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  • LBS/INSEAD/Cambridge R1 Admit is Here to Answer YOUR Questions!

     December 09, 2018

     December 09, 2018

     06:00 AM PST

     07:00 AM PST

    One of our senior forum members, subirroy, recently got accepted at LBS, INSEAD, and Cambridge in Round 1. He accepted our invitation to share his insights about the application process, and answer the queries of applicants.
  • Personal MBA Coach’s Top 4 Tips For MBA Applicants

     December 10, 2018

     December 10, 2018

     10:00 PM PST

     11:00 PM PST

    Reflecting back on the tips I have provided again and again, I want to share my top 4 “words of wisdom” for MBA applicants.

Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs

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Essay help - What *actually* happens in HBS Field Global Immersion??  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2017, 11:38
Click here to read more top posts including an expanded version of this one from the Ivy Admissions Group Blog.

At Ivy Admissions Group we know how important it is to fully understand what makes HBS special in order to maximize your chances at admission. To that end, we want to help out members of the GMAT Club by sharing the following deep dive on one of the key and unique classes of the HBS Experience, FIELD global immersion.

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For many HBS students, the FIELD Global Immersion is the seminal class of the HBS experience. Broken into two parts over the first year, the goal of the course is to stretch students’ emotional intelligence and apply the business learning of the RC in an international context.

A few months before departure, the list of 15 destination countries is announced, presentations are held on each, and students rank order their preferences. The goal is to send each student to a country they have no prior experience with. Once assigned to a country (in my case, Helsinki, Finland – my top choice), students are assigned to six-person teams, each curated from different sections to possess a diverse set of professional and personal backgrounds. Each team is then paired with a local company, non-profit, or government institution and given a consumer-facing business challenge to solve using the using the process of “Design Thinking” made popular by IDEO.

Day 0 – Friday – Departure Day

Today is the final day of class in the RC year and includes valedictories from our professors as well as "roasts." We head to the airport for a 9:30PM departure from Boston Logan bound for Helsinki, Finland via Reykjavik, Iceland. Inspired by our BGIE course, I re-read part of my international relations textbook from college and try to get some sleep. The earplugs and eye mask prove to be a lifesaver.

Day 1 – Saturday – Arrival Day

Having painlessly exited EU customs in Iceland, we simply walk out of the Helsinki Airport and find our guides waiting for us. It’s gray, windy, and snowing. I think section mates headed to warmer shores like Cape Town, South Africa. We get to the hotel late in the day and find our way to an Italian restaurant able to accommodate the 16 members of our party (there are 72 of us in Finland) in a private downstairs room. The fish is incredible.

Day 2 – Sunday – Vappu

The snow continues and so after our first Finnish Breakfast, we hit the museums. Today is also “Vappu,” one of the four biggest holidays of the year in Finland. Students from the surrounding universities descend along the Helsinki waterfront, and place a ceremonial white cap, the kind awarded to every Finnish high school graduate, on the head of a statue in the water fountain. From that moment on, the champagne corks pop, singing breaks out in the packed streets, and seemingly every Fin, young and old, dons the white hat they received at their college graduation.

Day 3 – Monday – Orientation / May Day

The weather turns absolutely beautiful as the Vappu celebrations continue for a second day. Businesses are closed as families head to the parks for picnics. All 72 HBS students head out of the hotel for a wilderness cooking class where we learn to smoke salmon and barbecue reindeer, before playing some traditional Finnish camping games. After a full day of outdoor fun, we return to Helsinki for a lesson in traditional Finnish folk dancing at the local performance hall, before a huge section dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4 – Tuesday – Customer Interactions

We meet the CEO of our client company and her top leadership for breakfast at the hotel. We’ve been in contact with them over Skype for a few weeks refining the business problem, and they share final guidance on the direction they would like our project to take. After the meal, we split up into teams of two to interact with local Finnish consumers in parks and playgrounds to understand what pain points they encounter in children’s apparel and outdoor activity. We meet with new users of the technology to understand the value they derive from the product, and the ways they believe it can be improved.

Helsinki is home to four restaurants with one Michelin star and all are reasonably priced, especially given the high cost of lower-end restaurants in the city. I decide to explore one of them with some friends. The dinner comprises 15-courses and lasts 4.5 hours.

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Day 5 – Wednesday – Rapid Prototyping

Half our team visits a daycare center running a pilot of the product, while the rest of us demo our very own versions of the product and the iPhone app. We meet up at the mall to visit our company's store to see how the products are displayed and advertised. After lunch, we bust out the post-its and start compiling the pain points we have observed, brainstorming ways to improve the product, and ideating entirely out-of-the box ideas that the company can pursue to promote the “joy of movement” at the center of the company ethos. The Finns drink more coffee than another nationality in Europe, so our caffeine needs are satiated by the high-quality roasts they keep on tap.

We draw up some prototypes and immediately test them on some local Finnish MBA students who join us at the hotel for drinks. Their feedback is incredible. We mull it over a team dinner at another fabulous Finnish restaurant and present some initial ideas to our professor, herself an accomplished marketing executive, during evening office hours.

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Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2017, 09:46
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https://www.personalmbacoach.com/single-post/2017/06/28/Highlights-from-the-2017-AIGAC-Conference-with-Admissions-Directors

Personal MBA Coach just came back from a great week at the annual Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) conference in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Los Angeles. Thank you to Berkeley Haas, Wharton San Francisco, Stanford Graduate School of Business and UCLA Anderson for generously hosting AIGAC.

