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Collection of valuable content from Stanford class of 2017 discussion!

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Collection of valuable content from Stanford class of 2017 discussion! [#permalink]

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GMAT Club’s Best of the Best
Collection of Important Posts from Stanford Class of 2017 MBA Applicants’ discussion.




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GMAT Club’s MBA Resources
All MBA Rankings
All MBA Deadlines
All School Stats
Live Chats with Adcoms of leading B-Schools
Application Experiences of Applicants
MBA Admission Consultant Reviews – 2015
2015 MBA Applicants’ Profiles
MBA Applicant Blogs
Current Student Blogs

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Stanford Class of 2017: GMAT Club Application Stats


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“Though there are certainly some applicants who have connections and strong professional cables into Stanford, I would disagree that the interview does not matter. In my practice, I have seen clients with no such special connections do well in the interview and convert. The interview is where you win your seat with passion and depth vs generalities. By the way, that does not mean that only clear extroverts make a solid impression--some folks are understated, but their humility and scientific/inquisitive demeanor enhance their admirable record. My advice after helping folks for 10 years is to ignore the type of fatalistic comment in question. Many folks have great scores/grades, and some folks have had too much help on their essays. But there is no hiding in the interview. You can certainly practice for it, and for most candidates I believe it matters.”
- PrepMBA, Admission Consultant

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Applicant | Application | School Info

In for R1!

Thought I'd share the key takeaways from my Stanford GSB research.

- Innovation and risk-taking
- More similar to MIT Sloan [from my shortlist], i.e. technical/scientific and more entrepreneurial
- Collaborative instead of competitive
- Focus on leadership and experiential learning, students like to share feedback
- Small class and squad (5-6 people) size
- Grade non-disclosure policy
- Maybe more targeted at older candidates?
- Class of 2015: 7,108 applicants, 406 matriculating = 5.7% success rate! More stats here: http://topdogmba.com/2014/06/19/165/

This is from discussions with adcoms, professors, support staff, current students, alums and admission consultants. It is not complete, I may have put my own spin on things (linked to my specific interests) and some stuff may well have changed, but I'm hoping to spark a bit of debate and hopefully help your applications too. - TopDogMBA

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Applicant | Essays

AVOID SOME ASPECTS OF INFORMAL ENGLISH WHEN WRITING THAT APPLICATION ESSAY!!!

  • don't (do not!) use contractions (e.g. it's, he'll, it'd etc): always use the full form (it is/has, he will, it would/had).
  • don't use colloquial language or slang (e.g. kid, a lot of/lots of, cool) always write as concisely as you can, with no irrelevant material or “waffle”.
  • generally avoid "phrasal verbs" (e.g. get off, get away with, put in etc): instead, use one word equivalents.
  • avoid common but vague words and phrases such as get, nice, thing. Your writing needs to be more precise.
  • avoid overuse of brackets; don’t use exclamation marks or dashes; avoid direct questions; don’t use “etc”.
  • always use capital letters appropriately and never use the type of language used in texting!
- virtualwriter

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Applicant | Admission Tips

sky65536 wrote:
I am curious how important these items are to Stanford Adcoms by rank: resume, essays, application form, recommendation, GMAT, GPA (and content of transcript). Any opinion, guys?


I'm an applicant myself, and definitely no expert on this, but I'm not so sure it's a rank thing - I guess that the overall profile it's what matters, and all elements should lead to that.

