Tag Archives: HBS

Harvard Business School Round 1 Interview News

Earlier this week, Harvard Business School‘s Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold announced that the first wave of interview invites to Round 1 applicants were heading out to roughly 800 lucky inboxes, …

Earlier this week, Harvard Business School‘s Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold announced that the first wave of interview invites to Round 1 applicants were heading out to roughly 800 lucky inboxes, with another batch of 150 to come on October 15th.

On that date, HBS will also inform about 200 applicants via email that the admissions team would like to “further consider” their applications in Round 2. Applicants to the 2+2 program will be invited to interview on the October 15th wave as well.

October 15th is also the date HBS will “release” candidates who are not moving forward. “We hope that by doing this early, we are enabling this group to pursue other options sooner vs. later,” the director explains.

Finally, Leopold requests that applicants refrain from sending in any additional supporting documents. “We’ve designed an evaluation process that we believe is as thorough and fair as we can make it,” she says. “It’s not perfect, but it certainly is a process to which we dedicate a tremendous amount of care and concern.”

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HBS Lays Out Next Steps for R1 Applicants

In her recent blog update, Harvard Business School‘s director of admissions and financial aid Dee Leopold explained exactly what MBA hopefuls who submitted their applications last week for Round 1 can expect over the next …

In her recent blog update, Harvard Business School‘s director of admissions and financial aid Dee Leopold explained exactly what MBA hopefuls who submitted their applications last week for Round 1 can expect over the next two months.

Candidates invited to interview will receive an email invitation on either October 8th or October 15th with detailed instructions about the sign-up procedure. Applicants who are not invited to interview will be notified of their release on October 15th.

Leopold expects 100-150 Round 1 applicants to fall under the category of “further consideration,” aka the waitlist. These candidates will either be reviewed and invited to interview during Round 2, or released on the R2 timetable, she explains.

Harvard Business School will conduct Round 1 interviews between October 20–November 21 on campus and at various locations around the globe. These off-sight locations are: New York City, Palo Alto, London, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Santiago, Chile. Candidates who are unable to travel may be accommodated via Skype, the director assures.

The Round 2 deadline at HBS is January 5, 2015. If you’d like a little extra guidance on how to approach the optional essay question, read our Harvard Business School MBA essay tips for an array of possible strategies.

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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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Round 3 Myth-Busting by Harvard Business School

Applying to business school in the final round is a tricky proposition, primarily because your application needs to be exceptionally strong to garner one of those oh-so-limited remaining spots. Harvard Business School Director of Admissions …

Applying to business school in the final round is a tricky proposition, primarily because your application needs to be exceptionally strong to garner one of those oh-so-limited remaining spots.

Harvard Business School Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold recently did some myth-busting related to submitting in Round 3, and here’s what she had to say:

1. There are spots available in the final round. Not as many as in Rounds 1 and 2, but keep in mind, there are also fewer applicants in the final round. “Do I think a strong candidate has a fair shot?,” Leopold asks. “Yes.”

2. From the first applicant accepted until the very last, each student has access to the same need-based financial aid.

3. If your Round 3 application is not successful, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t apply again in Round 1 next fall. “Many people in our classroom today were successful re-applicants,” Leopold notes.

4. Round 3 is a great time for 2+2 applicants to apply, as college seniors will have another semester of grades and activities to highlight. “We can be more flexible about the number of 2+2 admits given that we are not worried about a ‘seat being occupied’ for this September,” she explains.

5. Lastly, while there is no Welcome Weekend for Round 3 admits, you will get a chance to see the campus in real time since all the interviews will be held on campus. HBS will be hosting other events on campus in the next few months, including an LGBT Open House, Prospective Students’ Diversity Day, and lunches for prospective women applicants with members of the Women’s Student Association.

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.

The Round 3 deadline at HBS is coming up on April 7th. Good luck to all who are applying!

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HBS Alumni Break Record in 2013 with $22M in Donations

Harvard Business School‘s recently released annual report notes, among other achievements, that the school received a record-breaking $22 million in unrestricted current use gifts from former students in 2013. This unrestricted funding was crucial in …

HBS alumni giving

Harvard Business School‘s recently released annual report notes, among other achievements, that the school received a record-breaking $22 million in unrestricted current use gifts from former students in 2013.

This unrestricted funding was crucial in allowing the school to expand entrepreneurship programs at the Harvard i-Lab and to pursue other strategic initiatives without drawing on unrestricted reserves, the report reveals.

In addition to expanding entrepreneurship programming, the donations also helped increase the amount of tuition assistance for MBA students. HBS sets MBA tuition and fees at levels that don’t fully recover annual operating expenses, and the shortfall is offset primarily by income and gifts from alumni and friends of the school.

Roughly half of the school’s student body receives fellowship support, and the average amount of aid per student rose three percent in 2013 to $30,725, more than half of the annual tuition bill. First-year MBA tuition in fiscal 2013 was $53,500—near the midpoint among the seven comparable schools tracked by HBS.

The Harvard Business School Campaign, which launches in April, “aims to find new ways to engage with alumni as it seeks to fulfill the School’s mission of making a difference in the world.”

Noting rising operating costs across the school and lower margins at Harvard Business Press and Executive Education, the school anticipates even greater pressure to grow revenue from gifts and endowment distribution in the coming year.

source: Harvard Business School 2013 Annual Report

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