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# Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants

Author Message
Current Student
Joined: 04 Jan 2007
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Schools: HBS Stanford Kellogg Wharton Tuck MIT Sloan
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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18 May 2008, 06:20
forcefeed wrote:
There isn't really a great time to visit between now and the R1 deadline. During the summer they will offer campus tours and information sessions, but there are no classes for you to sit in on. Most applicants haven't sat in on a class, so you are not at a disadvantage.

Last year class visits didn't start until a week before the R1 deadline.

Thanks for that forecefeed ! Will defnlt plan a visit this summer.
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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20 May 2008, 13:19
msday86 wrote:
I'm in for R1. Good essays this year - looking forward to it.

EDIT: would have liked to write about the culture shock question, but alas, that question no longer exists!

What about "Essay 3.2: Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization?" That seems like a culture shock experience would fit in there.

k
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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20 May 2008, 18:07
Yeah, my culture shock experience is not THAT mind-blowing for me to bend the essay framework Just a normal guy trying to make it in.

kruton wrote:
msday86 wrote:
I'm in for R1. Good essays this year - looking forward to it.

EDIT: would have liked to write about the culture shock question, but alas, that question no longer exists!

What about "Essay 3.2: Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization?" That seems like a culture shock experience would fit in there.

k
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 06:57
Question on recommender selection -

I'm having trouble choosing a 3rd recommender for HBS. I've worked at the same company my entire career and I'm too far off from college to use someone from then. It's not a client business, so I don't have that option. And the only volunteerism-related person who makes sense has some mental disabilities that make it not make sense (for me and her). So does anyone have thoughts on whether it's bad to have 3 recommenders all from the same company? If not, any ideas on what other types of recommenders people use?

Thanks!
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 09:54
rca215 wrote:
Question on recommender selection -

I'm having trouble choosing a 3rd recommender for HBS. I've worked at the same company my entire career and I'm too far off from college to use someone from then. It's not a client business, so I don't have that option. And the only volunteerism-related person who makes sense has some mental disabilities that make it not make sense (for me and her). So does anyone have thoughts on whether it's bad to have 3 recommenders all from the same company? If not, any ideas on what other types of recommenders people use?

Thanks!

All 3 of my recommenders were from my current employer: 2 former managers and a manager I have worked very closely in the past. Try to have each recommender shed light on different aspects of your application and show why you would be a perfect fit.
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 10:38
1
KUDOS
forcefeed wrote:
rca215 wrote:
Question on recommender selection -

I'm having trouble choosing a 3rd recommender for HBS. I've worked at the same company my entire career and I'm too far off from college to use someone from then. It's not a client business, so I don't have that option. And the only volunteerism-related person who makes sense has some mental disabilities that make it not make sense (for me and her). So does anyone have thoughts on whether it's bad to have 3 recommenders all from the same company? If not, any ideas on what other types of recommenders people use?

Thanks!

All 3 of my recommenders were from my current employer: 2 former managers and a manager I have worked very closely in the past. Try to have each recommender shed light on different aspects of your application and show why you would be a perfect fit.

Thanks for the response. It is reassuring, and your comments have given me an idea for how to approach things.

1) My boss: an HBS alum who can very strategically position her comments with specific insights about how I'm a fit for the community
2) My boss' boss: the CEO, who will probably give a more high-level, esoteric assessment of me as a promising young person with great leadership potential
3) Someone else within the organization who can speak more for my cross-functional, teamwork abilities.
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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30 May 2008, 11:22
So, anyone already started working on the app.??

Here's the analysis by clearadmit blog:

I Quote

"
Perhaps in anticipation of another increase in application volume, Harvard has again reduced the number of essay questions that candidates must answer - from 5 last year to 4 this season, down from 6 or 7 essays a few seasons ago. Further, at just 1800 words total, Harvard’s has become one of the shorter b-school applications. This underscores the importance of choosing among essay options judiciously, and using the limited words in each essay as beneficially as possible. That said, let’s take a look at the questions for this year:

Essay 1: What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit)
This essay question has been a hallmark of the HBS application for many years. Due to its top billing, this question could be the first element of your file that the adcom reads, making this response a great opportunity to present the reader with three strong stories that introduce the major themes of your candidacy. Each accomplishment can be presented as a stand-alone section here, so you needn’t be overly concerned about composing a seamless narrative.

HBS has traditionally been very impact-oriented in evaluating applicants’ credentials, so one way to determine which three accomplishments to describe in this essay is to think about the end results. Experiences in which you made a lasting and quantifiable impact can lend themselves to concise, factual narratives, and considering that each accomplishment must be described in approximately 200 words, this can be an important consideration. However, this isn’t to say that the process followed, skills gained, and lessons learned along the way aren’t important, too; these factors could be a great way to address the second half of the question: why you view these accomplishments as your most significant to date.

A final point is that it’s also important to select stories with an eye to balance. An applicant who describes two professional successes and one extra-curricular accomplishment, or perhaps one each from the professional, academic and activities realms, can show that he or she excels in any environment.

