Tag Archives: Harvard Business School

Maximize the ROI of Your B-School Decision: Are You Thinking Deep Enough?

With the high cost of admission to a top-tier business school, prospective students should determine whether pursuing the MBA degree makes financial sense as a long-term investment. I advise applicants to ask themselves three questions: …

ROI of the MBA

With the high cost of admission to a top-tier business school, prospective students should determine whether pursuing the MBA degree makes financial sense as a long-term investment. I advise applicants to ask themselves three questions: Will the degree help me switch careers? Can I expect a significant salary increase? Will an MBA help me reach a leadership position sooner?

While it can be daunting to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to earn an MBA, most business school graduates experience a substantial salary increase. The degree is also a powerful differentiator in a crowded marketplace. The vast majority of graduates report having greater job satisfaction and the ability to advance quickly and, therefore, earn more in shorter time.

In fact, Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2016 Alumni Perspectives survey gets very specific about the dollar value such a degree can bring. Business school alumni earn a median of US$2.5 million in cumulative base salary over 20 years following graduation. Alumni — on average — recoup their b-school investment within four years after graduation, depending on the type of program attended.

Last fall, when Forbes released its 2015 ranking of the best b-schools based on the ROI of the MBA Class of 2010, Stanford Graduate School of Business nudged out Harvard Business School for the top spot for the second straight time, with a five-year gain of $89,100 for graduates. In fact, according to the report, the class of 2010 tripled their pre-MBA total compensation to $255,000 five years out of school.

Calculating the return on investment requires a simple formula. It’s the return acquired from an investment minus the cost of the investment, divided by the cost of the investment. Students of two-year MBA programs typically have the largest investment expense because they miss two years of employment. They need to recoup the cost of the MBA degree plus the opportunity cost in order to get a positive return on their investment.

To dive deeper into the numbers, TransparentMBA, a company started in 2015 by University of Chicago Booth School of Business students who were frustrated by the lack of relevant compensation and satisfaction data available to MBA students, provides both industry and company-specific on effective hourly wage across a multitude of post-MBA roles.

This can greatly help those considering business school figure out just what type of salary bump they can look forward to based on the industry or company they plan to target upon graduating.

Prospective students should consider payback time with projected cumulative growth, and average growth rate, when looking at return on investment as a motivating factor for pursuing an MBA. But keep in mind, the value of the MBA degree varies depending on your post-graduation plans, as well as the brand of the business school where you earn the degree.

In an earlier post on ROI, Paul Danos, former dean of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, noted that while the elite programs require a significant investment in time and money, it pays off in both career options and compensation. “The top programs are able to recruit the best qualified students, provide a truly excellent educational experience, and therefore attract top recruiters who recognize the value of that experience.”

Remember, every choice that you make when deciding whether an MBA makes sense for you– ranging from the cost of the city you decide to live in, the field you move into, to the school you choose – will impact your financial return on investment.  Nevertheless, I believe that no other degree can open doors as the MBA does.

Image credit: Flickr user http://401kcalculator.org (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Posted in Application Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

HBS 2+2 Program Now Has Single Application Deadline

Earlier this month, Harvard Business School announced a significant change to the application process for its 2+2 program. This deferred admissions program is designed for college seniors, who, if accepted, work for two years (or …

Harvard Business School-Flickr

Earlier this month, Harvard Business School announced a significant change to the application process for its 2+2 program. This deferred admissions program is designed for college seniors, who, if accepted, work for two years (or more) after their college graduations before entering the b-school.

Going forward, there will be a single deadline for these applicants—April 3, 2017—and one decision notification in mid-May.

In an update to the Director’s Blog, outgoing head of MBA admissions Dee Leopold notes that the change now offers the admissions team the opportunity to see applicants’ fall term grades and activities, and allows the team to review the entire pool at once.

While applicants can submit their materials earlier, Leopold stresses that this is not a rolling admissions process and no application will be considered prior to the April deadline.

