Harvard Business School Essays and Deadlines

Harvard Business School has posted the essay topics and deadlines for the upcoming application season. The application deadlines for the MBA Class of 2014 are:

Round 1
Deadline: October 3, 2011
Notification: December 19, 2011

Round 2
Deadline: January 10, 2012
Notification: March 29, 2012

Round 3
Deadline:  April 10, 2012
Notification: May 17, 2012

All applications are due by noon EST on the day of the deadline, and HBS encourages candidates to submit application materials as early as possible to avoid heavy server traffic and potential delays.

*Essay Topics*

1. Tell us about three of your accomplishments. (600 words)
2. Tell us three setbacks you have faced. (600 words)
3. Why do you want an MBA? (400 words)
4. Answer a question you wish we’d asked. (400 words)

For recommender questions, and essay questions for joint degree applicants and those participating in the HBS 2+2 program, please visit the HBS website.

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6 Responses to Harvard Business School Essays and Deadlines

  1. Mohit Baid says:


    With regard to the recommendation letters, is it necessary that only an employer be a recommender… is it possible a professor or a person with whom one has worked on a project be a recommender? If so, does it impact the quality of the recommendation?

    Also, I understand that recommendations should be from persons with whom one is in contact with recently. However, what if two recommendations come from people with whom one interacted a couple of years back?

  2. The ideal recommender will come from your current employer – it will be the person to whom you report directly. Of course there are times when this is not feasible and you must go with a second choice. Other people that you work with profesisonally or in a volunteer setting may be appropriate. It is important that you have been recently in touch with the person who writes the rec. For example, if you select someone from a prior job, you want to make sure that they can speak to who you are today and comment on recent progression. Professors are generally not a good choice as they cannot answer the questions asked – they do not know you in the proper context.

    Read this blog post for an overview: https://www.stacyblackman.com/2009/04/07/tuesday-tips-recommendations/

    Check this week’s SBC Scoop (coming Thurs 5/19) for more on recommendations.

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