Essay 2: What have you learned from a mistake? (400-word limit)
This question makes an appearance for a second consecutive year. The subject of failure or setback is a popular one for business school essays in general, and there are a few important elements to consider in addressing this and similar prompts. Firstly, professional maturity, self-reflection and insight are key qualities to communicate. Towards that end, successful essays will describe the mistake in straightforward, step-by-step detail, and will also own the misstep rather than making excuses.

Another important element to touch on is that you’ve experienced some growth or development since the initial mistake. While applicants should not ‘gloss over’ their mistakes, it is important to emphasize positive growth and the learning experience that can come from missing the mark. An effective essay will present this growth in terms of thoughts and feelings, while balancing comments about internal reflections with descriptions of more external actions and changes in behavior.

Please respond to two of the following (400-word limit each):

While MBA applicants often draw upon their extracurricular experiences during college as topics for essays, it’s rare that they get a chance to talk about their more intellectual interests and achievements. This is your chance to go into some detail about why you chose your school and major, and tell the admissions committee about your academic interests and educational milestones. A great essay will underscore an applicant’s intelligence and work ethic, as well as incorporate some element of leadership (especially if the applicant had a significant impact on the department or school as a whole).

Essay 3.2: Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization.
This is the first of two new prompts for HBS this season, and opens a wide range of topics for discussion and skills and qualities that an applicant can highlight. While the “organization” component clearly lends itself to coverage of an extracurricular involvement or leadership at work or at school, the “community” side could just as easily apply to international experience or immersion in a new team or demographic - essentially focusing just on the positive conclusion of a “culture shock” or “outsider” essay. Harvard’s selection of this prompt suggests a strong interests in applicants who are proactive in making connections and building relationships, perhaps toward some specific cause or goal. The interpersonal elements of this experience will therefore be of just as much interest and your reasons and the results of this engagement. Though this essays lends itself nicely to a discussion of a long-term or ongoing involvement with the community or organization in question, centering the essay on a single meaningful anecdote will also be a viable strategy for showing your skills in action.

Essay 3.3: What area of the world are you most curious about and why?
This is another new question for this season, also with a broad reach. A literal interpretation of this question might focus on geographic region, but it also invites discussion of an area of knowledge or inquiry - anything one might explore or investigate.

This question could be an excellent choice for joint or concurrent degree applicants as a substitute for the “career vision” essay; an MBA/JD applicant might elect to discuss his or her deep interest in the intersection of business and law, for example. For the vast majority of applicants, though, there are a number of strategic considerations that go along with this prompt. Because the adcom hopes to get to know its applicants better through the essays, it’s natural for them to wonder what most interests them. It doesn’t seem extremely likely, though, that one would have a passion worth covering in this essay that wouldn’t be more constructively discussed in response to one of the school’s other prompts. Because it doesn’t make sense to write an essay about what one doesn’t know, the subject of this response should ideally be an area of curiosity that one has already explored to some extent. One might therefore find that an academic interest is more naturally covered in “undergraduate experience” option, that a professional or regional interest fits better with the “career vision” essay, and that a hobby or cause shared with others works best with the response about engaging a community or organization.

This essay does lend itself well to covering a solo activity or interest (making it a good platform for World War I buffs and amateur astrologers to discuss this aspect of their lives), but these are seldom crucial elements of one’s candidacy. We don’t mean to say that there’s no way for the average applicant to answer this question well, only that he or she should take a good look at this year’s other options before proceeding.

Essay 3.4: What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?
Always unique among b-schools, HBS not only frames its essay about the applicant’s professional future in terms of a broad vision rather than concrete goals, but also makes it optional.

Conclusion
While each of these topics require a careful approach, one of the more challenging aspects of the HBS application is assembling the right mix of anecdotes across essays so as to provide the committee with the most complete (and strategic) view of your candidacy. This is compounded by the fact that HBS allows for several choices in the final two essay topics. As such, we recommend that our readers be sure to take a step back and consider their essays holistically as they move through the process of topic selection and writing.
"

Would anyone like to share his/her analysis on these??
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2008, 16:30
I've been pondering the HBS essay questions.

My initial thought is this:

Essay 3.4: What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?

I don't feel that it's a smart idea to respond to this question if your career vision is to go into private equity/investment banking. It seems far too cookie-cutter and you may also have a difficult time justifying why "this choice is meaningful to you". I feel that it's only worthwhile to select this question out of the 4 if your career vision is rooted in a saving the world-type endeavor or if your career vision closely matches your pre-MBA qualifications and background.
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2008, 16:49
I think it will be a cop out if you dont answer this question. If you dont tell why you want to do an MBA, then why would any school admit you instead of someone who has a clear goal in mind. At the minimum, it will look really weird that you did not answer the question.

And if you cant rationalize your goal for HBS, how are you going to do it at other schools? Even if schools dont explicitly ask "why is it meaningful to you", they expect you to make it obvious why that career choice makes sense to you. My suggestion is that you ponder this question and come up with a strategy even if it takes you a while.

This from someone who was dinged without second thoughts by HBS. So, choose to take my advice at your own peril.

terp06 wrote:
I've been pondering the HBS essay questions.

My initial thought is this:

Essay 3.4: What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?

