ranked school to find the fit. "How many of us can claim to fit the culture of every school we applied to?" I can. Why do you think that Stanford and Kellogg are the only two UE schools I applied to, and that Haas and Anderson are probably "ranked" higher in my mind than Kellogg? You are correct that many people probably only look at prestige and brand name, but there are enough of us here who will choose based on the culture, location, teaching method, student body, and a myriad of "non-quantitative" aspects that you cannot claim "fit" to not exist. If schools picked people without fit in mind at all, then how did schools like Haas, Anderson, and Kellogg end up with such collaborative and friendly students?

Anyway, enough of my long rant, but I just do not want any of the future applicants to read this thread and think that they should compromise their beliefs in finding a school that "fit" them perfectly just because "no one" out there does it.

My 2 cents,
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(oh btw, I still hate the word "holistic" :P)
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 18:16
Kryzak- great points and I understand where you are coming from. Fit is important, but I would say that you are definitely in the minority? Maybe? :) You seem to know EXACTLY what you are looking for, both in a school and a career. You literally were a student at Haas and Stanford (and UG?) even before your admit at the former;) so you spent enough time to fall in love with the school. There are a lot of us who attend school a couple of times (if at all), hear from our friends at those schools about the culture at the school and maybe attend a session or two. If "fit" is indeed important to someone- they should definitely be prepared spend time in doing as much research as you did :)

Again- agree that there is no right or wrong here, it is subjective, varies from person to person, and depends on your personal and career goals.


kryzak wrote:
I'm sorry, but I had to jump in here to disagree with hbs and dosa. While I understand what you're saying about schools and students using "fit" to determine part of the admit process, I do NOT agree that everyone will choose prestige over "fit".

Just take river and myself for example. Neither of us applied for HBS and Wharton because we did not feel that the culture, the program, and the location "fit" us. I can honestly say I would never pick HBS over Haas, Kellogg, or heck, even UCLA, because I do not want to spend 2 years at a school where the culture is completely different from what I like (I know I am in the small minority who thinks this way).

That is not to say that each school needs to PERFECTLY fit each student's culture, since that is impossible. But every school has a general atmosphere/culture and "fit" that they try to maintain, and that draws people of similar minds to the school. For me, it was the down-to-earth/laid back attitude, collaborative culture, and very friendly/passionate students WITHOUT any attitude. The second I sense attitude, it turns me off from the school. So far every student I've met from the schools I've applied to have had no attitude (even Stanford) and "fit" what I'm looking for. To say that fit does not matter at all is to turn a blind eye to the differences that exist at all the different schools.

Of course, nothing is just black and white, and rankings do come into play. But within each cluster, there are enough schools of different culture for people to choose from that you do NOT need to pick a lower ranked school to find the fit. "How many of us can claim to fit the culture of every school we applied to?" I can. Why do you think that Stanford and Kellogg are the only two UE schools I applied to, and that Haas and Anderson are probably "ranked" higher in my mind than Kellogg? You are correct that many people probably only look at prestige and brand name, but there are enough of us here who will choose based on the culture, location, teaching method, student body, and a myriad of "non-quantitative" aspects that you cannot claim "fit" to not exist. If schools picked people without fit in mind at all, then how did schools like Haas, Anderson, and Kellogg end up with such collaborative and friendly students?

Anyway, enough of my long rant, but I just do not want any of the future applicants to read this thread and think that they should compromise their beliefs in finding a school that "fit" them perfectly just because "no one" out there does it.

My 2 cents,
K.

(oh btw, I still hate the word "holistic" :P)
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 19:58
kryzak wrote:
Neither of us applied for HBS and Wharton because we did not feel that the culture, the program, and the location "fit" us.


I agree with you that you did not prefer the location. Perhaps HBS in Chicago wiill be irresistible to River and HBS in CA will be irresistible to you. Perhaps you percieved that the effort on application was not worth the small chance at that school.

I would not be sure about your feel of culture and program by your examples, unless you have visited HBS and Wharton extensively or talked to current students and alumni (who BTW would have tried to sell the school to you) and then made the decision. If you went by the your understanding of the culture and program by the general reputation on the web and in people's minds, I would not be sure about your judgment.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 23:40
hbs.aspirant wrote:
I agree with you that you did not prefer the location. Perhaps HBS in Chicago wiill be irresistible to River and HBS in CA will be irresistible to you. Perhaps you percieved that the effort on application was not worth the small chance at that school.

I would not be sure about your feel of culture and program by your examples, unless you have visited HBS and Wharton extensively or talked to current students and alumni (who BTW would have tried to sell the school to you) and then made the decision. If you went by the your understanding of the culture and program by the general reputation on the web and in people's minds, I would not be sure about your judgment.