Resume and essays should definitely be polished as best as possible; GPA - it's probably too late to do anything about it anyway, and a good GMAT means you're ready to tackle the academic level... but I doubt a good GMAT can differentiate too much, as many people bring good GMAT scores, especially at a school like Stanford. - 123MBAme


I think that it is never that straightforward. They always look at the entire package, but I think here is how it works (at least this is my impression of the process):
1. They use GMAT scores and geographic locations to put people into buckets;
2. After they have their buckets organized they break them down into smaller "sub-buckets" based on industry and work experience;
3. If there is not enough prestige in your work experience, they might look for it in your academic background and GPA or extra-curriculars;
4. They want to know WHY you need an MBA. So they will read your essays. Your chances will be affected negatively if you have prestige everywhere, such as MBB consulting, HYP undergrad, but come off as an immature individual in your essays. And on the contrary, if you don't have prestige in your experience or education but have a unique story to tell, your chances will be boosted;
5. Recommendations are there for QA purposes. - omegakappa

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Applicant | Essays

AylaSmith wrote:
secondtimesthecharm wrote:
How far back are you all going on the Professional Experience section of the application? I have had a job since I was 14, but I'm obviously not planning to go back that far. Maybe start with jobs while in college?


I'm in a similar situation, and I've approached it by picking out those jobs that are relevant for the story I'm telling in my application. The rest, that I did "just to make money" I didn't include (also not on my resume) since they're not things I absolutely want the adcom to know about (apart from the fact that I've always had jobs because I had to work myself through college, but you can already indicate that elsewhere).

Only thing I'm thinking is there will be a lot of repetition on my resume and the application form but I don't think there's a away around that...

I agree. I only included positions/jobs which are coherent with the overall story I talked about in the essays. For instance, I did 2 internships before my first real job after college, but didn't include those as the application was already pretty long, and they didn't add much value. I also tried as much as possible to avoid repeating the very same bullet points on the resume, and briefly add some further interesting and coherent stories on "accomplishment"/"challenges". - NandoParrado


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Applicant

bml1105 wrote:
I'm starting to feel impatient, despite the deadline still being a few days away. I want to know when they'll start sending out interview invitations. At least with Harvard, I have dates to look forward to/dread.


Try not to go too crazy! Last year I applied to only Stanford and Berkeley (my two dream schools), knowing that if I didn't get in I'd apply again this year and add a few other schools to my list. I didn't get in, so here I am again.

Last year I was incredibly stressed by the process - not by the application process, but by the waiting for an answer, hoping for an interview, etc. I'm not normally a high-stress person, so I was surprised by how much it affected me. I guess it's because we normally have a bit more control over the things we care about, and in this process, once the application is submitted, we literally have no control over whether or not we're invited to interview.

This year, I'm determined to stay sane and remind myself that there's no use in checking the blog every 10 minutes to see who was invited/accepted or stressing over things I have no control over. Also, I plan to do a lot more yoga!

Probably way more than you needed or wanted to know about me, but I thought I'd throw this out there in case it helps someone stay in perspective.

That said, I still have one more essay to write...lol! - secondtimesthecharm

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Admission Consultant | Interview

Though there are certainly some applicants who have connections and strong professional cables into Stanford, I would disagree that the interview does not matter. In my practice, I have seen clients with no such special connections do well in the interview and convert. The interview is where you win your seat with passion and depth vs generalities. By the way, that does not mean that only clear extroverts make a solid impression--some folks are understated, but their humility and scientific/inquisitive demeanor enhance their admirable record. My advice after helping folks for 10 years is to ignore the type of fatalistic comment in question. Many folks have great scores/grades, and some folks have had too much help on their essays. But there is no hiding in the interview. You can certainly practice for it, and for most candidates I believe it matters. - PrepMBA

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Applicant | Support Letters

vtitiun wrote:
Wow, next month is going to be loooong!

Has anyone had any support letters sent? Do you think it adds?

I've heard Stanford doesn't like to receive them after the application deadline, so I'm not sure if I should push for that to happen!


I had one sent a day after the application deadline and the person who submit it received a reply from one of the guys at admissions saying that he would do his best to attach the support letter to the application, but that they had already started distributing them for review so he couldn't ensure anything. At no point did he complain for receiving the support letter :) I think one support letter or at most two add, because they are further proof of cultural fit with the university, but they have to provide further insight into why you should be accepted. If the support letters don't offer any new information of why you are a good candidate it won't do anything for you, and if you get too many sent they might think you are considering the process a "popularity contest" and that could harm you.

