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
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.
This post orignally appeared on the mbaMission blog.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on the shifting career balance of Harvard Business School’s incoming Class of 2013. Notably, the class will have a higher percentage of students with manufacturing and technology backgrounds, and fewer students with finance backgrounds. According to HBS managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, Deirdre Leopold, the school does not run with quotas or targets. It is worth noting that this shift is not all that significant “ the finance industry still has the strongest representation in the class.
mbaMission Founder and President Jeremy Shinewald frequently comments on how candidates erroneously try to game the admissions system. The Journal quotes him as saying, You’re going to see guys who worked on one private-equity deal with an auto manufacturer try to play up their auto experience and look ridiculous. Candidates buy into stereotypes for their target schools and become things they think the school wants. As candidates examine the stats, they should keep in mind that they can only be who they are and that they cannot go back in time and change careers. So, they are best creating an authentic picture of themselves in an attempt to set themselves apart from all others (not just those in their fields).
The 2011“2012 MBA application season is officially afoot. Harvard Business School (HBS) has just released its essay questions, maintaining its tradition of being the first school to do so each year. HBS usually strikes first in early May, and the other top 15 schools follow suit shortly after, throughout May and even into early June.
The HBS watchers among you will notice two significant changes this year, the first of which is that the school has released almost all new questions. Of the six essay prompts that HBS offered last year, only one remains”the school’s famed three accomplishments essay. The second major change is to a streamlined application that offers candidates few options. For the past few years, HBS has required MBA candidates to respond to two essay questions, allowing them to choose from among four. Now applicants face four mandatory questions, leaving them nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. So, this change could limit your ability to play to your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses. Our analysis of HBS’s essay questions can be found here.