“Many participants elect to work for three years and some for four,” adds Leopold. “You’ve heard us say this before and we’ll say it again: 2+2 probably should be re-named ‘Flex+2’…Your plans for employment need to be approved by us but we encourage a wide range of career exploration.”

Interview dates have not yet been set, though successful applicants can anticipate interviewing in late April-early May.

Image credit: Michael A. Herzog (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Posted in School News | Tagged , , , ,

Harvard Business School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Question

Harvard Business School has introduced the required essay prompt for the 2016-2017 MBA application season, which is a revisit of the optional question HBS used a few admission cycles back. It is as follows: As …

Harvard Business School SpanglerHarvard Business School has introduced the required essay prompt for the 2016-2017 MBA application season, which is a revisit of the optional question HBS used a few admission cycles back. It is as follows:

As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

Per HBS: 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.

The post-interview reflection remains a part of the HBS application process. Within 24 hours of the interview, candidates must submit a written reflection through the online application system. Detailed instructions will be provided to those applicants who are invited to the interview process.

For more information, please visit the HBS MBA admissions website. And stay tuned for our expert tips on how best to answer this prompt!

You may also be interested in:

Harvard Business School Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines

 Image credit: Chris Han  (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Posted in School News | Tagged , ,

Harvard Business School Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines

Harvard Business School has announced the application deadlines for the 2016-2017 MBA admissions cycle. They are as follows: Round 1 Application due: September 7, 2016 Decision released: December 7, 2016 Round 2 Application due: January …

Harvard Business School deadlines

Harvard Business School has announced the application deadlines for the 2016-2017 MBA admissions cycle. They are as follows:

Round 1

Application due: September 7, 2016
Decision released: December 7, 2016

Round 2

Application due: January 4, 2017
Decision released: March 22, 2017

Round 3

Application due: April 3, 2017
Decision released: May 10, 2017

Applications are due by 12 noon on the day of the deadline. Harvard Business School anticipates that many candidates will submit their online application materials very close to 12 noon on submission deadline dates. To avoid heavy server traffic and potential delays, HBS encourages candidates to submit application materials as early as possible.

For more information, please visit the HBS MBA admissions website.

You may also be interested in:

Harvard Business School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Question

Image credit: HBS1908  (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Posted in School News | Tagged , ,

Motherhood and the MBA

While it’s true that going to business school with children in tow is no cake walk, many MBA moms are finding more resources and support on campus than ever before. With Mother’s Day coming up, …

working mom

While it’s true that going to business school with children in tow is no cake walk, many MBA moms are finding more resources and support on campus than ever before. With Mother’s Day coming up, I wanted to share this post on being a student mom recently published on the MBA Voices blog at Harvard Business School.

Elena Rodighiero started at HBS in August 2014 with a three-month-old son, and is graduating this spring with a second child, a baby girl this time, who is just a few months old.

The need to prioritize is paramount for MBA moms, and what I found inspiring about her post was how she took an existing student association at HBS and expanded it to better meet her specific needs and to give back to future mothers pursuing the degree.

She and other moms created a new group within the Women Student Association called moMBAs, and she says the group focuses on building community and improving the HBS experience for student-moms, moms-to-be, and everyone who is interested in parenthood.

“My classmates and I wanted to institutionalize motherhood at HBS.”

“If we could collect and curate our combined experiences (including tips and tricks on things like childcare and lactation rooms on campus) we could help future generations of moms at HBS,” Rodighiero writes.

The group also worked with HBS’s Career and Professional Development Office to create a list of coaches able to help students structure a career path that considers their family’s needs as well, Rodighiero explains.

MoMBAs at HBS also has a speaker series planned for Fall 2016, and Rodighiero shares how she has integrated her interest in the topic of motherhood into her studies.  Together with classmate Carina Rutgers, she created an independent project on motherhood that “hinged on the consideration that in our professional careers we will all deal with parenthood, as managers or coworkers, even if parenthood is not part of our own personal lives. This is an important message for students at a business school, who will encounter this issue throughout their lives.”

