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Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates

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Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 20 May 2009, 16:51
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After posting and deleting (by accident) the thread, here we go again ;-)

Time to start HBS story... HBS, as promised, released essay topics for class of 2012. Very similar to last season except for Q4 (which I think is cool b/c one can show creativity/personality) and Q3.

1) ESSAYS (source: http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/writt ... ation.html)

Quote:
Essays for the Class of 2012

As an opportunity to present your distinctive qualities, your essays are an important part of your MBA application. You will be asked to submit your personal statements online with the balance of your application materials. Essays should be single-spaced. Please limit your response to the length indicated.

All applicants must submit answers to four essay questions. The first two questions are required of all applicants. The remaining two essays should be in response to your choice of the next five sub-questions.

Joint program applicants for the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Law School, and Kennedy School of Government must provide an additional essay.
Essays:

* What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit)
* What have you learned from a mistake? (400-word limit)
* Please respond to two of the following (400-word limit each):
1. What would you like the MBA Admissions Board to know about your undergraduate academic experience?
2. Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization.
3. Tell us about a time when you made a difficult decision.
4. Write a cover letter to your application introducing yourself to the Admissions Board.
5. What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?

Joint degree applicants:

* How do you expect the joint degree experience to benefit you on both a professional and a personal level? (400-word limit)


2) DEADLINES (source: http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/applicationdates.html)

Quote:
Round 1 - Application by October 1, 2009 - Notification by December 15, 2009
Round 2 - Application by January 19, 2010 - Notification by April 6, 2010
Round 3 - Application by April 8, 2010 - Notification by May 13, 2010

Given past experience, we anticipate that many candidates will submit their online application materials very close to 5 p.m. EST on submission deadline dates. To avoid heavy server traffic and potential delays, we encourage candidates to submit application materials as early as possible.


3) PAST THREADS

2009: calling-all-hbs-fall-2009-applicants-63410.html

2008: calling-all-the-harvard-gurus-fall-49915.html


4) IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS (source: http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/blog.html and http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/inter ... tions.html and http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/writt ... ation.html)

Quote:
GMAT and GRE

Beginning with the class of 2012, HBS will accept both GMAT and GRE results. We think that both tests will provide adequate metrics of what a standardized test can tell us about a candidate. It will take a while for us to do a complete update of every reference to these tests on our website — in the meantime, please accept this as official notification of this change.


Quote:
News For International Applicants...

Beginning with the Class of 2012, HBS will accept only the Internet Based Test (IBT) version of the TOEFL or the IELTS as tests of English as a foreign language. The TOEFL or IELTS is required of applicants who did not use English as the language of instruction in their undergraduate education. In our discussion-based, case method classroom, we have found that speaking ability (along with strong listening, reading and writing skills) is critical to success. Therefore, we need to see speaking scores in order to evaluate applicants appropriately; both the IELTS and the TOEFL IBT have speaking components. The IBT version of the TOEFL is available in all testing centers.


Quote:
* Candidates who received their bachelor's degree from an English-speaking university are not required to take the TOEFL or IELTS (i.e., they are exempt).
* Candidates who received their bachelor's degree from a non-English-speaking university are required to take either the Internet-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL IBT) and/or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
* Candidates who received a master's or Ph.D. degree from an English-speaking university are strongly encouraged to submit the TOEFL IBT and/or IELTS.
* Scores from tests taken before January 1, 2008 will not be accepted.
* The MBA Admissions Board discourages any candidate with a TOEFL score lower than 109 on the IBT from applying.


Quote:
The Class of 2012...

Please note that the Round One application deadline is October 1 — a bit earlier than last year — and notification is in mid-December. We've also pushed the Round Two application deadline back to January19 while keeping the notification date in early April. Both of these moves are attempts to shorten the wait time for candidates... we really do understand how hard it is to wait.


Quote:
Recommender Questions for the Class of 2012

Recommendations must be completed online. The form includes the following three essay response questions, along with other types of questions.

* Please comment on the context of your interaction with the applicant. How long have you known the applicant and in what connection? If applicable, briefly describe the applicant's role in your organization. (250-word limit)
* Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant's response. (250-word limit)
* Please make additional statements about the applicant's performance, potential, or personal qualities you believe would be helpful to the MBA Admissions Board. (250-word limit)


5) GMAT CLUB CANDIDATES

R1:

STATS:
Total applicants: 51
Invited to interview: 16

Matriculating:
Admits: 11
Dings: 31
Waitlisted: 4
Unknown: 5

Admit:
HCGirl10 - invited to interview
Icarus - invited to interview
Izen*
nerdgirl - invited to interview
PatrickBateman - invited to interview
PBateman- invited to interview
redrobot*
sc - invited to interview
forzviol
motionny
Biology - invited to interview


Waitlist:
sharstarz12 - invited to interview
skkingdom - invited to interview
2010HereICome - invited to interview
warriorM33



Ding:
2009mba2012
adude*
all - invited to interview
audacityofhope
DucRR
eteusch1 - invited to interview
fzt39806 - invited to interview
Gelopwez
JordinT*
javaexe
laurenbcn
mba4me2010
MBAgirl2010
mbahopes2009 - invited to interview
milias
pook
oompm*
shadowsjc - invited to interview
sm332
river
zyskind
cublu2
LetsGoMets
NCMBA2012
Deepauk
sapphireka
CarpathianRidge - invited to interview
USMCCommO
zaphod
shacster - invited to interview
Aldrak



CANDIDATES:
2012dreams
ACNguy
bigfernhead
cacky1983
cassie2012
CharlieChaplin
chrisahn112
Comrade
CrushTheGMAT
csino
david2008
duderanch
ezekiel2517
gmatbschool
gravity1914
guitarguru
hohoo
JamesT - invited to interview
jcol
jolt
kokkiri
latammc
lionvish
mschumy
Noodles
nutmba
radeal
spiritworld
steeler99
stillhoping
surychen
taken20
thedeadlyone
tq17749


