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Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates

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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 02:46
In for R1

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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 09:22
Extremely "useful stuff" :lol:

For the brave ones to use in your apps to answer "Why HBS?" (even though there is no question like this in HBS app) - especially the part I highlighted in blue-bold :lol: I can already picture something like this: "HBS is my dream school because of its proximity to Wellesley college. In combination with HBS' renowned H-bomb effect and my extraordinary social skills..." :lol: (taken from http://www.asktheharvardmba.com/page/3/)

BTW, can anybody pls explain what "Kevin Rose-esque swath" is?

Quote:
What is the social life like at HBS?
June 29, 2008 – 5:41 am

“I’m thinking of applying to an MBA program at an American University, most notably at Harvard.

I am keen to get a rounded experience of university in the US. What I want to know is what is the social life like at Harvard in particular?

Ancilliary question: Do you know if postgraduate students can join the so called “final clubs” such as Porcellian or AD at Harvard. Or can postgrad students even join fraternities?

A million thanks in advance!”

The Harvard MBA Says:

Now here’s a question after my own heart. After all, if networking is one of the most important aspects of business school, the social life of the school is probably more important than the number of Nobel prizewinners on the faculty (though those help too!).

HBS offers a very rich social life, but it is very different from the experience of being an undergrad at an American university. A quick look at demographics helps illustrate this:

* The average age of first-year HBS students is somewhere around 27, versus 18 for college freshmen.
* Women make up a little over 1/3 of the student body, which is very different from the typical college, where women make up the majority of students.
* 1/3 of the students are from countries other than the United States, a figure that is far higher than the typical college.

Rather than young adults trying to find their identities and figure out what they want to do with their lives, MBA programs features cosmopolitan men and women who are focused on accelerating their careers.

Both millieus feature plenty of partying, but that’s where the resemblance ends. You’re not going to be spending late nights debating the meaning of life or trudging your way to the local frat party to score some illegal booze. Instead, you’ll be hitting bars and clubs with your friends during schools, and planning posh treks to Bali and other global hot spots for your vacations.

Of course, not every HBS student opts for the party circuit. There are plenty of married students who (like me) prefer a quiet dinner with other couples. Though even us old married types try to make time to attend a few functions like Vegas road trips to act as steady wingmen for our single brethren.

Social activities tend to center around four different groups: Section, Study Group, Clubs, and Friends.

HBS’s 900 person class is divided into 11 sections, each designated with a number. In HBS terms, I was in Section D, Class of 2000. Because you spend your entire first year taking all your classes with the same 80 people, you tend to develop very strong bonds. Your section is the equivalent of your freshman dorm…if your freshman dorm consisted of nothing but overachievers who were bent on global domination.

Study Groups are another tradition, though less formal. Students self-organize into groups of 4-8 students that help each other prepare for classes. Since HBS classes are graded primarily on class participation, being prepared is critical, especially if you receive the dreaded “cold call” from the professor to “open” the class by presenting your analysis of the case study. It gets pretty quiet pretty quickly when the professor cold calls an unprepared, possibly hung-over student. With an average of13 cases per week, no one has time to prepare a full analysis of each (a full analysis including a recommended course of action with financial model as supporting evidence), hence the rise of the study groups.

Study groups meet every day, generally before the first morning class. Again, because the group members see each other every day for an entire year, strong bonds develop. I’ve heard of study groups who still do yearly reunions.

HBS is also full of clubs and activities, including the annual HBS musical. While at HBS, I was the Co-President of the High Tech club, and one of the writers for the musical. Unlike sections or study groups, clubs and activities generally bring together people with similar interests. I’m still in close touch today with my fellow High Tech club officers, as well as my fellow writers.

Beyond these three structured social activities, HBS students also simply make friends. There are folks like my friend Tony whom I simply enjoy spending time with, even though we never took a class together, studied together, or were in a club together. Even at HBS, friendship without ulterior motive flourishes.

One thing that HBS does have in common with college is the fierce search for romantic companionship.