The highlight of the conference was a presentation of learnings from AIGAC's annual survey, this year examining how Millennials approach the MBA admissions process. As a member of the survey committee, I presented findings on the application process from the candidate view to admissions directions from leading MBA programs throughout the US, Europe and Canada. The survey was focused on the applicant perspective of the MBA application process including common sources of applicant information, use of consultants, tuition funding strategies and number of schools applied to.

In addition to offering a great opportunity to share the results from this eight month long effort along with fellow committee members, the AIGAC conference provided Personal MBA Coach and other AIGAC members the chance to discuss trends in MBA admissions with admissions directors. Learnings included how schools evaluate candidates and how demand from post-MBA recruiters uniquely factors into the applicant selection process. Also discussed were the latest updates in the application process, the increasing use of technology, an update on international candidates, and news on school programs and changes in curriculum and staff.

Staying on top of the latest news is my top priority in running Personal MBA Coach and I came away from this great week excited to help candidates tackle the upcoming application year and select the program and school most suited for each candidate’s specific goals. With more and more schools releasing their 2017-2018 applications (check here for the latest school specifics), this conference could not have come at a better time! Thank you AIGAC for organizing such a great conference!

Here are Personal MBA Coach’s top 5 highlights from this year’s survey and my thoughts on their implications:

1. Candidates are applying to an average of 5 schools: This point underscores the importance of widening your school list. With admissions rates at some schools in the single digits, there are many more qualified candidates than there are spaces. Candidates are clearly recognizing this as they determine the number of schools to apply to.

2. Advising candidates to: apply to a school that I did not previously consider was the most common way admissions consultants influenced an applicant’s school decision process: Be open minded as you select target schools. Schools vary considerably in terms of culture, importance of specific admissions criteria and industry expertise. Some schools might greatly discount an applicant with a low GMAT or GPA while other schools are likely to weigh the overall story higher than the numbers. Consultants consider these unique Adcom perspectives when advising candidates on where to apply and it is this thinking that led nearly 40% of respondents to consider a school they wouldn’t have otherwise.

3. 70% of applicants are getting information from other MBA students: This information is also considered the most valuable school supplied information. You must go beyond the website to truly learn about a school. While the website is still the most commonly used source of information, applicants are using many sources including blogs, on-line and off-line information sessions, third party websites and MBA fairs to get information. To truly stand out in the admissions process and select the best schools for you, it’s crucial to talk to current students and seek out many other sources of information.

4. 79% of applicants use MBA rankings: US students use US News and World Reports most often while International students refer to the Financial Times. While these rankings are very commonly used, remember they are not the be all end all and many other rankings are available. As I have advised in the past, use these rankings to get your initial list but don’t stop there. Additionally, remember to consider how these rankings vary by industry, geography and over time.

5. Reputation, ranking, culture and location are the top 4 factors in selecting a school: Culture is ranked third and tied with location, underscoring the importance both applicants and admissions directors place on fit in the application process. Take the time to get to know the programs and identify which schools are best suited for you. This will be key to your success convincing admissions directors throughout the application process and your future success on campus.

See full survey details here.

Personal MBA Coach is here to help with all aspects of the application process! If you would like individual and personal support, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to learn how I can help! As an MIT Sloan BS graduate and Wharton MBA grad, I have been helping candidates get into the schools of their dreams with a 96% success rate for over 10 years. Email me today at: scott@personalmbacoach.com

https://www.personalmbacoach.com/single-post/2017/06/28/Highlights-from-the-2017-AIGAC-Conference-with-Admissions-Directors
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Fascinating MBA Lectures of the Week - from Ivy Admissions Group.com  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2017, 11:33

Finite and Infinite Games of Leadership (Simon Sinek)



In this talk at Google Headquarters, Simon Sinek discusses his latest research into game theory and the relevancy of finite games (games with set participants, rules, and objectives) and infinite games (games lacking such clarity) on building sustaining businesses and company ethics. His speech lasts the first 20 minutes, and the balance is taken up with Q&A from Google employees.

Click below to play


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Highlights:



  • Why those playing infinite games will outlast those playing finite games (the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War, Apple vs Microsoft).
  • How infinite game players think about competition as a game to be the best version of themselves, versus a finite game player who thinks about how to beat the competition.
  • The absurdity of the "beating the competition" mindset.
  • How the game informs values. E.g. why does the US Military heal the opponents they shoot in combat?

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Re: Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 10:17
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Beginning with the HBS MBA Class of 2020, Harvard Business School has announced it will award a new Forward Fellowship to support MBA students from lower-income backgrounds to ensure that students from all socioeconomic walks of life continue to be part of the rich diversity that fuels the HBS community and the case-method classroom.

The fellowship is designed specifically for students who carry significant financial burdens or obligations as a result of their family background and circumstances.

Awards will range from $10,000 to $20,000 in each year a student applies, above and beyond the need-based aid that the school offers.

“At HBS, we are intent on and proactive about maintaining the diversity of our student body and supporting individuals from all backgrounds,” said Chad Losee, the Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. “We believe it is important to acknowledge both where each of our students is now and how far they have come. The information we gather in the Forward Fellowship application will enable us to identify incoming students for whom this additional aid will go a long way.”

Unlike regular need-based fellowships that consider a student’s individual financial situation, the Forward Fellowship’s application process will take into account the student’s family circumstances and financial history so the available funds can be distributed to those who need it most. The awards are intended to alleviate some of the financial concerns associated with earning an MBA and to help these students make an investment in themselves.

