{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Have a near perfect GMAT score, put a ton of effort into my applications, and just got rejected by my safety MBA program… is it possibly because my “identity” isn’t right? (White male)", "post_id": "6232d90d507b4c002c89832c", "reply_count": 207, "vote_count": 57, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
null

Have a near perfect GMAT score, put a ton of effort into my applications, and just got rejected by my safety MBA program… is it possibly because my “identity” isn’t right? (White male)

funnylikesmarthelpful
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at
Highlighted IconHIGHLIGHTED

Before everyone jumps down his throat...

On the one hand, yes, there’s a lot of reasons why he could have been rejected that have nothing to do with race or gender. Poor essays, coming across as unlikeable on interviews, bad GPA, irrelevant referrals, not enough work experience... it’s likely a lot of factors played into this.

On the other hand, I can say that at least at the ~T10 MBA I attended, people were generally pretty open about test scores and grades. It was easy to tell how someone likely came across in interviews, and obviously work experience/education are easily available. And having discussed this at length with a number of “diversity” applicants, I would be willing to bet my next paycheck that all else equal, it is easier to gain admission and/or scholarship as a minority/woman than it is for a white/Asian male. That shouldn’t be held against anyone who applies and happens to be non-white or female, it’s not their decision... but it’s naive to think that admissions are truly gender or race blind - schools make a concerted effort to create “diversity”, which generally leads to easier admission standards for non-white or female candidates.

Bottom line: The fact that this guy has a “near perfect” GMAT but was rejected from his safety school is probably indicative of poor performance elsewhere, and an application that perhaps isn’t as strong as he thinks. I also would not be surprised given GMAT that if he was non-white/Asian, he would have been accepted.

likesmartfunny

That he called a school he applied to a "safety" means there's a 99% chance this came across in his essays and had nothing to do with his race...

like

I always find it funny when folks talk about “oh look it is the diversity quota that is hurting him”. Quite literally my class in MBA was 70% white. And that was 2020. 15 total black students and 22 total latinos including me. Small class in a T20. These proportion was very similar at several business schools across the T20 class.

OP you obviously had good credentials and wouldn’t worry about it. After your most detailed description, it looks like a yield protection from the school. Happened to me as well. A T25 school. Despite of being a minority, having both a a bs + ms in Stem and 8 years of experience on my field. Oh and a 740 score in my GMAT.
The wait can be nerve wracking but you’ll land in a good place. The best of luck

likesmart

I think the only metric you can look at to see if there’s discrimination is success rate of applicants per race. If 50% of your class is Asian but 70% of your applicants were asian for existence. It needs to be taken into account how much comes into the ‘funnel’.

like
Recent IconRecent

There are some schools that will reject you for being overqualified, because they know you won't take them over another offer. But yes, being a white male is a disadvantage, move to Europe where they don't have racist admissions :-)

likefunny

So many good schools in Europe because the education standard is much higher. Comparing a Harvard undergrad with a uni in Germany, Germany was harder

like

Have you considered the fact that other applicants might be more qualified? Or the university might know that they are your 'safety' choice, so they would rather offer the seat to someone they know will accept and attend?
Curious as to why you jumped straight to 'identity'.

likesmart

The difference being there is a legal precedent for the grievance, PwC4.

There are more than enough qualified applicants across every identity group, minority or not, to fill a class at a top business school. Because of long standing bias and systematic disadvantages for some groups, there may be fewer individuals that fit the qualifications in some of these. You may experience this as some kind of reverse racism but the truth is at the end of the day, there’s just too many good applicants and not enough seats. In my HBS class there were lots of stories of people who only got in to HBS / were rejected by their “safety.” Good luck! :)

