Harvard

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Harvard Business School


Application Deadlines

  • Round 1: October 2, 2007. Decisions released by January 16, 2008
  • Round 2: January 3, 2008. Decisions released by March 26, 2008
  • Round 3: March 12, 2008. Decisions released by May 14, 2008

Essays

  1. What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit)
  2. What have you learned from a mistake? (400-word limit)

3. Please respond to two of the following (400-word limit each):

  1. What would you like the MBA Admissions Board to know about your undergraduate academic experience?
  2. Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization.
  3. What area of the world are you most curious about and why?
  4. What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you? 

Joint degree applicants:

  1. How do you expect the joint degree experience to benefit you on both a professional and a personal level? (400-word limit)

Overview (by Hjort)

Harvard Business School is probably the most influential business school in the world and almost certainly the best known by the general public. HBS has played an important role (either directly or as an inspiration) in the histories of many other business schools including IMD, INSEAD, Western Ontario, and IESE. We collectively owe a considerable debt to HBS for the development of the case method and for making business an academic subject worthy of respect.

However, it is important to restrain the urge of some MBA applicants to engage in hero worship of HBS. HBS is an important institution but a degree from HBS is neither necessary nor sufficient to become a CEO at major firm, a successful entrepreneur, or an effective manager.

I once heard HBS described as the WalMart of business schools - everyone has heard of it, it is ultracompetitive, and its practices are extremely influential but I am not so sure I would want to do all of my shopping there. The reader is welcome to judge for herself if this analogy is accurate.

  • Rankings
    • FT 2005 ranks Harvard as tied with Penn for #1 worldwide.
    • EIU 2004 ranks Harvard #4, just above IMD and Chicago GSB, and just below Dartmouth.

Harvard's best showing on BW has been #2 and its worst has been #5 (three times). Northwestern has enjoyed a higher ranking than Harvard every time.

c. 1996 Harvard enjoyed the second highest gross increment among the ultra elite schools (starting pay - preMBA pay). However, its gross ratio was the fifth highest among the ultraelites.

c. 2002 Harvard had the second highest gross increment (shared with three other schools) and had the second lowest gross ratio of the ultra elites.

Executive Bios

Graduates of Harvard are the CEOs of a truly impressive list of corporations as shown below. The list of CEOs produced by Harvard Law alone would put the CEO list of most business schools to shame.

CEOs: General Motors, Cardinal Health, General Electric, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, American Express (Law), Merck, Bank One, Sara Lee, 3M, Amerada Hess, Tenet Healthcare, Staples, Toys R Us, Pepsi Bottling, Colgate-Palmolive, AES, Schering-Plough, Boise Cascade, Sempra Energy, T Rowe Price, Meredith, Novell, Teradyne, MBIA, Zions Bancorp, Tiffany & Co., eBay, Transocean, Corning, Boston Scientific, Sealed Air, Starwood Hotels, Starbucks, Liz Claiborne, Black & Decker, WW Grainger, Anadarko, Danaher, State Street, KeyCorp, Cummins, Dillards, CSX, JP Morgan, Fannie Mae (Law), Viacom (Law), Moody's (Law), AIMCO (Law), Pitney Bowes (Law).

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