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Rejected at some, accepted at others?

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Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Texas, MIT, Kellogg
Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2009, 19:06
Though I understand the MBA admittance is very random, anyone else find it weird the discrepency between the schools admit and rejection?

I would assume, that someone who gets in HBS and Kellogg, would have a fairly decent shot at Wharton or Sloan. But that doesn't seem to be the case, or is it?

I would assume that the top schools vie for the same candidates, those with a good gpa\gmat, impressive work experience, and strong extracurriculars. I say this because, despite each schools "reputation" I've been consistently reading each MBA's desire to be more "well-rounded" (i.e. Kellogg's desire to develop strong leaders, not just strong team players, Sloan's desire to push for well rounded non-engineering people, and Wharton's desire for not just quant-jocks).

Thoughts?

A little background: I was rejected from Sloan w\o interview, and Kellogg, but I was interviewed at Wharton and HBS. I am not suggesting that I am a "super-strong" candidate, but I was fairly certain that an interview from HBS and Wharton, puts me at the top quartile. Now I am just worried, that with a Kellogg and Sloan ding, I also don't have a shot at the other two

(this isn't a "me" specific post, but wondering if others have this thought too...)

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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2009, 20:00
The process is pretty random. I went to a top 5 law school (and got into another one), but didn't get into UT-Austin and Georgetown (15th and 14th respectively). Also, you should consider that different schools ask different essay questions, so the essays are big variables and affect how people will view you. Finally, you could have done a much better job with your HBS and Wharton essays because they are likely your top choices. All these factors affect the results.

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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2009, 20:15
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The feel of each business school is very, very different. It is hard to express how they differ, but the one consistent factor is that the feel and atmosphere is something cultivated by the admissions department.

I can safely say that some people who would get in H/S/W would never get in at some other M7 or top 15 schools, because the type of personality they look for is so different. As an applicant it is really hard to get a tangible feel of that, so it does feel quite random.
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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2009, 22:09
think of it this way

maybe kellogg and MIT knows you are a H/S/W candidate and do not want to lower their yield

;)

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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2009, 22:24
So, do you guys think that the top schools really are segmented? I.e. the top schools try to differentiate themselves through various "specialties" that the admissions office\school leadership cultivates?

I mean, logically speaking, isn't the "culture" of a school its students? Wouldn't it make marketing sense FOR a school to do market segmentation (here, you can draw parallels to the GM model...)? It would give them a niche.

If that's the case, then maybe it makes sense for us to move away from that misconception that schools are trying to "round-out" their classes, and that each school has a specific specialty for which it's known. Is that what's meant by "understand a school's culture?" Because, I thought that meant the general nature of the students.

Or was that just my misconception...

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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2009, 04:04
Yes, the "culture" of a school is its students - but the students the admissions committee (or alumni) decide to offer admission to. So the school has as much a hand in fashioning its "culture" than do its students.

ma.agrawal wrote:
I mean, logically speaking, isn't the "culture" of a school its students?

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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2009, 04:21
ma.agrawal wrote:
So, do you guys think that the top schools really are segmented? I.e. the top schools try to differentiate themselves through various "specialties" that the admissions office\school leadership cultivates?

I mean, logically speaking, isn't the "culture" of a school its students? Wouldn't it make marketing sense FOR a school to do market segmentation (here, you can draw parallels to the GM model...)? It would give them a niche.

If that's the case, then maybe it makes sense for us to move away from that misconception that schools are trying to "round-out" their classes, and that each school has a specific specialty for which it's known. Is that what's meant by "understand a school's culture?" Because, I thought that meant the general nature of the students.

Or was that just my misconception...


I think both points you make are true. Each of the schools has a view on how they are differentiated from their peer schools, and usually it comes down to intangible factors. For HBS it may be their focus on leadership, at Kellogg the focus on teamwork and collaboration. During the admissions process, the adcom is therefore looking for applicants who would perpetuate this focus - the elusive "fit" they talk about so much. So if you get an interview at a top 10 school it probably means you're intellectually capable of attending any top 10 school, but if the adcom isn't convinced you have the intangibles they're looking for you're done.

At the same time, the schools want a well rounded class. So while say Booth is known for finance/economics, MIT for tech and entrepreneurship, and Kellogg for marketing, these schools don't want a class full of people just from these backgrounds and just interested in pursuing these fields. They want a class that comes from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of interests because it makes for a more rich learning experience. But the common denominator again is the intangible "fit" with their culture and approach that the schools are looking for.
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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2009, 05:27
Jerz wrote:
I think both points you make are true. Each of the schools has a view on how they are differentiated from their peer schools, and usually it comes down to intangible factors. For HBS it may be their focus on leadership, at Kellogg the focus on teamwork and collaboration. During the admissions process, the adcom is therefore looking for applicants who would perpetuate this focus - the elusive "fit" they talk about so much. So if you get an interview at a top 10 school it probably means you're intellectually capable of attending any top 10 school, but if the adcom isn't convinced you have the intangibles they're looking for you're done.


And this is exactly why I my essays and instructions to recommenders were tailored to each school.

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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2009, 06:21
3underscore wrote:
The feel of each business school is very, very different. It is hard to express how they differ, but the one consistent factor is that the feel and atmosphere is something cultivated by the admissions department.


3underscore is right. Just because they are grouped together at the top of the rankings, top 5 schools aren't necessarily looking for the same people.

Each school's adcom shapes their incoming class depending on their current agenda, goals, and necessity.

For example, one school might favor younger applicants over older applicants and vice versa - regardless of each applicant's stats and profile.

There isn't a linear formula to solve this bschool admission process. Best thing is to use the available wisdom and info in this forum and make the right decision for yourself on which schools to target and which schools to give up.

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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2009, 10:08
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Keep in mind that the interview policies for the schools you listed are very, very different.

Wharton and Columbia, for example, interview A LOT of applicants even though their interviews are invite only. Many, many more than they can admit. Part of the reason, imho, is because its a good way to keep their alumni network involved. I got interview invites the first day possible for both schools, yet am 0 for 1.5. I don't think its because my interviews went bad, more-so because they saw that I live in an underrepresented geographical area and thought 'oh good, he's someone we can have one of our alumni there interview'. But don't get me wrong, you've got to be doing something right if you get an invite. I believe reading somewhere about Wharton that they feel 'around 70% of our applicants are qualified to attend the school', and they definitely interview fewer that than percentage.

Sloan/Haas, on the other hand, admit well over half of those they interview, at least from my experience. I feel an int. invite there is much more significant (though not a guarantee). Keep in mind that both of those schools have much smaller class sizes and therefore far less alumni out there who can conduct interviews.

Last edited by bostonsparky on 11 Mar 2009, 10:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2009, 10:18
Boston, you suggest an interesting point - using interviews to keep the alumni's in the loop. I would never have thought that, but it does seem like a viable reason certain schools would extend so many interviews.

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Re: Rejected at some, accepted at others?   [#permalink] 11 Mar 2009, 10:18
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