Are You Ready for Round 2 at HBS?

round 2 at HBS
The second round deadline is coming up at Harvard Business School on January 6th, and there’s no time like the present to review some of the critical elements your MBA application should highlight if you’re targeting round 2 at HBS.

It may not surprise you to learn that high-impact leadership is the “Big Kahuna” at HBS. The admissions committee will look for evidence that you’ve made a positive impact on the communities of which you’ve been a part, both personally and professionally.

Are you a leader?

Your past leadership achievements are the best gauge of your potential for realizing your future ambitions. Make sure to highlight instances that support your case in this area. The admissions committee understands you may not have several years of work experience from which to draw. Take comfort in knowing that it’s not about the scale of your achievements. The goal is showing that you left indelible footprints.

How have you made the world a better place?

Be sure also to focus on service to others in your application. As with leadership, the committee needs to see the connection between your achievements and how they reflect who you are. Community service is important.

First, it provides insights into your deeper interests and the causes that you care about. Second, admissions officers want to see proof that you have committed to making your community stronger. After all, they may ultimately invite you into their community.

What are your passions?

The school has a mission to “educate leaders to make a difference in the world.”  HBS isn’t looking for candidates who simply want a résumé boost. If you’re applying in round 2 at HBS, you have to have passion and vision—think big.

But it goes much deeper than simply being passionate about what you’re doing. You need to express your passion in a way that inspires and projects energy onto those you work with. Passion is a useful tool for staying motivated and productive, whether it’s in school or business.


If you need further proof that pursuing a Harvard MBA is the right path for you, check out this evergreen post from the HBS MBA Voices Blog.

Do you need a second set of eyes for your Round 2 applications? Work with a Stacy Blackman consultant on an hourly basis.

This post originally published in 2019 and has been updated.
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