Tag Archives: Harvard Business School

Harvard Celebrates New Venture Competition’s 20th Anniversary

In April, Harvard Business School students and alumni will compete for $300,000 in cash prizes to fund their startup dreams in the 20th Anniversary New Venture Competition. Past competition winners and participants will also return …

In April, Harvard Business School students and alumni will compete for $300,000 in cash prizes to fund their startup dreams in the 20th Anniversary New Venture Competition. Past competition winners and participants will also return to campus for programs and a celebratory 20th Anniversary New Venture Competition Finale on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

The school is offering its biggest prizes to date, with a $75,000 Grand Prize for top winners in the Student Business, Student Social Enterprise, and Alumni competitions. Additional prizes are a $25,000 Runner-Up Prize, $5,000 Audience Award, and in-kind services. Previously the Grand Prize was $50,000 in each category.

More than 200 judges will vigorously review the new ventures in several rounds of judging. Past winners include Rent the Runway, Birchbox, and GrabTaxi.

“The New Venture Competition is critical to entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School,” says Jodi Gernon, Director of the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, which oversees the student and alumni business tracks of the competition. “Competition winners say it was the launching point of their businesses, helped them to attract funding, and gave them the confidence, exposure, and skills to found companies.”

Matt Segneri, Director of the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative, which manages the social enterprise track, says, “The winning teams developed innovative approaches—using for-profit, nonprofit and hybrid models—to tackle society’s toughest challenges, including HIV prevention and K-12 education reform.”

171 alumni teams applied in January and are being judged in 15 regions. Four alumni teams will make it to the semifinals to present and be judged at the April Finale at HBS. More than 70 student teams on the business track and 48 social entrepreneurs have already applied in advance of the March 8 deadline.

HBS also offers workshops and other support for students. You can learn more about the New Venture Competition at hbs.edu/nvc and track Harvard Business School’s 20th Anniversary New Venture Competition on Twitter at #HBSNVC.

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5 Tips for Harvard Business School Applicants

Harvard Business School is famously difficult to get into, but don’t let low acceptance rates keep you from applying if this is truly your dream MBA program. In a recent post to the school’s MBA Voices …

HBS application tipsHarvard Business School is famously difficult to get into, but don’t let low acceptance rates keep you from applying if this is truly your dream MBA program. In a recent post to the school’s MBA Voices Blog, six recent or soon-to-be graduates offer their advice for future applicants eager to learn all they can about the HBS admissions process.

Tip 1: Be your authentic self

“Be honest and genuine. I spent time reflecting on what really motivates me and what is most important to me. It may sound straight-forward, but I think it’s really important to have clear direction on what you want to do and how the HBS experience will help you get there. Then make sure that your application really shows your personality and conveys this message of who you are and where you want to go.” Stephanie Marr, MBA 2016

We say: The admissions committee wants to get to know you as a person beyond the resume—don’t write anything just because it seems like something an admissions committee would want to hear.

The trick to fleshing out your human side in the application is to take just a couple of experiences, activities, or themes and expand upon them in a much more detailed and nuanced way. Don’t shy away from your true interests; illustrate how they have helped shape the incredibly dynamic and fascinating person that you are.

Tip 2: Pick your recommenders carefully

“Select recommenders who know you well enough to tell a story that covers your accomplishments and the obstacles you overcame to achieve them. I chose recommenders who had seen me take on responsibility, struggle at times, and adapt to reach my goals. I think this matters much more than having recommenders with a particular job title or connection with HBS.” Sam Travers, MBA 2016

We say: When considering potential references, ask yourself whether the person has worked closely with you, thinks favorably of you, and will put in the time to write a thoughtful, detailed endorsement of your candidacy. If you can’t answer yes to these three requirements, move on until you find the person who fits the bill perfectly. Your chances of admission to the school of your dreams may well depend on it.

Tip 3: Learn more about the generous financial aid options HBS offers

“Trying to figure out how you’re going to afford your Harvard MBA can feel very scary – I definitely remember the sticker shock I felt when I read the expected student budget for the first time. Luckily, there are a lot of ways for you to get support as you decide how you want to finance your time at HBS. Many students, myself included, aren’t able to pay for business school out of their savings and instead utilize a combination of financial aid, scholarships, and loans to get themselves through the program. 