In any case, considering that it's already a month into the process, I would suggest you wait till interview invitations are sent, and if you get one ask for support letters to get an edge over other interviewees. With regards to getting an interview invitation, I don't think a support letter would do much this far in. That's my humble opinion. - LexLuthor

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Applicant | Admission Consultant | Support Letters | Recommendation Letters

bml1105 wrote:
Maybe I'm naive or poorly connected, but, unless it's someone major, what differentiates a "support letter" from a regular "letter of recommendation"?


Recommendations should come from direct supervisors or in Stanford's case a peer as well that has worked with you closely an can attest to your performance and leadership skills, among others. Support letters are usually sent by alumni of the school you are applying to and are meant to bear witness of your fit with the school in terms of culture. Stanford and Harvard don't give too much relevance (if any) to support letters, because they are confident that their formal processes are capable of identifying every aspect they want to know about you. Yet schools such as Chicago and Duke, among others, go as far as having formal webpages for alumni to upload support letters for applicants.

I was told to try to get a support letter for Stanford because in the worse case it wouldn't do anything but it wouldn't harm the application in any way. On HBS on the other hand a support letter could harm an application considering that Dee has been explicit in that she does not want to give any advantage to applicants who know alumni to make the process fair. - LexLuthor

Yes, this issue of support letters comes up every season. LORs are generally from direct bosses and superiors and are written in response to specific prompts. Support letters are extra letters outside of the formal application process, and are generally submitted after your app is in, and your case has an ID/file #. An applicant (or applicant's family) may know an alum or faculty member at a given school, and the idea is that this person of influence will send an email/letter or make a phone call to the person he or she has the most influence with at a given school. Many people do not have this type of connection, but some do, and of course these letters are more impactful if the writer has a real relationship over time with the applicant. If it's clear there is no real relationship, then the letter will likely mean nothing unless the writer is a VIP. And I hate to say it, but there is no pure meritocracy, and having a person who donates millions write a support letter can matter.

From my consulting practice, I have seen support letters sent by the Prime Minster of Russia, a top 10 financier, and other luminaries. Many of you will be happy to know that the applicant was not always accepted, especially if they had borderline credentials.

I will say that Stanford deals with this type of pressure well. I had a client who tried to get a separate lunch with Derrick outside of the normal process at the request of a VIP. Derrick basically said sure, but if I take the lunch, then I will have to recuse myself from your application. So, much of this muscling does not ultimately do much. But, let's get real, some folks do get an extra hard look based on influence, and sometimes that influence comes from a direct LOR. - PrepMBA

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Applicant | Interview Invitations

Just got this update:

Quote:
Dear bml1105, Here are some of the questions we’ve received from you:

Why does it take so long? Why don’t you send all the interview invitations on one date?

Because you’re human and so are we. This is not an automated process. We respect the time and care you put into your application, and so we want to take the time to understand each applicant’s background, aspirations, and potential. While scores and grades command attention in the blogosphere, each of you is more than a combination of statistics; we are building a community as well as a class. Yes, it’s slower, but that is because real people are getting to know you through your application.

If I receive my interview invitation soon, does that mean I have a better chance of getting admitted?

No, we do not review applications in any particular order, and applicants are not ranked when we send out interview invitations. The timing of your interview invitation reflects only the order in which your application was reviewed - nothing more, nothing less.

Remind me, what happens next?

You will receive an email from us on 25 November reminding you to log in to your online application for an update on the status of your application. At this stage, there will be three possibilities:

You have already been invited to interview, and your application is under consideration.On 10 December you will find out if you will be admitted, denied, or offered a spot in the waitpool.
You were not selected for an interview, and your application is denied. This decision is final.
You are being offered a spot in the waitpool with the possibility of being invited to interview at a future date.

Rest assured there is nothing more you need to do to get our attention or improve your chances for an interview; your application speaks for itself. To maintain fairness, we don't consider information submitted after the application deadline, so please do not provide us with new test scores, job changes, promotions, or other updates.

