How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Harvard Business School essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.
They say the early bird gets the worm. Almost one month earlier than last year, Harvard Business School (HBS) has released its application essay prompt. Maybe it was able to do so expeditiously because… it made no changes to the question from last year. HBS director of admissions Chad Losee, now entering his third application season, must feel the prompt is effective in eliciting the kind of information the admissions committee finds valuable in evaluating potential students. Our Harvard Business School essay analysis of the prompt and advice on the best way to approach it therefore also remain constant… Read more
How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.
Last year (after just one season), Harvard Business School (HBS) did away with its incredibly broad “introduce yourself” essay prompt in favor of one that at first glance seemed to have almost no parameters at all—and, interestingly, was more or less the same as the one from 2013–2014, when Dee Leopold was running the show. Now with a full year under his belt as HBS’s director of admissions, Chad Losee must feel that the essay question was effective in eliciting the kind of information the admissions committee finds valuable in evaluating the program’s potential students, because it remains exactly the same this year. Read on for our Harvard Business School essay analysis for the program’s 2017-2018 prompt and advice on the best way to approach it… Read more
How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out. You do not need to be actively working on a $5 billion deal or have won an Olympic gold medal to go to HBS. You just need to have done the everyday things remarkably well, and you must make sure that your essays reflect your actions.
After just one year, Harvard Business School (HBS) has done away with its “introduce yourself” essay prompt, which gave applicants a lot of leeway to share their story on their terms, and has returned to an even broader prompt—one that at first may seem as though it has no parameters at all. This year’s question is almost exactly the same as the one the school used in 2013–2014, when it asked, “What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?” This year, the question is “What more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?” (italics ours). We presume that after seeing the essays candidates submitted in response to its “introduce yourself” prompt, the HBS admissions committee simply determined that the previous essay question generated “better” essays that proved more valuable in their decision-making process. Regardless of the reason behind the change, you will need to find the best way to approach this year’s prompt, which we will now analyze in more detail… Read more
We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2013-2014 application season. Here is their analysis for Harvard Business School.
Harvard Business School (HBS) is taking a bold new approach to its application essays this year by offering just one question”and one that is much more open to interpretation than many applicants would probably like:
You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, school transcripts, extracurricular 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?
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.
Few things strike more fear into an MBA candidate’s heart than vague essay directions. Because of HBS’s lack of guidance with respect to word limits and its extremely open-ended question, knowing whether you are truly responding with information that the admissions committee wants and needs will be difficult. The committee further complicates things by specifically noting the information it will already have”transcripts, extracurricular activities, awards, etc. This may make you wonder if mentioning such information is a complete no-no and would weaken your chances for admission.
First, we would like to allay your fears to some degree and help you reframe your view of this question. Think of it as an opportunity to round out your candidacy in the admissions committee’s eyes the way you want, not within the parameters of a narrowly focused topic someone else has chosen. This is your chance to tell the school what you really feel it should know about you”what you believe makes you a worthy candidate, deserving of a spot in HBS’s next incoming class.
Our partners and friends over at mbaMission have posted their annual Harvard Business School Essay Analysis. Here is is what they had to say…
Harvard Business School (HBS) kicks off the MBA application season again, and this time it is doing so with a significant overhaul of its entire application. HBS has shrunk its written requirements from four mandatory essays of 400 to 600 words to two essays of 400 words each, but has added a new post-interview 400-word write-up (for the approximately 25% of applicants who are selected to interview), giving interviewees a mere 24 hours to submit their last word to the school.
Managing Director of MBA Admissions Dee Leopold has long held that essays play too prominent a role in the business school admissions process, but does giving candidates just two essays (analyzed later in this post) truly reduce the emphasis? We suspect that having only 800 words with which to make a lasting impression on the admissions committee, candidates will worry that they do not have enough space to successfully convey a full picture of themselves. We therefore expect that applicants will fret even more than usual over their essays, debating whether the two stories they have chosen to share will be sufficiently powerful and compelling, and giving their essays an incredible amount of attention. Meanwhile, to make up for this lack of space”and thus allay their fears that they have not shared enough information about themselves in their essays to persuade the admissions committee to admit them”they will likely stuff their resumes, interview sessions and recommendations with as much crucial information as they can squeeze in. In some ways, then, HBS is just forcing candidates to play a game of whack-a-mole”the school is trying to push information out of the essays, but the information will undoubtedly pop up elsewhere! As long as the admissions process is competitive and requires that applicants submit qualitative data, candidates will seek to gain an edge any way they can.
Here is our analysis of HBS’s essay questions for this year”we hope it will give you that edge.
To read the complete analysis, please visit mbaMission’s blog.