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HBS 2012 - Calling All Applicants

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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2011, 11:18
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Here it goes- straight from the director

Yesterday was our deadline for the Summer Round 2+2 applications. Not sure how many times I should be mentioning this but WE'VE CHANGED THE 2+2 PROGRAM THIS YEAR TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO APPLY THROUGHOUT YOUR SENIOR YEAR OF COLLEGE. Sorry for the shouting... I just want to be mindful that this transition year will require lots (and lots) of reminders and explaining.

So, this is a message for those who submitted 2+2 applications yesterday. We will be sending out interview invitations on July 22. At that time we will also be releasing any candidates not being interviewed from consideration. All interviews will take place here on campus between August 17-23. Net result is that all Summer Round applicants will be getting some news on July 22.

Now that there are multiple application rounds for 2+2 candidates, we are no longer going to publish stats of applicants/admits from the summer application period. We'll wait until the end of the season to show a 2+2 Class of 2016 Profile. This is in keeping with how we manage the MBA Program stats and profiles.
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2011, 14:25
Hi Sandy,

Newbie here and would appreciate your opinion on my HBS chances.

At matriculation:

Age: 27
Gender: Male
Race: Caucasian
GPA: 3.7 from large state school (pre-med, physiology)
GMAT: 750
WE: 2 yrs large non-profit healthcare co. ; 2 yrs fortune 500 healthcare co. (in finance/operations/process improvement roles)
EC: Pretty active undergrad (exec boards, mentor, volunteering, sports); fairly light now, work with a science and engineering education non-profit doing volunteer work, business process improvement
Post MBA: healthcare/biotech consulting, entrepreneurship

Thanks for your time.
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2011, 16:05
carro103 wrote:
Hi Sandy,

Newbie here and would appreciate your opinion on my HBS chances.

At matriculation:

Age: 27
Gender: Male
Race: Caucasian
GPA: 3.7 from large state school (pre-med, physiology)
GMAT: 750
WE: 2 yrs large non-profit healthcare co. ; 2 yrs fortune 500 healthcare co. (in finance/operations/process improvement roles)
EC: Pretty active undergrad (exec boards, mentor, volunteering, sports); fairly light now, work with a science and engineering education non-profit doing volunteer work, business process improvement
Post MBA: healthcare/biotech consulting, entrepreneurship

Thanks for your time.


Like you I'm a candidate. From your profile sounds like you meet the criteria. It's how well you sell yourself on the application. Good luck
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2011, 12:51

Handicapping Your Odds Of Getting In

by John A. Byrne

[highlight]MY ADMISSIONS ODDS SHEET FROM POETS AND QUANTS
for anwers to each applicant below[/highlight]

http://poetsandquants.com/2011/07/14/handicapping-your-odds-of-getting-in/
She’s a 25-year-old African American whose goal is to make the 2012 Olympic Summer Games.

He once got an “F” grade in calculus from a prominent British university. But this former male model has a 750 GMAT and now runs a small firm that produces and markets theater and comedy.

A graduate of West Point, he now has a leadership position in a Special Forces unit. He speaks two languages and spent a year as a volunteer at an orphanage.

He’s a 28-year-old senior at the University of Oregon who will be the first in his family to get a college degree. He worked at a ski resort before becoming a mortgage consultant.

He’s a consultant with KPMG who also did a two-year stint as a financial analyst at the Walt Disney Co. He scored a 660 on the GMAT but has a 3.86 GPA from Ithaca College.

What all of them share in common is the goal to get into one of the world’s best business schools and graduate with an MBA degree. Do they have the raw stats and experience to get an invite? Or are they likely to end up in Harvard Business School’s reject pile?

For the fourth consecutive week, we’re turning to Sanford “Sandy” Kreisberg, founder of MBA admissions consulting firm HBSGuru, to analyze these and a few other profiles of actual MBA applicants who have shared their vital statistics with Poets&Quants. Kreisberg has a reputation for telling it like it is, and in this installment he doesn’t disappoint. One would-be applicant is told his chance of getting into Harvard and Stanford are “zilch.” What about Dartmouth or Yale? “Zilch, plus a Hail Mary,” he says flatly.

