Tag Archives: Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School Application Deadlines

The application deadlines for the Harvard Business School MBA Class of 2017 have been announced. The three rounds are: Round 1 Deadline: September 9, 2014 Notification: December 2014 (Date TBA) Round 2 Deadline: January 5, …

The application deadlines for the Harvard Business School MBA Class of 2017 have been announced. The three rounds are:

Round 1

Deadline: September 9, 2014
Notification: December 2014 (Date TBA)

Round 2

Deadline: January 5, 2015
Notification: March 2015 (Date TBA)

Round 3

Deadline: April 6, 2015
Notification: May 2015 (Date TBA)

Application materials must be submitted by 12 noon EST on the day of the deadline.

Harvard Business School strongly encourages international applicants to apply in rounds one or two to allow sufficient time for visa processing, as well as additional time to work on English fluency.

For more information, please visit the HBS admissions website.

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Harvard Business School MBA Application Essay Tips 2014

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Tuesday Tips: Harvard Business School MBA Application Essay Tips 2014

Harvard Business School has decided to repeat the same essay question this year as originally used in last year’s application cycle. Though the admissions committee said they were planning to change the essay questions every …

Harvard Business School has decided to repeat the same essay question this year as originally used in last year’s application cycle. Though the admissions committee said they were planning to change the essay questions every year, it turned out that the one open-ended essay was helpful enough to use it again.

The most challenging part of this essay is remaining disciplined. With unlimited space to make your case, you may be tempted to compose a laundry list of everything interesting or impressive you have ever done. That urge could backfire, as the essay is used to determine who isn’t a fit for HBS as much as selecting the lucky candidates who make it into the interview round. Maturity, accomplishment, and leadership are highly valued qualities and this essay is your chance to display those qualities through the stories you choose and the voice coming through your writing.

There is one question, technically optional, for the Class of 2017 application essay:

You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?

HBS adds this tip to the essay prompt:

There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here. Don’t overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.

A note on word count: HBS traditionally has limited essays to around 400 words each. Do not be tempted to go overboard with a 2,000 word essay, rather focus on concise and clear writing and consider keeping this essay to 1,200 words or less. Our successful clients had essays anywhere from 500-1,300 words last year, though you should take a pass through your essay to cut any unnecessary words if you find yourself on the upper end of that range.

The goal of this essay is to know yourself, know HBS, and know how to match the two to demonstrate your fit for the school. Your first task should be to evaluate all of the other aspects of your candidacy – what is the story your resume tells? What do you think recommenders will say? How does your transcript communicate your skills, accomplishments and interests? Then you need to evaluate how to fill the gaps with the essay.

We advised many successful clients on this essay last year, and those who received an acceptance letter from Harvard Business School pursued a range of topics. Some applicants focused on their career journey and aspirations while others wrote about their personal background. Both highly personal and career oriented essays were successful, and most candidates told more than one story in the essay. One common thread we observed was that all of the successful essays demonstrated a core driving passion.

While comparisons with Stanford’s “What Matters Most” open-ended question may come immediately to mind, HBS is very different and it will be important to know the program. As you consider possible stories to tell in this essay keep in mind that HBS has always been highly focused on leadership and wants to accept candidates who have a track record of leadership impact and a success trajectory that indicates upper management potential. Accomplishments have traditionally been a strong focus of HBS essays, and using at least one accomplishment story in this essay may be a good strategy, particularly if your accomplishments are not obvious when reading your resume or transcripts.

A note on what not to do: We see many applicants tempted to include “why HBS” type information in HBS essays. This has never been part of an HBS application essay question and we don’t recommend including that sort of angle here. HBS is quite clear on why applicants are interested in the school, and they would rather see you use the space to provide more information about yourself and your candidacy.

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HBS Keeps “Optional” Essay for 2014-2015 Admissions Cycle

Just one day after Harvard Business School sent out Round 3 decisions, director of MBA admissions and financial aid Dee Leopold was back on the blog today with the news that HBS would be repeating …

HBS R1

Just one day after Harvard Business School sent out Round 3 decisions, director of MBA admissions and financial aid Dee Leopold was back on the blog today with the news that HBS would be repeating the optional essay prompt that created such a stir when it was first announced.

The (optional) “essay” question is:

“You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, academic transcripts, extracurricular activities, awards, post-MBA career intentions, test scores, and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?”

