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Calling all Harvard (HBS) Applicants Class of 2020 (2018 intake)

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Re: Calling all Harvard (HBS) Applicants Class of 2020 (2018 intake) [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2017, 18:09
Thanks for the response! NateFromHBS you should be a motivational speaker--you just got me pumped! :-D I will shoot you a PM with that info--thanks for your time!

On a separate note, does anyone have any insight into the HBX Core program? I'm interested in taking it after my applications are submitted (coming from a nontraditional background, I think it would be a great transition tool); however, if it helps tremendously on the apps, I would look into an earlier course--just afraid of stretching myself too thin. Thanks for the feedback!

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New post 15 Jun 2017, 01:12
Hi Everyone,

Applying to R1 as well. Currently researching for the essays.

My Profile

2 years startup Founder and CEO of a angel funded Media Tech startup in India
1.5 years as Hardware engineer at Qualcomm India

Bachelors in Technology with Honors . CGPA 3.5

GMAT 780 | Yet to take TOEFL

National level table tennis player in Under 16 age group. University Table Tennis captain.

Any inputs would be welcome

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New post 15 Jun 2017, 11:31
pg1991 wrote:
Hi Everyone,

Applying to R1 as well. Currently researching for the essays.

My Profile

2 years startup Founder and CEO of a angel funded Media Tech startup in India
1.5 years as Hardware engineer at Qualcomm India

Bachelors in Technology with Honors . CGPA 3.5

GMAT 780 | Yet to take TOEFL

National level table tennis player in Under 16 age group. University Table Tennis captain.

Any inputs would be welcome


You, like many folks, are well qualified - you'll need to focus on all the other parts of your application.

Make sure your essay, recommendations, and short answers are excellent.

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JLyons wrote:
Thanks for the response! NateFromHBS you should be a motivational speaker--you just got me pumped! :-D I will shoot you a PM with that info--thanks for your time!

On a separate note, does anyone have any insight into the HBX Core program? I'm interested in taking it after my applications are submitted (coming from a nontraditional background, I think it would be a great transition tool); however, if it helps tremendously on the apps, I would look into an earlier course--just afraid of stretching myself too thin. Thanks for the feedback!


I'm taking it right now (it may be required if you are admitted). I don't think it helps tremendously on the apps.

It won't hurt your application, but I don't think it adds too much, I'd give the recommendation of focusing your time on polishing up your essays & short answers. I think you'll get much more value from that.

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Calling all Harvard (HBS) Applicants Class of 2020 (2018 intake) [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2017, 15:16
aeropower wrote:
JLyons wrote:
Thanks for the response! NateFromHBS you should be a motivational speaker--you just got me pumped! :-D I will shoot you a PM with that info--thanks for your time!

On a separate note, does anyone have any insight into the HBX Core program? I'm interested in taking it after my applications are submitted (coming from a nontraditional background, I think it would be a great transition tool); however, if it helps tremendously on the apps, I would look into an earlier course--just afraid of stretching myself too thin. Thanks for the feedback!


I'm taking it right now (it may be required if you are admitted). I don't think it helps tremendously on the apps.

It won't hurt your application, but I don't think it adds too much, I'd give the recommendation of focusing your time on polishing up your essays & short answers. I think you'll get much more value from that.


Thanks JLyons, but more importantly thank you for your service and for the example you set to other enlisted military for applying.

While I agree with Aeropower that HBX Core is often redundant as many (and especially military folks like us) are required to take after being accepted, and would add that it may be more expensive to take before you are accepted since you will not be eligible for HBS financial aid, I would disagree that successfully completing HBS won't have an effect on your admissions prospects. In fact, the Admissions Committee members I interact with often cite HBX as a great way for non-traditional candidates to strengthen their applications by demonstrating quantitative aptitude, suitability for the Harvard culture, and commitment to the MBA. If you lack credible quantitative experience and have the time to spare, HBX is a fantastic way to bolster your resume.

I'd add too that it's not just HBS that sees things this way. Increasingly HBX is setting the standard for certified pre-MBA preparation and many other schools (like Wharton, CBS, and Tuck) view HBX as a positive credential demonstrating the likelihood of your success in their classroom. It's also apparently very well done. In your case I would go for it, time permitting.
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New post 21 Jun 2017, 04:49
aeropower - thanks so much for sticking around to help new applicants. I had a few questions for you. A lot of people are under the impression that the short answer questions in the application form are really important for HBS (not trying to say they are not for other schools) because they have the overarching "everything else" theme for their essay.