As he has in the past, Kreisberg handicaps each potential applicant’s odds of getting into a top-ranked business school. If you include your own stats and characteristics in the comments (please add your age and be clear on the sequence of your jobs in relaying work experience), we’ll pick a half dozen or more and have Kreisberg assess your chances in a follow-up feature next week.

http://poetsandquants.com/2011/07/14/handicapping-your-odds-of-getting-in/
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2011, 07:18
HBS 2+2 MOCK INTERVIEWS

dont get nervous, none announced yet to my knowledge but should be out this week, fer sure

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.

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.
I know how to help you formulate your core story in ways which can be applied to many questions.
I can predict trouble areas in your application and help you come up with talking points to deal with them.
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).
I can help you create a back story for your goals which creates a solid platform for Why MBA, Why HBS?
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?"
I can calm you down, although that will not be the first thing that happens.
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?"
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.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 $300.00 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 f@cking 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

***

$350 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.

I will be recommending your service to a lot of my friends!

[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.
INT: "I'm very glad you asked and answered that question. Thank you very much."

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 (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2011, 10:29
Sandy, what is your take on the "Answer a question you wish we had asked" essay? what is it that in your opinion would build a good case towards adcoms?
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2011, 11:12
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fsaq wrote:
Sandy, what is your take on the "Answer a question you wish we had asked" essay? what is it that in your opinion would build a good case towards adcoms?


If you got nothing which needs to explained about grades, scores, missing years in your transcript (classified work for CIA, etc) and ALREADY HAVE CHOSEN SIX SITUATIONS IN ESSAYS ONE AND TWO WHICH SHOW YOU AS MULTI-PURPOSE LEADER AT WORK, IN FAMILY, WITH FRIENDS AND SOMEONE WHO ESPECIALLY HELPS VICTIMS, well then, you can use this essay to either do something obvious:

wish you'd ask me about cooking, book collecting, walking, or whatever you major so-far unstated passion is, or wish you'd ask about my family, or where I come fr. (if interesting and not already dealt with) or wish you'd aksed about my novel/movie in progress, it's about a crazy kid my age who cannot handle rejection, and when he finds out . . . . . .
there is a lot of blood on the screen, so . . . .

Basically, make sure you got all the bases covered b4 you get to this Q, and then you can use it to make them like you, or explain something impt, if you aint done so.

DO NOT SAVE UP GOOD STUFF FOR THIS, USE THAT IN FIRST TWO QUESTIONS.
WHERE IT COUNTS MORE, BY THE TIME READERS GET HERE, YOUR GRADE IS ALREADY IN, SOOOOOO, JUST BE FUNNY, LIKEABLE, AND DONT MESS IT UP.
it is actually quite hard to use this Q positively (because of all the info they got on you already, including resume, grades, scores, work history and other essays) , it only confirms what they already know, or you make some gaff, and it screws you. Sure, in rare cases, people can pull a rabbit out the hat here, but given how dense the app is, in terms of info, not likely. Soooo, family always good, hobbies (if seriously pursued, hobbies themselves can be anything) explanation of background, origins, family, etc. Sure think value added, but note that being engaged and humane and winning, and even quirky in moderation are values they also admire. You could, if all else were exhausted, say, I wish you'd ask me why I'm so nuts about Harry Potter, and explain how the books/movies impacted you at diff ages, etc (Oh, boy, Dee Dee, fasten your 24" seatbelt for 100 of those!!!), that is not going to get you IN, if you otherwise are short on stats, work history, etc. but it could add color to an application, and buy you some forebearance at an interview. (well, a wee bit). But note, done in some goffy or cult way, could also hurt you.
As noted many times, essays more often sink otherwise OK kids than they save marginal ones, but no one is capable of believing that, it seems.
If you read books like 60 Successful HBS Essays, etc. well, about half of those are NOTHING-SPECIAL lint written by otherwise real solid kids, the book should be called, 60 Random Essays by Successful HBS Candidates With High GPA'S, GMATS and Typical Feeder Jobs-- But that is not exactly a great title.
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2011, 11:46
Sandy, can a campus visit/class sit-in somehow tilt decisions in my favor? I would imagine one would be able to write more intelligently/clearly when talking about why one wants to attend HBS because one gets to talk to students, sit in on classes, feel how an HBS classroom is electric, see professors in action etc etc. If I make a visit, will my application be viewed more favorably at H/S/W?

