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# HBS 2012 - Calling All Applicants

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Manager
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2011, 08:16
Sandy,

I am applyinf on Round 1, Can you shed a bit of light onto how many applicants usually apply to R1? I heard that R2 is the one with most applicants, but do you have an estimate or a good guess as to how many apply on R1 and R2?
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27 Jul 2011, 10:41
PoetsAndQuants:interview Wharton's MBA Gatekeeper. SHE DODGES ALL Q'S AND DOES SCHOOL NO GOOD http://bit.ly/nte79l http://fb.me/vg8T3dk7
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2011, 12:29
Since HBS does not have a re-applicant essay, would it be advisable to use my rejection at HBS two years ago as one of the three setbacks in essay #2? My rejection there did cause me to make a lot of changes: switched industries, started a non-profit, and changed my post-MBA career goals. So I do consider my rejection at HBS as an inflection point in my recent life.
Manager
Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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Concentration: Finance, Economics
Schools: CBS '14 (A)
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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30 Jul 2011, 07:29
fsaq wrote:
bsmallz wrote:
Since HBS does not have a re-applicant essay, would it be advisable to use my rejection at HBS two years ago as one of the three setbacks in essay #2? My rejection there did cause me to make a lot of changes: switched industries, started a non-profit, and changed my post-MBA career goals. So I do consider my rejection at HBS as an inflection point in my recent life.

I would not say that. It seems politically incorrect to say that you changed your industry, goals,etc to simply have a better chance of getting accepted to HBS. Also, I think that the setbacks they are looking for are more on the line of something that happened in your way to accomplish something meaningul. It seems redundant to say that you consider important or meaningful getting accepted into HBS, and use your rejection as your setback in order to get accepted into Harvard. I dont know, in my opinion it seems shallow in a way unless you give it a twist : "my rejection from Harvard helped me understand that I was not doing anything for this world bla bla so I decided to start a nonprofit to help X type of people or Y cause. While managing this nonprofit, I found that I lacked the necesary business skills to run it and so I decided that I needed an MBA, etc etc..." I dont know, something in those lines but it seems way to hard to transform your harvard rejection into a reason to be accepted.

Thats my honest opinion. Sandy will surely have a better opinion on how to use that situation to your advantage but it seems kinda of hard to transform it because of the redundancy of the situation. Why dont you just talk about the nonprofit you started and a setback you faced there, rather than starting with the Harvard rejection, start with the non-profit foundation ?

Im not sure if this helps. I wish you the best of lucks and you seem to have a good background (GPA and GMAT, and the nonprofit itself).

