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Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants

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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2013, 12:40
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esdykes wrote:
I've had a few requests for interview prep advice, so I thought I'd share here for everyone.

1. I used two sources for prep:
Clear Admit free wiki: http://blog.clearadmit.com/category/interview-reports/school/harvard/
HARBUS un-official guide: http://www.hbsinterview.com/

2. I basically looked over my application about 100 times before the interview looking for gaps or career choices so I could concisely explain my decisions. Remember - your interviewer will have your application in front of him/her and may reference something specific. This happened to me: She asked me what I meant when I described my current role. I laughed a bit and told her it's hard to explain what I do in 200 characters and then answered in more detail. I think she chuckled.

3. RELAX!! I usually do not get nervous, but I could tell in my first answer or two that I was a mess. I just kept thinking that I knew myself better than they did and the purpose of the interview is show them who you are - nothing more, nothing less. That seemed to help me calm down, but think about what works for you. You will most likely need to use it!

GOOD LUCK!!!!


This is great advice! I will also add: be able to answer anything thrown at you in a clear and concise manner. This is going to be the shortest 30 minutes of you life, so be ready to manage your time wisely when answering each question. Memorizing all the questions will do you no good because you will always get surprises, but I would suggest looking through them while asking yourself which ones might cause you to stumble in your response. Going in, you should know what messages you want to get across - either what you want to reinforce or what might not have been clear in your app - so that you can work them in to your responses.

I did some mock interviews with a friend where we would go through 15 - 20 random questions and he would give feedback on areas where I would ramble or where I was not clear. This really helped - I tend to be a tangential conversationalist and getting a better feel for the duration of my responses was incredibly valuable.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2013, 20:03
Hi guys,

This is a continuation of a questions i asked a while back. I just received my AWA and integrated reasoning scores (which i previously submitted as 0.0).
How do i update my scores on my HBS application which i've already submitted.

I've tried to call through to the admission office, but am constantly redirected to the voice mail.
Does anybody know what i should do? Or whether i need to take any action at all?



esdykes wrote:
schroedes wrote:
Intlstudent85 wrote:
Hi guys,

I only did my GMAT a week ago and haven't received my AWA and integrated reasoning scores yet.
As an international student, i'm pretty desperate to make sure my submission is in R2.

When i was keying in my unofficial scores on the HBS MBA website, they kept prompting me for numerical values (i couldn't put NA) for the AWA and integrated reasoning category.
How can i still submit in R2 without having these scores?

With the deadline so close, does anybody have any advice?


Might be worth an email/call to admissions with the deadline being so close. You might also try using a different browser to input this section of your app.


I just saw a new FAQ post from Dee on the HBS website. She said to use 0.0 if you do not have the official scores yet.

Good luck!
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2013, 07:39
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How NOT To Blow Your Harvard Interview



Below are excerpts from my famous article in Poets and Quants about the HBS interview and How Not To Blow it.

for the full interview, see here
http://poetsandquants.com/2010/11/04/how-not-to-blow-your-harvard-interview/

Sandy, what’s the most common misperception about these interviews?

Some think this is like an audition for a symphony orchestra where the conductor is choosing one violinist out of ten and you have to be .001 better than nine other people. It’s not that. It’s more like an audition for a marching band. You just have to be able to bang a drum in terms of talent and not appear to be arrogant, inward, unsure of yourself, or confused.

At Harvard, that means if they interview ten people, they will reject one with marginal English right out of the box. If you can’t speak English, you’re done. You won’t be able to survive. Then, of the remaining nine English speakers, one to two people might have a meltdown of some kind. They have a bad hair day or a bad tongue day. So the way that smart people blow the Harvard interview is to have a bad half hour.

And what does a bad half hour look like?

The most common way that smart people blow a Harvard interview is to get lost. Talking too much. Digressing. Getting lost in the weeds. That is the most common mistake. It outweighs every other mistake. You’re asked a simple question like, ‘Why did you go to Cornell for your undergraduate degree?’ And you begin with a history of Cornell and tell the admissions person all about your family. You’re eight minutes into it and you haven’t yet answered the question. It is one of those moments where you hear yourself speaking and you cannot believe you are saying this. You just generally come off as inarticulate and struggling.
In terms of intellectual preparation, you just have to make sure you don’t get lost. Go through your resume and for every job and transition in your life be prepared to crisply explain why you did it, and your stories and explain why you did it, what it was like, what you learned, and how you would do it differently. Be able to talk about every job in 40 seconds. Don’t feel the need for completeness. If they are interested, they will ask a follow-up question.

