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Pooling applicant types together

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Are applicants pooled and subpooled, how much or not at all?

  • 11% [1]
  • 66% [6]
  • 11% [1]
  • 11% [1]
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Pooling applicant types together [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 21:47
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Hi Gmatclubbers,

How's everyone doing? I've got a question that I haven't found explicitly addressed in the forums (more likely, it has been discussed previously, but perhaps not with the granularity that it could be). Either way, I think we've all skirted around the edges of this topic without necessarily making a thread for it (I could be wrong!), so we could talk about it here.

Do admissions commitees pool together different applicant types? I mean, going beyond the usual "banker/consultant/corporate/other" groups, do they silo groups of people by similar demographics and traits, and then make a selection within a selection?

Ie) do they say: "right, here are all the US-educated investment bankers who made associate, there are all the US-educated investment bankers who are applying as analysts, there are all the US-educated investment bankers who joined a hedge fund or private equity firm, there are all the foreign-educated foreign investment bankers who... etc etc", or is there just a lump group of "finance folks"?

Similarly, do they say "here are all the applicants who have excellent academic records, but haven't seemed to have done much at work; here are all the junior applicants, here are all the guys with low GPAs, there are all the guys with low GMATs, etc" and make separate pools?

It seems like the push to have a diverse class of varying individual strengths and weaknesses (well, none of them want weaknesses) would mean that they have a "rough" sense of allocation of how many they want (60 per cent blue-chip winners, 20 per cent adventurous nutcases, 10 per cent saints, 10 per cent beauties with warts - just one improvised example). How actively and CONSCIOUSLY do they divvy up the applicant pool, and then make a selection within the pool? Ie) so we got 100 interesting non-profit folks but we don't want more than 25 in the program, so let's see, which ones do we like the most? or is it instead "we've got 800 spots, we expect a 70 per cent yield, lets accept the best 1150 or so applicants, no matter what their background is?".

Naturally, different schools will have different practices, but if anyone has any insight on both general practices and specifics, then they're certainly invited to participate :) Ultimately, the idea is: are you competing against the entire applicant pool, or are you really competing against the applicants who most closely share your profile?

Thoughts anyone? I apologize if this seems controversial or incendiary, and I know that admissions is very much a black box (that probably doesn't tell you much even in the event of a crash), but I suspect that a lot of people would want to know this. If the topic is inappropriate, I'll delete the thread.

Last edited by osbornecox on 19 May 2010, 22:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pooling applicant types together [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 22:20
It's really difficult to say whether grouping and sub-grouping happens or not.

But, I'd venture to say that grouping the applicants into 'consultants', 'finance guys', 'stellar academics' will not work from an admissions perspective. There are so many differences between a guy who belongs to country A( culture A, background A, education A etc) but works the same job as a guy who belongs to country B( culture B, background B, education B etc). I think, the adcom, after reading the essays along with the application material, gets a general impression of the candidate and if the experiences are like most of the applicants' then the 'grouping' factor you talked about comes into effect.

This is where, I believe, the essays come in. The essays decide whether you will be part of a group or a cut above.

That said, I think 'grouping', on the basis of background, career focus and interests, does happen to some extent, especially at the initial stages. But during the later stages ,the quality and the depth of the experiences will take precedence and decide the break-up of 90% of the clas
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Re: Pooling applicant types together [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 22:32
unplugged wrote:
It's really difficult to say whether grouping and sub-grouping happens or not.

But, I'd venture to say that grouping the applicants into 'consultants', 'finance guys', 'stellar academics' will not work from an admissions perspective. There are so many differences between a guy who belongs to country A( culture A, background A, education A etc) but works the same job as a guy who belongs to country B( culture B, background B, education B etc). I think, the adcom, after reading the essays along with the application material, gets a general impression of the candidate and if the experiences are like most of the applicants' then the 'grouping' factor you talked about comes into effect.

This is where, I believe, the essays come in. The essays decide whether you will be part of a group or a cut above.

That said, I think 'grouping', on the basis of background, career focus and interests, does happen to some extent, especially at the initial stages. But during the later stages ,the quality and the depth of the experiences will take precedence and decide the break-up of 90% of the clas


Thanks, I think that is an astute comment and well-reasoned.

It makes sense to think that the essays are the OPPORTUNITY to differentiate yourself; if your essays don't pull that off, you'll almost by definition "blur back into the crowd".
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Re: Pooling applicant types together [#permalink] New post 26 May 2010, 23:09
Anyone interested in voting or voicing a view?
Re: Pooling applicant types together   [#permalink] 26 May 2010, 23:09
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