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Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants

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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2012, 11:44
No one?
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2012, 09:16
Last shot! :roll:

I think I am not competitive at least at HBS, too old for HBS. :(
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2012, 15:39
Working on my essays I have come to a place where I find admission consultants divided.
the question is "Tell us about something you wish you had done better. (400 words)" from HBS admission

The doubt I have is apart from an obvious failure essay can an achievement which could have been done better can also be included in this?? say I saved 5 people in a snow storm but if I hadn't sat about thinking for an hour before I did that We wouldn't require to amputate limbs of two due to frost bit(bit extreme isn't it??) or say I saved a village from starving but while they were reaching brink of starvation I had the same powers i had when I saved them. so I should have saved them earlier instead of sitting around not utilizing my power(that is a bit milder I hope).

but my point is somebody, given a chance would improve achievements shouldn't that go into this essay or is it that failure only can go into the essay??
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2012, 17:33
bhaktir wrote:
2+2, anyone?


I'll be applying in R1
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2012, 04:55
nice! there was an awesome discussion last year... hopefully more people can join in and help us recreate that!
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2012, 13:54
Got an interview! (summer round 2+2) Anybody know what % of applicants get an interview for 2+2?
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2012, 01:54
Count me in for R1! Good luck everybody. Just go rejected from LBS after being on the waiting list for 4 months. Will be applying to many more schools this time around.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2012, 17:55
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Use this as an opportunity to admit failure - a true failure. Don't try to (or blatently) sneak a positive character trait or an achievement into this essay. It will sound insincere. Admitting a failure can show strength, depth of character, deep self-awareness, and a drive for self-improvement - all qualities that HBS wants to see in applicants!


maybe, but not many people have such failures, e.g. ones that lead to deep introspection, blah, blah, nor are many people capable of teasing out impressive lessons from same. I just did mock interviews for a lot of 2+2 kids who tackled this question, and were invited for interviews, being held later this week for 2+2 round 1, and guess what, they often had the "accomplishment but" mode of answer, and, well, they got interviews. So that is feedback of a sort, and as a rule, in the grand scheme of things HBS is interested in things you have done versus what you think about those things, interviews are for what you think etc. and a good accomplishment, even if shoehorned somewhat into a 'done better' answer has real force.
And btw, you can also be introspective about an "accomplishment but" answer, even more so, in some cases, because you focus on why you did X but could not do X+1. Well, there is no one rule, but admitting to, ahem, a "true failure" (is that like forcible rape versus date rape?) and then having a goofy or banal lesson can get you in worse place than some "accomplishment but" essay. Let's say you dont get along with your step father, and you say
yadda yadda, dont like the guy, preferred dad, step dad is dog person, I like cats, he came into my life at hard time for me, he has an odd sense of humor, ..............dunno, what exactly are we seeing about you that is going to tilt an application??? Some jive about not making that mistake again, like with other people, being patient, not jumping to judgments, ??? keeping an open mind about dogs? commiting to family? getting beyond yourself, and, btw, those last two are better than most kids will come up, but so what??? In the end it sounds like whinning. Altho sure, with some therapy and a consultant you could bang that essay into a pass. It would be real, real hard to make ground w. that. altho, sure, as with anything, it could be done. I've now read hundreds of these essays, both the 2+2 kids and my own round one clients, it's an annoying question, like all setback questions, but I dont think there is any clear ONE better way to answer it.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 03:07
end of August and not much of applicants' buzz here, I am wondering WHY?! ;)
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 04:31
PTK wrote:
end of August and not much of applicants' buzz here, I am wondering WHY?! ;)


Mystery to me, this is usually an active thread.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 04:38
PTK wrote:
end of August and not much of applicants' buzz here, I am wondering WHY?! ;)

I've noticed the same thing in other schools' threads, too. I wonder if applications are down across the board?
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 11:58
kingfalcon wrote:
PTK wrote:
end of August and not much of applicants' buzz here, I am wondering WHY?! ;)

I've noticed the same thing in other schools' threads, too. I wonder if applications are down across the board?


I doubt a fall off like this is the result of apps being down 10 pct or so, which may or may not be the case, and fr. other indicators DOES NOT appear to be the case, the reason prob. has more to do with new changes made to THIS forum and how messages are displayed and how easily you can access this section--I for one have a hard time navigating the new set-up, and even finding this thread. And I post here a lot. IF anyone else is having a harder time w. the new set up, post that, I am sure the moderators would be interested.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 12:06
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kingfalcon wrote:
PTK wrote:
end of August and not much of applicants' buzz here, I am wondering WHY?! ;)

I've noticed the same thing in other schools' threads, too. I wonder if applications are down across the board?


