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# Getting into HBS...from Asia

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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 5113
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
Followers: 71

Kudos [?]: 853 [0], given: 47

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07 May 2011, 05:50
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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…
_________________

Jon Frank

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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 5113
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
Followers: 71

Kudos [?]: 853 [0], given: 47

Re: Getting into HBS...from Asia [#permalink]

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11 May 2011, 18:27
Okay folks, here is the last piece we had written for the Chinese magazine article. Nothing earth shattering (and we will go back to answering questions next) but thought you'd all appreciate it. Have a look gang.

5. Show your international perspective. Again, put yourself in the shoes of an admissions committee. Americans (wrongly) assume that many international applicants (Chinese applicants especially) have never left China. They don’t have an international perspective. And in fact, nothing could be further from the truth! So many of our Chinese applicants are world travelers (working for US-based companies by the way), and very sophisticated. So don’t let admissions people misjudge you. Again, we want to beat admissions committees to the punch here, and put our most sophisticated, most cosmopolitan, most international foot forward! This is critical.

And this goes beyond just “global” concerns. Adcoms are worried that international students (especially Chinese) may have trouble adapting to the US—to the multicultural scene, the Indian food, the Irish pubs, the different styles, having to talk regularly in class due to the case method, etc. It is critical to show that you have a global (if not US-based) perspective. You are open, you are accepting, you are liberal, you are international, you aren’t shy—you will NOT be stereotyped. You are a modern man, out doing deals in D&G. You are a classy woman, wheeling and dealing with the best guys out there (if not better than them).

Good luck!
_________________

Jon Frank

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