R2:

STATS:
Total applicants: 52
Matriculating:
Admits: 21
Dings:
Waitlisted:
Unknown:

ADMITS:
Anonymous13
biotechgirl
bunny27
bwizzle
Demonic11
fsj434
HERM3S
heywhassup
jag120
kohlia
LB20
Magellan
matanga
mba2012lfh
meridian17
oneschoolwonder
pilot
RonMexico
TorontoGirl
ttocsik
waitinganswers



CANDIDATES:
2012dreams
AceofSpades
aditi123
Aenigma
agnok
aj1545
andrewcs
Ashish369
BangaloreKid
baxter
bwizzle
cesc4
christinee
co2012
colequinn
con
Demonic11
egy
ezekiel2517
fall2010mba
gkumar
GoalMBA2010
GordonBombay
gravity1914
HBS2011
hbsr2
HERM3S
hokiegenius
infanteed
jankynoname
jimmyfunk
Jivana
kohlia
lakai777
LB20
lbiggs
mba12tech
mp2437
mustafaj
nikheel
nlt22
nutmba
pochcc
qaum
RonMexico
Skysurf
slingfox
tdave
theDreamChaser
triple5soul
Turnpike
westsew


R3:

STATS:
Total applicants:
Matriculating:
Admits:
Dings:
Waitlisted:
Unknown:

CANDIDATES:

6) USEFUL STUFF

a) Sandy's HBS advice:
b) Forcefeed's application tips from last season: calling-all-hbs-fall-2009-applicants-63410.html#p464989
c) CS @ HBS essay advice: http://www.computersexy.com/blog/2007/0 ... lishments/
d) Chat with Deirdre Leopold, Director of MBA Admissions & Financial Aid at Harvard Business School: http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/co ... 175992.htm
e) Take it with a grain of salt! About social life at HBS: http://www.asktheharvardmba.com/page/3/
f) About case method:
g) Weaknesses of HBS educational model: http://media.www.harbus.org/media/stora ... storiestab
h) Advice on leadership essay from AGirlsMBA at Harvard Business School blog: http://agirlsmba.blogspot.com/2007/08/a ... ssays.html
i) BusinessWeek's "Make Your Leadership Case for B-School Admission": http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/co ... 219087.htm
j) HBS on recommendation letters: Entry from June 17, 2008 on http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/blog-all.html

7) OTHER INFO

a) Link to 2+2 program: http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/2+2/. Note that it has different deadlines and app process.
b) Class profile (2011): http://www.hbs.edu/mba/profiles/classprofile.html
c) Additional class profile stats: http://www.hbs.edu/about/statistics/mba.html
d) Podcasts: http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/podcasts.html

8) DO I FIT? LIFE AT HBS - i.e. HBS blogs so that you can better understand the culture

a) CS @ HBS - http://www.computersexy.com/blog/
b) Harvard Bound - http://myharvardmba2010.blogspot.com/
c) Inside HBS - http://www.insidehbs.com/
d) Sync - http://sync.bradleylautenbach.com/
e) Mark and Jie's Journey to B-School - http://markandjie.blogspot.com/
f) Will Hsu's HBS Bubble - http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=wphsu99
g) AGirlsMBA at Harvard Business School: http://agirlsmba.blogspot.com/
h) Military to Business: http://militarytobusiness.blogspot.com/
Attachments

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Last edited by dzyubam on 15 Jul 2010, 05:59, edited 65 times in total.
Updated applicant list.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2009, 06:40
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well, it's finally out of my hands :? . had my interview on campus yesterday morning. i drove up from the NYC area monday afternoon. spent most of the day driving around boston with my gf. we hit up a few of the more touristy places, while at the same time looking for a place that had clam chowder and lobster bisque. we failed to find one single place :( . later at night we got back to the room (courtyard cambridge) (edit: highly recommend this hotel if you have AAA. huge room, great facilities, 3 mins from school, $99 with AAA membership card) and watched some of the yankees game. the yankees decided to suck that night so we wound up turning off the game. i did some last minute prep for my interview, although i really didnt know if that would help all that much.

apparently something i ate that night (i think) didnt sit well in my stomach. i had a stomachache all night, and i hoped that i would be able to sleep it off. i woke up the next morning and it was just as bad. i tried to eat some breakfast thinking i was just hungry, but it just made it worse. luckily i still had some time and i went to a 7-11 and bought some pepto bismol 20 mins before the int. as advertised, it started working in under 15 mins. golden

i got to the interview place and there were 2 other guys there, one who had the same time slot as me, and the other who had his 30 mins after. we made small talk until our interviewers came to get us from the waiting area.

the interview.... well, as has been posted various times on the forums - it's very custom tailored to your application. it was a very casual, stress - free interview that was led by the interviewer. the time really seemed to fly by, and i did my best to answer the specific question and not ramble on. off the top of my head, some of the questions:

- what have you been doing since you've applied?
- tell me about project X (i initiated this question somewhat, since it's a project that wasn't on my app)
- why did you choose your undergrad school?
- tell me about your last full time position; what was the company culture like?
- how would you have improved it if you were on management?
- tell me about an organization you think is successful. why are they successful? (this one caught me offguard somewhat)
- tell me about one that you think is not successful. why ?
- what positive thing would your coworkers say about you?
- what is a negative thing they would say?
- what unique aspect would you bring to the class?
- tell me about a difficult group you've worked with. how did you motivate them?
- anything else you want me to know about you?

the time literally flew by. it seemed like i was there for 5 mins when she told me we were out of time. i was pretty nervous at first, but i settled down after the first question. by no means was it a perfect interview. i think i had room to expand on some of my answers. however at the same time i came away glad that i didn't blank out on any question, and that i gave (IMO) decent answers. and now i wait.. if it's meant to happen, then it will. in the meantime im going to finish up my apps to my other schools so that i can have some options. good luck to everyone else interviewing in the next few weeks
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2010, 11:36
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Hey all,
As people are starting to prep for interviews, I thought I'd finally post my interview experience from R1