NOT AT HBS, THEY REALLY DONT CARE, AND MY SUGGESTION IS, VISIT WHILE YOU INTERVIEW. AT OTHER SCHOOLS, LIKE COLUMBIA, MIT AND ETC. WHERE THEY TAKE ATTENDANCE, AND ARE ALWAYS CHECKING INTEREST (BECAUSE PEEPS USE AS BACK UP) YES.
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2011, 12:21
Sandy,

I am planning to apply using the GRE. Do you have any stats regarding GRE avergaes for mba applicants? They do not list any stat related to the GRE. Can we pick your brain for this? Thanks!
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2011, 05:36
[highlight]SOME COMMON HBS 2+2 CONCERNS--FOR COLLEGE SENIORS THINKING OF APPLYING NOW VERSUS 2 OR 3 YEARS FROM NOW[/highlight]

1. Would the importance of grades come down as the three years job experience would come in?


a little but they never go away


2. Is OIL MAJOR OR FORT 50 MANUFACTURING among the feeder companies to HBS? Does the 2-3 year job experience in ABOVE weakens my case relative to consultants and bankers?

--depending on what you do, tech guys on oil rigs often make competitive applicants, as do rotational guys in finance, etc. AT FORT 50 COMPANIES
3. How much does it count if apply now and get rejected and apply 2-3 years later to HBS?

not much

two general questions:

1. Would the positions of leadership taken up at COLLEGE count in 3 year later HBS app?

a bit

2. Is it generally more difficult to get in 2+2 than in regular MBA?

a little, altho percents are prob sim, cohort for 2+2 is really elite.


hbsguru wrote:
rpsingh wrote:
applying summer round for 2+2


FOR READERS THINKING ABOUT 2+2 YOU ALSO MIGHT TAKE A LOOK AT THIS.
You might enjoy this

A Shrewd Undergraduate's Guide to HBS Admissions



Published, THE HARVARD CRIMSON, On 4/20/2008

Sanford Kreisberg is the founder of hbsguru.com, a business school admissions consultancy. He has advised scores of Harvard graduates about applying to HBS over the past 10 years . . . .

1. Try to have a high GPA and do not fall for the canard that the admissions committee is aware of hard courses, and will give you a break. They are aware of A, B, and C. They have no idea if Post-Modern Feminist Approaches to Derivative Trading is a hard course or a gut. Take a lot of guts, and use the extra time to explore extra activities. Do not innocently engage in learning for 'learning sake' --although certainly say you do. Do not take introductory Arabic or Chinese because they sound contemporary and important, especially when most kids in those classes will be native speakers looking for guts. Do not take some super-duper math course because it sounds 'interesting.'

2. Try to have a high GMAT, but HBS is not obsessed with this; they are more concerned with your GPA, and will not get too shook up with a 680 or even a 660 GMAT if they 'otherwise love you' and that can apply to even non-minorities. A 720 GMAT is normative, a 750 won't help you as much as you think, and a jumbo 770+ is a nice touch, especially if a keystone of your application is that you are smart or quanty.

3. Be strategic about extracurriculars: try to be a leader. Try to find an issue where you can lead based on interests or identity politics. Think about Miss America, where each finalist has some 'signature' issue like overcoming learning disabilities or improving inner-city education. Get a signature issue of your own. Leading a club based on your ethnicity, personal concerns, diseases, or political ideas is good. Try to be innovative and expand the organization’s programs and membership.

