Tag Archives: Harvard Business School

Harvard’s Bio-Tech Life Lab Set to Open

The Harvard Life Lab, poised to open in November, is the newest addition to the growing portfolio of innovation facilities at Harvard Business School. Made possible by a gift from HBS alumni Judy and Steve Pagliuca, the …

A rendering of the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab by Shepley Bulfinch

The Harvard Life Lab, poised to open in November, is the newest addition to the growing portfolio of innovation facilities at Harvard Business School. Made possible by a gift from HBS alumni Judy and Steve Pagliuca, the lab will connect students and alumni interested in biotech, pharma, and other life sciences-related fields with a fully equipped wet lab environment and the resources they need to take their ventures to the next stage of development.

Building on the success of the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab), the Harvard Launch Lab, and the One Harvard mission, the Life Lab offers shared space for high-potential life sciences and biotech startups founded by Harvard faculty, alumni, students, and postdoctoral scholars.

Over the past five years the i-lab has attracted students and faculty from across the university, some of whom want to pursue ideas in the life sciences that require wet lab facilities. Wet labs are laboratories that test chemicals, drugs or other materials that require direct ventilation and specialized accommodations.

The Life Lab will contribute to building a thriving start-up community in Allston by seeding the campus with early stage scientific ventures. Together with the i-lab and Launch Lab, the Life Lab will foster the cross-disciplinary approach to entrepreneurship that will enable deeper impact and outcomes, and will reinforce President Drew Faust’s vision of One Harvard.

“The Life Lab is a vital building block in Harvard’s efforts to create an innovation hub in Allston that encourages our students and faculty to explore and nurture ideas that lead to new knowledge, new products, new services and perhaps even new industries,” says Faust.

The 15,000-square-foot facility will have fully equipped and permitted laboratory and office space for early-stage companies. The Life Lab will house approximately 20 ventures at a time, and typically would comprise two to five individuals who demonstrate expertise in the technology/science, as well as an understanding of the commercial/market need, and a vision for how they will build a viable business. The ventures represent eight different Harvard schools and nearly 50% have a female founder.

“We hope by building community we will accelerate their development and increase their likelihood of future success and ultimate impact on the world,” says Jodi Goldstein, Managing Director of the Harvard Innovation Labs, who notes that the inaugural teams reflect the breadth and diversity of Harvard representing the One Harvard, cross disciplinary approach to innovation that builds community and connection among the ventures.

“We believe innovation in the life sciences is critically important to the future of our region from an economic standpoint and equally important to all of our futures in its potential to solve complex health problems,” says Steve Pagliuca.

“We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the innovation movement at Harvard and we are excited at the potential of the ideas that will emerge from this new space,” added Judy Pagliuca.

Image via Harvard Business School

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New Ranking Shows Top Choice B-Schools for 2016 Applicants

Ready4, a Boston-area company that creates test prep apps, has unveiled its second annual rankings of the most desired business schools around the globe. Unlike traditional business school rankings that are based on complex methodology and, in …

business school rankingReady4, a Boston-area company that creates test prep apps, has unveiled its second annual rankings of the most desired business schools around the globe. Unlike traditional business school rankings that are based on complex methodology and, in many cases, information self reported by participating schools, Ready4’s rankings represent the voice of current and prospective students and provide unique insight into what schools students most want to attend.

This ranking represents the top schools chosen by 250,000 users of Ready4GMAT app using its “School Matcher” and “Top Picks” functions.

The Top 25 Most Desired Business Schools

1. Harvard
2. Stanford
3. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
4. MIT (Sloan)
5. Indian School of Business
6. Columbia
7. London Business School
8. New York University (Stern)
9. INSEAD
10. University of California Berkeley (Haas)
11. University of Chicago (Booth)
12. Northwestern (Kellogg)
13. Indian Institute of Management
14. Yale
15. Duke (Fuqua)
16. University of Oxford
17. London School of Economics
18. HEC Paris
19. Cornell
20. University of Cambridge
21. National University of Singapore
22. UCLA
23. SP Jain Institute of Management
24. University of Michigan Ann Arbor (Ross)
25. Dartmouth (Tuck)

Notable observations from this year’s ranking include:

  • Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business are the top two most desired schools for the second year in a row, while the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School moved up two positions into the third spot, displacing MIT Sloan School of Management, which is now fourth
  • University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business made the biggest leap in the Top 10 category, moving up 5 positions (15 in 2015 to 10 in 2016)
  • Four schools are new to the list this year: London School of Economics (17), Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management (19), University of Michigan Ross School of Business (24) and Dartmouth Tuck School of Business (25)
  • Five schools fell off the list of the Most Desired Schools in this year’s ranking: Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, University of Cambridge Judge Business School, Boston College, Imperial College London, USC Marshall School of Business

Statistics represent the time period between September 2015 and September 2016, and users were allowed to pick more than one school.

top choice business schools

“With more than a million downloads of our test prep apps, Ready4 sits in a unique position to not only understand where students want to pursue their MBA or other business degree, but also to guide them on their journey to find and get into the right program,” says Elad Shoushan, Ready4’s founder and CEO.

“We are in business to ensure that a generation is ready, willing and able to take on the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century economy, and in many cases, that starts with helping match students to their preferred schools and preparing them to get the scores they need to be considered in the admissions process.”

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No. 1 Trait HBS Looks for in MBA Applicants

Do you have an idea about what the number one characteristic the admissions team at Harvard Business School is looking for in MBA applicants? I recently shared my thoughts on the subject with Business Insider, …

HBS applicantsDo you have an idea about what the number one characteristic the admissions team at Harvard Business School is looking for in MBA applicants? I recently shared my thoughts on the subject with Business Insider, based on my 15 years of experience advising clients on how to position themselves when applying to the world’s top business schools.

It may not surprise you to learn that the most important trait the AdCom looks for is high-impact leadership, or what I call the “big kahuna” at HBS.

When evaluating your leadership potential, the admissions committee will be looking for evidence that you have made a positive impact on the communities of which you’ve been a part, both personally and professionally. However, it’s not about the scale of your achievements – rather, it’s the fact that you left indelible footprints.

Click on over to Business Insider to read more about what I believe are the 10 traits Harvard Business School looks for in the ideal MBA candidate.

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

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Tuesday Tips: Harvard Business School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

Harvard Business School continues to provide one open-ended essay question to applicants. This year the essay is required (unlike two years ago) but the essay question has changed from last year, and is instead much …

HBS essay adviceHarvard Business School continues to provide one open-ended essay question to applicants. This year the essay is required (unlike two years ago) but the essay question has changed from last year, and is instead much more flexible (like two years ago).

Last year the HBS admissions director blog noted 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 2019 application essay:

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?

From 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.

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. 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.

Last year HBS recommended a video on the case method, which is worth watching now. The video clearly shows 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. In the past we have observed that successful HBS essays also demonstrate a core driving passion. HBS students are ambitious, motivated and never boring.

As you consider possible stories to tell in this essay keep in mind that HBS has always been highly focused on leadership and really loves candidates with 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.

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

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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.

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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)

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