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What Role Do Grades Play In Hiring?

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What Role Do Grades Play in Hiring?

Over the years, a number of business schools have adopted grade non-disclosures (GND)—a policy that prevents students from revealing their grades or GPAs to potential employers. Some studies have shown that GND policies actually cause students to put in less academic effort. But what do grades really demonstrate, and are they a strong predictor of future success and impact?

These are questions that Joe Patti, executive director of Grand Opera House and writer at Butts In The Seats, recently delve into.


While students are less likely to put in the effort if their grades aren’t revealed to employers, the study also found that those same students were more likely to participate in extracurriculars and enroll in more difficult courses.

That begs two questions: What are grades intended for – and what do they tell employers about a potential hire?

“I recently made a post about how classroom grades are not an accurate reflection of future performance or capacity, extrapolating that to comment that not all metrics are meaningful to decision making,” Patti says. “This is a similar situation. While they may prefer to have GPA revealed, employers will hire MBA graduates from top programs due to reputation, networking and the fact one was admitted to the school signals something about their economic, social and educational background.”


When it comes to making a decision—like hiring—data can be helpful. But what role does GPA play in making a decision? And is the information we use to make big decisions even all that helpful?

Patti gives his two-cents but leaves the answer up to the reader’s interpretation.

“To a large degree we make conscious decisions about what is most important when we choose where to live, work, and play based on myriad personal and social criteria,” Patti says. “But we like to eliminate the nebulous factors and hew to lists created using arbitrary criteria. Which is why you can see five Best Places To Live articles a week where only a few places overlap. It is fun to see your favorite places on the list, but is that information helpful for decision making?”

Sources: Butts In The Seats, Butts In The Seats

Next Page: Advice From the Kellogg MBA Class of 2022

Northwestern Kellogg Students

Words of Advice From Kellogg’s Class of 2022

Business school is a time for learning, connecting, and growing. But the B-school experience can also be challenging—from rigorous coursework to the overall stress that comes with the MBA environment.

As the Class of 2022 embarks on a new chapter in their lives, Kellogg grads shared a few parting words of advice for the new MBA students.


Two years isn’t enough time to do everything. How you spend your two years at business school depends on how well you prioritize your time.

“You really are told when you get here to just prioritize as much as you can, so figure out what matters most to you and prioritize those things over anything else,” Alyssa Federico, a Kellogg MBA, says. “It’s just figuring out where you can tone back on some other things so that you can really invest yourself as much as you can in the two years that you are here.”

“It goes quick,” Saed Salah, a Kellogg MBA, adds. “Enjoy it. Make those connections, put yourself out there, reach out to faculty, reach out to classmates, and enjoy the ride and the journey.”


With top students from around the world, Kellogg’s bar for entry is high. The community is top-tier and well-accomplished, but Kellogg grads say that shouldn’t be reason to be intimidated.

“Don’t be afraid of that impostor syndrome,” Nehali Patel, a Kellogg MBA, says. “You may feel like you don’t belong, but you actually do and you made it here for a reason.”

“Probably what surprised me the most is how friendly and socially outgoing all the other students are,” Mike Rawls, a Kellogg MBA, adds. “Students are extremely willing to help you, and they want to be friends and want to continue to build professional relationships outside of Kellogg. Actually, the professors are the same way as well, so extremely helpful both personally and professionally.”

“I think Kellogg really does a great job of somehow selecting just so many different people but all kind of the same as if there’s some common thread among everyone here, and you can’t really put a name to it besides just ‘Kellogg,’’” Trevor Lu, a Kellogg MBA, says.

While these next two years will be difficult and challenging, it’s important to remember that you made it this far for a reason.

“Really lean in but gracefully,” Sandra Carruitero, a Kellogg MBA, says. “I think we are so excited by all the opportunities that there are on campus, so when we are here, understand that if you’re overwhelmed that it is OK; everyone else is overwhelmed. But also don’t be afraid to try new things. These two years are meant for us to experience and grow as humans.”

Sources: Northwestern Kellogg, Northwestern Kellogg, P&Q

Next Page: Wharton Essay Advice

Wharton School Graduation

Tips for Wharton’s 2022-2023 MBA Essays

Wharton’s 2022-2023 MBA application includes two required essays that are designed to gauge who you are as an applicant and why the B-school should offer you admission.  Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently offered insights into how applicants should approach each essay and what Wharton admissions is looking for.


The first required essay prompt asks:

How do you plan to use the Wharton MBA program to help you achieve your future professional goals? You might consider your past experience, short and long-term goals, and resources available at Wharton. (500 words)

While this essay is framed as a careers goal question, Blackman says, the prompt is also designed to gauge your personality and potential success at Wharton. Blackman suggests that applicants consider their past experiences.

“Think about the critical moments of your professional life that led to your goals,” she says. “Focus on telling the story of those decision points. Remember, anything unique in your background is always worth describing.”

Self-reflection is key when it comes to writing this essay.

“Wharton wants to know why an MBA and why Wharton, and your response should reflect a deep understanding of the program’s values and culture,” Michel Belden, of Fortuna Admissions, says. “Assure the admissions committee yours is a viable path – they want to know the why, not just the what. Taking the time to summon this clarity of purpose for yourself will allow you to shape a narrative that’s coherent, authentic, and compelling.”

Most importantly, be sure to connect your goals to what Wharton has to offer.

“Consider including specific information from your Wharton research in this essay,” Blackman says. “For example, mention the faculty you want to study with or the unique classes offered at Wharton. Consider what it might be like to live in Philadelphia. Think about the many clubs and student activities. Also, research the unique leadership development opportunities, such as traveling to Antarctica with your classmates.”


The second required essay prompt asks:

Taking into consideration your background – personal, professional, and/or academic – how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community? (400 words)

Similar to the first essay, you’ll want to approach this second essay with some self-reflection. Blackman suggests thinking about past experiences that demonstrate how you can contribute to Wharton’s community.

“You might bring your experiences launching a new product to your marketing case studies,” Blackman says. “Maybe you will lend creative ideas to your learning team as you prepare a research project because you have demonstrated creativity in your past accomplishments. Perhaps you have shown a tendency to teach and mentor others, and you plan to help your learning teammates with skills that they may not have learned in their past work.”

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, P&Q

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