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# Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School?

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Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2008, 13:06
I did my research on B-Schools and found out that B-Schools wants to make their class more diversified in terms of ethnicity,education etc.etc....
I have read Adcom's inteview and they all say that they compromise on acadamics and GMAT score for the sake of 'Diversity'. Don't you guys think,this is discrimination against majority.I have seen brilliant people getting rejection from good business school because they dont bring diversity to class. This is very de-motivating for people with common profile to prepare their application for B-School. I mean I just dont get the B-Schools logic of rejecting bright people because they have not so different background where the stats works in favor of them after they graduate.
Do you guys think the diversity policy ofr business school is opening their doors for discrimination law suits from Indian Male Engieer or White american with business undergrad who have been rejected ?
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2008, 13:46
1
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another Indian Male rant .... I dont want to be in a class where everyone around me looks like me, went to similar Uni's, worked at similar places and is highly book smart.

So if diversity is needed to ensure that doesnt happen then so be it!

Before anyone jumps on me ... I too am and Indian Male although not IT.

This is just part of the game - take it or leave it.

sandeepjain79 wrote:
I did my research on B-Schools and found out that B-Schools wants to make their class more diversified in terms of ethnicity,education etc.etc....
I have read Adcom's inteview and they all say that they compromise on acadamics and GMAT score for the sake of 'Diversity'. Don't you guys think,this is discrimination against majority.I have seen brilliant people getting rejection from good business school because they dont bring diversity to class. This is very de-motivating for people with common profile to prepare their application for B-School. I mean I just dont get the B-Schools logic of rejecting bright people because they have not so different background where the stats works in favor of them after they graduate.
Do you guys think the diversity policy ofr business school is opening their doors for discrimination law suits from Indian Male Engieer or White american with business undergrad who have been rejected ?

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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2008, 14:03
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Your argument is based on one seriously flawed premise: That business schools exist to serve the interests of prospective students. In fact, business schools exist to further their own interests and the interests of recruiting companies (their customers). Please do not forget this when you are applying -- your goal should be to stand out and make yourself as compelling as possible to the school.

Also, if you feel that brilliant people are getting rejected, recognize that this means they either messed up on the execution of their applications, or were less brilliant than people similar to themselves (their competition). It is impossible to measure brilliance on an absolute scale in any form (but particularly in something so subjective and random as business school admissions), so the only relevant measure is how you stack up against your direct peers.

sandeepjain79 wrote:
I did my research on B-Schools and found out that B-Schools wants to make their class more diversified in terms of ethnicity,education etc.etc....
I have read Adcom's inteview and they all say that they compromise on acadamics and GMAT score for the sake of 'Diversity'. Don't you guys think,this is discrimination against majority.I have seen brilliant people getting rejection from good business school because they dont bring diversity to class. This is very de-motivating for people with common profile to prepare their application for B-School. I mean I just dont get the B-Schools logic of rejecting bright people because they have not so different background where the stats works in favor of them after they graduate.
Do you guys think the diversity policy ofr business school is opening their doors for discrimination law suits from Indian Male Engieer or White american with business undergrad who have been rejected ?
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2008, 16:43
I agree with the previous posters. As many people have said before, many people measure "brilliance" by objective numbers (read GMAT and GPA). And these types of statistics really give you an extremely incomplete picture of a person. We all know some people that are extremely good at standardized tests, even writing essays, but still have very poor interpersonal skills, and would be horrible managers. I don't think you can justify putting these people in the top MBA programs just because they have good test scores.

Now to be fair, the OP didn't necessarily say "People with the highest stats should be admitted", but rather that many "brilliant" people are rejected for the sake of diversity, and these "brilliant" people may have great interpersonal skills, management skills, etc. But still, there has to be diversity. If you filled the a whole class with people ALL from finance, or ALL from advertising, or ALL from whatever, that particular MBA class would be very one-dimensional (the same goes for cultures). I personally would not want to be part of such a one-dimensional class, especially if everyone was like me. I want to go to B-school to learn from the finance guy from Europe, and the marketing guy from California, and so on, because I don't know much about these areas and backgrounds. And I think that's one of the most valuable things about B-school - learning from classmates of different backgrounds.

And to answer your question - no, there is no realistic possibility that business schools are setting themselves up for discrimination lawsuits. The application process is their game - we have to play by their rules.
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2008, 17:06
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Here's an example from the real world why diversity is so important.