So Harvard and other schools are looking for succinct and clear answers, not meandering detours for answers. Makes sense to me.

The answers need to be specific, crisp, and articulate. They want to see you draw a straight line from one end of the canvas to another. The way you mess up a question is to draw an squiggly line across the canvas. You need pop-up answers. Why I took this job? What my best accomplishment on this job was? What the culture of the firm, was and why I took my next job and how I would improve the job looking backwards. The correct answer to the Cornell question is, ‘I lived in New York and wanted to get away from home yet not leave the East Coast. I was interested in liberal arts and not certain at the time what my major goals were. My high school guidance counselor and friends who went there suggested I look at Cornell. On my campus visit, I was excited by the enthusiasm of the students, and I immediately felt that it was a place where I could feel at home. Looking through the course catalog, I got really excited.’ The quickest way to get rejected is to answer with a ‘duh’ because you’re surprised at how simple the question is. A lot of people are thrown by this question. Kids who went to Harvard College are asked why they chose Harvard and often have to watch themselves from saying, ‘duh!’

There’s got to be more to it than that. I imagine that Harvard and other schools are looking for certain answers.

Aside from getting lost, the second way smart people flunk an interview is by being a super jerk. Super jerks come in all types: there is the Bain/McKinsey super jerk, the Goldman super jerk, and the Teach for America and World Bank super jerk, and most recently, the Google super jerk. Almost any Bain Capital or TPG guy dinged by HBS has flunked the interview on the jerk meter.

Non-HBS types come in all varieties. About 20% of the Harvard admissions committee members dislike investment bankers and private equity people. They are just looking for you to say something that is not politically correct. If you tell Harvard you are interested in opportunistic investments in distressed debts because you can make a killing, or even any nice version of that, you have just committed suicide. Instead, they want to hear you say you are interested in investing in companies that can really make a difference. ‘My greatest transaction was in supporting an orphan drug company that created a drug to help people with a rare type of diabetes.’ Or that you found a creative way to help finance a social enterprise in rural India to provide clean drinking water to people.’

It’s hard to believe they’ll fall for that, but I get the double bottom line emphasis, given all the accusations about greed. How should an applicant dress for the interview?

There are two mistakes you can make here. One of them is making a statement with what you wear. If you are a banker, don’t show up looking like Michael Douglas in Wall Street. You shouldn’t be on campus wearing a white collar on a blue shirt or a pair of gold cufflinks. Definitely no suspenders. You are not getting credit for suspenders when you are 24-years-old. The shoes should not scream ‘these are $1,000 shoes!’ The other mistake is more rare. Some techies often show up from work wearing chinos. You don’t need to wear a suit; you can wear a blazer, but dress in a way that shows you are taking this event seriously. For women, you should be a cross between Hilary Clinton and Carly Fiorina. Don’t make a statement in terms of accessories. Go light on the bling.

How does an applicant prep for one of these interviews?

You should know what the standard questions are. About 90% of the questions are, ‘Take me through every line of your resume.’ They say, ‘Why did you go there?’ They are obsessed with transitions. ‘What did you accomplish? How did you accomplish it? How would you do it differently?’

You also should be prepared to discuss how the economic downturn has affected you and your industry.

And then, there are frequent flyer questions like, ‘What did you think of the application? Have you attended an HBS class?’ That is an important question. Your answer should be truthful. If you haven’t, you should say so but add that you have seen a video of a class on the Harvard website. And then you should be able to do a song and dance on what you thought of a class. The big mistake is to say, ‘I went to UVA (University of Virginia) and I’ve had case study classes so it’s not going to be a problem for me. Harvard is looking for case method virgins. They want you not to have been to the big city. They want you to say, ‘Golly, holy smokes, the class was a mind blow. I was really impressed with the energy and with how the case study helped students bring to bear their different experiences and backgrounds in the class discussion.’ The wise guy UVA answer by inference says, ‘I have done this before and it won’t be a problem for me and I can give a better answer than the guy next to me when the time comes.’ That answer becomes the first drop of poison in the cup. If you keep answering that way, you are toast. Goodbye.