Warm regards,

Stanford MBA Admissions Office
- bml1105

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Applicant | Interview Invitations

Ppl in an attempt to quench the thirst to crack the GSB invite-order code, this is what I found in Poets&Quants

"When applications arrive online, a computer system effectively distributes them to readers in the admissions department based on expertise and experience. Admissions staffer Giannangeli, for example, focuses on applications from Europe. So the computer will automatically assign her applicants from the European countries. Every admissions staffer has his or her own way to going through the materials, but in Giannangeli’s case, she’ll often do a deep dive on applicants from a single country for a few days to get a sense of how the competition might line up from the United Kingdom or France. Some slice and dice the applicants based on their industry background, taking consultants in a pile or investment bankers.

Every application is read by one person. After the initial read, a staffer writes a statement on the application and provides a recommendation to Bolton. Sometimes, an application might be turned over to another staffer with expertise in a specific area such as private equity so that the applicant could be compared to others with similar experience. Bolton, whose job it is to shape a highly diverse incoming class, ultimately makes the final decision on who gets an offer."
- srinivas16

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Applicant | Interview Invitations

I spent some minutes reading last year's thread and built this chart based on what Gmatclubbers posted on the thread:

I know that:
1) It is just based on the gmatclub sample.
2) Not all gmatclubbers post if they get interviews.

At least it gives us a clear message: The distribution seems to be pretty uniform, we will have to wait until the last day.

Attachment:
GmatClub sample.jpg
GmatClub sample.jpg [ 99.22 KiB | Viewed 6518 times ]



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Applicant | Interview Debrief

Just finished my interview... Left feeling quite good, and of course now questioning everything.

I may not have been as clean as I would have been typing out my answers, but I felt like I told my stories effectively.

I was a bit surprised that the interviewer didn't ask any of the typical questions like "why Stanford?", "why mba?", "walk me through your resume/introduce yourself".

The interview lasted 55 minutes and only consisted of 4 questions, each with a series of follow-up questions to understand the details of the story.

Tell me about a time you felt effective?
Tell me about another example?
Who is your mentor at work?
Tell me about a time where you worked with a difficult colleague?

The interview was almost too relaxed, may have led to me getting a little bit sloppy on a couple of anecdotes. Also at the end I asked a few questions about my career and for one of them he answered "if you do end up at a top business school that shouldn't be a problem" which wasn't overly reassuring. I may be over-reading it though.

Now the waiting game... Good luck to everyone else! - gotti

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Applicant | Interview Debrief

Had my interview today with an alumnus (his background is private equity). Really smart, inquisitive, genuine and kind person. I really liked him.

Length approx. 45mins, in his office. Very informal and spontaneous chat, no curveball questions.

I am happy of how I performed (no regrets if I don't get accepted!), and the interviewed confirmed the impression of Stanford GSB as a fantastic place to pursue an MBA.

Tell me something you did that you are very proud of.
Tell me a failure and what you learnt.
Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone or overcome an obstacle to reach a goal.
Tell me something, beyond your job description, that you did merely out of passion.
Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult person.
Give me an example of how you work in a team - what's your usual role?
What really motivates you?
Questions for him - NandoParrado

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Applicant | Admission Stats | Interview Invitations

Attachment:
gsb.png
gsb.png [ 31.27 KiB | Viewed 6515 times ]


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Applicant | Interview Invitations

Maintain hope y'all! I just got an interview invite.

