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HBS essays

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HBS essays [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2006, 14:03
Paul,

I've volunteered at a troubled youth center by mentoring teenagers on probation over the past 2 years. I had the leadership roles in getting some of my co-workers to volunteer and organizing a monthly "fun" activity. My question is I lack room in my HBS application to list this.

#1 not applicable (undergrad)
#2 first accomplishment is a significant personal achievement. 2nd and 3rd are work related.
#3 significant leadership role on the job
#4 not applicable (ethics)
#5 not applicable (career)
#6 explain career shift.

My recommender is willing to write a glowing rec to explain my effect on her organization. However, without explaining it in my apps, will this take away from the accomplishment?

My first 2 recs are from my supervisors. I wanted to use the 3rd for my extra-cirr activities. I have someone at work (a senior analyst; he is a bit above me in on the org chart but we are basically on the same level) who is willing to write the third but do you think this it would be an imbalance to have 3 work recommendations?

Thanks in advance for your insights.

Michael
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Posts: 1670
Location: San Diego, California
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Re: HBS essays [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2006, 14:57
mrmikec wrote:
Paul,

I've volunteered at a troubled youth center by mentoring teenagers on probation over the past 2 years. I had the leadership roles in getting some of my co-workers to volunteer and organizing a monthly "fun" activity. My question is I lack room in my HBS application to list this.

#1 not applicable (undergrad)
#2 first accomplishment is a significant personal achievement. 2nd and 3rd are work related.
#3 significant leadership role on the job
#4 not applicable (ethics)
#5 not applicable (career)
#6 explain career shift.

My recommender is willing to write a glowing rec to explain my effect on her organization. However, without explaining it in my apps, will this take away from the accomplishment?

My first 2 recs are from my supervisors. I wanted to use the 3rd for my extra-cirr activities. I have someone at work (a senior analyst; he is a bit above me in on the org chart but we are basically on the same level) who is willing to write the third but do you think this it would be an imbalance to have 3 work recommendations?

Thanks in advance for your insights.

Michael


Michael,

Your HBS essay mix seems a bit work heavy as is. Not sure why you're spending a while essay (#6) on a career shift; that's usually a few sentences at most. So I would tentatively vote for putting the troubled youth story there. I do think it would look a little odd if you have a reco letter from an organization that you don't even mention in your essays. I agree that three business reco letters is too many, as a general rule.

Good luck,
_________________

Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

Follow Paul Bodine on Twitter

Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 162
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 0

Re: HBS essays [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2006, 00:54
Paul,

Thank you for the insights. My career shift was quite profound. I went from a state agency to a leading finanical research company doing merger analysis. There were some personal reasons that played into my career path. I was told that this would be noteworthy to the adcom. Do you have a different take?

Further, I am primarly interested in corporate finance (not hardcore quant programs like Chicago or MIT) I am applying the HBS, CBS, Wharton, and Stern. Any additional schools you would suggest?

GPA 3.45
GMAT 720

Any thoughts on LBS? Would one be pigeonholed to working in Europe if they attend a European school?

Thank you again. You have been a wonderful resource.

Michael

pbodine wrote:
mrmikec wrote:
Michael,

Your HBS essay mix seems a bit work heavy as is. Not sure why you're spending a while essay (#6) on a career shift; that's usually a few sentences at most. So I would tentatively vote for putting the troubled youth story there. I do think it would look a little odd if you have a reco letter from an organization that you don't even mention in your essays. I agree that three business reco letters is too many, as a general rule.

Good luck,


pbodine wrote:
mrmikec wrote:
Paul,

I've volunteered at a troubled youth center by mentoring teenagers on probation over the past 2 years. I had the leadership roles in getting some of my co-workers to volunteer and organizing a monthly "fun" activity. My question is I lack room in my HBS application to list this.

#1 not applicable (undergrad)
#2 first accomplishment is a significant personal achievement. 2nd and 3rd are work related.
#3 significant leadership role on the job
#4 not applicable (ethics)
#5 not applicable (career)
#6 explain career shift.

My recommender is willing to write a glowing rec to explain my effect on her organization. However, without explaining it in my apps, will this take away from the accomplishment?

My first 2 recs are from my supervisors. I wanted to use the 3rd for my extra-cirr activities. I have someone at work (a senior analyst; he is a bit above me in on the org chart but we are basically on the same level) who is willing to write the third but do you think this it would be an imbalance to have 3 work recommendations?

Thanks in advance for your insights.

Michael
SVP
SVP
avatar
Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 1670
Location: San Diego, California
Followers: 12

Kudos [?]: 163 [0], given: 0

Re: HBS essays [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2006, 15:43
mrmikec wrote:
Paul,

Thank you for the insights. My career shift was quite profound. I went from a state agency to a leading finanical research company doing merger analysis. There were some personal reasons that played into my career path. I was told that this would be noteworthy to the adcom. Do you have a different take?

Further, I am primarly interested in corporate finance (not hardcore quant programs like Chicago or MIT) I am applying the HBS, CBS, Wharton, and Stern. Any additional schools you would suggest?

GPA 3.45
GMAT 720

Any thoughts on LBS? Would one be pigeonholed to working in Europe if they attend a European school?

Thank you again. You have been a wonderful resource.

Michael

pbodine wrote:
mrmikec wrote:
Michael,

Your HBS essay mix seems a bit work heavy as is. Not sure why you're spending a while essay (#6) on a career shift; that's usually a few sentences at most. So I would tentatively vote for putting the troubled youth story there. I do think it would look a little odd if you have a reco letter from an organization that you don't even mention in your essays. I agree that three business reco letters is too many, as a general rule.

Good luck,


pbodine wrote:
mrmikec wrote:
Paul,

I've volunteered at a troubled youth center by mentoring teenagers on probation over the past 2 years. I had the leadership roles in getting some of my co-workers to volunteer and organizing a monthly "fun" activity. My question is I lack room in my HBS application to list this.

#1 not applicable (undergrad)
#2 first accomplishment is a significant personal achievement. 2nd and 3rd are work related.
#3 significant leadership role on the job
#4 not applicable (ethics)
#5 not applicable (career)
#6 explain career shift.

My recommender is willing to write a glowing rec to explain my effect on her organization. However, without explaining it in my apps, will this take away from the accomplishment?

My first 2 recs are from my supervisors. I wanted to use the 3rd for my extra-cirr activities. I have someone at work (a senior analyst; he is a bit above me in on the org chart but we are basically on the same level) who is willing to write the third but do you think this it would be an imbalance to have 3 work recommendations?

Thanks in advance for your insights.

Michael


Michael,

Given the nature of your career switch, discussing it in essay 6 does make sense. Not sure Chicago and MIT would warm to your characterization of them as "hardcore quant" schools. :-) Their placement statistics seem more balanced than that to me. Maybe also consider UCLA and Stanford (if you're feeling lucky). LBS would also be good. When I look at the firms who recruit the most MBAs from LBS I see some Euro-centrism, but also many internationally oriented U.S. firms (like McKinsey and Citigroup). I believe an LBS MBA would be an big asset in a U.S. job search but obviously not as big as an HBS, Stanford, or Wharton MBA.

Good luck,
_________________

Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

Follow Paul Bodine on Twitter

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