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 four sub-questions.
Joint program applicants for the Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Kennedy School must provide an additional essay.
Essay 1: Tell us about three of your accomplishments. (600 words) Essay 2: Tell us three setbacks you have faced. (600 words) Essay 3: Why do you want an MBA? (400 words) Essay 4 (for MBA Applicants): Answer a question you wish we'd asked. (400 words) Essay 4 (for 2+2 Applicants): What would you like the MBA Admissions Board to know about your undergraduate academic experience? (400 words)
Recommendation Questions (3 recommenders)
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)
Employment Statistics Median Base Salary: $112,000 Top Industries: Financial Services (35%), Consulting (25%), Healthcare and Technology (7% each) Top Locations: Northeast (42%), International (20%), West (15%) Number of students starting their own business: 24 (2.7%)
CASE-BASED LEARNING AT HBS There’s only one way to learn the demanding art of leadership – and that’s by leading. That’s why a Harvard Business School education has been, and continues to be, rooted in the practical lessons of the case method.
By engaging students in business conflicts developed from real events, cases immerse students in the challenges they are expected to face. Challenges that require thoughtful analyses with limited or even insufficient information. That require effective responses within ambiguous circumstances or complex economic and political contexts. That, most of all, demand decisive action that must be articulated – and even defended – among other talented, ambitious individuals.
Today, the case method has evolved into a sophisticated instrument, under the watchful guidance of carefully trained faculty, for transforming a student’s potential talent into a powerful capacity for effective decision making. HBS faculty continue to lead the world in case practice, creating more than eighty percent of the case materials used in business schools across the globe.
STIMULATING PERSONAL GROWTH BY ENCOURAGING INTERACTION In addition to maintaining a self-contained and easily-navigable campus, HBS reinforces its learning model through:
A first year section experience in which MBA students participate in a shared curriculum with eighty-nine peers. The intensity of section life builds a foundation of trust that enables students to take risks and develop greater confidence. Many of the friendships formed within the section are sustained for life, and students routinely report that section life is one of the most rewarding aspects of the HBS MBA.
Small, cross-section learning teams that help students prepare for their cases through collaborative study and opportunities to test their ideas.
Sophisticated and specially-designed classrooms that reinforce case method instruction through amphitheatre seating, outstanding acoustics and advanced multimedia technologies for audio, video, Internet and real-time class surveys.
In the second, Elective Curriculum year of study, more than half of our MBA students take their education directly into the workplace. Students choose among the following two field options:
Field Study Teams: Under the supervision of a faculty advisor, teams of three to five students work with sponsoring organizations to conduct business research, plan a product launch, or develop new business opportunities, among other initiatives.
Individual Student Research: Students work one-on-one with a faculty advisor to explore specific topics of interest related to potential career plans and job searches.
The Immersion Experience Program (IXP) maximizes participant-centered learning experiences by integrating the School's distinctive case method of teaching with field-based learning activities that integrate first- and second-year students during the January break. Students can collaborate with faculty to create in-depth explorations of regional economies or topical economic issues in locations throughout the world. These “working trips” combine the adventure of travel with an intense learning experience that introduces participants to prominent leaders in emerging markets, new technologies and innovative business practices.
In previous years, HBS students participated in Immersions such as:
China Immersion: Under the guidance of HBS Professors Richard Vietor and David Collis, and Harvard University China scholar Professor William Kirby, MBA students have met with business leaders and government officials in Beijing, Hangzhou, Sanya, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.
New Orleans Service Immersion: HBS students, faculty, and staff members traveled to New Orleans to contribute time and talent to a variety of post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding efforts in K-12 education, strategic planning development projects, Habitat for Humanity homebuilding efforts, and career support for Dillard University undergraduates.
Healthcare Immersion: Leveraging Boston's status as one of the world's great medical centers, HBS students have studied two medical specialties a day through activities including field trips to local labs, companies, and hospitals. Leading physicians such as cancer researcher Dr. Judah Folkman and medical ethicist Dr. Jerry Avorn have led discussions on surgery, emerging science, and pharmaceutical research.
Harvard Business School has opened the doors on an innovative new program for college juniors. It's called HBS 2+2: two years of work, then two years of immersion in the Harvard Business School MBA Program. Arrive with potential and passion. Leave with impressive, practical tools for success.
Graduate College > Work 2 years > HBS 2 years > Earn MBA