I agree with above. Once you say you did your EC activities BECAUSE you wanted to get into a good business school, it kind of takes away the luster from it. You are supposed to be doing these activities because your a good person, a leader, and because you want to help your community, blah blah blah. Not an expert consultant though, but my two cents.
Ms. Big Fat Panda
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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30 Jul 2011, 08:51
I'm kinda torn on this one. On one hand, it is a setback. In the sense that business schools want to know that you can handle not getting in and still go on with your life and achieve your potential. But on the other hand, saying that it was such a big inflection point might not necessarily be the best idea. I'd probably try to come up with some other insights. But that's just my $0.02. Manager Joined: 27 Jul 2011 Posts: 182 Location: United States (NY) Concentration: Finance, Economics Schools: CBS '14 (A) GMAT 1: 720 Q46 V44 GPA: 3.74 WE: Accounting (Investment Banking) Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 28 Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] ### Show Tags 30 Jul 2011, 09:30 Again, I think it's about how you spin it. Posted from my mobile device Intern Joined: 14 May 2009 Posts: 2 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1 Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] ### Show Tags 31 Jul 2011, 14:18 All good points. I guess one reason I was thinking about using that as a setback is because it gives me an opportunity to explain how I have changed and progressed since the last time I applied. Most other schools give you a chance to answer that question explicitly, but HBS does not. Intern Joined: 11 Jul 2011 Posts: 33 Concentration: General Management GMAT 1: 750 Q V GPA: 3.72 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 7 Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] ### Show Tags 03 Aug 2011, 11:33 in for round 1 MBA Admissions Consultant Joined: 14 Feb 2010 Posts: 558 Location: Cambridge MA Followers: 70 Kudos [?]: 104 [0], given: 0 Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] ### Show Tags 04 Aug 2011, 14:07 HBS 2+2 MOCK INTERVIEWS I DO A LOT OF THEM: Since the 2+2 program began, HBS has probably interviewed close to 450-500 2+2 candidates in total and I have done mock interviews with close to 20 of them --and that is just the 2+2 program. Last year, for its regular admission cycle, HBS interviewed 1800 people--I gave mock interviews to over 100 of those 1800 people. I really know how to do this, read testimonials below. Over the past 10 years, I have probably done over 600 HBS mock interviews. My knowledge of how to prepare you for an HBS mock interview is based on those experiences. I KNOW QUESTIONS TYPICALLY ASKED TO 2+2 CANDIDATES, BOTH US AND INTERNATIONAL--THOSE WHO ARE LIBERAL ARTS MAJORS, SOCIAL SCIENCE MAJORS, AND SCIENCE MAJORS. 1.I know typical HBS questions often asked to 2+2 candidates with summer work experience as investment bankers, venture capital and hedge fund associates, medical and lab researchers, non-profit interns, Washington interns, Obama interns, McCain interns, Palin nannies and sled dog wranglers, interns at Fortune 500 companies, interns at start-ups and kids who started their own companies. 2.I know how to help you formulate your core story in ways which can be applied to many questions. 3.I can predict trouble areas in your application and help you come up with talking points to deal with them. 4.I can sense what your particular needs are in terms of presentation, for example, if you don't get to the point soon enough (a possibly fatal habit) or if you appear too aggressive or too arrogant or confident in the wrong way for often thin-skinned (and just plain thin) HBS interviewers (some of whom are predisposed not to like bankers). 5.I can help you create a back story for your goals which creates a solid platform for Why MBA, Why HBS? 6.can help you prepare a strong answer to the question "Why should we take you?" This questions is often asked in several forms: ◦"What can YOU contribute to case method discussion based on background and experience?" ◦"How will your classmates remember you?" ◦"How have you grown as a leader?" 7.I can calm you down, although that will not be the first thing that happens. 8.I can help you formulate answers to 'ice-breaker' questions such as: ◦"I already know you from your application, just tell me what you think the three defining moments in your life are?" ◦"Pretend I have not read your application and I just met you. Tell me who you are, what you've done, and where you want to be 15 years?" 9.I can help prepare you to face such recently popular questions as: ◦"What is one thing that is not immediately apparent about you to others?" ◦"How would your friends describe you?" ◦"How has the financial crisis impacted you, your friends, your industry and your goals?" THE PROCESS:THE MOCK INTERVIEW IS DONE BY PHONE. If you want a mock HBS interview, send me an email to hbsguru@gmail.com, telling me when your interview is, what time zone you are in, what days and times are good for you, and attaching a resume. I will reply back w. dates and times, etc. Then you send me a pdf of your HBS application and we set up a time for the interview. Mock interviews take about 60-70 minutes. The price is$350.00 dollars USD. You pay me when we speak and do the interview.

Some quick testimonials here, others are at the link below
Sandy was great help in prepping me for my interview at HBS. I decided to use Sandy's services after a ding (w/ interview) from Sloan ... and knew that I didn't want to make the same mistakes. Sandy and I discussed what I did wrong in my Sloan interview, and then he coached me through common questions in the HBS interview.

It was a fairly interactive process. After I answered each question, he gave his reaction on what was working and what wasn't. He was professional, but didn't pull any punches ... and it was exactly that kind of critical feedback that I needed! By the end of the session, I felt I had learned some concrete tips for how to crystallize my story, and I knew what I needed to think about / work on as my interview approached.

Additionally, Sandy sent me an extensive list of commonly asked questions in HBS interviews. This was EXTREMELY helpful in my prep. When my actual interview happened, there were no curveballs, as I felt prepared to answer each question that my interviewer asked.

In the end ... success!! I was admitted to HBS, and I'm SO excited to start next year. Thanks, Sandy!