HBS has an incredible need-based financial aid program; over $36 million dollars is awarded to students each year. The administration firmly believes that funding should not be a barrier for anyone to attend business school and they ensure that no student is required to take on too much debt. HBS wants everyone who is admitted to be able to come and therefore the aid is awarded solely based on financial need. Nearly 50% of the class receives HBS Fellowships with the majority of Fellowships in the $30,000-$50,000 range per year.

The average starting salary at graduation is $135,000. Most alums are able to pay back loans in considerably less time than the terms provided. HBS also offers a variety loan forgiveness programs available at graduation for those students plan to pursue a career path in a less lucrative field—for example, there are financing options for graduates heading into social enterprise or pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.” Leslie Moser, MBA 2015

We say: People will tell you that you will find the money you need to go, but we know that thinking about all those zeros can get overwhelming and intimidating. Just know that most students use multiple sources; it’s never too soon to start researching your options; don’t underestimate your costs; and rest assured that schools want you to find funding and will do everything they possibly can to help accepted applicants.

Tip 4: Keep in mind HBS is reapplicant-friendly 

I had been dinged from HBS once and wondered if it was worth applying a second time.  Although uncertain of whether or not I’d be accepted to the program, I wanted to give it another shot.  Fortunately, and likely due to some divine intervention, I was accepted to the program.  I was absolutely elated when I received the good news.” Ryan Hansen, MBA 2017

We say: Many people in b-school right now were dinged the first time they applied. Reapplying shows you are serious about your interest in the MBA program. Make sure your letters of recommendation and your GMAT or GRE scores are rock-solid, and don’t recycle essays from the first time around.

Use the additional essay question to explain what’s changed in your situation to make you a stronger candidate this time around. Make sure to address both professional and personal advancements, but show that you are realistic and self-aware. Revealing your humanity in the form of quirks, weaknesses and flaws can often help the admissions committee to like you.

Tip 5: Don’t self-select out

“When you’re lifting your finger to hit the submit button, or when you’re walking into your interview, stop thinking about your imperfections and deficiencies. In fact, stop thinking about yourself as an individual. Rather, think of yourself as a piece of something bigger – your potential HBS class. What you do have to offer? What characteristics you bring to the table that will make your section that much better? I bet there are several things about you that no one else can claim, and that’s the good stuff. Tell admissions about them.” Peter Nolan, MBA 2017

“To those thinking about applying to HBS, I encourage you to go for it. Don’t let your own self-doubt sabotage what could be one of the best experiences of your life.”   Terrance Rogers (MBA 2017)

We say: It’s hard not to feel intimidated when you read the admitted student profiles at many of the elite MBA programs, which might include Olympians, successful entrepreneurs, decorated military officers and candidates with outstanding public service experience. However, don’t get psyched out of applying just because you can’t list anything similarly noteworthy on your application.

To stand out in the eyes of the admissions committee, you just need to provide hard proof that you made a difference. Remember, it’s not about the scale of your achievements – rather, it’s the fact that you left indelible footprints.

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

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HBS Update on Round 2 Applications

The final wave of Round 2 interview invitations from Harvard Business School will go out on Wednesday, February 1st at noon EST. According to a new update by MBA admissions director Chad Losee, the online …

Harvard Business School interviewThe final wave of Round 2 interview invitations from Harvard Business School will go out on Wednesday, February 1st at noon EST. According to a new update by MBA admissions director Chad Losee, the online scheduler for this wave of interview invites will go live immediately.

As a reminder, whether you interview on campus, a global hub city, or via Skype, your odds of acceptance are the same as members of the admissions board conduct all HBS interviews.

The admissions team will also send out release notifications on Wednesday, and Losee takes a moment to reassure these candidates that HBS welcomes re-applicants, noting that “about 10% of each class is composed of students who didn’t get into HBS on their first try.”

If you’re planning to reapply if you don’t get accepted this year, here at SBC we recommend you treat the re-application process as a blank slate instead of reusing old essays.  It’s always a good idea to paint a new self-portrait based on the experiences you have gained during the past year.

Also, a word to future Round 1 applicants: Spring is a great time to plan a campus visit if you want to see the case method in action, as there’s limited availability for visiting a class in the early fall.