Background: American male from the South - reapplicant (dinged with interview in 2012) - now living in the Bay Area - 3 years MBB consulting (including 1 year secondment at a VC fund in Kenya) + 2 years at big tech (Google, Facebook, Apple) - submitted day of deadline

Also want to say that I don't think location or time of submission has anything to do with it. 2 years ago when I interviewed, my roommate and I were the only 2 R1 interviewees in Kenya. We submitted around the same time, but I received an interview on the very first day they were given out and she received an interview on the very last day. I think Derrick Bolton was being honest in this P&Q post (mentioned 2 weeks ago) when he says that each AdCom member is given a stack based off their expertise, and he/she works his/her way through the stack
http://poetsandquants.com/2011/02/02/what-happens-when-you-apply-to-stanford-b-school/

Also -- read through last year's blog around this time. Looks like people have done similar analyses in the past correlating dates interviews were extended with time of submission, industry, geography, etc. and everyone is in the same state of confusion because no real correlation exists. It also looks like a big wave went out in the last week last year, so hold on tight! - connor7688

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Applicant | Waitlist

jlgdr wrote:

So if you get a waitlist and get admitted at other schools in Round 1, you still have to pay the deposit for the other school before even interviewing with GSB right? Is that how it works? How much is the deposit? Do people to this or they only choose to go with the waitlist and wish for the best without any sort of 'backup' school?


I would guess that applicants would put a deposit down on their 1st choice school after Stanford (technically 2nd choice). I think it's a couple thousand dollars, but if I got off the waitlist into my dream school I think that couple thousand would be a cost associated with my dream. Unless GSB is the only school you will ever do an MBA at, in which you probably have bigger problems and are much more willing to wait without any backups, because you never had any to start with.

Let's try and keep it semi-positive in here. There may be a slimmer chance to get off the waitlist compared to some other schools, but that still means there is a chance. Also interview invites could still be trickling out this week. No need to be negative yet!! Plus Stanford isn't the end all be all. There are plenty of other schools that will give us similar opportunities and similar experiences. We'll all end up where we are supposed to be. :-D - bml1105

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Applicant | Essays

niedermeyer1990 wrote:
Trying to bring some levity back to this thread :)

Question for the folks who have interviewed, how are you keeping busy until d-day? It's really tough knowing that there's absolutely nothing we can do, and that a good interview (or poor one) may ultimately have little effect on the outcome.

Has anyone asked current students or friends who are alums of the school to send in letters of support to add to their file?


I don't think extra letter of support is needed at this point. You were invited because you were deemed "competitive for admission". A bad interview may keep you out:

"Do you often override a bad interview?

Not often. It’s much easier for an interview to keep you out than to get you in. Again if one of our alumni says, ‘This person is not a good fit for the Stanford community. This person is arrogant. This person won’t engage well with the community. This person doesn't share our values.’ Why would I dispute that? I may follow up with the person and say, ‘Help me understand what was the evidence of that? What led to that point of view?’ But it’s pretty rare for us to do that."


--http://poetsandquants.com/2010/10/06/stanford%E2%80%99s-b-school-gatekeeper-predicts-application-decline/4/

On the contrary, a good interview merely confirms their impression of you and moves you into the final selection phase, where DB crafts the incoming class based on experience, perspective and contribution (after all, GSB does claim no two admitted students are the same). Extra letter of support won't impose pivotal impact on your candidacy at this point.

SO, just enjoy a fabulous Thanksgiving with your family and friends and we will all know where we land in just 18 days.

To others who are still waiting for an interview invite, my friend got hers on the last day in the previous cycle. It does happen so don't lose hope just as yet. - hellokittyisnotacat

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Admission Consultant | General Tips

w504ds wrote:
I'd like to echo Kyle. Thanks everyone for being so positive, supportive, and civil. Thanks for looking out for each other and giving each other encouragement.It doesn't really matter what school everyone ends up at - it's what everyone makes of it. I have no doubt all of y'all are smart, ambitious, and hardworking individuals who will find a lot of success in the future. If y'all are an indication of our future business leaders, then there's a lot of positive change in the future to look forward to.


kyles wrote:
Hi All,

As the time slowly ticks away on this round of applications I want to thank everyone here for sharing their stories and their excitement with us. It's been a pleasure analyzing and reading analysis from those who posted knowing that we're all travelling this same path. Undoubtedly our paths will soon split and, while holding onto hope that Palo Alto may still be a in the cards for me, would like to wish everyone here the best in the days, weeks, and years to come.

