MBA APPLICATION SURVEY - WSO MEMBERS

Post your MBA application status in the comment section so we can hear where everyone is going next year!

Feel free to use our sample template below. 

Undergraduate School:

Undergrad GPA/Major GPA:

Major/Minor:

Grad GPA:

GMAT (score split) & Date Taken:

Work Experience Summary:

Interests/Hobbies or Other Notable Leadership:

Letters of Recommendation:

Applied Schools:

Status: Accepted | Rejected | Waitlisted |Attending

Thanks and let's hear it!

Patrick

 
MBA STATUS
 

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Comments (64)

Feb 4, 2021 - 2:12pm

I'll just post about the process from years ago when I applied in 2013.  I got into Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business.  I assume this will still be relevant today

Undergraduate School:  Baruch College (CUNY)

Undergrad GPA/Major GPA:  Overall GPA: 3.75 Major GPA:  Not sure, it was close to a 4.0, but not quite.

Major/Minor:  Marketing/Psychology

Grad GPA:  No grad school before the application, but my MBA GPA was 3.74.

GMAT (score split) & Date Taken:  690 44 Q 41 V

Work Experience Summary:  Media Research

Interests/Hobbies or Other Notable Leadership:  Improv

Letters of Recommendation:  My current boss at the time, and the boss from my previous employer

Applied Schools:  UT Austin (waitlisted), Georgetown (waitlisted), Emory (dinged), Tepper (waitlisted then accepted)

Status: Accepted | Rejected | Waitlisted |Attending See above

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Feb 4, 2021 - 5:29pm

Undergraduate School:  Lower-tier Ivy / Duke / Northwestern

Undergrad GPA:  Overall GPA: 3.9+

Major:  Economics / business-related major

GMAT: 760

Work Experience Summary:  2 years investment banking (EVR/PJT/CVP/LAZ/MOE/PWP) / 2 years private equity (UMM fund)

Interests/Hobbies or Other Notable Leadership:  President / executive board roles for multiple student organizations, teaching assistant for various courses

Letters of Recommendation:  My current boss (MD who has worked closely with me, HBS alum) and staffer from my previous employer (had worked with me on three announced deals). I received top bucket in both years of banking (including to highlight that I did not slack off after on cycle recruiting and think that the banking recommendation letter would have been quite strong). All associates at my PE firm get the same bonus in their first year but it has been hinted that I will receive top bucket for my second year.

Applied Schools:  HBS

Status: Accepted | Rejected | Waitlisted | Attending Rejected by HBS, no interview (Round 2 this year). Received offer to stay at current firm.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Feb 5, 2021 - 12:51am

Thanks for sharing. Are you white / asian? Do you have any volunteer or other experience over the last few years while in PE (or before in IB)?

I have a similar background other than I still need to take the GMAT and highly doubt I'll be able to get close to a 760 (likely lucky if I can get 730 which seems to be the bottom of the threshold, especially with no free time to study these days). Congrats on the offer to stick around your current firm!

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Feb 5, 2021 - 1:21am

I am Asian; as you can imagine, I don't think that exactly helped. I did have some volunteer service over the last year but it was rather limited. The college extracurriculars were pretty good according to the admissions consultant that our firm uses. 

Based on limited data that I have, it was a tougher year overall for PE. Our firm did much worse than usual although we had many more people apply in R2 this year. R1 stats were okay but still maybe a bit worse. I'd definitely recommend R1 if you're interested in applying. Work sort of exploded during the pandemic and I didn't take the GMAT before starting. Happy to provide any advice if you'd like.

And thank you! All in all, it's a good outcome. 

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 5, 2021 - 2:21pm

This is actually depressing and sobering. I am sure you will get where you want to be anyway. Out of curiosity, why didn't you apply to Stanford and Wharton to hedge your bets?

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Feb 5, 2021 - 3:16pm

Thank you, I appreciate that. That's a very reasonable question to ask. I definitely considered both schools at some point but there are a few reasons:

1) There's a good chance that I would end up staying in the same industry and even if I didn't, I could probably get most jobs that I would want without the MBA. For that reason, the value of the MBA to me is probably a bit lower than what it would be for many others (e.g., military guys, consultants trying to switch to banking, etc.). 

2) As you can guess, HBS was my top choice. It's by far the most well-represented school at my firm. I really would have liked to apply to GSB as well but my family, girlfriend, and I have spent the majority of the last 20+ years on the East Coast (my firm also hasn't had nearly as many people apply there and some people who recently received GSB acceptances ended up going to HBS instead so I don't think that helped our firm's standing). While a bit short-sighted to some, neither of us wants to keep doing distance (pandemic has put a strain on our relationship but we are going strong). She's an incredible woman and in all likelihood, will be my future wife. Wharton is a great school and I think my odds there would have been pretty solid but it's still a bit behind HBS/GSB when it comes to post-MBA recruiting (anecdotally, my firm looks at HBS folks first). I also would have preferred to be in Boston/SF over Philly but that wasn't a major consideration in it itself.

