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# Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite

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Senior Manager
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Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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15 Feb 2007, 19:25
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Based on Wharton result, it seems higher GMT score is not enough to get the interview. What someone do to get at least interview invitation.

Can someone, who got invitation, share his thought ?

PS: I do not have any intention to hurt anyone so please do not be offensive.
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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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15 Feb 2007, 23:48
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gmat_crack wrote:
Based on Wharton result, it seems higher GMT score is not enough to get the interview. What someone do to get at least interview invitation.

Can someone, who got invitation, share his thought ?

PS: I do not have any intention to hurt anyone so please do not be offensive.

First, let me link this thread from arguably one of the few people in here who actually has a clue on the process.

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=19450

Then, let me reply to your enquiry by stating: dude, I haven't a clue! Some invites I've got completely surprised me and 1 particular ding did as well (still no admits for me, though). However, I'll try to get the discussion rolling (and for the record what I write is just my SWAG*)

Low GMAT: Hmm, let's see if this person is truly exceptional or if I should just throw his app. in the bin right away.
Medium GMAT: Ok, let's see if this person has put his act together enough.
High GMAT: Let's see if (s)he's just a high GMAT or if (s)he has anything interesting to say.

3) "Crafting" a class. I've heard adcoms mention this concept. Adcoms admit to look into admitted candidate pools as groups, after a certain point (i.e. if you've made it past the initial cut). They can exclude or include border line cases (which I'm assuming can be as high as about 30% - 40% of admits + all waitlists), based on their estimation of future class dynamics. You know how every alumni at receptions goes bragging about being in class with "a guy who actually worked for Nasa mission control" or "the girl who climbed Everest at age 16" or whatever. No alumni I've met bragged about being in class with a very accomplished Big 5 accountant or a great Junior Mgmt consultant or IBer. They like to have classmates in "hot" industries to share advice for future job searches, but there's just no WOW factor in it.

There are probably no fix number of spots for each industry, profile, background or nationality, but most definitely a general guideline of what a "good" class profile will look like. Do I think it's fair? No, but who said business was ever fair?. Do I think it works? Yeah, it works great! Helping mostly average people to earn astronomical salaries by investing 2 years and borrowing some money sounds like a great accomplishment to me.

4) Yield Management: if you are a very strong candidate, some schools may be tempted to ding you for yield management reasons. You can counter this effect to a certain extent by visiting, contacting alumni or students and showing a better than average why X? essay. Re-applying works great with some schools, as well. You can also counter this effect by applying to reasonable schools. Too many backups? Too many dings. Too many reach schools? Again, too many dings. Portfolio crafting is important.

5) GMAT hunters: some schools looking to make a move in rankings maybe willing to admit high GMAT candidates which are otherwise weak to move their average GMAT up.

6) Diversity hunters: related to point 3) above. some schools may be struggling to keep their classes diverse enough. So they will be willing to compromise some aspects of a particular candidate (maybe GMAT, GPA or sth) to keep bragging about how their students come from 70+ different countries and speak 50 different languages (which btw, is BS if 5 out of those 50 languages are spoken by only 1 person and if 10 out of 300 people comprise 40 of those 50 languages)

7) How similar candidates have done in the past. Now this seemed far-fetched when I was first introduced to the concept, but it goes like this: Suppose you work for company X. Your position is Sr. Analyst or sth. Your numbers are competitive or school Y. Your extras are quite Ok and so are your recos. Now assume that a candidate with a very similar profile made it into the same school Y a year or two before you apply. And now assume that he has proven to be not one of their brightest stars. Either (s)he has not participated actively in the community (extras, clubs, etc.) or (s)he has been catalogued by work groups as a "free rider" and actually failed a class or two. So adcoms *might* think: "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" and ding you based on your "clone's" performance.

8) "Fit": HBS focus on leadership. Kellogg focuses on group work, collaborative spirit, etc. GSB focuses on quant skills and hardcore economics and finance. MIT has an operations / entrepreneurship aura. Columbia is perceived as a finance school.