Thank you


True story: on a message board similar to this (pre-cursor to GMATClub) 12 years ago, I got into a debate with someone who was also applying -- and we ended up becoming friends & supporting each other through the stressful admissions process (and then the [also very stressful even though you're not thinking about it yet but you will be in about 10 months] internship hunt + 2nd-year job search process). Even though we ended up at different schools (he at a "non top-10 school, whatever THAT means", me at HBS), we are still good friends to this day!

Especially given all of the social media tools that weren't around back then, there's no reason why your paths need to split, and no reason why friendships formed here can't endure for a decade, or beyond! If anyone on these boards "clicked" with you, or seems like a kindred spirit, I encourage you to reach out to them and try to become friends in real life!


And now, as an important side-note to those currently feeling "the sting of the ding":


I know this gets thrown around a lot as a platitude on boards like this, but I'm almost 10 yrs out from b-school, and let me tell you that what @w540ds wrote is 1,000% true: it's the person, not the school, that makes the most of future opportunities. I know a few people from HBS who are chronically under-employed, or who are employed but who feel a sense of ennui or even, rarely-but-shouldn't-it-be-zero-people?, revulsion for their jobs.

Meanwhile, my friend from the "non top-10 school, whatever THAT means"? I must confess: I remember feeling a little guilty when I got into HBS and he didn't. YEAH WELL TURNS OUT I DIDN'T NEED TO WORRY THERE. That guy is an inspiring BUCKET O' HUSTLE. Post-graduation he networked his way to become a very early employee at a very successful startup that was acquired by a HouseholdName company and he's now "angel investing" and essentially retired before the age of 40. Not too shabby. (he totally deserves it, btw: what an amazing human being he is. Truly.) Even if he hadn't gotten an MBA at all, he absolutely would have hustled & brainstormed his way into some amazing opportunities.

SO:

The very vision, drive, and ambition that are inspiring you to even apply to a top MBA program in the first place -- you need to HOLD TIGHT to that energy, because that is what's going to make you successful in the long-term. Even if you don't even end up going to ANY program.

That's not empty b.s. -- that's the honest truth. - ApplicantLab

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Stanford Current Student | Admission decision

If last year is any indication, DB will start calling international applicants in the late evening on Monday, December 8th (Tuesday local time for you internationals). He'll call every admitted student throughout the night and next day. I was in NYC last year and received my call around 11:30 am EST on the day before the official results are posted to the application portal. For round 1 admits, Stanford will provide you with your financial aid package on Admit Weekend if you complete the fin. aid application by a certain deadline. Admit Weekend last year was in mid February. Let me know if there are any other questions about the process or the first quarter. Classes ended yesterday, and the GSB experience so far has surpassed even my highest expectations. - Northernlights87

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Applicant | Interview

TheApplicant wrote:
Did any international applicant actually interview in his local language? Can this happen? Thanks!!

I did interview in Italian, with an Italian alumnus in London. Since I have been working in the UK for 6 years, I don't think he had doubts on the quality of my English. However, I wasn't expecting this, and it also made it slightly harder, cause I never worked one single day in my native country so I am just not used of thinking about work in any other language than English. I think it was his way of having a more natural conversation and breaking down my rehearsed answers! - NandoParrado

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Applicant | General Tips

mogharbel7 wrote:
Hi everyone! This is my first time ever posting in one of these forums! but I've loved following all your posts and really appreciate everyone sharing their experiences. It's helped me a lot and made the wait more bearable!

I was rejected by HBS couple weeks ago and Wharton yesterday. I'm crushed, but only because that leaves me with 1, my last drop of hope, and my number 1 school, Stanford.

Stanford has always been my dream school, it also happens to be the most competitive to get in to, so i lose more and more hope with each rejection from other top schools and definitely with each day that goes by without me receiving an interview request.