How did you approach that? Did you have commonalities among your short answer and your essay? Was your essay entirely personal in nature? I'd love to know how you approached the application last year!
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souvik101990 wrote:
aeropower - thanks so much for sticking around to help new applicants. I had a few questions for you. A lot of people are under the impression that the short answer questions in the application form are really important for HBS (not trying to say they are not for other schools) because they have the overarching "everything else" theme for their essay.

How did you approach that? Did you have commonalities among your short answer and your essay? Was your essay entirely personal in nature? I'd love to know how you approached the application last year!


More than happy to help, this forum has been very helpful for me! I think that the short answer questions are very important as they answer an explicit question that HBS has for your application (compared to the essay that is open).

Taking a look back at application, here are a few bits of my experience:

1. My approach was to make sure there weren't any conflicting messages or takeaways; also, making sure not to repeat myself too much. I think the important, and difficult, thing to do is figure out how to convey your message succinctly and clearly, while not putting down too many words (there are words/character limits as well). The short answer questions and essay (as well as rest of the package) need to compliment each other.

2. My essay was a blend of personal and professional - I would say 80% personal and 20% professional. By personal, I don't mean a sad story or something objective. I wrote about: my view/perspective, how I felt in the moment, what drove me, and what drives me.

3. As for my whole application, back to point 1; I reviewed multiple times to make sure there aren't any conflicting messages as well as made sure that every opportunity that I had to add on the application complimented each other without repeating.

Prior to my reviews, I had a checklist of topics/items that I wanted my application to convey - X,Y,Z. After going through my application, I asked myself whether or not I conveyed these items. If not, I went back for another round.
--
Business School applications are no joke, they require a great deal of time - preparing, crafting, reviewing, re-crafting, re-reviewing, and submitting.

In the coming weeks, I'll be doing a write-up on my application experience and posting it here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/my-mba-journey-332/

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New post 22 Jun 2017, 12:37
Awesome! I am really looking forward to reading your MBA jouney on the forum. A quick follow up question - How was your HBS interview experience? For a few people I spoke with last year it seemed like they felt that their interviewer already knew their decision and the conversation was too conversational to derive skills from. How was your experience?
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New post 26 Jun 2017, 09:42
aeropower wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
aeropower - thanks so much for sticking around to help new applicants. I had a few questions for you. A lot of people are under the impression that the short answer questions in the application form are really important for HBS (not trying to say they are not for other schools) because they have the overarching "everything else" theme for their essay.

How did you approach that? Did you have commonalities among your short answer and your essay? Was your essay entirely personal in nature? I'd love to know how you approached the application last year!


More than happy to help, this forum has been very helpful for me! I think that the short answer questions are very important as they answer an explicit question that HBS has for your application (compared to the essay that is open).

Taking a look back at application, here are a few bits of my experience:

1. My approach was to make sure there weren't any conflicting messages or takeaways; also, making sure not to repeat myself too much. I think the important, and difficult, thing to do is figure out how to convey your message succinctly and clearly, while not putting down too many words (there are words/character limits as well). The short answer questions and essay (as well as rest of the package) need to compliment each other.

2. My essay was a blend of personal and professional - I would say 80% personal and 20% professional. By personal, I don't mean a sad story or something objective. I wrote about: my view/perspective, how I felt in the moment, what drove me, and what drives me.

3. As for my whole application, back to point 1; I reviewed multiple times to make sure there aren't any conflicting messages as well as made sure that every opportunity that I had to add on the application complimented each other without repeating.

Prior to my reviews, I had a checklist of topics/items that I wanted my application to convey - X,Y,Z. After going through my application, I asked myself whether or not I conveyed these items. If not, I went back for another round.
--
Business School applications are no joke, they require a great deal of time - preparing, crafting, reviewing, re-crafting, re-reviewing, and submitting.

In the coming weeks, I'll be doing a write-up on my application experience and posting it here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/my-mba-journey-332/


I'd love to get your take on something. Does it matter which application you start working on first? For instance, if I were applying to HBS is it better to start with a less challenging application now, then tackle the HBS essays in August? I've heard that the HBS is too much pressure to start with. Is it better to work first on the school you're most excited about or the one with the easiest application?

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souvik101990 wrote:
Awesome! I am really looking forward to reading your MBA jouney on the forum. A quick follow up question - How was your HBS interview experience? For a few people I spoke with last year it seemed like they felt that their interviewer already knew their decision and the conversation was too conversational to derive skills from. How was your experience?