I work for a private mid-west company (3k employees - $1b). My previous employer was one of the most diverse in the industry. However my current employer is the complete opposite. In our corporate headquarters (600 people), 95% of the people are from our state or one of two bordering states. There is 1 African American and no Hispanics. Everyone in this company thinks along the exact same lines. The company has done well regionally but national expansion has been very difficult due to the lack of diversity. Significant innovation is nonexistent as new ideas are shot down due to conservative upper management. Prior to this job I did not truly understand and appreciate diversity but now I can see and know that it is vital to the success of any organization. Also, remember that diversity does not just refer to your skin color or nationality. I consider myself diverse due to my unique and varied work experience. GMAT Club Legend Status: Um... what do you want to know? Joined: 04 Jun 2007 Posts: 5464 Location: SF, CA, USA Schools: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA 2010 WE 1: Social Gaming Followers: 73 Kudos [?]: 398 [0], given: 14 Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 12 Jul 2008, 03:37 sudden wrote: Your argument is based on one seriously flawed premise: That business schools exist to serve the interests of prospective students. I agree with the rest of your position, and also believe that diversity (not just in race or industry, but also in thought) will help students learn much better. I would have to slightly disagree with the quoted statement though. In some ways, the B-schools go for diversities in the interest of better learning in the classroom, better discussions, and of course, better recruiting (thus better rankings). So while the ultimate reason they're doing this is selfish, I would find it hard to believe that b-schools do not have any interest in serving the students. Just a thought. _________________ **************************** GMAT Club Knowledge Vault: http://gmatclub.com/forum/123 Haas Ambassador http://gmatclub.com/forum/128-t62555 Kryzak's Profile: http://gmatclub.com/forum/111-t56286 Member Essays: http://gmatclub.com/forum/103-t50969 Current Student Joined: 24 Aug 2005 Posts: 260 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 0 Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 12 Jul 2008, 11:00 Some of the public schools are legally forbidden from taking factors like race into account. So policies vary school by school. Not related to the OP, but I rarely see people complain about legacy admissions or other pref treatment because of who your parents are (i.e. CEOs, politicians, etc). Guess that's just the way the world works. Manager Joined: 31 Oct 2007 Posts: 242 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 0 Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 12 Jul 2008, 19:37 I would agree with your post. I think that many applicants fall into a common trap, however. Everyone is applying to b school because it will do something for them -- career development, personal enrichment, whatever. A lot of people seem to stop their thinking at that point, sort of like, "Well, I want to to go to b school because it will help me." And frankly, that isn't enough of a thought process for admissions, because schools don't care what is good for you unless it also happens to be good for them. I do agree that diversity helps the students. kryzak wrote: sudden wrote: Your argument is based on one seriously flawed premise: That business schools exist to serve the interests of prospective students. I agree with the rest of your position, and also believe that diversity (not just in race or industry, but also in thought) will help students learn much better. I would have to slightly disagree with the quoted statement though. In some ways, the B-schools go for diversities in the interest of better learning in the classroom, better discussions, and of course, better recruiting (thus better rankings). So while the ultimate reason they're doing this is selfish, I would find it hard to believe that b-schools do not have any interest in serving the students. Just a thought. Senior Manager Joined: 13 Jun 2007 Posts: 410 Schools: Wharton, Booth, Stern Followers: 11 Kudos [?]: 82 [0], given: 0 Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 13 Jul 2008, 06:43 cpgmba wrote: Here's an example from the real world why diversity is so important. I work for a private mid-west company (3k employees -$1b). My previous employer was one of the most diverse in the industry. However my current employer is the complete opposite. In our corporate headquarters (600 people), 95% of the people are from our state or one of two bordering states. There is 1 African American and no Hispanics. Everyone in this company thinks along the exact same lines. The company has done well regionally but national expansion has been very difficult due to the lack of diversity. Significant innovation is nonexistent as new ideas are shot down due to conservative upper management. Prior to this job I did not truly understand and appreciate diversity but now I can see and know that it is vital to the success of any organization.

Also, remember that diversity does not just refer to your skin color or nationality. I consider myself diverse due to my unique and varied work experience.

Good post, very insightful - kudos.

I also agree that diversity is important, especially in a more international world. However, we shouldn't diversify for the sake of diversifying, that would be a gross mistake. But with 35% (average) of international students, I don't think that it's going to happen.
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2008, 08:40
cpgmba wrote:
However my current employer is the complete opposite. In our corporate headquarters (600 people), 95% of the people are from our state or one of two bordering states. There is 1 African American and no Hispanics.

I disagree with you there. I don't think the presence or lack of Hispanics or African Americans has any real value in terms of diversity.

Like someone else stated, if a black guy went to the same school as you, had the same ECs, worked at the same place as you, what makes them diverse?

You could have a company full of white people that is still very diverse (Europeans, Russians, Australians, Iranians, etc).

Diversity of experiences and background is important, diversity of race isn't.

NN
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2008, 13:12
nognig wrote:
I disagree with you there. I don't think the presence or lack of Hispanics or African Americans has any real value in terms of diversity.

Like someone else stated, if a black guy went to the same school as you, had the same ECs, worked at the same place as you, what makes them diverse?

You could have a company full of white people that is still very diverse (Europeans, Russians, Australians, Iranians, etc).

Diversity of experiences and background is important, diversity of race isn't.

