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H/W/S selection criteria

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H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 13:16
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obviously the first answer that you'll get is, "Well, GMAT itself means diddly-squat !!". But I think your question is deeper than that. Let me try to elaborate on your question (Please correct me if I am taking a different direction):

If one has fairly good experiences, great scores and good leadership skills, what can (s)he do to show that extra "spark" that H/S need (Without starting up companies, saving africa from starvation or finding the cure for cancer. How many MBA applicants have this kind of a background anyway?).

I read some posts by a girl (Intentionally not giving more details about her) who got selected in Stanford. Her sentence-formation and reasoning skills seemed quite ordinary to me (Although I do realize that people are not at their best when chatting on forums .. but I believe that your quality still shows). Without disrespecting her, I started wondering what kind of qualities she possessed that the school wanted her more than a lot of very strong profiles that we saw on GMATClub. I am not trying to diss her. I am just trying to find out in what areas I need to improve to be wanted by H/S.

ps. You may want to post this in the "The B-School Application" section also as a lot more applicants might have things to say and ask in this regard.


Found this old post from mNeo in another forum. I though it's a good idea to ask some people now what they think kept them out or got them in at H/W/S. I do want to share some of my thoughts:

I have personally known some people of this forum, great guys, great profiles, no admission to their dream schools. Were the dreams unrealistic? I don't think so. I do not understand what keeps them out. Adding to what mNeo mentioned about the girl at Stanford, here is one more piece of info: A GMATCLUB profile was assessed by one famous consultant (and I trust them) 2 years back to try for a school ranked beyond 25 in BW. The profile was written in detail. Guess where did that person go? Boston. No, not BU, but HBS.

Praet, can I share the profile evaluation link with others?
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 13:40
Along the same lines.... I submitted my profile twice. The first time I got back a "Georgetown might be a good choice", the second time I got back a "I wouldn't be surprised if you ended up at HBS" (or some such similar wording). Clearly, its all about marketing yourself and presenting the right message.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 14:18
hbs, let me share my experiences with HSW with respect to Indians (mostly IITians) based on my discussion with my friends in those schools.

guy 1: IIT - McK and then corporate strategy in Europe. He got into H S and dinged at W. 780 GMAT and he has solid extra curriculars. So, he does not have any 'out of the world' experiences but just solid experiences all the way through.
guy 2: IIT and in R1, he was rejected in all his schools. R2, apped to S and a couple more, got into S. Again, solid experiences, nothing spectacular.
guy 3: IIT, worked in the US for a financial services firm, went back to India to start a non-profit and got into H.
guy 4: IIT, worked in the US for a financial services firm, HBS
Girl 1: UG in India and a top school in Europe. Experience in big-3 MC and now at HBS.

So I dont think there is a magic formula to get into HS but I believe that 'solid' experiences with some good Ec's will atleast get your app a look. Or, you need to do something 'out' there. Especially Indians- every desi applicant I know throws in an app to H or W, sort of like a hail mary. I also tend to believe to some extent that pedigree matters to those schools.

Having said that, while I am not saying that it is easy to get into HBS but it is not as difficult as the stats seem to indicate just because of the hail mary's.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 14:32
dosa_don wrote:

Or, you need to do something 'out' there.

I also tend to believe to some extent that pedigree matters to those schools.



I agree.

dosa_don wrote:

Having said that, while I am not saying that it is easy to get into HBS but it is not as difficult as the stats seem to indicate just because of the hail mary's.



It is not difficult if you have the right profile, and perhaps that is the answer. So we can assume that "no name colleges" and "small companies" are almost automatic ding, and your examples support this statement.

Last edited by hbs.aspirant on 22 Jan 2008, 14:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 14:33
I was advised against applying to Kellogg by one of a very well-known admission consultants here, and my potential for admission to Ross was rated as a "maybe."

I think highly of this particular consultant and value his opinion. In fact, his book helped me write persuasive essays and prepare the best application I possibly could. But what I have learned during the long application process is that essays play a very important role in one's application package. You have to know how to sell your distinct qualities and experiences and how to cover up your weaknesses.

I was admitted to both Kellogg and Ross.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 14:35
Aahh .. I remember that Stanford girl's posts. From where did you find out this post, hbs.aspirant?

I talked to a lot of IITians (Most from my alma-mater -- Hoping to get some pointers from them about the app process) who got into H/S. One thing that I found common in all of them was that they were all from very reputed management consultancy / hedge fund / investment banking firms. Dosa, your examples kinda confirm the same.

