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# ASK ME ANYTHING - Former Harvard Interviewer

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Status: Harvard Alum
Affiliations: Harvard University
Joined: 30 Nov 2013
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17 Dec 2013, 09:06
Willing to help out with general questions about the process, or application. Former Harvard admissions interviewer, and Harvard grad.

Will check back here often to see if I can answer any questions, people care to post --

Jillian B, CEO/President
MBA Ivy League
(646) 276-7042
MBAIvyLeagueConsulting@gmail.com
www.MBAIvyLeague.com
_________________

For more free MBA & EMBA tips and advice, check out my MBA Admissions Blog: https://www.MBAIvyLeague.com/Blog

Intern
Joined: 06 Nov 2013
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Schools: Wharton Exec '16
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18 Dec 2013, 19:10
Harvard gets plenty of good test scores and GPAs, and of course, Harvard is able to reject a lot of high numbers because of its pool of candidates. Thus, it appears Harvard emphasizes non-numerical qualifications. In your experience as an interviewer, what non-numerical elements in the application process get weighted most heavily? Also, what areas, if any, tend to be those that create red flags for Harvard?
Status: Harvard Alum
Affiliations: Harvard University
Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 170
Location: United States (NY)
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18 Dec 2013, 21:55
The essays, and the interview (if offered). Those are the two most important aspects for an applicant, even above test scores and former grades.

Red flags would be very inconsistent work experience, or work experience that isn't at all related from one job to the next.

Jillian B, CEO/President
MBA Ivy League
(646) 276-7042
MBAIvyLeagueConsulting@gmail.com
http://www.MBAIvyLeague.com
_________________

For more free MBA & EMBA tips and advice, check out my MBA Admissions Blog: https://www.MBAIvyLeague.com/Blog

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18 Dec 2013, 23:14
Hello Sir

I am a 24 year old female from India and i need to know that since IT engineers from India are frowned upon by the admission committee most of the time.
Will it be a nice move if someone switches from IT to consulting , will it be taken positively as i intend to make this switch because i have an interest in consulting and i would like to pursue my MBA in consulting only.

Thanks a ton.
Status: Harvard Alum
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29 Dec 2013, 18:07
Hi, it is not true that IT's from India are frowned upon, the competition is just high. The best thing you can do, is try to work for a large firm, preferably one well-known in the U.S. Moving into consulting is a good idea, simply to differentiate yourself and specialize. Anything that will help you stand out, in terms of other professionals, will give you an edge. Thanks!
_________________

For more free MBA & EMBA tips and advice, check out my MBA Admissions Blog: https://www.MBAIvyLeague.com/Blog

Status: Harvard Alum
Affiliations: Harvard University
Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 170
Location: United States (NY)
Followers: 14

Kudos [?]: 30 [0], given: 4

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28 Feb 2014, 10:21
Still happy to help answer any questions about the MBA or EMBA process. I'm a former Harvard interviewer, and Harvard grad and specialize in the Ivy League.

MBA Ivy Consulting
www.MBAIvyLeague.com
_________________

For more free MBA & EMBA tips and advice, check out my MBA Admissions Blog: https://www.MBAIvyLeague.com/Blog

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28 Feb 2014, 10:33
From your experience interviewing full-time MBA candidates, what main components (like a top 5 list or something) make up the criteria for an interview "grade"?
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28 Feb 2014, 12:53
The best answer I could give you, is actually here:

It's both interesting, and accurate.
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Manager
Joined: 04 Sep 2012
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28 Feb 2014, 13:35
MBAIvy wrote:
The best answer I could give you, is actually here:

It's both interesting, and accurate.

Thanks Jillian.
Status: Harvard Alum
Affiliations: Harvard University
Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 170
Location: United States (NY)
Followers: 14

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01 Mar 2014, 18:15
No problem. Anybody else have a question?

Jillian
MBA Ivy Consulting
(646) 276-7042 (EST)
www.MBAIvyLeague.com
_________________

For more free MBA & EMBA tips and advice, check out my MBA Admissions Blog: https://www.MBAIvyLeague.com/Blog

Intern
Joined: 05 Jan 2014
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04 Mar 2014, 09:36
Hey Jillian,

thanks for this thread and your time. I hope you can help me.
There is one question I can’t stop thinking about. Whilst in germany „University“ and „University of applied sciences“ are the standard academic institutions, there is a third concept called „Dual University“. It is getting quite famous in the past years especially, however was established the 70's „already“.
I did my bachelors on such an institution. I’m not sure if you ever heard about it (and basically this is already my point): Long story short, students have a contract with a company during the time of study (without contract you can not apply), each semester is squeezed into ~3 months and the „other half“ of each semester you spend your time in the company as a trainee.

Nowadays these institutions enjoy a very good reputation in germany, are pretty competitive, rank 1st in terms of career development comparisons (initial salary increase, percentage of leadership roles, …) towards the „conventional“ institutions. It enjoys good accreditation, is evaluated with 210 ECTS (6 semesters) and I received a double degree from Open University (B.Hons.).
I do not want to advertise it!! I just want to give background to get an objective feedback.

I was quite happy about this form of education, but I feel like I need to explain the background in my future application materials (would be terrible not to be accepted because some adcom did simply never hear about it). On the other hand, if I start to explain the concept of my University, it may look like I want to justify or apologize something that I’m actually proud of.
I may could ignore entirely as it is accredited, if it wasn’t for something so important…

From your experience, how do you expect the process? Maybe it is not at all that new to the adcoms, I actually am pretty sure that I’m not the first But is it a killer for my application? Does an additional attachment question the quality or is it a sign of professional and thorough thinking?