Thanks to the 2:1 gender ratio, female MBA students (the heterosexual ones at least) find themselves in a near-ideal dating environment, surrounded by accomplished, socially successful, high-earning-potential men. A large number of my female classmates, far larger in proportion than my college contemporaries, end up marrying classmates.

But don’t feel bad for the poor male MBA students. In the Boston area, Harvard MBAs are considered the best possible catch for young women, and the so-called Harvard effect holds sway over the rest of the world as well. Trading on the HBS aura is known as “dropping the H-bomb,” and the HBSer on the prowl will find it an effective weapon on anyone from cocktail waitresses to Wellesley students to MBAs of lesser schools.

For example, early in the school year, the Wellesley girls actually put invitations to parties in the mailboxes of EVERY male HBS first-year. The invitations include complimentary limo service to bring you to the campus in case you don’t have a car. I kid you not.

I could also tell you stories about certain classmates of mine cutting a Kevin Rose-esque swath through the ranks of Columbia MBA students, but that I’ll save for another time.


The one drawback of the social whirl at HBS is the fact that the good life does end up being pretty expensive (Wellesley women nonwithstanding). Someone has to pony up the bucks to pay for airfare and 4-star resorts, and that someone is generally Citibank’s loan department, which will be happy to loan you practically unlimited funds (they know you’ll be good for it someday).

As for your ancillary question, I’m pretty sure that Finals Clubs like the Porc are limited solely to undergrads. I can tell you any HBS student who took it upon himself to do the equivalent of rushing an undergrad frat would be in for some serious abuse from the rest of us. Not to worry. While these secret societies encourage conspiracy theorists to prove that they rule the world through covert connections, HBSers are content to wield their power out in the open.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 13:48
garbus, this is really well done. thank you very much!
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 14:05
Praetorian wrote:
garbus, this is really well done. thank you very much!


Thx. That's the least I can do to thank for the help I got from this community last season.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 14:37
Great posts with good info... I've been following the same blogs, some of which helped me short list several schools based on the author's experience.... +1
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 14:47
Nice work garbus...I am not applying to Harvard, but this is very comprehensive.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 16:20
triple5soul wrote:
Great posts with good info... I've been following the same blogs, some of which helped me short list several schools based on the author's experience.... +1


highhopes wrote:
Nice work garbus...I am not applying to Harvard, but this is very comprehensive.


Thx guys
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 16:26
triple5soul wrote:
For those that wish to follow current students/admitted applicants, I found a new blog http://militarytobusiness.blogspot.com/ (very insightful posts on GMAT prep and HBS related material).


Cool! I'll add this blog to first post.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 22:19
Thanks for the real helpful post. I just started looking at the application process and came to this.
GMAT 750
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6 yrs experience in software (Wireless(3) and Financial Industry(3))
Planning to apply for R1. Time to start preparing for essays
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 24 May 2009, 20:07
I'm in for R1.

I'm dreading trying to come up with leadership/community involvement examples. I'm an investment banking analyst. We're bottom of the corporate ladder with no potential for any material responsibilities and we work >100 hours a week and don't have time for community involvement.

Any tips?
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 25 May 2009, 16:06
CrushTheGMAT wrote:
I'm in for R1.

I'm dreading trying to come up with leadership/community involvement examples. I'm an investment banking analyst. We're bottom of the corporate ladder with no potential for any material responsibilities and we work >100 hours a week and don't have time for community involvement.

Any tips?


As for community involvement, though it's not much of an advice, talk to IBankers who got into top schools and ask them for advice (i.e. how they dealt with this). From what I understood AdCom realizes that IBankers work long hours and don't expect them to have significant "outside work" exposure.

As for leadership examples... have a look at one of the posts I put last week from AGirlsMBA. She's giving some great example how to broaden definition of leadership and that you can have significant examples without any formal title, managerial role, etc. Besides, check out HBS' (i.e. Dee's) understanding of leadership - it's much more than what I think you assume.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 26 May 2009, 16:50
More on leadership from BusinessWeek... (source: http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/co ... 219087.htm)

Quote:
Make Your Leadership Case for B-School Admission
More than ever, business schools want applicants with leadership skills. Here's how to mine your past for compelling examples

By Francesca Di Meglio

Leadership is a word thrown around a lot at many a top business school. In fact, leadership is considered the key to getting your foot in the door of top MBA programs. But what does leadership mean and how do you demonstrate to admissions committees in your application that you're a leader worthy of admission?