“We are grateful for the generous support of our alumni and friends, who share Harvard Business School’s commitment to investing in our students and who make fellowships possible,” Losee said. “We are excited about the Forward Fellowship’s potential to support talented and ambitious students during their two transformative years here and as they head out to make a positive difference in the world.”

 
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 08:04

Interesting MBA Talk of the Week: Intangible Value (Rory Sutherland)



This has to be the greatest introduction to an MBA marketing class that I've ever seen. At a TED conference geared at environmental sustainability, Rory Sutherland presents an intensely funny talk that goes example by example of how companies create "intangible value" through creative marketing. His thesis is that we can all become wealthier either by accumulating more gold, or by valuing more what we already own.

Click below to play


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Highlights:



  • How Frederick the Great used creative advertising to get the Germans to eat the potato and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk got his citizens to stop wearing the veil.
  • How a frowny face can make your car slow down more than a speed camera and why when Italians get speeding tickets, they lose points on their license.
  • Why placebos are great.

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 08:07

Science Of Persuasion (Dr. Robert Cialdini and Steve Martin)



How can you persuade someone to do what you want? There is perhaps no greater skill for business leaders to master. Is it something innate? Are only certain people charismatic enough to consistently get buy-in from others? In this lecture on the Science of Persuasion, Cialdini and Martin show that techniques for persuasion are actually quite logical and learnable. With only a few minor nudges based on universal human behavior, aspiring MBAs can more effectively persuade peers, clients, and superiors.

Click below to play


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Highlights:



  • The six universal shortcuts that guide decision-making: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking, and consensus.
  • If the waiter gives a mint at the end of the meal, what is the effect on the tip amount? Does the manner in which it is given matter?
  • Real estate agents increased business by 20% by having their receptionist list their credentials before putting clients through to them on the phone
  • The keys to getting someone to liking you: similarity, paying them compliments, and cooperation towards mutual goals
  • Those little cards in your hotel bathroom asking you to save the environment by reusing your towels result in towel result in 35% compliance with towel reuse. There is a way to use the principle of consensus to increase that rate even further.

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Re: Fascinating MBA Lectures of the Week - from Ivy Admissions Group.com  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 21:33
Excellent, thanks for sharing!


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New post 25 Aug 2017, 06:19

How to spot a liar (Pamela Meyer)


The business world requires trust. So how can you tell when someone is lying to you? We seem to be an anti-lying society, but yet we are often complicit in letting lies slide. In this talk Pamela Meyer steps through the sociological underpinnings of deception and ways of identifying it.

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Highlights:


  • Lying is a cooperative act, often for the sake of social graces. Lying is an attempt to bridge what we wish we were, with what we are. The key is knowing "what it is you're hungry for".
  • Financial deception eats up to 7% of US company revenues.
  • We lie more to strangers than to coworkers, men lie 8x more about themselves than about others, extraverts lie more than introverts, women lie more to protect other people, married people lit to their spouses in 1 of 10 interactions.
  • Regular people can only tell who's lying 54% of the time. Trained lie-spotters can get to 90% identification.
  • Common hotspots of lying: qualifying language, overly formal responses, too much detail, distancing language
  • Honest people accused of wrongdoing: will be cooperative and enthusiastic in helping you get to the truth, willing to brainstorm and name suspects, will be infuriated throughout the entire course of the interview if they are being falsely accused, and will suggest strict rather than lenient punishment for the real wrongdoers.
  • Deceptive people accused of wrongdoing: will look withdrawn, include way too much irrelevant details, will tell their story in strict chronological order (but will struggle to tell the story in reverse chronological order), and will exhibit "duping delight" (i.e. smiling when they think they are getting away with the deception).

NO LIE, WE'LL TELL YOU WHAT YOUR ODDS OF ADMISSION ARE: https://www.ivyadmissionsgroup.com/odds/
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Tips for HBS  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2017, 05:21
First, good luck to all that are applying to HBS R1 coming up soon! If you are applying R2 you may find these essay tips helpful as you approach the essay: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... hbs-essay/
And for all here are some general tips: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... -into-hbs/
At Stratus we have lots of bench strength on HBS alums who are counselors and can do mock interviews with you, or just give some last minute hourly help, or guide you through the whole process! To learn more about the different ways we can help, visit this site for a free consult: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... b-visitor/
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Re: Tips for HBS  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2017, 10:33
StratusMBACounselor wrote:
First, good luck to all that are applying to HBS R1 coming up soon! If you are applying R2 you may find these essay tips helpful as you approach the essay: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... hbs-essay/
And for all here are some general tips: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... -into-hbs/
At Stratus we have lots of bench strength on HBS alums who are counselors and can do mock interviews with you, or just give some last minute hourly help, or guide you through the whole process! To learn more about the different ways we can help, visit this site for a free consult: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... b-visitor/



Great - Thanks for sharing those links.
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HBS Reveals Class of 2019 Profile  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2017, 16:51
Harvard Business School (HBS) has updated its class profile for the class of 2019. Let’s see how you’d fit in.

• HBS’s application volume blew past 10K applications in a single cycle — rising to 10,351 from 9,759 in the 2015-16 cycle, a 6% increase.

• HBS’s yield climbed a bit: up 1% to 91% from 90% last year as it also grew its class slightly (6 additional students)

• The percentage of women declined slightly to 42% this year from last year’s 43%.

• The average GPA also dropped this year from 3.71 for the Class of 2018 to 3.67 for the Class of 2019.

• The median GMAT remains the same (730).

• The percentage of U.S. citizens remains unchanged. The feared drop in international enrollment in the wake of President Trump’s election and policies hasn’t materialized at Harvard.