Good luck to all the Round 2 applicants out there, as well as those on the HBS waitlist.

You may also be interested in:

5 Common Interview Questions from Harvard Business School

 

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Which B-Schools Dominate Entrepreneurship?

Are you itching to start your own company and wondering which business schools would best help you achieve that dream? Entrepreneurship is a super popular course of study at today’s b-schools. As someone who has started …

entrepreneurshipAre you itching to start your own company and wondering which business schools would best help you achieve that dream? Entrepreneurship is a super popular course of study at today’s b-schools. As someone who has started more than one successful company, I can attest that I leveraged a lot of my MBA classes and resources into my business ventures.

Let’s take a look at the latest Poets & Quants listing of the best b-schools for aspiring entrepreneurs. Since 2013, Poets & Quants has ranked startups based on one criterion: venture capital-backed funding.

“For the first time, Harvard Business School cannot claim to have more startups on the list than any other school. After dominating last year’s list with 42 ventures (out of 100 on the list), the HBS machine has dropped to 24 ventures raising a combined $618.29 million,” Nathan Allen writes. “Meanwhile, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (…) added a startup from last year’s list to tie HBS at 24 total ventures raising a combined $958.64 million.”

2017’s top business schools for aspiring entrepreneurs:

Harvard Business School: 24 companies
Stanford Graduate School of Business: 24 companies
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School: 12 companies
Columbia Business School: 11 companies
Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management: 8 companies
MIT Sloan School of Management: 6 companies
NYU Stern School of Business: 5 companies
UC Berkeley Haas School of Business: 4 companies
UCLA Anderson School of Management: 3 companies
University of Texas Austin McCombs: 2 companies
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business: 2 companies

Sure, some of history’s most successful entrepreneurs did not go to business school, but the best MBA programs acknowledge they don’t actually create entrepreneurs…they merely nurture innate ability.

These elite programs offer a broad range of courses in entrepreneurship, as well as  opportunities for networking with established entrepreneurs, launching start-ups, and developing the skills needed to start successful businesses. Even if alumni don’t become entrepreneurs immediately after graduating, their MBA degree provides the career flexibility and the skills that help them start businesses years later.

The excellent piece in Poets & Quants takes an in-depth look at specific companies started by various alumni, as well as the role of entrepreneurship centers at the schools. To see the complete list of the top 100 MBA start-ups, check out the full data set from Poets & Quants here.

You may also be interested in:

Ask the AdCom: Share a Cool Company Born of Your MBA Program

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Forté Foundation Launches Men as Allies Initiative

Forté Foundation has introduced its new Men As Allies Initiative to help male students benefit from, and get involved in, enhancing gender equity on business school campuses and to take that experience back to the business world. …

women at business school

Forté Foundation has introduced its new Men As Allies Initiative to help male students benefit from, and get involved in, enhancing gender equity on business school campuses and to take that experience back to the business world.

The new initiative leverages insights from male ally programs started on 10 business schools campuses —  including Harvard Business School, the Wharton School, and Columbia Business School — and is part of a growing movement in recent years to enhance gender equity in business and society.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a surge of interest from men in getting involved in issues of gender equality on business school campuses,” said Elissa Sangster, Executive Director of the Forté Foundation, a non-profit consortium of leading multinational companies and top business schools working together to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities, and a community of successful women.

Many men have felt like outsiders and did not know how to get involved.

“Our initiative sheds light on what male MBA students can do to enhance diversity on campus, which will create a positive ripple effect both at school and when they return to the business world,” Sangster added.

Forte Men as AlliesThe initiative, designed to foster the creation of male-led gender equity groups on campus, includes a new “Men as Allies” website, which contains a toolkit for male students at business schools interested in creating their own initiatives on campus to enhance gender equity, but who need more information to move forward. The toolkit includes insight on reasons to start a group and how to do it, what activities and events are successful, and how to adopt gender-supportive behaviors and work effectively with the Women in Business club on campus.

The website also features insights and podcasts of recent MBA graduates who played a leadership role in the male ally group at pioneering business schools that have walked this road and can share best practices and stumbling blocks. The podcasts feature male allies discussing why they wanted to get involved, what they’ve learned, and what they took back to the workforce. In addition, the site contains valuable research that provides ample evidence of the positive impact of gender diversity in business.