I'm a Middle Eastern women based in Dubai with some North American prior experience. Work in financial data and cover parts of Sub Saharan Africa, so I travel a lot to work with major banks and regulatory authorities in that part of world. I thought that would be appealing to schools, specially with most focusing on diverse knowledge sharing and discussion based learning..anyways..Sorry to ramble on... I needed to vent a little, but here is my question:

Do you guys think I should apply in Round 3 to other schools? For me, It really is now or never. My original plan was to go to Stanford, if not HBS, Wharton or no MBA at all. Now however, after all the work and thought I put into my original applications, I'm considering applying to Kellogg, Haas, and Anderson in Round 3 - even if it is just to prevent being completely gutted and destroyed on March 3rd.

Would love your thoughts. Thanks


!mogharbel فرصة سعيدة يا

Just my 2 cents here. I think your intuition is right that your profile would be desirable to many schools (I happen to work in a similar field). The issue is that you applied to the three most competitive bschools in the world. Even if you're well qualified, the odd's are against you at those schools. The question you're facing now is, as you surmise, "Do I really want/need an MBA, and, if so, do I need it now? or did I just want a feather in my cap?" If the answer is the former, then yes, you gotta apply round 3! Those are great schools you're thinking about adding, but depending on your profile, it may be wise to throw in a safety (not sure if those are safeties for you, all are selective schools) if you really need to do it now. Keep in mind, if you take this path, you can still always decide not to matriculate later, it's just that this option broadens your opportunity set. Good luck! - Scofield050

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Applicant | Reliance Scholarship

Woah! DB called me today to inform me that an Indian Reliance Scholarship candidate(full 2 year merit scholarship) from R1 couldn't join Stanford due to personal issues and if I wanted to fill the vacancy by a late personal application which Stanford will directly forward to Reliance. He says the decision from Reliance would come in along with the interview decision by end March. Apparently the scholarship applications are only for R1 applicants and I am being given a preferential offer due to the vacancy....

Not sure if I'm the only Indian to receive this offer or they are going to shortlist from a bunch of folks but who the hell would say no to that, Mr. DB? Thank you very much!

BTW: Contrary to what I read or otherwise heard, DB seems to be a genuinely nice guy, truly concerned about your interests and personal life... - devilbart

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Applicant | Interview Debrief

I had my interview yesterday and it was one of the better interviews I've had so far. I'm sharing my experience here and will be keeping it brief, however, if you have any queries I'm available on PM to assist.

My interview was initially scheduled earlier last week, and then after being re-scheduled a couple of times finally took place yesterday. It was with an alumnus from Mumbai in a coffee shop and lasted for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Following are some of the questions I can recall

1.Can you explain what you do in your daily work? (Resume walk-through)
2.What would your subordinates say is your leadership style?
3. How do you show leadership at work? Is Leadership and Management the same? (Behavior analysis.. I aced this one I bet..)
4. As part of company X, tell me a time when you were part of a team that did not perform well, how did you contribute...
5.How do you work with people from different cultures?
6. What do your co-workers say is your weakness?
7.How have you overcome this weakness?
8. Why would you choose our school’s MBA program?
etc. etc.

My interviewer was from a somewhat similar background to mine but had much less upstream experience and more downstream and mid-stream experience.. So once the grilling was done he was genuinely interested to learn much more about upstream services and hydraulic fracturing(my domain of expertise).. we spoke about lot of things from energy sufficiency for india and how i envision the future of shale oil/gas and EOR etc. etc... All in all a pretty good one, wrapped up with him asking me to catch up for another informal meeting sometime soon and that I was headed down the right track in going to stanford, told me about the energy research institute at stanford and how i can leverage my functional knowledge too along with business skills gained through an MBA... - devilbart

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Applicant | Interview

healthcaredude wrote:
Thanks for the response :)

Definitely am letting the stress get to my head.

Any idea what separates the ~12% who interview down to the ~6% accepted?

In other words, what is it that distinguishes those 50% accepted from the interview pool?