***

Sandy pretty much tore me a new ***hole during the first ten minutes of our mock interview. And not just on the content, but on the delivery. Initially, I'd ramble with my answers. But Sandy doesn't mess around. "Skip anything extraneous to the answer. Just answer
the **** question," he told me bluntly. Each interview question with Sandy is followed up with how he might answer the question in my shoes. Of course, he helped me with the wording of my responses, but more importantly, helped generate realistic answers using my background and my application. This was invaluable, as he often came up with more impressive ways to say essentially the same stuff. When it came time for the HBS interview, I had practiced what Sandy had taught me, and the answers flowed out smoothly. It worked -- I'm off to HBS.

***

I'm the gal from [ASIA] who rambled a lot during our mock interview ;-p
I wanted to share this great news with you. As you might have already assumed from the title, yes, I got in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was two in the morning here . . .and I was up till then, waiting for the result nervously. And...you can imagine my joy and excitement to get the admission note!

Thank you so much for your support during the interview preparation. You did help me a lot and gave me a lot of great tips even after we finished our mock interview. Now I can really meet you in Boston '-p

***

$300 and 90 minutes of interview prep with Sandy made the difference between an acceptance letter and a ding at HBS. Prospective applicants will not find a consultant with more insight into the admissions process, nor one with the interview coaching skills that Sandy commands. (I commented during my session that he should be a press secretary; turns out he was the Director of Communications at Sloan.) Admissions interviews only vaguely resemble typical job interviews, and Sandy prepped me for questions that I received but would have never considered pertinent. Prior to my session with Sandy, I had read stacks of MBA admissions books and read interview guides. Good enough? Hardly. Don't try to skimp or take chances on some Johnny-come-lately imitator. *** I felt like I was going to my HBS interview unprepared and disinterested. Sandy straightened me up and got me to focus. He also gave me detailed and honest feedback which I used to better convey what I wanted to get across in my interview. I walked in confident and composed, breezed through the interview, and got into HBS thanks to Sandy s interview prep. *** Sandy's guidance in my preparation for the HBS interview was simply amazing - I mean it fully. Sandy gave me some really useful pieces of advice which enabled me to present a very distinct picture of myself in the 30 minute interview. The other thing that I liked about Sandy was his continuous support even after we finished the mock interview session. I think that without Sandy's support, I would not have been able to make it through the interview. Thanks a ton, Sandy! To all the future HBS aspirants - "If you really want to get a mock interview session, start with Sandy's *** Sandy, With tonnes of help from three of my best friends who are at HBS already, I felt that I had received all the prep I needed in order to ace my application and interview. But to be on the “safe side”, I decided$300 was a small price to pay for fresh eyes and a fresh grilling – and I’m glad I did. You helped me frame my answers in ways that impressed even me! And your help and mock questions made me super relaxed during my interview - I didn’t get a single question I was not prepared for!

Still buzzing from the high of receiving my offer – will have to buy you that beer in October!

***

"Sandy was an invaluable resource during MBA interview prep. My first mock interview for HBS was with him, and later I had a bunch of mock interviews with some other MBA prep companies and friends - and Sandy's was way more hard-hitting and dug into my application and really asked a bunch of tough questions. The feedback I received from Sandy was also very detailed. If you appreciate blunt, honest and straightforward advice, then you'll work well with him. Sandy, thanks for helping me get into HBS and Wharton!"

***

Sandy,

As predicted in your email below, I have been admitted to HBS!!

Thank you very much for your help. The advice you provided definitely gave me the edge I needed to be more confident and sharp during the interview.

[the two emails below are typical post-interview back-and-forth between me and the above candiddate]

From: Sanford Kreisberg [ mailto:hbsguru@gmail.com]

Subject: Re: HBS Interview Debrief
haha, sounds real good, dude, you cert passed the interview and may have added some cred to your story.
Sounds good in the most impt ways--sure, you can always replay the thing 20 times, and come up w. better answers but that is not what it is about--it is about not screwing up and you did not.
this was good.
sk

At 09:45 PM 11/19/2009, you wrote:
I think I did well. I didn't stumble on anything and got my main points across. She was able to ask me all the questions she had prepared without rushing, which is always a good thing.
The one positive feedback I got was in relation to the last question (the one we prepared).
INT: "Is there anything else you wish I would've asked?".
ME: "I'm sure you see a lot of candidates from developing countries who say they're going to go back to change things there and never actually do. You might want me to tell you why you should believe me."
INT: "That's a very good question to which I'd love to know the answer."
ME: I said something along the lines of what we had prepared, i,e. I was not just born in _____, it's also my one and only citizenship, all my family still lives there, I go back as often as I can (once a year), and I am already involved in several social enterprise projects there.