Another mistake people make is they think they have to deliver their whole package. They already have your package. Some people come out and say, ‘We never talked about my plans for health care reform.’ They don’t care. A large part of a Harvard interview, like 40%, can be your college experiences and internships and some jive about clubs you will join at HBS.

What’s your best advice on the famous closing question of many interviews, “Do you have any questions for me?”

The way you can kill yourself at the end is when you’re asked do you have a question for me? Basically, the interview is over, your grade has already been faxed in. They are just trying to get you out the door. But you can screw this up at the last minute. You can pick an argument. You can say, ‘Do you really think you can teach finance through the case method?’ That is an awful question to ask because you are calling their baby ugly. They believe you can learn anything through the case method. So you don’t want to get into a debate over it. A better answer is real light. If you’re from another part of the country, you might say, ‘I’ve never experienced a New England winter. Have you got any tips?’ One of the best questions would be, ‘How hard would it be for me to organize a forum around one of my passionate interests?’ They’d love that one. If the chemistry was right between you and the interviewer, you might even ask if they could recommend an Indian restaurant in Harvard Square.

You’re obviously doing a good number of mock interviews right now. What most bothers you about the whole process?

What upsets me is people who are good people but who have a bad hair day. The call I fear is from the person crying on Amtrak. They had their interview at HBS. They are on their way home on the train to New York, and they call in tears because they think they have blown their interview. If you think you’ve blown your interview at Harvard, you probably have blown it. Those are real sad calls, especially if you like the person, and they rehearse how they lost a step, then another and then tripped. If you could have prevented the first lost step, they would be in at Harvard. That happens, man, trust me. That happens. Years of work and hours of preparation and poof, it’s gone, because they could not explain why they went to Cornell for college in 30 concise seconds.

For more admissions advice from Sandy Kreisberg, also see “The World, According to Sandy"
http://poetsandquants.com/2010/09/23/the-mba-admissions-world-according-to-sandy/
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2013, 08:07
Time is moving so slow, I have normal stats, nothing special but I was told I have a very unique story and background and I have good chances at HBS. Now I have noticed two spelling mistakes on my application, Am I out? how serious do they take these typos??
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2013, 08:54
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Mahmoud80 wrote:
Time is moving so slow, I have normal stats, nothing special but I was told I have a very unique story and background and I have good chances at HBS. Now I have noticed two spelling mistakes on my application, Am I out? how serious do they take these typos??


Two spelling mistakes are not going to change your outcome, neither is something more major, like saying "I want to attend Stanford . . ." when you meant "HBS" --assuming the reasons are HBS related and not saying b.c. of the touchie feelie course and closeness to Silicon Valley.
SO don't worry about that. Even a red-faced spelling mistake like "cuntry" for "country" won't sink you, it has happened. To their credit, adcoms will get behind that and see what is under the hood in terms of stats, story, recs, and motives. If, however, sloppiness of app is reflective of not-caring in general or somehow synchs up with your resume, well, in those instances, just another reason to ding someone. Not saying that is you, but just saying.
If you want to outline your stats and story in some general way, happy to tell you what your chances are, I am the world's leading expert at that, see my stuff on Poets and Quants http://poetsandquants.com/2013/01/18/handicapping-your-shot-at-a-top-b-school/
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Last edited by hbsguru on 25 Jan 2013, 08:27, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2013, 09:07
Quote:
Hello hbsguru,

The following is an e-mail sent to you by via your account on "GMAT Club Forum".
Message sent to you follows
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[As to your mock interveiw service for HBS ]
If I was lucky enough to get an invite on the 30th of Jan, when shall I schedule? how much prep takes.

Thank you

1. Make an appt for your interview with HBS
2. send me a resume and include date and time and place of interview.
3. I will suggest some times and dates.
4. We sched the interview, at some point you send me the entire HBS app you submitted, and that is the basis of the \
mock interview. Details are on my website,
http://www.hbsguru.com/prices.html#4good luck.
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app + essay advice, free profile evaluation
GREAT HBS MOCK INTERVIEW service.