like

@sc4 💯 we all know this is a subtle flex 💪🏽

like

Classic self pity “must be because I’m a white guy” that permeates society

likesmart

To everyone wondering what the details of the case in question are:
- safety school was low T20, I got interviews at places “higher” up the list (still good fits for me) but no decisions yet — hence the nerves from being rejected from my safety
- I was phi beta kappa at a T10 school for undergrad, majored in a STEM + language
- applying to B school after a prestigious scholarship post-grad and 3 YOE at McK doing sustainability work — should have pretty strong recs but obviously haven’t seen them
- mostly want to get MBA to help me transition to engagement manager, develop skills there and grow network
- GMAT is 790
I can’t really figure out why I got rejected but I’ve had 2 first round rejects, now this… still waiting on 3 other schools (all T10) but this has really made me wonder what else I could have done

like

It’s just a yield rejection. You’ll be fine R2.

like

Even if you’re a white male, having a near perfect gmat and being McKinsey would place u nearly anywhere. Is Stanford your safety? If so, what’s your reach? The X-Men academy?

funnylike

My point is that the odds are in his favor. Obviously, nothing is absolute. But the profile of someone from McK pretty well aligns with the type of student at all the best programs.

funny

I like how this guy is just asking the question, vs stating this is the case. Then, people are appalled by the thought and most of the same people are equally appalled when they receive a similar reaction from white people when they themselves claim racism, sexism or any other type of inequality negatively impacted them. You’re all the same person to me, just on different sides. If you happen to be consistent on the matter, regardless of your opinion, much respect.

likesmartfunny

If you have a stellar GMAT and GPA and you work for McK (for 2+ years) then your safety school should be Tuck/Kellog/Haas

No way people are saying “being a white man hurts” as if it isn’t the most advantaged social group in the US? Individual circumstances aside, your life has never been harder BECAUSE of your race or gender identity. It’s 2022; this should be well understood.

like

Agree with SM1. In aggregate, the idea of “white privilege” certainly exists but is overblown. Ultimately we don’t live in a society that systemically oppresses non-whites, we live in a society that systemically oppresses poor people. The most underrepresented demographic at elite schools is rural whites because of the hurdles of poorer folks seeking admission coupled with a lack of affirmative action initiatives. I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist - it definitely does, particularly on the individual level - but the notion that the current system is setup to benefit whites is silly.

I think it’s reductionist to form policies that aim to help URM’s because race isn’t the variable that should be solved for, it’s just an easy one to point at to appease the masses. Policy should aim at improving outcomes of poor Americans and establish ourselves truly as the “land of opportunity.” Politicizing this via race isn’t just intellectually flawed but it establishes deep political divisions, people dig in their heels and it’s the kind of low-resolution thinking that doesn’t get us anywhere.

like

I smell Cornell

funnylike

And if it makes OP feel better, im not a white man, and i got rejected too. ;)

like

US News and World Report factor yield into their MBA rankings, so lower ranked schools care that the people they accept are very likely to attend. If there is any hint that they are not your first choice, that is probably reason #1 that you were rejected.

Reason #2, which should be clearer from the decisions from your top choices, is likely that you didn’t have a unique enough story. White male, consulting, and wanting an MBA to become an engagement manager isn’t a unique story — the only way you could maybe get away with that is if you are sponsored by McKinsey. A sustainability trajectory would have been much more unique answer for “why MBA” and “why [x school]”.

likesmart

What happened to the whole process?
It was a very long time ago, but I didn’t have consultants editing my essays or prepping me for GMATs. One could argue that it showed because I had relatively crappy test scores, but got into the three schools I applied to despite a modest gpa. Why? Because there weren’t that many top district sales managers applying to Wharton, Sloan and Tuck at the time.
There were a lot of consultants with high GMATs and gpas, though, so keep your head up; you’ll get into one of the ones you applied to. It’s just not a lock with a traditional profile. No shame in that.

