If HBS is so good, why’s it accept college drop outs?

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Yup, ya heard me right. Read about it here in the Economist, and I just saw it here as well @ clearadmitBlake Gottesman, a 1st year college drop out from nothing more than the equivalent of a Texan community college gets to go to Harvard Business School because he brought the president, as in one Mr. George W. Bush, coffee. While carrying coffee can be seen in certain circles as an activity befitting only the most lackluster individuals, it is, apparently at Harvard, a pre-requisite criteria for entry. It’s a good thing I didn’t apply, I buy my coffee on the corner.

However that is not to say that someone such as a legislative aid on Capitol Hill would not have a shot at Harvard, I in fact have a very good friend who is just that, he works for Congressman Honda, out of California – and truth be told is spearheading a very interesting project at the moment. But what one Mr. Gottesman has that my friend does not, is that he dated the President’s daughter. And while my freind, like the rest of us, has to work, be creative, involve himself, and really be a go getter to get that grad diploma. He didn’t date the president’s daughter, and unlike Mr. Gottesman, will probably have to do better than drop out of college and in all lieklihood score a 420 on his GMAT (yes, the pun was intended).

Regardless, I find this all absolutely pathetic. That HBS would on the word of the president, and such a poor one might I add, accept this buffoon into their ’08 intake, where I am sure that there were hundreds of qualified individuals who would have made much better choices, who actually have some sort of considerable talent other than bringing coffee of course, and who in all likelihood deserve to be in that class.

But hey… that’s life right. So let’s give Harvard a great round of applause for last year’s insult of women, and this year’s brilliant admissions choice.

Oh, and in case anyone forgot – midterm elections are in November.

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Ash says:

    wow thanks!makes the HBS ding feel less bad now:)cheersash

  2. Nick says:

    It’s pretty disgusting that this kid was accepted to HBS. Ah, the power of political connections over a supposed meritocracy. I would be pissed if I’d applied to HBS, or even if I expected more from them. But I didn’t, and I don’t.

  3. Chris says:

    No to worry… HBS’s grade disclosure starts with the Class of 2008…Also, young Blake will most surely be the butt of some people’s jokes, especially when he gives a professor a blank stare when asked to compute free cash flow.How does the adcom give someone a pass on the undergraduate degree AND the GMAT?I mean, how is this guy going to handle finance? He has been a gopher for some time.I can understand Harvard giving him the pass on his undergraduate education if he were some brilliant economist working at the Federal Reserve (or something like that)… that is, RELEVANT experience…I am sure he is a great guy and all but there are hundreds of people without an undergraduate degree that probably have more relevant experience to warrant a pass.

  4. -Al says:

    it amazes me when people have access to a single piece of a puzzle and opine so vehemently against another person…inexcusablehave you read his essays?have you read his recommendations?do you know his GMAT score?what if the President of the United States said that of all the young men he’s met and the 50 he’s written recommendations for, Blake is the finest…just because you personally don’t like Bush doesn’t mean his recommendation carries less weight than a mid-level manager at firm x with unknown credibility i mean really, drinking my way through undergrad probably taught me more than working 14 hour days observing and interacting (to a greater degree than the rest of us) with world leaders, that makes sense…those 4 nights a week i played beer pong probably augmented my potential more than working long days monday thru saturday on a presidential campaign, for andy card and eventually for the presidentwould IESE accept him? would wharton or stanford? i’d bet they’d make the same decision, and maybe the didthis guy is getting the brunt of negative feelings at a sensitive time for applicants to the class of 2008Harvard is undeniably a great institution and HBS is widely acknowledged as the world’s preeminent business schoolit would be different if blake didn’t have to fill out an application and write the 7 essays plus additional information, it would be different if he didn’t take the GMATwhile i am not an avid reader of these boards, i appreciate them, but posts like this do not fairly represent the intellectual capabilities i have witnessed here and on other sitesthe benefit of being harvard is that you have the credibility to make this decisionto avert any claims of partisianship, i don’t like the president either, in fact i volunteered for and contributed to kerry and gore, but regardless of political views, i can see there’s a lot to this puzzle that we don’t know

  5. ... jacek ... says:

    Al, while I agree with you that I too unconditionally learned more playing beer pong in college, than sitting in my office cube, I will also stress that for all we know Blake may not have taken the GMAT, he may not have filled out all that essay and written that application, for all we know, the incumbent president may have slapped him on the back and said in that ever so well known voice of his “Blake, you wanna go to Harvard?” For all we know. However, at the same time, logic precludes that the only reason he got in is because of the president – who is also a Harvard MBA alum, and I only assume got in the exact same way.

