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Intern
Joined: 25 Apr 2010
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21 Oct 2010, 13:19
Has anyone heard of adcoms checking candidate's facebook or posts on gmatclub?
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21 Oct 2010, 13:29
No, did not hear about anyone doing research but does not mean it is not happening.

It is not easily impossible (without spending quite a bit of time) to identify your profile on GMAT Club unless your nickname is your FirstName_LastName or your email ID, which in either case should not be used on the internet in general....
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21 Oct 2010, 13:36
I have heard of this, we all know potential employers do it (FB, at least). Recently I saw a MBA admissions consultant offer a "social network inventory" on you to see what is available online.

Either way everyone should make their profile at least private.

In Bloomberg last week they have an article where they said employers will hire one or two people to friend you and they will get your info that way.

Do they check Gmat club posts? I don't think that matters, how would they know who we are?

All in all, I think you one should be careful of who their friends are, I don't accept people I don't know personally.
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21 Oct 2010, 13:43
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It's not that hard. Consider that people often have three numbers associated with them: Quant, Verbal, GPA, especially if they include to the hundredths.

If you add in geography, which many people include, and school (or school type)... well, you've narrowed the field down a lot. If you have your gender up (or if it's easily identifiable), narrows it some more both from a when you graduated experience (# years experience) and field.

At this point, some people could be identified. Then add in work experience, even if it's general, and that narrows the field down more.

And that's all just from a quick glance at the profile. If someone bothered to read your posts, they may narrow it down even more.

Of course, one has to wonder why they'd bother do that. I think the only time they'd bother is when someone is talking about something egregious. For example, people talking about lying about ethnicity, LGBT status, cheating on their essays, etc.

I recall hearing something in the law school context a few years back about a guy who claimed to be Hispanic on his applications despite being white, posted that he did that on one of those message boards, then a school he applied to matched him and not only didn't offer admission but notified his other schools. I may have gotten the details wrong, but it was something like that.

In reality, for most folks, even jerks, they probably won't waste their time. They're super busy, they already spend a lot of time reviewing files, and the payoff isn't large. If they matched me to my application, what would they really gain except that I put some of my anxious energy into posting about business applications? That doesn't help them.
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21 Oct 2010, 14:02
^^^ IMO what you just described while doable is actually not easy at all. Thats quite a bit of work to dig into ones profile.
Also lets not forget that it's all based on the assumption that what is in ones profile is true.
There's too many "maybes" for anyone to narrow it down without something overt, like first_last name. Even then, it's not concrete evidence.

Either way, I agree that no ad com would ever look into any app that deeply. Perhaps if they were tipped off about a liar who said they got in to Columbia and were linked to evidence they may try to dig deeper on the credential verification assuming identification was even possible. Another big MAYBE.

Can I just call up a school and raise question about any random admit?
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21 Oct 2010, 14:11
Someone asked this question at the MIT information session I attended. The admissions officer said that only if it was included on the application as a link they'd check it. She indicated that there just wasn't enough time throughout the round to be looking people up as they read and discussed the application.
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21 Oct 2010, 15:58
I did a google search for my name and made sure to go through all the search results just to be safe. I'm amazed at how much information is out there and readily available. Google showed up things such as comments on blog posts, results of various charity runs, college club listings, etc. My name even showed up on some blog where a fraternity member from college posted a college party invitation email on which I was included.

Although I seriously doubt that the admissions committee would go through the trouble of doing such checks. Thats the whole point of having interviews. Thats where they get to look at the person behind the keyboard.
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21 Oct 2010, 16:47
^^ I second that.
I seriously doubt that adcom would spend time checking up candidates on forums.
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21 Oct 2010, 16:53
Some adcoms read forums but I doubt that is going to hurt you too much. This place is pretty well in control and people generally dont post anything that would hurt their chances. My take on adcoms researching applicants is that there are 5k people applying for 500 positions. There is no way they have the resources to check everyone's facebook...even if they want to check those 500 admits that still a bunch of work and I think most people are pretty smart about their settings these days.

However, companies who are hiring a handful of people definitely might put the effort into checking up on you. You are going to be a pretty big investment for a lot of companies, its worth doing their due dilligence ahead of time before giving you a 100k salary and giving one of only a small number of slots to you.
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22 Oct 2010, 07:57
A couple of us GMATClubbers asked one of the top admissions people at Booth during an event there. She said she hasn't seen GMATClub and that admissions tend to not get involved in online applicant forums, because they want candidates to have a safe place to discuss programs, ask questions and vent.