I doubt a fall off like this is the result of apps being down 10 pct or so, which may or may not be the case, and fr. other indicators DOES NOT appear to be the case, the reason prob. has more to do with new changes made to THIS forum and how messages are displayed and how easily you can access this section--I for one have a hard time navigating the new set-up, and even finding this thread. And I post here a lot. IF anyone else is having a harder time w. the new set up, post that, I am sure the moderators would be interested.


I doubt it has much to do with changes to made to this forum. BW and BTG forums are both pretty dead. Check out the traffic count to all the mba/gmat related sites, they should be seeing a spike right about now, but all I see is low traffic counts. Ironically it seems the consultants are seeing a tick up from last season, I suspect is has more to do with more and more higher quality applicants using their services. Anyways I suspect we will see a drop-off across the board, but I believe it will be as a result of fewer lower quality applicants applying this year.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 16:35
Hmmmm, BW has been dead for a few years, sorta becoming Princeton Review, BTG decline wld be convincing, but note, I can still not find this thread by coming into this site thru the front door. So that seems impt to me. If I cannot, neither can others.
It seems arrangement of threads was way more clear in previous format of GC.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 17:30
PTK wrote:
end of August and not much of applicants' buzz here, I am wondering WHY?! ;)


I've been wondering about that, too! I am hoping that we'll see some more active discussions after Labor Day when the R1 application deadlines start rolling in. I'm not even applying to HBS but I was getting lonely in my quiet Yale/UCLA threads and thought I'd pop in to see what was going on here...
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 18:39
Question about the new HBS essay questions: before, applicants were given enough room to write multiple stories pulling from all the different facets of their life. But, with the new format, it seems like I basically am only able to tell 2 stories. Seems like a jip.

So, my question is whether people think it's better to write about 2 stories...Or, interpret the questions a little more broadly and write about two character traits (for example) that they can then use to tell multiple stories? What are people doing?

Thanks for the opinions!
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2012, 04:12
mmm111 wrote:
Question about the new HBS essay questions: before, applicants were given enough room to write multiple stories pulling from all the different facets of their life. But, with the new format, it seems like I basically am only able to tell 2 stories. Seems like a jip.

So, my question is whether people think it's better to write about 2 stories...Or, interpret the questions a little more broadly and write about two character traits (for example) that they can then use to tell multiple stories? What are people doing?

Thanks for the opinions!


I recommend the former: write two stories rather than two character traits. The question is phrased in the past / past perfect tense indicating that they want you to write about something that already happened, not something that is continuing to happen as would be more likely the case for a character trait.

With that being said, you should try to expound on the story / incident to draw key lessons...which you can THEN use as a bridge to discuss other stories. For example, "one thing I wish I had done better is XXX. from which I learned YYY. since then, I've worked hard to improve as evidenced by my doing ZZZ." You get the best of both worlds, so to speak, as you have room to write about multiple stories which adds dimensions to your application. Key to this is to cut out all the BS / filler sentences, distill the essay down to its core, and use the space efficiently.

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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2012, 05:02
HBSGrad wrote:
mmm111 wrote:
Question about the new HBS essay questions: before, applicants were given enough room to write multiple stories pulling from all the different facets of their life. But, with the new format, it seems like I basically am only able to tell 2 stories. Seems like a jip.

So, my question is whether people think it's better to write about 2 stories...Or, interpret the questions a little more broadly and write about two character traits (for example) that they can then use to tell multiple stories? What are people doing?

Thanks for the opinions!


I recommend the former: write two stories rather than two character traits. The question is phrased in the past / past perfect tense indicating that they want you to write about something that already happened, not something that is continuing to happen as would be more likely the case for a character trait.

With that being said, you should try to expound on the story / incident to draw key lessons...which you can THEN use as a bridge to discuss other stories. For example, "one thing I wish I had done better is XXX. from which I learned YYY. since then, I've worked hard to improve as evidenced by my doing ZZZ." You get the best of both worlds, so to speak, as you have room to write about multiple stories which adds dimensions to your application. Key to this is to cut out all the BS / filler sentences, distill the essay down to its core, and use the space efficiently.

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Can the second answer be focused on a more personal story - I don't mean health/divorce etc. (not demeaning these issues). But eg: something related to the impact I could have created via volunteering that got left midway. I get the fact that the ending should be on a positive note, which in this case would need to be an example of corrective action to lead to a more impacting volunteer work experience.

