Tag Archives: Harvard Business School

Tuesday Tips: Harvard Business School Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips

This year Harvard Business School has decided to continue with one open-ended essay. The question has changed slightly and focused emphasis on the case method and your interaction with classmates. The HBS admissions director blog …

This year Harvard Business School has decided to continue with one open-ended essay. The question has changed slightly and focused emphasis on the case method and your interaction with classmates. The HBS admissions director blog notes that the “optional” element was dropped because: “this season, every applicant submitted a response. We get it. You want to tell us things.”

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 those who deserve the chance to move 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 for the Class of 2018 application essay:

It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting.

Introduce yourself.

Note: Should you enroll at HBS, there will be an opportunity for you to share this with them.

A note on word count: HBS values brevity in essays. 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 clients have successfully composed essays anywhere from 500-1,300 words, 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 as you introduce yourself to your classmates. 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.

When you view the recommended video on the case method you can see that diverse perspectives are valuable to the case method experience. Think about what diverse experience you bring. We have found that both personal and career oriented topics can work, and most candidates tell more than one story in the essay. Consider that from your classmates’ perspective the most interesting information will be both personal and professional. You will be studying together and socializing together. Later, you will be professional contacts in your classmates’ career network. In the past we have observed that successful HBS essays also demonstrate of a core driving passion.

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. Explaining why the case method specifically is a good fit for you and your learning style is absolutely appropriate, but more detailed “why HBS” content has never been asked for in an HBS application essay question. HBS admissions is quite clear on the value of an HBS degree, and they would rather see you use the space to provide more information about yourself and your candidacy.

Looking for guidance on your HBS application? Contact us to learn more about Stacy Blackman Consulting.

Posted in Application Tips, Harvard Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Harvard Business School 2015-2016 Application Deadlines

Harvard Business School has announced the following deadlines for the MBA Class of 2018. Round 1 Application Due: September 9, 2015 Notification: December 2015 (date TBA) Round 2 Application Due: January 6, 2016 Notification: March …

Harvard Business School has announced the following deadlines for the MBA Class of 2018.

Round 1

Application Due: September 9, 2015

Notification: December 2015 (date TBA)

Round 2

Application Due: January 6, 2016

Notification: March 2016 (date TBA)

Round 3

Application Due: April 4, 2016

Notification: May 2016 (date TBA)

***

Application materials are at 12 noon EST on submission deadline dates. To avoid overwhelming server traffic generated by the high volume of applications, candidates are encouraged to submit their application as early as possible prior to the deadline of each round. HBS encourages applicants to apply in the first or second round, as space in the class may be limited by the third round.

You may also be interested in:

HBS Introduces New Class of 2018 MBA Essay Question

Posted in General, School News | Tagged ,

HBS Introduces New Class of 2018 MBA Essay Question

Harvard Business School has decided to switch things up this season and will forgo the optional essay prompt of the previous two years. According to the admissions website, there is one question for the Class …

visit HBS before Round 1

Harvard Business School has decided to switch things up this season and will forgo the optional essay prompt of the previous two years. According to the admissions website, there is one question for the Class of 2018:

It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting.

Introduce yourself.

Note: Should you enroll at HBS, there will be an opportunity for you to share this with them.

Harvard Business School admissions suggests you watch this video about the Case Method before beginning to write. Note that there is no word limit for this question, but as always, the team stresses that the goal is not to overthink, overcraft, and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that anyone outside of your industry would understand.

You may also be interested in:

Harvard Business School 2015-2016 Application Deadlines

Posted in General | Tagged , ,

Gearing Up for Round 1 at Harvard Business School

With the official end of the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season just over a week away, Harvard Business School‘s Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold previewed what’s ahead for next season’s Round 1 applicants. …

visit HBS before Round 1

With the official end of the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season just over a week away, Harvard Business School‘s Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold previewed what’s ahead for next season’s Round 1 applicants.

One important tip for candidates aiming for the first round is to plan for a campus visit right now, if possible, while there’s still signup availability over the next 10 days. There will be no opportunity to see the famous Case Method in action prior to the September 9th deadline.

Beginning May 8th, on-campus info sessions will take place Monday and Friday at 2 pm with AdCom members with plenty of time for questions, Leopold assures, noting that the calendar will post room locations each week. No advance notice is required.  Also as of May 8th, HBS will conduct campus tours at 1:15 pm on Monday and Friday.