4. Be a work in progress. HBS is obsessed with 'transforming' its students, so the persona you should present in your application is someone who is both focused and accomplished, yet open to change. You don't need to be overly interested in business per se; rather, you need to be interested in the intersection of your personal passion, signature issue, or academic interest with the potential social impact. Thus, if you have a passion for biology, you would do better presenting yourself as someone interested in how biology can cure disease among groups a, b, or c, rather than someone obsessed with Biotech companies and their relative stock values. HBS will "transform" you into the latter.

5. For the 2+2 program, which is new, it is better to pretend to be 'out of it' about business
than someone who has been obsessed with business ever since your grandfather gave you 100 shares of General Electric for your 10th birthday. HBS is looking for science and artsy kids who otherwise, without HBS's wonderful “2+2” program, never would have thought about business, and would have gone to (gasp) law school. So, be a techie who was happy being a nerd until, poof, “2+2” came along, and then you discovered you could be a business nerd. Think transformation.

6. In your essays, show what makes you tick; the essays are not brag sheets. Don't list what you did so much as account for how you were effective getting others, like professors and other students, to help you. Think Tom Sawyer. Get the others to help you paint the fence. Don't brag about raising money for charity, but explain how you convinced 20 other kids to help you raise money for charity.

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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants (including 2+2) [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2011, 08:34
HOW TO SKETCH OUT YOUR POST HBS CAREER, AND WHY MBA--THIS GUY IS TYPICAL. ESP THE DETOUR INTO PUBLIC SERVICE --THEN JUST SAY HOW HBS WILL HELP YOU PREPARE FOR LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES OF THESE VARIED GIGS 8-)
NEW YORK, Jul 21, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Two Harbors Investment Corp. announced today that David N. Miller has joined Pine River Capital Management L.P. as a Managing Director, where he will have responsibility over business development and strategic initiatives for Two Harbors Investment Corp.

Mr. Miller most recently served as Chief Investment Officer for the Office of Financial Stability at the U.S. Department of Treasury, where he was responsible for managing the investment portfolio for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Mr. Miller's oversight included the creation, evaluation and execution of the U.S. Treasury's transactions and investments programs, including a complex, multi-hundred billion dollar portfolio of liquid and illiquid assets. Earlier this year, Mr. Miller was awarded the Treasury Medal by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in recognition of his distinguished service and exceptional leadership.

Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Treasury in 2008, Mr. Miller managed equity investments for HBK Capital Management, a multi-strategy hedge fund. From 1998 through 2007, Mr. Miller held various positions at Goldman, Sachs & Co., including Vice President, Special Situations Group, where he was a Senior Investment Analyst for the Multi-Strategy Investing Group which focused on generating attractive risk adjusted returns across a variety of asset classes.

Mr. Miller has a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Dartmouth College.
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2011, 17:57

MY LATEST BACKSEAT DRIVING FROM POETS AND QUANTS



Can You Get Into HBS, Stanford, Wharton?by John A. Byrne
http://poetsandquants.com/2011/07/21/can-you-get-into-harvard-stanford-or-wharton/

Are these MBA applicants good enough for Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, or Wharton? Or for that matter, could they pass muster with Columbia, MIT, Chicago, or Kellogg?

Mr. Hollywood has been an Off-Broadway actor, a director and CEO of a film production company, even a personal trainer. He’s earned black belts and blue belts in the martial arts. As he himself puts it, “I have a strange path and am not sure if schools will laugh out loud, scratch their heads, or give someone like me a shot?”

Ms. Pink Collar is a public relations strategist for Wells Fargo Bank, but wants an MBA to escape the “pink ghetto.” She’s a regular volunteer for a non-profit that serves up meals and groceries to clients with HIV/AIDS.

Then, there is an engaged couple from India who want to enroll in a top MBA program together. He has a 720 GMAT and has worked as an investment banking analyst at a bulge bracket Wall Street firm. She has a 710 GMAT and works at a global credit ratings agency.