I am sure that a school's network is big enough to notice if a cheater is bragging about cheating, and that could be brought to the attention of admissions, but I doubt anyone goes through the trouble of scouting every candidate for their relatively anonymous online activity. If you are still worried, just make sure your name on google/facebook/linkedin/twitter doesn't bring up something compromising.
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22 Oct 2010, 09:23
I m not sure they do. But even if they search us on the forums and Facebook, I consider it to be a positive for us. It means that the application has impacted them.

I have been true to my identity in the forums and social networking site, so I won't mind if they search my name. I would be glad if they truly evaluate me.

It's my personal opinion that it really does not matter whether you crack top b school or not, the only thing matters is - the school suits you and you suit the school.
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23 Oct 2010, 04:54
Haha, I couldn't help but imagine some secretive members of gmatclub that post in the "calling x school applicants" thread could be adcoms in disguise giving weird suggestions to correlate applicant name with gmatclub usernames. I spend quite a bit of my own time reading the forum and I tell you that it's a lot of effort to remember a user that you don't know personally. If you will set up a database just not to forget some user's posts, that takes even greater time. I agree is doable, but I think it's too much effort to actually be implemented.

If you don't want to be recognized, you have settings in facebook and may opt not to use linkedin (you can easily google it).

Also, it's better to resist the temptation of saying stupid things while being anonymous. If you communicate in forums the same way you would do face to face, then you don't have to worry about somebody looking over your shoulder and coming back later to haunt you for what you wrote.
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23 Oct 2010, 04:59
cano wrote:
Haha, I couldn't help but imagine some secretive members of gmatclub that post in the "calling x school applicants" thread could be adcoms in disguise giving weird suggestions to correlate applicant name with gmatclub usernames. I spend quite a bit of my own time reading the forum and I tell you that it's a lot of effort to remember a user that you don't know personally. If you will set up a database just not to forget some user's posts, that takes even greater time. I agree is doable, but I think it's too much effort to actually be implemented.

If you don't want to be recognized, you have settings in facebook and may opt not to use linkedin (you can easily google it).

Also, it's better to resist the temptation of saying stupid things while being anonymous. If you communicate in forums the same way you would do face to face, then you don't have to worry about somebody looking over your shoulder and coming back later to haunt you for what you wrote.

exactly !! I think it's good to be evaluated from multiple sources. Probability of having good chances increases.
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23 Oct 2010, 10:03
^^^ but they could decrease too. What if there is a picture of you in a Metallica shirt and the adcom hates heavy metal? Thats a silly example but more info wont always help.
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23 Oct 2010, 20:11
From working in the online industry over the past x years (ha!, can't write in the exact #... in case they are monitoring this one), there are a lot of tools out there. I work with clients and set up extensive reputation management and brand awareness tools including google alerts and http://www.boardtracker.com/. It's easier than you guys think for a school to quickly parse through mountains of data and get daily reports of all admissions related gossip about their process, interview, etc.

That said though, I really couldn't see adcoms spending time to try to match up user names to applicants. They're already super busy, this just doesn't seem like a good spend of their time.
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23 Oct 2010, 21:34
It might be a little late for much change for those applying right now, but for those planning on applying in the future I don't think it is a bad thing to "brand" your online presence. I own my own company about a year ago began making sure that (1) all of the page 1 Google listings on page for my company's name was either directly controlled by me, or at least positive, and (2) to the best that I can, I get as many listings in Google for searches for my name that I can (a famous person has the same name as me so he has #1, but I do have several page 1 listings that I control/manage.

Even if you have already applied, think about your future employers as well. It is never too late to brand your online presence I don't think.

thisguy310 wrote:
From working in the online industry over the past x years (ha!, can't write in the exact #... in case they are monitoring this one), there are a lot of tools out there. I work with clients and set up extensive reputation management and brand awareness tools including google alerts and http://www.boardtracker.com/. It's easier than you guys think for a school to quickly parse through mountains of data and get daily reports of all admissions related gossip about their process, interview, etc.

That said though, I really couldn't see adcoms spending time to try to match up user names to applicants. They're already super busy, this just doesn't seem like a good spend of their time.
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