I'm now in over-analysis mode, i.e. replaying all my answers in my mind and thinking about what I should / shouldn't have said....

After I was invited for an Interview I decided to use Sandy's interview prep. Overall it was great in helping me prepare. It helped me focus on the right things and helped me figure out the best way to express the message I was trying to convey. Sandy was key in my acceptance to HBS!

Sandy,
Mark one up for the mysterious black box of HBS admissions - I got in!
Thank you for your help with interview prep. Your feedback and prep strategies were incredible and it was great chatting with you as well.
Your forum and blog helped me through 8 long dark months of waitlist and re-app process. Please keep up the amazing work. Best of luck to you!

If you are interviewing with HBS, you should definitely consider getting Sandy to coach you.

Here are the reasons.

1. He knows the questions asked in the past few years - he will share those with you so you can prepare better by yourself.
2. He knows the 'model' answers, and how to best present them - he will share those answers and coach you to present them well
3. After the interview, he will give you a candid assessment of how he thinks it went - his feedback will be useful for the next time (although hopefully you get in and do not need to reapply)

I felt that I received the best interview preparation from Sandy, and I highly recommend him.

HBS class of 2012"
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2011, 14:20
FOR ALL 2+2 INTERVIEW INVITE KIDS. FYI.
THESE ARE FROM YEARS PAST, AND I DONT EXPECT THEM TO CHANGE.
Hi Sandy

My interview (for 2+2) was ----. Shes really nice and welcoming!

Questions:

a) How is your summer going?
b) What do you do at work?
c) Are these your own projects or did you become a part of something that was ongoing?
d) What is your dream job?
f) Why 2+2?
g) What risks does 2+2 allow you to take? Give an example of a risk
h) Strengths
i) Weaknesses
j) A misconception about you that people get when they first meet you?
k) A product that you admire?
l) Tell me something about yourself that will surprise me?
m) Anything else?
=============
_________________

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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2011, 07:46

Move aside plankers, leisure diving latest HBS INTERNET sensation

and now for something different....................video, at Boston Herald, really worth a look.

Move aside plankers, leisure diving latest HBS INTERNET sensation
By Joshua Walovitch
Friday, August 5, 2011 - Updated 6 minutes ago

Leave it to the brain trust at Harvard Business School to turn “leisure diving” — jumping into a body of water, fully clothed, while striking a lounging pose midair — into the hottest Internet trend.

“Ideally, a photographer captures the moment when the diver has reached peak height above water, when his or her hips are parallel to the waterline,” said recent HBS grad Brian Thorne, who co-created HTTP://leisuredive.com, a site dedicated to posting the wet and wacky photos with John Lewis and Alex Scott

.

Within 12 hours of the site launch, it grabbed over a half million views.
_________________

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Intern
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2011, 11:51
In for Rd. 2
Manager
Affiliations: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Joined: 13 Dec 2010
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Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 2014
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2011, 16:13
I'm going to apply to HBS this year, but I'm having some difficulty deciding between R1 and R2. I was just promoted and started my new position in July, so I was thinking of waiting until R2 so that my new manager can write me a recommendation.

I consider my new position to be much better job experience than my previous one, and I am thinking that a recommendation after 6 months in that position will be better than one for the 15 months I was in my previous position.

Any thoughts?
Manager
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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07 Aug 2011, 19:14
nath99 wrote:
Hi Sandy,

Would appreciate your inputs on my chances at hbs

Age: 30
Gender: Male
Race: Asian
GPA: 3.8 (engineering school)
GMAT: 710
WE: 2 yrs at top 3 consulting firms working in Marketing-strategty (current), 4 years at well known consulting firm in US

Worried about my age...any schools you think might be less concerned about the age?

Thank you for all your help!