Maybe you were insufferable during your interview, just a hunch.

like

You meant “as insufferable” C5. Pls fix.

funny

Hi again everyone! Wanted to clarify a few things people have been discussing in this thread:
1) I regret how I phrased my initial question, because it clearly came out as an accusation / thinly-veiled statement. That’s not a fair way to hold a reasonable conversation, and something that really annoys me when others do it — so thank you to those who called me out on it.
2) I do believe that there is some advantage to being non-white (and non-Asian descent) in any admissions process in 2022, but of course do NOT believe that the world is unfairly stacked against us beleaguered white males
3) I posted this in a sleepy panic, not remembering that schools do yield management; I genuinely couldn’t think of a reason why I would’ve been rejected given my app (as I said, I put a lot of work into the essays and really felt the school would’ve been a good fit even if not as prestigious). So yes, maybe that’s entitlement, but I certainly don’t feel entitled to an admission letter because I’m a white man

like

Again, OP. No need to walk it back.

Nobody cares what you didn’t think you meant what you implied in your original post.

Just for next time, don’t spazz about race when something doesn’t go your way

like

Wow what a victim mentality you have, stop acting like you’re owed admission to the school you applied to.

like

You got rejected because you’re the kind of person who thinks it’s unfair if they don’t get something they think they’re entitled to.

Seriously though, you need a better answer than “Because I want to improve my chances at the place I’m already at.”

It does matter in the classroom to have people with different experiences and perspectives. Business school is a major investment. I got a lot more value hearing from the people with funky backgrounds than bankers and consultants who were there for trophies.

like

It’s not race in this instance. It’s yield protection. They correctly intuited that they are your safety school and know that you’ll probably get at least one acceptance that you would take over them. So why should they ruin their yield stats to send you an acceptance letter?

like

People don’t realize this possibility. Here’s another story. For a job interview (this was not BCG), I interviewed an MBA candidate from a T5 school. The person was highly qualified, had a unique and compelling story, was a POC, but showed little interest in the firm and potentially joining it. The person also said they had offers from all three of the MBBs :) We were confident they would not join and we did not make them an offer (yield protection). They had offers from MBB, went to a T5 (arguably T1) MBA program, was a diversity candidate, but did not get an offer from a “tier 2” firm.

SC1- pls stop spreading false info

Admission don’t lower their standard for non white or female candidates. It’s when two people have about the same level of qualifications, they pick the non white/female candidate

Check your privilege and facts

likefunny

You are so incredibly incorrect. This has already been proven time and time again. Asian candidates especially have a much higher bar and there were many lawsuits with ivy leage schools about this. Maybe check YOUR privilege?

likesmartuplifting

Imagine being Asian. You have to be even more qualified to get in (there are stats and lawsuits to prove this) because fewer spots are reserved than for white people despite Asians applying proportionally higher. Plus they don’t benefit from the white privilege in general society. In terms of MBA admission, Asian male is definitely the most screwed.

Not to diminish other minorities that face discrimination in general society (but they benefit in the admissions process).

like

Blatant racism towards Asian applicants. Can’t wait for that Supreme Court case to throw out racism in schools.

like

You do realize, the number of minority students compared to the majority is small right? You could have been rejected for any reason. There may not have been enough spots. Some applicants may have had your same credentials but a little extra of what they school was looking for. Affirmation Action barely takes enough credit for student population. Its crazy, i don't see people complaining when rich/well connected kids "take their spots", when that happens a whole lot more than AA. Check your thinking man. You're privileged and got rejected. Apply again or contest it and ask why your application was rejected.

like

Its literally all you hear? People complaining how privileged other people are taking their spots.

If you want to make a comparison, you should look at how many people per gender/… are allowed relative to the number of applicants. If you have 70% asians applying for instance, it shouldnt be strange they are overrepresented.

Also why call someone privileged straight away? A much bigger factor is the wealth you grow up with.

like

Related Posts

Hi all,
I have given interview for@IBM and cleared technical as well as managerial round. We had a discussion regarding expected CTC and tentative date of joining.

