Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Ding letters with style

Just for shits and giggles, I pulled out my old Kellogg ding letter. (I applied for admission for Fall 2000 as a college senior; Kellogg was one of five dings.) Kellogg has forbidden me from copying, reproducing, or forwarding their ding letter...oops, already did a little in my previous post. Anyway, I won't post either letter in its complete form, but let me tell you that they are dated five years apart yet they are nearly identical. What's up with that? The marketing gurus of the b-school world have been using the same direct mail creative for five years? For shame!

Ding letters really don't tell you anything other than you didn't make the cut. They are form letters with bad news. I'd like to see schools spice it up a bit. I realize they don't have enough time to personalize every letter, but maybe they could get a few more options in rotation.

Typical ding letter phrases:
"careful evaluation and consideration"
"superb quality of the applicant pool"
"not a reflection of your personal qualities"
"best wishes for future success"

Ding letter phrases I'd like to see:
"it's not you, it's me" (boyfriends/girlfriends have been using it for years!)
"yeah, right. nice try, thanks for playing"
"thanks for supporting our office fun day budget with your $200 application fee"
"if only you had climbed Mount Everest or cured herpes"
"the office pool has you at 2-to-1 odds for your local truck driving program"



GraveDigger said...

funny one :)
I'd prefer the
"it's not you, it's me" ;o) sounds very familiar ha ha!
anyways, good luck with wharton and chicago!

Classy said...

LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! ;-)

Dave for MBA said...

That is horrible. What's up with that. It sure would have been nice to at least customize it somewhat using some computer program and slick info from their pool of ding phrases that fit the situation more appropriately. Like grade issue.. then one kind or interview outcome... another type... etc.

Other possible ding phrases could have been
"what were you thinking"
"nice try"
"That was funny"
"Close, but yet so far"
"Try again, I dare you"
"Did you really proofread your essays?"
"We couldn't stop laughing, yeah no thanks"

mbafarbe said...

...Or in this age of IT the school can have a program like Google Adsense which scans the dinged application essays for certain keywords and fits in phrases accordingly. If the applicant seemed to have added any humour, then the tone of the ding should be similar. If the application was serious.. then a serious ding...

Alex said...

search businessweek forums and see some hilarious posts about student ding letters for schools. i used one for a wharton comedy club performance, brilliant stuff!

Classy said...

Good call Alex!

I posted my Kellogg ding letter in that thread and made my own to go with it. So, it's out there. That precluded my lovely feedback session when I was told, "frankly, I just don't see how you would bring any value to the class." Um, yeah...

Good times, good times...

Cal Grad said...

Just searched the bw boards for Ding Letters from last year and that was a riot!

I like the "... I'm sorry, I have too many rejection letters that I can not accept your rejection letter at this time ..."

yoni cohen :: http://yocohoops.com said...

Wake Chick-

Came across your blog today. Great stuff. Glad you can find humor in ding litters -- and congrats on your admission to UCLA. Best of luck with Wharton.

Noticed you were a college basketball fan. Hoping you could kindly add a blogroll link to my College Basketball Blog, http://collegeball.blogspot.com. I'd greatly appreciate a permanent link on your site.

And would gladly return the favor, adding a link from my site to yours.


Yoni Cohen, College Basketball Blog

Evan said...

i will be entering college in the fall. political science major


bskewl said...

Any adventure that starts with "Just for shits and giggles" wins huge points in my book.

Good post.

See also: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2005/1/10lists.html

dean79 said...

Brilliant. Hilarious!

Good luck with those other apps. I wouldn't write Wharton off yet: the MBA app process has to be like 60% luck.

klax said...

funny but i did get a ding letter that i liked :). Was Stan for the management science phd program '03 fall. it was something like "the program may not be good enough to achieve your career aspirations". funny - stan thinks i am too good for them :) lol. i even thought of mailing back saying " i'll manage, just gimme the admit"

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