Although Leopold went on record last year saying Harvard Business School would always be changing the essay question, the director admits the admissions team really liked the wide range of responses they received from admitted candidates.

She goes on to list the two recommender questions for the upcoming season, which are as follows:

How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)

Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)

The application will go live in mid-June, says Leopold, and the Round 1 deadline has been set for September 9, 2014. HBS will conduct interviews from mid-October through November, with notification on or around December 10th, the director adds.

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Harvard Business School Round 3 Notification

Round 3 applicants to Harvard Business School have just one more day of anxious waiting before their fate is announced. In her latest update to the Director’s Blog, Dee Leopold informed readers that decisions would …

HBS R3 notification

Round 3 applicants to Harvard Business School have just one more day of anxious waiting before their fate is announced. In her latest update to the Director’s Blog, Dee Leopold informed readers that decisions would be emailed at noon Boston time on May 14th.

At that time, applicants will either receive an admit with lots of details on what to do next; placement on the waitlist, which Leopold hopes to resolve speedily; or a ding, with more information on dates/times for “touchpoint” calls, the director writes.

Another admissions season is coming to an end, but Round 1 is just a few short months away. If this cycle didn’t yield the results you were hoping for, don’t give up! You still have time to enhance your candidacy and strengthen your application for the 2014-2015 season.

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HBS Launches Campaign to Raise $1 Billion

Harvard Business School plans to raise $1 billion over the next five years, and has launched an alumni outreach program to increase engagement with and among alumni well in to the future, the school announced …

HBS capital campaign

Harvard Business School plans to raise $1 billion over the next five years, and has launched an alumni outreach program to increase engagement with and among alumni well in to the future, the school announced at its public capital campaign launch on Friday.

HBS has already raised more than $600 million in gifts and pledges since 2012 as part of the campaign’s “quiet phase.” The overall goal is part of Harvard University’s $6.5 billion campaign announced last September.

This is the fourth campaign since the school’s founding in 1908. Funds raised will support priorities such as student financial aid, faculty research, globalization, and curricular innovation, as well as enhancements to the school’s residential campus.

“What truly distinguishes Harvard Business School is our capacity to continually innovate,” says Dean Nitin Nohria in a press statement announcing the news. “In short, we have been unafraid to anticipate and respond to changes in the world around us. Our vision is to continue to embrace these two capacities: to hold fast to the characteristics we most cherish, and to be bold— even relentless—in innovating for a better future.”

To have an impact on complex global issues, Harvard Business School will actively engage its 80,000 alumni around the world, many of whom are positioned to make change happen in established companies, new ventures, and social enterprises.

“People often associate this School’s graduates with industries like finance and consulting,” says Campaign Chair John Hess. “But HBS graduates are essential in leading every type of organization, including hospitals, schools, and social enterprises. Good leadership exerts a multiplier effect, and the alumni that I speak with are eager to put their management knowledge to work in taking on some of most complex issues faced by society today.”

new website enables HBS alumni to connect with one other based on a wide range of personal and professional interests. The website includes hundreds of stories that highlight the impact alumni and faculty have in organizations and communities around the world.

Professor Robert Steven Kaplan, the School’s Senior Associate Dean for External Relations, spearheaded the effort to bring the voice of alumni into the campaign by enlisting several hundred alumni in committees, each of which explored topics that ultimately shaped the campaign themes and direction.

The effort to engage alumni began in Boston on April 26th and will extend around the world over the next 18 months.

“The world turns to Harvard Business School for leadership not only because it is core to our mission,” says Kaplan, “but because our alumni are setting the example of true leadership by the impact they are making in large and small ways every day. They are the key to our future.”

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Round 3 Update from Harvard Business School

Just two more days, Round 3 applicants to Harvard Business School. That’s right, your fate will be known at noon Boston time, when the admissions team sends out both interview invitations and release notifications. According …

HBS round 3

Just two more days, Round 3 applicants to Harvard Business School. That’s right, your fate will be known at noon Boston time, when the admissions team sends out both interview invitations and release notifications.

According to the latest update by admissions director Dee Leopold, all Round 3 applicants will hear something on Thursday, April 17th. Interviews will take place via Skype, or on campus on April 28th and May 2nd. Decisions on all interviewed Round 3 candidates will go out at noon on May 14th.

Leopold also says the Class of 2017 application will go live in mid-June, but we can expect to see the essay and recommender questions in advance.

Good luck to all the Round 3 applicants out there, as well as those on the HBS waitlist.

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