Finally, the director says essay and recommender questions will be posted on May 15th, and the application for Class of 2018 will go live in mid-June. Stay tuned!

You may also be interested in:

Make the Most of Your B-School Campus Visit

Thinking About a Harvard MBA? Plan a Campus Visit!

Posted in General, School News | Tagged , , ,

HBS Launches Recruitment Program Targeting Women

Harvard Business School has launched a new initiative to spark interest in graduate management education among college women and recent graduates who may not have previously considered a career in business. According to an article …

Harvard Business School has launched a new initiative to spark interest in graduate management education among college women and recent graduates who may not have previously considered a career in business.

women at HBSAccording to an article in The Harvard Crimson, the program—called PEEK—is aimed at women-only colleges such as Wellesely and Barnard as a way to address the under-representation of women at the business school, whose enrollment currently stands at 41 percent.

PEEK will cost $500 per participant, and the program plans to host 70 to 80 rising juniors, seniors, and recent graduates during a weekend in June to familiarize them with the MBA program, the Crimson reports.

Participants will have accommodations on campus, take part in assigned case studies, and meet with faculty, current students, and alumni, explains Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold, who calls the program a way for prospective students “to literally take a peek at what happens in an MBA program.”

The PEEK program is the latest in HBS’ series of efforts to tackle gender equity issues head-on. The school came under intense scrutiny in 2013 as it celebrated 50 years of women at HBS while still grappling with gender inequity and sexism.

In January 2014, Dean Nitin Nohria addressed the subject at an alumnae event, where he apologized to female students and professors past and present for any sexist or offensive behavior they experienced at the business school. In that speech, he said the school owed them better, and promised to make swift changes to address the inequalities that still exist.

There may still be a ways to go, but the PEEK program sounds like a great step in the right direction.

 You may also be interested in:

Challenges and Opportunities for Female MBA Applicants

Posted in School News | Tagged , , , ,

Survey Says Wharton Beats HBS For Most Satisfied MBAs

Spurred to action by Harvard Business School‘s MBA satisfaction survey published in February, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School came out with its own poll earlier this week and claims to beat out HBS by …

Spurred to action by Harvard Business School‘s MBA satisfaction survey published in February, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School came out with its own poll earlier this week and claims to beat out HBS by nearly 25%. The question asked of respondents in the original survey was: how likely they would be to recommend an HBS MBA to an interested and qualified friend or colleague. The results garnered HBS a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 41, on a par with Walgreens or Tracfone. The NPS at Wharton, meanwhile, is 51, right up there with Discover Card.

This scoring system, created by management consultants to measure customer loyalty, subtracts the share of students who were less enthusiastic about the program from those who would strongly recommend it to a friend. People who rate the MBA program 0-6 on a 10-point scale are the “detractors,” while those who give it a 9 or a 10 are considered promoters. Those in the middle are considered passives and therefore aren’t included in the score.

MBA satisfaction

image credit: The Wharton Journal

At the time of the Harbus’s anonymous survey publication, 105 students had responded. Over 249 Wharton students filled out an anonymous survey link sent via email blast and Facebook two weeks ago.

According to an article in The Wharton Journal, Wharton’s NPS of 51 was comprised of 61.85% promoters and 10.84% detractors. In the Harbus survey, the MBA program’s NPS of 41 was comprised of 62% promoters and 22% detractors. In other words, the same percentage would recommend the program, but a greater number at HBS had serious gripes about it.

The Wharton article praises the increased satisfaction score with second-years, going from 49 to 53. There’s a conundrum though, in the fact that ‘the people at Wharton’ is simultaneously the top answer for what people like about Wharton, and for what people don’t like about Wharton.

Over at the Harbus, their survey results also indicate people seem to either love or dislike the same things: classmates, classroom learning, career opportunities, and program structure. The Harbus closes its article on a hopeful note, calling the survey “the beginning of an ongoing discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the MBA program.”

Meanwhile, The Wharton Journal says in their survey wrap-up that the administration is interested in reading the feedback, noting that Deputy Vice Dean Maryellen Lamb responded, “Given the data-driven culture of Wharton, I’m delighted to see our students express their school spirit and pride through a system like NPS.”

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