I would argue a different view from the interviewer already knowing their decision and the conversation was too conversational to derive skills from.

Obviously, this is my opinion, and should be viewed just as that... I think that the interview is very important at HBS. If the interviewer already knew their decision, what would be the point of even being invited to interview? I don't think that wasting the interviewer's and interviewee's time is part of the plan.

As for the actual interview, I think that HBS's unique interview (one that is different for every candidate since the interviewer has reviewed your entire application beforehand) is meant to assess many things, but, most importantly, whether or not you would excel in the case method that is utilized heavily at HBS. What I mean by that isn't simply, could you answer questions if you were called upon, I also mean your ability to express your argument succinctly and clearly (essentially, spreading your experience and knowledge effectively to your classmates).

I think that the interview at HBS is absolutely important. As for my experience.. it was typical of your HBS interview that has been reported on and archived all over the web.


Hope this helps!

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New post 27 Jun 2017, 00:37
aeropower wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
Awesome! I am really looking forward to reading your MBA jouney on the forum. A quick follow up question - How was your HBS interview experience? For a few people I spoke with last year it seemed like they felt that their interviewer already knew their decision and the conversation was too conversational to derive skills from. How was your experience?


I would argue a different view from the interviewer already knowing their decision and the conversation was too conversational to derive skills from.

Obviously, this is my opinion, and should be viewed just as that... I think that the interview is very important at HBS. If the interviewer already knew their decision, what would be the point of even being invited to interview? I don't think that wasting the interviewer's and interviewee's time is part of the plan.

As for the actual interview, I think that HBS's unique interview (one that is different for every candidate since the interviewer has reviewed your entire application beforehand) is meant to assess many things, but, most importantly, whether or not you would excel in the case method that is utilized heavily at HBS. What I mean by that isn't simply, could you answer questions if you were called upon, I also mean your ability to express your argument succinctly and clearly (essentially, spreading your experience and knowledge effectively to your classmates).

I think that the interview at HBS is absolutely important. As for my experience.. it was typical of your HBS interview that has been reported on and archived all over the web.


Hope this helps!


Do you know if HBS are paying flying reimbursements for the interviewees?

Thanks!
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New post 27 Jun 2017, 05:49
goidelg wrote:
Do you know if HBS are paying flying reimbursements for the interviewees?

Thanks!
G


Skype interviews are offered for all interviewees. You can also travel to a location nearer to you, but cost will not be reimbursed for any travel expenses whether in Boston or elsewhere. Skype interviews are weighed equally - it will not be a disadvantage to you. I did mine via Skype.

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ashe99 wrote:
goidelg wrote:
Do you know if HBS are paying flying reimbursements for the interviewees?

Thanks!
G


Skype interviews are offered for all interviewees. You can also travel to a location nearer to you, but cost will not be reimbursed for any travel expenses whether in Boston or elsewhere. Skype interviews are weighed equally - it will not be a disadvantage to you. I did mine via Skype.


If I could add my 2 cents here, do keep in mind/get a handle on how well you come across on camera before opting to do a Skype interview. Here's an anecdote to support my point. in Round 2 last year, I worked with someone who applied to Stanford, Kellogg, Booth, Berkeley and MIT. He did a Skype interview for Kellogg, in-person interview for all the other schools, and was dinged at Kellogg, to his shock, but admitted to Stanford, Booth and Berkeley, waitlisted at MIT (he said MIT was his worst interview performance ever.)

My point is, some people kind of freeze up or don't do so well with that format, so please get feedback on how well you interview on camera (or do some coaching around this) this before making such a critical choice.
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New post 27 Jun 2017, 07:34
Aaliyah537 wrote:
aeropower wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
aeropower - thanks so much for sticking around to help new applicants. I had a few questions for you. A lot of people are under the impression that the short answer questions in the application form are really important for HBS (not trying to say they are not for other schools) because they have the overarching "everything else" theme for their essay.

How did you approach that? Did you have commonalities among your short answer and your essay? Was your essay entirely personal in nature? I'd love to know how you approached the application last year!


More than happy to help, this forum has been very helpful for me! I think that the short answer questions are very important as they answer an explicit question that HBS has for your application (compared to the essay that is open).