But it's been almost 1 month I haven't received the offer letter.I have checked the status of my job application and it is showing 2 " under review".

I have tried to reach out to my recruiter but none of them are picking up calls and not responding to my mails.

I am confused whether I shall wait for the offer or not. Please suggest

like

How many interviews did you do for lateraling? How did you schedule with work you already have at current firm?

like

I have my director rounds on Monday - McKinsey. Applying for an Analyst role.
Any tips to keep in mind?

Its the last interview stage and I believe its basically a behavioral/fitment check.
Any tips/things to care of?

like

After 4 rounds of interviews, what does it mean when a Deloitte recruiter says “The team is recommending you for a role in our X business but nothing is final until the 13th of the month”. Do you have the job but they need an executive “sign off” or are they deciding between multiple candidates? Need to put my mind at ease and understand the process

like

Additional Posts

Do juniors get pay rises outside of exceptional circumstances?

like

Hi all,
I have given interview for@IBM and cleared technical as well as managerial round. We had a discussion regarding expected CTC and tentative date of joining.

But it's been almost 1 month I haven't received the offer letter.I have checked the status of my job application and it is showing 2 " under review".

I have tried to reach out to my recruiter but none of them are picking up calls and not responding to my mails.

I am confused whether I shall wait for the offer or not. Please suggest

like

Best stream TV provider? Any thoughts?

like

What are the top consulting companies for healthcare?

like

At this point looks like everyone is moving to Hudson Yards. Accenture, EY, KKR, BlackRock, TimeWarner ... Also Morgan Stanley rumored to be negotiating a lease.

like

My first positive after 5 frozen embryo transfer , natural FET with hcg trigger. Beta HCG came at 218. Nurse and doctor congratulated me. I have to go again on Tuesday to test to see number doubles. Not sure if I can be happy about it yet. Is that good number ??

like

Why were you terminated from your last job?

Post Photo
likeuplifting

Our hospital had a drive to get patients isolation cell phones, chargers, and anything they might not have had time to bring. Essential contact point to their loved ones

like

Airport Game • what is the standard issue laptop by firm?

like

Currently pregnant. My boss mentioned that he wants us to have some meetings in the office. I am really concerned about COVID, as I heard that it might cause miscarriage. I am somehow worried that it might cause abnormalities in the child. What can I do? Anyone had similar experience? How did you handle it? Thank you!

like

How many interviews did you do for lateraling? How did you schedule with work you already have at current firm?

like

I'm currently in a consulting manager role internal to a well regarded pharma company. However, i have been contacted about a role at IQVIA for a new pure strategy internal group that they are standing up. It would be a 55% salary boost with director title and completely remote. Should I consider it? The salary increase and location flexibility are alluring.

like

Can anyone here offer insight on Healthscape Advisors? And if possible — thoughts on what’s it like working there?

like

Best MBB (or all other consulting firm) EM level exits? I got a fin tech for $270 TC with promises it could go up to $320-350ish in a couple years. Maybe could have done better on comp but i get to basically own a product internationally and am really excited to work in this field (involves web3, blockchain, supply chain, ventures, etc). Lots of promises like quick progresion and international travel and a team being built out and budget to manage…will see. Curious what others have been getting?

like

Anyone else canceling their Chase Sapphire card? Not seeing much benefit considering I’m not traveling much this year or eating out. Open to hear which CC are worth the anual fee right now.

like

When a ghetto person says: "may I axe you a question" I lose my mind. How the fuck did that become a thing?

like

Any directors or Senior managers in here going through H1bs or all of them green card holders?

For those that do your own taxes. What do you use and how much does it typically cost?

like

I just found out I’m pregnant and would like to wean off my anxiety medication (with my doctors approval) even though risks to the baby are low. I feel more comfortable not being on any medication. Has anyone taken Lexapro or another SSRI during pregnancy? Or had success getting off of it? Thanks!

like

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
Download Fishbowl to see what others are saying
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or

General

Legal