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My chances of harvard mba offer?

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My chances of harvard mba offer? [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2013, 03:59
Hi guys,

this is my first post here so not sure if I'm doing this right, so bare with.

i am a british student who is due to complete my post grad (Legal Practice Course i.e. the bar) in june 2014, and am aiming for a distinction (highest mark- i dont know what this would be in terms of GPA)
i've been thinking about applying for Harvard's MBA.

I did my undergraduate at a not so prestigious UK university (ex poly) graduating with a LLB Law 2.1 Hons (believe thats around the 3.5-7 mark right?). After speaking with my tutor and telling her about my MBA aspirations I've been doing GMAT mocks with her, amongst studying for grad school. My average marks so far have been around 725-30. I have a good level of experience and softs etc. I just wanted someone to give me an idea of my standing....?

I apologise if this message seems all over the place! Any insight would be extremely helpful! Thanks guys
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Re: My chances of harvard mba offer? [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2013, 04:43
britishlawyer wrote:
Hi guys,

this is my first post here so not sure if I'm doing this right, so bare with.

i am a british student who is due to complete my post grad (Legal Practice Course i.e. the bar) in june 2014, and am aiming for a distinction (highest mark- i dont know what this would be in terms of GPA)
i've been thinking about applying for Harvard's MBA.

I did my undergraduate at a not so prestigious UK university (ex poly) graduating with a LLB Law 2.1 Hons (believe thats around the 3.5-7 mark right?). After speaking with my tutor and telling her about my MBA aspirations I've been doing GMAT mocks with her, amongst studying for grad school. My average marks so far have been around 725-30. I have a good level of experience and softs etc. I just wanted someone to give me an idea of my standing....?

I apologise if this message seems all over the place! Any insight would be extremely helpful! Thanks guys


I am from the UK so I can hopefully help a bit:

The bar course is pretty impressive. While business schools do take legal professionals, you need to have a good reason as to "Why MBA?". If you fail to have a good reason why a bar course and then an MBA makes sense one after another, it will be a difficult sell.

Your ex-poly uni. For Harvard this is an uphill battle. From my experience applying so far, I think outside of UK if you did not go to Oxbridge name recognition is basically nil. Also 2.1 is fine in the UK but for US, 1st will be a lot better. They really do care about their grades due to a somewhat inflated grading scale. 2.1 is generally around anywhere from 3.1-3.5 I guess not as high as you estimated unfortunately. The bar course will help and if you can get a distinction that's strong. With your law background, you will need to prove to business schools your quantitative acumen. A 730 with a really high quant score will help on that front.

You didn't mention about ay work experience. If you have no work experience then that is a real problem. Schools like Harvard and other top tiers school really don't want people who are collecting qualifications. So your path so far is law degree to bar course directly to MBA then you will need a really good reason why those steps are logical.

Those are just a few comments that might help. As for your chances. Sorry to burst your bubble but HBS are extremely selective and you need a concrete story along with exceptional grades, GMAT, work experience, story about why MBA to get an interview let alone an offer. If you can tick all those boxes then you have a shot. Without knowing why you want to apply, it's difficult to give you any more critique.
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Re: My chances of harvard mba offer? [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2013, 12:46
Harvard do a joint law and MBA course. There is an association for those that are studying in the joint programme. You might wish to contact them to get a better feel of HBS and what you need to do to make yourself a good candidate.

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Re: My chances of harvard mba offer? [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2013, 18:50
britishlawyer wrote:
Hi guys,

this is my first post here so not sure if I'm doing this right, so bare with.

i am a british student who is due to complete my post grad (Legal Practice Course i.e. the bar) in june 2014, and am aiming for a distinction (highest mark- i dont know what this would be in terms of GPA)
i've been thinking about applying for Harvard's MBA.

I did my undergraduate at a not so prestigious UK university (ex poly) graduating with a LLB Law 2.1 Hons (believe thats around the 3.5-7 mark right?). After speaking with my tutor and telling her about my MBA aspirations I've been doing GMAT mocks with her, amongst studying for grad school. My average marks so far have been around 725-30. I have a good level of experience and softs etc. I just wanted someone to give me an idea of my standing....?

I apologise if this message seems all over the place! Any insight would be extremely helpful! Thanks guys


The message is all over the place, to be honest.

1. Legal Practice Course -- honestly, that's probably not going to be of much relevance. It is by no means a very difficult or selective program (believe me, I've seen enough of the graduates of these programs in interviews and at work to be able to judge that it is a poor predictor of success in the practice of law--a better predictor is where they got their LLB) and isn't likely to compensate for any deficiencies in your undergraduate performance. Have you obtained a training contract with a law firm (and if so, please give a rough indication of the firm's standing, e.g. Magic Circle, Silver Circle, regional, you don't need to name names)? That will be another key data point. Based on the fact that you're doing the LPC, I'm going to assume (and you may correct me if I'm wrong) that you do not have much (if any) work experience as a lawyer.

2. A 2.1 Honours is by no means near a 3.5 - 3.7 GPA. Generally, that would indeed be closer to a 3.1 or 3.2 GPA, which is pretty far below the average at most top business schools. Also, the pedigree of your law school is definitely going to be an issue; at HBS (and any other top b-school) you will be competing against candidates with a 1st from Oxbridge. What makes you a better choice than one of them?

3. A decent GMAT score might help, especially if you manage to do well on the quantitative section. Did you have any quantitative coursework in school (probably not at university but at the GCE)?

4. What is your end goal post-MBA? Why do you NEED one? This matters a lot. What is your story? What differentiates you from hundreds of other applicants with equal or better experience, grades, and pedigree? What have you done that shows that you have the potential to change the world? Without this, you can have a 1st from Oxbridge, a job at a Magic Circle firm, and still not get an invite to interview, let alone an admit.

I'm not seeing a lot of coherence here and without further details, I'm going to hazard a guess that you'd be unlikely to be competitive.
Re: My chances of harvard mba offer?   [#permalink] 29 Oct 2013, 18:50
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