Pursuing an MBA as a mother has its unique challenges and requirements, but it’s definitely feasible. Every woman interested in forging a new career path should know that business school, career advancement and having children are not mutually exclusive. I invite you to read the complete post on the MBA Voices blog to learn more about experiencing Harvard Business School from this unique point of view.

Image credit: Sal (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Posted in General, School News | Tagged , , , , ,

3 Reasons for Rejection From a Dream MBA Program

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com If you’ve been feeling down since receiving a rejection letter from your dream business school, I want to offer some insight into why …

rejection MBA admissions

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

If you’ve been feeling down since receiving a rejection letter from your dream business school, I want to offer some insight into why it happened, and remind you why you should keep your chin up.

First off, all of the top MBA programs are notoriously selective. It may be that out of every 100 people who submit materials, only seven to 12 are accepted. Harvard Business School – ranked No. 1 among MBA programs by U.S. News – rejected more than 8,000 applicants for its class of 2017. In other words, it’s very much a numbers game when you’re applying to such competitive programs. There are only so many spots for an overwhelming number of extremely talented candidates.

That may be hard to accept for people who have reached every goal they’ve ever gone after. So, here are three possible reasons why your target b-schools did not offer you admission.

Overrepresented demographic: Each program strives to put together a diverse class of impressive people. However, no one knows the magic formula that any given admissions committee uses to fill open spots.

The very elements that typically make up a strong candidate for business school – solid academic background, stellar test scores, work experience in investment banking, engineering or consulting – may not have strengthened your case because too many other candidates shared those exact same characteristics in this application cycle.

Everything from your gender to your industry to your nationality to your career aspirations, community service and personality comes into play when an admissions committee attempts to build a graduating class.

While you can’t do anything to change your basic profile, if you do apply again try to hone in on elements of your background, interests and experiences that set you apart. Even the most typical MBA candidate can find something that will enhance the experience of fellow classmates.

Lack of self-awareness: They say high self-awareness is the strongest predictor of overall success. Business schools love to admit applicants who appear dedicated to their personal development, which is why the “tell us about your greatest weakness” question is so popular in both essays and interviews.

There’s no such thing as a perfect MBA applicant, however. Everyone has weaknesses, and if you don’t acknowledge them, the admissions committee will make a judgement on how introspective and self-aware you are.

If your essays or interviews contain any excuses-making, passive-aggressive comments, outright bragging or rambling answers, they will question your maturity and fitness for their program. Any doubts will likely lead to a hard pass, so answer those questions honestly, but always with a positive tone focused on continual improvement and reflection.

Low stats with no explanation: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard members of the admissions committee express dismay over applicants who don’t make use of the optional essay to explain the common red flag of low quantitative stats or proof of quantitative proficiency. This isn’t the time to cross your fingers and hope for the best, no matter how many stories you’ve heard of applicants getting into the Stanford University Graduate School of Business with a 650 GMAT score.

If you plan on reapplying, you have a few options. The surest route is dedicating more time to studying so you can strengthen your score; then it won’t be an issue next time. If your stats still hover below the median at your target programs, take a college-level course in statistics or accounting and prove to the admissions committee that you know your way around a spreadsheet.

Yet another route requires more of that self-reflection I mentioned earlier. Make sure you’re targeting programs that line up well with your stats. Look at programs outside the top 15 and see if there’s a better fit with higher acceptance rates that will get you where you need to go, career-wise.

Once you’ve pulled together a strong application and submitted it, the process is out of your hands. You will never be able to do anything about who (or how many people) you were truly competing against for a spot, who read your application or what kind of mood they were in that day.

Developing resilience is incredibly important if you need to reapply, but it’s also essential in life. Even when you put your best out there, you might still fail. However, to be successful, you need to learn how to bounce back and try again.

Image credit: Flickr user Anne-Lise Heinrichs  (CC BY 2.0)

Posted in Application Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,