Nath

Many of my section mates were 30+ years old. One was 34 when he started...and he had a great story of why he wanted to get his MBA 13 years after graduating from undergrad. If I were the AdCom, I would have admitted him if he were 40.

Work on your story: why do you need an MBA at this very moment in time?! Paint a picture of how everything you've done up to now has convinced you that you need an MBA right now!!

hbs.consultant@gmail.com
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2011, 09:52

Do we want to write in the beginning say, " i wish you'd asked me this, that..."?

Any insights?
Manager
Status: Taking heavily leveraged but calculated risks at all times
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2011, 10:00
jwy22 wrote:
Does age really matter for applying to HBS? I've heard that it matter more here and Stanford than at schools like Kellogg, Chicago, etc.

Nobody knows what they are talking about. Last year they said HBS loved younger kids and KKR, BX, Private equity types, untill HBS gave a kick in the rears of these specific types and went for Manufacturing & older guys.

So dont go beleiving this information about what adcom may/ may not want and apply if you feel you need an MBA specifically at this juncture in your life to turbo-charge your career, :D
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2011, 11:35
pingeatlemon wrote:

Do we want to write in the beginning say, " i wish you'd asked me this, that..."?

Any insights?

whelllllllllllllllll, not critical, and what comes after that is more impt but you knew that.
You can start by assuming the question, viz.
"My beer bottle collection is the first thing I would save if my house was on fire because . . . ."
or you can,

"I'd wish you'd asked me what the first thing I would save if my house were on fire was becasue I am an avid beer bottle collector, and some of those bottles are OVER 100 YEARS OLD, and some of the newer ones still have beer in them, soooooo, gotta save those. Of course, as you know, I do have two toddlers, but that is the point, they are toddlers, and can just toddle out of that fire all by themselves, or maybe the little woman can pick them up . . . for me, it's the bottles. . . ."

Get it???

A real tip for this question:

1. dont save the "best" for last, get the best in questions one and two. If you won an Olympic medal or worked in a leper colony, dont save that for here, AND CERT. DO NOT DELAY ANY IMPORTANT IDENTIDY POLITICS ISSUES FOR LAST, e.g. do not wait til Q4 to tell them you are an American Indian, have that as element of many answers.
2. Dont huff and puff and try to sell yourself here, by this pt. your race is run, and if app has been executed strategically, they should already know all the good stuff. Good way to use this question, assuming you do not need to explain away jail time, etc. is to make them like you.
"Wish you'd ask about my dinner parties . . . ." assuming you can create some gumbo of an essay about receipes fr. mom, your cooking style, notable experiments which failed in front of diff guests, diverse bunch you have over, how you had a great one on a card table nite you moved into your first apt in NYC with old roommate fr. college and you both felt so grown up, and some great anecdotes all of which leave us saying, "Hey, I'd like to have dinner with this person, too."
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2011, 14:44
hmmmm, he might not have counted on the NO landslide fr. Waitlisters!!!!!!!!!!!

Founder and CEO of CollegeBudget.com allows world to vote on whether he attends Harvard Business School or remains at CollegeBudget.com.
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mike Moradian, the founder and CEO of CollegeBudget.com is faced with an incredibly difficult decision - whether to attend Harvard Business School, a top-ranked MBA program at one the most prestigious universities in the world, or forge ahead with his newly launched startup, which seeks to revolutionize student discounts and finances. "They are both opportunities of a lifetime, but in order to make an impact, I can really only choose one," says Moradian, who was ranked America's Best Young Entrepreneur in 2010 by Bloomberg Businessweek. In a totally unprecedented move, Mike has opened up his decision to attend Harvard to public vote at ShouldIgotoHarvard.com.
http://is.gd/2aTFJ1
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2011, 03:33
I have a question about the essays. As Sandy has mentioned to use powerful stories from different aspect of your life (professional, personal, extracurricular). While writing these stories I see them as part of my profile, the only problem is how to connect one story to another or do I even need to connect them?

Should I put a lead line before each story? I just want to make it easier for the reader to jump from one story to another.
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2011, 03:57
In for Round 1.
Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants   [#permalink] 09 Aug 2011, 03:57

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# HBS 2012 - Calling All Applicants

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