What these and other MBA candidates want to know is whether they have a chance to get into a top business school. For the fifth consecutive week, we’re turning to Sanford “Sandy” Kreisberg, founder of MBA admissions consulting firm HTTP://HBSGuru.COM, to analyze these and a few other profiles of actual MBA applicants who have shared their vital statistics with Poets&Quants.

As he has in the past, Kreisberg handicaps each potential applicant’s odds of getting in. If you include your own stats and characteristics in the comments (please add your age and be clear on the sequence of your jobs in relaying work experience), we’ll pick a half dozen or more and have Kreisberg assess your chances in a follow-up feature next week.
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2011, 05:50
Less Perks More Stress for Wall St Summer Interns, NY TIMES --and pillow fight at IB dorm, tsk tsk http://is.gd/6g0PSw
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2011, 05:57
from the above article, we stress only the impt. stuff, of course.

This summer, some young Morgan Stanley employees were disciplined for rowdy behavior and noise complaints at Mercedes House, a Midtown apartment building where the firm houses many of its young employees. No interns were involved, but one full-time analyst was fired, according to a person with knowledge of the incident. A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment.

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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2011, 08:35
fyi, reports of HBS 2+2 interview invites being received, if any GC readers get invites, check in, and sure, how about some stats.
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2011, 08:41
Quote:
FROM HER ROYAL HIGHNESS --2+2 Notice
thanks for nothing, how about some numbers, your majesty, like how many invites, how many applications, etc. It's 2011, and autocrats are being forced to open up all over the world, but apparently not in the Kremlin on the Charles.
OK, we still love you, but .............


Good morning from Boston!

Today, sometime around noon ET, we will be getting news out to all the Summer Round 2+2 applicants. Some will be invited to interview - and will receive detailed instructions about this process - some will be invited to join a waitlist - again, with an explanation of how this process works - and some will be released. I hope that those in this last group will read our letter carefully and understand that they will not be in any way at a disadvantage if they apply again after they graduate and are working full-time.

We saw a strong applicant pool this summer and gave careful consideration to all candidates. College seniors applying during the upcoming application rounds will receive the same careful attention and we commit to making offers throughout the season - the 2+2 Class of 2016 cohort is not "full" or "closed".

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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2011, 08:53
Quote:
THIS IS A REPRINT OF INTERVIEW W. ME IN POETS AND QUANTS --WORTH READING FOR ANY 2+2 INTERVIEW KIDS


How NOT To Blow Your Harvard Interview
by John A. Byrne
November 4, 2010
Poets & Quants

[url]
http://poetsandquants.com/2010/11/04/ho ... interview/[/url]


All the round one applicants to Harvard Business School yesterday (November 3) heard whether they've been rejected, waitlisted, or invited for an interview with an admissions official. If you're one of the estimated 800 applicants who won an interview opportunity, you're bound to be jumping for joy. But in all probability, you're also filled with anxiety over the final hurdle you have to overcome before getting into Harvard.

This crucial step of the process confronts applicants to most of the other highly ranked schools, from Stanford and Wharton to Columbia and Kellogg. At Harvard, virtually all the interviews are by admissions staff. At Stanford, where nearly 400 first round applicants will get invites for interviews, alumni do the vast majority of interviews. At Wharton, second-year MBA students, admissions staff, and alums are called into action. Wharton, which interviews between 30% and 50% of all its applicants, can invite as many as 900 MBA candidates for interviews in its first round.

HOW THREE TOP SCHOOLS WINNOW DOWN THEIR APPLICANTS



If you get invited to an interview by Harvard, you stand a 64% chance of getting accepted to the school–much better odds than if you were invited to an interview by either Stanford (48%) or Wharton (43%). Application numbers are for the classes that entered this fall. Numbers for interviews and acceptances are rough estimates based on interviews with admission directors at each school.

The big question now: How do you not screw up your interview?