• Enrollment from Africa, while still low, increased by 33%, from 12 to 16 students.

• The percentage of the class coming from a business or economics educational background climbed by roughly 10% (41% of last year’s class to 45% of this year’s). STEM and Humanities each dipped by roughly 5%.

Profile of the MBA Class of 2019:

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My Take:

This is the first time that HBS is displaying the average quant and verbal scores of the admitted students who took the GRE. The ETS School Comparison Tool provides a predicted GMAT Total Score as well as a very wide Predicted Score range for a given GRE score. According to ETS, the Predicted Score for an entering student at HBS with a verbal score of 164 and a quant score of 164 is 710, 20 points lower than the actual average GMAT score at Harvard. This 730 score is well within the predicted score range (650-760) GMAT average of HBS students.

These numbers demonstrate that applicants seem to be getting into HBS with slightly lower GRE scores than GMAT scores. That differential gives those of you struggling with the GMAT a small window to apply with a slightly lower, but still high, GRE. And realize as Chad Losee, Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, says, “You’re much more than a test score.“

Posting the average GRE scores will be very helpful to applicants trying to decide if they’re competitive or need to retake an exam. I hope that more schools will follow Harvard’s influential lead and begin posting their GRE numbers as well.

Some of you may still wonder which test to take. Quoting Losee again, “Choose the one that allows you to best show your strengths, then move on to other parts of your application.” I couldn’t agree more.

Final point, very much in line with Losee’s “You’re much more than a test score“ comment: While HBS certainly isn’t ignoring academic stats, the non-movement in GMAT scores in this era of a GMAT race to the finish and the slight dip in average GPA combined with HBS’s 11% acceptance rate, show that HBS is weighing experience a little more in its process. It is not disregarding academics, but appears to put its thump on the “much more” side of its evaluation scales. Make sure your experience shows that habit of leadership and engaged community citizenship that HBS is looking for.

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions,MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.


Related Resources:

Harvard Business School MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
What Does Harvard Business School Want?, a video
What HBS is Looking For, a blog series

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where to apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

Contact us, and get matched up with the consultant who will help you get accepted!
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The Journey From India to Harvard MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2017, 02:48
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What’s it like to be a Harvard Business School student and Google Intern? Let’s find out in today’s podcast!

Our guest today is Shantanu Misra, currently a 2nd-year Harvard Business School MBA student who just completed a summer internship at Google and will serve this year as the product manager for the Harbus, the independent, non-profit news organization of Harvard Business School.

A little background about Shantanu Misra. He graduated from IIT Kanpur in India with a BTech and M Tech in Civil Engineering focused on geoinformatics. He worked for BCG in Mumbai and Singapore until 2014. Then he made a fairly major switch and moved to Switzerland where he became the program manager for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. About one year ago, he started his MBA at Harvard.

Shantanu, welcome to Admission Straight Talk!

Can you give us a brief overview of your path to HBS? [1:45]

I did my undergrad in engineering – I learned a lot of tech skills, and then pivoted to more of a business role, because I was fascinated by the idea of trying out different industries and solving strategic problems. That’s what attracted me to BCG after undergrad. I got a lot of exposure to different industries, different geographies, and different types of problems. But like any consultant, I wasn’t owning the solutions – so I was attracted to the opportunity in Switzerland with Gavi.

The role I had there was very interesting. Living in a new country gave me space to reflect on my career, and that’s when I decided to do my MBA. And that brought me to Harvard Business School.

How did you like the shift from advising to, in your words, owning the solution? [3:20]

It’s a major shift. People asked me how I was adjusting to living in Switzerland, and I would say living in Switzerland was easy – adjusting to the job requirements was a little more tricky.

One difference is that as a consultant, you take for granted the buy-in of the partner organization – the machinery runs very fast. But when you’re in an operational role, you’re part of that machinery – you don’t have that senior leadership-driven mandate all the time.

Another big difference is the level of detail in talking about your solutions. As a consultant you work at a high level. But operationally, you need to be detailed and practical.

Why do you feel you need an MBA? [7:00]

I don’t think of an MBA as an investment in the next 10 years of my career – it’s an investment in the next 30,35, 40 years of my career, in terms of the community and resources I’ll gain. That for me was the biggest reason.

Also, I have interests in public health, public education, etc, and in the MBA I’ve been able to work with people who are interested in social enterprise.

What did you find most difficult in the application process? [8:48]

The most difficult thing by far is the essay.

The rest of the package is ready – you’ve done the jobs you’ve done, you have the grades you have, but the thing you can change is how you represent yourself.

There are a lot of people who have a similar educational background to mine, and probably similar grades. So I spent a lot of time thinking about how to differentiate myself.

It’s a high risk event, applying for an MBA – you only get one or two stabs at it. So you want to do it well.

It helps to talk to people you know who’ve made it, so you can understand how you can stand out in your essay.

Did you get the Harbus essay guide as an applicant? [11:13]

Yes, I did! For context, we at Harbus publish a guide with 20-25 successful essays.

When you read these essays you get a sense of what people do, and what are the content choices people make. Every year when I read the essays, they’re so different.

When you interviewed at HBS, what was the hardest or most memorable question? [14:55]

I was really surprised when the interviewer opened with a question about one of the hobbies I’d mentioned in my application – not even in one of the essays – about my experience doing street plays in India. Of course I was not prepared for that question, but it really helped me relax, because I was talking about things I’d experienced in my college life.

