What is up guys. We were recently asked by a magazine in Asia to write a list of tips on "how to get into HBS." : )
I figured what the heck--since Im an HBS grad perhaps I have the credibility to pull it off. So from the top ten list, here are numbers 1-2, again geared towards Asian applicants especially. Hope this is helpful...
1. Be realistic about your profile. GMAT. TOEFL. Age. All these are critical pieces to the puzzle, and there are SO many people from China especially (not to mention India, Taiwan, South America, Canada, etc.) vying for a precious few openings that there is little room for error. The sad fact of the matter is that there can be no weakness. Let’s do the math together. HBS has 900 slots every year. 600 go to US citizens. That leaves 300 slots for the ENTIRE REST OF THE WORLD! Holy mackerel, that isn’t many slots is it? Let’s keep crunching numbers (we do crunch some numbers at HBS, thank you!) So 150 to men and 150 to women. 150 men from AROUND THE WORLD will attend HBS. How many are applying, do you think? Well, 11% are accepted. But…if you are in the US, your number is WELL above 11%. If you are a Chinese man, for example, your percentage is well below it.
Your profile needs to be just right. Your GMAT simply has to be above 700. And of course, the higher the better. You NEED to have done well in school. Your TOEFL NEEDS to be 105, and likely 110. You cannot be over 30 years old. There is very, very, very little room for weakness folks. Plain and simple. If your profile doesn’t fit these categories, the HBS app likely isn’t worth your time.
2. Demonstrate expertise and/or mastery. Let’s start with expertise. Are you a PhD in astrophysics? Are you a successful real estate developer? What are you an expert in? This can be a HUGE benefit to your application. Why? Well think about it from HBS’ perspective; you are already an expert in something. When you graduate from HBS you won’t be starting from scratch. Very important. You are that much further ahead of everyone else.
Don’t have a PhD? Still a bit of…a generalist? No problem, we can fix that too—lets think about mastery. Have you achieved some great things in your life? Ever sing at Carnegie Hall? Ever play pro tennis? Ever achieve something…very unusual? We like mastery. We love expertise. Prove to us that you have what it takes to put your mind something, to work hard at it, and achieve something great. HBS will reward you for it.
Hope this is helpful my friends. Stay tuned next week for numbers 6-10, as we help you gain admission to HBS. Take it from me, I’ve been there both personally, and through countless Chinese clients every year…
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