  6. Nick says:

    I for one, DID learn more in my undergrad years than I would have hobknobbing with world leaders for several years. Exactly what does one *learn* from that, other than how to work connections? That sort of “knowledge” isn’t even comparable to what one gains from a rigorous college program. (Not that this kid was in a rigorous college to begin with.)Maybe the English and business majors out there didn’t learn anything from college, but I sure as hell did. I’ve never heard of anyone learning organic chemistry from politicians.

  7. Al says:

    I will try and address two comments at once, forgive me for jumping back and forth.First, Claremont McKenna is an outstanding institution. US News ranks it as the #10 liberal arts school in America, tied with Davidson and one spot behind Middlebury. Princeton Review says the average SAT is 1400. That’s really high, especially for an average. It says students that apply to Claremont also should consider applying to Brown (an Ivy, average SAT 1390). For international students that didn’t go through all the research on American schools, this is an understandable oversight. However, don’t post hogwash dressed as fact. The top 10 liberal arts universities are just as hard (or harder) to gain admissions to as top 20 national universities, but less well-known internationally. So let’s be honest with the facts and not just make unsubstantiated assumptions. Jacek, can you really assume he did nothing? Do you hold HBS in such low esteem? Is that even reasonable? Do you think HBS doesn’t value its reputation? It’s probably not worth having this discussion if you’re of the mindset that all it takes is a mere phone call and no substantiating hard facts (GMAT/essays). It reads as if you think HBS is scum with no standards – which I don’t think is the impression you mean to give.You’re right though, there are a lot of things we don’t know. I’m willing to give any program regarded as highly as HBS is, the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t that be a devastating blow to all b-schools and MBA students if even the best of the best had no moral code. Changing subjects, obviously, one can learn things in college. I learned a lot about economics as an econ major. I learned a great deal about student government. I also learned how to run multiple community service organizations. However, in my 4 years working, I’ve learned more that’s applicable to business school than I did in college. Maybe Nick didn’t catch my sarcasm and exaggeration with the goal of making a point.However, I’d give odds that Blake learned more about running organizations and being a leader as it pertains to business school in his experiences and travels, than anyone can learn in a decade of organic chemistry. We are talking about business school credentials, not PhD credentials right? Did I miss a transition? Do you actually think you wouldn’t takeaway powerful insights by regularly witnessing the most prominent leaders in the world? Preposterous! HBS prides itself on leadership training. Imagine all that could be learned from the successes and *failures* of a (*this*) two-term president. I am also going to a top 3 b-school next year. In a learning environment largely dependent upon the quality of experiences had by other students, I would welcome Blake into my class. His perspective is certainly more unique than another Wall St guy.

  8. mark says:

    Give him a break – I guarantee he worked harder for the past 5 yrs than 90% of his class at HBS. trust me he took the gmat.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Relax Al! Blake made coffees and photocopies. Do you really believe that he attended Bush’s meetings with international leaders and was solicited for his advice on strategies and policies? You seem to overplay Blake’s position in the White House. This case demonstrates that certain candidates are accepted on the strength of their connections. And this applies to all the major business schools. By contrast for the anonymous candidates undergraduate credentials, gmat, essays and work experience are applied vigorously.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Relax Al! Blake made coffees and photocopies. Do you really believe that he attended Bush’s meetings with international leaders and was solicited for his advice on strategies and policies? You seem to overplay Blake’s position in the White House.This case demonstrates that certain candidates are accepted on the strength of their connections. And this applies to all the major business schools. By contrast for the anonymous candidates undergraduate credentials, gmat, essays and work experience are applied vigorously.

  11. Miss Cellania says:

    The assumption that he did not take the GMAT may be because he didn’t graduate. That makes sense to me! The sunny side is that he will probably end up running a large corporation and NOT BE SMART enough to rip off the employees, stockholders, and public like Ken Lay. The dark side is he may end up being president.

  12. ... jacek ... says:

    That’s teh worry Miss Cellania, that’s the worry. If he becomes president, I’m permanenetly moving out of the country. Wait… I’m already permanently moving out of the country. :)Anyways, for anyone still interested – I advise checking out the Wed, May 24th WSJ Leidure & Arts Section Page D12 (haha) in the bookshelf section. An ex harvard dean, who’s now a professor goes into how Harvard is headed straight for the crapper, other American Universities to follow.Not that I’m ragging on US Schools here, it’s just that everything is about the bottom line, even education – morality has in effect been replaced by profits, and that’s just not right. Sure we can look to maximize profits, at schools, companies, etc… but at what cost?

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