3) I honestly didn't have much time. I could have been more proactive to some extent (e.g., taking the GMAT in college) but I really got absolutely slammed. I had intended to apply in Round 1 but our firm, particularly my group, was insanely busy (arguably at an unprecedented level). It would have been extremely difficult to write several more thoughtful essays.

Additional EDIT: I had received pretty good feedback at work so that also gave me a bit more reassurance that worst case I should be able to recruit without an MBA or potentially receive an opportunity to stay on.

Feb 5, 2021 - 8:33pm

yea i think the issue is that your so qualified but from an admissions perspective there are other asians candidates that went to GS/MS --> BX/KKR that have the same stats. 

also I think the IB/PE route is so saturated with insanely smart/qualified candidates that they probably have a strict cutoff for the quota. 

damm this is depressing for when I apply but sorry my guy 

Feb 8, 2021 - 1:31pm

Looks like you were the one that made the "Keep your head up" post. Congrats on the offer for the current firm, although I'm sure you're bummed about HBS. Life has it's way with it's twists and turns.

Cheers!

Go all the way

Feb 4, 2021 - 11:09pm

Undergraduate School: Unranked liberal arts school (I started out as a music major)

Undergrad GPA/Major GPA: 3.7

Major/Minor: Accounting/Finance

Grad GPA: 3.8 (Masters in Accounting)

GMAT (score split) & Date Taken: 760 (47V 49Q) April 2018

Work Experience Summary: CPA in audit.  3 years work experience. Mid sized firm (top 20 in US by revenue).  Public accounting puts you in a supervisor position pretty quickly as you have new staff below you as early as 12 months into the job, especially for top performers at smaller firms.  Experience managing people was something I made sure to highlight on my resume and in my essays.

Interests/Hobbies or Other Notable Leadership: Active with a local charity, fraternity president in undergrad.  (Nothing that was a huge selling point)

Letters of Recommendation: Two different supervisors.  Outside the big 4, it's very common to work for a number of partners/managers at different times.  These two quickly became great mentors for me and requested me for many of their jobs.  My strong relationships with them were critical.  They were extremely supportive of my decision even though it meant losing me.

Post-MBA Goals: (I added this as it's an important component of essays at most schools)  Short-term: IB Associate, maybe PE or VC if I get lucky and a good opportunity comes along.  Long-term: starting my own fund is the dream (lofty goals, I know)  Longer-term: hoping to teach part time once I (sorta) retire

Applied Schools: CBS for Fall 2021 full-time.  I also applied for HBS 2+2 before I started working back in 2018.

Status: Accepted at CBS.  Rejected for HBS 2+2 (again, back in 2018)

Feb 5, 2021 - 3:48pm

Undergraduate School: Mid-tier state school (ACC)

Undergrad GPA/Major GPA: 3.95

Major/Minor: Economics, Sociology, Business Admin

GMAT (score split) & Date Taken: 750 (Q49 V44) - December 2018

Work Experience Summary:

All at major regional bank:

  • 1.5 years quantitative modeling / forecasting role
  • 2.5 years corporate strategy & development

Interests/Hobbies or Other Notable Leadership:

  • Few non-profit board positions
  • Some interesting hobbies I can't fully share as they're pretty specific

Applied Schools:

  • HBS
  • Wharton
  • Booth

Status: Accepted | Rejected | Waitlisted |Attending

  • HBS - rejected, no interview
  • Wharton - rejected, no interview
  • Booth - accepted, attending
Feb 7, 2021 - 4:32pm

BumbleBee45

What do you think of Booth's culture? It's an incredibly strong school. But, is it fun? 

Particularly busy so wish I could give a more fulsome response, but the school (and every MBA) is as fun as you make it. Booth students are constantly taking trips (Vegas, Kentucky Derby, Mexico, Int't, etc.) both structured through the school and ad-hoc amongst friends. There are 100+ clubs ranging from athletics (the rugby club competed in Europe when I was a student), intellectual, career, social (I believe there was a club for whiskey drinkers), etc. People form bands. The Indian students celebrate Diwali with a huge boat cruise. Students organize parties (around the world parties in Millennium Park Plaza), barbecues, volleyball on the beach, and other misc. activities on a weekly basis. And, unique to Booth, Thursday Night Drinking Club picks a different bar every Thursday, negotiates discounted drinks, and hundreds of Booth students all flood the bar for a night out. There is a reason the term FOMO exists - there is so much going on that you cannot possibly participate in all of it.

