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Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants

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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2008, 23:34
Good luck! I actually enjoyed writing the hbs essays.. i thought they were the best of those i saw.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2008, 12:37
hello all. i'm am applying r2 and have a question on recommenders. assuming all my recommenders can write equally good applications (which i hope they would), what would be the ideal mix of recommenders given the choices i have? would hbs take a peer rec as a 3rd instead of one for a manager from a previous job?

i've been at my current company for more than 3.5 years and for my standard 2 recs, i'm getting them from two managers i work with. for stanford's 3rd in which they specifically ask for a peer, i got one from a co-worker (now in b-school) who also knew me from a community volunteering perspective and able to write about my leadership in that aspect.

i'm trying to figure out if for hbs' 3rd rec, whether i should go with a peer or my manager from my previous job. this would be over 3.5 years ago in my first job out of college, so my development areas would have been different. and i'm not sure how much detail he could write. we had a great relationship, so i think he could write a strong rec, though i didn't get a good sign when he asked if i could take a first pass at the rec...all this is leading me to getting the peer rec as my 3rd, which is already written for stanford.

what are your thoughts? any advice on what i should do?

thanks!
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Last edited by peaceyall on 02 Dec 2008, 13:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2008, 13:16
I asked this same question about the 3rd recommendation to the woman running the HBS booth at an MBA fair in September. It was unclear to me whether she was adcom or alumna, but for what it's worth I'll tell you what she said.

She told me flat-out that a peer recommendation was inappropriate. She told me a previous employer or client would be more appropriate. In my case, she told me she'd be more interested in the previous employer (which was 2.5 years ago) since it was a completely different industry and job role.

I went with her suggestion and asked a superior from my previous job, and I was invited to interview for R1.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2008, 13:46
I got a peer recommendation for one of my letters and I think it was fine. They are about 10 years older than me, maybe it would be more iffy if the peer were close to your age. I don't think it is inappropriate though.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2008, 13:55
I was also under the impression that HBS doesn't look kindly upon peer recs. I think if you want to be safe, go with the supervisor rec. I went with 3 supervisors (2 work and 1 volunteer) and I think it turned out well although it's very difficult to tell since recs are just 1 part of the app.

Side note: anyone complete their R1 interview these past couple days and want to share their experience? it would be greatly appreciated! :-D
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2008, 15:08
bball wrote:
I was also under the impression that HBS doesn't look kindly upon peer recs. I think if you want to be safe, go with the supervisor rec. I went with 3 supervisors (2 work and 1 volunteer) and I think it turned out well although it's very difficult to tell since recs are just 1 part of the app.

Side note: anyone complete their R1 interview these past couple days and want to share their experience? it would be greatly appreciated! :-D


Oh ugh, whoops. I didn't know that. I did two supervisors and one peer. I haven't had my interview yet but will post my experience after I have it.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2008, 15:12
Meowzilla wrote:
bball wrote:
I was also under the impression that HBS doesn't look kindly upon peer recs. I think if you want to be safe, go with the supervisor rec. I went with 3 supervisors (2 work and 1 volunteer) and I think it turned out well although it's very difficult to tell since recs are just 1 part of the app.

Side note: anyone complete their R1 interview these past couple days and want to share their experience? it would be greatly appreciated! :-D


Oh ugh, whoops. I didn't know that. I did two supervisors and one peer. I haven't had my interview yet but will post my experience after I have it.


Your peer might not be as "peer-like" as I'm talking about since yours was 10 years older. I think what they want to avoid is people getting their friends to write their recs for them.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 07:21
you man not want to count on uncle harvard to loan you money for an MBA..looks like international students are in a pickle..

From NY TIMES..

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Harvard officials say that the university’s largest-in-the-nation endowment lost about 22 percent of its value, or $8 billion, in the four months since the end of the last fiscal year.

The endowment was worth $36.9 billion as of June 30, the end of its fiscal year. The school has said its American stock portfolio and foreign equity portfolio had taken hard hits recently.

Harvard will have to take a “hard look at hiring, staffing levels, and compensation,” the university president Drew Faust and the executive vice president Edward Forst wrote in a letter informing deans of the losses.

They say the university should plan for a 30 percent drop in endowment value by the end of next June.

Mr. Forst told The Harvard Crimson student newspaper that the 22 percent estimate might be conservative because some university money is handled by external managers that have yet to report figures.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 07:47
Harvard has probably more money than all the other Ivy combined. -22% is great comparing to SP500 down almost 50%. I would not worry as most of their money is allocated for the long term ; it is not like they will have a liquidity crisis any time soon. 8-)
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 08:32
I think it will take a lot worse for Harvard to publicly go back on its words where they assured all students a need-based loan, including international students
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 13:08
falibay wrote:
Harvard has probably more money than all the other Ivy combined. -22% is great comparing to SP500 down almost 50%. I would not worry as most of their money is allocated for the long term ; it is not like they will have a liquidity crisis any time soon. 8-)


-22% is just four months worth of returns. That's -66% annualized. According to bberg, the fund has yet to valuate their real estate and private equity holdings. I think endowments have set spending rates that must be satisfied so liquidity can become a concern if they have to sell off longer term assets to compensate for the devaluating of their short-term assets.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 13:20
You can't annualize the -22% over 4 months, does not make much sense to look at that number. I don't know if the -22% is for the last 4 months. It seems that if you take the long term investments that have not been valued yet , they have have performed like the market.
Endowments usually spend 3-4% of their assets and that's a max. They have an infinite term horizon. So if you assume they have 5-10% in Cash or T-Bill, T-Note. They should be good and that's does not even include any income from their fixed income portfolio and/or equity. Even assuming that their alternative assets and equity positions have cratered, they should still be fine. My 2 cents.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 13:36
This is without the inflationary revaluations of all their PE investments. The true value is way lower than the one given, partly due to the overinflation of the value of some investments in the past five years.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 13:37
that is assuming there is no bubble bursting in the bond markets..which if you know a thing or two is the next big story...