From what I've read, the HBS interview seems to vary quite a bit from the very easy-going/conversational to the almost stress test type where people are getting interrupted mid-answer to move on to the next question. I was fortunate enough to get the former. In general, there were a lot more high-level questions than I thought there would be. Here are the questions I can remember:

Why did you choose xyz university?
How did you know you wanted to go into business?
Why consulting?
Why did you choose your current firm?
Tell me about a typical project
What's the best part of your job? Worst part?
What would you change/improve about your firm? (this seems to be a popular HBS tricky question, which I had luckily seen...)
Why do you think your firm hasn't done this yet? (...but was definitely not prepared for this follow-up question)
Tell me about your experience working with xyz organization outside of work?
What would you bring to HBS?
(no time for questions)

One thing to keep in mind is that the interviewer will have read your application, so they will ask targeted questions. She also specifically asked that I use examples/stories that I did not mention in my essays (although you should probably do this regardless). Lastly, I got my interview invite the day after most people did, so don't be too discouraged if you don't get an invite on day one.

Hope this helps someone, good luck to all
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2010, 11:55
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my HBS interview experience was significantly different.. the interviewer had read my application and I could see they had highlighted some parts of my essays.

The questions were very pointed and around specific things I had mentioned in my essays, My advice to you all is this.

1) they all ask you the typical "walk me thru your resume", make sure you put some color to this..i.e. just dont read off your resume, begin with a short intro about yourself, who you are, where you come from..and then just skim thru certain highlights of your career..no need to say i was managing 100 people and i didnt like Joe X and had to motivate em blah blah.. simply note what you accomplished in that job..and move on.

2) based on this..HBS interviews are certainly not blind they have already read your essays..they have done their homeworks..at somepoint they will ask you a specific thing from your experience or something you mentioned in your essays..be sure you are prepared to explain those points...without going into too much details

3) really your work or your life experiences are probably of interest only to you.. so dont ever get bogged into stupid details someone else wouldnt give a rats ass .. they will challenge you with some questions..they are really trying to judge your analytical skills.. i remember i had a conversation over the future of iPhone and how it may change the telecom industry in USA...

4) at the end of the interview Q&A..take a moment to tell them you would like to summarize your candidacy..in 3 min you should be highlight your strengths, why you are unique and most importantly why it is critical for you to have an MBA to further your goals!

for me..point 4 really won over my interviewer..as our interview ended she asked me if had any questions, I responded by saying I dont have any but i would like to take this opportunity to summarize my candidacy and in 3 min i just gave an elevator pitch to her..


annoyance wrote:
Hey all,
As people are starting to prep for interviews, I thought I'd finally post my interview experience from R1

From what I've read, the HBS interview seems to vary quite a bit from the very easy-going/conversational to the almost stress test type where people are getting interrupted mid-answer to move on to the next question. I was fortunate enough to get the former. In general, there were a lot more high-level questions than I thought there would be. Here are the questions I can remember:

Why did you choose xyz university?
How did you know you wanted to go into business?
Why consulting?
Why did you choose your current firm?
Tell me about a typical project
What's the best part of your job? Worst part?
What would you change/improve about your firm? (this seems to be a popular HBS tricky question, which I had luckily seen...)
Why do you think your firm hasn't done this yet? (...but was definitely not prepared for this follow-up question)
Tell me about your experience working with xyz organization outside of work?
What would you bring to HBS?
(no time for questions)

One thing to keep in mind is that the interviewer will have read your application, so they will ask targeted questions. She also specifically asked that I use examples/stories that I did not mention in my essays (although you should probably do this regardless). Lastly, I got my interview invite the day after most people did, so don't be too discouraged if you don't get an invite on day one.

Hope this helps someone, good luck to all
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2009, 18:42
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hey all,

just got back from a day and a half up in cambridge for prospective students day. bear with me while i write a hopefully quick debrief.

thursday afternoon - drove up from the NYC area. hit random spots of traffic, and wound up reaching boston around 4pm. my hair was in need of some minor fixing, so i yelped a decent/cheap barber shop in the area, and i got my hair fixed for $7. Got back to the hotel and read through the case study (as part of the event, HBS gave you a case study to read over and bring with you to class the next day).

later in the evening was an informal session with the Latino and African American student groups. They talked about the app process and gave tips on what to include and what to fix. additionally they had 3 volunteers (prospective students) 'pitch' their app stories in front of everyone (a crowd of about 100 or so.. pretty nerve wracking). the sad part is the 3 people who volunteered, IMO, had very solid stories, but the HBS students picked weaknesses in all of their stories. this was beneficial to everyone who still hadnt applied, but unfortunately i already submitted R1. not much i could do to improve. :(

next day (friday) i was up bright and early. the day at HBS started with registration and breakfast at 7am. the morning was filled with presentations by adcom (including a welcome address by dean leopold). later, they split us up into 2 groups; the first group got to sit in on a first year accounting class. it was pretty fast paced - a lot of lightning quick discussion, and 95% of the class was students talking - the prof barely did more than moderate the discussion. it was a really cool way to see HBS' case study method up close and personal.

later, more presentations followed (financial aid and career development), and then lunch was served. we were split into small groups of 8-9 prospective students and each group had 1 current student to answer any questions we may have about anything. i appreciated his candor and honesty, as did everyone in my group.

all during the morning, you could see the R1 applicants checking their phones/blackberries over and over with each new mail message they received, hoping to receive an invite. lunch came and passed, and it was already 1pm, which made me lose a ton of hope. a few mins later i finally got the email invite... i couldnt stop grinning (i probably looked like a damn fool). During the admissions portion of one of the meetings, adcom talked about the same #'s that Sandy (hbsguru) refers to - namely 9000+ applicants, 1800 invites, 1000 acceptances. i think they're pretty accurate numbers, so if you didn't get an invite today - dont lose hope, as the next couple of weeks will have more and more invites being sent out.