This is not unique to Booth (other than Thursday Night Drinking Club). All of the top schools have this same exact dynamic. People get drunk, people hook up, there is love, there is heartbreak, people become best friends, people find their life partner. 

Any of the top businesses, including Booth, have so much social opportunity that it is up to YOU to take advantage of it. Some people like clubs, some like dinners with friends, some like renting 30+ RVs with 150 classmates, driving to Louisville KY and parking them side by side for a weekend-long horse-racing boozefest. Nothing is forced and you are definitely not ostracized for participating in none / some / all of the activities. You craft your own business school experience!

CompBanker

  • 4
Feb 7, 2021 - 5:13pm

^ all accurate.

The trouble isn't going to be finding social activities. It's going to be finding the right balance of social vs. recruiting vs. coursework for you. There is also a wide mix of events to choose from, whether you're into special interest oriented events (such as most club oriented events), want to partyhop from apt to apt, head to the bars, take trips, go out to nice dinners, whatever works for your lifestyle/budget. 

If you're looking to party hard, you can definitely find that at Booth. Frank Slaughtery was usually blacked out 3-4 nights a week when we were at Booth together. I, on the other hand, was a much more responsible drinker.

  • Analyst 2 in AM - Other
Feb 5, 2021 - 4:46pm

Home

Undergraduate School: ​​​Canadian target

Undergrad GPA/Major GPA:

~​​​​3.5

Major/Minor:Business

GMAT (score split) & Date Taken:

760 (50Q/44V) - Dec2016

Work Experience Summary:

1.5 years in Asset management, 3 years in strategy and financial consulting at boutique firm

Interests/Hobbies or Other Notable Leadership:

Board of nonprofit, active volunteer for alumni association in my city

Letters of Recommendation:

Former supervisor and client

Applied Schools:

Tuck, Yale, Haas, Fuqua (all R2)

Status:

Interview at Tuck, Haas and Fuqua, waiting to hear back from SOM

Feb 6, 2021 - 6:11am

hi can u pm please? I have a few quick questions. Thank you!

Array

Feb 5, 2021 - 8:57pm

Shit, tell me about it. I'm a state school grad, white guy who is at a Mid-tier BB in a tier 2 city. I just started studying for GMAT thinking that a 750+ should give me a good chance at M7 schools, but these replies are making me depressed. I can't even compete with the guys who got rejected lol

  • Managing Director in IB-M&A
Feb 5, 2021 - 9:37pm

I'd note that admissions across the board have been extremely difficult this year.

1. A lot of deferrals from the year prior limiting seats

2. Increase in application numbers driven by COVID/general economy/burnout

Feb 5, 2021 - 10:59pm

The reason why so many of these clearly very qualified posters are getting rejected is because industries are bucketed at B-schools and often have a cap. E.x limiting the amount of people in IB, PE at Wharton. Because there is a quota, it becomes intensely competitive.

If anything, it may be much easier to land a slot at one of these schools with similar test scores, GPA if you are doing something less common like Institutional Partnerships at PayPal.

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Feb 7, 2021 - 3:14pm

Seems to be a tough year. Friend of mine at a MF (previously GS/MS) with 780 (could be 790, I forgot) GMAT got dinged by HBS without interview...  

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 7, 2021 - 8:48pm

This is incredibly disappointing to hear as someone who plans on applying to HBS/GSB. I come from a T20 school with a low gpa (3.4ish) but will be hopefully be joining a top firm (GS/MS) in IBD as I am recruiting as a sophomore for junior year SA's right now. I also have previous entrepreneurship experience (started two companies, sold one of them after building to ~$1M in revenue and led the other to $100,000 pre-seed investment round at $2.5 million valuation). Hoping to get a 750+ on GMAT but seems like honestly my chances are slim....

Feb 8, 2021 - 10:28am

I think this is a really good reminder that there are incredibly talented and successful individuals out there that go to schools other than HBS. Similarly, if you do apply and get rejected from HBS (or any of the top schools), you shouldn't view it as a failure. There are so few available spots and the decisions can often be so arbitrary that there is often very little (or nothing at all) that distinguishes between an accepted candidate and a rejected one.

CompBanker

  • 2
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Feb 8, 2021 - 12:51pm

Good points all around. These are some helpful data points... and sobering as multiple posters have suggested. I didn't apply this round but am coming from a similar background and have heard about many candidates with similar profiles to the ones described above getting rejected without an interview at HBS. I commend "Associate 2 - PE - LBOs" above for your positive attitude. 