Taking a look back at application, here are a few bits of my experience:

1. My approach was to make sure there weren't any conflicting messages or takeaways; also, making sure not to repeat myself too much. I think the important, and difficult, thing to do is figure out how to convey your message succinctly and clearly, while not putting down too many words (there are words/character limits as well). The short answer questions and essay (as well as rest of the package) need to compliment each other.

2. My essay was a blend of personal and professional - I would say 80% personal and 20% professional. By personal, I don't mean a sad story or something objective. I wrote about: my view/perspective, how I felt in the moment, what drove me, and what drives me.

3. As for my whole application, back to point 1; I reviewed multiple times to make sure there aren't any conflicting messages as well as made sure that every opportunity that I had to add on the application complimented each other without repeating.

Prior to my reviews, I had a checklist of topics/items that I wanted my application to convey - X,Y,Z. After going through my application, I asked myself whether or not I conveyed these items. If not, I went back for another round.
--
Business School applications are no joke, they require a great deal of time - preparing, crafting, reviewing, re-crafting, re-reviewing, and submitting.

In the coming weeks, I'll be doing a write-up on my application experience and posting it here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/my-mba-journey-332/


I'd love to get your take on something. Does it matter which application you start working on first? For instance, if I were applying to HBS is it better to start with a less challenging application now, then tackle the HBS essays in August? I've heard that the HBS is too much pressure to start with. Is it better to work first on the school you're most excited about or the one with the easiest application?


So the engineer in me and my prior experience with apps is suggesting that you should lay out all the 'requirements' of all of schools you are applying to: essays, short form questions, recommendations, etc. After that, look at the commonalities and complete the easy ones, name, address, GMAT, etc.

From there, I would look at all of my essays, and brainstorm what and how you want to convey in each application package. This part, to me, is the hard part. I would say that most of the essays take a similar amount of effort since you are trying to not only answer the question, but also display your character, your passion, etc.

To answer your question about starting on an application that you are excited about, I don't think there is a right answer. As you go through your apps, you'll have more experience with answering questions, and the quality could go up. Or... as you get tired through your applications, the quality could go down. It's a personal choice.

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New post 29 Jun 2017, 03:19
40 months current work ex...

Application Submitted on: 2017/06/15
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Would the application fee waiver be applicable to me, as a serving officer in India's armed forces, or is it US-only?

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Hello hello, HBS applicants! Jon Frank here, comin' atcha from Chicago.

Wanted to see if I could offer some help here, since i know the HBS essay is... well, a toughie :) A lot of people see just one essay and celebrate. "WAHOO! This one should be painless!" But when you really get into it, this "just one question" is as tough as they come. And in my 10-year experience with apps, I've seen many, MANY people fail at essays like this. So I want to help.

And while we don't normally share this with eeeeveryone, since y'all are on GMAT Club (which makes you a VIP to me),I decided it was only fair to give you the VIP treatment and share our highly regarded and requested HBS Essay Analysis with you.

Give this a read. Before you do ANYTHING else!


QUESTION: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program? (There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we're going to give here. Don't overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don't know your world can understand.)

ANALYSIS: “There is no word limit for this question.” Yeah, there is actually. Maybe not a hard number, but there is such a thing as a reasonable amount of space it takes for someone to communicate something that would move the admissions needle. Use past word limits as reference. Generally, HBS essays have ranged from 400-750 words. Honestly, for a totally prompt-less prompt like this one, our recommendation is to land somewhere between 400-600 words. Much less and maybe you’re wasting an opportunity. Much more and you’re likely expending words that other folks don’t need to expend – and that makes YOU look bad.

Now then, we have our made-up target of roughly 400 or 500 words (think 600 as max). What exactly do we talk about? Let’s zoom out a touch and consider your overall application. On a scale of 0 to “President of the Galaxy” … how would you score yourself on leadership? If on the basis of your resume and LORs and all other aspects of your application alone, your leadership is plain, and mighty, then your need to make a point of it here in the essay may be less aggressive than the next guy we’re gonna talk about. Imagine a candidate who IS a born leader, but may not have the kind of resume where such traits LEAP off the page as readily as that first guy. In this case, you’d wanna lean heavily on anything and everything that helps to MAKE that quality plain to HBS. Zip forward to the end point for BOTH example candidates. The goal is for the adcom to conclude that EACH of those two candidates is “high” on HBS-style leadership. “Check!”