afterward, we went on a quick campus tour, followed by a meeting with either the latino or the african american associations. i picked the latino one, and they gave us an overview of what they did around campus and what resources they offered not only current students, but also alumni and prospective students. everyone seemed really intent on helping, which was cool.

an alumni panel was next, with 4 very interesting alumni giving us their insights into their post -HBS lives. again, i appreciated the honesty and directness with which they fielded questions.

finally, the day concluded with a quick wrap up session, and a complimentary happy hour at the HBS campus grille. all in all, a great day. they have another one in the spring, and if anyone is thinking of applying next fall, i'd definitely recommend attending, as they gave some useful general tips, but also were willing to give you specific tips on your story and pitch if you asked for it. this prospective students day was primarily targeted towards minorities; i'm not sure if they all are, or just the fall ones. definitely sign up to be on HBS' mailing list if you're not already on it, as that's how i found out about this event.
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Last edited by shadow on 16 Oct 2009, 19:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2010, 22:09
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In reference to the guy above saying "Don't cry, you didn't lose your wang" - please show a little respect for some of the people here. The fact that you are 23 and have 3 years of experience already, and given HBS was your reach school, you may not feel too bad, but try to understand it from other peoples' perspectives.

Yes we are all trying to keep a positive attitude, but I have met some truly amazing candidates with stellar stats, recs, essays, and currics that did not get invited for an interview. It frankly BOGGLES my mind that some of these people did not get invited for an interview. I didn't get one, that's fine, but when some of the people that I KNOW deserve one, did not get one, I actually feel SAD, because I have no way to make some of these people feel better.

To give you an example: a female Ivy leaguer on this forum with a close-to-perfect GPA that worked 5 years in PE with a 760 GMAT, founded a women's networking program overseas and works in homeless shelters 10 hours a week despite her crazy schedule. She personally turned a company around preserving the primarily female-employment, and used her position of strength to implement programs that would help them work productively while getting cost-effective child care. Probably one of the nicest and brightest people I know. She has personally raised close to 18 million dollars for charities. Comes from a lower class family and worked her way up in a highly male-dominated field. Her essays were filled with the courage it took for her to get in her current position. No invite.

Moreover, some of these people are 27-28-29, and this will the last opportunity they have to apply before they will be over the hump and no longer be within the target age range for HBS or GSB. There are some people who are applying for their second, or maybe even third times or fourth times as well. For some of the women on here who are already trying to condense highly competitive careers with a top-tier MBA in their 20s, and now need to move on because it will conflict with their other goals in life: I am truly sorry.

Example: I look at engy and I think, wow, what an incredible candidate, and second-time around he goes from being waitlisted to not even getting an interview.

So anyone who cries please do so. We are here to listen to your sob stories about HBS or any other top tier school and their random admission process. You have spent hundreds of hours trying to explain in a very limited application, what sets you apart. You have spent hundreds of dollars on GMAT, b-school application fees, etc. Is it all fair? No, life is never fair. In the mean time please keep trying for other Round 3 schools and know that even if America values HBS as the pre-eminent b-school - if you end up at another school that is Tier 2 for example - you will be the big fish in the small pond and can shine.

HBS is not necessary for success. The CEO of PepsiCo went to Yale after all, and Warren Buffett went to Columbia for an MS.

We should never deny our internal emotions lest be labeled as sore losers who weren't good enough to make the cut. We are human, not robots. Our emotions are just as important to us as our capability to innovate - they define our civilization and species.

Bottom line: seeing some of the incredible applicants that did not get an interview, there was no shortage of extremely qualified people that were dinged - clearly the 800 people invited must have distinguished themselves in a way that got the attention of the AdCom, and for that I congratulate them, and hope they do exceptionally well in the interviews.

I also hope the people admitted, aware of astounding nature of the applicant pool this year, truly take advantage of their time at HBS to network and build relationships. I believe when it is all said and done, this coming Fall will represent the best MBA class HBS has ever had.

My 2 cents.

Last edited by qaum on 15 May 2010, 20:07, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 04 May 2010, 11:48
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Demonic11 wrote:
He also sounds really humble, polished, and down to earth.


You too. "I signed my high school yearbook in 2002 (xxxx yyyy, Harvard MBA)."
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 20 May 2009, 18:06
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First "useful stuff" info by Sandy (http://www.hbsguru.com) posted on http://forums.businessweek.com/n/pfx/fo ... &tid=10180

Quote:
What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit)
The most important question by far: as a rule these accomplishments should reflect your work, your development and extra currics. The purpose of essays for HBS is find out what makes you tick --they already will know a lot about you, so think added value not sketching out your story, they know that. OK to write one that in general says, "Coming to USA (or overcoming childhood b..c of poverty blah blah) and thriving by dint of finding mentors etc. is accomplishment--e.g. life story summary. Usual work b.s. is ok, e.g. I did X at work which required being leader and overcoming obstacles and then say how; also ok to say I did extra curric X which had impact1 2 3 and here is how I did it. Accomplishments should be concrete w. metric outcomes if pzzble, e.g. impact at work was x, raised y dollars, increased club size fr. x to y. But more imptly, you need to explain HOW YOU DID IT, how got others to cooperate, etc. etc.