Also their T-bond holdings are going to devalue as treasury starts printing the paper to back all its commitments to wall street and now Detroit..

My 2 cents.. arrange your own financing, come Aug 2009, I dont think you can count on uncle harvard to loan you anything..
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 13:44
fresinha12 wrote:
that is assuming there is no bubble bursting in the bond markets..which if you know a thing or two is the next big story...


Also their T-bond holdings are going to devalue as treasury starts printing the paper to back all its commitments to wall street and now Detroit..

My 2 cents.. arrange your own financing, come Aug 2009, I dont think you can count on uncle harvard to loan you anything..


Yes, everything could go down but then Harvard is better off comparing to everyone else. If we have an Armageddon scenario with hyper inflation or deflation; it does not look good for anyone. Though others schools with their comparatively puny endowment will feel the brunt of it. Who knows, may be their cash is all in TIPS; hence no need to worry about inflation, that would be smart.

Hummmm, in a bad scenerio where Harvard would not be able to guarantee or extend loans, I doubt that any bank would loan us anything and I don't know how much our portfolio would be worth... lol Any one has a solution ?? :cry:
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 18:37
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bball wrote:
I was also under the impression that HBS doesn't look kindly upon peer recs. I think if you want to be safe, go with the supervisor rec. I went with 3 supervisors (2 work and 1 volunteer) and I think it turned out well although it's very difficult to tell since recs are just 1 part of the app.

Side note: anyone complete their R1 interview these past couple days and want to share their experience? it would be greatly appreciated! :-D



Hi bball,

I just had my HBS interview. My interviewer was pretty nice, and spent the first couple minutes talking about how the interview was going to go, probably as a way to calm all the nervous interviewees down. The first 15 minutes of questions were mainly about my company & my group, and some follow-up questions around my and my team's responsibilities. Last 15 minutes were about me--strengths, weaknesses, and "Why MBA, why HBS?". Some of these had follow-up questions, so be ready to elaborate on anything you say! Lastly, he asked if there were any questions he hadn't asked that I wish he would have asked. That's all I can remember now, the rest is a bit of a blur! The 30 min goes by VERY quick. Hope this helps and good luck!
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 20:11
rosav wrote:
bball wrote:
I was also under the impression that HBS doesn't look kindly upon peer recs. I think if you want to be safe, go with the supervisor rec. I went with 3 supervisors (2 work and 1 volunteer) and I think it turned out well although it's very difficult to tell since recs are just 1 part of the app.

Side note: anyone complete their R1 interview these past couple days and want to share their experience? it would be greatly appreciated! :-D



Hi bball,

I just had my HBS interview. My interviewer was pretty nice, and spent the first couple minutes talking about how the interview was going to go, probably as a way to calm all the nervous interviewees down. The first 15 minutes of questions were mainly about my company & my group, and some follow-up questions around my and my team's responsibilities. Last 15 minutes were about me--strengths, weaknesses, and "Why MBA, why HBS?". Some of these had follow-up questions, so be ready to elaborate on anything you say! Lastly, he asked if there were any questions he hadn't asked that I wish he would have asked. That's all I can remember now, the rest is a bit of a blur! The 30 min goes by VERY quick. Hope this helps and good luck!


Was this an adcom on-campus interview?
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 21:12
rosav wrote:
I just had my HBS interview. My interviewer was pretty nice, and spent the first couple minutes talking about how the interview was going to go, probably as a way to calm all the nervous interviewees down. The first 15 minutes of questions were mainly about my company & my group, and some follow-up questions around my and my team's responsibilities. Last 15 minutes were about me--strengths, weaknesses, and "Why MBA, why HBS?". Some of these had follow-up questions, so be ready to elaborate on anything you say! Lastly, he asked if there were any questions he hadn't asked that I wish he would have asked. That's all I can remember now, the rest is a bit of a blur! The 30 min goes by VERY quick. Hope this helps and good luck!



first hbs interview recap i have read...thanks for sharing :)
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2008, 22:54
i had a very similar experience... except no questions about "why mba" or "why hbs".
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2008, 07:17
rosav wrote:
bball wrote:
I was also under the impression that HBS doesn't look kindly upon peer recs. I think if you want to be safe, go with the supervisor rec. I went with 3 supervisors (2 work and 1 volunteer) and I think it turned out well although it's very difficult to tell since recs are just 1 part of the app.

Side note: anyone complete their R1 interview these past couple days and want to share their experience? it would be greatly appreciated! :-D



Hi bball,

I just had my HBS interview. My interviewer was pretty nice, and spent the first couple minutes talking about how the interview was going to go, probably as a way to calm all the nervous interviewees down. The first 15 minutes of questions were mainly about my company & my group, and some follow-up questions around my and my team's responsibilities. Last 15 minutes were about me--strengths, weaknesses, and "Why MBA, why HBS?". Some of these had follow-up questions, so be ready to elaborate on anything you say! Lastly, he asked if there were any questions he hadn't asked that I wish he would have asked. That's all I can remember now, the rest is a bit of a blur! The 30 min goes by VERY quick. Hope this helps and good luck!


Thanks for sharing Rosav! It does seem like people's HBS interviews have been very standard so far. Guess it is really just another part of the application process!
Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants   [#permalink] 04 Dec 2008, 07:17
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