For some smart, tell-it-like-it-is counsel, we turned to Sandy Kreisberg, aka HBS Guru, the rebel savant of MBA admissions consulting. The highly opinionated Kreisberg has been advising applicants to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and other elite B-schools for some 15 years. During the 2009-2010 application season, Kreisberg conducted mock interviews with more than 100 applicants to Harvard alone, a service he offers for $300. (For details, click here.)

Obviously, if you made it to this stage in round one, it's a big deal. The interview is the only thing separating you from a seat in the class, right?

Yes, but it's like being born. It's a special passage where awful things can happen. Tremendous damage can occur in a very short period of time. You should worry about it, and you should prepare for it.

What have you picked up so far in your coaching of applicants who are prepping for these interviews?

The real news this year is that Stanford and Wharton are trending toward behavioral questions versus the more typical ones like 'why Wharton, why now, why do you want an MBA.' Of course, it would still help to prepare for those questions as well. But if you are being interviewed by Stanford or Wharton, you should Google behavioral interviews and you'll get some bad advice about how to answer those questions but at least it will help you get some standard questions. They're asking people things like, 'Tell me about a time you worked on a great team, or a bad team, or worked with a great leader. Tell me when you disappointed yourself and what would you do differently if you had to do it again. Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a person and how you resolved it. Tell me about a time you dealt with an ethical issue.' For some reason, Stanford and Wharton seem to be tilting toward those questions this year.

Sandy, what's the most common misperception about these interviews?

Some think this is like an audition for a symphony orchestra where the conductor is choosing one violinist out of ten and you have to be .001 better than nine other people. It's not that. It's more like an audition for a marching band. You just have to be able to bang a drum in terms of talent and not appear to be arrogant, inward, unsure of yourself, or confused.

At Harvard, that means if they interview ten people, they will reject one with marginal English right out of the box. If you can't speak English, you're done. You won't be able to survive. Then, of the remaining nine English speakers, one to two people might have a meltdown of some kind. They have a bad hair day or a bad tongue day. So the way that smart people blow the Harvard interview is to have a bad half hour.

And what does a bad half hour look like?

The most common way that smart people blow a Harvard interview is to get lost. Talking too much. Digressing. Getting lost in the weeds. That is the most common mistake. It outweighs every other mistake. You're asked a simple question like, 'Why did you go to Cornell for your undergraduate degree?' And you begin with a history of Cornell and tell the admissions person all about your family. You're eight minutes into it and you haven't yet answered the question. It is one of those moments where you hear yourself speaking and you cannot believe you are saying this. You just generally come off as inarticulate and struggling.

In terms of intellectual preparation, you just have to make sure you don't get lost. Go through your resume and for every job and transition in your life be prepared to crisply explain why you did it, and your stories and explain why you did it, what it was like, what you learned, and how you would do it differently. Be able to talk about every job in 40 seconds. Don't feel the need for completeness. If they are interested, they will ask a follow-up question.

So Harvard and other schools are looking for succinct and clear answers, not meandering detours for answers. Makes sense to me.

The answers need to be specific, crisp, and articulate. They want to see you draw a straight line from one end of the canvas to another. The way you mess up a question is to draw an squiggly line across the canvas. You need pop-up answers. Why I took this job? What my best accomplishment on this job was? What the culture of the firm, was and why I took my next job and how I would improve the job looking backwards. The correct answer to the Cornell question is, 'I lived in New York and wanted to get away from home yet not leave the East Coast. I was interested in liberal arts and not certain at the time what my major goals were. My high school guidance counselor and friends who went there suggested I look at Cornell. On my campus visit, I was excited by the enthusiasm of the students, and I immediately felt that it was a place where I could feel at home. Looking through the course catalog, I got really excited.' The quickest way to get rejected is to answer with a 'duh' because you're surprised at how simple the question is. A lot of people are thrown by this question. Kids who went to Harvard College are asked why they chose Harvard and often have to watch themselves from saying, 'duh!'