What have you learned from a mistake? (400-word limit)
Yikes, this Q sucks and usually does not add value, IMHO, after having read over ~300 of them last year. It is possible to 'score' here w. some deeply personal story about addiciton and recovery, disappointing or lying to parents, lovers etc. and why, & what you learned, but the vast majority of answers, even among accepted kids, take the form, "I made a mistake at work b.c. [too arrogant, too rushed, too focused on my ego, did not listen b.c., too immature to get help, too afraid to get help, blah, blah, or mismanaged my first subord for same reasons, and consequences and b.s. about how better you have become w. examples. Duh, try to avoid that, but remember, 70 percent of the admitted class wrote essays just like that, so if you are not fortunate enuf to have recovered fr. meth, etc. well, write one of those dufus essays.

What would you like the MBA Admissions Board to know about your undergraduate academic experience?

hmmmm, do not answer this Q in general UNLESS you need to--e.g. explain bummer grades or something else clinical and important, it is REALLY hard to add value w. this. My guess, number of admitted kids who answer this Q=less than 10 percent, which cld also be the pool of all applicant percent (or maybe not, if there are LOTS of kids explaining bad grades who dont get in. )

Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization.
winner!--most kids answer this (both admitted and all applicants) b.c. it is HBS sweet spot, it allows you to do a leadership demonstration piece. Classic answer is Over x period I dealt w. Org Y, and made these innovations, added members, built out org (specify) and here is how I got results and others to help me. Oddball but effective variants are engagment w. your family or a cause (e..g based on your affinity or ethnic background) over time, same jive tho. What you did, how you led, or worked in teams, etc. etc. As a rule extra currics work better here, but if you got a super strong work story, that works, but less effective IMHO.

Tell us about a time when you made a difficult decision.
hmmmmm, new Q. My hunch, in general. AVOID, unless you are burning to answer this b.c. you actually have MADE a difficult decision. What works in these apps is real accomplishments w. results, bang, bang bang. altho adcoms will swear til Sunday they want to know how you think blah blah and may even believe it themselves (until actually reading apps and not pontificating in Forums) -going thru some decision tree etc. etc. like who cares? Sure, if you can combine this w. some accomplishment, e.g. how as captain of team I benched star player b.c. of my coaching style, and other key decisions like that, or how you decided, after leading student demos in Commie country growing up, you called them off b.c. loss of life was not worth it, well, yeah, if you got a story like that, sure. Coming out to parents, hmmmmm, my guess is, they are going to get A LOT of those stories . Stay in the closet, essay wise. altho trust me, in next year's admitted class there will be ~20-30 kids w. coming out to parents stories admitted, but it will not be THAT essay which got them in. Pulling plug on mom or dad, etc. could work if you can show how you marshalled medical and other family members to make that call.

What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?
Most kids answer the career vision essay b.c. 1. they already got answer fr. other apps, they think HBS cares, they want to also waste our friggin time by saying WHY HBS (HBS DONT CARE!!!!) Well, the trend is your friend here, you should answer this Q too, but beware--you need to think MACRO, we want a VISION not a business plan, not a continuation of what you are doing, but some vision of how the platform of your current life and accomplishments is a sort of foundation for a vision which is based on it in some deep way but yet builds it out. A good answer has a PC or informed variant of whatever industy you choose, dont worry about being a cliche, all those cliches get in, and several DUMS DUMS thinking of marching to their own stupid drum often do real damage here. Make sure what you want to do sorta requires an MBA, and slug in some part which explains personal sig. to you.

Write a cover letter to your application introducing yourself to the Admissions Board.
Dunno, this seems like fun, but you should have introduced yourself LONG before this by dint of all the other essays and accomplishments and resume. Soooo, I have a hard time seeing a good answer here. As a rule, wild stuff, like list of favorite songs, books, etc. and Twitter type baloney, which you think is SOOOO intimate and clever, dont work. I've read several attempts at that, so you keep the sun roof open in the winter and sing along to the radio, who gives a F. DO NOT EXPLAIN WHY YOU WANT TO ATTEND HBS, THAT IS NO VALUE AND FOR LOSERS. SURE SOME KIDS WHO DO THAT WILL GET IN, BUT IT WILL BE DESPITE THAT PART. I suppose if you got some amazing Lost Boys of Sudan story w. family trauma, etc. etc, you could do a good job here, you could also finese career vision question in here and write cover letter about how background etc. impacts goals, yeah, but you could do that w. vision question too (and should). Dangers here more likely than value. But tempting, good luck, and your funeral.

Last edited by garbus222 on 20 May 2009, 18:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2009, 15:00
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my last update for the night:







LocationTotal slotsSlots leftNotes
BOS41228HBS Campus
CHI320Chicago
NOR7532Norcal (san fran + menlo park CA)
LA144-
NYC240-
ASIA712both open slots are mumbai
EUR9121all open slots are london


some quick notes.. looks like they added 2 extra spots in boston. sandy mentioned as much...basically he said that they would add more spots if necessary to their boston and norcal hubs since they own property there. was also surprised to see they added spots to LA

Edit: Improved formatting - shadowsjc

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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2010, 08:29
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I'm in as well.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 08:54
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"Useful stuff" continued... This is one of the best HBS app hints I have found last year. It's brilliant and helped me tremendously last season. It also ties well with my previous post. Taken from "CS @ HBS" blog (http://www.computersexy.com/blog/2007/0 ... lishments/).

Quote:
Harvard Essays Analysis

Essay 2: Accomplishments

April 28th, 2007

2. What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit)

Yeah, that’s a tough one. Maybe even the toughest. When I visited the US couple of months before applying, I went to one of those huge US book stores and amusingly surveyed the University Admissions Help section. I was less amused when I picked up “65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays: With Analysis by the Staff of the Harbus, The Harvard Business School Newspaper”. The first essay I read was this one, and the guy’s accomplishments were the following (quoting from memory…): 1. broke his leg/arm/some combination of them in a horrible accident, was told he’d never walk again, and was able to walk within 4 months, 2. after that, managed to graduate with honors and start his own company, which was incredibly successful blah-blah, 3. also founded and a was a member of an extremely valued jazz band, which had concerts in fancy clubs and was featured in several magazine articles.