“We may have reached a tipping point as more women are pursuing an MBA and more men are interested in supporting gender equity,” Sangster explained. “While we are making great progress, and getting closer to 40 percent women’s enrollment at our member business schools, initiatives like this one that foster inclusiveness, will help us get to gender parity faster.”

The Forté Foundation initiative launched with help from its business school members and diversity experts, and thanks to generous financial support from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management, and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

The initiative leverages the momentum and insights of business schools that have created programs to engage men as champions of gender equity, known as “Manbassadors” programs at some schools. These 10 business schools include:

  • London Business School – ManBassadors, started in 2016
  • Columbia Business School – Manbassadors program, started in 2015
  • NYU Stern School of Business – Male Allies, started in 2015
  • UCLA Anderson School of Management – Manbassadors, started in 2014
  • Michigan Ross School of Business – MBW Allies, started in 2014
  • The Wharton School – 22’s, started in 2014
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business – WiMEN, started in 2014
  • Duke Fuqua School of Business – Male Ambassador Program, started in 2013
  • Harvard Business School – Manbassadors program, started in 2013
  • Kellogg School of Management – Male Allies, started in 2013

“There are multiple benefits to men who join the movement to create greater gender equity,” said Sangster. “Understanding gender equity positions men ahead of the curve in school and in business. This increased awareness gives them an edge in providing support to female colleagues, and retaining them in the workplace. It also leads to greater organizational health, financial success, and life satisfaction for both men and women.”

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Harvard Business School Tops Bloomberg’s 2016 US Rankings

Bloomberg Businessweek has released its 2016 ranking of the best U.S. business schools, based on data compiled from more than 1,000 recruiters, 15,000 alumni, and 9,000 recent graduates. Harvard Business School claims the number one spot …

Bloomberg Businessweek has released its 2016 ranking of the best U.S. business schools, based on data compiled from more than 1,000 recruiters, 15,000 alumni, and 9,000 recent graduates. Harvard Business School claims the number one spot among 87 full-time U.S. MBA programs. Stanford Graduate School of Business is number two, and Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is number three. This is the second year in a row that Harvard came out on top—and this time by a wider margin.

Harvard Business School tops bloomberg ranking

HBS was rated No.1 by the more than 1,000 corporate recruiters, and No.3 among alumni. Its graduates left with the second highest salaries. Competition for the No.2 spot was particularly close this year, with Stanford edging out Duke-Fuqua by .08 percentage point for its highest ever Businessweek rank.

Bloomberg’s Top Ten U.S. Full-Time MBA Programs 

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  3. Duke University Fuqua School of Business
  4. Chicago Booth School of Business
  5. Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
  6. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School
  7. MIT Sloan School of Management
  8. Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business
  9. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
  10. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

“We continue last year’s focus on how well the schools channel their graduates into good jobs and, with a new survey of MBAs after graduation, offer more insight into what grads can expect from their careers,”  writes Bloomberg’s Lance Lambert.

Highlights of the 2016 ranking include:

  • Harvard had more than a nine point lead on its nearest competitor this year, up from less than two points in 2015.
  • Indiana University received the highest score among recent graduates.
  • Rutgers University’s 2015 grads had the highest job placement rate.
  • The University of Michigan does not appear in the top ten for the first time since Businessweek started the rankings in 1988.
  • This is the first year that Rice University has ranked in the top ten.
  • Alumni, recent graduates and recruiters all gave the University of Texas at Dallas better scores, helping to propel it 13 spots.

The Bloomberg ranking methodology includes an employer survey (35% of score), alumni survey (30%), student survey (15%), job placement rate (10%), and starting salary (10%).

“Our Full-Time MBA rankings comprise five elements. So it’s possible to rank highly without knocking every category out of the park,” Lambert explains. “For example, Stanford which is the No. 2 school on our list, ranked No. 57 for job placement.”

This year’s rankings includes 15 U.S. MBA programs that weren’t ranked last year, moving the list from 74 programs in 2015 to 87 in 2016. “With so many new programs added to the list, we saw a lot of movement throughout the rankings,”  Lambert notes.

The top 30 full-time U.S. MBA programs will be highlighted in the print issue of Bloomberg Businessweek on newsstands Friday, November 18, 2016.

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