There's got to be more to it than that. I imagine that Harvard and other schools are looking for certain answers.

Aside from getting lost, the second way smart people flunk an interview is by being a super jerk. Super jerks come in all types: there is the Bain/McKinsey super jerk, the Goldman super jerk, and the Teach for America and World Bank super jerk, and most recently, the Google super jerk. Almost any Bain Capital or TPG guy dinged by HBS has flunked the interview on the jerk meter.

Non-HBS types come in all varieties. About 20% of the Harvard admissions committee members dislike investment bankers and private equity people. They are just looking for you to say something that is not politically correct. If you tell Harvard you are interested in opportunistic investments in distressed debts because you can make a killing, or even any nice version of that, you have just committed suicide. Instead, they want to hear you say you are interested in investing in companies that can really make a difference. 'My greatest transaction was in supporting an orphan drug company that created a drug to help people with a rare type of diabetes.' Or that you found a creative way to help finance a social enterprise in rural India to provide clean drinking water to people.'

It's hard to believe they'll fall for that, but I get the double bottom line emphasis, given all the accusations about greed. How should an applicant dress for the interview?

There are two mistakes you can make here. One of them is making a statement with what you wear. If you are a banker, don't show up looking like Michael Douglas in Wall Street. You shouldn't be on campus wearing a white collar on a blue shirt or a pair of gold cufflinks. Definitely no suspenders. You are not getting credit for suspenders when you are 24-years-old. The shoes should not scream 'these are $1,000 shoes!' The other mistake is more rare. Some techies often show up from work wearing chinos. You don't need to wear a suit; you can wear a blazer, but dress in a way that shows you are taking this event seriously. For women, you should be a cross between Hilary Clinton and Carly Fiorina. Don't make a statement in terms of accessories. Go light on the bling.

Are there different rules for an interview at Stanford where it's generally more laidback?

You may be able to wear jeans to a Stanford interview if it's pre-arranged in the back and forth with the alum who will interview you. Because alumni generally do the interviews, they sometimes set it up at Starbucks on a Saturday. You can say, 'Is this Saturday dress or business casual?' If the guy is nice, he'll say, 'Well, I'll be wearing jeans.' But you could have one in a Starbucks on a Saturday. You can say, 'I'll be wearing Saturday casual and the guy might say sure. But I wouldn't do it unannounced.

How does an applicant prep for one of these interviews?

You should know what the standard questions are. About 90% of the questions are, 'Take me through every line of your resume.' They say, 'Why did you go there?' They are obsessed with transitions. 'What did you accomplish? How did you accomplish it? How would you do it differently?'

You also should be prepared to discuss how the economic downturn has affected you and your industry.

And then, there are frequent flyer questions like, 'What did you think of the application? Have you attended an HBS class?' That is an important question. Your answer should be truthful. If you haven't, you should say so but add that you have seen a video of a class on the Harvard website. And then you should be able to do a song and dance on what you thought of a class. The big mistake is to say, 'I went to UVA (University of Virginia) and I've had case study classes so it's not going to be a problem for me. Harvard is looking for case method virgins. They want you not to have been to the big city. They want you to say, 'Golly, holy smokes, the class was a mind blow. I was really impressed with the energy and with how the case study helped students bring to bear their different experiences and backgrounds in the class discussion.' The wise guy UVA answer by inference says, 'I have done this before and it won't be a problem for me and I can give a better answer than the guy next to me when the time comes.' That answer becomes the first drop of poison in the cup. If you keep answering that way, you are toast. Goodbye.

Another mistake people make is they think they have to deliver their whole package. They already have your package. Some people come out and say, 'We never talked about my plans for health care reform.' They don't care. A large part of a Harvard interview, like 40%, can be your college experiences and internships and some jive about clubs you will join at HBS.

What's your best advice on the famous closing question of many interviews, "Do you have any questions for me?"