Let’s go back to Candidate 1. Military guy, say, with leadership screaming from every resume bullet. Maybe this guy/gal spends a touch more time revealing something sparkly his/her personality or future aspirations that when COUPLED WITH the leadership that speaks for itself, makes the adcom hot and bothered. Candidate 2, however, say, an IT guy from India who doesn’t appear to have quite as much in the way of leadership experience, may want to focus less on future aspirations and more on “oh and by the way, after you read this, you can stand me next to that military general and see that, in fact, we have a bunch more in common in the way of leadership than might have been evident on my resume. Aren’t you glad I told you that story here?” See the difference? Similar end point, but the paths might be a touch different.

HBS = leadership. If you can prove that you have future CEO, boss, leader, big and badass mover-shaker flowing through your blood, you will be considered strongly. Think about it for a second, though, because this is gonna circle back to the word limit issue. If someone tells you they’re a lawyer, do you believe them? Probably. Why not? If someone tells you they’re a school teacher, do you believe them? Yeah, why not. If, on the other hand, someone tells you they’re funny… do you believe them? Probably not, they need to make you laugh. In other words, you need proof. Leadership (like funniness) is a quality, not a profession. You can’t just say it and expect others to buy in. At the same time, it’s one of those things where… the more you say, the less likely it may seem to be true. (Hence, 400-500 words = enough.) So, if you’re gonna demonstrate your leadership chops through an anecdote, remember to focus on the types of actions that we can picture. The actions that reveal your particular leadership style, and talent.

So that’s just some general background. How do you begin to answer this HBS prompt? Work backwards. The adcom should conclude after reading your essay, in context with all other aspects of your application that they have, that if introduced to the HBS community, you would help others to succeed, and you would benefit from others and succeed in kind. This is gonna sound frustrating, but, there’s a vapor that comes off of the future “HBS admit” essay that is characterized by one word: confidence. You’re not gonna get admitted to Harvard Business School to LEARN how to become a “manager.” You’re admitted because you’re ALREADY a manager, and HBS is gonna help you grow it.

So, posture that way. As you write drafts, and this may melt some brains out there, posture as though you need Harvard to prove why they are YOUR best choice, not the other way around. Posture like you expect admits from Stanford and Wharton and Booth and Sloan and wherever else, and that you’re not so stuck on brand names, you’re looking for a place that’s gonna be best for you to develop the talent you know you have. How does that posturing subtly affect your tone? Or your approach?

You guys and gals are businessmen and businesswomen right? When negotiating, do you ever prematurely show your hand and reveal just how badly you need the deal? Or is it stronger to posture the other way? “Here’s my final offer, I’m happy to walk away because… I already have many others.” You can be sure that that exact same deal weighs more than the one coming from the guy who seems desperate. So, embrace your inner badass. And be a little cocky. Be a little presumptuous. Be a little smug. (We can always dial it back to the perfect balance… but, no born leaders come to this particular game vulnerable, meek, shy, etc.) Puff your chest. And begin drafting your essay with the mentality that you already have Stanford’s “yes” in hand, and now you’re gonna kick an application over to Harvard for fun, but… YOU are the one in high demand, not the other way around.


:-D

And that's that. Helpful, eh? If you have any questions on it or HBS or anything, just reply here or shoot me a DM. And if you want more Essay Analysis Goodness, check out more schools here. We're updating 'em daily as new prompts are released, so keep checking back.

GOOD LUCK!!

-- Jon Frank
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Last edited by JonAdmissionado on 18 Jul 2017, 09:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Calling all Harvard (HBS) Applicants Class of 2020 (2018 intake) [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2017, 13:29
JonAdmissionado - neat analysis. Considering the fact that you have plenty of case studies to show for HBS admits, how do you think an essay progresses from "crap but has potential" to "HBS cannot look away" - I guess what I am asking is for a no-word-limit prompt like this one, what should the rationale be for the editing process?


Also, another question for all consultants out there. I am not a huge fan of profile evals on the forum because I think it is a bit of a shot in the dark, but I would like to evaluate my chances. So any of you want to elaborate on a standard template which is not super long but meaty enough to take a guess based on your experience?
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Re: Calling all Harvard (HBS) Applicants Class of 2020 (2018 intake) [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2017, 18:23
Hi everyone! Looking to apply to HBS round 1, but will take the GMAT one more time in the coming weeks to push my score up higher. I haven't spent a lot of time on this forum, but I have to say I am very impressed with all of the high quality information provided in these threads. Thanks to everyone who has provided their guidance so far!

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Re: Calling all Harvard (HBS) Applicants Class of 2020 (2018 intake)   [#permalink] 16 Jul 2017, 18:23

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