Do you remember what you wrote about in your Interview Reflection after your interview? [15:55]

Interview Reflection is an important part of your application. Reflection is a huge part of HBS pedagogy in general. So I think Interview Reflection is important because it helps give them a more holistic picture of you, and also shows how you’ll fit with the HBS culture.

What I wrote about was the question I just mentioned – how it made me relax, thanking the interviewer for that. And then I just reflected on some of the other parts of the conversation.

What has surprised you about HBS? [18:35]

You hear a lot of stories about the social life – that it’s a two-year party. What surprised me was the focus on the classroom. The amount of effort the faculty put in for each single class surprised and impressed me – the way they design and structure the discussion. The richness of the conversation that happens in the classroom is amazing.

How is the case method changing the way you think about business or product management? [20:50]

I think before an MBA the roles you do are more designed to be you contributing as an individual contributor – and I think b-school is great for helping you transition to being a team leader. And that’s applicable to product management as well.

The other thing for me is respect for diversity – that comes from being in a room with multiple nationalities, and you realize how valuable that diversity is.

Earlier, you mentioned your reason for pursuing an MBA was mainly related to the network/community, but it sounds like you’ve gotten much more out of it that you value. Is that fair to say? [23:30]

When you apply you’re focused on what you think you’ll take away from it, and once you’re there you end up taking away a lot more. I’m really enjoying my experience.

Can you tell us about your experience as a summer intern at Google? [24:25]

It’s been great!

I was working as a product manager. I was building on some of the skills I learned as a consultant – you have to be analytical, you have to take everyone along, get initiatives through, etc. At the same time, you’re in an operational role, so you have to be really detailed.

The muscle Google has to design products is amazing. Brainstorming about solutions that will impact billions of users is fascinating. It’s an experience I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

Do you feel aspects of your Harvard education have helped in your role as product manager? [26:10]

The biggest help is that I’m from HBS – I can reach out to all the other HBS grads working at Google. HBS has the strongest MBA network.

The pedagogy of HBS is case-based. When I came to Google I worked with game developers. I remembered I’d done a case on game developers – it helps build context on real world issues.

You mentioned the perception that the MBA is a two-year party. There have been rumors that you need a lot of money for the social life and extracurriculars at HBS, that it is elitist. Have you found that to be true? [29:00]

It’s a bit unfair to call it elitist or say you need a lot of money. There are people from different financial backgrounds – some are on financial aid, and some have a lot of money.

But what I’ve found is that there is a strong sense of community, especially within your section, and that people are respectful of boundaries. So if you’re on a budget, people are respectful of that.

You’re the product manager for the Harbus. What does that mean? [30:30]

The Harbus is one of the oldest campus news organizations, operating since 1937. As product manager, I basically own some of Harbus’s products, such as the essay guide. We also have an interview guide.

We’re thinking of launching some other new products. We also have an editorial team that manages our monthly newsletter.

What motivated you to become product manager? [31:40]

I had used the product, which was the biggest motivation!

I’d always had an interest in student journalism, and coming to HBS where we have this great historical asset, the Harbus, I wanted to be involved. And the team is great. So when I was deciding which extracurriculars I wanted to devote my time to (since you can’t do everything!), I chose the Harbus.

What are your plans for after graduation? [32:45]

The plan is for me to make a plan.

A two-year MBA gives you a lot of opportunity to reflect on your career. I want to use this year to reflect on my internship and my interests in tech, public health, etc.

What will you miss about HBS? [35:20]

Being full time in an educational program, the kinds of things you can explore and the opportunity to participate in extracurriculars.

The second big thing will be the community. I’ve made a lot of close friends. I’ll miss that a lot.

What other Harbus products are in the pipeline? [37:00]

We’re coming out with an interview guide, probably next month.

It will have real life interview questions from successful HBS students.

There are three or four other ideas in the pipeline. We may be coming out with a guide for 2+2 students, since that program has its own unique demands.

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Related Links:

The Harbus
The Harbus on Facebook
The Harbus on Twitter
Get Accepted to Harvard Business School, an on-demand webinar
Harvard Business School 2018 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
HBS Post-Interview Reflections, a video
Sample Essay from Admitted HBS Student
What Does Harvard Business School Want?

Related Shows:

HBS 2016 Grad Reflects on Her Experience as a Harvard MBA
An HBS Student Helping HBS Applicants
HBS CORe: Teaching the Language of Business
Breaking Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw
Wharton’s Commitment Project

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Re: Fascinating MBA Lectures of the Week - from Ivy Admissions Group.com  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 12:20

What Pixar and Disney know about MBA Storytelling (Steve Jobs)



One question we often get is why Ivy Admissions Group is more efficient at navigating our Complete School Package clients through the admissions application process than other consultants. The answer comes down to our approach to storytelling. Rather than let our clients flail in the wind by having them writing resumes and essays for us to edit and form into a compelling story, we start with a personal narrative and build the entire application around that. In fact, we don't let our clients write a single word of their resume (of course, in the provided template for their dream school) until they complete the Narrative Bootcamp Exercises that comes with all Complete School Packages.

Don't take our word for it. This is the same approach that Steve Jobs took when he made Pixar, a technique that he argues enabled the movie company to have such a long string of smash hits, while other traditional live-action movie companies plod along with their fair share of flops. In this week's fascinating MBA talk, note the approach that he recommends for storytelling and then think about how to apply it in your own application.

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Highlights:



  • Traditional movie companies shoot between 10-100x more film than is needed, and then build their movies in the editing room. If they have a flop, they only realize it in the editing room.
  • Because animation is so much more expensive to shoot, it is impossible to produce even 10% more footage than is necessary.
  • To overcome this and ensure a hit, companies like Pixar build minimum-viable products, watching and perfecting their movies at every phase of construction, correcting problems before it comes time to animate.