To determine if you are leader material, most admissions committees will be scanning your application to find certain characteristics—charisma, relating well to others, communicating well, handling difficult situations with grace, strategizing and having a vision, taking action, persuading others, willingness to take risks, committing to something for the long term, working well in teams, and being a great role model. "It's about leaving a footprint on whatever situation you're in and doing more than a good job," says Stacy Blackman, president of Stacy Blackman Consulting. "Leadership is not a solo effort. You're inspiring others and bringing out the best in them."

Promotions and raises at work and titles held in extracurricular organizations are common ways applicants indicate their leadership potential in their applications. They may bring up these accomplishments when they list extracurricular activities, in essays or interviews, or through their supervisors who write letters of recommendation. Although you don't want to sound like a braggart, you still have to prove to an admissions committee that you belong. "Take credit for what you've done," says Isser Gallogly, executive director of MBA admissions at New York University's Stern School of Business (Stern MBA Profile). "You're just telling the facts, helping admissions committees understand what you will bring to their class."

While obvious examples of leadership—from being the editor of your college newspaper to supervising three junior staffers at your office—are great, there are other, more subtle, examples that could help you show off your leadership potential, too. "Leadership is not the big hairy example of your greatest achievement ever," says Blackman. "It can be really simple things." Here are six ways you might not have realized were valid to demonstrate your leadership potential in a business school application:

1. RECRUIT AT YOUR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM

Sometimes, people have a hard time snagging leadership opportunities on the job, where top-tier supervisors often get all the cool tasks. Most employers, however, turn to their employees to find new talent for hiring. Many have programs where alumni from different undergraduate programs help recruit for the company. The admissions committees at Stern and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School (Wharton MBA Profile) say this is a way to take initiative at work, help shape the talent at your office, and take action even if you can't lead a project or manage anyone. The bonuses of recruiting at your alma mater are that you will probably improve your own network, become a mentor, and stay in the loop on the hiring front.

2. TAKE CHARGE AT HOME

"Think broadly about leadership," says Mae Jennifer Shores, assistant dean of MBA admissions and financial aid at UCLA Anderson School of Management (Anderson MBA Profile). Admissions experts, in fact, want you to scour your memory bank for all sorts of examples that prove your leadership skills and potential. Gallogly says even examples of how you led your family can be effective. He mentions examples of candidates who led a family business, handled the finances, or organized the care of a sick family member.

Some just had a single mom, which meant taking on more responsibility at a younger age.

Working these examples into an optional essay or the interview is perfectly acceptable if done with aplomb. That means don't harp on the number of diapers you changed to help mom but do mention helping mom stick to a budget and organizing the household chores. Translate for the admissions committee how these skills can be transferred to your roles on campus and later in the office.

3. SOLVE A PROBLEM

A candidate from an impoverished part of Latin America had few opportunities for a good education. He rallied support from his neighbors and managed to get a scholarship for a boarding school and worked his way through high school and college, remembers Shores. He took initiative and found the resources to make his goals possible, she adds. In another case, the student who became student government president at Stern reunited trafficked children from Nepal with their parents before entering business school, says Gallogly.

While these initiatives are wildly impressive, you can solve smaller problems and still show leadership potential. Blackman recalls one candidate who was applying to business school with just six months of work experience under her belt. As a result, she had few obvious leadership examples. But she had taken it upon herself to overhaul an Excel spreadsheet for the investment bank where she worked. To do this, she had to state the problem, come up with a solution, and sell others, including supervisors, on her idea. Her improved spreadsheet, containing market information including Treasury rates, saved time, became a great internal resource, and helped the bank communicate better with clients. Taking the initiative to change this spreadsheet was what she wrote about in her application, says Blackman.