I don't think this is going to help 2009 applicants .. but if you are planning to apply in a few years, and if you are an Indian (Unfortunately, if you are not an IITian, then things are a bit more difficult for you), then maybe you should consider joining a reputed firm. During the adcom presentation in my H visit, the adcom representative asked all of us about our jobs. People said "Software", "Manufacturing", "Marketing" etc .. but the only person who got a response like, "Interesting, which one?" from the adcom was someone who works in a "Hedge fund". By the time I submitted my H application, I was pretty sure that my experience in telecom startups is not valued that much by H. Perhaps understandably so. Perhaps it is very difficult for the schools to judge how well you've done and how impressive your achievements are if you have worked in companies that they have no idea about. Afterall, there are startups that are highly selective and there are startups that don't even interview you before sending an offer letter. How do the schools differentiate?
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 14:48
mNeo wrote:
Aahh .. I remember that Stanford girl's posts. From where did you find out this post, hbs.aspirant?



With no apps to work on, I am trying to absorb all the information I can, and prepare myself for the next app season.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 14:49
I agree with dosa and mNeo.

The folks who get into HBS and Stan, not so much W, invariably have a lot of pedigree - academic, professional or both. You dont have to have saved dying children in the sahara, but need to have solid XCs. Additionally, if you are Indian, then unless you studied at IIT, your chances are dim. If you are from IT, your chances are worse. Even if you work very hard on your essays, as nervous says, chances are the guy/gal from IIT/McK will have worked harder than you. After all, thats the work ethic that got him into IIT in the 1st place. Granted, there are those desi-Indians who dont study at IIT and come from McK/Bain/BCG, but still get attention from H and S. But they generally have something out of the world like an olympic medal or a guiness record etc.

Having said that, I am not sure one can fault the schools. Its not that schools want to pick only pedigreed folks. Its just that given a significantly large pool of stellar candidates to choose from, its an easier decision to pick someone with pedigree.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 14:59
To add to this conversation- a lot of my friends who are working in pretty reputable/blue chip companies, dont even consider applying to schools lower than the top 5-7. This just increases the pool for the big schools to pick from.

One of the guys I wrote about (guy1 in my previous post) told me to apply to H just because he thought my current company( a pretty big financial services firm) and the IIT tag would carry enough weight for my app to be considered seriously.

of the holy trinity- I think W is the most 'friendly' towards us :)
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 15:05
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But they generally have something out of the world like an olympic medal or a guiness record etc


OK, on second thoughts, scratch that comment about olympic medal. Since when did we start winning medals in the olympic. Those are even rarer than a H admit for a Male Indian IT :lol:
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 15:08
haha...thats a good point :)

ncprasad wrote:
Quote:
But they generally have something out of the world like an olympic medal or a guiness record etc


OK, on second thoughts, scratch that comment about olympic medal. Since when did we start winning medals in the olympic. Those are even rarer than a H admit for a Male Indian IT :lol:
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 15:16
ncprasad wrote:
Since when did we start winning medals in the olympic. Those are even rarer than a H admit


Lol .. yeah .. very true ! :lol:
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 15:30
It's a smart gamble to think about applying to a school with an annual intake of between 600 to 800 students if your profile falls within the class averages. Surely not everyone of those 600 to 800 students has started up companies, saved Africa from starvation or found a cure for cancer.

dosa_don wrote:
Especially Indians- every desi applicant I know throws in an app to H or W, sort of like a hail mary.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 15:33
Interesting discussion. I, for one, have always worked at small firms and I have read comments from admission consultants that working at a big name firm will help your chance of getting in top schools.

To that end, I did not apply to H or S, but I did to W. I certainly try very hard to show the adcom that the small firm I worked for has many big-named clients. All my professional stories are about working with those clients. I hope that my strategy will pay off...
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 15:37
I am not sure if it is a smart gamble. They do take 600-800 students but they attract 7000+ applicants. Of these, I would have to say Indians would probably be the largest demographic (I dont know, but guessing about even 1000 of these would be Indians?). So your odds are probably significantly lower, say 5% acceptance rate? (I think desis make up ~5% at HW). And then you count of those there will be a few who started up companies, saved Africa from starvation or found a cure for cancer. :) So our chances would be that much lower.



