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Harvard failure-what´s wrong?

 
#1 Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
01/09/2005 18:50

Mike

I had interviews with BCG, McKinsey, Bain and BAH and failed in all of them. How can this be? Looks like the case studies were not good enough for them...I have a MBA from Harvard, during the 2 years there I had about 500 cases...! what is wrong with me, or is it the firms? would appreciate any comments. Thanks

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#2 Re: Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
01/09/2005 19:40

a

The truth is that it is probably a bit of both. In other words, in some cases you were poor and in others cases the firm just was not interested. Work harder. That is all the advice I can give. If you were outstanding in all those case studies you would have had an offer from all of them. Just aim for excellence and then make it happen.

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#3 Re: Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
01/09/2005 19:44

MkPartner

That´s strange..is your week point quantitative skills? I interviewed a lot of law school graduates that I had to refuse because they simply could not work with computations. Which McKinsey office was it, if I may ask?

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#4 Re: Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
01/09/2005 20:01

Mike

As a matter of fact you´re right: I am a Law school graduate, and my numerical skills are (I have to confess) very poor. It was an European office. The McKinsey interviewer was a Manager who graduated in Chemistry. He was a very smart mathematics-driven guy but a bit arrogant. Also the case was very numerical.

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#5 Re: Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
01/09/2005 20:17

RD

Hi Mike, I'm shocked to hear that you were unsuccessful at those interviews. I was wondering if I might ask you for some help? I'm a recent graduate and plan to do an MBA in the coming years, hopefully at Harvard. What sort of credentials are needed to get in, in terms of work experience, GMAT score, and essays? Obviously I guess the work experience would have to be very impressive. I'm about to start my career working in corporate finance at Ernst & Young. Is that good enough or do I need to look into more high flying/reputable firms? I would very much appreciate your advice, and wish you well for the future. Kind regards, RD.

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#6 Re: Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
02/09/2005 10:25

QA / fraud detection

What's this: a "week point"? A homonym error from the firm? Shurely shome mishtake.... :-)

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#7 Re: Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
02/09/2005 10:30

Paul

What do you mean??

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#8 Re: Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
02/09/2005 10:42

Mike

Hi RD, what is is background? To be really honest, if you came from a Science or Engineering field do not go to Harvard; there are better MBAs around (Sloan or Wharton). "Harvard" is a very strong brand but, in my opinion lacks deep analysis: too much cases and too less theory, to support it!

If you can, I would advise an European MBA (IE, INSEAD, IMD...), as they give you an holistic view of business- US is to much "profit oriented". Good luck!

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#9 Re: Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
02/09/2005 11:18

Wise words

Mike, wise words. 'Harvard' does have a strong brand. However the MBA marketplace is simply not structured so that you only choose your MBA applications around the top school. It would be as crazy to select a school like that, as it would be to select a Corporate Finance Advisor by only looking at one firm. Your dots mean alot (Ashridge, Bath, Cranfield, LBS....), all accredited schools like Harvard. Also these schools often arrange interviews as part of the application process - I don't know if they all do because I kept my applications to a manageable number - but they don't all necessarily ask for essays as part of it either. Thankfully.

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#10 Re: Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
02/09/2005 12:49

RD

Hi there Mike and 'wise words'. Thank you for your feedback. Mike, you asked me for my background. I have graduated from the University of Nottingham with a BSc. in Economics and Econometrics with a 2.1 classification. I gather from your replies that I need to do much more research into which MBA schools I should apply to. However, my question about work experience, maybe I didn't make myself clear enough. For example, at A Level, you need to achieve certain grades before you will be considered for a place at certain universities. If for example, you are not predicted 3 grade A's, Oxbridge will simply throw out your application. In this sense, my question is about what kind of work experience is considered good enough, and what qualities do I need to demonstrate with this experience. To use an extreme example, three years serving chips might not be considered as good enough. I hope I have made myself clear this time. Thank you again for your advice. Yours, RD.

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#11 Re: Harvard failure-what´s wrong?
02/09/2005 14:38

More advice

The clearest answers would come from admissions officers and faculty, when you make applications to business schools. If you do some research www.topmba.com might be able to help you. My advice was to do some more research in this area at some time before you apply. Your experience most probably would help you - but you should not assume it is of equal help to all applications at all business schools. We had faculty that came from academic and academic+business backgrounds, there were also links with some firms and not others. People compete for places at business schools but it is not just about money. Advice : Consider how long have you been at your employers firm? Are you thinking too far ahead? What would help in an application when and if you do make it? Getting your employer behind your idea? Doing some more research? What else?

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