The way you can kill yourself at the end is when you're asked do you have a question for me? Basically, the interview is over, your grade has already been faxed in. They are just trying to get you out the door. But you can screw this up at the last minute. You can pick an argument. You can say, 'Do you really think you can teach finance through the case method?' That is an awful question to ask because you are calling their baby ugly. They believe you can learn anything through the case method. So you don't want to get into a debate over it. A better answer is real light. If you're from another part of the country, you might say, 'I've never experienced a New England winter. Have you got any tips?' One of the best questions would be, 'How hard would it be for me to organize a forum around one of my passionate interests?' They'd love that one. If the chemistry was right between you and the interviewer, you might even ask if they could recommend an Indian restaurant in Harvard Square.

What are the basic differences between interviews at Harvard vs. Stanford, or Wharton?

One big difference between Harvard and the other two is that the Stanford and Wharton interviews are run off your resume. At Harvard, they have your entire folder. That's because admissions staff does most of the Harvard interviews. Stanford and Wharton don't have the essays, for example.

Alumni do up to 90% of the interviews at Stanford and it's well known that the interview is more of a marketing device to get alumni involved. You have to do something really dramatic to commit suicide in a Stanford interview.

Wharton interviews are a mixed bag. Second-year students on the school's student admission committee do a lot. If you can, my advice is to try to get an admissions board member first, then a student, and finally an alum, simply because alumni interviews can be odd. If they don't do many interviews, alumni of a school can have un-normal standards. If you only do two interviews, your standards tend to be higher than if you do 50 interviews. And some alums are just nuts and in rare cases predatory.

Sandy, you've got to be exaggerating.

Well, predatory is rare but not zero. If you can help it, you'll always be better off with an interviewer with a lot of experience because they are less likely to make oddball judgments. You want a normative interviewer, someone who knows the standards and who has been through it a million times. Alumni often have a chip on their shoulders. They may have issues with the school that can get projected in the interview. They may want to use you to deliver a message to the school, or they could have a prejudice against people who are in Teach For America or other non-profits. That happens a lot. And some alumni interviews can go on for more than an hour. They're just so much more unpredictable.

You're obviously doing a good number of mock interviews right now. What most bothers you about the whole process?

What upsets me is people who are good people but who have a bad hair day. The call I fear is from the person crying on Amtrak. They had their interview at HBS. They are on their way home on the train to New York, and they call in tears because they think they have blown their interview. If you think you've blown your interview at Harvard, you probably have blown it. Those are real sad calls, especially if you like the person, and they rehearse how they lost a step, then another and then tripped. If you could have prevented the first lost step, they would be in at Harvard. That happens, man, trust me. That happens. Years of work and hours of preparation and poof, it's gone, because they could not explain why they went to Cornell for college in 30 concise seconds.

For more admissions advice from Sandy Kreisberg, also see "The World, According to Sandy."
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2011, 09:29
Thanks Sandy. I got an invite. We have moved all the 2+2 discussions to this thread: hbs-2-2-class-of-112195.html
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2011, 10:48
HBS Dean Nohria int in NYTIMES today worth a look re: HBS Why do you want an MBA? essay question http://is.gd/uPMnSy
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Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2011, 03:55
Would appreciate feedback on below info:

- 3.8 GPA from H/Y/P Ivy, graduated in 2007, played D1 sport for 4 years, significant overseas experience during summer
- 700 GMAT (Q/V, 81%/89%)
- 2 years experience in New York working in private equity
- 2+ years working at a venture/growth capital fund in Vietnam, started and run by a couple of HBS grads
- Heavily involved with three portfolio companies on various initiatives
- EC’s have been wide ranging from study of local language for about 1 year, managing a softball team in a local international softball league, various alumni association work (interviewing, college forums etc.), some volunteer teaching and college counseling work for a local company, random charity work
- Am planning on appplying to Chicago, Wharton, Harvard and maybe Stanford this upcoming fall

Would appreciate any feedback.
Re: Calling all HBS 2012 Applicants   [#permalink] 25 Jul 2011, 03:55
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