Hi there heathcaredude - GSB interviews are not meant to be the last test that we need to nail to get in. Unfortunately, most of our fate are probably determined prior to the interviews (meaning, our stories, experiences, passions, perspectives, and potential added-value to the GSB). Interviews allow AdCom to confirm what they've learned about us as applicants, but even if 80% of interviewees did great, there are still limited spots available and they need to craft a diverse class. I've seen friends with stellar interviews (and their interviewers responded to their thank you notes) who were denied eventually and honestly, luck plays a big factor. Sooo, just enjoy the next 28 days. :) - hellokittyisnotacat

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Applicant | Interview

szybe wrote:
Sorry to hear the dings. BTW, if you have flexibility, you could re-apply for the next year and you might even get in. Stanford is one of those few schools that have blank-slate policy for re-applicants. I know a friend who was dinged without interview one year, and _accepted_ in the R1 the following year with pretty much the same application (with different recommenders I think!). So, it's all random!

My interview is scheduled for next week. Unfortunately, I am getting interviewed by one of the Adcom members. With Alumni, it is possible that you get asked questions that you already answered in your application somewhere, but an adcom member most likely would have access to the entire application. And, even off the interviewed candidates, 60% get dinged. So, please wish me luck!!


Good luck! I am sure it will go great. And I think it is better to get an adcom. If you do really well it is much more likely to make a difference as to the result. If an alum really likes you I don't think it has that much of a difference. But if you hit it off really well with an adcom member, or even DB if he is the one doing your interview, it can be a real positive.

I would rather interview with someone who has more influence/power over the decision. I think you are really lucky to get invited to interview with adcom. I'm jealous!

Have confidence in yourself and your application, that is why they are interviewing you they already like you and like what you had to say. So stay true to yourself and know that they want you already and are just confirming that you really are that person described in the application! - mbs17

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Applicant | Round 3 | Re-applicant

jdharris wrote:
rog45 wrote:
KMH72 wrote:
Does anyone know the acceptance rate for round 3 compared to rounds 1 and 2? I'm debating whether applying round 3 is worth it.


IMHO, it's better if you do R1 (it's like in ~7 months). Perfect time for putting together a good application, instead of rushing a R3 (when there are barely any available seats left)


Agreed.


I went to an info session at Stanford last month (after the Round 2 deadline, but before Round 3) and that specific question was asked to adcom. It seemed like it is worth it to try R3, or at the very least it can't hurt (except for the $260). She said re-applicants are read completely new, they do not look at the old file or any information and it is treated like a completely new applicant. So you could apply Round 3 and if it doesn't work apply again Round 1. Of course I think it depends on your test scores, grades, and story, but if they are high (above the average for the admitted class), I don't think it's a bad idea.

Every year people do get in from Round 3, although I know the number of applications is very low. I think people get highly discouraged from applying Round 3 because everyone says it is impossible. If your materials are ready and very good, I say give it a shot.

The adcom representative made it very clear that having applied once before and having been rejected does not hurt your chances whatsoever and does not reflect negatively at all. (I was surprised by this response so that's why I remember it.)

If you are ready and want to start school in August, I say go for it, it can't hurt. And then you can always apply again Round 1 and maybe you will have learned something from your experience of applying Round 3. - mbs17

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Applicant | Interview Debrief

I had my interview today at GSB admissions office. Two people on the interview panel. Took a little less than an hour. Both were very pleasant and friendly. Took meticulous notes. I think I did ok. I could have done it better though. They gave me absolutely no hints on how I did. However, they said that interview is only one of the components and interview performance is by no means a predictor of final admission chances. They said it twice. I was surprised to see that the main interviewer has incredible knowledge about specific courses offered by other departments, which are popular among gsb students. They asked me for another recommendation letter. Is this a good/bad sign -- Anyone know? Well, all the best to all interview candidates. - szybe

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List of Admitted Folks


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Funny stuff posted by applicants in desperation.

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