“Wow!”, was my first thought after reading that, “I stand NO chance at HBS!”. See, I’m not a superstar. Haven’t founded any company (yet?), don’t have a band, and (fortunately!) didn’t have any accidents. What will I write about? My own accomplishments, which I thought were pretty decent up until this point, seemed to turn pale in comparison.

Well apparently, they were just enough for HBS. I can tell you roughly what they were:

1. Overcoming a major professional hurdle at work and managing to come out of it in a very good way, including a prestigious award.
2. Launching a significant initiative at work, that was completely ‘mine’ from the conception of the idea to its successful implementation, which involved guiding other team members. In the long run, this initiative also led the way to my career progress from my first position to the current one.
3. Successfully combining a demanding full-time job and demanding full-time undergraduate studies.

See? In my opinion, these are quite impressive achievements, but they’re certainly not ’superman’ ones. I definitely view them as my substantial achievements and I’m proud of each and every one of them, but I don’t think they’re ‘extraordinary’ or ’superhuman’. I think HBS is aware of the fact that not many of us would have ’superman’ achievements, at least not at this point in time.

After writing a draft for this essay, I showed it to someone whose opinion I highly valued. Her feedback was - “That’s it? I think you should come up with something more impressive!”. Naturally, I was upset. But after thinking it through, I just realized that this is me, these are my achievements, I’m proud of them, and I’m not going to embellish or make up anything. And apparently I was right.

A few technical comments:

* Start off with this essay, even though it might be the hardest - or at least start with an outline or decide what are the accomplishments you’re going to write about. After that, the accomplishments or key strengths that were ‘left out’ would need to be mentioned, somehow, in the other essays (like the first or the third).
* 600 words isn’t much. Unless one of the achievements is clearly more significant than the others, make a deliberate effort to devote1/3 ( 200 words) for each one. Otherwise one will look more important, just because of the length.
* I gave a short ‘title’ for each accomplishment: “Accomplishment 1“ etc. It makes it clearer and easily shows the reader that there are three distinct ones.
* Don’t forget to answer the second part of the question: “and why do you view them as such”. Sometimes, especially when the accomplishment isn’t that “bright”, the explanation can give you an extra “wow factor”. Of course here you can also explicitly bind the accomplishment to the values and qualities you want to convey in the application:

“The ability to juggle between responsibilities and requirements in different fields, and to successfully perform under time constraints for a long period, make me view this achievement as a significant one.”

Summary

Though the essay is undoubtedly one of the hardest to write, I think you should view it as an excellent opportunity to showcase your best strengths and achievements to date, without the risk of sounding arrogant or vain. After all, that’s exactly what they want to hear, and this is your chance to impress, point-blank!

Last edited by garbus222 on 21 May 2009, 09:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 09:05
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Another "useful stuff".

Old chat but points still valid and useful to HBS applicants. I took below Q&As that I found the most relevant (taken from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/co ... index+page)

Quote:
businesschat: What does Harvard look for in a candidate?
HBSDeirdre: We're looking for an assortment of leaders, all of whom can thrive in a demanding, fast-paced, highly verbal academic environment. Our classroom experience is quite different from traditional academia; students need to be fully present and engaged and ready to contribute. There are no opportunities to be a bystander. We're looking for people who, at every opportunity, have chosen to be givers vs. takers and don't sit by and wait for others to take the initiative.

ramtelecom: What do you, compared to previous admissions directors, look for in new HBS candidates?
HBSDeirdre: I have been thinking a lot about leadership and how to both define and identify it. I think there's a danger in thinking that there is just one model of a leader—someone who is larger than life and always out in front—who should be at HBS. I prefer to think in terms of an assortment of leaders, some of whom gravitate to traditional leadership roles in an established organization, some of whom like to start things and get them up and running, some of whom motivate small groups, "thought leaders" who provide the unexpected and provocative way of looking at a problem. One of the most exciting ways of thinking about diversity in the case method classroom is on the dimension of leadership styles—bringing together all these folks and hearing how they tackle the real life problems in a case.

sendo: What kind of qualities are you looking for in international applicants?
HBSDeirdre: We don't view international applicants as being in a separate pool. All candidates are evaluated on the same criteria. We find that our international applicants offer the same measure of diversity of work experience and leadership styles as those from the U.S.

littledhc: I want to know if taking the GMAT exam multiple times is frowned upon and if a lower score in a previous attempt reflects negatively on an HBS application?
HBSDeirdre: We look only at the score that you report in the application

PJC2007: How re-applicant friendly is HBS? I have heard and read that chances aren't good the second time around.
HBSDeirdre: There's absolutely no stigma in our application process against re-applicants. When an application is read by the admissions board, previous status is unknown. However, if a re-applicant is invited to interview, we may choose to include the previous application in our preparation for the interview.

cmrMBA: How creative can applicants get with their essays? I've heard you look for essays that "stand out," but I wonder if there is a line you don't want to cross.
HBSDeirdre: As I said before, our process is not to find the most unusual or striking essays—it's to use the essays to try to get to know the candidate. Use the essays to tell us about the real you, vs. trying to get our attention.

Paradosso: When evaluating CVs, do you take into account the differences in education cycles among countries? Should one convert his academic title to the nearest U.S. standard or maintain the original?
HBSDeirdre: We have students from about 70 countries. We're well-versed in understanding the differences in international academic systems, so don't worry about trying to translate for us.

businesschat: I have 15 years of work experience and want to do my MBA now. Is too much experience a problem for getting admission?
HBSDeirdre: This is an important question: Whether you have 15 years of experience or two, think about whether the MBA is going to add value and be a significant transformational experience. For many candidates, two to three years is just right; for others, they are "ready" after a much greater number of years of experience. There's no right time.