NN

I have to mostly disagree with you. Even if an African American or Latino went to the same school, had the same EC, and worked at the same place as you, their thought process is still VERY different from a caucasian's. I have many friends who has gone to college with me, do the same ECs, and work at the same company, but because I'm Asian and brought up by 1st gen Asian parents, and they're Caucasian and Latino, all of us approach problems completely differently just from cultural and family upbringing.

While I agree that one should NOT go for diversity for the sake of diversity, and race is NOT the only way to achieve diversity (it's the diversity of THOUGHT that matters), the reason for companies and schools going for diversity of race is because that is still an almost (I said "almost") a guaranteed way of getting two people with very different thought processes just because they were influenced by very different cultural norms.

I'm pretty sure that most schools out there will take race into account, but also look at your WE, schooling, ECs to get a "complete diversity" package. Purely race based quotas are no longer used at most b-schools (otherwise there would be a lot more disadvantaged American minorities at schools like Haas, Stanford, and UCLA, which I didn't see as many of, other than international students)
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2008, 10:26
Audio wrote:
... However, we shouldn't diversify for the sake of diversifying, that would be a gross mistake. But with 35% (average) of international students, I don't think that it's going to happen.

It depends. If around 50% of the Americans have either spent significant time abroad* or have foreign parents, then it does work, at least in % of people with international experiences.

* Excludes drinking beer for 3 months while on "semester abroad". If the semester abroad data was included, the number would approach 100%.
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2008, 14:08
kryzak wrote:
I have to mostly disagree with you. Even if an African American or Latino went to the same school, had the same EC, and worked at the same place as you, their thought process is still VERY different from a caucasian's. I have many friends who has gone to college with me, do the same ECs, and work at the same company, but because I'm Asian and brought up by 1st gen Asian parents, and they're Caucasian and Latino, all of us approach problems completely differently just from cultural and family upbringing.

I think you nailed it on the head right there "all of us approach problems completely differently just from cultural and family upbringing". Differences in race can mean differences in cultural and family upbringing, but not always.

Personally, I think the aim should be the best person for the job. If you need someone who thinks outside the box, find one, regardless of race.

I guess I'm a little jaded because I've had VPs tell me to my face "If you can find a woman or a minority, we will CREATE a job for them."

Bad way to run a company.

RF
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2008, 18:43
nognig wrote:
I guess I'm a little jaded because I've had VPs tell me to my face "If you can find a woman or a minority, we will CREATE a job for them."

Bad way to run a company.

RF

I fully agree with you on that one. I don't think one should strive for diversity for the sake of diversity alone.
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2008, 06:05
I guess I am more cynical than a lot of the people here, but I don't think that diversity even works most of the time. I'm all for it on principle, but from what I have seen in the corporate world, most of the time the people at the top are more or less homogenous. They impose their collective, homogenous values on the company, and anyone who does not fit that mould is weeded out or marginalized. I think half the battle is figuring out what the culture of your firm is and then pretending that you fit in, even if you don't. Having to "make jobs" for women and minorities or some how "reserving" spots for a particular group does not correct this problem.
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School? [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2008, 06:17
I wonder though, can we really use racial diversity as a proxy for diversity of thought? I mean, clearly, an asian person will necessarily have had a different upbringing than a caucasian, but the same is true of a poor southern caucasian as compared to a rich boarding school-educated caucasian, or asians brought up in california versus same in new york. While the benefits of diversity for its own sake are debatable, if diversity as such is a goal, then shouldn't one be focused on the degree of diversity? Should there be a diversity quotient, where american asians get, say, 2 points while asian asians get 4? What about a caucasian who was raised in asia? is he caucasian, or is he even more diverse than than the asian-born asians? more important, do we create some artificial 'center' (white male, middle class, ivy-league education (for UE b-schools)) or do we only go so far as to ensure that everyone is different?

I guess what i'm trying to say is that, while race on it's own can serve as a broad indicator of diversity of thought, it isn't going to go as far as even a simple examination of experiences will. A recruiter is not going to take a longer look at you if you are of middle-eastern descent but don't have the correct experiences/skills (or at least, I hope she won't). If the company wants a different type of thought, they probably shouldn't stump for people who have the same degrees as the people already working for them--McKinsey would be much better served by a caucasian from SIU-Carbondale than an african-american from Princeton. Race alone just isn't enough.

That said, the schools do care (probably for their admissions brochures) about racial diversity, but it seems that, outside of the sort of affirmative action-minded program that they might have in mind, that factor itself is of little value. Plus, if helping underrepresented minorities is the goal, a business school is probably the wrong place to do it, simply because one has to have already cleared several hurdles (like good college and good work experience) to get in, and those hurdles all depend on previous hurdles (like a good high school). I'll bet you that most of the UMs getting into harvard have the same yale degree as the other admits.
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Re: Is Diversity another name for reservation in B-School?   [#permalink] 15 Jul 2008, 06:17
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