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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2013, 09:40
Mahmoud80 wrote:
Time is moving so slow, I have normal stats, nothing special but I was told I have a very unique story and background and I have good chances at HBS. Now I have noticed two spelling mistakes on my application, Am I out? how serious do they take these typos??


Honestly, your 650 is really low for Harvard/Stanford. That should be your bigger concern.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2013, 16:18
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Last edited by MBANut on 09 Aug 2013, 02:48, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2013, 22:27
MBANut wrote:
Does anyone know of an instance when a candidate has been laid off due to company downsizing during the application process and was still admitted? As in, the person lost his/her job after the application has been submitted but before interviews? How should one manage such scenario? I expect that you would have to disclose this information during the interview but does the adcom expect you to have another job/opportunity lined up? It's also a sticky situation to be looking for a permanent position now when you're expecting to relocate in the summer to enroll in school. What's the ideal scenario in this case in the eyes of the adcom, if there even is one?


I'd say get into action and find a good job asap for 2 reasons.
1st there is no 100% confirmation that you will get admitted. In this case you will probably start looking for a job in March which may then look awkward to your prospective employer.
2nd if you get a job, you can boldly tell your interviewer that yes I got layed off because of downsizing which is very natural these days but I had the ability and the market demand to get reabsorbed by a more reputed (if possible) employer. This will certainly add more weight to it. Atleast to me it would.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2013, 01:25
MBANut wrote:
Does anyone know of an instance when a candidate has been laid off due to company downsizing during the application process and was still admitted? As in, the person lost his/her job after the application has been submitted but before interviews? How should one manage such scenario? I expect that you would have to disclose this information during the interview but does the adcom expect you to have another job/opportunity lined up? It's also a sticky situation to be looking for a permanent position now when you're expecting to relocate in the summer to enroll in school. What's the ideal scenario in this case in the eyes of the adcom, if there even is one?


Definitely try to get something lined up. AdComs will probably think that if you were really good at your job, you should be able to get at least one other option.

If you actually get a job/offer you can still decide to take it or not (just tell them you'll let them know by whenever the admission decisions are released).

If you're 100% sure that you'll have something at the end of the summer (ie. you already are admitted to a school) you could also consider volunteering for a non-profit organization. But of course this would depend on you (do you like it) and your story (would it add value to your application).
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2013, 01:58
machichi wrote:
Mahmoud80 wrote:
Time is moving so slow, I have normal stats, nothing special but I was told I have a very unique story and background and I have good chances at HBS. Now I have noticed two spelling mistakes on my application, Am I out? how serious do they take these typos??


Honestly, your 650 is really low for Harvard/Stanford. That should be your bigger concern.



I am actually very worried, Although I consulted with many experts and I was told it worths a shot consedering the rest of my profile, But I am still so scared of a ding, hopefully I will hear some good news on the 30th , that would ease the stress,
Also any one have information on how many applicants applied this round two ?
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2013, 09:05
MBANut wrote:
Does anyone know of an instance when a candidate has
been laid off due to company downsizing during
the application process and was still admitted? As in, the person lost his/her
job after the application
has been submitted but before interviews?
How should one manage such scenario? I expect that you would have
to disclose this information during the interview but does the adcom expect you to
have another job/opportunity lined up? It's also a sticky situation to be looking for a permanent position now
when you're expecting to relocate in the summer to enroll in school.
What's the ideal scenario in this case in the eyes of the adcom, if there even is one?


The below is an excerpt from an AMAZING story in Poets and Quants which deals with exactly this issue,
a fly-on-wall account of the adcom at Rotman dealing with a very qualified candidate who was unemployed,
as you can see, the adcoms questions track most of the comments on this thread, and the bottom line seems to be,
it depends on candidate, prior job, and what your plans are

the entire story is a must read, it explains in detail how Rotman evaluates students by
interview, essays, etc. and how the adcom makes up their mind.
http://poetsandquants.com/2013/01/25/how-a-top-business-school-sifts-through-a-pile-of-mba-applicants/

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“I have Robert. He is 30 years old with six years of work experience.
He has a degree in economics from the London School of Economics.
He is a U.K. citizen. I interviewed him the other day on Skype, and I gave
him a 20 (the highest possible score) on the interview.”