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 12:24

The Worst-Designed Thing You've Never Noticed (Roman Mars)


This week's fascinating MBA talk comes to us from the maker of the Podcast 99% Invisible is a bit of an analogy -- both as an analogy for good design in business and specifically good design in crafting a business school application. Watch it and then consider the applications I suggest in the highlights below.

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Highlights:


  • The principles for good flag design - and how they apply to the MBA application
  • Keep it simple (so simple that a child can draw it from memory) - Your application should tell a simple story with a beginning, middle, and end, and you as the hero
  • Use meaningful symbolism, ideally things that play pivotal moments in history - you story should have a theme and cover all the pivotal moments in your life
  • Use no more than 2-3 colors from the major color wheel - choose a few themes, not too many. Sometimes the whole truth can get in the way of a good, truthful story.
  • No lettering or seals, no writing of any kind - here is one departure from the analogy. While good writing will not beat the symbolism and meaning of the prose over your head, we believe that subtly should be minimized in the application.
  • Be distinctive - You want your story to stand out in the mind of the admissions committee. It should easily identify you in some pithy statement (e.g. "That Nigerian education guy")

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New post 21 Sep 2017, 11:09

Act Like the Leader You Want to Be (Richard Cox)


Now that the HBS Round 1 application deadline passed, the next step for MBA hopefuls is to prepare for the Admissions Committee interview. There are four kinds of interviews that elite MBA programs use: student (Chicago Booth), alumni (Stanford GSB), video (Kellogg), and Adcom (HBS). Adcom is by far the hardest since you'll be talking directly with a gatekeeper who has already reviewed your applications and will be coming after you with tailored questions to poke holes in your application. In these interviews more an others, presence is a major key.

Our recommendation would be to come off as approachable when you arrive to interview and maintain that demeanor up until the interview. Once you get into the interview room, we recommend an authoritative demeanor. In the lecture below out of Stanford GSB, Richard Cox discusses how to accomplish each.

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Highlights:

  • 5 S's for Authority: Slowness in speech, Stillness in head, Silent pauses in speech, Symmetry in posture, and Space (taking it up)
  • 5 F's for Approachability: Filling space, Fast movement, Folded body, Fidgeting, Flirting (inviting others to share space with them)
  • Observe yourself and see how you come across. Filming yourself and attending improvisational acting classes can be a huge help.
  • Think about making a pump-up play-list from your favorite super hero movie to get yourself ready to appear on stage the way you want to

GET THE BEST HBS-STYLE INTERVIEW PREP ON THE MARKET
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Re: Essay help - What *actually* happens in HBS Field Global Immersion??  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2017, 00:56

And now Part 2 from IvyAdmissionsGroup.com



Day 6 – Thursday – Convergence

After a light breakfast of pickled fish and (a lot of) eggs we lock ourselves in a board room, agree on which customer pain points are most pressing, and debate which recommendations we wish to advance to the company. We settle on two broad categories: improvements to the existing ReimaGo sensor experience, and out-of-the-box new services that support Reima’s mission of promoting the “joy of movement” to children. We hammer out the final shape of our recommendations and assign them to individual team members to completely flesh out and assemble into slides for the deck.

In the afternoon, we visit Reima’s gleaming new corporate headquarters to debrief our initial conclusions on customer pain-points to the leadership team, and set expectations for the recommendations we will deliver to them on Monday. They give us a tour of their offices, complete with a sneak preview of their 2018 collection.

In the evening we rejoin the entire Finland section in a private room at Restaurant Sipuli for a Q&A with a local Finnish venture capitalist and the young co-founder of Wolt, the Finish version of Instacart / Seamless.

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Day 7 – Friday – Team Bonding
We set a goal of finishing up all the recommendation slides in our PowerPoint by lunch and set about dividing and conquering. We end up with visually compelling mock-ups for new ReimaGo applications: one targeted towards daycare centers and another offering busy parents a one-stop shop for apparel-related services.

Over lunch at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Ask we forget about work for a while and focus on team bonding, sharing funny stories from our lives before HBS, and riddles that we take turns trying to solve. The food is incredible, the atmosphere is relaxing, and the staff seamlessly accommodates all dietary restrictions.

We spend the afternoon as a team enjoying the sunny weather, strolling around the downtown seaport and over to the beautiful mansions of embassy row. At night, some members of my home section meet up at another Michelin restaurant, Chef and Sommelier, to celebrate a birthday.

Day 8 – Saturday – Exploration

Saturday is our day off, so a cross-section of the Helsinki section travel with our team’s local guide to Porvoo, a nearby Finnish village that dates back to the 1300s. We walk around the cobblestones streets, past a bank of red barns perched upon the river, to a chocolate factory and an unusual barn-shaped church perched on the hilltop. After some ice cream (the Finns also consume more ice cream than another other nationality in Europe), we head back to Helsinki to one of the weekend markets, where we grab lunch and buy some souvenirs.

Day 9 – Sunday – Practice

I take off on a long run to explore parts of the city I hadn’t seen before. Eventually I find myself in the military section of the Hietaniemi cemetery where the national heroes of World War II are buried, notably Finnish President Marshal C.G.E. Mannerheim, who has been voted in surveys as the Greatest Finn of all time. Having lived close to Arlington Cemetery when I worked in Washington DC, the solemnity of the cemetery and the beauty of the headstones left a profound effect on me.

