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HBS Essays & Leadership: Too much of a good thing?

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Manager
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Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 211
Location: United States
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Technology
Schools: Haas '15
GMAT 1: 680 Q47 V37
GPA: 3.6
WE: Engineering (Computer Hardware)
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Kudos [?]: 62 [0], given: 4

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HBS Essays & Leadership: Too much of a good thing? [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2008, 21:56
Now that my HBS essay topics are starting to come together I have a question on the holistic aspect.

In each of my essays I emphasize to a certain degree a leadership role I have played. Fortunately I feel I have experiences in each realm (work, extra-curricular, and personal) to craft a well-rounded application without too much redundancy.

Granted that specific examples would help, my general concern is: will sharing leadership anecdotes in every essay somehow come off as if I'm trying too hard to sell my fit with Harvard's core value? Or put another way, could this be viewed by adcoms as if I'm painting too perfect of a picture? Is putting all my eggs in the "leadership" basket a poor essay strategy?
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Re: HBS Essays & Leadership: Too much of a good thing? [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2008, 08:40
It's hard to say without knowing you / the rest of your app. Even so, it is probably hard to tell unless you are an adcom.

One thing you need to do, though, is think of leadership broadly. Don't focus too much on managing a team at work or other formal leadership positions. Think about affecting change, and in a broad set of situations, such as: a couple of extracurriculars (sports team, community, non profit, starting up a business or pursuing something you did not need to) and a few work or college related roles. It is also good to have at least one example in which you worked in a team without being the leader and yet were an important part of such team. Choose situations you expect your recommenders to write about, as well, so the case is more solid.

Disclaimer: the above is my educated guess on what you should do and not based on any specific knowledge on the application evaluation process.

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Re: HBS Essays & Leadership: Too much of a good thing? [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2008, 13:35
lepium wrote:
Choose situations you expect your recommenders to write about, as well, so the case is more solid.
L.


Interesting... I've actually heard otherwise - that recommenders should write about different situations than you.
Writing the same situation may make it seem like you haven't had much leadership experience.
Then again... I don't remember where I heard/read that from.

Anyone else have thoughts/experience on this issue?
Re: HBS Essays & Leadership: Too much of a good thing?   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2008, 13:35
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