“Oh, you had another great one!” affirms Cruz.

“Yes. I really liked him,” answers Paterson.

“Have you had other 20s?” wonders da Silva.

“Yes. I have had other 20s but he would be the best. He has a 780 GMAT.
He is 83% on his quant and 81% for integrative reasoning. His references are highly positive.
He is highly collaborative, extremely motivated, operates great with initiative,
he’s a valuable team player, a good listener and extremely personable. The only thing is he is currently unemployed.

The red flag is hoisted and the room, completely silent as Paterson described the candidate’s profile,
immediately comes alive. The questions from around the table are fired out like bullets from an assault weapon.

“For how long?” asks da Silva.

“Since June.”

“And why?” wonders da Silva. “What’s he doing?”

Several others chime in with similar questions.

“He left his job in asset trading because the firm in Switzerland was taken over and his job was deemed redundant.
He did have a job offer but turned it down because he realized he is not going to stay there.
He wants to pursue his MBA, and he hopes to do that in Toronto.
He just got married a couple of months ago and he and his wife do hope to make Toronto home.”

“Therefore Rotman,” smiles da Silva.

“So that’s Robert,” says Paterson. “I would like to see him get a scholarship. I know he’s not working right now but…”

Da Silva cuts in. “What did he say he was going to do between now and the start of the program?”

“He’s taking French courses right now and he’s speaking with the company that
offered him a job about doing some temporary consulting work,” replies Paterson.

“That’s good,” says Cruz.

“We had a similar candidate earlier in the year who you guys probably remember,” says da Silva.
“And one of the big decisions was let’s get Leigh’s perspective. She then said that she wants to see how this person would package the story for employers. Does he have presence?”

“He totally has presence,” Paterson offers. “He’s lovely.”


for the rest of the story, see

http://poetsandquants.com/2013/01/25/ho ... pplicants/
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2013, 12:48
Mahmoud80 wrote:
machichi wrote:
Mahmoud80 wrote:
Time is moving so slow, I have normal stats, nothing special but I was told I have a very unique story and background and I have good chances at HBS. Now I have noticed two spelling mistakes on my application, Am I out? how serious do they take these typos??


Honestly, your 650 is really low for Harvard/Stanford. That should be your bigger concern.



I am actually very worried, Although I consulted with many experts and I was told it worths a shot consedering the rest of my profile, But I am still so scared of a ding, hopefully I will hear some good news on the 30th , that would ease the stress,
Also any one have information on how many applicants applied this round two ?



Historically, round 2 has the most applicants.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2013, 00:28
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Last edited by MBANut on 29 Jan 2013, 19:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2013, 13:08
Just watched Rudy - I empathize with him.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 07:47
Is it true that ~80% of R2 Invites go out tomorrow?
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 07:50
naughtyelf2000 wrote:
Is it true that ~80% of R2 Invites go out tomorrow?


Apparantly last year they sent 750 invites on the first date and 100 on the second date, I can not recall where I read that, but in general most invitation go out on the first date.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 07:52
naughtyelf2000 wrote:
Is it true that ~80% of R2 Invites go out tomorrow?



According to the blog by Dee Leopold (http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages ... ector.aspx):

OK, here's the plan for Round 2 interviews:

We will send out interview invitations on two dates: Wednesday, January 30 and Thursday, February 7.

Interview locations for Round 2 are: On-campus in Boston, London, Paris, Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai, Sao Paulo, Palo Alto and New York City.

Detailed instructions for the sign-up process will be included in the interview invitation.

Interviews will be conducted between February 11 and March 8.

On February 7, all candidates not being invited to interview will be notified of their release.


So, there are two release dates for the invitations. In addition, looking back at previous years, the trend seems to be about 80% of the invites are sent out on the first day. Assuming that trend continues, I would assume that the answer to your question is: yes.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 08:11
Thks guys..

Goog luck y'all!
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 10:52
How NOT To Mess Up Your HBS Interview

HBS sends round two invites out tomorrow
[url]
http://poetsandquants.com/2013/01/29/ho ... interview/[/url]
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants   [#permalink] 29 Jan 2013, 10:52
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