I get that both/either answer 1 and/or 2 can be personal examples, I am specifically asking for Answer 2 above as that will be my attempt.

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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2012, 07:34
mmm111 wrote:
Question about the new HBS essay questions: before, applicants were given enough room to write multiple stories pulling from all the different facets of their life. But, with the new format, it seems like I basically am only able to tell 2 stories. Seems like a jip.

So, my question is whether people think it's better to write about 2 stories...Or, interpret the questions a little more broadly and write about two character traits (for example) that they can then use to tell multiple stories? What are people doing?

Thanks for the opinions!

Well, the new app does feel like lottery, forcing you to make a lot of strategic calls similar to the options presented in posts below. It is annoying to work with and can result in feeling that you have two stories which are not fully representative of your total package. I dont like the app (I have worked on it w. many,many current clients) and most applicants don't either, and like the poster above, feel they are being gamed and played with. This set of questions might have resulted from too many Shirley Temples at one of Dee -Dee's slumber parites for her staff. :wink: All that said, the final outcomes of this app vs. last years, assuming everyone this year was doing last years as a control group, in addition to doing the current app., and we got the results, would be marginal. HBS knows what it wants, and the total app --recs scores, resume, and short answers--is pretty dense.
I've just done a lot of 2+2 mock interviews and read many complete apps answering these new questions (all of which were good enuf to get HBS interviews!) , an exercise which confirmed my own sense of how this was going to play out --HBS is not a stickler for the instructions, altho, sure, dont write a poem, what they want to see in the essays are stories which add info or depth to what they already know about you, show some reflection, are not silly or offensive in tone, voice and (of course) language, and are likeable. You need to consider your app as a whole, the essays are window dressing or maybe window tinting, and can, in most casess, do more harm than good. Serviceable answers are enuf, a lot of the essays I read fr. kids who got interviewed this summer could have been way better, in terms of being more dense, more full of embedded examples of how and why they did things, and more refined lessons, but so what? After reading whole app. you knew pretty much why they got interviewed. HBS has a pretty good idea of what they are looking for, esp. 2+2, but also generally, and you will rarely change their mind with essays, except as noted, if you are silly or offensive or just slovenly. A lot of #2 Questions took the form, "I did this good thing, but if I had done 1 2 3, the good thing could have been better . . ." Cheesy but effective. Not many just talked about a failure, altho that could work too, just telling you what I have observed. Most #1 questions took on signature extra curric and said blah blah blah. Some talked about ways kids had been succesful at summer jobs, and guess what, the better the summer job, the better the essay seemed somehow, odd? NO, reality. "I was effective as a White House intern by sensing what was needed and also the special culture of a White House in campaign mode . . .so I did 1 and 2 and held back on 3, even tho it was a good idea, and I got help fr. Joe Biden ...." Dunno that is better than saying same thing about working in a bowling alley on the versge of going bankrupt, altho you might have actually done more in the bowling alley. To that degree, the essays are confirmatory.
OK, who cares, what you about you and your two essays? . . . . NAZIS!!!! Anything to do w. Nazis or victims of any kind is GOLD. My grandma was in a Nazi concentration camp and she never talked about it, MAN I SURE WISH I HAD BROUGHT HER IN FOR SHOW AND TELL IN FIFTH GRADE, because, yadda, yadda, yadda. This also works for Stalin, Mao, Khemer Rouge, or anyone lucky enuf to know, however remotely, any XYZ Survivor. NOT KIDDING --but even if you dont know such a person, try to link your story to anything connected w. victims. Cheesey? Yes! Effective, you bet.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2012, 09:09
Dbalks wrote:
Man, HBSguru, tell us how you really feel.

Maybe my thought process is why I wont get in to any b-school, but I believe you are going a little far writing about the benefit of knowing a Nazi victim (I apologize if I missed sarcasm). But how is that going to get me into business school? I feel despise for a system that rewards people for being "lucky enough" to know someone who has gone through pain and suffering. When does it just become about being in business, and not whose father is the senator of what, who worked in the white house?

Sandy, I have read many of your posts and respect you as a consultant, but sincerely disagree with your latest post here.


The point is HBS wants to see people who make an impact beyond just making money, helping those in need. You can portray A LOT of scenarios like this, but it means your average finance guy who has done nothing outside of the job will have a hard time.
Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants   [#permalink] 30 Aug 2012, 09:09
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