So, first, don't complain on Kellogg dinging you if you've written essays about how you are a great fan of Nicholo Machiavelli. Or complain on HBS for writing about how you are great about humbly following orders without questioning or how you enjoy the most joining other people's initiatives. (Actually, don't complain about HBS or Stanford at all, being these the top two schools every applicant should expect his status to be "ding without interview unless confirmed otherwise by written evidence")

Second, the "fit" issue can work combined with point 6). Eg: If Columbia is perceived as finance focused, it will probably have an unbalanced applicant pool with financial backgrounds. But they'll still want to have a balanced class. So, I can argue, apply to CBS with a marketing background and improve your odds!

9) Luck: self-explanatory
10) Randomness: ditto.
11) Timing: R1 is a must for some schools. R1 or R2 is must for most schools. The year in which you apply is also a factor. Apply in 1999 with an "I wanna startup an Internet company" and you will bring no diversity to any class at all. Apply in 2006/7 and suddenly all schools are boasting increased number of applicants.
12) Be fair: no school owes us more than considering our apps. (which is what we paid for). After that, all they owe us is respecting the rules they've laid out for the process. And since the process is always officially described by schools as holistic, no candidate can honestly confirm that (s)he should be admitted. Probably the only rule schools can break is not respecting their deadlines. Apart from that, they can do whatever they like and we would not be able to judge them as unfair. We know the rules when we apply! And if we don't like them we can choose not to apply and save whatever fees they are charging.

13) I still haven't a clue: that's it. I think I've written more than enough and made no breakthroughs. I'm gonna leave this post as it is before everyone starts thinking what an arrogant idiot I am.

14) Please everyone who feels like it contribute with your views on the process.

* SWAG = Scientific Will ss Guess
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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2007, 00:12
Great analysis Lepium.

I agree with everything you say. When you take the Summation of all of the above it equates to LUCK!

For all you know, if you are DINGED in one year by a particular school, you might actually get admitted in the same school the following year (with same/similar credentials)!
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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2007, 00:14
I wonder how importnat GPA is in the 'evaluation formula'. On one hand, I have heard people saying that for candidates with work experience GPA is least important of all the factors, and on the other, I have heard adcom talk about Academic Abilities in terms of GPA (as several folks are not standardized test savvy)!

Any thoughts?
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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2007, 00:37
I believe that generally speaking, the discussions here seem to undervalue name-brand work experience, extracurricular activities and education. My sense is that while say that they value diverse work experience and activities, these are really things that must be overcome.

There's a reason why some companies and professions are known as "feeders". It also seems that schools prefer certain name-brand extracurricular activities. If I knew two years ago that I would be applying to business school, I would definitely get involved in habitat for humanity or united way or something like that. Of course, getting involved for these reasons may or may not be total BS. I get the sense that schools place virtually no value on things that might really matter to an individual, such as caring for a family member or something like that. The reality is that they probably just prefer activities that are easy to document and categorize.
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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2007, 01:26
Good analysis.
On point number 2:
I know for a fact that Wharton has independent "reads" of the essays. None of the readers knows what the other reader thinks about the applicant. The recommendations then reach a member of the admissions staff who makes the final call if both reviewers disagree.
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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2007, 01:43
I think brand name does matter to the adcom to a large extent since recruiters love it too. If you have an Ivy undergrad or worked for a top-notch firm in your industry, the resume-hungry MC/IB recruiters will find you attractive. I was once surprised that an admissions officer rattled of the name of top universities in Asia without the blink of an eye. She was clearly well-researched and knew what she was looking out for. I am merely stating my observation and in no way suggesting that the people of a particular institute or firm are smarter than the others. In the event that you aren't an outlier (Everest climber, Olympic athlete yada yada), everything else needs to be good or above average. I once mentioned that people need to execute perfectly on all counts to get in to a top 10 program (let alone H/S/W). Not everyone seemed to agree.

pelihu wrote:
I believe that generally speaking, the discussions here seem to undervalue name-brand work experience, extracurricular activities and education. My sense is that while say that they value diverse work experience and activities, these are really things that must be overcome.