Unfortunately, hbs, i disagree again. River's wife actually prefers Boston, which is why he applied to MIT. But he does not like the HBS culture, thus he did not apply to HBS, even if it was in Boston. Location had nothing to do with it, since I applied to Kellogg even though it wasn't in CA. Even if HBS were right next to Stanford, I still would not apply to it. As for my perceived chance of getting in, that is untrue either, otherwise I would not have applied to Stanford, which has a MUCH lower chance of admittance than HBS and I would argue a tougher essay (what matters most to you).

I chose to do research on HBS based on some former students I know, things I read on their website, their teaching method (I do not believe 100% case method is the way to go), their curriculum (lots of requirements and core classes), their large class size, their more competitive culture (from HBS grads and friends of HBS grads), etc... I actually visited the campus and LOVED how beautiful the campus is, but I did not get the right "vibe" from the staff or students I casually chatted with there.

I would not try to judge how I came to my decisions based on the limited information you know about me. Neither would I judge river's decision since he actually has had a lot of contact when he was in Boston.

Also, I said before that "fit" is not just culture, but also teaching method, curriculum, class size, programs, and other aspects similar to those. It's not just about location and not even just about culture. You are trying to discredit all the reasons of "fit" and saying that people choose schools and schools choose people only based on academic and work/EC experience, and I strongly disagree with that. to answer your question directly on another aspect of "fit"

Quote:
Do you mean one would choose Darden over Stanford for case method????


Yes, Yes I would. I would choose Haas (or any school that does NOT use case method 100%) over HBS *any day* and I would not regret it.

As for Wharton, I was not interested in anything they offered (high level terms) in terms of the program, the culture, nor the location. Therefore I did not apply. I cannot say I fully researched Wharton as much as I did the 4 schools I applied to, but one has got to draw the line somewhere when he or she looks at the 10-15 schools and try to narrow them down. I cannot spend as much time as I did on the 4 schools I applied to for all top 15 schools, otherwise I'd be broke and fired from my job (for taking too much time off). It's the sniper approach I took, narrow down and attack. :)

I do think Dosa has it right, I am in the minority and I know that. I spent the time to research even Anderson (2 visits and many students alums) and Kellogg (1 visit and student/alum), so it's not just the schools I've been to as an undergrad and grad.

The only reason I spend time making my story known is to encourage people to apply to schools for "fit" (location, programs offered, teaching method, class size, alumni behavior, collaborative vs competitive, etc...) and not just for the brand, rank, or prestige. I know that most people probably won't spend the time to learn about the fit, but to say that it doesn't exist is too much of a generalization and can mislead future applicants.

We might just have to agree to disagree on this one, and just let our comments be known to others and have them make their own decisions. :)
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2008, 05:33
kryzak wrote:
hbs.aspirant wrote:
The only reason I spend time making my story known is to encourage people to apply to schools for "fit" (location, programs offered, teaching method, class size, alumni behavior, collaborative vs competitive, etc...) and not just for the brand, rank, or prestige.


I agree that this is best decision for you, or people like you, Kry. There is a huge difference between you and people who love brand name. You are branded with "Stanford" already hence you can talk about not considering brand name.

People from "no name colleges" and "small companies" would not care much about anything except Big Name, specially after going through admission process and realizing how harmful it is for one's career to carry only "unknown names".
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2008, 05:59
Look, as I pointed out a few pages earlier on this thread, I think there are some very subtle cultural differences at play here. So there simply isn't going to be any consensus. No offense meant, but virtually everyone who is a product of an academically hypercompetitive society such as India's is going to have an "H/S/W or bust" perspective on things, just look at the ridiculous number of folks applying to IIT/IIM's - Oh, and I am not judging that to be a necessarily bad thing. That's just the way things work there, so I can see why dosa, ncp and hbs.aspirant feel so differently. Furthermore, add the visa woes several internationals face in the US, and it's just sensible for them to want to go to the "best" (i.e. highest ranked) business school quite simply because the "brand" can act as a safety net making them more attractive to large employers.

I do agree with kryzak that there is indeed something called 'fit' that matters to a lot of people - and I don't believe them to be a majority. As someone pointed out, kryzak had already spent time at UC Berkeley and Stanford (right?) so he did indeed have a much better idea of what it would take to "fit" in at those schools. Therefore he was able to make a much more pragmatic decision about where he would be happiest.

And since I'm so modest, I'll throw in my example as well, I went to Chicago for undergrad and based on my experience there and the subsequent interactions I have had GSB grads and some former adcom employees - I am convinced I would never be happy at that place. I'd much prefer places like NYU or Darden over GSB and I do intend to explore some 2nd tier schools over the next few months as well. Obviously, for someone who isn't quite looking to return to investment banking or try for Big 3 consulting, "fit" has much more significance than "brand." So in the end, it is a personal thing - but I think some folks here are discounting "fit" a little too much.
Re: H/W/S selection criteria   [#permalink] 31 Jan 2008, 05:59
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