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Your Blog Post - Types of People Admitted to HBS

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Your Blog Post - Types of People Admitted to HBS [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2010, 02:42
Hi Alex,

I was reading your blog post about types of people who are admitted to HBS/Wharton. You mentioned one of the types of people are students with blue chip companies on their resumes. You mainly named finance firms such as Goldman Sachs and Blackstone. However, what about tech companies? What tech companies would be in the same league as GS/BS in eyes of a top school such as HBS, besides Google/Microsoft. What about companies such as Blackberry maker Research in Motion? If you could please list a couple of companies that would be great. Thanks!
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Re: Your Blog Post - Types of People Admitted to HBS [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2010, 15:42
You really can't compare it like that.

Engineers are in a tough spot because there are so many of them that apply, and the adcoms tend to favor the banker/consultant profiles over them anyhow -- it doesn't help that a lot of engineers tend to have weaker critical thinking skills compared to the bankers/consultants because of their educational backgrounds -- those with engineering/technical backgrounds may be great at math and analytical tasks (giving them an advantage on the GMAT quant), but quite a number at the same time simply have a harder time structuring their communication around subjective things like goals, perspectives, opinions, tradeoffs, ambiguous choices, etc in as dynamic or compelling a way as many bankers/consultants (who tend to have social science/liberal arts backgrounds and who simply have had more college-level and above exposure to these things - not to mention their work experience). And given that the b-school application process aside from the GMAT is focused on one's critical thinking skills, imagination, ability to communicate/persuade, etc (essays, rec letters, interview), it tends to put those without a college level liberal arts/social sciences background at a sizable disadvantage.

In short, those with engineering backgrounds who tend to do better in the b-school admissions process are those who went to top engineering schools (MIT, CalTech, Stanford, Cal, IIT, etc.) and rather than go the standard engineering route - decided to work for McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, etc -- jobs that while they aren't as analytically or technically intensive as say working as an engineer at NASA's jet propulsion labs or as some hardcore technical guru at Google -- are more demanding in terms of critical thinking skills (i.e. in plain English, a lot more non-technical persuasive writing/speaking to clients).
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Re: Your Blog Post - Types of People Admitted to HBS [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2010, 14:09
Thank you for your thorough response Alex. In terms of tech positions i was more referring to positions such as a product manager. For example, how would an associate as a product manager at Google/facebook be perceived?
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Re: Your Blog Post - Types of People Admitted to HBS [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2010, 18:04
You can't just isolate a data point like that and apply it categorically.

It really depends on the engineer. It becomes very apparent in the essays, rec letters and interviews how closely they exhibit the socially inept engineer or the "really dynamic individual" who happens to be an engineer - they could have the exact same resume (same employers/job titles).
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Re: Your Blog Post - Types of People Admitted to HBS   [#permalink] 11 Jan 2010, 18:04
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