A very close friend of mine applied with the following background to HBS/Stanford round 1 and did not get accepted into either:

  • Undergrad:  ~Top 30ish, Non-LAC
  • Undergrad GPA/Major: ~3.8-3.9 Engineering / Finance double major
  • GMAT:  770
  • Work Experience:  2 Years EB; 3 years UMM PE
  • Volunteer Work:  Substantial
  • Rec Letters:  Not exactly sure who he asked but I know he had a lot of close colleagues / direct supervisors at work who were alums of HBS/GSB
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Feb 8, 2021 - 1:54pm

I believe he did apply to Wharton in round 2... but not sure if he has heard back regarding decisions/interviews. I think he is fairly certain that he would like to continue down the private equity career path and feels that the top ~3 programs provide the best opportunities for recruiting for those highly competitive post-MBA spots (aside from downsizing significantly in fund size / being more limited in choices around geography). 

Feb 8, 2021 - 7:04pm

Not me, but a close personal friend:

Undergraduate School: Ivy / Duke / Northwestern / Etc.

GPA: 3.9+ / 4.0

Major/Minor: STEM

GMAT: 770

Work Experience Summary: 3 years of consulting

Interests/Hobbies or Other Notable Leadership: Bunch of volunteering. Nothing else really though

Letters of Recommendation: Good recs

Applied Schools: Only applied to Harvard and Stanford

Status: Waitlisted at Harvard, Accepted at Stanford

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Feb 8, 2021 - 7:44pm

Three datapoints from the same MM PE Fund (~$2Bn fund size), all this past year:

1. LAC Undergrad, 780 GMAT, 3.9 GPA: Accepted to Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg, Booth, Columbia; Rejected at Wharton

2. SEC Undergrad, 740 GMAT, 3.8 GPA: Accepted at Kellogg, Columbia; Rejected by Harvard, Wharton, MIT

3. LAC Undergrad, 720 GMAT, 3.6 GPA: Rejected by Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, Booth

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Feb 10, 2021 - 11:57pm

Just an absolute rock star. Very sharp and an excellent PE associate but also very humble and down to earth. He put a ton of effort into his application (didn't use a consultant either) and had glowing recs. My firm is 2-and-out and doesn't make sponsorship decisions until just before folks leave, but I think it's highly likely this guy gets asked to come back. 

Feb 12, 2021 - 12:10pm

yea my guess is that the IB/ PE slots are limited and they were prob from GS/MS top groups that went on to MFs like BX/KKR

i heard that BX PE and KKR PE analysts bassicaly have a garunteed offer from GSB and HBS but just those groups 

its not garunteed obviously but their firm has some policy with these schools - but pretty sure its just there PE team

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Feb 12, 2021 - 10:17pm

It has gotten really difficult to get into H/S, even coming from KKR et al. From what I've seen, it's basically a coin flip for most people despite pristine backgrounds, strong stats, solid recs, etc. You'll see a decent number of people end up at Wharton (or, more rarely, Columbia, Kellogg, or Booth), but many people will either try to stick around or lateral somewhere else. 

Feb 28, 2021 - 9:54am

Unless you are 100% HBS or bust, I would go to Booth. You are clearly a very strong candidate and I don't think your outcomes will be materially different at Booth than they would be at Wharton.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Feb 11, 2021 - 12:08am

Judging by these (limited) data points and knowing what my non-H/S M7 class profile looked liked, this year seems brutal.  Some of you bros would normally be locks for H/S and are getting rejected by Wharton and below. Sympathies man tough year

Feb 11, 2021 - 12:09am

I'm a white guy.

Undergraduate School: Good private uni (e.g. Northwestern/Duke/Vanderbilt)

Undergrad GPA/Major GPA: 3.8 / 3.8

Major/Minor: Econ

GMAT (score split) & Date Taken: 750 (47Q/47V/7IR) 

Work Experience Summary: 5 years (upon matriculation) at a boutique RIA with HNW/UHNW clients. Very fortunate to have more "interesting" experience than traditional PWM due to unique circumstances that would probably give away the firm.

Interests/Hobbies or Other Notable Leadership: Volunteer at a local nonprofit, mentor junior employees at my firm.

Letters of Recommendation:

One from my direct manager, one from my firm's CEO. 

Applied Schools:

Harvard (Rejected)

Stanford (Waitlist)

Booth (Waitlist)

Columbia (Accepted & attending)

MIT Sloan (Accepted)

Berkeley Haas (Accepted)

Michigan (Accepted)

Very lucky.  Excited to start in the fall.

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