In the afternoon we present an abridged version of our client presentation to our FIELD professor and two other teams for feedback. Drawing on some of the media training seminars I attended at Harvard Kennedy School, I help coach our designated presenters on best practices for speaking to the room and making effective use of hand gestures. Our team does a great job and gets excellent feedback from the others.

The evening is spent at one of Finland’s famous saunas located right on the shores of the Baltic Sea.

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Day 10 – Monday – Final Presentation
We arrive at the Reima Headquarters at 9AM for our two-hour final presentation with the company CEO and her senior leadership. Our tone is conversational and we answer questions in real time. The CEO’s face lights up at our recommendations and her team asks what feedback we got about them in the field. Though her team has already considered some of our recommendations, I could tell that the fresh perspective we brought inspired them to think differently about both content and implementation. Each member of the team does a great job presenting, and in the end the CEO offers each of us a job at the company should we ever come back to Finland.

In the afternoon, we reconvene as a section to debrief the projects, offer feedback to team members, and go out for a group dinner. I also hit the saunas one last time.

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Day 11 – Tuesday – Return

We catch our flights back to Boston satisfied with the project we completed for our partner company and empowered by the strong bonds we made with each other.
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Does it help to network with current MBA students? What do I ask?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2017, 01:11
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Does it help to network with current students? If so, what should I ask?



When I first started researching MBA programs, I reached out to everyone in my network who was at that school to chat about their experiences. I’m not sure why I did it – perhaps I thought that the admissions committee would somehow find out all the effort I was making and take it as a sign of my commitment. Boy was that wrong. Now that I’m a student at Harvard Business School who is constantly bombarded by requests from strangers to “pick my brain” about MBA programs, I understand just how annoying and pointless such conversations can be.

School research is a critical step on your admissions path and students can be great resources. But recognize that arranging phone calls with MBA students and alumni will not in and of itself improve your odds of admission or reveal to you what you should put in your application. Instead you should have specific goals that you want to accomplish by reaching out, which I outline below.

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Okay to reach out:


To get a feel for the school culture



Admissions websites are full of hard information about the school: graduation requirements, curricular opportunities, and admissions criteria. What they often can’t capture is the soft information of the school – those elusive hard-to-define experiential aspects we call culture. Culture is an incredibly important part of any matriculation decision and it is something that current students feel constantly. Not only are current students most attuned to the school’s culture, they are often the ones most interested in talking about it.

To plug into an affinity group



Affinity groups for veterans and ethnic minorities are often plugged into the admissions department. They help with outreach in the community to broaden the applicant base, and they host special events for prospective students on campus. Using official channels to connect with these clubs and their “admissions ambassadors” can be a great way to get on the club’s email distribution list for admission events, access to any official club admission advice, and see what support resources exist at the school of someone in your community.

To make sure your application “speaks the school’s language”



MBA programs have unique vocabularies. Admissions committees and students alike can easily identify outsiders by the odd and foreign way they talk. For example, no one at HBS call it the “first year curriculum” – it’s the “required curriculum” or “RC”. Being able to talk about a school using its own language is essential to presenting yourself as a credible candidate.

To know what you get out of specific classes



Many applicants try to show off their knowledge of a school by talking about what unique benefit they seek to get out of specific required and elective coursework. I thought about it when I was applying, but there was only so much I could tell about what I would learn from a class by its title. Looking back, my intuition was WAY off and I’m glad I didn’t say anything about those classes. Anyone who has taken them would have immediately seen just how little I knew. Conversations with current students can help close this knowledge gap.

To verify likelihood of career transitions



Everyone goes to business school to make some change in their career. But is the transition you seek to make common or likely at the school in question? For example, if you want to work at an elite Venture Capital firm and are thinking of applying to a less competitive school, does that firm even recruit there? If you want to pursue a really non-traditional job, is that even one that an MBA will help you get? Having realistic career goals is an absolutely essential part of any application and current students (usually second-year students) will know best what career transitions are feasible – and at that school in particular.

To find compelling ways of giving back to the school



The best applications will argue why the candidate will actually improve the school. What clubs will you seek leadership positions in? Which positions are even available? Current students can be very useful in helping you find the best place for you to leave your mark.

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Don’t reach out:


To have them lobby the admissions department on your behalf



Individual students do not carry much sway with the admission committee. Unless they know you extremely well, they also would find it extremely awkward to vouch to the committee on your behalf. Paradoxically, the admissions committees will see such endorsements of close friends as biased anyway and discount what they say. Either way, it is a lose-lose except that by asking them to lobby, you spend up any social capital you may have.

To get them to read your essays



MBAs are busy and reading someone’s essay is a huge favor. If you box them into reading yours, they will likely give you short shrift without much actionable improvements. Furthermore, they may have made it through the process, but they are probably not experts at the admissions essay writing process. Finally, a stranger may be able to tell that an essay is bad or even why they dislike it, but unless they work with you closely and understand your narrative intimately, they won’t know what the range of options are for you to improve your story.

To chit chat / “pick their brain”



Again, MBAs are busy. They barely have enough time to hang-out with their friends at school let alone random people who want something from them. If you are going to ask for their time, make sure you respect them enough to have a definite purpose in mind. Send good questions in advance to show the MBA that you have done your research and are asking questions that only someone like them could answer

To collect names to drop in the application



This is probably the biggest abuse of informational chats. First of all, if this is your motivation you are using someone as a means to an end and will likely not even listen to what they say. Second, Elite MBA programs do not care how many people you spoke with before applying. Talk is cheap and there are better ways to show commitment. Third, if namedropping in conversation gets annoying, the same is true for your essays. Keep the focus on you and your story.