There's a reason why some companies and professions are known as "feeders". It also seems that schools prefer certain name-brand extracurricular activities. If I knew two years ago that I would be applying to business school, I would definitely get involved in habitat for humanity or united way or something like that. Of course, getting involved for these reasons may or may not be total BS. I get the sense that schools place virtually no value on things that might really matter to an individual, such as caring for a family member or something like that. The reality is that they probably just prefer activities that are easy to document and categorize.
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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2007, 06:25
Pelihu, I wasn't aware that brand name was significant when it comes to community service, that's good to know. (Actually, I guess it would have been good to know two or three years ago like you said!)

Great post Lepium. The variability that you mention is definitely the hardest part of this process to take. I mean we all spend a lot of time trying to quantify everything, trying to make sense of this subjective process because at the end of the day it's difficult to shoot for a goal and feel like your ability to reach that goal is limited by certain elements completely out of your control.
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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2007, 08:39
lhotseface wrote:
I think brand name does matter to the adcom to a large extent since recruiters love it too. If you have an Ivy undergrad or worked for a top-notch firm in your industry, the resume-hungry MC/IB recruiters will find you attractive. I was once surprised that an admissions officer rattled of the name of top universities in Asia without the blink of an eye. She was clearly well-researched and knew what she was looking out for. I am merely stating my observation and in no way suggesting that the people of a particular institute or firm are smarter than the others. In the event that you aren't an outlier (Everest climber, Olympic athlete yada yada), everything else needs to be good or above average. I once mentioned that people need to execute perfectly on all counts to get in to a top 10 program (let alone H/S/W). Not everyone seemed to agree.

I totally agree with you. When I met a Wharton alum in Chicago, her first question was are you from IIT ...... and where do you work ... hummm......
Same question was asked by MIT alum too.... I was totally surprised...

So to get into top 10 program someone need to change his life history...
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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2007, 11:02
Thanks for your feedback, guys. On my post, I would not call it "analysis", I'd call it "plausible speculation".

pelihu: good point on brands and feeders. I had the same feeling when initially researching how to put my extracurriculars in apps. Everybody was talking about clubs, joining a club or being a class president or sth. But it just happens that most activities take place outside clubs down here. I also acknowledge that it makes adcom jobs easier if you profile yourself in terms which are easily comparable across the hoards of applicants. It will surely help if you are a clear winner (sponsored by McK is a great achievement's stamp, as they only sponsor top employees). But it may conspire against you if you are just not that great (maybe top 10% instead of top 3%?)

lhotse: that's when your concept kicks in. Anything other than perfect execution within a highly competitive applicant pool and you are out. Your other option is to be somehow different.

sm: dunno about GPA. Some schools seem to be crazy about it and others seem to not care at all. One adcom mentioned in a presentation "if we allowed our faculty to manage the admissions process, they would always choose the applicants with the highest figures (as in highest GPAs and GMATs). Since we don't believe such a class profile would be best for us, we choose applicants based on future success predictions rather than academic performance.". I guess it depends on the applicant's profile. Maybe GMAT can counter GPA, maybe not. Maybe double majoring is a great excuse for a lower GPA, maybe it's not that good. Maybe young applicants get measured much more by GPA than older ones, maybe they are not. I also heard somewhere (and have no proof) that public schools are supposed to keep GPA averages above a certain figure for some funding reasons while private schools can do whatever they want. Maybe at some schools faculty get more access to the admissions process than at other schools. How do they compare GPAs across different schools? Do they look at class ranks?

johnnyx: some adcoms back my case for luck playing part in the process (in this case Mr. Derrick Bolton)

MVP: What is the most impressive thing some candidate has written and that you did not accept?
DB: Everybody tends to write compelling stories(...)
I wish people [not accepted] could understand this process. A lot of times people think that they were not strong candidates and it is not the case at all, but there are stronger candidates in the pool and there is not enough room. This is tough especially for applicants that have been very successful in life by being very aggressive and taking every opportunity and it is hard for them to accept that there are things that are beyond their control. [u]You can not control the applicant pool and there is some element of luck in the process and you have to be frank about that. [/u]

Here goes the link to the full interview in case you'd like to read it:

http://media.www.virtualreporter.org/me ... porter.org

So that's it guys, still waiting for my lucky chance.
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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2014, 19:44
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Role of GMAT in getting Interview Invite   [#permalink] 10 Jan 2014, 19:44
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