Think long and hard about when you've solved problems. Many candidates write off team experiences unless they were given the title of president of the group. But players on the team often resolve issues or conflict during the course of a project. What role did you play? How did you contribute? Admissions experts say that often you'll find examples of your leadership or potential for leadership when you're interacting as part of a group or team even if you weren't the head honcho. "It's really more about substance than title," says Linda B. Meehan, assistant dean and executive director for admissions at Columbia Business School (Columbia MBA Profile). The bottom line: don't get caught up with labels when looking for examples of when you've solved problems.

4. LAUNCH AN ORGANIZATION OR BUSINESS

Shores and other admissions experts will tell you that people who start and maintain side businesses or nonprofits on top of their careers are impressive to admissions committees. Besides demonstrating their ability to take action and execute a plan, they also prove that they have a good work ethic. The success of the business is almost irrelevant, says Meehan. The business might have bombed, but if you tell the admissions committee in a thoughtful way about what you learned and how you even got the idea off the ground in the first place, you could win their support, she adds.

Starting a club, organization, or charitable group works, too. One of Blackman's clients launched an English club in his native China because he needed to improve his language skills for business school and thought his neighbors might benefit, too. The club grew, and he made his mark in the community, which was something he could point out to admissions committees, says Blackman. He showed he could inspire and motivate others, organize a group, and learn a new language to boot. The applicant ultimately was accepted at Harvard Business School (Harvard MBA Profile).

5. BE A RISK TAKER

Showing that you are willing and open-minded enough to take the road less traveled is a way to show strength of character, a sign of a leader. Kathryn Bezella, associate director of MBA admissions at Wharton says that's why she was impressed by an applicant from London who jumped at the chance to work for his firm in Beijing. The applicant, who was admitted to Wharton, showed he was willing to test himself and brave new waters to achieve his goals. He was able to learn lessons and cultivate leadership literally in foreign territory, says Bezella.

Part of being a leader is having an open mind, being flexible, and sometimes working outside your comfort zone. Moving across the world is not the only way to prove you are capable of these things, but it is a way that is becoming increasingly common and feasible in the global economy.

6. PROJECT YOUR FUTURE LEADERSHIP ACHIEVEMENTS

Admissions committees at top business schools are assessing what you will bring to the B-school community and how their school can benefit from your leadership skills when reading your application. Gallogly says one of the best ways to show your potential for leadership is to tell the school exactly how you'd like to get involved on campus—what programs you'd like to start or improve and how you'd like to accomplish this, what roles you'd like to play in particular student clubs or organizations, and the talents you plan to share with the community. He adds that many applicants mention the courses and clubs that interest them, but few get specific about how they'd like to actually contribute to these groups.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 04:29
Count me in!
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 09:54
I'm gonna go for it... 8-)
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 30 May 2009, 14:50
I'll be applying to Harvard in Round 1.
All the optional essays seem so inviting. I feel like writing all of them. I'll have a hard time choosing between which ones to write and which ones to leave.

Good luck folks. May we all meet next fall at Cambridge , MA.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2009, 15:20
Top choice, also biggest long shot. Count me in ladies and gentlemen.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2009, 11:28
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Last edited by idleking on 22 Dec 2009, 22:41, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2009, 14:27
i moved the discussion on recommendations to the best app tips thread.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2009, 17:24
In for R1.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2009, 12:22
Garbus, thanks for putting this together. It's great, and someone should decree that all School threads should be like this! :-)

I'm also applying, and I have a sub 700 gmat. I rather get rejected by my own merits, and then ask the question what if. :lol:

On another note, for essay #1, it asks you for 3 accomplishments. Is it necessary to have a nice transition from one accomplishment to the other? I really don't want to waste space. How did you do deal with it?


garbus222 wrote:
To all HBS hopefuls and dreamers... My best advice is: don't let anybody tell you that you have or you don't have a shot at HBS. As long as you've stats in the ballpark (GMAT +/-700, reasonable GPA) try. It's about how you present yourself and all the talk that "too old", "too young", "too much work experience", "too little work experience", etc. is - in my opinion - useless. The only way you know is by trying.
Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates   [#permalink] 12 Jun 2009, 12:22
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