REACH OUT AND TALK TO US! -- WANT THE INSIDE SCOOP ON HBS?
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Re: Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2017, 11:45
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The 2017–2018 application season is in full swing, as business school hopefuls around the world hone their essays or perhaps have already clicked “Send” on their applications and crossed their fingers for good luck. If you have set your sights on the top-ranked programs in the country, you are definitely not alone.

Although this season’s applications have yet to be accumulated, the business schools with the most applicants in 2016–2017 received a staggering amount of interest. Harvard Business School, which received 9,759 applications in 2015–2016, broke the 10K milestone with 10,351 applicants in 2016–2017. Many other top-ranked schools saw a similar, slight increase in application volume. Chicago Booth was among the schools with the most notable increases, as 4,674 individuals submitted their applications this year, compared to 4,160 the previous year. At the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the difference was hardly palpable: the school received only 13 more applications in 2016–2017 (6,692) than in 2015–2016 (6,679).
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Re: Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 10:59
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For those of you on pins and needles since submitting your application to Harvard Business School a few weeks ago, Chad Losee, director of MBA admissions and financial aid, has some good news regarding interview notifications: it won’t be long now.

In his latest update to the Director’s Blog, Losee shares that Round 1 invites will go out on October 2nd and 5th.  Whether you’re notified on the first or second day has no bearing on the strength of your application; the staggered notification dates merely spreads out the traffic on the interview sign-up pages, Losee explains.

On October 5th, remaining applicants will hear one of three things:
  • invitation to interview
  • release
  • further consideration

“By ‘releasing’ those of you who we cannot move forward in the process, rather than waiting until December to let you know—we hope to give you time to explore other potential options,” Losee explains, adding that, “For group 3), we would like to ‘further consider’ your applications in Round 2, and more details will be shared directly about next steps.”

In addition to on-campus interviews held between mid-October and mid-November, the HBS admissions team will also conduct interviews across the globe in Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, São Paulo, New York City, Bay Area CA, London, and Paris.

“Choose what’s most convenient for you,” says Losee, “If you aren’t able to travel, we will work something out via Skype.”
SBC’s Interview Advice in a Nut Shell
As you prepare for your interview, one of the most important tips to remember is to sound natural—not scripted—during the exchange.  Instead of trying to remember and include every last one of your memorized bullet points, focus on succinctly answering only the question at hand.

If you can get from point A to point B in a clear, logical way; maintain an open, friendly, and professional demeanor; dress appropriately; and have an inquisitive attitude about the school and all it has to offer students, you stand a very good chance of coming out of the interview with flying colors.

Good luck to all R1 applicants awaiting notification!
***

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Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine, courtesy of Harvard Business School

This week, Harvard Business School announced it has received a major gift from alumni Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine, who have pledged a total of $12.5 million to support student fellowships. This is the largest amount ever donated to the business school for scholarship aid and the HBS Fund. Jonathan currently serves as co-managing partner of Bain Capital, one of the world’s largest private investment firms.

The largest component of the gift, $10 million, will go to the Lavine Family Fellowship Challenge Fund, to increase significantly the impact of this gift by engaging and motivating others to make donations in support of the school’s scholarship needs.

Additionally, the gift will endow, at $1 million each, the Lavine Family Fellowship and the Herbert J. Bachelor Fellowship, the latter named in honor of Jeannie’s father (MBA 1968), while $500,000 will go to the HBS Fund to be used for various school priorities.

Approximately fifty percent of Harvard MBA students receive financial aid from the school each year. HBS is committed to a merit-based admissions policy, meaning that applicants’ financial resources are not considered during the admissions process. Once students are admitted, fellowships are granted based solely on their financial need. HBS provided $35 million in financial aid to MBA students in the 2016-17 academic year.

“Fellowships provide the gift of possibility,” said Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria. “For many students, being admitted to Harvard Business School becomes a reality only when they know there is financial support available to make it possible for them to attend. We are so very grateful to Jeannie and Jonathan for this extraordinary gift, which will impact the lives of generations of our students for decades to come.”

“These gifts are the lifeblood of the institution,” said Prof. Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Senior Associate Dean of the MBA Program. “They allow us to focus exclusively on filling our classrooms with the very best students. Our learning community is enriched by diversity in all its forms, and the fellowships we offer make it possible to bring people here from all walks of life around the globe.”

The Lavines have specified that where possible, the fellowships should be made available to students who are the first in their families to go to college, in tribute to Jeannie’s father, Herbert Bachelor, 73, who was the first in his family to go to college, graduating from both Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

The Lavines have focused a significant portion of their philanthropic efforts toward leveling the playing field for individuals and families, with a particular focus on access to quality educational opportunities. The couple’s philanthropic roots at Harvard also run deep.

In 2011, they established the Lavine Family Cornerstone Scholarship Fund, which supports four undergraduates through Harvard’s financial aid program. In 2012, they established the Lavine Family Humanitarian Studies Initiative at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, which supports the training and education of humanitarian relief workers.

“We’re proud to support the work of great academic institutions, because we know first-hand the impact they can have on the world,” said Jonathan Lavine. “There is no greater way to improve someone’s future than giving them access to high quality, post-secondary education. We spent a great deal of time discussing with Dean Nohria our passion for education and how inspired we are by my father-in-law’s journey and appreciative of the opportunity our parents provided us. As a result, we decided that this is the best way to bring those interests together.”

Click here to learn more about the Lavine family’s inspirations and philanthropic efforts.

 
***

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