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solaris1 wrote:
It's a smart gamble to think about applying to a school with an annual intake of between 600 to 800 students if your profile falls within the class averages. Surely not everyone of those 600 to 800 students has started up companies, saved Africa from starvation or found a cure for cancer.

dosa_don wrote:
Especially Indians- every desi applicant I know throws in an app to H or W, sort of like a hail mary.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 15:38
That's not neccessarily true. Consider that every school has a soft quota to preserve diversity. Therefore, you are only looking at 20 seats or so for Indians and may be a little higher for US citizens. In reality, your ethnicity will mean that you are competing not for 500 or 600 seats, but for 20 or 30 seats. So, if you come from a crowded applicant pool, say 1000 desis apply to H, your admit rates are SIGNIFICANTLY lower than the advertised 12%-14%.

But, this doesnt mean one shouldn't apply to H or S. I applied too, but quickly chalked that app as a ding right after I hit submit.

solaris1 wrote:
It's a smart gamble to think about applying to a school with an annual intake of between 600 to 800 students if your profile falls within the class averages. Surely not everyone of those 600 to 800 students has started up companies, saved Africa from starvation or found a cure for cancer.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 16:50
hbs.aspirant wrote:
mNeo wrote:
obviously the first answer that you'll get is, "Well, GMAT itself means diddly-squat !!". But I think your question is deeper than that. Let me try to elaborate on your question (Please correct me if I am taking a different direction):

If one has fairly good experiences, great scores and good leadership skills, what can (s)he do to show that extra "spark" that H/S need (Without starting up companies, saving africa from starvation or finding the cure for cancer. How many MBA applicants have this kind of a background anyway?).

I read some posts by a girl (Intentionally not giving more details about her) who got selected in Stanford. Her sentence-formation and reasoning skills seemed quite ordinary to me (Although I do realize that people are not at their best when chatting on forums .. but I believe that your quality still shows). Without disrespecting her, I started wondering what kind of qualities she possessed that the school wanted her more than a lot of very strong profiles that we saw on GMATClub. I am not trying to diss her. I am just trying to find out in what areas I need to improve to be wanted by H/S.

ps. You may want to post this in the "The B-School Application" section also as a lot more applicants might have things to say and ask in this regard.


Found this old post from mNeo in another forum. I though it's a good idea to ask some people now what they think kept them out or got them in at H/W/S. I do want to share some of my thoughts:

I have personally known some people of this forum, great guys, great profiles, no admission to their dream schools. Were the dreams unrealistic? I don't think so. I do not understand what keeps them out. Adding to what mNeo mentioned about the girl at Stanford, here is one more piece of info: A GMATCLUB profile was assessed by one famous consultant (and I trust them) 2 years back to try for a school ranked beyond 25 in BW. The profile was written in detail. Guess where did that person go? Boston. No, not BU, but HBS.

Praet, can I share the profile evaluation link with others?


hbs_aspirant,

You may share the profile, but I am not surprised by your friends experience. I do not want any of you to make any major decisions based on what consultants or what anyone else says. Use the information as a guide and do not be encouraged or discouraged by it.

thanks
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 17:11
bkk145 wrote:
Interesting discussion. I, for one, have always worked at small firms and I have read comments from admission consultants that working at a big name firm will help your chance of getting in top schools.

To that end, I did not apply to H or S, but I did to W. I certainly try very hard to show the adcom that the small firm I worked for has many big-named clients. All my professional stories are about working with those clients. I hope that my strategy will pay off...


The whole "big name firms get you into H/S/W" thing is a total selection bias interpretation. The reason that many big name firm applicants get in is because the McK, BCG, and Bains of the world have already done a round of culling for the types of things that business schools are interested in. I bet if you took the list of people who were given offers at McK/BCG/Bain (and did something else interesting) and later applied to H/S/W it would be a very similar admit rate.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 17:38
i am determined to get where i want to in life, hire a dozen or so H/S grads and then fire them like dogs :) my own brand of sweet retribution for H/S doubting my abilities and drive. i am kidding. but that would be fun to do :)
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 17:48
pandeyrav wrote:
hire a dozen or so H/S grads and then fire them like dogs :)
. i am kidding. but that would be fun to do :)


I believe in general people use "I am kidding" to say things that they do not have enough courage to say seriously but are inside them.

We are talking about the highest reputed educational institutions. Graceful discussions are fine but your statement is not appropriate, even while kidding.
Re: H/W/S selection criteria   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2008, 17:48
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