I simply feel unhappy with both solutions and would like to hear some input from you. Maybe it even is such a big thing that I can forget entirely to join a top US B school?!

Your (as well as all others!) time and impression is highly appreciated,
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06 Mar 2014, 20:04
Dual University does not disqualify you from going to a top U.S. school. You have a degree, right? It's going to come down to your GMAT scores, resume, and how well you answer their essays questions on the application. GMAT being #1, as unless you went to Cambridge or Oxford, that really is how they compare international students -- with the test score and work experience.

I wouldn't spend much time explaining the degree, unless it is pertinent to a particular question and simply becomes interesting to mention.

Focus on the GMAT, and happy to answer any more questions --

Thanks!
Jillian
CEO/President
MBA Ivy League
www.MBAIvyLeague.com
_________________

For more free MBA & EMBA tips and advice, check out my MBA Admissions Blog: https://www.MBAIvyLeague.com/Blog

Intern
Joined: 04 May 2012
Posts: 24
Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
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06 Mar 2014, 20:55
1
KUDOS
What Harvard school did you do interviews for, and what Harvard school did you attend?
Status: Harvard Alum
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Joined: 30 Nov 2013
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06 Mar 2014, 21:12
I have a graduate degree (MA) from Harvard, and focus my firm on helping MBA & EMBA candidates specifically targeting the Top Ten and Ivy League programs. I was an official interviewer for Harvard's College of Arts & Sciences, however have been focused solely on helping MBA candidates for the last few years, and have an excellent success rate.

Jillian
CEO/President
MBA Ivy League
http://www.MBAIvyLeague.com
_________________

For more free MBA & EMBA tips and advice, check out my MBA Admissions Blog: https://www.MBAIvyLeague.com/Blog

Last edited by MBAIvy on 04 Apr 2014, 20:48, edited 2 times in total.
Current Student
Joined: 03 Jan 2013
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Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 750 Q48 V46
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07 Mar 2014, 09:18
Is it true that adcoms sort the applicants into general "pools" of comparable background and/or future plans and compare them against one another? I read in some MBA book that they do this, so that for example all engineering people compete with other engineering people, bankers compete against bankers, etc. So that if you're in a field that has a smaller applicant pool, you have fewer people against which to compete.

This concerns me because my background is in engineering and I'd like to transition to private equity. I just got a PE job a couple weeks ago and will be applying this fall for 2015 matriculation, and I know my uncommon background isn't going to be comparable to people who have went the traditional route of Ivy League undergrad, bulge bracket banking analyst stint, maybe mega fund PE position before applying to school.

Also, I've heard a lot of people tell me that HBS is pretty much a pipe dream for me, because while I do have great leadership experience in volunteering it wasn't on a grand scale like going to Africa and managing a massive vaccine program or anything haha. And my professional experience, while I have good leadership experience at work, isn't at F500 company or massive private equity firm or anything like that. Pedigree is something that I just don't have. I'm still looking for ways to improve my application over the coming months, whether that means more volunteer experience or what, so I'd also be open to hearing some ideas on that. I have another thread detailing my background here if you're interested:

updated-profile-can-i-make-the-jump-to-hsw-168435.html
Status: Harvard Alum
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29 Mar 2014, 09:52
It is all about how you tell your story -- how you craft your personal narrative in your essays. I can have two clients, with the exact same background you describe, and one can get in and the other not, simply because of the skill they used in telling their professional journey. So, there is actually no easy answer to your question, but the essays for you will be key, and that is what I help my clients with, in terms of the "how" to structure a stellar answer to the school's question.

Hope that helps!
Jillian
MBA Ivy League
(646) 276-7042 (New York)
www.MBAIvyLeague.com
_________________

For more free MBA & EMBA tips and advice, check out my MBA Admissions Blog: https://www.MBAIvyLeague.com/Blog

Manager
Joined: 09 Jan 2015
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17 Jan 2015, 22:23
I read in the forum that HBS is averse to admitting lawyers in its MBA class. Is that true?
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22 Jan 2015, 17:45
I do not believe that is true. I know plenty of lawyers who have gotten into top MBA programs. You just need to make an EXCELLENT case regarding why the MBA degree is right for you, at this time in your career.

Jillian
MBA Ivy League
(646) 276-7042 (New York)

www.MBAIvyLeague.com
_________________

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22 Jan 2015, 19:50
I already have a BBA in Financial Analysis(GPA 4.0). I am working on a Second Bachelors in Music Education. I have 8 months of work experience in the corporate world. I am legally blind and I spent two months in a rehab program for the blind. The way things are going i could score upwards of 740 on the GMAT. My story is more interesting than you could imagine. Do I have a shot at a top Business School? I am a 25 year old hispanic male from an impoverished background.

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23 Jan 2015, 09:55
Schools are always looking to diversify their class, but you have to have the professional experience on top of the diversity and even scores. A 740 GMAT will get you looked at, but unless your internships and work experience *usually 3-4 years required for the Top Ten schools, your profile is not enough.

Of course, a compelling story in your essays about overcoming adversity is always good, but without the professional experience or graduating from a top school as an undergrad where you can get noticed as an alum, it's not a slam dunk.

You need the experience.

Jillian
MBA Ivy League

www.MBAIvyLeague.com
_________________

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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING - Former Harvard Interviewer   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2015, 09:55

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