I don't feel that it's a smart idea to respond to this question if your career vision is to go into private equity/investment banking. It seems far too cookie-cutter and you may also have a difficult time justifying why "this choice is meaningful to you". I feel that it's only worthwhile to select this question out of the 4 if your career vision is rooted in a saving the world-type endeavor or if your career vision closely matches your pre-MBA qualifications and background.
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2008, 16:54
There's always multiple angles when looking at things - and I just wanted to spur a discussion

I feel that if you come from a consulting/banking/strategy/marketing type background - they are simply not going to be very worried about whether or not you become successful after HBS. It's almost a given unless you screw up. If you come from a non-traditional background - I can see where this question would add value to your application.

For people from traditional backgrounds - I feel that the Adcom would far prefer to see you answer the following 2 questions, in order to add a 3rd dimension to your application:

Essay 3.2: Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization.
Essay 3.3: What area of the world are you most curious about and why?

Let's take an example - you have a guy who has spent 2 years at McKinsey and now he is sponsored by the firm to go get his MBA at HBS. Would he really add very much value to his application by selecting Essay 3.4 and stating that he wants to make partner in McKinsey's Financial Services group in New York? Or if you have a guy who has been in private equity before B-School - chances are he plans to return right back to private equity after school. It's wasted space for him to answer the career vision question.

I feel that Questions 3.1 and 3.4 are the easiest questions to tackle, as they are common, traditional questions asked by every school. I don't think HBS wants to see you repeat the same stuff you wrote in all of your other essays and take the easy way out - they want to see you go after the hard questions - 3.2 and 3.3.

I think it will be a cop out if you dont answer this question. If you dont tell why you want to do an MBA, then why would any school admit you rather than someone who has a clear goal in mind. At the minimum, it will look really weird that you did not answer the question.

And if you cant rationalize your goal for HBS, how are you going to do it at other schools? Even if schools dont ask "why is it meaningful to you", they expect you to make it obvious why that career choice makes sense to you. My suggestion is that you ponder this question and come up with a strategy even if it takes you a while.

This from someone who was dinged without second thoughts by HBS. So, choose to take my advice at your own peril.

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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2008, 19:26
FYI

Class of 2011 Application Now Live
By: Dee Leopold, Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid
Date: June 26, 2008

The Application for Class of 2011 goes live today...

That's really all I need to say but here's a quick note:

Please keep in mind that while it's wonderful to finally hit that "submit" button, we only begin to review applications after the October 15 Round One deadline. The Admissions Board has no knowledge of whether you submitted your application today or in October. To put it another way, we consider applications in three distinct decision rounds; within rounds, it is not a "rolling" admissions process.
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2008, 03:21
i've taken a nice, long hiatus from b-school apps, but starting this weekend, back to full speed! hello again gmatclub.
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2008, 12:39
It is time to write my first post in the thread as a post-GMAT guy.

I was in HBS and my friend informally guided me thought all buildings and auditoriums. My question is hard and direct. What is my chance?

disadvantage: age 32, lack of international experience (the main reason why MBA)
advantage: GMAT 750, Master of Science, Master of Finance, PhD in Nanophysics (24 articles), a lot of experience as a top-level manager.

When I was in HBS, I saw a few guys who were ~40 years old. My friend said that there are ~3-4% >30 years.

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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2008, 17:19
1
KUDOS
Hi there,

You have a pretty impressive educational background and a very strong GMAT score. Now onto to your chances!

Yes their may be 40 year old's at HBS, but a very small number since HBS is trending younger. The average age at HBS is 24-27. I think you may be better off applying to Wharton as thier are more age forgiving. Plus, with your Master of Science, Master of Finance, PhD in Nanophysics you would definitely fit the profile of what they are looking for. Since Wharton is known for being a very quantitative school.

Overall, i think your chances are good for HBS. You certainely got the credentials. All you need is a good story to back it up.

Good Luck!!
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2008, 19:11
TFN, Thanks

It seems that I have a story.

Thank for discussion, it helps me to shape my profile.
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2008, 19:55
count me in for R1. It's a long shot but why not?
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2008, 12:41
Interesting link for those interested in a healthcare concentration:

http://www.hbshealthcareclub.org/user_portals/prospective_students.html
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2008, 17:57
I'm in for R1...STRENGTH AND HONOR
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2008, 06:42
I was wondering if someone could provide the LOR form used by HBS, if there's one. I could not find any HBS ambassador thread.

Riverripper has posted the Career Progress Survey that Kellogg asks recommenders to complete and it is being very useful to me in preparing my recommenders' packages.

If indeed Harvard just asks for an overall letter, I'll use a generic framework.

Thanks,

P.
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Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2008, 20:52
good luck to all..i just completed my initial draft of the essays...

i am really stuck on the career vision essay..maybe it was a bad idea to start with..

as for the 2nd essay the one about mistakes and lessons learned..i dont see how i can elaborate in such limited words what i have done to improve myself since my mistake..anyone else having the same issue?
Re: Calling all HBS fall-'09 applicants   [#permalink] 15 Aug 2008, 20:52

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# Calling all HBS Fall 2009 Applicants

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