PeteN: Other than the brand-name reputation and the case-study-only approach, what are the most distinguishing factors of the HBS program?
HBSDeirdre: I'd focus on the case method learning model, the required curriculum which gives all students an opportunity to get a solid grounding across business disciplines, and the distinctive nature of faculty interaction with students in a very high-quality teaching environment. Faculty at HBS can't rely on prepared lectures since the case method is organic and continually evolving. One-third of the cases in any given course are brand-new every year, and that's a critical way of being on the cutting edge.
In addition, one-third of the cases used are about international organizations, in large part due to the network of five HBS global research centers. There are significant opportunities available for HBS students to be global, both here and abroad.
Unlike many schools, we are a residential campus, with 33 buildings on 40 acres. About 80% of students live on campus, which makes for a close-knit community experience.

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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2009, 07:16
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I thought I'd post a review of my class visit to HBS. I found my way to the admission's office quite early on Monday morning (8am). I signed in and had the opportunity to meet several other applicants in the waiting area. Quite interestingly, we were all fascinated by one another (that definitely was a confidence booster for me). We (myself and another visitor) were then assigned to a student host.

Our host was extremely down to earth and quickly told us about the case we were going to discuss in his marketing (RC) class. The case in question pertained to a pharmaceutical company currently establishing its price structure for a new drug; the objective: what price should the company sell this new drug for? The hallways at Aldrich (main building for classes) were bustling with students and the classroom was full - aside for two seats for us. At 8.40 sharp, the professor acklowedged our visit and had us quickly introduce ourselves - we received a warm welcome (all students applauded). Soon after, he cold called a student to start the case discussion. For roughly 90 minutes, students interacted and guided the entire debate on this case. The professor did an excellent job shaping the discussion (for example, he'd interrupt if he saw that the discussion was leading into a tangetial subject). I had never seen a prof run around a classroom and write so much on a chalkboard! Students were extremely articulate and the diversity of the classroom was exceptional - apparently, once admitted, HBS configures the RC classroom (you cannot choose where you sit) and learning team based on geography, nationality, industry, age, sex, etc. It's incredible.

After class, I went to have a quick coffee at Spangler with another applicant. The cafeteria, dining room and "living area" at Spangler are impressive. The halls are carpeted with crown moldings everywhere... I thought I was in a hotel. Finally, I had the opportunity to meet a student for lunch (with 6 other applicants). We had a short Q&A (nothing most people on this board wouldn't know). The other applicants were extremely friendly and again, I think we were all equally interested in one another, which was nice. One key takeaway from the visit (and reinforced by a student) was that there is no "typical" applicant. They have a boot camp in summer, called Analytics, for those who either (1) come from a non-business background or (2) need to sharpen their quantative skills. (There were 240 students this summer). Apparently, very few students with PE experience as well... (can't substantiate that claim).. Anyways, the classroom had MD's, lawyers, entrepreneurs, military, etc. My own opinion is as follows (regarding admissions): HBS prefers diversity over hard scores (GMAT/GPA, etc.). In essence, if they hit their benchmark for IB-students, they prefer someone from another industry (with lower GMAT) than another IB with high GMAT/GPA.... (just my own opinion)

Overall, I think the experience was great. I highly recommend it to those able to make their way to Boston. Please find a url to some of my pictures. http://www.flickr.com/photos/triple5soulmba/
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2010, 23:59
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Turnpike wrote:
Gosh! I totally forgot about the Resume! Still have to frame that. And prepare the transcript. I've downloaded the form from the applyyourself HBS portal, and I'm totally flummoxed. Can I use any other format?



Would strongly recommended getting a physical copy from your college and scanning and uploading that. It's probably even easier for the admissions committee, plus it will save you the pains of adapting things to the alternate format.

Your college should be able to send this to you quite quickly through mail, in case you don't have a copy at your end already.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2010, 07:41
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Turnpike wrote:
And prepare the transcript. I've downloaded the form from the applyyourself HBS portal, and I'm totally flummoxed. Can I use any other format?


Provided you did not go to a massive state university, most registrars will email you a scanned, unofficial copy of your transcript, which suffices for virtually every school that uses the "applyyourself" software. If you called today and simply explained your request, there is no reason you couldn't have a copy by next week. It saved me tons of time.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2010, 06:53
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GPA: 3.0 top 10 liberal arts college, 2002
Major: physics
Work experience: 3 years neuroscience research assistant, 4 years USMC infantry officer. Research published in two disciplines (fluid mechanics/physics & neuroscience)
Ranked top platoon commander (out of 15) in my battalion
GMAT: 770 48Q/50V 6.0 AWA
another white guy

Waiting like the rest of you. I hope you all get invites.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2010, 12:34
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It took me 4.5 hours to stop shaking in disbelief and post - I'm no RonMexico, but it's nice to have a yes from HBS after a ding from Stanford last week (RonMexico, congrats by the way. You are seriously one hell of a rockstar!)

Can't believe I'm in. I can't recall the last time I was this excited.

Congratulations to all you amazing people who've gotten in, and I'm really sorry for those who didn't hear back positive - I can't imagine how disappointed I'd be, so you have my commiseration completely. It's really a pretty difficult thing to rationalize.

Look forward to seeing all you admits this Fall.

Thanks for the unending support on this blog - it contributed big-time to my bare sanity!

Cheers.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 20 May 2009, 18:20
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Another "useful stuff" - Forcefeed's app tips from last season (calling-all-hbs-fall-2009-applicants-63410.html#p464989)

Quote:
Essays
The most important thing here is to decide what you really want to convey to the adcom and what stories you will tell. For HBS I suggest that each example displays your leadership ability, and shows that you posses qualities that are critical to leading effectively. Everyone's definition of leadership varies so I suggest that you follow your own belief (personally I think decisiveness, vision, and confidence are critical to leadership). Then you will have to decide which stories line up with the essay questions, which I don't believe is too difficult with HBS' broad range of questions. If you can, take a novel approach to answering a question. I ended up completely changing my culture shock essay10 days before submitting the application because I realized that culture shock can include much more than travels to other countries.

I suggest that you have your essays reviewed by multiple people, I had two sisters, a current HBS student, and a professional editing service review my essays. If you are a very technical person (Engineer or in IT) I suggest that you have non-technically oriented people review your essays. Always remember that it is your application though and you have the final say in what changes and what stays. While I am on the topic of editing, I have to plug Edit Avenue (http://www.editavenue.com). I had all of my essays reviewed by Fin&Marketing and she was able to provide copy editing and advice on content without charging the ridiculous MBA admissions consultant fees.

I believe the most difficult part of the HBS' essays is meeting the ridiculously short word limits. I ended up removing many of the details from each story and had my editors confirm that the essays still made sense. The essays also lacked smooth transitions because those often take a lot of words. My essays were not pulitzer prize winning works, don't worry if writing is not your strong point, I believe it is one of my weaker points. As long as you can clearly show and not tell your story, your writing should be OK.

Interview
First off, if you get an interview invitation, congrats! When I met my interviewer, I was a little intimidated because he seemed like the type of person that would thoroughly grill you and take pleasure in breaking you down. It turns out that it was actually a very enjoyable experience, and had to be the most comfortable interview I have ever had. I believe everyone is interviewed by an HBS adcom, and it is not a blind interview. The adcom will know your profile very well, and have specific areas that they want to probe into. I prefer this approach because I did not find myself recycling my essay and resume material, it was obvious they already knew that well because it would be used as a spring board for their question.

The only piece of advice I can really offer for the interview is to know yourself!!! I know it sounds stupid, but they will start asking about things you barely even mention in the essays. I spent ~10mins of the interview talking about a topic that was not mentioned in my essays, but he knew my profile well enough to read between the lines. Keep your cool throughout the interview, and if needed, take a second to think things over or ask them to repeat the question. Some people just get too wound up and tense which then makes them panic and blow the interview. I listened to some Linkin Park & Jay-Z before the interview and it got me pumped up and in the right mood, being in the right mental state is half of the battle.

I walked out of the interview very satisfied with how things went. I knew that I put my best foot forward, and had no regrets.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 08:46
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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.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 14:13
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All of you thinking about HBS, you already know that HBS = case method. To be honest I still have my doubts about it (even though I'm excited about cases at the same time). Some info on case method I found interesting.

Quote:
HBS site on case method: http://www.hbs.edu/learning/case.html


Quote:
Taken from Harvard Bound blog (source: http://myharvardmba2010.blogspot.com/20 ... dents.html)

4) How effective is the case method for quantitative courses such as accounting and finance?

This question will be answered very differently depending on your personal background, work experience and level of quantitative skills. If you've kept up with my blog at all, you'll see that I'm not the strongest in the quant area, nor do I particularly love dealing with numbers (I'm much more of a creative, people person). While this does put me at a disadvantage immediately in these courses, I've learned very quickly to take it all with a grain of salt. What I mean by this is two things: firstly, I have no intent of going into banking or accounting, so for me, a general foundation in the subject will likely suffice, and any additional quant training could be learned on the job or through additional outside coursework. Secondly, while the HBS grading system tends to compare students to one another, I had to take a step back to keep my sanity and remind myself that I am truly incomparable to many of my sectionmates in this area. Without a quantitative work background, I will never be as good in accounting as the two CPAs in my class, and I will never be able to model as quickly or effectively as the former I-bankers. But that's okay! Really. It's hard to come to grips with at first, but you start to recognize your personal competitive advantages quite quickly here and it's best to run with them and take the other courses for what their worth.

Now I realize I have not at all answered the question yet, but I felt like that was important to say. Personally, I don't find the case method as conducive to truly learning the techniques and concepts of accounting and finance. For me, a combination of case learning and lecture/small workshop courses would be more effective in helping me get a grip on the basics. The good news is that there are tons of resources on campus (whether it be second year tutors, sectionmates, people from your learning team, textbooks in the library, meeting with professors, etc.) that you can employ to help yourself understand these concepts. It's without a doubt more work, but that doesn't mean you can get there. On the upside, the case method is a great way to teach you how to think about business problems in an environment where information is ambiguous and often incomplete. You truly learn a ton in class every day.

I would highly, highly suggest that you take the time (if possible) to come visit HBS and see the case method in action. It's a truly different classroom experience from anything I've seen, and watching a course will give you the best idea of whether or not you can see yourself thriving in an environment like it.


Quote:
Taken from Mark and Jie's Journey to B-School blog (source: http://markandjie.blogspot.com/2004_03_01_archive.html)

2. The case method: He felt the case method was the single most valuable feature of HBS. If you want to learn finance, he said, then go to community college and you can learn all you want about the mechanics of finance. Or go to the library and learn it on your own. But the case method teaches you how to think about finance (or any subject), and it teaches you that your thinking can be enhanced by having a strong group of thinkers around you. Learning to think in a new, rigorous, thorough manner was the number one thing he got out of HBS, it was worth more than all the other benefits of combined.


Quote:
Taken from AGirlsMBA at Harvard Business School blog (source: http://agirlsmba.blogspot.com/2007/12/h ... ation.html)

CASE METHOD: I know a lot people have doubts in this for classes like accounting and finance, and it's not for everyone, but I find it amazing. The best part is that while I learn the concepts (which anyone could do from a book) what we really learn are about the managerial decisions that executives must make for cases that are "on the edge". When is it appropriate to change depreciation methods? Is it representative of the business we are in? How would the change affect the financial statements and in turn the investors view of the company? I truly appreciate the no-laptop policy, and I can't imagine a situation where students are more engaged and enthusiastic to be in class.

Last edited by garbus222 on 21 May 2009, 14:42, edited 2 times in total.
Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates   [#permalink] 21 May 2009, 14:13
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